Here is a list of marketplaces to buy and sell your online business.
You will find:
- Well established and specialized brokers who oversee the whole process – verifying the parties, determining the market value and ensuring the security of the transactions.
- Free and low cost platforms allowing buyers and sellers to find each other, perform due diligence and complete the transaction themselves.
Best for: Small websites (below 20k) or for a really fast sale.
Best for: Competitive intelligence as many websites list their domain name and make their revenues and expenses publicly available.
However, note that Flippa is not a vetted marketplace and you may also find some scams on the road.
Exchange is Shopify’s marketplace to buy and sell ecommerce businesses.
Sellers can create public or private listings. Click the “Sell your business” option to obtain a valuation and create your listing. Sellers can use the suggested price or set their own. Revenue and traffic data on each listing is pulled directly from its Shopify account. Search business types, including drop shipping, partner stores, and staff picks. Exchange securely transfers the store to the buyer, and the seller receives the funds from escrow.
Best for: ecommerce businesses including dropshipping, inventory, oberlo stores, print on demand, retail stores and established businesses.
Founded in 2010 by Thomas Smale, FE International has become a major broker for SaaS, ecommerce, and content businesses.
Best for: Online businesses valued between $20K and $5M.
Best for: Transaction process support — from exit planning to valuation analysis, strategic negotiations, due diligence, acquisition accounting, legal structuring, post-sale considerations, and more.
Latona’s is a boutique mergers-and-acquisitions broker specializing in established, cash-flow-positive web properties.
Beginning as a domain name broker, Latona’s now handles ecommerce sites (including Amazon sellers and Shopify), membership, lead generation, SaaS, and domain portfolios.
Best for: Businesses with annual profit of at least $20K and established for at least one year.
Founded in 2013, Empire Flippers has become one of the largest online marketplace buying and selling websites.
Empire Flippers displays a large range of Ecommerce, Adsense, Affiliate, SaaS, FBA and many other revenue generating assets.
Best for: Established, profitable online businesses.
Founded in 2007, Quiet Light Brokerage, Inc. works with any online business, including Amazon stores.
Best for: Medium to large eCommerce businesses from $100K to $5M.
Digital Exits was created in 2011 under the name of Broker Corp and has massively grown into one of the best brokerage providers across the USA.
Best for: Large tech businesses, with $250k to $5 million in yearly profit.
Founded in 2002, Website Properties is ran by internet entrepreneurs and specialized in the listing and sale of internet businesses.
Best for: Level of professional website brokerage service and support.
Best for: Businesses ranging from $100K to $25M.
Sedo — “Search Engine for Domain Offers” — is a platform for the professional trading of domain names.
Best for: Its 2 million registered customers and 19+ million listed domains as well as services for domain buyers and sellers, including domain parking, value appraisals, and full-service marketing by its brokerage team.
SideProjectors is a community and marketplace for side projects, such as ecommerce businesses, SaaS products, developer projects, and blogs.
Best for: Its community. If you have a side project and you are no longer working on it and wish to sell it, you can post it on SideProjectors. There is no cost to list a project, and the platform does not take a commission on sales. You can also post a project to showcase your work, get feedback, or find a collaborator.
Key Takeaways to evaluate your business
Besides looking at financials, potential buyers will also look at what sets your business apart from its competitors.
Here is a simple framework for you to evaluate your business, whether it is sellable, and what you need to do to make it more valuable.
1. What is your risk exposure
- How old and how big is your business?
- Is your business defensible (read: protected from new or existing competition).
- Is your business dependent on any individual business product, customer, or trend?
- Do you have too much dependency on a specific channel?
2. What are your growth prospects
- Is your business representing faster and stronger ROIs for potential acquires?
- Are your bottom line and top line earnings positive?
- How much your business is exposed to seasonality?
- Does your business have real growth opportunities?
- Are growth opportunities clear?
3. Is your business transferable
- Is your reputation, your name, or your specialized skills that are driving the business, or will it be impossible for another owner to have the same success?
- Do you have key staff?
- Will all key relationships with those from whom you supply goods and services to be transferred on the same or similar terms?
- Are the contracts with vendors, manufacturers, contractors, or employees are transferable.
- How much do you work to run your business?
4. Is your business well documents
- Are your finances and metrics reliable?
- Can you produce accrual statements?
- Do you have standard operating procedures
- Are your contracts and/or corporate documents available to ease any due diligence?
To sum up
Knowing what informed buyers are looking for will help you to increase (or adjust) the value of your business.
Thus, the more you build on the above mentioned aspects, the more attractive your business becomes to buyers, and the higher your valuation.
Mat is the founder of cashtipsandtricks and has been working in the financial sector in Luxembourg for the past 10 years and brings his insights as an investor and entrepreneur.