s most people already know, the majority of all new businesses fail within their first few years of operations. If you're looking at starting a e-commerce, it may be worth looking into buying an established dropshipping business that has already gotten the ball rolling.
Buying a pre-existing dropshipping business comes with a few main benefits. The business will likely come with an established business model, a marketing strategy, and some assets like a website, email list, and social media accounts. Some will also come with inventory, brand material (logos, etc.), and established supplier relationships. Having this head start can help you cut through the ambiguity of starting an online business, and skip right to the point of finding things to optimize and improve.
But, you have to be careful. There are a lot of poorly designed businesses out there. That's why you should make sure to buy your business from a credible source.
In this article, we will be going over 5 websites where you can buy an established dropshipping business today.
Just make sure to do your own research and due diligence before purchasing an existing business. Even though we will cover where to buy an online business, that does not mean we necessarily endorse any of these sites or their individual listings.
#5 - Buy an Established Dropshipping Business on MicroAcquire
MicroAcquire is a popular business marketplace that provides both buyers and sellers peace of mind through verified transactions. The site is well-developed and has several different categories you can use to filter the options. As opposed to several of the other sites on this list, all of the listings on MicroAcquire seem to keep the business's identity private — so you won't know the exact brand name until later on in the process.
You will, however, get a pretty good description of what the business does, what the revenues and profits are, and how long it has been in operation. MicroAcquire also has a partnership with Clearco (formerly ClearBanc), which can allow you to finance the business with a loan that you can repay later on. While this option won't be available to everybody (namely those with low income or credit scores) this is an excellent feature that allows people to get started without a lot of barriers.
When we were browsing the site on October 5th, 2021, there were over 330 startups for sale. The median asking price was $70,000 USD, although there were also options as affordable as a few thousand dollars. The platform covers many types of online business such as SaaS (Software as a Service), DTC (consumer goods), e-Commerce, agencies (marketing/web development), mobile applications, and even crypto.
#4 - Buy a Developed e-Commerce Business on the Exchange Marketplace
The Exchange Marketplace is a Shopify-owned platform that focuses exclusively on e-commerce businesses. As opposed to MicroAcquire, you won't find any SaaS, affiliate marketing sites, or other non-product-focused businesses. Nearly everything is focused on DTC (direct-to-consumer), and many of the listings are dropshipping sites.
When we browsed the site, there were over 10,000 businesses for sale. However, when we filtered for dropshipping businesses, this number dropped down to 50 — although there are likely more that have not been properly categorized. Out of the 10,000 sites, the median price was about $80, which means that the grand majority of these sites are completely new and have little-to-no sales.
While there are plenty of options on this platform, be careful. These listings are certainly catered towards beginners with small budgets, and are likely to be among the least established listings from any of the platforms on this list. But, on the plus side, most of the listings tell you the company's name, so that you can be well-informed on what you are buying.
#3 - Buy Someone's Online Side Hustle on SideProjectors
A lot of people start side hustles such as dropshipping stores and decide that they no longer put in the time or energy that the business requires. If you're looking to take over someone's side project, then look no further than SideProjectors.
SideProjectors is an online business marketplace that not only has dropshipping stores for sale, but also SaaS businesses, Chrome extensions, blogs, applications, and more. When filtering specifically for dropshipping and e-commerce stores, we found that there were 343 projects in total. There are also some projects that are looking for co-founders, and a 'Sold' section where you can see projects that were recently acquired.
The median price (when we checked) for these 343 stores was about $500, making it one of the most affordable places to buy an established dropshipping business on this list. Now, you can't expect much in terms of revenue for that price, but it's still a great starting-off point. Also, most listings disclose the website's name, which is always a plus for prospective buyers.
#2 - Buy a Well-Established Dropshipping Business on EmpireFlippers
EmpireFlippers is a large, hands-on marketplace for buying and selling online businesses. While the other options on this list basically just allow you to find a listing and purchase it, EmpireFlippers is more of a personalized service, and has dedicated account managers to help you with both sides of the process. This site is ideal for situations where you want to buy a well-established, profitable business. Very few of these businesses are dropshipping stores. The others are FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) stores, affiliate marketing sites, and blogs, among other things.
Since the businesses on this site undergo more scrutiny, and are confirmed to be profitable, they sell at a much higher price point. The lowest priced listing on EmpireFlippers when we accessed the site had an asking price of $76,000, and the most expensive was asking over $5 million. Unfortunately, these price points are out of reach for most people. But, for those who have some money to spend, EmpireFlippers is likely the way to go.
#1 - Buy an Established Online Business on Flippa
When it comes to volume, I don't think there are any online business marketplaces with more listings than Flippa. Spread out among categories like Content, E-Commerce, Apps, and SaaS, Flippa has over 5,000 active listings. Luckily, there are some well-designed filters to help you find exactly what you're looking for.
At the time of writing this, there were just over 2,500 e-commerce businesses for sale, 1,575 of which were listed in the Dropshipping category. The prices vary drastically, starting as low as $1 and ranging as high as $5.49 Million. Similar to eBay, Flippa allows sellers to choose between a fixed price and an auction format. If a business is listed as an auction, the final bid must be greater than the reserve price in order for the sale to be made.
Flippa has some awesome features that you just won't see on the other sites in this article. For starters, Flippa has partnered with SEO platform SemRush to allow you to view traffic analytics for the site. This will allow you to see how many visitors the site gets, how the site gets its traffic (e.g. referrals, paid ads, or organic search), and how long users tend to spend on the site. Flippa also has a Google Ads integration that shows you how much money the site is making off Google Ads, if anything.
Many of the sites listed on Flippa are very transparent about their identity. Some of them are listed with hidden names, but many proudly display their URL and title in the listing description. This makes Flippa an excellent place to conduct market research, since you can see what a store is selling, what the revenue and profit is, where they are advertising, and how much the business is worth. For small-scale entrepreneurs looking to make their first acquisition, it really can't be beaten.