For How Much Can You Sell A Facebook Page
This is what many individuals would do if they had access to market sites like ViralAccounts. It's an intriguing approach that capitalizes on the fact that many people enjoy pages but don't think about them, only viewing one or two updates each year.
Why would you want to sell your Facebook page?
There are many causes for this. Perhaps you haven't seen a decent return on your Facebook investment and want to recover some of your losses before moving on to other types of marketing. Perhaps your company failed or went bankrupt, and all you're doing is selling an asset that has no value to you other than the possibility to liquidate it. Maybe, like a few clever businesses out there, you simply employ wacky viral methods to quickly build up fan sites, just to sell them and continue the process. If you are successful, you may make a nice profit.
What is the going rate for a facebook page?
Typically, the majority of fan sites for sale will be on the low end. They will only have a few hundred or thousand followers, the most of whom will be inactive. These will retail for between $50 and$500, maybe a little more. The greater the price, the more followers a page has and the more engaged they are. Viral Accounts reports that high-end fan pages were sold for up to $20,000 on occasion.
Why would you invest so much on a facebook page?
There are a variety of causes behind this. The main motivator, though, is plain laziness. You don't have the time, energy, expertise, or attention to build a fan page from the ground up, one follower at a time. The first thousand followers are the most challenging since they come before your page has any real momentum, so they need a great deal of care and attention. You can hire an agency to create and expand a page for you, but it will take much longer and be far more costly than just purchasing an account with an existing fan following.
Surprisingly, one incentive NOT to purchase a fan page is arbitrage. You can't purchase a fan page and then resell it once you've expanded it for a profit. The reason for this is Facebook's limitations on ownership transfers. More on it in a moment.
Now, I'm not here to advocate for the purchase or sale of a fan page account. If you must be on either side of the transaction, being the seller is preferable than being the buyer.
Buying or selling a Facebook page has some major risks.
From the seller's point of view, you're not going to get into too much difficulty. Selling an account entails listing your account for sale, receiving money, and transferring ownership. Sites like the one described above act as a middleman, establishing and maintaining a trustworthy – to a degree – community and penalizing those who attempt to defraud their customers or vendors. Ideally, they ensure that your ownership is correctly transferred and that you are fairly compensated.
The dangers are clear. First and foremost, you risk having your brand name associated with the page. If a large number of people follow YourBrand and then discover that they are now following SpamBrand, they will wonder where you went and why you are now known as SpamBrand. YourBrand may still exist, but people may believe that you and the new owner are somehow connected.
You also run the chance of being duped, regardless of how reliable the intermediary site claims to be. I haven't used any such services, so I can't comment on how smooth the process is, but I'm sure there are individuals out there who would gladly take authentication credentials and hijack websites for their own malicious purposes.
There is also the danger of your personal profile. When you create a fan page, you must also create a personal profile for it. If the profile is your own personal profile, rather than one created as a false account to host the fan page, the link between the two accounts remains. This implies that the new owner may be able to see who you are throughout the transfer, with all of the consequences it involves.
To guard against this possibility, you may now transfer ownership of the page from yourself to a fake account. You must follow the steps below:
- Create a fake Facebook personal profile that seems to be genuine and is fed data.
- Make the fake account a fan page administrator on Facebook.
- Log in to the fake account and delegate administration to your actual account.
This will make you the only owner of the account, which you may then use reasonably risk-free. However, there is still some personal information connected from Facebook's end. They can see what IP addresses were used to visit the website and will be able to tell whether you and the dummy have the same IP address unless you use a proxy of some sort. If the page is penalized for any reason, it may have a negative impact on your own profile as well.
On the buyer's side, you're really taking on a lot greater risk. On the one side, there is the sheer financial danger of being duped. You say, “Hey, I'd like to purchase this account.” The website states, “yes, it's $1,000.” You send them a grand through PayPal, Bitcoin, or whatever payment method you choose, and you never hear from them again. They do not reply to your mails, do not provide you with a page, and you are no longer able to enter into their system. Congratulations! You've been kidnapped.
I'm sure there are plenty of legitimate buy and sell hubs out there, but I'm also sure some of them are more than willing to dupe their audience and walk away with the money. It's not like you have much of a choice. There isn't much of a legal defense there. Trying to take the company to court will just get you in trouble, if you can even reach them. “Your honor, I was attempting to purchase a Facebook account when they took my funds.” “Doesn't purchasing a Facebook account violate their terms of service?” “Yes, but-” “Case concluded, please pay your attorney on your way out.”
Assume you locate a reputable website and successfully buy an account. You must now modify the information to make it your own. Congratulations, you now have a page full of people who don't know who you are, aren't likely to be in your core demographics, and will most likely unfollow you. I don't have hard statistics, but I think that when people see you, their turnover rate is very high. Many people will just ignore your messages, but many more will wonder “who is this and why are they in my feed?” and unsubscribe from your list.
All of this is provided the plan goes off without a hitch. Facebook has been known to ban accounts following ownership changes. Viral Accounts issued a blog post to reassure their audience and clarify that the purges are the consequence of TOS breaches such as uploading nudity, abusive material, obscene language, and spam. What they conveniently forget to explain is that selling a Facebook page is also a violation of the rules of service and will result in a suspension.
It's not like you can just conceal the shift in ownership. At the very least, Facebook is aware of the change in IP address and the related admin account. If you alter the information – for example, taking over the page and changing it to be about your brand – the account may be flagged.
So, even if you pay money and successfully get a fan page in return, and even if you do not instantly lose half of the followers you paid for, you must still be concerned about Facebook deleting your page anywhere from a week to a year later. Facebook may invalidate your purchase with a single sweep of the broom, and there's no way to obtain a refund.
Facebook's Ownership Rules
Facebook really has some fairly stringent rules in place when it comes to altering the ownership of a page.
You may now simply alter who is the administrator of a page. I described the procedure above. As far as I know, there is no limit to how many times you can do this. Because it is quite common for a company to shift about the individuals allocated to different positions in their advertising department, it makes little sense to filter or restrict such changes inside. Transferring ownership of the page from one person to another is mechanically permissible and limitless.
The issue arises when you change the brand page itself. If you purchased ViralMemesAndSoapPictures and want to retain the brand and do something with it, go ahead and do so. So long as the former owner of that brand does not retain it. They may be maintaining their own brand, in which case utilizing their page without altering the information is basically identity theft, and Facebook may also ban you for it.
Once you've taken over as admin, there are three things you should alter about a page to make it your own. The first is straightforward; it consists of all of the posts and information. It's very easy to remove the timeline, alter the About text, and other page components to fit your desired brand. If you have all of the text and pictures ready to go, you can do this in less than an hour. You can't delete all of the posts at once, but you may utilize the publishing tools to delete a few at a time until everything is gone.
The second thing you should update is the page's official name. This one is difficult since you cannot just alter the name of a page. You must be the page's administrator, and once you are, go to the About section and select Page Info. Click Edit in the Name area and create a new page name. Then you press the proceed button and then the change request button. The name change will then need to be approved by Facebook. Even yet, Facebook does accept name changes on a regular basis. They have rules for what a name may include, but as long as you stay inside those criteria, altering the name of a page is OK.