FAQs Selling with Empire Flippers

When it comes to selling businesses on our marketplace, we’ve noticed that a lot of the same questions get asked repeatedly. We try our best to be clear but sometimes there are additional questions that aren’t answered in the rest of our content and we wanted to cover some of those here.

Here are a list of our most frequently asked questions that will hopefully help you out with the process. If you haven’t already, you can learn more about our sales process here.

Frequently Asked Questions for Selling Businesses

What happens if my business doesn’t sell?

We ask for a 2 month exclusivity when listing your business with us to give us enough time to field deals, offers and negotiate on your behalf. If your business still is not sold at that time, you can either keep it with us and we will keep marketing it or you can de-list it to sell somewhere else.

Do online businesses ever sell for less than the listing price?

Buyers can make offers on your website or business at full list price or beneath. We’ll take the offers to you and you have the option to accept or make a counteroffer.

There may be times when you and the buyer will want to meet in the middle and create a financing plan. For example, 85% of the listing price upfront and 15% over four months. You can learn more about deal structuring and how it works by clicking here.

What do you need from me to list my business?

Our sellers find our process straightforward, but thorough. Our goal is to provide a quality listing for discerning buyers who are looking to avoid digging through a subpar directory to find something worthwhile.

Here’s a glimpse of what we’re looking for:

  • Seller’s personal info including name, email, Skype, social media profiles, etc.
  • Site details such as URL, date purchased/created, site history, backlinking efforts, etc.
  • Screenshots of complete monthly revenue details (gross monthly revenue, net monthly profit).
  • Verified complete monthly expenses (Cost of goods sold, VA’s, content, advertising, hosting, etc.).
  • Google Analytics data/access (Clicky is an acceptable alternative).

How do I sell a business on your marketplace?

You can find more information on listing your business here.

Submitting a business for sale only takes a few minutes, so if you’re looking to start that process now, click here.

How long does it take to sell a business via the marketplace?

This varies heavily and will depend on several factors including what platform the site is built on, how much work is required, how transferable the monetization strategy is, how much documentation has been done of the processes, etc. While businesses under $100K tend to go quickly, we’ve sold some for $200K+ in less than a month and have had $40K sites take a month or more. We ask for at least 2 months exclusivity to list and sell your online business. We can give you our professional estimate after reviewing/vetting your business for sale, but remember every business is unique and our estimations are educated guesses, not the actual timeline of when it will be sold.

How much will my business sell for / how do you price your businesses?

Online businesses are sold on a multiple of net monthly profit. We typically take an average of the net profit over the last 12 months and multiply by a multiple (20X to 60X+) to determine the price. In cases where the business has assets, we’ll add the wholesale or discounted value of the assets on top of the multiplier.

Here are a few examples:

Example 1: Content-based AdSense site that’s made $24,000 in net profit in the last 12 months. We’ll take the monthly average ($2,000) and use a multiple (Let’s say 28X) to determine the price. ($56,000) You’ll receive 85% of the final sales price or $47,600 in this case.

Example 2: Dropshipping Halloween site that earned $60,000 in gross revenue Sep/Oct/Nov  and $10,000 in profit. It’s made $80,000 in all of 2013 with $12,000 in profit. They’ve got inventory value with wholesale value of $5,000. Because the site is seasonal, we’ll look at the average net monthly profit earnings from 2013 ($1,000/month) and multiply that by the multiple (Let’s say 20X) ($20,000). With $5,000 in inventory, that puts the price of the site at $25,000. The seller will receive 85% or $21,250.

Example 3: Lead generation site in the education niche that earned $42,000 over the last 12 months with $100/month in hosting costs and $500/month in paid traffic. The site has made $4,100/month in gross revenue, but we’ll subtract the $100/month and $500/month worth of costs, putting the net profit at $3,500/month. Using a multiple of 26X, we’ll list the site for $91,000 and the seller will receive 85% or $77,350.

The multiple varies from 20X to 60X+ and is dependent on a number of factors. (Site age, traffic, stability of earnings, monetization type, traffic diversity, etc.)

To get an estimate of how much your website might be worth, try our Valuation Tool.

Who handles the migration?

We offer migration services for all of our sellers. (And most take us up on it) Once payment has been received, we’ll open up a new ticket through our Zendesk system and both the buyer and seller will be cc’d throughout the entire process. We’ll collect the relevant information from the buyer and complete the migration process including all content, monetization, etc. Once we have all of the information, we’ll get started with the migration.

From sale to seller payment, expect the process to take 1-3 weeks on average.

Will I get to know who buys my business?

Yes, definitely. Throughout the sales process, verified buyers that have unlocked the listing will be able to communicate with you by asking questions.

If your listing is over $100,000, they will also have the ability to schedule a conference call with you. Don’t worry, a member of our team will be on the call to mediate and provide any explanations about our business process.

Once payment has been received, both you and the buyer will get an email with a new Zendesk ticket. We’ll complete the transaction through Zendesk and all parties will be able to communicate there.

Can I list my business concurrently elsewhere?

We ask that you list your business exclusively with us for at least 2 months before listing elsewhere at the same time. The reason behind this is that we spend quite a bit of time, effort, and energy in acquiring buyers for the listing and having them go through our process for purchase. It’s important that the businesses they’re doing due diligence on are available for sale when they’ve completed their process.

What are the fees to list with your marketplace?

There are no listing fees, this means if we can’t sell your business you don’t have to pay anything.

If we do sell your business, then we will make a commission. Our commission is blended, meaning the commission rates are stacked on one another based on the value of the business.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Under $700,000 – Commission will be a flat 15% on the sale price.

The value of the business between $700,000 and $5M – Commission will be reduced to 8% on the amount above $700,000 and below $5,000,000.

The value of a business above $5 million – Commission will further be reduced to 2.5% on the amount above $5,000,000.

To find out the commission you would pay based on your estimated listing price, check out our commission calculator.

Why don’t you reveal the URL’s?

We hide most of the URL’s in our listings to protect the end-buyer and to prevent copycats from popping up and competing directly with the site. We get quite a bit of traffic and there are quite a few out there that would rather piggyback off an already successful site, creating a ton of competition for the new buyer in the niche.

This is especially important when the website is in an undiscovered niche or hasn’t (yet) earned enough brand recognition to stand on its own and compete publicly in an open market. An example would be content sites monetized with AdSense (where competitors could clickbomb the site), new(ish) dropshipping sites, etc.

The more defensible the business, the less important it becomes to hide the URL in the listing because it’s more difficult to copy. Hiding the URL is done to protect the end-buyer to give them enough time to further build the site out before inviting a ton of competition to their niche, especially for sites that are just starting to take off.

Occasionally, we do have listings that reveal the URL. This is usually because the website or business are extremely defensible and years ahead of any new competition in the niche or because the business has agreed to an open case study with us. These can be found on our marketplace. These listings are typically better for the seller as they attract much more attention from buyers and tend to get more interest, unlocks, and sell faster than the rest. Both the seller and the vetting team at Empire Flippers have to be in agreement for the URL to be displayed publicly.

Have a Specific Query?

Use our contact page to submit your question.