Before now, buying and selling businesses wasn’t a smooth ride. Too many parties got involved, and the acquisition process took months or even years. Buyers had no place to reach interested sellers easily. On the other hand, small companies didn’t have the channel and means to market their venture. Enter online marketplaces.Credits
Online marketplaces have made it possible for founders, developers, creators, and entrepreneurs to sell and buy businesses with little to no hassle or interference. The long-winded sales processes now take as little as a few hours to 30 days – many thanks to online marketplaces. Plus entrepreneurs can securely buy businesses.
Without further ado, let’s explore the best marketplaces to buy and sell online businesses.
Microns.io is our startup marketplace, and we're known as the home where you can buy and sell pre-vetted small online businesses. We provide buyers and sellers all the tools needed for the seamless acquisition of online businesses.
You can sell and buy businesses online from as low as $400 to $300,000, making it a good place not only for professionals like developers, designers, and marketers but also for small funds.
While a vast majority of the businesses listed on our marketplace are micro-SaaS startups, you can find a range of other pre-vetted online businesses. They include e-commerce, newsletters, communities, Shopify apps, marketplaces, agencies, Chrome extensions, mobile apps, WP plugins, Google add-ons, content websites, blogs, directories, databases, bots, and crypto startups.
On our listings page, you can find key data such as ARR, growth opportunity, target audience and the number of customers. Unlike MicroAcquire where the average acquisition costs more than $500,000, Microns is the best place to buy/sell small startups as the maximum acquisition is $300,000.
If you’re interested in starting your entrepreneurial journey with a small business or you want to add another business to your portfolio, search for high-quality listings using Microns Premium.
READ: Microns vs Empire Flippers
Flippa was founded in 2009, making them one of the most popular startup marketplaces. Over the years, the Australian-based company has built a community of over 600,000 verified buyers and sellers.
The marketplace provides high-quality service to aid seamless online business acquisitions for both buyers and sellers. Of all the marketplaces on this list, Flippa has the largest number of businesses on sale.
Flippa has a directory of over 5,000 online SaaS companies for sale. Besides this, they also focused on offline businesses.
The business categories listed on Flippa are not limited to ecommerce brands, SaaS startups, content (blogs and newsletters), websites, service-based businesses, domains, and dropshipping stores. You can search for hundreds of online businesses based on location, type, age, category, niche, and prices. To streamline the buying process and time, you can search for ecommerce stores through dedicated categories like Shopify and Amazon FBA stores.
For sellers, Flippa allows you integrate your ecommerce store with Google Analytics so prospective buyers can get insights into your website’s traffic and sales metrics.
Flippa charges their sellers listing fee and 5-10% commission based on the size of the business. It's a great place for website flipping and offline businesses.
READ: Microns vs Flippa
While the other platforms are marketplaces for buying and selling mostly SMBs, FE International acts as an advisory team for buying and selling large businesses on sale. They're the best platform for large online acquisitions.
FE International is a website broker that provides advisory services to investors looking to sell or buy online businesses. The team of brokers pools their expertise in providing investors with personalized sales processes. And they have a 94.1% sales success rate, making them one of the best platforms for big business acquisition.
FE International has been around since 2010 and has sold over 1,200 businesses. They provide M&A advisory services to entrepreneurs interested in buying SaaS, Shopify apps, ecommerce, and content businesses.
If you’re interested in buying 7- and 8-figure businesses (even as a non-technical founder), FE International is one of the best places to list your business.
Interested in buying an ecommerce business? You can streamline your search strictly to browse high-quality listings on Shopify’s marketplace.
Shopify Exchange is a platform for buying and selling Shopify ecommerce businesses. You can find business listings based on location, sales channel, industry, business type, average revenue, profit per month, etc.
You can only buy Shopify ecommerce stores on Shopify Exchange as it created the platform to ease the acquisition of ecommerce stores.
READ: Microns vs Tiny Acquisitions
At the time of writing, MicroAcquire has facilitated $500 million in acquisitions, mostly in the sale of software companies. While you can buy other online businesses on the platform, most of their listings are 7- figure SaaS startups.
They pride themselves as the best marketplace to kickstart acquisition conversations to buy/sell an online business within 30 days. Buyers can assess key metrics of listings before deciding to speak with a seller. Some of the metrics buyers are privy to include customer acquisition cost, number of customers, recurring revenue per month, and many other metrics.
MicroAcquire's marketplace isn’t restricted to only SaaS startups. You can also buy/sell ecommerce brands, newsletters, Shopify SaaS apps, agencies, and communities.
MicroAcquire started as a platform for the acquisition of small startups (<$500k) but then grew up to the size of main street market deals ($500k+). So, this is a perfect option for mid-size private equity funds.
Update: Reilly Chase revealed one of the recent scams on Twitter. So always do your due diligence.
READ: Microns vs MicroAcquire
READ: The expectations vs reality of building a startup
READ: How to buy a startup
Online business models are a great alternative to building brick-and-mortar businesses. The most common online businesses sold and bought on marketplaces are SaaS and micro-SaaS startups, e-commerce stores, content websites, and mobile apps.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and micro-SaaS companies are some of the most profitable and easy-to-run online businesses as they're managed in the cloud. They’re sold as subscription services to customers, making them scalable and easy to sell.
SaaS and micro-SaaS products range from analytics, AI, content writing, marketing tools, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), bookkeeping software, etc.
Before listing your SaaS or micro-SaaS business on a marketplace, you can value the startup using EBITDA or Seller Discretionary Earnings (SDE). And ensure you have accurate data and key metrics to encourage buyers to see your business as a profitable one.
The coronavirus pandemic accelerated the rate at which people shop online. And it’s been predicted that 95% of all purchases will be via eCommerce stores by 2040.
So owning an ecommerce store is a big thing and is expected to grow 23% year on year. So before you buy an eCommerce business, consider the following factors;
Also, look for channels to increase the brand’s revenue. And do your due diligence and speak to experts before acquiring an eCommerce store.
And if you’re looking to sell your eCommerce business, make your website more visually appealing and improve the website’s traffic and CTR. Also, try to increase the sales channels.
Brian Lam started The Wirecutter, a gadgets review site, and made over $150 million in revenue running it for 5 years before selling it to New York Times for $30 million.
Also, Ryan Robinson makes around $40,000 every month – most of that earning comes from affiliate commissions. And every day, bloggers are monetizing their websites in different ways. These make content websites some of the most lucrative online businesses to buy and sell.
However, before buying a website on a marketplace, ensure you do your due diligence. Get access to metrics such as website traffic, traffic sources, bounce rate, conversion rate, etc. Also, know how many bloggers are on the team and how well the website is positioned to influence readers’ purchasing decisions. Furthermore, ask the blog owners to prove their monetization claims. And find ways to improve the website’s traffic to gain more visibility and generate more income.
And if you’re selling a blog, you should first evaluate your blog’s worth. Consider the cost of content and website development, cost per visit, website traffic, and annual revenue.
READ: How to evaluate newsletters' worth
Now you know the best places to buy and sell online businesses, Microns.io gives you the resources to easily sell and buy profitable micro startups like micro-SaaS apps, ecommerce websites, blogs, web or mobile apps, etc., within a couple of days.
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