10 Best Places to Buy an Online Business

The ever-growing online commerce market provides plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to acquire an existing digital venture and build wealth and independence. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or business owner seeking diversification or an aspiring entrepreneur looking to enter the fast-paced world of online commerce, there are many fantastic businesses for sale.

In this blog post, we will discuss why buying an online business is a great choice, unveil our curated list of the best places to find businesses for sale and finish with some tips to help you find an excellent deal.

Why buy an online business?

Buying an online business can offer a magnificent opportunity to take charge of your own destiny. Buying an online business over starting one from scratch or buying an offline business has many benefits. While not a complete list, these benefits include:

Skip the startup stage

Established online businesses already have a functioning website, an engaged customer base, and operational processes. This can save you the time and effort to build these from scratch, meaning you can focus on growing the business instead.

Established brand

If the business has a strong brand and a good reputation, acquiring it can save you years of effort needed to build that brand recognition. If the online business has a track record of success, it indicates that the business model and product or service offering are viable. You’re not starting from ground zero and can capitalize on a proven concept.

Access to billions of customers

Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses that are limited to serving customers in their local community, online businesses can reach billions of customers worldwide. This means you can quickly grow your business from thousands to millions of dollars in revenue if you develop effective systems.

Less risk

While no investment is entirely risk-free, buying an established online business can be less risky than starting a business from scratch. You have historical data and performance metrics to check. Buying an online business is also a faster way to enter a market or industry that you’re interested in, especially if there are barriers to entry that an existing business has already overcome.

Scale quickly

If the business has growth potential, you can focus on scaling it up rather than worrying about the initial setup. This could involve expanding the product range, entering new markets, or optimizing marketing strategies. If you already own a similar business, buying another in the same industry can allow you to benefit from economies of scale and shared resources.

More flexibility

While there will be existing operations to manage, owning an established online business can still afford you more flexibility than starting a business from scratch. For example, you may choose to operate the business remotely and keep in place the existing team to manage day-to-day operations.

Best places to buy an online business

If you want to buy an online business, there are many places to find them for sale, including large marketplaces and specialty business brokers. We have compiled a list of our top 10 picks to help you find the perfect business for sale. Each has been vetted to ensure it deserves its place on the list.

1. Empire Flippers

Empire Flippers is an online marketplace for buying and selling online businesses. The company takes the number one spot on our list due to its exceptional customer service, high number of quality listings, and platform reliability. 

When you visit their website, you can effortlessly search for businesses for sale and create a shortlist of your favorite listings. Many types of online businesses are listed, including SaaS, blogs, e-commerce stores, and marketplaces. You’ll also find many industries within those categories, including fashion, food and drink, fitness, B2B, and many more. If you find a business you want to investigate further, you can create an account and begin negotiations. If you reach an agreement with the seller, the whole transaction can be easily completed through the Empire Flippers platform.

2. Flippa

Flippa is another large marketplace to trade online-based businesses. Many types of businesses are listed with various business models, such as affiliate commissions, SaaS, advertising, and subscriptions. When you search for businesses, you can also choose from hundreds of different industries to find a good fit for your skills and experience.

Each business listing includes a brief overview of the business. To access more detailed information, you need to sign up as a premium user or sign a non-disclosure agreement. This will give you access to information such as website analytics and financial data to verify the numbers claimed by the seller. The Flippa platform offers buyers and sellers access to all the tools required to facilitate the sale and transfer of the business once an agreement on price and conditions is met.

3. BusinessesForSale

BusinessesForSale.com is a one-stop shop for buying any type of business, including online businesses. The platform connects aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned investors with a large number of business opportunities, from mature businesses to exciting startups, across various industries. Their comprehensive listings provide essential details such as financial performance, operational insights, and growth potential. Once you sign up for free as a member, this information can be accessed to help you do due diligence.

There are currently thousands of online businesses listed for sale. The website is very user-friendly, and users are given expert resources and tools to streamline the buying process. If you’re looking for a new online business opportunity, BusinessesForSale.com is worth checking out. 

4. Website Closers

With over twenty years in the industry, Website Closers is one of the oldest online brokerage marketplaces with an excellent track record. The platform boasts a great selection of online businesses for sale, spanning diverse categories like fashion, hardware, and household goods. 

The company ensures each listing provides the buyer with in-depth records and metrics so they can be sure of the claims made by the seller. Rigorous vetting by the company itself adds another layer of security for the buyer by ensuring data accuracy. Should you choose to explore a purchase, you’ll be linked with the designated business broker through the platform to begin negotiations. If a deal is made, the company will facilitate a smooth ownership transition.

5. FE International

FE International provides online business buyers and sellers with advisory and brokerage solutions to help facilitate the secure transfer of digital assets. The platform company currently represents hundreds of sellers whose businesses span a number of different categories and industries. To work with FE International, the first step is to visit their website and view business listings. Each listing incorporates vetted information such as annual earnings, net profit, and sale price. 

The company employs brokers who work with buyers directly to negotiate business purchases. If you can reach a deal, the broker will take care of every aspect of the transaction to ensure it goes smoothly. FE International has a good track record in the industry and is well-regarded by both buyers and sellers who have worked with them.

6. Business Exits

Catering to online business buyers, Business Exits operates as an online business broker. Their expertise lies in featuring high-turnover businesses, often in the million-dollar range. If you’re seeking a well-established online business, such as a SaaS company or e-commerce store, working with BusinessExits will be a good fit.

The platform maintains a meticulously screened collection of online businesses for sale, providing in-depth insights and information for each one. If a business listed on their website interests you, further information can be sought from the broker. From there, you can begin negotiating with them over price and the terms of sale. When a deal is made, the company will take care of the ownership transfer and finalize payment.

7. Acquire.com

Acquire.com is the next entry on our list of the best 10 places to find online businesses for sale. The company uses sophisticated technology and human vetting to ensure each of the thousands of listings is a high-quality opportunity. This helps buyers find and acquire businesses within just 30 days.

Once a deal is done, the company will facilitate the transaction and the transfer of assets from seller to buyer. They currently have hundreds of thousands of members and a good industry reputation. Regardless of what type of online business you’re looking to buy, Acquire.com will likely have many possible listings for you to check out.

8. Latona’s

Laton’s is an online marketplace for buying and selling online businesses, including apps, SaaS companies, and e-commerce stores. When you search for businesses, you can find them based on revenue, price, size, or location of the business. When you find an online business that matches your criteria, you can access information and data to verify the financials and operations of the business.

As soon as you’re ready to make a bid, you can contact the seller and begin negotiations. When a deal is reached, payment can be securely made through the platform as well as transferring ownership of all digital assets. The company provides a range of features to guarantee the purchasing process goes smoothly.

9. Motion Invest

Motion Invest focuses on facilitating the buying and selling of content websites across various topic categories, including fashion, auto, travel, and technology. To find suitable businesses for sale, you simply need to visit their website and create an account. From there, you will be able to search for businesses using several filters to find companies worth vetting.

Each business listing includes information such as monthly revenue, monthly traffic, and the monetization methods used by the website. If you find a business you want to purchase, you can negotiate and finalize the purchase securely through the platform. Motion Invest might be the best marketplace for you to check out if you’re looking for a content business to buy.

10. SideProjectors

SideProjectors focuses on connecting sellers of smaller businesses that have recently been created. It caters to website and software developers who have built and launched a “side project” that has the potential to grow into a profitable business. There are many different types of online businesses to buy on the platform, including e-commerce stores, dropshipping stores, blogs, SaaS businesses, and many more. 

SideProjectors is an excellent resource for finding businesses under ten thousand dollars that can be grown into larger enterprises by utilizing your skills and experience. However, if you want to purchase a more mature online business, there are probably better marketplaces like Empire Flippers and Flippa that you can use.

Tips for buying online businesses

It’s important to remember that buying an online business is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. Here are our top tips for successfully buying an online business.

Due diligence is king

Before making any offers or commitments, delve into extensive due diligence of the business. Scrutinize financial records, traffic sources, revenue streams, and operational processes. Verify claims made by the seller and gain a comprehensive understanding of the business’s history, potential risks, and growth prospects. Using a marketplace with brokers assigned to each listing will help. Don’t be afraid to back out of a deal if you cannot verify every detail about the business.

Ensure you have the expertise

Choose a business that aligns with your skills and knowledge. Your familiarity with the industry or niche will make the transition smoother and enable you to identify growth opportunities and navigate challenges effectively. For example, if you have experience with search advertising, buying a business that relies on successful search engine advertising will ensure you have the skills to add value on day one of owning the business.

Research the market

Considering the long-term viability of an online business is vital. Though it may currently be profitable, its future prospects also matter. Evaluate if its bestselling product is seasonal or trendy, potentially losing appeal. Regarding the customer base, while current health might be good, you need to ensure there is expansion potential. You should also check for diversification opportunities to access new markets.

Understand the customer base 

It’s important to evaluate the sources of the business’s web traffic and the quality of its customer base. Ensure the traffic isn’t solely reliant on a single channel or source that could disappear after acquisition. A diversified traffic strategy and a loyal customer base are signs of a more sustainable business. You should also look for online businesses with repeat customers. This can significantly reduce your advertising costs and ensure higher margins.

Understand the terms of the sale

You must carefully negotiate the purchase terms and price. Consider factors like the business’s financial performance, assets, liabilities, and growth potential. Be prepared to walk away if the terms don’t align with your valuation or if something seems too good to be true. Also, develop a detailed integration and transition plan to manage the ownership transition, team members, customer relationships, and technical aspects. Seek professional advice if required.

The bottom line

Online businesses provide an amazing opportunity to take an established brand, customer base, and infrastructure and implement growth strategies to boost revenue and profitability. Many great marketplaces and brokerage firms exist to help you find the perfect business opportunity that matches your criteria. Just make sure you do thorough due diligence before making an offer.

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