Buying an existing business tips

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How turn key are the opportunities in ecommerce businesses.

I dont have much knowledge in digital marketing, other than basic familiarity with various concepts and tools.

Is it possible to buy a existing ecommerce business and then get going within a month, or is there a steep learning curve, and it is best to avoid purchasing an existing online business?

FYI I am thinking of shopify kind stores, and not SAAS based.
#business #buying #existing #tips
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  • Profile picture of the author jmosticc22
    You could always ask the previous owner to stay on and help you with the aspects you don't know much about, most owners are willing to do this for the new owner.
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  • You can buy the existing store if the price is right and it has a track record generating consistent income. It is better still if the previous owner is willing to teach you how to drive the traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaystores
    Thanks guys.

    So you guys feel that a person with very limited understanding of digital marketing, can pick up the required skills during transition from a seller.

    How long do you think it would take for a newbie to learn the skills, during transition training from a seller?
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  • Profile picture of the author markmiller24x7
    Once you start implementing by yourself, you will start learning about different aspects that maybe you were not aware of previously.

    I don't think it's particularly gonna be a much of big deal, just make sure to invest in the right place & learn everything regards to that business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    You are asking questions that can't be answered.

    No one knows what your level of knowledge it - but buying a site without knowing how to manage it or edit it is not a great idea. It seems like a shortcut - but if you don't know how to edit/manage/maintain/grow a site...it won't work very well.

    A few sellers might be willing to help to some extent - others might be willing to help for payment - others just want to sell the sites and move on. You can't expect a seller to add 'training' unless that is part of the deal at the time of the sale.

    Building your own site or blog is the best way to learn what to do - it's not that hard and people who are afraid to try often end up buying sites they can't edit or manage - and then feel they were 'had'. Even if you end up buying sites in the future - you will never replace the value of learning to build a site/blog on your own.

    It's easy for people to say 'sure, you can do that' - but that means very little. No one knows how fast you learn - or whether you have any skills to begin with - or what your goals are in buying a site.
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    • Profile picture of the author jaystores
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      You are asking questions that can't be answered.

      No one knows what your level of knowledge it - but buying a site without knowing how to manage it or edit it is not a great idea. It seems like a shortcut - but if you don't know how to edit/manage/maintain/grow a site...it won't work very well.

      A few sellers might be willing to help to some extent - others might be willing to help for payment - others just want to sell the sites and move on. You can't expect a seller to add 'training' unless that is part of the deal at the time of the sale.

      Building your own site or blog is the best way to learn what to do - it's not that hard and people who are afraid to try often end up buying sites they can't edit or manage - and then feel they were 'had'. Even if you end up buying sites in the future - you will never replace the value of learning to build a site/blog on your own.

      It's easy for people to say 'sure, you can do that' - but that means very little. No one knows how fast you learn - or whether you have any skills to begin with - or what your goals are in buying a site.
      Thank you, Kay.

      You make a good point.

      I am comfortable with technology, and websites on the technical side - editing, updating, managing tweaks etc.

      My concern is more about driving traffic to the site and ensuring that I can continue to drive traffic and continue making sales. Is it possible to quickly learn whatever the current owner is doing and mimic that going ahead.. etc or is does it need me to be a marketing guru and constantly come up with new ways to continue making sales..
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    We have a website marketplace that does serous vetting of all of the websites listed on it for sale. I know that other marketplaces like Empire Flippers do the same kind of vetting and list only established websites that have a proven track record.

    Unfortunately, you pay more for those established sites with verified sales figures. Marketplaces like Flippa and the Shopify Marketplace, where many websites are relatively cheap, are a total crapshoot and you are far more likely to buy a "dud" if you do not know how to vet websites, yourself.

    If you are able to land an established site with verified income, it definitely can be pretty turn-key. The owners of the sites generally give anywhere from a 30-day to 6 month agreement in the sale where they will help you understand every aspect of their business and how to keep it running smoothly.

    That said, having a marketing skill set of your own as well as other experience can help you take an already successful site to a whole new level of sales.

    I guess I should probably also say that there are definitely some people out there who, no matter how much help they're given, can't even manage to follow the instructions given by the former site owner - even when running the site is pretty darned basic stuff. In my experience, those people seem to lack confidence, commitment or concentration (or all three).
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    • Profile picture of the author jaystores
      Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

      We have a website marketplace that does serous vetting of all of the websites listed on it for sale. I know that other marketplaces like Empire Flippers do the same kind of vetting and list only established websites that have a proven track record.

      Unfortunately, you pay more for those established sites with verified sales figures. Marketplaces like Flippa and the Shopify Marketplace, where many websites are relatively cheap, are a total crapshoot and you are far more likely to buy a "dud" if you do not know how to vet websites, yourself.

      If you are able to land an established site with verified income, it definitely can be pretty turn-key. The owners of the sites generally give anywhere from a 30-day to 6 month agreement in the sale where they will help you understand every aspect of their business and how to keep it running smoothly.

      That said, having a marketing skill set of your own as well as other experience can help you take an already successful site to a whole new level of sales.

      I guess I should probably also say that there are definitely some people out there who, no matter how much help they're given, can't even manage to follow the instructions given by the former site owner - even when running the site is pretty darned basic stuff. In my experience, those people seem to lack confidence, commitment or concentration (or all three).
      Thanks for your input, Dave.

      For the stores that you sell,do they typically have a refined, structured system for driving traffic and sales, which the new owner can mimic, or would it require the buyer to constantly come up with new different ways of marketing, advertising and be "ahead of the curve", to maintain sales & profits (not necessarily grow it).

      Also do the stores have longevity or are they riding a fad, trend, and then you ditch them and start over again with a new site etc..
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      • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
        Originally Posted by jaystores View Post

        Thanks for your input, Dave.

        For the stores that you sell,do they typically have a refined, structured system for driving traffic and sales, which the new owner can mimic, or would it require the buyer to constantly come up with new different ways of marketing, advertising and be "ahead of the curve", to maintain sales & profits (not necessarily grow it).

        Also do the stores have longevity or are they riding a fad, trend, and then you ditch them and start over again with a new site etc..
        The stores that we have vetted and list definitely have a precise marketing plan that is pretty straightforward and easy enough to follow for most people. That doesn't necessarily mean that those processes cannot be improved upon.

        As far as how evergreen any site is, you need to make a judgment call, yourself, on those things. Google Trends is a good tool for seeing the interest in any given type of product over a long period of time.
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        My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox News, the NY Times & Flippa
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        • Profile picture of the author jaystores
          Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

          The stores that we have vetted and list definitely have a precise marketing plan that is pretty straightforward and easy enough to follow for most people. That doesn't necessarily mean that those processes cannot be improved upon.

          As far as how evergreen any site is, you need to make a judgment call, yourself, on those things. Google Trends is a good tool for seeing the interest in any given type of product over a long period of time.
          Thank you, Dave.

          In your expert opinion of having bought and sold websites, would you know what percentage of the websites that you sold as a broker, continue to be operating after 2 years, at at-least the same level of profitability as when it was purchased?
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          • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
            Originally Posted by jaystores View Post

            Thank you, Dave.

            In your expert opinion of having bought and sold websites, would you know what percentage of the websites that you sold as a broker, continue to be operating after 2 years, at at-least the same level of profitability as when it was purchased?
            Honestly, I've never checked. Not really part of the service. That said, I know of many sites that were sold through our marketplace that are still operating, years later, just because I have run into them again when doing market research. I cannot say what they make, though.

            This is a common sense thing, mostly. If someone has a site selling name brand refrigerators, chances are pretty good that the website will be still be going strong a decade later. A site selling a hot, new fad product that has yet to make it into major stores would be one that I would stay away from because once it makes it into major stores, online sales take a major nosedive. If something is already in the big box stores and still does well online, it will continue to do well online. Usually, this is because the website offers a far greater variety than can be purchased locally.

            Of course, fad products are a red flag to begin with because what's cool today may be passe tomorrow. Just ask the Rubik's Cube, the Pet Rock and the fidget spinner!
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            StoreCoach.com- Learn How to Dropship the Right Way - Buy & Sell Websites - Partner with Coach
            My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox News, the NY Times & Flippa
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Over the years I have bought a lot of websites that were already making money and I have worked for a lot of website owners that bought a (one) website to make money.


    There are big differences between websites that are already making money vs. websites that are not making money. To make money with any website you have (mandatory) to know how to make money with the website.


    Example: I took a job to increase sales for an established membership site in the MMO niche. The owner and the staff explained to me and showed me everything they had done in the past two months and never increased sales. Twenty-four hours later I incorporated two essential (mandatory) ways to increase sales $2k within 30 days. Long story short - it worked.


    The owner was a clever business person and not to my knowledge had a second membership site in the MMO niche wherein he instructed a separate staff to increase sales $2k within 30 days. Long story short - they failed.


    Why? Why did the first succeed and the second fail? The answer is simple.. the person/people that already know how to make money will in fact make money vs. a person/people that are limited and lack the required knowledge to make money.


    Buying an existing business tips
    Tip: Surround yourself with a people that already know how to make money.


    It really is that simple.


    Now, of course there is a lot more to it than that - Surround yourself with seasoned, honest and hard working people that support your business and already know how to make money. - you get the idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author romanepo
    Definitely eCommerce business huge opportunity.
    Not too much, if you practice a little by studying, you will be able to become a little more experienced.
    Required to verify check list capacity and technical expertise.Required to wait time line to make a brand, if you can purchase directly, why you do not purchase a ready made company.
    Advanced Technology always appreciate able for HA ,SAAS ,Cloud ,Security and Digital strategy.
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    • Profile picture of the author jaystores
      Originally Posted by romanepo View Post

      Definitely eCommerce business huge opportunity.
      Not too much, if you practice a little by studying, you will be able to become a little more experienced.
      Required to verify check list capacity and technical expertise.Required to wait time line to make a brand, if you can purchase directly, why you do not purchase a ready made company.
      Advanced Technology always appreciate able for HA ,SAAS ,Cloud ,Security and Digital strategy.
      I think SAAS, Cloud, security stuff, would require a quite a bit of domain expertise, and wouldnt be turn key, would it?
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  • Profile picture of the author luciesmazanska
    I would be extremely careful with buying those stores
    ALWAYS PLEASE PROMISE ME ALWAYS ask for a live video showing his earnings transactions and stats about store
    Many people get into this crap and lose thousands of dollars because of Stu!?&ity....
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    • Profile picture of the author jaystores
      Originally Posted by luciesmazanska View Post

      I would be extremely careful with buying those stores
      ALWAYS PLEASE PROMISE ME ALWAYS ask for a live video showing his earnings transactions and stats about store
      Many people get into this crap and lose thousands of dollars because of Stu!?&ity....
      Thank you, Lucie. I promise you I will always ask for live video showing earnings transactions and stats about store.

      getting scammed is really my fear.

      But I am interested in this space, so figured I should at least do some research and get an idea of whats going on.
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  • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
    I've had a positive experience with purchasing an online business before. I took the leap because the earnings were verified and the owner offered to stay on after the sale for a few months to help me get the hang of things.

    There are a lot of people creating online businesses, making some money and turning it over to a buyer. People are losing money for sure, but that shouldn't scare you away.

    Use common sense. Try to find a history on the seller. Verified earnings. Agreement to help post sale...etc.

    I used escrow.com which is an added security step. You send your payment to escrow.com. Escrow notifies seller. Seller sends you all the agreed upon files. You inspect and test for a few days. You notify escrow you received what was agreed upon. Escrow releases payment to seller.

    There are reputable website marketplaces out there that just sell online businesses. I would stick with one of those to again give you some kind of security that the seller is legit.

    There is never a guarantee. You can only due so much due diligence before you need to pull the trigger and take the risk.

    I hope this helps.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Whether the previous owner of the site helps or not - you can learn to drive traffic. You can learn to run ads that bring traffic and to identify target markets you can reach with ads.


    If you can handle the tech part...in my experience that is the critical aspect.


    I've seen marketers buy sites with no clue how to edit or add pages or change links....and that's crazy stuff to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author jaystores
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Whether the previous owner of the site helps or not - you can learn to drive traffic. You can learn to run ads that bring traffic and to identify target markets you can reach with ads.


      If you can handle the tech part...in my experience that is the critical aspect.


      I've seen marketers buy sites with no clue how to edit or add pages or change links....and that's crazy stuff to me.
      Thank you, Kay.

      I think there are 3 parts to online ecommerce business

      1. Selecting products that will be sold on the site
      2. Standard technology aspect which deals with site, shopping cart, hosting, payment etc.
      3. Marketing, advertising

      I am fairly confident in number 2. I think if someone has done it before, I can do it do.

      it is step 1 and 3 that is of concern.

      Since I have never done 1 and 3, I wonder, if there is methodical way of going about it and if I just replicate whatever the seller did in terms of their ad campaigns, I can continue having success that they had.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonVanDevere
    I have started and sold several Shopify dropshipping sites. If I were you I would learn how to make your own. For my first site I bought a program of Udemy for $10 that taught me exactly how to make a site, choose a product, create emails, and drive traffic through Facebook ads

    Let me know I can look and find the exact course I used but it was definitely worth the $10

    If you build your own store you will have a much better understanding of how they run.

    Also not all the Shopify sites for sale are good investments. I would hate to see you buy a site and it not get the returns that the seller states it does.
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    • Profile picture of the author jaystores
      Originally Posted by JasonVanDevere View Post

      I have started and sold several Shopify dropshipping sites. If I were you I would learn how to make your own. For my first site I bought a program of Udemy for $10 that taught me exactly how to make a site, choose a product, create emails, and drive traffic through Facebook ads

      Let me know I can look and find the exact course I used but it was definitely worth the $10

      If you build your own store you will have a much better understanding of how they run.

      Also not all the Shopify sites for sale are good investments. I would hate to see you buy a site and it not get the returns that the seller states it does.
      Jason, that would be great, if you could point me to the udemy course.

      I see so many options from free, to $10, to 1000s of dollars, that I am just confused, as to what are the key differentiators.
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      • Profile picture of the author JasonVanDevere
        Yeah, definitely check out anything you can find for free, I learned a ton from youtube. However, don't get pulled too many ways. I got the best results when I followed one person's method all the way through. Here is the link to the course I bought and really enjoyed.

        Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help

        https://www.udemy.com/build-a-shopif...-from-scratch/
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        • Profile picture of the author jaystores
          Originally Posted by JasonVanDevere View Post

          Yeah, definitely check out anything you can find for free, I learned a ton from youtube. However, don't get pulled too many ways. I got the best results when I followed one person's method all the way through. Here is the link to the course I bought and really enjoyed.

          Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help

          https://www.udemy.com/build-a-shopif...-from-scratch/
          Thank you very much Jason!
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