I sold my Tiny Website

  1. 14

    This is why I love lurking on indiehackers. Your conclusion paragraph is really on point Ben. As someone in the midst of an anxiety-laden pandemic job hunt - maybe it's time to take a break from polishing hackerrank questions and actually build something for once. From one guy to another - thanks for planting that thought-germ in my mind bro.

    1. 2

      Thank you Pheonix. Glad to have planted a seed. I hope some good stuff comes your way :) Let me know if you build some stuff!

  2. 3

    Wow, chief. I haven't seen you before. After this post, I read whole your blogs(also I checked your tweets and it took almost 4-5 hours :D) But you inspired me so much!
    I will do something this week and I will share my whole process in my twitter acc. Because I thought if you inspired me with your posts, maybe I can inspire some people like me. Thank you, chief!

    You are awesome!

    1. 1

      Thanks so much Kagan for checking out my stuff! That's really awesome - It's so fun sharing your process/building in public, and you'll be surprised how many people are interested in following along. Good luck!

  3. 3

    Thnx for the takeaways! Couldn't resist browsing your other projects.
    Loved the Wee Royale 🤓

    1. 2

      Thanks for checking them out Maeva!! Wee Royale is definitely the most deadly arena in video game history..

  4. 3

    Love it! And I love how fast your site is ;)

    1. 2

      Haha I noticed that too! Should probably hire him to take a look at mine

      1. 3

        Well his website is mostly html and just a tiny bit of CSS. That’s the whole ‚trick‘ ;) I love those minimalistic websites that focus on what matters: the content

    2. 1

      Thank you Marius! Plain HTML for the win ⚡⚡

  5. 2

    I loved reading about this! I am right about to dive into figuring out how to add a buy button (stripe, I guess?) to my own tiny project, and I am comforted to know that others admit to finding service integration just as tedious as I do!

    1. 2

      I feel that if you can build it yourself, then do it. I've copied and customised the Stripe payments code on this project for so many more things, and it feels fantastic not having to pay out any additional fees, or be tied into a platform.
      There are of course exceptions - e.g. I wouldn't want to build an Intercom-like customer support chat window. That would take wayy too long.

      1. 1

        Good point! I feel that way about auth, it just seems much too complicated and I try to shop around for existing solutions. Have you found a good drop-in auth platform? I used firebase auth, but the next tiny proj I want to make without firebase, so I’m back to square one.

  6. 2

    Amazing! I liked that store

      1. 1

        May I ask what languages you used to build it, anything major complicated?

        I'm new to programming so looking to learn and create a small project to test myself out

  7. 2

    It's made me realise there's this really fun strategy for any developer trying to make money on the internet:

    Build things you enjoy
    Write about the process
    Attract a small audience
    Attract opportunities (buyers, customers, job offers)
    It's that simple. Code something for a few weeks, then type up how it went. Maybe publish it on your own blog like this.

    Great advice. 1 Q, what if he didn't like the code etc. you still get the money?

    1. 1

      If the buyer didn't like the code, I think there'd be an awkward process of transferring everything back from them to me. Afterwards, the Escrow service would then transfer the money back to the buyer.

      1. 1

        Oh interesting. Didn't expect that. Cuz of stealing etc.

  8. 2

    Great write-up, thanks Ben!

  9. 2

    This is super cool, Ben.

    How did you market it? Did you simply share with your following?

    1. 2

      Thanks Francois! Initially I did a Product Hunt launch that got about 80 upvotes, and shared the writeup with my twitter following (which was probably about 300 people at the time). Over the next few months as I published more stuff, people would check out One Item Store through my blog & I'd gain more users that way.

  10. 2

    Congrats! Btw, your twitter link in profile is broken. :)

  11. 2

    Cool story, thanks also for sharing the price, helps calibrate expectations when hitting something similar.

    1. 1

      Thank you Tommi! I'm glad - whilst trying to reason a price for One Item Store I couldn't really find anything similar (other than overpriced websites of flippa). In the end I did some calculation involving my ideal hourly rate, time spent on the project & then multiplied it slightly by the number of users. Think it feels just about right.

  12. 2

    Thanks for sharing. Nice experience, I am currently with a 'tiny project' and wasn't sure if it make sense to write about it in my blog. You convinced me to do it!

    1. 1

      That's awesome Felipe, do it! There's no downside.

  13. 2

    hi ben, i'm interested in making the process on buying & selling projects like yours really easy. i'd appreciate any tips on how to make this process effortless given your experience with selling Tiny Website. thank you!!! :)

    1. 1

      Every asset associated with the project was pretty simple to transfer over. There was a Firebase project, Github repository, Stripe project and Domain name. But it did require going to each website and working out how to transfer ownership. Perhaps that process could be centralised?

      The Escrow service we used (escrow.com) was targeted at selling Domain names. I think most are. Definitely would have felt more comfortable using a service targeted at transferring over entire projects.

      Stripe had a few problems transferring over because I'm based in the UK, and the buyer is based in the US (it was to do with tax residency forms and stuff).

      Otherwise all went smoothly :)

      1. 1

        hey ben thanks for the reply, that was super helpful

  14. 2

    Thanks for sharing. It is inspiring!

  15. 2

    Great story and congrats. I'm intrigued by this

    • Buyer transfers $5,300 to the escrow service.
    • I transfer the domain name, users, and Github repository to the buyer.
    • Brief video call explaining the code.
    • Buyer has 7 days to try everything out.
    • Escrow service transfers $5,300 to me.

    What if after 7 days the buyer is like: "What code? What domains? He hasn't sent me anything?"

    1. 2

      I suppose those would be pretty easy to prove. But yeah, would be messy.

    2. 1

      Thanks Mick - I'm glad I didn't find out! Not really sure. I'd assume as @NextTrillionDollars said I'd just have to prove that I'd sent everything over. It must happen all the time. The 2-3% fee of the sale price probably goes towards solving all those disputes.

  16. 2

    Congrats! i'm wondering, why you opted for express accounts and not standard ones in Stripe connect?

    1. 1

      Good question - I honestly can't remember what the reasoning was. Express accounts seemed a bit more lightweight and simpler to setup from the user's point of view I think.

  17. 2

    Congratulations Ben! I'm really inspired by your story! Keep up the good work! 👏👏👏

  18. 2

    That’s awesome but 5 grand for two weeks of work seems pretty low...

  19. 2

    This is amazing. Thanks for the wonderful write up. You’re an inspiration for a lot of people in this community. Building (and selling!) in public is wonderfully generous.

    1. 1

      Thanks again Arvid, your book and openness to share things is a big inspiration to us all. Keep doing you!

  20. 2

    Very cool story, reminds me how I sold OpenStartupList :D

    1. 1

      Thank you nscode :D I just checked out your post, congrats!

  21. 2

    Congrats! Love the clean feel and look of your projects!

  22. 2

    I love the idea of tiny projects. It's what my goal is too. I also love that you explain what happened! I had no idea about using escrow services like that. It makes so much sense though.

    1. 2

      Oh man, it was a total mystery to me. So many questions like: how do you transfer over the project without the other person just running away with the code & the money? Escrow solved all those problems. Thanks Rostislav!

  23. 2

    Congrats on the sale! Totally agree with the build + share strategy.

  24. 2

    Good job, that's a celebration right there!

  25. 2

    Congratulations. Thanks for tell us all the details. So, what's next?

    1. 1

      Thanks Marlon! I'm working on Tiny Project #6. Feeling very good about it. It's a perfect intersection of novel, technically challenging and completable in a few weeks. I'll be launching it and seeing if it bops or flops soon..

  26. 2

    Hey Ben, just wanted to say that I love your website. So cool.
    In particular:

    • I love the casual, easy-going, honest tone of it
    • love how fast and non-bloated it is
    • and lastly, love the projects!

    Cool stuff

    1. 1

      Thanks so kind of you to say Hugo, thank you for checking out my website!

  27. 2

    Great article and I really dig the tiny project approach.

    1. 2

      Cheers for checking it out Vaibhav! It's such a fun way to build things.

    1. 1

      Thank you Mubashar 🙏🙏

    1. 1

      Thank you Chris! ❤️

  28. 2

    Hi Ben , Thank for share success story
    I wondering on transerfer ownership process.
    what is escrow service that your using?
    and how much fee that they charge?


    1. 1

      I used Escrow.com. Fees were 2-3% ($160) - but this was split between me and the buyer. Overall it was a really smooth experience :)

      1. 1

        Hey @tinyprojects, congrats on the sell! Were you thinking about selling One Item Store even before receiving that email? What changed your mind about selling it?

        1. 1

          Thanks David! Not at all, I had a few ideas of things I wanted to try with One Item Store.

          One of my posts got a lot of attention on Hacker News last month, which resulted in the email from the buyer in the article. At the same time, lots of new people were signing up to One Item Store and sending me emails about things not working, and asking for feature requests. My gut reaction to those requests were that I didn't want to fix them. So I knew that selling it was probably the best option for me.

  29. 2

    Very cool, I'm always building tiny projects just for fun or little utilities to make my life easier, but I don't show anybody and don't write about it, I only promote my main project. Maybe I should do what you do too. Thanks for the idea man.

    p.s. Just saw you are located in Bristol, I lived there for almost a decade! My CS degree is from the University of Bristol. Small world.

    1. 2

      That's awesome. It's such a tech focused city, but am always surprised to see other Bristolians lurking on Indie Hackers.

  30. 2

    Thanks for Sharing Ben! And congrats

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