It’s easy to start an online business and get started in the entrepreneurial world. Buying an existing online business can make it easier to start your online empire.
Shopify Exchange allows you to sell and buy Shopify stores via a secure portal that has valid metrics and guarantees payment. Let’s take an in-depth look at how to sell and buy Shopify stores.
What’s Shopify Exchange?
Shopify Exchange lets you sell and buy online shops built with Shopify. Shopify Exchange currently has more than 10,000 shops for sale.
You can have a store that is a complete business, or a “starter kit”. While some stores offer limited products and fewer options, others have more extensive collections and support content. The prices vary greatly as well. Shopify stores can be purchased on Exchange starting at $50 and going up to $1 million.
Exchange lists these stores:
- Business The Story:seller gives a brief description of the store and shares its history. He also explains why the store is being sold.
- Performance: information about sales, revenue sessions, profit margins, traffic and profit
- Costs: Recurring Fees for Things Like Shopify Plan, Domain Name, etc.
- Sale Includes Lists everything in the sale: domain, physical inventory, logo, branding assets, post-sale service, support, domain, product photos and social media. Also, suppliers and email subscribers.
- Tips from the Seller: Miscellaneous Thoughts and Tips from the Seller – Things to Consider Before You Buy
Shopify pulls data from Shopify to accompany store listings. This includes sessions, revenue and sales. This data is pulled directly from Shopify’s back end and cannot be edited by the seller. This is advantageous for the buyer as you can be sure it’s correct.
Why people shop online?
Selling online stores can be done for many reasons. It’s a smart idea to inquire about the reasons the seller wants to sell the store. When deciding if this is the right investment, consider their answers.
Why do people shop online
- Some people prefer to manage things and not build them. Each person has their own strengths. Some people enjoy the operational aspect of running a business.
- They are looking to try out the system before committing. A Shopify website can be purchased to test the waters before you commit to a full-scale build.
- They don’t have the technical knowledge to set up a store. Shopify can be difficult to use if you are not familiar with the process. A website already built can be a great way to save time and effort. You can also make minor tweaks or hire someone else to do any further changes.
- It’s easy to make money online, they think. Some people start an online store thinking that sales will come naturally, much like aspiring entrepreneurs. It is not easy to start a business without knowing the amount of work involved.
- They are looking to add value to an existing business. You might have an existing brick and mortar or online business. A dog groomer could be a complement to your existing business.
Why do people buy online stores
- Some people prefer to build things and not run them. This isn’t necessarily a sign of trouble. There are many “serial entrepreneurs” out. Research other businesses they have started and sold if you can.
- There have been changes in career direction. Many people might wish to return to school, change careers, or stop working in order to have a family.
- You may need money to cover an emergency, unexpected expense, or for investment. Unexpected events, such as a medical bill, investment opportunity or lawsuit, could occur. Sometimes people have to cash out in order to put the capital towards another purpose.
- They don’t like it, don’t want it or have the time. Perhaps they had grand plans to start an online business, but it turned out to be much more difficult than it seemed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the business idea is not viable. They just might not be the right person to do the job.
- Many website builders are serial entrepreneurs who build Shopify websites on a regular basis. These purchases can be used to provide post-sales support.
Tips for selling and buying Shopify stores
It’s worth doing some research before you decide to pull the trigger. Although $50 might not be enough to put you in financial trouble, thousands of dollars could.
There are some parameters that can help you narrow down your options when you search for Shopify stores on Exchange.
What are you financial goals. Think about how much you would like to spend on your initial purchase, and how often you will be buying the business. Also consider how much you wish to make from it.
How much do you want to invest in your site? This covers both time and money. You sometimes have to spend money in order to make money. Do you have enough money for site improvements, inventory investments, or any other expenses that might be necessary to improve your business?
What is your reason? Most Shopify stores are bought for more than money. What is the bigger vision or goal? How will this store help you achieve it?
Sellers have their own considerations. Thinking through these factors will help you create your listing description, market and sell your online store, and provide buyers with the information they need.
What are you going to gain? Think about why you’re selling Shopify. Do you want to spend more time with your friends? Are you looking for more money to invest in other areas? Maybe you want to have more fun by getting rid of the stress associated with running a business.
Is there another way? Perhaps you have a problem that can be solved in a different manner. You might consider hiring a team to help you achieve more work-life balance or outsourcing some of the work. It’s a sign that you aren’t passionate about the job anymore and that you don’t find enjoyment in it.
Is the store still there? You should also consider the store’s status and whether it is established or new. The price of a store that needs to be built up should be lower than one with a customer base and email list. To make sure that you are on the right path, it is a good idea to look at the Exchange marketplace.
Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) are signed contracts in which all parties agree to keep the information concerning the business deal confidential. This agreement allows you to share information with coworkers or partners for business purposes.
Shopify Exchange allows you to buy or sell websites. NDAs are important because store owners don’t want any information that isn’t public, but could be valuable to potential buyers. This information could include sales, profits, and related data. This information is not something a shop owner would want to share with their competitors.
Not being asked to sign an NDA does not necessarily indicate that you are suspicious. It’s important to carefully read the NDA before signing. Ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand. They may be able to give you a reasonable explanation, or they might agree to remove the entire section.
How to purchase an online store through Shopify Exchange
Shopify Exchange is a great place to start an ecommerce store.
Search for the right store
Shopify Exchange allows you to search by industry, business type and business attribute. You can also browse Shopify’s curated listings. You can also filter your search by revenue, business health, price, or most recently listed.
Stores with higher revenue and business health tend to be more expensive.
While you should carefully consider the purchase, if a store is listed for sale for a prolonged period of time, you may want to second-guess your investment or use this opportunity to negotiate a price.
Contact the seller
To get additional information or to make an offer, you will need to contact the seller. You won’t have the ability to offer to purchase the site through Shopify Exchange if the seller doesn’t reply.
Ask for more information in your initial message to seller. These questions can be added to the listing information.
- What business model is it?
- How do you calculate the return on your advertising and marketing spends?
- What are your methods of fulfilling orders?
- Do you have the numbers for tracking?
Do your due diligence
It’s a smart idea to conduct your own research while you wait for the seller to respond. Shopify store owners know how to make the numbers work for them. They might spend a lot of money on advertising in one month to increase sales, or process fraudulent orders.
You can see what customers have to say about them on forums, review sites, social media and other online communities. You can do a Google search for the brand and exclude their website by entering “[keyword]-URL.com”.
To analyze site traffic, you can use tools like Moz or SEMrush to compare it with data from Shopify Exchange. Ask about discrepancies, as these could be red flags.
If you are satisfied with the answers of the seller and feel that the numbers work for you, then it is time to make an offer. Negotiations are possible here. The listing price is not the only thing that matters. Your offer must be at least 80% off the listing price.
You will have to pay the full amount at the time you purchase. You can cancel the offer at any time if you decide to change your mind.
Seller accepts you offer
If the seller accepts your offer, they will create an escrow transaction. An email notification will be sent to you letting you know.
You must accept the terms and make payment
You will receive an email notification with all terms and conditions, along with instructions on how to pay via escrow.
If a seller requests you to use a different method, it’s a warning sign. If a seller requests payment by a different method, contact Shopify.
Seller transfers assets
The seller will be notified once the payment has been approved. After the payment has been approved, the seller will transfer all assets to you. You will mark the assets “received” in escrow.
Check and approve your Shopify store
It’s now time to inspect your purchase. Shopify recommends a inspection period. This is where you can verify that everything was delivered as promised. Shopify does not provide the information needed to verify that buyers have verified profit margins, expenses, traffic sources, and any other claims.
This inspection period usually lasts three days, but may extend to up to 30. The seller will create a staff account with all the permissions you need. You should have full access to the domain names, advertising accounts, social media accounts, apps, physical inventory, and other information before the inspection period begins. These assets should be checked as part of your inspection. Also, ensure that no numbers or deliverables are misrepresented.
Important: Do not export data, change shipping settings or product settings.
All assets should be accepted in escrow if everything is fine. Email email@example.com if you find any discrepancies during your inspection period.
Shopify appoints as your official store owner
Shopify will make your account administrator after you have accepted the assets. This happens within three business days. They’ll notify you once the transfer is completed.
This is when the final payment is processed by the escrow department. At this point, you can’t get a refund or cancel your offer. Don’t forget that the entire payment must be made at the time.
Now the site is yours!
How to Sell an Online Store on Shopify Exchange
You can sell your online store to potential buyers by listing it on the Shopify Exchange marketplace.
Find out if you are eligible
You must meet the eligibility requirements of Shopify Exchange before you can list. You should also review the Exchange Marketplace guidelines as well as Shopify Terms and Conditions and Partner program agreement.
Shopify Exchange requires the following qualifications:
- Outside of the trial period, you must have a Shopify shop that is on a paid plan (except Shopify Plus).
- You must have Shopify Payments in good standing before you can use it.
- Shopify Capital must not be active in your funding.
- There are no unresolved issues between the Shopify Risk and Recovery teams or the Shopify Legal teams.
Download the Exchange app
Now that you’re eligible, what do you need to do? To install the Exchange Marketplace App, you will need to follow these steps: This can only be done by the site owner.
Create, submit and publish your listing
Shopify will pull in some metrics from your listing. However, it is up to you to create the details and make it seem like a great investment for a potential buyer. Your Business Story should be honest and persuasive. You also need to fill out the Performance, Costs, Sale Include, and Seller’s Advice sections.
Highlight the things that are valuable to the buyer such as an extensive email list, a strong social media following, or a membership in a customer loyalty programme. It is important to verify that the information you provide is correct. Misleading information could cause problems down the line.
Once your listing is completed, submit it to Shopify for review. Once Shopify approves, you can publish.
Responding to buyer questions and offering
Inquiring buyers will contact you about your store for purchase, usually to request additional information or negotiate on the price.
Respond quickly. If you offer post-sale support, responsiveness can make a positive impression on buyers.
You can accept or decline an offer from a buyer. You can make a counteroffer if you don’t like the original deal.
Accept an Offer
You can accept any offer that you receive and create an escrow transaction from the Exchange app.
Shopify/Escrow will contact the buyer to ask them to accept the terms of the contract and to make payment to the escrow department.
Transfer assets of the buyer
After the buyer has paid the escrow department, they will notify you that it is time to transfer assets. To allow the buyer to conduct their inspection, create a staff account. This can last anywhere from 3 to 30 days.
Once the buyer has approved all inspections, they will mark the assets “accepted” in Escrow.
Make your money
The money will be released to you by the escrow department. You should receive the funds in your account within five working days. Shopify will take care of everything else.
- Shopify allows the buyer to become the new owner of a store within three days.
- Shopify will remove your billing and payment information.
When the transfer is completed, you will receive an email confirmation.
Shopify Exchange is right for you?
Shopify Exchange makes it easy to sell and buy Shopify stores. The platform validates metrics. You can browse stores by industry, revenue or curated collections and then choose the one that best suits your business goals.
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