How Selling a Shopify Ecommerce Business Works

How Selling a Shopify Ecommerce Business Works

Exchange is the marketplace that makes selling your Shopify ecommerce business a straightforward, safe, and secure process. We’ve designed Exchange in a way that protects you as a Seller and ensures you receive the money for the sale of your ecommerce business. Below, we’ll show you step-by-step how to sell your Shopify ecommerce business.

 

Why to sell your Shopify store

As an entrepreneur, you’re on an ever-changing journey. It’s not unusual for a new opportunity or life event to come along. Having the ability to sell your current business gives you both the freedom and the financial ability to continue moving forward. However, you want to see your business succeed regardless of the changes that present themselves in your life. Making the choice to sell your business and finding it a new owner are completely natural steps in this entrepreneurial journey.

When do business owners know it’s time to sell?

Entrepreneurs choose to sell their Shopify store for many different reasons. Commonly, the Exchange team sees that these are indicators that it’s time to sell:

  • You’re looking for something new. You’re ready to take on a new venture. Your Shopify store has served you well, though the passion isn’t as strong as it once was. Motivation to keep the business running doesn’t come as easy as it once did.
  • The business takes too much of your time. There are only 24 hours in a day, and having a few more sure would be helpful. If you feel as though you don’t have the bandwidth to operate, you can consider selling your Shopify store for a profit.
  • You’re a freelancer or agency. You’ve got an eye for web design and development. When you sign up as a Shopify Partner, you can create development stores and list them on Exchange under the Partner Stores category. This is a fantastic way to share your skill with the world and make income doing it.
  • Life happens. As eager as we are to see you continue running your business, we recognize that life has a way of keeping things interesting. Whether you’re going back to school, welcoming a new member of your family (fur-babies included), or need to take a break to focus on your health, it isn’t always feasible to keep your business going.

If you have a unique story as to why you’re selling, our team would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Reasons to use Exchange to sell your Shopify store

Exchange was created with the Shopify store owner in mind. We take into account the finer details of changing ownership of a Shopify store and take pride in facilitating a safe and secure store transfer.

We understand there are concerns that come with selling your business. You don’t know your Buyer very well, so you want your information and assets protected during the selling process. 

We partner with Escrow.com to facilitate all transactions. With Escrow, you are protected from any chargebacks should a Buyer open one after purchasing your business. If a dispute arises, Exchange and Escrow work together to settle it. Escrow secures and verifies all payments made to ensure they are legitimate. scrow holds onto payment until transactions are finalized.

The Exchange Support Team makes sure that your billing and payment information is removed - this includes your credit card info - from the Shopify store prior to transferring store ownership over to your Buyer.

How to sell a Shopify store

Selling your business on Exchange Marketplace involves 6 steps listed below. We'll go into detail for each of the steps and try to answer questions you may have.

  1. Install the Exchange app.

  2. Create and publish your listing.

  3. Promote your listing and find a buyer.

  4. Create the transaction, await Buyer payment, and transfer the assets.

  5. The Buyer performs their Inspection period and finalizes the transaction.

  6. Funds are released to you and the Buyer becomes the new store owner!

 

1. Install the Exchange app.

Make sure that your store is eligible for the Exchange Marketplace.

We have a list of eligibility requirements that must be met before you can list your store for sale.

The eligibility requirements are in place to make sure that the Exchange marketplace is filled with high-quality, ready-to-sell stores. This not only creates a good user experience for buyers, but increases your chances at selling faster.

Install the Exchange app on your Shopify store.
  • Go to the Exchange Marketplace and click Sell your business. Fill out your .myshopify.com URL and click Add my Shopify store.
  • You can also log into your Shopify account, go to Settings, click on Account, scroll to the bottom, and click Sell or close store.

2. Create and publish your listing.

Fill in the blanks of the listing creator and upload screenshots so that Buyers have a good understanding of your business before inquiring with you.

Follow the steps here to further understand how to create your listing, and check out this link to learn what goes into a great listing.

Whitelisted revenue and traffic pull directly from your store’s admin and are based on the past 12 full months of data. “Whitelisted” means that Exchange was able to verify sales because they were processed through your store’s checkout. For a full list of what is considered to be a whitelisted revenue source, click here.

Set your selling price. Click Get valuation in your listing creator to receive an estimate of what you could sell for. The valuation tool calculates how much you could sell your ecommerce business for. This valuation is based on a Shopify store's lifetime revenue, traffic, and other features such as social media followers and email subscribers. The valuation you’re given is for illustrative purposes only.

This means that Exchange cannot see everything that goes into your business outside of Shopify. For example, if you have valuable connections with influencers that you believe increase the value of your business, we wouldn’t capture this specific information when valuating your store.

Click Save and preview and/or Publish. Once you click Publish, your listing may enter a manual review process where Exchange Support ensures that you’ve created a high-quality listing that meets the Seller Guidelines.

Exchange Support wants to improve your chances at finding the right buyer for your e-commerce business. Any feedback they give for your listing is meant to help you succeed on the Exchange Marketplace.

Reviews can take up to three business days. You will be notified by email and in your Exchange app if there are changes that need to be made. Once your listing is approved, you will be able to publish it to the Exchange Marketplace.

You can learn more about the listing review process here.

3. Promote your listing and find a buyer.

  1. In addition to being displayed in the Exchange Marketplace, we recommend you do some self-promotion in order to find the right buyer for your ecommerce business.
    1. Share the link to your listing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms.
    2. Post to online forums and groups that tailor to ecommerce entrepreneurs - there may be a user waiting to buy a new business!
  2. A verified Buyer (and possibly several Buyers) will send you a message from your listing. They will typically ask clarifying questions about your business and settle on an offer once they feel comfortable with the purchase.
  3. Respond to messages from Buyers in your Exchange app within the Inbox tab. Try to answer all questions to the best of your ability.
  4. The Buyer will submit an offer when they’re ready.

4. Create the transaction, await Buyer payment, and transfer the assets.

  1. Accept the Buyer’s offer and create the Escrow transaction from within the Inbox tab. Further details on how to do this can be found here.
  2. The Buyer will receive email notification that you’ve created the Escrow transaction and will submit payment.
  3. Escrow verifies this payment to confirm that it is legitimate, and you will know that the payment has been verified via an email from Escrow. Escrow will hold onto the funds until the transaction is finalized.
  4. Transfer the agreed upon assets to the Buyer, including creating them a staff account on your store to allow them to inspect it. We have a comprehensive collection of help articles that detail how your store is transferred and what other assets you are responsible for transferring - view them here.
    1. Within the Inbox tab, click on the offer. Click Continue transaction followed by the Mark items as transferred button. Only click the Mark items as transferred button once your Buyer has been granted access to all assets (ie. staff account created, apps are transferred, social media logins handed over).
  5. The Buyer will go into their Escrow account and mark the items as received. This starts the inspection period.

 

5. The Buyer performs their Inspection period and finalizes the transaction.

When you mark the items as transferred and the buyer marks them as received to start the inspection period, we’re making sure that both parties are ready for this transaction to move forward.

Depending on what was negotiated, the inspection period can take between 1-30 days. The Buyer will take this time to make sure all assets are as described in the negotiation process, asking you any further questions.

    The Buyer will mark the items as accepted once they feel confident in their purchase. This finalizes the Escrow transaction.

    6. Funds are released to you and the Buyer becomes the new store owner!

    1. Funds are dispersed shortly thereafter, and you will see them in 3-5 business days. This time may be affected by your bank’s processing times.
    2. Within 72 hours, Exchange Support makes the Buyer the new account owner. In the process, Exchange Support will make sure your billing and payment information is removed. You will receive an email from our team once the account ownership transfer has been made.
    3. Congrats, you’ve made a sale on Exchange!

    At any time, you can reach out to Exchange Support at exchange-support@shopify.com. We’ll be happy to guide you with the sale of your Shopify store.

    Visit the Exchange Help Centre and FAQs

    Exchange Help Centre

    For more information on what we recommend you know during the sale of your Shopify store, view the Seller Help Docs and Seller FAQs. As always, Exchange Support can be reached at exchange-support@shopify.com if you have more questions.

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