Honestly, starting an online business can be tough.There’s a lot that you need to figure out – you need to come up with a business name, think about designs for your store, find products to sell, create marketing campaigns… the list goes on.
Daunting, huh? Especially so if you’re a beginner.
But wouldn’t it be great if you could just buy a store that has already proven to be successful?
Enter the Exchange Marketplace.
The Exchange Marketplace, also known as Exchange, allows you to buy and sell Shopify stores hassle free. The platform has a catalog of thousands of ready-made businesses which span across a wide range of niches.
Exchange allows entrepreneurs like you to leapfrog the first stages of building a business, or pass your existing store on to another entrepreneur in exchange for cash (that you can invest in a new venture).
Interested in how the Exchange Marketplace works? Whether you’re looking to kickstart your life as an entrepreneur, or you’re just looking to sell your existing store, this is the post for you. We’ll explain everything you need to know about Exchange, and how you can best use it.
Alright, let’s jump into it!
- How Does Exchange Work?
- Searching for Listings on Exchange
- Things to Consider Before Buying a Business
- How to Buy a Business on Exchange
- How To Sell a Business on Exchange
- The Exchange Marketplace
- Want to Learn More?
How Does Exchange Work?
Exchange is a marketplace that entrepreneurs of all experience levels can use to find, buy, and sell online businesses built on Shopify.
But, what makes Exchange so great?
Every listing on Exchange will feature reliable insights that you can use to check how much traffic the business has generated, and how many sales that business has made so far.
Here’s an example below of what that looks like on the Exchange Marketplace:
Exchange only lists store data from whitelisted sources which they can verify prior to publishing the listing, so you can rest assured that the data is correct.
Plus, Exchange is a living marketplace – all of the stores that you’ll find listed for sale on the platform will still be active (although the owner may not be running marketing campaigns anymore.)
And remember, there are stores of all shapes and sizes on the Exchange Marketplace. You can find starter stores available for a couple of hundred bucks, and proven successful businesses which can sell for more than six figures. There are new listings posted on the platform every day, so you can always check by to see if there’s anything which suits your needs.
Searching for Listings on Exchange
Whether you’re looking for a starter store, an established business, or you’re looking to try your hand with a dropshipping store, the Exchange Marketplace makes it simple to browse different listings.
First thing you’ll need to do is head over to the Exchange homepage.
This is what it’ll look like once you land on the page:
There are four methods that you can use to find a business on the Exchange marketplace.
First, you can click on the “New Listings” tab at the top of the page. This will direct you to a page that displays the 24 stores that were most recently listed on the Exchange marketplace.
Next, you can use the “Categories” tab to browse through listings. You can find this tab at the top of the page. If you’re looking for dropshipping stores for sale, click here and you’ll jump over to Exchange’s dedicated dropshipping category.
Exchange also has a search function you can use to search for specific keywords, which is fantastic if you’ve already got an idea of what you’re looking for. You’ll also find this feature at the top of the page.
And finally, you can use the sorting parameters which you’ll find across Exchange’s website – you can use this to help you narrow down your search based on price, age, business type, and more.
Honestly though, our best advice for those of you who are interested in the Exchange Marketplace is to just hop over to their website and play around with the features we mentioned above.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Business
Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about how simple it is to browse for stores on the Exchange Marketplace, but making the decision to buy a business isn’t always so simple.
There are quite a few things that you’ll want to take into consideration before you pull the trigger on a business.
What’s Your Budget?
First thing’s first, you’ll want to ask yourself: “What’s my budget?”
Be critical with your current situation and assess whether the monetary investment in a business from Exchange fits in with your current budget.
Consider whether you’ll have enough cash for critical things like marketing or product sourcing once you’ve made the purchase.
Is the Store Priced Properly?
Next ask yourself “Is the price fair?”
This can be difficult to assess if you’re new to Exchange, so take a look through similar listings and check if the price matches up.
Also, remember that the price that is listed on Exchange is just an initial asking price – you can always message them and try to settle on a price which works for both parties.
Why Are They Selling?
Then, try to think about why they want to sell.
Did their niche become too saturated, or did they just become tired of running their business?
Now, we know you can’t read minds, but lots of merchants on Exchange will list a reason as to why they’re selling their stores.
Use this information, as well as external research, to guide your decision when you’re thinking about purchasing a store.
Why Do You Want to Buy a Store?
Finally, ask yourself “Why do I want to buy a store?”
This is perhaps the most important thing to consider before you purchase a store on Exchange.
Are you looking to jumpstart your life as an entrepreneur by bypassing the storebuild process?
Do you hope to find success by emulating a business which has already proven to be successful?
Whatever your reason is, know this – there’s still a lot of work to do even after you’ve bought a store from the Exchange Marketplace.
Remember, when you’re buying a business on Exchange you’re not just buying the website, you could be purchasing the branding assets, the domain name, the content on the website, the mailing lists, the social media accounts, and physical inventory.
This is all at the discretion of the seller, so make sure that you check what exactly is included in a listing before you enquire about the store.
Here’s an example from a store listing:
Just ask as many questions as possible to sellers and find out as much as possible before you decide you want to purchase a business on the Exchange Marketplace.
How to Buy a Business on Exchange
Once you’ve decided that you want to buy a store from the Exchange Marketplace, you’ll need to sign up for an account – you can login with an existing Google or Facebook account.
Then, head over to the listing. If you’re looking to purchase a store for under $5,000 you can just contact the seller straight away. If the listing is over $5,000 you’ll be prompted to verify your account before you can contact the seller.
Don’t worry – verification is pretty simple. All you’ll need to do is fill out some information about yourself and the type of businesses that you’re interested in purchasing.
If you’re looking at purchasing a business which is listed for more than $20,000, then you’ll also need to connect your LinkedIn profile to your Exchange account. This step was put in place to help build trust between yourself and the seller.
Next, you’ll need to use the “Request information” feature.
Here you can ask any questions you have, and negotiate about the price of the listing.
Remember, the prices listed on Exchange are just a starting point, so there’s always room for negotiation with the seller.
After you’ve agreed on a price with the seller, you’ll need to pay for the store through Exchange.
Exchange has a partnership with Escrow, a secure payment platform which has already processed over $3.5 billion in payments. You’ll use this platform when paying for a business.
To use Escrow, the seller will need to list their terms (what’s included in the sale) and then set an escrow period (how long the buyer has to check through the store after they’ve made the purchase).
If the buyer agrees with those terms, they’ll then pay money into Escrow, who will hold the money until both parties agree that the terms have been met. Essentially, Escrow functions as a middleman to ensure that the deal is completed safely.
Once you’ve set up the terms for the sale you’ll need to go through the store handover process.
Exchange will help you through the process, which usually takes 3-5 days, and if you have any questions you can always contact their support.
How To Sell a Business on Exchange
If you’re looking to sell your store on the Exchange Marketplace you’ll need to click on the “Sell your business” button, which you can find at the top right hand corner of their website.
Enter your store address into the field, and you’ll be prompted to install the Exchange Marketplace app into your store.
Click “Install app” and you’ll see the following screen on your Shopify admin page.
Just click on the “Start now” button, which you can see at the bottom of the image above, and you’ll be directed to a page where you can create a listing for your store on the Exchange Marketplace.
Here you’ll need to write a description of your business and provide some general feedback about the store. We also recommend including screenshots which show your store’s performance, adding all of your social media details, and including a brief description of yourself when you’re creating a listing – this will help to build trust with buyers.
Once you’ve added all the details about your store to the listing page, head back to the top and click on the “Get valuation” button – this will help you to understand how similar stores are priced on the Exchange Marketplace.
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 “Publish” button.
That’s it – now your store will be available on Exchange. Not too difficult, huh?
When you’re selling your store you’ll also need to use Escrow, just like we mentioned above.
From here on all you need to do is sit back and wait for potential buyers to contact you about your store.
The Exchange Marketplace
Okay, that’s it – now you know all you need to know to get started with the Exchange Marketplace.
Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or browse, Exchange is an extremely valuable resource for entrepreneurs across the globe.
What do you think about the Exchange Marketplace? Would you ever buy or sell a Shopify store online? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!