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Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Arif Chowdhury
Before we entered modern computer technology, we used to buy and sell land, brick-and-mortar stores, shops, businesses, etc. But now, in this new era, we started to buy and sell digital products and services, i.e., SEO services, email marketing services, online advertising services, etc. And even more interesting now, we also buy and sell online business. This trend is getting more popular day by day. Experts believe online companies will surpass brick-and-mortar businesses soon.
In the recent outbreak of COVID-19, every physical business suffers. However, the complete opposite happened to online companies. Their business just started to boom within this period. It seems like this pandemic crisis accelerated the growth of online business.
Why did this happen? The reason is simple; the pandemic crisis forced people to maintain a social distance which directly hampers physical business as people didn’t visit their shops. Nonetheless, this “stay at home” is a charm for online companies because people have started visiting online stores more often.
Best place to buy and sell online business.
So as you can see, online business is a rising trend, and it is the future of humanity. It’s no longer a science fiction movie. Buying and selling an online business is also getting famous for this reason. In this guide, I will walk you through the below topics.
- Best online sites where you can look for an online business ready to buy or sell.
- How you should checkup vital things when buying or selling an online business
- Which type of online business is best for buying or selling?
There are many more things to learn. Let me show you the best marketplaces to buy and sell online businesses.
Buy and sell online business/services in one of the best online marketplaces.
It is a perfect place to buy or sell digital online assets. There are no ongoing fees. First, register then validates your online investment. There are two types of payments. The first one is listing prices, and the second one is success fees. Later we will discuss it.
In Flippa, you can see and buy any digital asset, i.e., domain, website, service, blogs, affiliate sites, SaaS business, etc. It is the most trusted place to buy and sell an online asset. As experts validate every website to ensure all information is accurate, including website traffics, financial analysis, demographics information, etc. There is an advanced reporting option available in Flippa that is called “Due Diligence.”
You have to purchase this service for $1,500. In this report, you will get Initial consultation, seller analysis, traffic, and financial analysis, sales and marketing analysis, and risk assessment analysis. For example, let’s say you want to purchase an existing online store; you can check everything, including revenue structure, advertising cost, other expenditures, which eCommerce platforms they are using, etc., before you make your decision.
Get a due diligence report with advanced statistics.
There is a “Flippa Finder” service for first-time buyers to help them go in the right direction. It will cost you a flat $50. The buyer will receive a personal consultation about how to find the right deal and understand how to analyze the listing.
Besides, when you check the available marketing listing, you will see lots of valuable details about traffics, net earnings of the business, monetization procedures, type of asset, age of business, etc. To get assurance, sellers can verify their claim with Google analytics. Therefore the buyer can check out traffics and other valuable metrics like bounce rate, profit, unique visitors, demographic information, etc.
There are some additional features I want to point out. First, you may be eligible for SBA loans if you have a small business. The minimum requirement is $50,000 and a 690 credit score to become suitable.
The buyer receives advance security from Escrow. They ensure buyers review the asset and validate it before releasing funds to the seller and protecting both sides simultaneously with a secure transaction.
A marketplace where every detail is crystal clear.
There are two types of listing in Flippa. You could use auction listing or classified listing. An auction listing has a time limit of 30 business days. However, in the classified listing, there is no such limit. There is a service called “Website Broker” you can take their service to list your site professionally handled by the broker. These brokers can be an excellent option to profit from selling your business.
Finally, you must pay a fixed price to list your business in the marketplace. It’s called listings.
- Domain: $10
- Starter Website: $15
- Apps: $15
- Established website: $49
And when you successfully sell your website, you must pay fees depending on the selling price.
- From $0 to $50K: 10% fees
- From $50K to $100K: 7.5% fees
- More than $100K: 5%
- Sell through Brokers: 15%
For example, if a business is worth over $100,000, you have to pay 5% fees.
One of the best online marketplaces to buy and sell online businesses.
Exchange Marketplace is specially designed for Shopify-hosted businesses. It’s straightforward and has a crystal clear view of the marketplace. If you visit their site, at the homepage, you may see their listing of verities of websites. From the browse section, you can select industry type (automotive, books, construction, food and restaurants, etc.), business type (drop shipping, established business, inventory, etc.), location of the company, and so on.
They have created a beautiful and secure place for both buyers and sellers. Find the list of your desired category business and check their status. You can get the complete profile of a specific business. In the business story section, you can read the entire history from A to Z. In the performance section; you will get the idea of average unique visitors per month, average revenue and profit per month, average sales per month, profit margin, etc. Shopify verifies this data to give you extra assurance.
Easy 1-2-3 steps to buy your first online business.
When selling your site, you get the same advantage and benefits as a buyer. Creating a listing to showcase your business in front of thousands of buyers is easy. You can make it a public or private listing. There is a secure transaction by Escrow, no worries about getting paid and securely transferring digital assets.
There are many digital assets, from starters to established businesses. Starting from $100, pick one or use “editor’s choice” to find the most suitable one. Exchange Marketplace also provides a free course/guide containing six chapters from A to Z knowledge about buying and selling a digital asset on their website.
- Initial listing fees: $0
- Success fees: Based on the sold price
They have flexible listing fees based on a digital asset sold price. Thus, your initial listing is entirely free. After that, you only pay when your investment is sold.
Secure and advanced digital asset marketplace for buying and selling.
Unlike other buying and selling sites, Empire Flippa has a small listing. However, in my opinion, they mean serious business. Even the lowest listing price is $14K. They have almost all digital companies, including cryptocurrency, apparel, food, technology, entertainment, etc. They sold around $150 million in valued digital assets to date.
You may see a search box on the homepage where you can type any keyword to find your relevant business listing. Click on a listing to open its business profile. Full of valuable details you can see at a glance, including monthly revenue, expenditure, and net profit. Domain, social media accounts, trademarks, backup files, etc.
I find it attractive that you will see an interview of a seller conducted by Empire Flippers, with valuable insights about the business.
Crystal precise marketplace with proven data to verify a business.
When you want to buy a digital asset, there are many things you need to ensure. Empire Flippa offers you all the details on how many unique visitors this business has been getting since the beginning of incorporation. How much expenditure it had and still has. How much revenue and profit it’s making?
There is an advanced option they call “Unlock listing.” It offers instant access to business URLs, detailed proof of earnings, and traffics through Google analytics, and you can directly connect with the seller for additional inquiry of yours. In addition, empire Flippa offers you the security of transaction and business migration from the seller to the buyer after purchase.
Refundable Deposit: Before purchasing an initial 5% value, you must pay based on the digital asset price. It will, however, allow you to check the proof of business profit and traffic with Google analytics.
- First-time listing fees: $297
- Repeat Seller: $97
Additional 2-15% fees may apply when successfully sold.
Build for serious investors – buy and sell digital assets globally.
Though at first look, you may not like their website. Because it’s a straightforward website, however, they mean serious business. They have a few established companies on their list. The lowest asking price is $45K which a yearly revenue is $22.9K. The highest value business is a SaaS company whose asking price is $20 million and whose annual income is over $6 million.
FE International provides advisory services to its clients to match buyers and sellers looking to buy and sell a digital business. Their expertise in this field assures you high-quality service, qualified investors, and data-verified sellers.
Get a business valuation from professional financial analysts.
If you want to sell your online business, just head to their “Sell a website” section and type your website URL and email address; that’s it. They will return to you with a 409A valuation report on your website.
Don’t worry. They are award winners of MandA Advisor. More than $500 million of online business has been sold through them since 2010.
Why should you choose FE International?
There are many online marketplaces, but why should you choose FE International?
Global network: There are more than 32 countries and 50,000 qualified investors around the globe.
Verified data: In a business profile, you will get all valuable data, including the history of a business transaction, profit, and expenditures.
Private listing: Sometimes, sellers want to protect their business information from theft during showcasing in an open marketplace. In that case, you have the option to classify your business information and only be available to serious buyers verified through the broker.
Professional broker: No leaking of the information nor fake details. Professional experts verify all information. Website traffic, revenue, and profit margin are all verified and proven with Google analytics.
There are no listing fees. A 2.5% fee will apply to the final price of digital assets. However, a fee may apply to the broker if you choose their valuation service.
Not for established business – unfinished project marketplace.
If you are looking for side projects or unfinished business, you may have to work with them to make it whole. Then this marketplace is for you. Here, almost all companies are small and incomplete. Perhaps 1-3 months old. The owner registers a domain, builds a website within 20 days, and submits it for sale.
Though they have a massive listing of projects to sell, including SaaS businesses, eCommerce stores, blogs, websites, mobile apps, browser extensions, domains, etc., in the search box, there are a few filters to narrow the search, i.e., price range, submission date, programming language, tools, etc.
Every listing has detailed information:
- Full details of the project
- History of the project
- Assets also included in the project
- Why does the owner want to sell?
- Some valuable tips to make this project more worthy
Using this marketplace to sell off your unfinished or unwanted business or project and recover some funds from it would be best. The good thing is the “Side Project Marketplace” offers you this flexibility while you may not find this opportunity in another marketplace where they only accept established businesses.
You can find all information in the online business profile.
Some best features of side projects:
Partnership: This is perhaps unique, as some projects are looking for a co-founder, not directly selling their business. It could be an excellent opportunity for you to start a partnership business.
Paid membership: You can become their VIP member for only $3 per month. It has additional benefits: customization alerts in project buying and selling, direct messaging to owners or buyers, and no more ads.
Sponsorship: With only $10 per day, you can showcase your listing on their homepage to get guaranteed views from thousands of buyers. They will show only two sponsorship listings every day; thus, it will help you get out from the crowd.
There are no listing fees or transaction fees from the Side Projects marketplace as they do not handle any transaction from their site. All payments are made through Stripe.
One of the best online marketplaces for comprehensive technology online businesses.
Digital Exits are designed to handle large tech businesses within $250K to $5 million yearly profit. Besides, they have an expert team specialized in maximizing the value of your digital asset and presenting it to the right buyer so that you will get a selling price above the market value.
They have sold more than 100 online businesses to date. The average sale price is above $3 million.
Selling your online business is as easy as 1-2-3. First, head to their “Sell your business” section. Fill up some information regarding your business. Gross revenue lasts 12 months, net profit lasts 12 months, and when you want to sell it. After you have submitted a valuation request, an expert team will contact you for further inquiry.
You may have to present additional information and documents related to business to validate your claim—revenue, profit, expenditure, traffic, etc. In addition, Google Analytics may be used to validate your claim.
Experts will evaluate your online business to get the best value.
Factors for business valuation:
- Traffic (Unique and Page view)
- Age of domain
- Backlinks Profile
- Business Model
How does it work?
Submit for valuation: You fill out the form with all details and submit it for business valuation. One of the team members will call you within 24h to consult with you about your business details. Then they will ask you for some documents, i.e., the last two years’ tax returns, current year profit-loss statement, and balance sheet, to complete the final valuation.
Business valuation: After receiving the required documents within the next 48h, they will call you back to consult with you about the price range of your business. There are 13 factors they will use to evaluate your business.
Agreement with a broker: Within the next 1-5 days, brokers will talk with you about the deal and a percentage of fees that apply to the final price.
Building business profile: After the agreement, you will submit all necessary documents to brokers so they can build a professional business profile for your digital asset that they will present in front of buyers.
Complete the digital asset profile to get a clear idea before purchase.
There are no upfront fees. However, a percentage of fees will apply to the final price.
An open marketplace for an established and profitable business.
Latona’s is a perfect marketplace for established and profitable online businesses. They have few listings; however, all are profitable and established. On the homepage, you can check their exclusive listing. You may use different filters to narrow your desired listing, for example, price range, revenue, visitors, profit, content site, domain portfolio, eCommerce, lead generation, etc.
They have many online businesses, i.e., eCommerce store, software business, fashion boutique, toys, books, personal care, amazon store, etc. Just pick one that suits your desire, then open their business profile to check everything from visitors, revenue, profit, domain age, etc. But, of course, you may have to register an account first to see that valuable information.
Some key features:
Revenue steam filters: It offers you an option to filter how businesses are generating revenue. Let’s say you want to purchase a company that solely generates revenue from content, not thousands of ads.
Accessible business evaluation: Latona’s offers a free business valuation, unlike other sites. Just fill out a form with your business details, including the website domain. An expert will contact you soon to consult about your business valuation.
Latona’s InteLend: This is entirely a different opportunity than Latona’s offering to digital asset owners. With the right approach, you may be able to get a loan for your existing online business.
There are no listing fees. However, a percentage of fees will apply to your final price when the asset is sold.
What is an online business marketplace?
Just like a physical business (brick and mortar store), an online business can make thousands or even millions of dollars per month. People now buy and sell their existing online businesses for many reasons. It doesn’t matter, though; all you should care about is that you can purchase any established business or starter business and start making a profit right away. Or sell your existing business to others to recover your capital and create a new one.
What kind of digital asset may you buy and sell?
The answer is almost any kind unless it is illegal. There are many online businesses out there, and people are transforming their existing businesses into online companies for the more significant benefit and flexibility. Let me give you some ideas about online businesses that you can buy and sell in the online marketplace.
Content rich website/blog.
Content is king, and you have probably already heard about it. I want to talk about the first type of online business is a blog or content-rich website. Generally, a blog is a part of a website where a company discusses its products and provides valuable information for free to its clients. For example, an apparel business website can open a blog section and share helpful information about the apparel industry with its clients.
Therefore, as you can see, a blog is a source of information or a free open library. That’s why it is content-rich. If you look at my website, it is mainly focused on the blog section. And I provided lots of free information and guidance about SEO, keyword optimization, website building, photo and video editing, eCommerce business, etc.
Benefits of the blog.
As a blog always contains lots of articles (free information), it naturally pulls massive traffic from all over the internet that no other business can do. Mainly because of “words.” Google love “words” more than any other content type. Indeed, images and videos are also content. However, the word is the oldest form of content that drives the most traffic.
Thus, creating a blog and generating massive traffic is more accessible than other business types. But, of course, you must have vast knowledge about those particular topics to write content.
Getting massive traffic to a blog can quickly generate thousands of dollars per month from advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsor article publishing, consultancy, etc.
Evaluation factors of a blog.
- Monthly Unique Traffic (primary factor)
- Contents and Niches
Hosting service: Shared Hosting to Medium VPS hosting should be enough.
This type of website usually focuses on product selling through their online stores. For example, Amazon is an eCommerce website. However, you need a powerful server to maintain this type of business. It is not a blog where there are no activities. On an eCommerce website, people will check on your products and purchase them through a secure online transaction.
You will use lots of powerful scripts and plugins for this business. Therefore, considering the vast expenditure, thus profit margin will be much less than a blog.
Evaluation factors of an eCommerce business.
- Profit Margin (primary factor)
- Niche/Product Types
Hosting service: Powerful Dedicated Server required.
Unlike an eCommerce blog, you may not hear about the SaaS business. Well, it’s software. However, you cannot download it to your computer or laptop. Instead, you have to log in to their website to use it. It may be a free or paid subscription.
The benefit of SaaS business.
Highly profitable business if you can scale it perfectly. Let me give you a simple example. What would you do when suddenly you are required to resize your image or compress it? Hit the search button to find out an online image resize or compressor.
It is a demanding and popular service, but they do not give you the software; instead, they let you use it either free or paid. Another benefit is that when you distribute software, hackers can eventually crack it and lose thousands of revenue. In that case, the SaaS business can also be a lucrative solution.
Evaluation factors of an eCommerce business.
- Profit Margin (primary factor)
- Monthly Unique traffic
Hosting service: Medium VPS to Powerful dedicated server (based on traffic)
Nothing to tell about mobile apps as we all know about them. It’s a new digital era, and people can download any type of app to their mobile phones with a single click. Maybe it is a game, business software, health and fitness course, etc.
Evaluation factors of an eCommerce business.
- Profit Margin (primary factor)
- Monthly Unique traffic
Hosting service: A medium VPS server should be enough.
It is not a business selling or buying. After a while (5-6 years), when a business becomes profitable but shuts down (not interested in selling), that domain remains the same. You cannot shut it down. Therefore, a business owner or domain provider is looking for a new domain name. I don’t think it is useless. Sometimes a domain name can become so popular that pulling millions of traffic per month can be worth millions of dollars in the open marketplace.
Yes, this domain name can also become a commodity to sell or purchase in the marketplace.
Evaluation factors of an eCommerce business.
- Monthly Unique traffic (only major factor)
Hosting service: The business is already shut down; hence no server is needed unless they sell the business.
Whether you want to start a new online business or sell your old one, you can use this service. Sometimes it’s even easier to purchase a readymade starter business rather than building on your own. Think about it; you must buy a domain name, build a professional website, set up all the contents or products (if eCommerce business), set up a payment process, create social media pages, etc. All can be a hassle unless you hire someone to do this for you.
But when you hire an expert to build a professional website for your business, write content, and set up all other tasks will be very expensive. While buying a readymade starter business is relatively cheap and effective.
In other cases, if you want to make a profit immediately, there is no alternative other than purchasing an established business. It’s evident that building a website is one thing, but making it established is a very lengthy process. Therefore, if you can buy an established business and make a profit from the next month, then why not?
Further reading on Cliobra: I assume you will soon start a new business by purchasing or making a new one from scratch. In any case, I suggest you read my CRM software guide. It will be a handy tool for your sales and marketing department. “Which is the Best CRM for Startups? 12 Best CRM Tools (Reviewed)“. And also, read my other guide about project management, “9 Best Project Management Software for Small Teams (Reviewed)“.