If you're building passive income, I'm sure, the idea of buying android apps in flippa wasn't new to you, but before you start, read this first as it might help you along the way.
The "Number of Installs"
Like you, I verify the numbers of installs at the Google Play Store and I place my bid based on these numbers.
After seeing the number of installs like the screenshot above, I thought that there are around 1000+ users, but I was wrong! The number of existing users or active installs are NOT the same as the number of installs.
"Installs" show the number of times, the apps was downloaded. The "Active Installs" is not visible in public. It's only shown in the owners google developer account.
People install and delete the apps from time to time. You'll only know how many are the existing users or "Active Installs" once the google apps are transferred to your developer account.
Sadly for that 1000+ installs, the existing users are now around 80+ and I have to run an advertisement to acquire new users again for that android app.
The lesson learned: Don't bid or price according to the number of installs. Ask the seller how many are the active installs or existing users before you place your bid.
The "BUY IT NOW" Button
After having several transactions in flippa, I slowly trust the site, and of course including the apps sellers.
And because I had good transaction, my defence was down, I mean, I don't think carefully like my first transaction.
So, I hit the Buy It Now Button to one of the items I am currently bidding and as usual, my PayPal account automatically send the payment to the seller.
Then, here's the problem.
The seller doesn't know how to change the Admob ID of the apps and he insists that changing it was not included in his sale. Yes, he's correct! It wasn't listed there, but I assume it was included in the sale like all the other apps I bought. But, I was wrong. I should have made it sure that he's going to change it for me..
After engaging in heated arguments, I decided to end that headache and I just plan to contact the original or previous seller to change the Admob ID.
Well, yes its not free and I incurred additional cost.
The lesson learned: Use the BUY IT NOW button only, if you had a previous transaction with the seller and everything went well, if not, don't ever click it! It could be a trap.
The "Net Profit"
It's now common to find established apps for sale in flippa. The seller states that the android app for sale already earned several dollars in one month without any advertisement.
I bought an app like that. I bought one for $180.
I thought that it has a big potential.
So after winning that app, I launch a campaign or advertisement, but after spending $40, I stop the campaign. I stop and waited for the new users to use the app and see how much could be the return on my investment.
Well, it's over a month now since I stop the advertisement. Some of them uninstalled the app already, and I only earned $15.
Maybe I will earn in a few months, years? I'm not really sure!
The Lesson Learned: Do not assume you'll get a nice profit if you spend some amount in the advertisement. There's no guarantee with that!
Even if the seller states that they made this and that profit after spending on advertisement, don't fall for that!
The cost of the android app itself when you bought it plus the cost of the advertisement will eat a lot of your money so spend wisely.
Buying IOS or Android apps in flippa could be a nice LONG TERM INVESTMENT. It is not a rich quick scheme.
If you saw a nice apps on Flippa and you really want to buy or bid for it, go for it, but use your extra money.
Don't use your credit card as much as possible because, your credit card will impose interest on the amount you borrowed and the app would take a long time to return to you the amount you invested.
I'm super busy - I don't really have a time to write. But, I'm doing this to document everything so, when I retire and one of my kids pursue a business, they can go back here and pick some advice.