With improved internet infrastructure and the continuous adoption of digital technologies, enterprises can now operate in a borderless world. This has led to a remarkable surge in online trade. According to Shopify, the eCommerce market size grew from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.1 trillion in 2020.
These market places listed below allow you to partake in the boom.
It’s no wonder why owning a profitable and cash generative online business is extremely appealing. A piece of online real estate that earns money while you sleep… It’s something that has consumed me for as long as I can remember (and why I own 4 of my own).
However, many people do not have the time required initially for the grunt work in order to get the operation up and running and reaching steady state earnings.
In such instances, acquiring existing online businesses is a great idea (provided you do your homework).
Below I will layout the top 18 places I have found to find and acquire online businesses.
These are separated into two classes:
- Marketplaces – generally sell assets up to the $200,000 mark.
- Brokerages – typically sell internet assets beyond the $200,000 mark.
Online Business Marketplaces
Founded in 2009 with 4 global locations, Flippa was the first-ever marketplace used for selling websites, and they’re still one of the best. With over 1.5 million users, Flippa is also typically the most active.
There is a wide range of digital assets available on Flippa, from SaaS businesses to ecommerce businesses for sale.
They also offer a free valuation service for sellers so they can discover what their business is worth.
Empire Flippers began in 2011 (known initially as Adsense Flippers – as they would build niche sites, monetize them with Adsense, and sell them on Flippa).
They began doing this on behalf of others and soon they were selling far more of other peoples sites than their own.
Thus, in 2012, they rebranded to Empire Flippers and became an online brokerage within their own right.
Fast forward to today, Empire Flippers now have the largest brokerage team in the online business selling industry with staff siloed for each part of the selling and buying internet business process. From marketing and sales to vetting and migration.
Shopify Exchange is a platform that allows you to safely buy or sell eCommerce websites owned by Shopify-registered merchants. It was created by Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform that powers over one million businesses around the world.
This marketplace works on an exchange basis, where approved merchants list their businesses for sale, and potential buyers can view these stores for sale and make offers to purchase them.
Microacquire is a free startup acquisition marketplace without the fuss. Cutting out the middlemen and redtape.
They generally list startups with $500,000 ARR or less.
Investors Club is a members-only marketplace that offer:
- 100% exclusive listings
- No buyer fees
- Done-for-you legal documents
- No-fee transfer, inspection and escrow
SaaSPlace is a new marketplace offering the opportunity to buy and sell SaaS products, Plugins and Apps.
Transferslot is a curated marketplace where profitable side projects founders can sell their product to our community of trusted buyers
Side Projectors is a great internet business marketplace for lower priced online businesses for sale. Perfect for first time buyers and for finding your feet in the game.
Online Business Brokerages
FE International provides award winning M&A advisory services for mid-market SaaS, e-commerce and content businesses
Launched in 2008, Latona’s is a boutique Mergers and Acquisitions broker specializing in cash flow positive digital assets. These include:
- Content Websites – These are advertisement supported websites that earn their revenue from Google’s AdSense or other networks. These are often websites with strong organic search rankings but not always as there are many ways to get traffic.
- eCommerce – These include traditional eCommerce storefronts with digital shopping carts but also Amazon FBA seller accounts and Shopify stores.
- Domain Portfolios – These are names that used to be developed or they are high-traffic terms that people type into the browser often enough that the domains get traffic. The names are monetized at domain parking companies which show pay-per-click search results. These names have two highly desirable qualities. (1) They get passive revenue and (2) their traffic is targeted so an experienced marketer can increase their revenue.
- Lead Generation – An example might be a site that sells insurance leads, car transport leads, mortgage leads or the like.
- Membership Sites – These are any sites that charge a recurring fee to access content. They are not to be confused with sites that sell software on a monthly basis. Those would be SAAS businesses.
- Software-as-a-Service businesses (SAAS) – is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis. Users access the software through the web or mobile device.
QuietLight brokers sets themselves apart as their team of professional advisors consists only of entrepreneurs who have successfully owned, bought and sold their own six and seven figure businesses.
They say they have been there, done that themselves – giving them an edge.
Set up in 2013, Digital Exits also offers sell-side consulting, buy-side consulting, and exit planning.
Website Properties has helped entrepreneurs complete hundreds of online business property transactions including a wide range of e-commerce opportunities, based on numerous business models like Amazon FBA, SaaS, Pay-per-Click and traditional e-commerce websites.
Landista is essentially a consolidator as they gather all online businesses for sale from premium brokers.
Acquisitions Direct is the oldest internet brokerage firm on the web today.
Since inception in 2002, they have sold over 350+ online businesses spanning diverse industries and ranging from $100k to $20MM.
Acquisitions Direct has a core focus on e-Commerce, SaaS, Amazon FBA, and content based online businesses.
AcquisitionStation.com is a certified business intermediary (CBI) website broker and exit advisory firm based in San Diego, California specializing in selling all types of cash-flowing web-based assets including, but not limited to:
- Digital media
- SaaS and software products
- Social media accounts
- Directories, and others.
Opening their doors in 2006, WeSellYourSite is one of the most established internet business and website brokerage firms.
In alignment with the rest of the industry, WeSellYourSite mostly focus on high-value listings (>$200,000).
Hello Exit is a boutique internet business broker. Extremely high touch.
There really is an option for everyones pocket when it comes to acquiring and selling online businesses.
If you are interested in buying an internet business it may be a good idea to sign up to the newsletters on each of these sites to be notified when there are new listings.
It is good practice to begin seeing what types of businesses appeal to you and for what reasons and hopefully in time you will be able to find a great business you can grow and scale over time.