In the modern world, business is a lot different from the old days, with more chances and opportunities than ever. Compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, now people can easily buy or sell online Shopify stores like fishes in the market.
There are even many marketplaces for interested exchangers, but to be frank, the Internet is a wild jungle where things may not always be what they seem. So this guide is to provide all you need to know about Shopify stores for sale including where to buy or sell, why you should try it, and what you need to know when deciding to do so.
What are you waiting for, let's begin!
Why buy or sell a Shopify store?
What purchasing an online business for sale essentially comes down to is reduce the time, monetary, and knowledge investment required to build a business from scratch while you still have the advantages of actually owning an online business.
When buying a business, entrepreneurs can skip past the beginning stages of building a startup. The problems like the long hours, system establishment, traffic, restricted cash flow, inventory sourcing, customer generation, etc. are gone, and you go straight to the advantageous aspects of operating a business.
On the other hand, if you already own a working business site but don't have time or resources to take care of it anymore, then selling it is a convenient way to retrieve a good amount of money from all your expenses.
Another situation is when you have a thriving business, but the cost to take it to the new level is just out of your reach. Then selling it and looking for a new potential owner is a reasonable choice. The new owner can take your business to a new vision; you get to enjoy your hard work as an achievement and move on to your new project.
The choice of selling or buying a Shopify store is entirely a cost-benefit evaluation, so write down all the aspects of it, and you can find out. For now, let's get to the next part, where we take a look at the most famous Shopify stores marketplace - Exchange.
- What Is Shopify? How Does Shopify Work Exactly?
- Shopify Pricing Plans: How To Choose The Right Plans For Your Store
- What Is The Shopify Partner Program? How To Become A Partner?
- How to build a Shopify store from scratch
Exchange - Official Shopify stores marketplace
Exchange is an official marketplace by Shopify for buying and selling eCommerce businesses made by Shopify merchants.
Through the site, people can list their online & active stores for sale with information like traffic and revenue (data provided by Shopify). Sellers won't be able to edit this data so the info for buyers is transparent.
The stores for sale can range from ready-to-go starter business to thriving eCommerce, and the price is various too from 50$ to even 6-figure empires with a price of over $1 million.
How to use Exchange
There are so many stores of all shapes and sizes on the Exchange Marketplace with new listings posted on the platform every day, so you can always check by, to see if there’s anything that suits your needs.
So I'm going to take you on a tour of the platform and see how you can utilize it. Let's go!
The Exchange Marketplace makes it easy to browse different listings with an easy-to-navigate homepage. This is what you will see when landing on the page.
From here, you have four methods to find a business in the marketplace, which are New Listings, Categories, Search, and Filter. The Homepage has a few collections of for sale shops that you can look through right the way.
Categories are useful to browse through the listing, you can find this tab at the top of the page. If you are looking for any business for sale, click here and check out Exchange's dedicated categories of stores, from fashion to electronics, sports, all you can find.
The stores for sale are also grouped in location, industry, types, sales channel, and business attributes, so you can find exactly what you are looking for.
And finally, you can use a filter to help narrow down the search results based on price, age, business type, and even more. This is fantastic since you can hone the results to find your suite.
You can play around on the site with all the above features and look at businesses for sale, which will give you a clearer look at what Exchange has to offer.
How to buy Shopify stores on Exchange
Once you’ve decided to buy a store from the Exchange Marketplace, what you need to do is signing up for an account – you can log in with an existing Google or Facebook account.
After that, head over to the listing. In case you’re looking to purchase a store for under $5,000, just contact the seller straight away. However, if the listing is over $5,000, you’ll be asked to verify your account before you can contact the seller.
But first, let's see what you need to consider before spending money on an online store.
Things to consider before buying
- What’s Your Budget? Be frank about your current situation and assess whether buying a Shopify store from Exchange is right for your current budget. Ask yourself whether you’ll have enough cash for critical things like marketing or product sourcing once you’ve completed the purchase.
- Is the Store Priced Properly? This can be difficult to evaluate if you’re new to Exchange, so take a look through similar listings and check if the price matches up. One thing to remember is that the price listed on Exchange is just an initial asking price – you can always message them and try to settle on a price that works for both parties.
- Why Are They Selling? Think about their reason: Did their niche become too saturated? Did they become tired of running their business? Many merchants on Exchange will list reasons as to why they’re selling their stores so use this information, as well as external research, to guide your decision.
- Why Do You Want to Buy a Shopify Store? This is probably the most important thing to consider: Are you looking to jumpstart your life as an entrepreneur? Do you hope to find success by emulating what has already proven to be successful? Remember this, when you’re buying a business on Exchange, you’re not just buying the website, you are also purchasing the branding assets, the mailing lists, the content on the website, the social media accounts, and physical inventory as well.
Steps to purchase
As mentioned, the listing is over $5,000 you’ll be prompted to verify your account before you can contact the seller. All you’ll need to do is fill out some information about yourself and the type of businesses that you’re interested in purchasing. This is to help Exchange show you online stores for sale, which you’re likely to be interested in.
If you’re looking at acquiring a Shopify business that is listed for more than $20,000 on Exchange, then you’ll need to connect your LinkedIn profile to your account.
Remember, the prices listed on Exchange are just a starting point, so there’s always an opportunity for negotiation with the seller. After you’ve accepted on a price with the seller, you’ll need to settle for the store through Exchange.
Shopify Exchange holds a partnership with Escrow, a secure payment platform that has already processed over $3.5 billion in payments. You’ll use this platform whenever you’re purchasing a Shopify store.
The process usually takes 3-5 days, and if you have any problems during the process of acquiring a Shopify store, you can always contact Exchange's support.
To make the transfer easy on both you and the seller, make a checklist of all the items like what assets and accounts need to be transferred and include them in the deal.
In the process of transferring ownership, you should also check some things before completing on Escrow:
- Check the responsiveness and quality of your new store's suppliers.
- Read and analyze the store's data carefully like comparing revenue per month to profit per month.
- Change all the passwords for the accounts you received.
- Take every support possible from the seller to understand how to repeat their results and advance.
How to sell Shopify stores on Exchange
If you want to sell your store on the Exchange Marketplace, you need to click on the
Sell your business button, which can be found at the top right corner of the homepage in white.
But first, let's see what you should consider before putting your store on the marketplace.
Things to consider before selling
- Have You Really Run Out Of Way To Keep It Running? This is like a final check to see if you have really decided to let your store go. No feelings here, just you considering what is good and what is not?
- What To Expect In An Auction? If you have a good business, people would be running for it. So make sure you have time to answers your buyers' questions and make connections. Trust can be a big factor when someone decides to buy or not.
- Is Your Store Priced Properly? Like the above, take a look around the marketplace to find a suitable price that suits what you expect. There is still some negotiation later, so you do not need to worry about the first price, but keep them not so different in range.
- Are you selling when the fun is over? Buyers are looking for profitable and making sales, so if you decide to sell when your store is not doing well, it will be harder to get noticed. And if you are selling because your niche is not on trend anymore, that can affect your price as well.
- Why Do You Want To Sell Your Store? This is an important question since it can guide how you act during the whole process. What you get out of this? Money? Opportunity to have good people taking care of your business? Which assets of the store are you going to list?
Steps to sell
At the homepage of Exchange's Sell Business home page, enter your store address and you will be asked to install the Exchange Marketplace app into your store.
Click at the
Install app and you’ll see the following screen on your Shopify admin page.
Start with the
Start now button, like in the image above, and you’ll connect to a page where you can list your store on the Exchange Marketplace.
Then you’ll need to write a description of your store and provide some general feedback about it. You can add all of your social media details, include screenshots that show your store’s performance, have a brief description of yourself. This will help to build trust with buyers.
Once you’ve attached all the details about your store to the listing page, head back to the top and click on the
Get valuation button to understand how similar stores are priced.
When you’re happy with your listing, head down to the bottom of the page and hit
Save and preview. Check through your potential listing, and if it all looks good, hit the
That’s it – now your store will be available on Exchange. All you need to do is sit back and wait for potential buyers to contact about your store.
Exchange alternatives - Other ways to buy or sell a store
Although Exchange is a wonderful marketplace for Shopify stores, we still can look at some other names for even more careful consideration. After all, you are putting your money out there, so a bit of consideration is necessary.
Flippa is a well-known marketplace for buying and selling online businesses, domain names, apps. According to them, there are over 5,000 new businesses and domains listed for sale on Flippa every day, with the site having over 800,000 registered members. Every month, over $5 million worth of businesses are sold on this long-lasting marketplace.
You also get access to Flippa's tools at a monthly price to promote your on sale business better. There will be a percentage of success fee based on the price of your store, like in the above image.
Empire Flippers is a marketplace for buying and selling websites. The platform checks all sellers, their website’s history of profits and traffic to make sure the stores are durable and have passed the verification process.
Once the site is qualified, it is listed based on a multiple of the net regularly profit - typically the average of the last 3-12 months of net profit. Buyers pay a 5-percent deposit before they get info on a site, and you have Empire Flippers supervises all communication between buyers and sellers.
FE International provides advisory services for mid-market eCommerce, SaSS, and content-based businesses. It is specialized in business sales in the mid-five to the mid-seven-figure range.
Over $75 million was completed in business acquisitions, and over 425 stores were sold in the last 9 years. On completion of the deal, FEI charges a buyer 2.5 percent of the transaction fee.
Shopify stores for sale are a great concept. It expands the possibilities of eCommerce, makes the process faster, and allows both sellers and buyers to make the most of their businesses. If two sides come to an agreement and advance their decisions to more success, it is a win-win situation.
Either you are looking to buy or sell your Shopify store, hope my guide could help you do just that. Keep in mind the power of online eCommerce is for you to explore and gain so keep thriving!
If you have any comments, leave them in the section below. As always, best of luck!