7 Best Places to Buy and Sell Online Businesses for Sale (2023)
Choosing the right websites to buy an online business is essential to your business. From researching the company’s history to ensuring the seller is reliable, the best online business websites can help you meet your goals. In this guide, I ranked and reviewed the 7 best places to buy and sell online businesses so that you can pick the best one for you.
When searching for and selecting the ideal business to purchase or sell online, Flippa is an unparalleled marketplace.
Shopify Exchange offers a range of categories such as industry type, location, business type, and sales channels available to choose from.
Empire Flippers’s team rigorously verifies buyers and sellers, reducing the hassle of negotiating each sale and personalizing the experience.
We’re reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Want to jump to the best place to buy and sell an online business? My top choice is Flippa.
Businesses are moving online faster than ever.
In 2020, Covid-19 accelerated the growth of eCommerce by 4 to 6 years.
Some startup business credit cards even help those with no credit to get started.
While some want to start from scratch, buying a successful company is a great way to jump onto the business bandwagon.
In this ultimate guide to buying and selling online businesses, we’ll cover the following:
- The best places to buy and sell profitable online businesses.
- What to look for when purchasing an online business.
- You can buy the types of online businesses (and which are best).
- How to price online businesses to make more (or get a great deal).
Let’s get started.
Best Sites To Buy An Online Business For Sale
Here are my top picks for the best places to check out, buy, and sell online businesses for sale.
Best for buying and selling small online businesses.
Flippa is a platform for buying and selling online businesses, websites, domains, or apps.
It’s one of the most popular marketplaces for selecting the most suitable business to buy and sell.
For a buyer, it offers detailed insights into listed online businesses, including traffic, financials, analysis, channels, demographics, and more.
You can even buy a detailed ‘Due Diligence Report’ of online businesses to make an informed choice.
The Due Diligence Report includes the following:
- Seller analysis
- Financial analysis
- Traffic analysis
- Sales and marketing analysis
- Operations and legal analysis
- Industry and competition analysis
- Pricing analysis
- Risk assessment and recommendations
You can also use the ‘Flippa Finder’ service – an exclusive concierge service for first-time buyers. This service provides expert tips and professional guidance at a nominal fee of $50
Flippa covers all the needs of the sellers as well.
You can list your business by filling in all the relevant information.
If you are trying to sell a blog or an eCommerce website, you can connect your Google Analytics with Flippa.
It helps you showcase the proof of traffic and other key metrics on your website.
Besides, you can put your products into either an auction or classified listing.
Auction listing has 30 working days, while the Classified listing has no time limit.
Additionally, Flippa offers a ‘Website Broker’ service to relieve selling stress.
The broker will take over the listing and present your business in the best light to increase your selling price.
- Financing to Small Businesses – Flippa partners with Guidant Financial to offer small business funding via SBA and 401(k) business financing solutions. The minimum requirement is $50,000 and a 690 credit score to qualify for SBA Loans.
- Escrow – Flippa collaborates with Escrow.com to offer secure transaction services. The escrow process ensures the new owner can review and validate the assets before releasing the seller’s funds.
- Valuation Tool – Flippa offers a free online business valuation tool to accurately determine your business’s value. It also provides insights on how to enhance your business’ sellability.
- Diverse Categories – Flippa neatly segregates businesses into various categories, including apps, ecommerce, dropshipping business, services, SaaS, Content, and more, to help you find the right online business. You can further narrow down your search based on filters like age, price, type, etc.
- Buy templates: Flippa also offers pre-built website templates to kickstart your online business.
- You can sponsor your listings for better visibility on Flippa’s home page.
- Flippa verifies all the buyers and sellers through legitimate government IDs.
- The Escrow Service protects all payments.
- You can also sell Amazon FBA retail stores.
Success Fees: The fee you pay would depend on your sale price.
- $1 to $9,999: Up to $99 + 10% Success Fee
- $10k to $49,999: Up to $399 + 10% Success Fee
- $50k to $99,999: Up to $399 + 7.5% Success Fee (when selling with Flippa vs. a broker)
- Over $100k: Up to $499 + 5% Success Fee
Get started with Flippa.
2. Shopify Exchange.
Best for buying businesses running on the Shopify platform.
Shopify Exchange is Shopify’s marketplace for buying and selling ecommerce businesses running on Shopify.
The business listing categories include industry type, location, business type, sales channel, and more.
There’s also an option to browse established businesses only directly.
You will see neatly listed online businesses on the first page.
You can view metrics like average revenue and monthly profit without clicking on them. And if it’s an ecommerce business, it also reflects its inventory value.
Besides, you can create a public or private listing for your Shopify store business.
Additionally, Shopify Exchange provides safe and secure transactions with anonymized messaging and Escrow money transfers.
- Starter Stores – There are tons of starter online stores listed on the Shopify Exchange for less than $100. You can pick a store with the potential to kickstart your business instantly.
- Secure Exchange – Shopify ensures safe and secure transfers of online businesses in partnership with Escrow.com.
- Staff Picks – Shopify offers a list of hand-picked businesses curated by its staff to help you find a suitable online business.
- Auction – You can use Shopify Exchange’s auction feature to bid on an online business of your choosing.
- Market Intelligence – This feature by Shopify provides you with pricing and market information to help you make informed decisions while buying or selling a business.
- It provides a free buyer’s guide to help you know all the trade rules.
- Gain access to actionable insights like traffic, demographics, profit margin, and more.
- Shopify properly scrutinizes online businesses to derive accurate analytics and traffic details.
- You can hide your business name and URL through private listing until your business gets sold.
- It has a free valuation tool to help you put the correct price tag on your business.
Shopify Exchange charges a service fee based on your site’s sales price. The service fee includes the Escrow fee and the estimated Exchange fee.
3. Empire Flippers.
Best for a personalized buying and selling experience.
Empire Flippers is a marketplace for buying and selling online businesses. It minimizes the dealing process’s friction by personally vetting buyers and sellers.
The business listings on its home page reflect monetization methods, niche, monthly net profit, and expected price.
The buyer gets numerous other benefits:
- Legitimate businesses: You can choose from legitimate businesses only since Empire Flippers all the fake listings before they go live.
- Real Data: From the URL and Google Analytics to the Profit and Loss Statement – it offers all the required details to help you make a data-driven decision.
- Migration: Their team will help you migrate the entire business after the purchase.
For sellers, Empire Flippers promotes listings to thousands of potential investors to find the right buyer.
Plus, it negotiates on your behalf to structure profitable deals for both parties.
- Monetization – Search for businesses based on monetization methods like affiliates, ads, dropshipping, ecommerce, etc.
- Refundable Deposit – You only have to pay a 5% refundable deposit of the value of the business you purchase. Besides, you get access to all the data you need before purchasing.
- Podcasts – Listen to an extensive library of podcasts of several business leaders and industry experts to make the right choice.
- Customer Support – Get customer support to answer all your queries and help set up a business.
- Investment Opportunities – Take advantage of our investment opportunities to diversify your portfolio and get the maximum return.
- It can transfer the business on the seller’s behalf.
- Find out the correct worth of your business through its free valuation tool.
- Call support to help you buy or sell quickly.
- Empire Flippers representatives set up conference calls between buyers and sellers for efficient communication.
- You can renegotiate the deal if the business earns less than 50% of the promised amount.
- New listings get posted every week.
Empire Flippers charge no fee for you to list your business. You’ll only pay if they sell your business as follows:
Sold under $700,000 – Commission is 15% of the final sale price.
Sold between $700,000 & $5M – Commission is 8% on the final sale price.
Sold at $5 million or above – Commission is 2.5% on the final sale price.
4. FE International.
Best for buying large-scale online businesses.
FE International provides advisory services to a network of investors looking to buy and sell online businesses. This marketplace provides you easy access to established pre-qualified investors.
Moreover, you can choose from up-to-date listings with details like yearly revenue, net profit, and asking price.
It also notifies “under offer” listings so you can avoid researching businesses that might get sold the next day.
Plus, it helps you check out the benefits of buying a particular business in brief bullet points.
To sell your business, you can use its valuation service to determine your site’s value.
- Global Network – FE International offers a global network of over 50,000 pre-qualified online investors to help you find the right buyer.
- Professional Brokerage – The professional brokers prepare a detailed prospectus with details like business opportunities, financial performance, traffic, and market trends. It helps you examine the businesses efficiently.
- Private Listing – You can make a private listing to protect your business interests during sales. This way, only severe and verified buyers can view your business information.
- Marketing – Their team of experts helps you generate more leads and attract more buyers for your businesses. They provide marketing strategies tailored to each of our clients to drive maximum attention from potential buyers.
- Sales Support – To ensure the sale goes through smoothly, FE International provides sales support services such as negotiation assistance, closing guidance, and post-acquisition support.
- Qualified business brokers offer total assistance during the purchase and sale process.
- Its advisory service provides evaluation for your business.
- You can sell your business to international buyers without worrying about law and compliance.
- It offers private and confidential transfer of business on your behalf.
- FE International has New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and London offices.
FE International charges a buyer transaction fee of 2.5% of the final sales amount. There’s no listing fee. Other than this, you’d have to contact the supplier for the valuation fee quote.
Best for selling or buying unfinished side-projects.
SideProjectors is a marketplace that offers a large inventory of side projects.
It offers several business types, including SaaS, eCommerce, blogs, website themes, mobile apps, domain names, and browser extensions.
Moreover, you can filter buying options based on project types, status, price, submitted date, target market, etc.
After clicking on the listing, you can also see further details like:
- Detailed project summary
- How the owners built the project
- Items included
- Reason for selling
- The ways the buyer can take this project further
SideProjector also helps you sell all types of finished and unfinished projects. This way, you can recover some amount of your capital investment.
- Co-Founder – It lists specific projects that are looking for a co-founder. It helps you find a partner for your entrepreneurial aspirations.
- Membership – Take its membership for $3 per month to gain access to benefits like customized project email alerts, payments powered by Stripe, direct messages, real-time alerts, no ads, and more.
- Sponsor – Increase your listing’s visibility by sponsoring it for $10 daily. Doing so will help get a guaranteed home page spot on weekdays. It takes only two sponsors a day to help you stand out.
- Events – Get invited to or view upcoming events hosted by CoFoundersLab. Events range from webinars, hackathons, networking events, and conferences, all centered around entrepreneurship.
- Mentoring – Connect with seasoned entrepreneurs who can provide personalized advice on starting or growing your business. CoFoundersLab also has a library of resources specifically for mentors to help them become better teachers and coaches.
- Search for projects based on different categories and types of business.
- You get real-time project deals on Slack.
- Integrate SideProjectors directly with ProductHunt to retrieve your project and fill in all the required information.
- SideProjectors’ moderators review all the projects before making them live.
- It promotes high-quality listings on the homepage, newsletter, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Contact buyers or sellers through direct messages.
SideProjetors doesn’t charge any buying or listing commission since it doesn’t handle any payments. It’s just a medium to connect buyers and sellers.
6. Digital Exits.
Best for buying and selling large tech businesses.
Digital Exits is a website broker to help you sell your online business with $250k – $5m in yearly profit. It specializes in assisting the sale of technology businesses.
Plus, it comes with a team of advisors to help you maximize the value of your business.
To help you get the right buyer, Digital Exits offers features like:
- It helps you chalk out the right marketing plan.
- It prepares an executive summary for an impressive presentation.
- The advisors manage the entire deal – from the beginning until the migration.
Digital Exits also has the backing of a selected group of premium buyers with a buying capacity of $668.27 million. That means a potential buyer is probably a click away!
- Global Deals – It can help you sign international deals with investors worldwide. It has already completed deals with over 100 buyers in 5 continents, including Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Australia.
- Copywriter Interview – In-house copywriters interview business owners to gather all the relevant information. After that, they draft an executive summary and compelling story and edit the prospectus to make the business look attractive.
- Bank Financing – It gets bank financing for your business in advance to make it attractive for buyers with less net worth.
- Research and Analysis – It offers research and analysis services so that buyers can get the most accurate information about the business before making a final decision.
- Expert Network – It has access to an extensive network of specialists and experts to provide buyers with the best deal possible.
- It markets your business offer to 13 marketing channels to get the right buyer.
- Digital Exists answers all the buyers’ questions on your behalf.
- The buyers have to sign an NDA to keep their business information secure.
- It helps the buyer during the transition period to run the business efficiently.
You have to get in touch with the vendor for pricing details.
Best for selling a profitable online business
Latona’s are mergers and acquisitions brokers specializing in buying and selling high-value businesses.
Latona’s offers extensive listings from the online boutique and Amazon store to lifestyle and news media platforms.
It doesn’t charge any fees from the buyer either.
Plus, it offers unique filters where you can specifically look for businesses with an SBA loan potential.
It also has segregated listings under the $3,00,000 category for buyers shopping on a budget.
Additionally, Latona’s provides a broker for every M & A to take care of all the buying/selling needs.
- Revenue Streams – It offers business listings based on multiple revenue streams, including domain portfolios, content sites, led generation, membership, eCommerce, and SaaS.
- Payment Plan Calculator helps you determine whether you should accept or offer a particular payment plan or go with a lump sum amount.
- Latona’s InteLend – The intellectual property lender helps you get cash for your existing digital assets.
- Business Valuations – This service helps you evaluate your business and give an estimated value of the enterprise.
- Financial Consulting – Latona’s financial advisors have decades of experience in helping small businesses optimize their finances to get maximum returns.
- It offers easier contract management through intelligent integration.
- Track your favorite listing by pinning them on your dashboard.
- Latona’s provides an extensive buyers network.
- Dedicated brokers ensure fully guided transactions.
- The vendor does the entire sales and transfer process on your behalf.
- The buyers have to sign an NDA to protect your valuable business information.
There’s no upfront fee.
What Kinds of Online Businesses Can You Buy And Sell?
Here are the online businesses you can sell or purchase easily:
1. Content Sites/Blogs.
Nearly 2 billion blogs get published every year worldwide. More than 30 million bloggers in the United States post every month.
Naturally, most bloggers monetize their blogs and sites since most people now use the internet as an information source.
Today, content sites and blogs are lucrative businesses you can buy and sell online.
Buying a content site or blog needs in-depth knowledge about how website monetization works.
However, you can work around the complexities by gaining firsthand experience.
Whether starting a blog with WordPress or making a website with a popular website builder, it’s essential to know what you’re getting yourself into.
After gaining experience, start looking for websites that haven’t been used or updated for extended periods.
With any luck, you’ll find a suitable site on marketplaces like Flippa, FE International, Empire Flippers, etc.
Meanwhile, use social media to announce your interest in acquiring a website. Once you identify potential choices, contact the respective business owner to take your idea forward.
Before making the final purchase, it’s crucial to tally your short-term and long-term plans with the website’s owner.
At the same time, it’s essential to purchase from a recognized vendor like Flippa.
Purchasing your site from a trusted vendor like Flippa comes with benefits like:
- Authentic metrics like website traffic, traffic sources, conversion rates, etc.
- Get an accurate picture of the website and how it influences purchasing decisions.
- Secure payment and transfer.
- Free migration after the purchase.
When you buy a website from individuals directly, ask them to prove the numbers behind their monetization claims. In such cases, a great way to avoid getting duped is by taking the advice of industry experts who can guide you better. They could also advise you on enhancing visibility, improving traffic, and generating more passive income.
After you strike a deal, ensure there’s a legal contract. You may know the seller and work out personal terms without pen and paper. However, drawing formal documents when doing business and exchanging money is better.
The first step here is to estimate the value of your website.
You can evaluate your blog’s worth by taking these factors into account:
- Cost of content development.
- Your annual revenue.
- Cost per visit.
- If you don’t have any annual revenue, you can make estimations based on the website’s cost.
- Use statistics like website traffic and aspects like website design.
The good news is that many online marketplaces come with their valuation tool to calculate your blog’s worth automatically.
Take Flippa’s valuation tool, for instance:
Once you make up your mind, list it in the ‘For Sale’ section of online website marketplaces.
You can also ask for references if you know someone in the industry.
Learn more about closing business deals, and always go for written documentation over word of mouth.
2. Ecommerce Websites.
Statistics suggest that By 2040, 95% of all purchases will be via ecommerce stores. What’s more, the ecommerce industry is growing at a rate of 23% YoY. Buying or selling an ecommerce website can be pretty lucrative most of the time.
Since the stakes are high, it’s best to stick to facts while purchasing an ecommerce business. Focus on what the business ‘is’ instead of what it ‘can be.’
Moreover, consider important metrics while buying an ecommerce site:
- Annual revenue
- Operating costs
- Brand awareness
- Cost of goods sold (COGS)
- Gross profit
Since it’s likely to be a long-term investment, you might also want to consider the site’s long-term potential.
Try to understand why the business is for sale. And if there’s potential to increase the revenue, why is the current owner selling it? Which ecommerce platform are they using?
You also need information about their order fulfillment service, dropshipping suppliers, and distributors. Simply relying on past partnerships may not be enough.
Dig deep into the kind of customers who visit the website and how much they spend on average. You’ll also need to understand if most visits are organic or via paid marketing activities.
Let’s look at an example:
Suppose the site generates $4,000 in sales every day organically. It’s a massive bonus for you. But what if you need to spend 60% of that on paid ads? Would it be worth it for you?
Thus, it’s essential to identify what percentage of visitors are visiting the site organically.
Other than this, scrutinize the bank statements and P&L statements of the business. Find tell-tale signs about the business’ health and align them with your information.
The multiple of earnings method is one of the best ways to value a business. Here, you decide the number of years you’re willing to wait for the business to reach the break-even point.
Here’s how you value a business with multiple of earnings:
(Selling price of the business) / (Annual net income) = Years
So, if you are willing to wait four years for the business with an annual net income of $100,000, you can pay at most $400,000 to buy it.
Lastly, be careful of the expert conmen who can dupe you. Before deciding, conduct in-depth research about the business and listen to expert opinions.
Valuing an ecommerce business built from the ground up isn’t easy.
To maximize the value, you can tweak a few things like:
- Improve the website design and make it more aesthetic and appealing. It should align with the products it’s selling.
- Increase the sales channels currently in use. It will offer better value to the future purchaser and help you get a much better sale price.
- Try to minimize the COGS (cost of goods sold) to maximize your profit margin – another potential bargaining chip.
- Try to improve the website metrics like CTR and traffic, and organically build a social media presence. Buyers will be willing to pay more for a business with the right networks.
While selling ecommerce websites, peer-to-peer recommendations also help. Therefore, use your contacts in the business to spread the word around.
And as always, never rely on word of mouth. Emphasize drawing up legal contracts, preferably in the presence of an attorney.
3. SaaS Companies.
SaaS businesses get valued differently than other internet businesses. For one, they are entirely cloud-based and subscription-driven.
SaaS businesses are also highly lucrative since they’re scalable and applicable to many businesses.
Thus, it’s easy to sell and buy them online.
When it comes to buying, there are usually two broad options – either a private purchase or via a vendor. And there are a lot of factors that can influence the decision, disregarding your buying medium.
Some of the factors to consider while buying SaaS companies are:
- Consider Essential Metrics – As with every business, rely on numbers and hard facts. You should study and analyze P&L statements, operational costs, annual revenue, and profit margins. You can also ask for marketing metrics like LTV: CAC, and ROAS. These metrics will influence key business decisions.
- The Pricing Model – Understand the pricing model and try to find ways to improve it. SaaS business models offer many pricing plans, including multiple-tiered options based on customers’ needs, flat pricing, etc. The number of existing customers and customer acquisition rates can also influence this decision. With the suitable model, it’s possible to minimize churn rates and maximize value.
- Source Code – Access to the source code is another essential consideration in a SaaS business. It’s the business owner’s exclusive property, so find it easy to transfer legal ownership.
- Customer Acquisition Channels – SaaS businesses usually have five customer acquisition channels: organic, referral, direct, paid, and social. Find out the percentage of acquisitions made by each channel. A business that relies on organic or social media will likely improve your bottom lines. However, a company that relies overtly on paid advertising is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term.
- Look At The Scalability – Can you improve customer satisfaction, enter new markets, and offer new services? Would that allow a slight increase in the pricing? All these aspects will help you determine the scalability of the SaaS business you want to purchase.
Selling a SaaS business may be more lucrative than you expect.
First and foremost, you need to consider the type of buyer who might buy your SaaS product.
Here are the types of buyers who usually buy SaaS businesses:
- Private portfolios
- Micro funds/Syndicates
- Private Equity
All these five types of investors usually fall in the $100K to $15M deal range.
After you discern which type of investors might buy your SaaS business, you need to evaluate your business.
Most SaaS businesses use two valuation methods:
SaaS valuation usually starts with SDE but can change to revenue after a certain threshold. That’s why the valuation can sometimes confuse even business owners and entrepreneurs.
However, you can’t evaluate your SaaS business properly without considering the revenue.
Plus, consult legal experts before making any deal since a SaaS business can easily get valued in millions of dollars.
Facebook, an app barely 16 years old, has a net worth of around $530 billion. It isn’t the only successful one in the market. And at present, there are apps for just about everything.
With the number of mobile app downloads increasing by 45% over the last five years, buying an app now can be a terrific investment.
Buying an app makes sense if you want to leverage its competitive advantage in the market. So the first step should be to identify the business area you wish to address and the service you wish to provide. After that, assess the kind of app you’re looking for.
Not all app developers like the business end of things. Thus, apart from using your contacts to look out for potential sellers, you can also signup with online marketplaces.
While judging an app by its appearance and user-friendliness is essential, it shouldn’t be your only concern.
You should also focus on aspects like:
- Whether it’s a paid app or a free one.
- Estimated downloads.
- Monthly traffic of the app.
- The median age group of users.
- User reviews.
- Monetization channels.
Don’t just settle for the words of the developer. Check out the metrics for yourself and understand the aspects that can help achieve your business goals. Plus, try to discern the areas that you can improve.
Also, try to understand why the owner wants to sell the app. Look for any trouble with the source code, its working condition, and its ownership.
You might also want to get the industry perspective on the app’s competitors and valuation. Since so many apps are in the market, it’s easy to get overcharged. For example, the average app listed on ‘Apptopia’ costs $7500. So if you’re getting charged $15,000 for something similar, you can take a stand.
App developers with no interest in the business side of things are prone to selling apps. If you’re one of them, the first to do is send out the word through your acquaintances.
Online presence on social media can enhance your reach to potential customers exponentially. If you’ve got it, make sure to advertise your intentions.
However, assigning a value to an app for sale isn’t easy.
The pricing will vary based on a few factors:
- Whether you developed the app yourself or employed a developer
- The annual revenue (including subscriptions, if any)
- The number of users
- Average downloads per year
Avoid overpricing your app since there are many apps for every business or niche. The best idea is to keep it in sync with the industry-standard rate and be a responsive seller.
Because of the competition, it’s essential to respond to emails, calls, and queries on time. Also, make sure to address all the doubts of potential customers politely.
5. Domain Names.
With all the world’s businesses coming online, everyone requires catchy domain names to attract customers. There were 367 million domain name registrations in the first quarter of 2020.
Therefore, buying or selling the right domain names can have good business value in the present times.
Naturally, you would want to choose a domain name.
It’s the first thing your audience will notice about your business, so you must make it as engaging as possible.
Plus, it has to be relevant to your business unless you go for something abstract like ‘Google.’
Besides this, check that it’s not already used by someone else and that there isn’t any copyright infringement.
You need to use domain name checkers like Hostinger Domain Checker.
You can find all the available domain names that are up for purchase.
Plus, ensure that the name can reflect your business ethos and focus area precisely.
You can proceed with the purchase once you select the domain name.
The entire process is quick since it’s online and seldom requires a pen and paper. You usually get an email with all the purchase details, receipts, invoices, and an activation link.
Just log in, verify the account, and start using it immediately.
The first step here is to value your domain name correctly. Just because you owned the business and ran it for some time doesn’t mean it will sell for a high price.
You can start by referring to online marketplaces and analyzing the pricing of similar domain names.
Check out the domain name listings by Flippa:
You can observe the expected prices of domain names similar to yours and price them accordingly.
To sell your domain name, you either spread the word through your industry contacts or list it on online marketplaces. Highlight your other business ventures and the merits of your business to make it more appealing.
Make sure you publicly list your contact information so potential buyers can reach you readily. Plus, ensure that you’re always accessible via the WHOIS directory.
What Should You Look For When Purchasing An Online Business?
Not everyone likes the idea of starting an online business from scratch. Plus, buying an existing business comes with plenty of benefits. That said, the business you buy should have a proven history of revenue generation and immediate cash flow.
Here are some things to consider while buying an online business.
1. Monthly Traffic.
Monthly traffic is one of the essential metrics to look for while buying an online business. Additionally, look for diversity in traffic.
It should be a healthy mix of:
- Organic traffic
- Paid traffic
- Social Media Traffic
- Referral Traffic
You can use tools like Google Analytics to find out how the traffic is coming to the store.
Plus, check if the site has high-quality backlinks, as such sites are worth more than sites with no or low-quality backlinks. You can use tools like Ahrefs and Open Site Explorer to look into a site’s backlink profile.
2. Revenue Generation.
The risk of reviving a failed business is not worth it unless you are skilled or experienced.
Therefore, choose a business with growing revenue.
Ask for the financial data in monthly increments. It will give you a clear idea of the business’s direction.
Take a look at the expenses like website hosting, domain renewals, digital marketing, SEO, etc.
At the same time, ensure that the owner is practicing intelligent spending habits. If not, you can reallocate spending to increase profits.
It’s equally important to look for expenses that appear irrationally low or those that the owner didn’t mention.
Such expenses include payment processor fees, reimbursements for integrations & plugins, etc.
All in all, it’s not a good idea to buy a business that requires more expenses than the annual income.
4. Growth Potential.
The right business you purchase may seem maxed out to its potential. But there are always some ways to add value.
Maybe the owner never hired a Conversion Rate Optimization service before.
You can hire one and audit the business website for loopholes in the conversion process.
You can even start a dynamic social media marketing campaign. There are so many ways to try out and scale your business. However, avoid buying a business that shows little to no growth potential.
5. Find Out The Reason For the Sale.
Finding the reason why the owner is selling their business is crucial. If the reasons they give raise any red flags (like unprofitability or lack of traffic) – it’s better to look for another business. Knowing the reasons will let you decide whether you can handle them.
6. Customer Reviews.
Finally, find out whether current customers are happy with the business. It will give you accurate insights into the business you purchase.
It’s better to purchase an established business, especially if you don’t want to start a business from scratch. But look for the right things, lest you end up spending on an unlucrative business.
How Do You Price Online Businesses?
Here are a few steps to price your online business:
1. Identify The Business Model.
First, recognize the business model. Many online, including a full-service turnkey solution, product-based, step-by-step lead generation business, real estate websites, done-for-you advertising, subscription-based, and more. You need a business whose revenue model aligns with your short and long-term strategies.
2. Look at The Essential Metrics.
Next, you must look into the balance sheets and the P&L statements. Plus, evaluate all the metrics like annual revenue, gross & net profits, and COGS. They reflect the financial health of the business and determine its sustainability.
3. Different Modes of Valuation.
The valuation of a business can be taxing. Each business is different than the other, and so are the modes of valuation.
Take ecommerce business valuation, for example. In this case, most companies multiply annual revenue by a factor of 3 and arrive at the valuation. For online content sites or blogs, the final worth gets calculated by multiplying by 6. You may still not be sure, but this method can alleviate some confusion.
Besides this, you can also use valuation tools offered by most marketplaces like Flippa, FE International, etc.
4. Study Annual Expenses.
If you want to buy an online business for sale, it makes sense to study and compare the total annual expenses with the annual revenue while buying an online business.
Investing in a business whose expenses can climb up to 75% of the annual revenue isn’t a good idea. In such cases, the annual expenses might overtake revenue in a highly inflationary market.
An internet business’s proper pricing depends on your market knowledge, budget, and future goals.
How To Create Online Properties Others Would Want To Buy
There are many considerations for a successful transaction regarding buying and selling online businesses. First and foremost, it’s essential to create an attractive online property for potential buyers.
Here are tips for creating an online business that will draw in buyers:
- Establish a Brand Identity–A distinct brand helps potential buyers easily recognize your business online. Use visuals, colors, and fonts to create a recognizable identity that distinguishes you from the competition.
- Build Quality Content – Producing high-quality content can help establish you as an expert in your field and give potential buyers confidence when considering a purchase.
- Develop Your Online Presence – Building an extensive social media network is essential to drawing attention to your business and establishing it as trustworthy. Develop relationships with industry professionals or influencers who will build interest in your brand.
- Gain User Trust – Demonstrate that you value customer privacy by implementing encryption and data security protocols on your website and other digital properties.
- Offer a Product or Service that’s in Demand – Research current market trends to ensure the products and services you offer to meet your target audience’s needs. Developing an innovative solution is one way to stand out from existing competitors.
- Keep up with Changes in Technology – Implementing cutting-edge technologies can help futureproof your online business, making it more attractive to potential buyers looking for a competitive edge.
- Invest in User Experience – Understand what customers need and work on creating an enjoyable user experience by ensuring website functions like quick loading times and easy navigation. The smooth checkout process should focus on maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction.
If you decide to buy or sell a business, success depends on many factors: the size of your business, annual revenue, marketing channels, branding, growth, metrics, and more.
If you want to attract international buyers, FE International is an excellent option. Flippa is a great platform for quickly buying or selling startups and small businesses. For large technology businesses and assistance with every aspect of the deal, I’d suggest Digital Exits.
My top pick is Flippa since it provides benefits like:
- Escrow service for secure payments.
- Most diverse business categories.
- Easy to navigate.
- The choice is to hire a broker to handle the entire process.
- Massive customer base.
The fact that it’s one of the biggest marketplaces to buy and sell online business also makes it a great option.
Which online marketplace are you planning to use to check out online businesses for sale? Let me know in the comments below.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: Want to avoid the back and forth that comes with buying or selling a business?
The right business broker can make this process straightforward and hassle-free.
In addition, with some types of businesses, having protection adds to your peace of mind during day-to-day operations.
Read on if you’d like to see how a small business insurance policy can protect you if things go wrong.
Finally, if you need to go through the process of getting a business loan, ensure that you know what you are getting into before getting started.
Thanks!A lot of valuable information!