If when you sell a website, do you offer support for the transition? I always make a point of telling potential buyers that I will do my best to ensure a smooth transition and do anything I can to help them. Sometimes those words come back to bite you in the ass! I sold a web directory about a month ago. It was nothing extravagant, and the price wasn’t going to make me rich. The buyer was a “company” and I received emails throughout from various employees.
Prior to the sale, they wanted me to place tracking software on the site to verify traffic, which I had no issue with. They then paid for the purchase via Paypal E-check which meant I wasn’t transferring full ownership over to them until the check cleared and was in my account.
It took 5 days for the check to clear and each and every day they were emailing me asking me to place various ads throughout the site, remove the ads, change the placement, and fix the alignment. Then they had trouble receiving the domain name from me via GoDaddy, which is a simple process, but apparently, they’ve never done it before. I made myself available on my cell phone and walked them through it.
So now they have the domain in their name and access to everything on the site. They continued to email me almost daily asking for tips on how to monetize their ads and get more traffic to the site. While I think this is the responsibility of the new owner, I took the time to write up several emails explaining monetization methods and explained that directories will make money from featured listings and that Google and Interactive, which they were using, weren’t going to make them any money. I wrote a second email full of tips for getting the word out further about the directory, getting visitors, and increasing their ranking.
A few weeks go by and I notice all new submitted links are set to pending on the main page. I email them to ask when they were going to complete the transfer to their own server and the reply was that they were going to “attempt” it yesterday. He also asked why all the links were set to pending and do they need to be manually approved. I had to spend another 1/2 hour writing a detailed email explaining how to use the admin section to approve/reject sites and verify.
Late yesterday I get an email that the transfer is complete. But, now they have another problem. They cannot log in to the admin section as it’s not accepting the password I gave them. I explained to them that the proper way to move such a site is to re-install the directory software and then import the SQL backup. They claim they did this, but if they did, the install process would have created a new admin account and they would have had to choose a new password. Nonetheless, they are actually getting testy with me and almost demanding that I assist. I don’t have access to FTP, Cpanel, or the site itself, and they say they don’t know the passwords then how the hell am I supposed to help?