If the due-diligence process is new to you, and you've never bought a business before, then online marketplaces and auction sites may not be the best options for you. On the other hand, even if you do have a great deal of experience with the sale of online businesses, there are times when working with a broker is still the smartest thing you can do.
There are many online business marketplaces out there, and there are a lot of buyers that begin their searches on one of these sites, as it is one of the more obvious places to start. Buyers can look at a variety of available listings in their chosen industry to find the most viable opportunities. Buyers can also ask for additional information on any listing, which will alert the seller of your potential interest.
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Online marketplaces feature list of online businesses for sale, usually organized by market niche with statistics like revenue and profit, web traffic, email subscribers included. You can quickly scan dozens if not hundreds of sites for sale. If you see one or several you like, first check it out online, then just send a message to the owner through the marketplace’s messaging system.
When one of your customers makes a purchase, you purchase the product from a third-party company (the drop shipper, usually a manufacturer or wholesaler) for a lower price. This process is as simple as forwarding the order from your customer, a process that can actually be completely automated. (Remember you don't have any risk here of buying inventory because the sale has already been made).
There are advantages and disadvantages to this, but the main advantage is that when you buy an online business for sale on the Shopify Exchange, you know you’re getting a Shopify store. Since Shopify is one of the top and most highly recommended ecommerce platforms in the industry, (we discuss why in our Shopify Review: The Pros & Cons of Selling on Shopify article) this is a good thing! It’s also great because Shopify sellers integrate their stores directly with the Shopify Exchange, so they can’t edit or change any of the data that gets pulled into their store’s sales listing like their traffic and revenue numbers. This means that you’re less likely to have any of that important information withheld from you by the seller.
One way to stand out from the competition with a drop shipping business is to private label your products. This simply means you put your own label/brand on the products that the manufacturer is creating. That way you're not selling the same product brand and just competing on price; rather you can use your own brand and face less competition. Think about when you're looking at medicine at the pharmacy; the brand names sell for higher prices and people think they are different from the generic brands even though the ingredients are exactly the same. Consider these important factors when looking for a good drop shipping product.