CommunityGet your checkbook out – is going on eBay


Ryan Carson
writes on January 14, 2009

We’ve decided to sell Amigo, one of our web apps. The auction will go live next Tuesday Jan 20th at the following times:

* San Francisco: 10am
* Denver: 11am
* NYC: 1pm
* Sao Paulo: 4pm
* London: 6pm
* Tel Aviv: 8pm
* Mumbai: 11pm
* Hong Kong: 2am Wednesday
* Sydney: 5am Wednesday
* Tokyo: 3am Wednesday

What is it?

Amigo is a service that matches advertisers with email newsletters, and vice versa.

Here’s how it works:

For Advertisers:

* Sign up for an account at
* Enter advertisement title (Example: “Save 50% on mountain bikes”)
* Enter advertisement text (Example: “Love mountain bikes? Save 50% on all models now! Sale lasts till Jan 30.”)
* Enter the URL of their website (Example:
* Enter the price they’d like to pay for each click (Example: $0.10)
* Enter the total budget for the ad campaign (Example: $500)
* Picks categories of newsletters they’d like to advertise in (Example: Ages 18-35, Outdoor, Mountain biking)

For Email newsletter owners:

* Sign up for an account at
* Enter a Newsletter title (Example: “Mountain Bike Enthusiasts”)
* Enter a URL where people signup to newsletter (Example:
* Enter categories for the readers of the newsletter (Example: Mountain biking, Outdoor)
* Amigo then displays ads that are available to the newsletter owner
* Pick an advertisement
* Copy the adverisement into their newsletter
* Send newsletter
* Get paid everytime the ad is clicked

How will the buyer make money?

The buyer of Amigo will be paid 30% of every click on advertisements. This is all paid through PayPal.

What are you purchasing?

* All intellectual property
* All code (PHP, HTML, JavaScript and CSS)
* UK trademark
* Hand-over document explaining how the service works and how to administrate it
* The hosting account ($350 per month with
* Three days of hand-over time (you’ll need to travel to Bath, England or we can do this over the phone)


* We launched on Nov 5, 2006
* We blogged the entire building of the app at

Current revenue

None, as the site has been closed since Oct 2007.

Visitors and Pageviews (Jan 1 2008 – Jan 1 2009)

* 16,370 Visits
* 33,274 Pageviews

Why are we selling?

We are a small team and we don’t have the man-power to have someone work full time as the product manager. Initially, we hoped we could run the app and maintain our current workload but we just got too busy and Amigo fell by the wayside. We still think it’s an amazing idea that, in the right hands, will make someone a lot of money. The idea of pay-per-click advertising in email still hasn’t been done yet and Amigo is a great start in that direction.

You might be wondering: “Why are you building Truvay, if you don’t have time to run Amigo?”. The reason is that Amigo didn’t fit directly into our strategy as a company, so it isn’t worth taking resources off current tasks to manage it. Truvay is very different as it fits perfectly with our events and our community (you guys!). Keir and I will be dedicating one day a week to Truvay once it launches.


Please contact me directly:


Phone (from US): 011 44 7515 381 860
Phone (from UK): 07515 381 860
Phone (from Mainland Europe): 00 44 7515 381 860

AIM: ryanleecarson
Skype: ryancarson

You must pre-register to bid – it’s easy!

As this is a high value auction (starting bid of $25,000) we kindly ask you to pre-register before you bid. Please email me with the following:

* Your full name
* Your company name
* Your address
* Your phone number
* Your passport number


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33 Responses to “Get your checkbook out – is going on eBay”

  1. I suspected there wouldn’t be much success on ebay with a minimum bid so high.

    I personally thought the valuation was high anyway (I like to work on 12 months revenue as a rough guide), if the minimum bid had been a lot lower, maybe their would have been more buzz about it.

  2. Auction is closed without a single bid.

    OK Ryan, we’re going to need a follow-up on this one.

  3. I don’t really think that this webapp, with almost no traffic and no revenue whatsoever could sell at the price range you’re expecting. It has had no momentum for too long to be attractive at this point.

  4. It’s live on ebay! don’t all rush at once, ebay might crash

  5. @ Ryan – I was showing the different ways of writing chequebook, which you were right. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Color – Colour
    Organization – Organisation
    Checkbook – Chequebook

    Same same. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I know you’ve been living in England for a while, but did you forget what was going down Tuesday the 20th here in the states?

    That little event might hamper your coverage…

  7. @Ryan – But you’re in good old Bath ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Only messing lol

  8. Will you fix the CSS bugs (IE) before handing the code over? The SSL is also giving an error;


  9. @Neil and Matt – Don’t forget I’m American! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Ryan, Surely you mean Chequebook?

    Good luck though guys.

  11. Aggregated by EuropeanStartups!

  12. Very interested to see that your see that your selling Hey Amigo, looks a good app, i also think that your right in that it would take a consistent and high level effort to maintain and build.

    Having recently read your blog on selling Dropsend, you noted on that through blogging about the sale you may of put off some potential buyers, but may have attracted new ones.

    I am curious as to your thinking as to the posting about this sale, is it that through ebay you are doing a different sale environment so this would be less applicable ?

    Either way, its good to actually read about a company that tells you all their experiences, most refreshing.


  13. You can still sign up for heyamigo, create ads. I was even asked for my payment details while poking around. How is this closed? (not trying to be snarky)

  14. @Neil Thomas – thanks for the kind words

  15. Google “sort of” started doing PPC advertising in e-mail as of last week, see – It is somewhat bound to feed delivery, however, and very early days!

  16. @Adrian – When you consider there’s around 1.5 Billion internet users on this planet then obviously you’re going to get a lot of people clicking the adverts.

    Adverts are there to attract certain types of people. As you saw in Ryan’s tutorial, the email was sent from a Basketball website with Basketball Advertising content on it. It is relevant to the user as he likes basketball, otherwise he wouldn’t have registered on the Basketball-Gear website etc.

    I believe it’s the responsibility of the Newsletter Owner to state in the TOS on his/her own website that advertisements will be included in the Newsletters.

    @Dave – I think the price tag reflects the time and effort that has gone into creating the app. Amigo is venture with big pottential. The web is full of exciting new apps, and this is one of them. Look at Twitter, it was quiet and almost empty during its first year…then last year it grew and it’s number of users went up 700+ %!

    @Ryan – Good luck with the sale!

  17. Not to be a troll, but this site sells advertising on email newsletters to third parties… If a company sent me a marketing email with an advert from someone else on it, I would never buy a thing from that company again as it would be a breach of the trust I put in them to send me *their* marketing materials.

  18. @Dave

    Basically it’s the minimum amount of money I’d be willing to let it go for. As Amigo doesn’t have any revenue figures to use for determining the price, it was always going to be a guess.

    I know that someone can buy it at a reasonable price and make serious money with it. They just need to invest the time and effort.

    I’ve been proven right because we’ve already gotten two offers at $25K.

  19. Can I ask how you came to the $25000 valuation?

  20. @Ryan – Fair point. Wish you all the best in securing a deal that suits.

    @Adrian – Guess I view webapps from a more emotionally detached view point ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. @Darren – Because you can’t just snap your fingers and hire someone to manage it. It would take weeks of hard work (plus money) to find the right person. That time, money and effort is what we’re not willing to invest in.

  22. @Darren,

    Running a web app is more than just admin. You need to be constantly moving it forward, changing it, supporting it.

    I think pure admin alone isn’t enough to keep a good web app alive, vibrant and relevant. It needs love and more importantly attention and focus.

    @Ryan, Good luck. This is going to be a great auction to follow.

  23. Watching with interest – best of luck!

  24. Obvious question, but if the app has the potential to make money then why not hire someone to do the admin?

  25. Best of luck with the sale Ryan! I followed barenakedapp from the beginning!

    It’s a shame you have to sell the app, but I guess it will fair much better with a company who has the time and money to put into it!


  26. Thanks Matt – should be interesting!

  27. Hey Ryan,

    An interesting idea. You certainly have the community following to make something like this work. I hope you attract enough bids and attention.

    Your selling it because its non core, probably a tough call to make but in this climate essential.

    I would imagine a lot of people could learn a huge amount from the process you have gone through here from an application idea all the way through design and production to sale. I hope you blog it fully in your very open manner we have all come to respect.

    Fingers crossed its not just firesale bids.


  28. Thanks again for your openness of all things Carsonified.

    Many of us small developers have often wondered at the resale value of our web applications, and this will certainly be a valuable asset in making decisions with future developments.

    Whilst I myself will not be participating in the auction I will certainly be following it and I wish you the very best in achieving a satisfactory sale.

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