Flipping Question - e-commerce site

12 replies
OK, I run a successful e-commerce site, but it's not digital, affiliate, or even drop shipping. I buy wholesale and sell my product by packing it up and shipping it. Yes, it's work, but it's not too bad. I get between 6 and 10 or 15 orders a week.

I've not even had the site online for 2 months, but I've made pure profit after all expenses of over $480. Not a ton of money, but an extra $250/mo is paying for a student loan. And I have hardly promoted it. A few articles is about it.

My question: it's more work than I want to do, and I'm wondering if a "brick-and-mortar" e-commerce site that is not digital will really sell for much. Since someone would have to buy shipping supplies and at least some inventory it might be seen as too much work. It runs on ZenCart and I put some very nice modules to help the admin part go smoother.

I just haven't seen too many physical product sites and was wondering if anyone had any experience or thoughts about this type of business and selling it.

#ecommerce #flipping #question #site
  • Profile picture of the author wjtyoung
    I have seen sites sell that offer physical products (I have even bought a couple over the years), so yes you can probably sell it. However, my first thought would be to try to work on it until it was making more profit on a monthly basis and then hire/find someone to do all the crap work for a split of some kind. That way you are building a long term asset that you don't have to do much with except supervise.
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  • Profile picture of the author gsport11
    I think it depends upon what the product is, as that impacts amount of required storage, inventory investment, etc.

    I currently have a retail site on flippa. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Could you PM me with your URL? I can be more specific in my answers, then.

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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    It would only cost you about $30 to list it on Flippa to test it out. From what I see, people DO want sites that make money but fewer people want sites that make money that you actually have to DO something to get it. But it would be worth it to me to list it, if it were mine to see if there's any interest. Just put a reserve on it so you don't give it away.
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  • Profile picture of the author Akky
    You'll probably get a grand or so for this site. I have a friend who sold his lingerie business ecommerce website for as much as $50,000 in SitePoint Marketplace (Previous Flippa). So, it is pretty much possible.

    I've added you on skype


    Just a random guy. Learning Ruby On Rails at the moment.

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  • Profile picture of the author TycoonRob
    Thanks for the info so far. I would probably pack up all of my inventory, shipping supplies, etc. and ship that off the buyer as well so they had something to start with. I am more into digital products, so this one is more work than it's worth to me.

    Doubt everything you believe.

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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Russell
    I've definitely seen physical product sites sell there, although your buyer pool will be smaller, since most people are looking for more of a hands-off kind of thing. Although, people are also looking for sites that actually make money, so you've got an advantage there.

    But yeah, posting there is pretty cheap, so you could always give it a try and set the reserve so that you don't lose out if there isn't much interest.
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  • Profile picture of the author DuncanMae
    Zappos, Amazon anyone?

    How do you think these "brick-and-mortar" e-commerce sites would sell online?

    If your site is as you say it is, it should sell and sell well.

    A huge part of the online business buying market are buyers who have next to no understanding of how these sites are set up.
    They are looking for sites that are up and running and making money.

    So, yes there is a market for your site.


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  • Profile picture of the author deu12000
    Last year I started a site and within the first couple of weeks I was pulling in like $1000 per week (gross), I tried selling it when it was less than a month old. I tried selling it on Ebay though since I thought that would be a better venue for people looking to buy a real (physical item) business. I offered it for sale at a starting bid of $5000. I had a few people genuinely interested and I even received a few phone calls about it. On the auction I put this will be the only chance they will ever have to get this site for such a low price. They let the auction end with no bids. There was extensive traffic and income proof also.

    The day after the auction ended 3 people offered me $5000 I told them no, what was on the auction was the lowest price they would ever be able to buy it at. It was their loss. Today it's a 5 figure per month site. Now I have a years worth of income proof. Now unless they come with 6 figures they can't even think about my site.

    The point is you can build on your site and keep it going for a higher selling price. I also had people that didn't want my site because there wasn't a drop shipper that would do all the work. I told them it's a legit business where they had to actually do work, but the profit margins are high.

    Anyway good luck on the sale, but you might want to try it out on different venues. I've seen businesses sell for big bucks on Ebay in the past that's why I tried there in the first place. I have been successful getting a couple of thousand here and there on SitePoint (which is now Flippa)
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  • Profile picture of the author stma
    Or buy in bulk. Store in fulfillment warehouse. Have them ship. You do nothing but look for new products and promote.

    You'll make more in the long run (a lot more) and have that 'less work' you are looking for.


    I'm sure you have a housewife near you looking to make a few extra bucks. Have them package and ship for a small cut of everything you sell.

    (side note)

    I've bought a few "physical product" established sites and keeping the goods in supply has always been my problem. As long as my product source doesn't dry up usually it goes well. I'd buy more of them -- and many others would as well. Selling is certainly something that is possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author akdiver
    There are services that handle all the shipping for you. You can then run a completely hands-off exommerce business but your profit margin will be tested. If you can maintain the profit using a third party service than your site will sell for considerably more.

    Here is a link to one such service.

    Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Service - Warehouses in the U.S., Canada & Europe - Shipwire
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  • Profile picture of the author akdiver
    Just want to point out I did not add that anchor text, I have no experience with the company merely tried to provide an example.
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  • Profile picture of the author deu12000
    I don't know about you guys but 6 figures a year with a couple of hours a day of actual work is worth it to me. No heavy lifting involved. Dropshipping is bull**** if you want real profits. Paying fulfillment companies is like giving away your company. If you're already rich disregard everything I've said.
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