Anybody sold their forum(s) to Verticalscope?

Donny

Active member
Seem to have somebody from Virticalscope email me annually wishing to chat about buying a forum or two of mine.

Wondering whether anybody has taken the leap, and whether they regretted it.

It's alright thinking 3 or 4 times it's current annual turnover in the bank in one go would be nice, but on the other hand it has taken 10+ years to get the forums to earn that annually.

So one would assume one needs 5 or 6 or 7 times its annual turnover to actually walk away from them.

I understand VS have better % from Google due to their size, and perhaps negotiate with ad networks certain rates. Not sure.

So perhaps they make more money with your forum than you ever could.

Anybody from @VirticalScope on here?
 

briansol

Well-known member
IF you 'care' about your community, don't sell it. Pretty much every community that's been bought (and not just by VS) has been destroyed in some way... exodus, horrible theme, over-load of ads, po'ed members, etc etc. None of them are the same as they used to be post-transition.

IF it's just money, you know your own price.

Don't forget about taxes.... a large lump sum will get eaten by uncle sam.
 

Ntown

Well-known member
I dealt extensively with VerticalScope all the way back to dealing with Rob, who I guess now is a retired philanthropist.

Back then I had great experiences with them. This was about 10 years ago and I think I ended up flipping six or seven car forums to them. Unlike @briansol none of my communities were destroyed and in fact some of them did better.

That said, the last time I dealt with them over an offer, it turned acrimonious and petty with one of their VPs and so I'm probably not the best to talk to.

My one piece of advice is to be absolutely, positively sure of what you want and you stay in control of that process; no negotiation. Spend the time to come up with your best price and stick to it.
 

briansol

Well-known member
To be clear, i never sold to them (or anyone else) despite offers/talks 10 years ago as well.

But other forums i used to frequent are ghost towns from the exodus because these large companies
  • want to implement change to improve margins
  • lack change management skills and do not listen to the voice of the customer (forum user)
  • do not have a personal connection with the community

It's Walmart vs Mom and Pop. Or "Bob's Deli" vs "Subway".

Bob knows my order, i get real meat and bread that's actually bread. We talk about our kids / sports /etc.
I go to Subway, get fake round meat and bread that is mostly sugar made by some spiked hair teen who would rather be on his phone than communicate.

Subway comes to buy Bobs Deli (ok, not a likely scenario but hear me out)
Bob retires. He's happy with the payday.

All his customers eventually stop eating there because the quality and conversation has become corporate crap.

Bob's customers wish Bob never sold.


So, think about your people. IF you care about them and what your community means to them, realize that there's a damn good chance you're pulling the rug out on the for the sake of profits.





Seems to be like the peak corporate buying was 10 years back and things are seeming to start back up again.
 

Ntown

Well-known member
To be clear, i never sold to them (or anyone else) despite offers/talks 10 years ago as well.

But other forums i used to frequent are ghost towns from the exodus because these large companies
  • want to implement change to improve margins
  • lack change management skills and do not listen to the voice of the customer (forum user)
  • do not have a personal connection with the community

It's Walmart vs Mom and Pop. Or "Bob's Deli" vs "Subway".

Bob knows my order, i get real meat and bread that's actually bread. We talk about our kids / sports /etc.
I go to Subway, get fake round meat and bread that is mostly sugar made by some spiked hair teen who would rather be on his phone than communicate.

Subway comes to buy Bobs Deli (ok, not a likely scenario but hear me out)
Bob retires. He's happy with the payday.

All his customers eventually stop eating there because the quality and conversation has become corporate crap.

Bob's customers wish Bob never sold.


So, think about your people. IF you care about them and what your community means to them, realize that there's a damn good chance you're pulling the rug out on the for the sake of profits.





Seems to be like the peak corporate buying was 10 years back and things are seeming to start back up again.
Yeah, I saw this happen and yes, their community liason people were absolutely swful. There was one girl in particular who'd come into a tight-knit community of niche car guys and try to rap the lingo.

They did alienate some communities.
 

Ntown

Well-known member
Seems to be like the peak corporate buying was 10 years back
I made an absolute fortune back then on car, motorcycle, ATV, hobby forums. Somehow found forums that enthusiasts had started, they exploded and then the founder didn't know what to do. I'd get them to the next level, often make back all my initial investment on ads, then flip them to a media aggregate like VS.

The good 'ole days!
 

Your Ski Advisor

Active member
It's alright thinking 3 or 4 times it's current annual turnover in the bank in one go would be nice, but on the other hand it has taken 10+ years to get the forums to earn that annually.
Ii have been thinking this but then I would ahve to get a job. I like my forum, I pay the bills with it. I am sure there is a non compete involved with the transaction. I do know some sites that the owners stayed on as the face but I don't know what the pay is there.
 
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