Instagram Account Buying Do's and Don'ts
Instagram Account Buying Do's and Don'ts
Instagram Account Buying Dos and Don’ts
Since hosting its first post back in 2010, Instagram has evolved from a place to share personal photos into an e-commerce powerhouse. Instagram has more than a billion monthly visitors from all over the globe, and more than 80 percent of them use the app to follow brands and research products and services.
Instagram is big business, and a flourishing Instagram account can be the ideal launchpad for new entrepreneurs seeking a presence in the lucrative world of online commerce.
Because Instagram has such potential to attract advertisers, influencers, and customers, buying and selling popular Instagram accounts has become an industry all its own. With dedicated marketplaces, middlemen, and brokers seeking to flip high-traffic accounts for profit, there’s a way for just about anyone to buy and run a niche-specific Instagram account for both fun and profit.
However, buyers need to be cautious of scammers, hackers, and legalities. Here’s a guide to the do’s and don’ts of buying Instagram accounts.
Why Buy Instagram Accounts?
In the decade since its launch, Instagram has shifted focus from the personal to the commercial, with many more features that reward engagement with popular sites and supports shopping directly from the app. On Instagram, follower count and engagement are important metrics for success, but they can take time to build.
Buying an existing Instagram account that already has a significant following can give a new entrepreneur a leg up in building an online presence, either for promoting a brand of their own or making money from the account itself through things like advertising and affiliate marketing.
Another reason to buy Instagram accounts is to resell them. Resellers typically buy accounts for prices as low as $30 USD and then resell them for far more. Accounts in high-demand niches or themes can sell for thousands of dollars. Some professional buyers flip them like real estate, buying low, nurturing the account to a higher level, and then selling it for several times the purchase price.
How Do You Buy Instagram Accounts?
Instagram accounts can be purchased from a variety of third-party sources, or directly from the account owner. Some accounts carry a notice in their bio that they’re for sale, and an interested buyer can negotiate the sale on their own. It’s also possible to approach the owner of an account and ask if they’re willing to sell.
But a thriving shadow market of social media account brokers and marketplaces also handles Instagram accounts, and it can be safer to buy through them. These middlemen and marketplaces typically handle the sale, with no need for direct contact between the seller and buyer. These entities usually use recognized payment methods such as PayPal and handle other details of the sale, such as securing all the passwords and other information related to the account.
Once the sale is finalized, the buyer can take ownership of the account and start posting content. Instagram account brokers recommend buying accounts that are associated with popular niches and themes such as travel or cooking, rather than personal accounts. That way, the new owner simply has to continue posting and reposting content related to that theme, and followers aren’t likely to notice a change in ownership.
Is It Legal to Buy Instagram Accounts?
Instagram accounts are just one of many kinds of social media accounts that are bought and sold through marketplaces and individual sales. It’s not illegal to buy and sell these “social properties,” but it can violate the rules of social media sites hosting the accounts. That’s certainly true of Instagram, which explicitly states in its terms of service that buying, selling, or transferring accounts is prohibited.
Although professional account flippers say Instagram doesn’t specifically enforce this policy, poor account management and lots of bot activity will trigger the site’s security protocols and could get an account blocked or terminated. And it’s important to remember that account holders don’t actually “own” their accounts — they’re simply renting a bit of online space from a host with the right to terminate or suspend an account whenever they choose.
But it’s possible to buy and run Instagram accounts with impunity, as long as you observe a few important dos and don’ts.
Buy Instagram Accounts Safely and Securely
When you’re buying your first Instagram account, be sure to:
Research your niche. Although personal accounts can elevate individual brands, they’re difficult to transfer. Look for accounts that are associated with popular niches or trending themes, rather than a specific entity. In that way, you can simply keep posting niche-related content, such as recipes, travel photos, or clothing, without revealing a change in ownership.
Check the account’s background. Make sure that the account is legitimate, with an actual owner and a follower account that isn’t inflated from bot activity. Look at comments to see if they’re organic and not generic, bot-generated content such as a string of emojis or generic phrasing. Fake follower counts, low engagement, and plenty of bot content signal that the account is problematic and could trigger a block or suspension.
Create a contract. If you’re buying directly from a seller, make sure that you have a contract that spells out all the key elements of the sale. Loopholes can allow a former owner to recover the account or reclaim it. Make sure your payment is secure. That’s why marketplaces and brokerages are typically safer than direct negotiations with a seller.
Change all account passwords and emails immediately. Your account purchase should include ownership of all the passwords and access information associated with the account. That way, a previous owner won’t be able to recover the account. But to be safe, change them immediately once you take ownership of the account.
Choose a secure payment option. Marketplaces, middlemen, and individual sellers can take an array of different payment methods ranging from Bitcoin to bank accounts, so be sure the one you choose is legitimate and secure. PayPal is a popular option, just be sure to choose the commercial option “Goods and Services” so you’ll get a refund if there’s a problem.
Avoid Common Pitfalls
Buying Instagram accounts can raise your visibility and make money, but be sure not to:
Change the theme or niche. When you buy an account that has high engagement and a large follower count in a particular niche, don’t make radical changes to its appearance and content. Successful account buyers continue posting what followers want to see while remaining largely anonymous. Don’t add much personal information or content, in case you want to resell the site later.
Buy a suspect account. Instagram accounts with obvious bot activity and highly inflated follower counts not only trigger Instagram’s bot alerts but also discourage “real” followers who don’t see much legitimate engagement. Likewise, thoroughly investigate sellers or use a reputable broker or marketplace to close the sale.
Not changing all the account information. Leaving the original passwords and other account information in place can leave your new account vulnerable to hackers or sabotage by the previous owner. Make sure you’ve changed login credentials and deleted any of the previous owner’s identifying information, such as a bio, email addresses, or links.
Buying Instagram accounts can help new entrepreneurs get a head start on the world’s sixth most-visited website — or make money reselling them. But making it work depends on taking the right steps for success on one of the world’s most popular platforms for sharing and shopping.