10 Best Marketplaces for Buying an Online Business – Shopify

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Buying an online business can be a great way to earn money without starting from scratch. Here are the best marketplaces to find online businesses for sale.
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Entrepreneurship isn’t always easy. Starting a business from the ground up can be challenging for new small business owners.
There’s a lot to think about, from developing a product and choosing a business model to finding your audience—not to mention startup costs and the huge time commitment necessary to make it work. If you want a business but don’t want to start from scratch, there’s another option: buying an already established business. 
Caveat: This doesn’t mean buying a business is less work, it just means you don’t have to start from ground zero. Here are the ways soon-to-be business owners can buy an existing business that’s ready to go. 
Searching for a profitable online business for sale? Look no further than these ten platforms that let you browse, evaluate, and compare online businesses to buy. 
Flippa lets you browse SaaS companies, ecommerce brands, blogs, and affiliate sites that are up for sale, showing you their monthly revenue and how they make their money. 
Empire Flippers is a cross between a marketplace and a brokerage. You can explore businesses for sale in different niches, filtering by monetization style and price. 
Side Projectors specializes in sharing side projects, from SaaS businesses to ecommerce brands and mobile apps. Prices are on the cheaper side, because the projects tend to be smaller. 
Niche Investor focuses on listing blogs and profitable websites that are up for sale. Listings provide background information about the business, as well as monthly revenue and the monetization method in place. 
Browse websites in a variety of different niches and industries and get hands-on support from the Motion Invest team before, during, and after your purchase. 
Business Exits showcases highly profitable businesses for sale in a variety of niches. Compare revenue and yearly income across a range of industries. 
Latona’s is more of a brokerage than a marketplace, but it still lets you browse listings that are up for sale, with a range of detailed filtering options. 
Acquire.com helps connect buyers and sellers in the SaaS and startup spaces. Through the platform, you can track startup metrics and evaluate future potential to help make a decision. 
Browse hundreds of listings on BuySellEmpire in various categories, from ecommerce stores and SaaS membership businesses to affiliate sites and Amazon FBA businesses. 
BizBuySell is the internet’s largest business for sale marketplace. You can browse specifically for online businesses or franchises. Search by city, county, or sale and checkout the hundreds of thousands of established businesses ready to be sold.
If you’d rather leave the ideas side of things to others, buying a currently thriving business can have plenty of benefits. 
There are 33.1 million small businesses in the US alone and an estimated 26.5 million ecommerce businesses around the world. That’s a lot of established businesses and a lot of choices.
So what should you look for when choosing a business to buy? 
You don’t want to buy a dud. Ideally, any business you’re looking to buy should be able to show consistent month-on-month revenue or at least the potential to reach a consistent level. The seller should have no problem sharing the business’s financials with you—in fact, this is a must-do before you even consider putting pen to paper and signing a contract. 
It can be difficult to turn around a negative opinion of a business, which is why it’s a much better option to go for a brand that has an existing positive reputation. Check out reviews on sites like Trustpilot, scroll through the brand’s social channels, and listen to what people are saying about it online. 
Take a look at the business’s current operations. If they look rusty or outdated, it could spell a problem—it can take time and resources to change things around. Smaller businesses will have less established operations, but they should still have processes in place for key parts of the workflow, like shipping and integrated tech stacks. 
Online businesses rely on website traffic to stay afloat. The more traffic a site has, the more potential customers it has and the more money it can make. When choosing a business to buy, look for steady growth and consistent traffic from multiple sources. The last thing you want to do is rely on traffic from one source that will dry up as soon as algorithms change. 
A business might be thriving right now, but what about in a few months or a few years? It’s important to assess the future potential of the business—for example, look at whether its bestseller is a seasonal item or whether the products it sells are a current craze that will go out of fashion soon. 
While a business’s current customer base might be very healthy, take a look at where there’s room for expansion. Who exactly is it targeting and is that market close to being maxed out? Consider if there’s room to move into different markets and locations too. 
Knowing what customers think about a business can make or break your decision to buy it. Consider the kinds of positive feedback it gets, as well as common complaints. Basically, what do existing customers like and dislike about it? And, when it comes to dislikes, think about what it might take for you to turn that around. 
The term “online business” covers all manner of business models, but the most common types of businesses you can buy include: 
You don’t want your money to go to waste, right? Here’s how you can make sure you’re getting the most for your dollars. 
Casting a wide net can help you find businesses you might not have considered. Use a mixture of the methods mentioned above to source potential businesses to purchase and compare prices, revenue, and other key factors. 
Use a set of criteria to measure the opportunity of each potential business without wasting too much time. For example, you might rate each of the following elements out of 10: 
A business that rates high in all these areas will come with a higher price tag, but you’ll know that it comes with robust revenue and the potential for growth. 
Look into legalities around the business, including taxes and operations, and find any problem areas before you go into negotiation. The more information you have, the more informed you can be with your offer.
The listed price isn’t always set in stone for most businesses. Depending on the opportunity rating you’ve given a business and the information you found out during the research stage, you can go into negotiations with the seller to get a better deal. 
Owners sell online businesses mostly through marketplaces, but that doesn’t mean there’s zero risk. There’s the potential for getting scammed and making the wrong choice. To make sure you’re doing things safely, consider the following:
Buying an existing online business can reap huge rewards. It means you don’t have to start from scratch and can piggyback off the success of a pre-established brand that’s already proven its audience, product, and market fit.
However, it’s important to carry out due diligence and create a business plan to make sure you get a good return on your investment.
You can safely buy an online business through the following marketplaces:
Yes, you can buy an online store. Platforms like Flippa and Acquire sell ready-to-use ecommerce businesses.
The fastest online business to make money involves dropshipping or selling digital products. These business models require low upfront costs and can be set up quickly to start making money. 
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