If you want to try your hand at selling online, a smart way to start is by buying an existing Shopify store. Not only is it the fastest way to begin your selling journey, it is less laborious than starting from scratch. We’ll show you how to buy a Shopify store, where, and what you need to know.
Why Sell on Shopify?
Making over $5 billion in revenue in 2022, Shopify is one of the most successful e-commerce platforms today. That alone should be enough to convince you that this is where your online shop should be. If you’re still in doubt, here are more reasons to be on Shopify:
- It is user-friendly: Shopify is easy to use and needs no technical skills to sell on it.
- It has options for customization: It has a wide array of templates and themes to help you give your store a unique look.
- It is scalable: It offers flexibility to grow your business with plans and feature additions.
- It gives you access to the app store: It allows you to enhance your store with access to thousands of apps and integrations.
- It is safe and secure: Shopify ensures safe and secure transactions for you and your customers.
- It offers multiple payment options: This includes credit cards, digital wallets, and Shopify Payments.
- It offers tools for marketing and SEO: It can help you with page rankings, brand promotions, and marketing.
- It has 24/7 customer support: Offers technical assistance and customer support when you need it.
These and more are the reasons many entrepreneurs choose Shopify as their online selling platform.
Why Should You Buy an Existing Shopify Store?
If you’re a budding online seller, you might wonder why you would buy a Shopify store instead of building one. Below are the reasons why doing so is more advantageous:
- Instant customer base: An existing Shopify store will already have an existing customer base, which means it is generating revenue. You no longer have to go through the painstaking process of building brand recognition and acquiring customers.
- Reduces financial risks: An existing Shopify store with a good track record and broad customer base reduces your financial risks. It offers a higher chance of getting a good ROI than if you invest in a new but uncertain venture.
- Saves you time: When you build a Shopify store from scratch, be prepared to allocate a considerable amount of time doing it. You’ll use it to set up a website, source products, and build a customer base, among many others.
- Proven business model: An established Shopify store will have a proven business model that has shown a market demand. Again, this lessens your risk of an uncertain business venture.
- It has a lower learning curve: You can simply tap into the previous owner’s knowledge and experience to operate your online store. This knowledge will show you the ropes of the business, identify opportunities for growth, and help you avoid mistakes along the way.
- It has a competitive advantage: an established Shopify store has a competitive advantage over the newcomers.
Note that not all Shopify stores are created equal. Therefore, you still need to conduct due diligence when buying one.
10 Steps in Buying a Shopify Store
Step 1: Set Your Clear Objectives
Start by defining your goals and objectives in buying a Shopify store. Will you do it full-time, or are you just looking for a side hustle? What are your revenue targets? What niche do you see yourself venturing into? Think of this step as setting your flight plan before embarking on a long plane trip.
Here are the main reasons why it is a big deal:
- Your goals should align with your aspirations: As mentioned above, determine your clear objectives for having a Shopify store to know what level of commitment and investment you’re willing to put in. They will dictate the resources you’re going to allocate. Your objectives will tell you how much time, money, and energy you’ll spend on this endeavor.
- They will shape your business strategies: Your goals will be the foundation for your game plan. If it’s a side hustle you want, you should opt for a Shopify store that’s already established. A steady revenue and solid customer base mean a minimal workload for you. On the other hand, if this is a full-fledged business, you might go for a store with big growth potential, which will need more managerial and marketing efforts.
- They help you size up the risks: A side gig poses less risk, requires less cash upfront, and is safer for newbies. In contrast, a full-blown business translates to bigger rewards but involves higher stakes.
- They are a sneak peek into your long-term vision: Your objectives will be tied to the big picture. Do you envision yourself growing your Shopify store, or will it be your stepping stone to something bigger things? Having a clear set of objectives helps you make better choices that align with your grand plans.
Step 2: Take a Close Look at Your Budget
Now that you’ve established your goals and objectives, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of finances. How much are you willing to invest? Will you apply for loans or seek investors? This is crucial as your budget will be your guide to your business approach. If dipping into your savings, you should start small and grow over time.
Investors and loans can provide more capital but typically require a share of the profits. Consider the risks, too. Your financing plan should align with your goals for your store.
Step 3: Explore the Market
Once your objectives and budget are settled, it’s time to explore your market options. You may want to browse through several online marketplaces and Shopify exchange platforms. Look at different industries and niches to determine the type of store you want to buy. You should also assess market demand and the competition to give you an idea of a niche’s feasibility.
Step 4: Find the Right Shopify Store
Let the hunt for the perfect store commence! Aside from scouring online marketplaces for the right Shopify store for you, you can also enlist the assistance of a professional broker who will do the work for you.
Step 5: Dig Deep with Due Diligence
This step will need your thorough due diligence. You must take an in-depth and closer look at the Shopify store you’re eyeing. Investigate as much as you can, don’t just browse through, you need to dig deep.
Begin looking at the financial records, the profit and loss statements, cash flow, and the trends in revenues. All these will tell you if a store is making money or if you’re signing up for a financial rollercoaster.
Next on your list is to inspect the traffic sources. Determine where the customers are coming from to see if this is sustainable or just a short-term surge. You should read customer feedback, reviews, and comments, as these are valuable troves of wisdom that can say so much about the store.
Step 6: Assess the Store’s Worth
When buying a Shopify store, you want to ensure you’re getting the best deal. To do this, you need to assess a store’s worth the same way you determine the fair price of a rare collectible. The first step is to scrutinize the store’s financial performance.
You need to delve deep into the numbers to know the store’s profits, revenue, and expenses. Check if it is making consistent earnings or if there are irregularities. Look into its assets, both digital and physical, such as its inventory, customer lists, and intellectual property, to name a few.
Lastly, look deep into its growth potential. See if there are untapped markets, opportunities for new products, or marketing strategies that could boost your store and its earnings even more.
Doing this will let you know of its fair market value. This assessment will help you make an informed decision if it is a savvy investment.
Step 7: Practice Your Negotiation Skills
Once you decide on a Shopify store to buy, it’s time to hone your negotiation skills. First on your to-do list is to handle the purchase price. You want to ensure that you’re paying the right price and that both you and the seller get a fair deal. This would also be the right time to talk about additional conditions such as payment terms, warranties, or transition support.
Step 8: Seek Legal Help
Before finalizing the deal, it’s highly recommended to do a bit of legal and financial checks. This is to safeguard your investment and protect you legally and financially.
First, you should hire a lawyer to review the sales contract. You want to ensure that it aligns with your interests and sort out the financial aspects that you may not be knowledgeable about. Doing so will also spare you from hidden surprises that may come your way.
Step 9: Go For a Smooth Transfer and Transition
To finalize your purchase of the Shopify store, you need to collaborate with the seller. Start by coordinating the transfer of assets. This will include the Shopify store, its domain, the existing relationships with suppliers (if any), and other parts of the business.
In addition, you may choose to devise a transition plan that outlines the steps and timeline for the handover process. This will ensure that the operations of the business will continue seamlessly and smoothly. This transition plan will guide you through the transfer and minimize disruption.
Step 10: Work on Your Post-Acquisition Strategies
After signing on the dotted line, it’s time to see your vision come to life with your Shopify store. Get the word out by starting to plan your marketing strategies. You can also begin to enhance your offerings, refine customer service, and many other improvements.
This will ensure that you will provide the best shopping experience for your customers. You may also want to explore ways to grow your business, boost brand awareness, and see your store soar toward success.
Where to Find Shopify Stores for Sale?
You can find Shopify stores that you can buy from the following platforms:
A popular online marketplace to buy and sell e-commerce businesses. Here, you’ll find Amazon FBA stores, affiliate sites, SaaS businesses, blogs, and many others.
A platform that connects e-commerce store sellers to buyers by letting them communicate directly.
Has a team of expert brokers that can help you list or buy online stores and a dedicated team to help you migrate and transfer your business.
Are there other costs associated with buying a Shopify store besides the purchase price?
Yes. Other costs may include legal fees, rebranding costs, due diligence expenses, and technology or software investments.
How do I assess a Shopify store to see its growth potential?
You can assess a Shopify store’s potential for growth by looking at past revenue trends, customer base, the market demand for the offerings, the scalability of the business model, and its potential for expanding its product lines.
What are common mistakes I need to avoid when buying a Shopify store?
The most common mistakes you need to avoid when buying a Shopify store are overpayment, insufficient due diligence, lack of financial and legal checks, no post-acquisition strategies in place, and underestimating the importance of a seamless transition plan.
How long does it take for a Shopify store purchase usually take?
On average, the process takes several weeks to a few months. However, it may differ depending on factors such as negotiation, transition planning, and due diligence, among others.
Learning how to buy a Shopify store lets you enjoy the benefits of earning from one of the world’s top platforms for buying and selling. The steps listed here will help you navigate through a process that needs careful thought and planning to succeed.
For all your graphic design needs, there’s Penji. Every business needs impressive visuals, and we are more than happy to provide them for you. Click here to see what we can do for you, and here to get our pro designers working.