▷ Everything you need to know before selling an e-commerce website

Selling your business can seem very complex: you don’t know where to start, if it’s the right time, who to contact… to monetize many years of work. If you plan to capitalize on the online sales craze by reselling your business website, here’s how to proceed and our advice for a successful sale!

Step 1: Introspection

It’s important to start by asking the right questions so you don’t waste time: are you really ready to stop? Why do you want to stop? In what time frame?

It will take you between 1 and 6 months to find a buyer if your site is profitable. The smaller the site, the faster it will resell. Anyway, it’s never good to be in a hurry. The urgency would put him in a delicate position to negotiate. If you know you need or want to stop, therefore, it is best to anticipate and prepare your transfer to avoid any disappointment!

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Step 2: Inform yourself and surround yourself

Take the time to understand what the task will be like. Don’t hesitate to talk about it around you or approach a business owner who has already sold an e-commerce if you know to be warned.

You can also approach an ecommerce website selling specialist who will take care of the sale for you. The website resale market has become increasingly structured in France in recent years. And that’s great news for you if you want to resell your e-commerce site! In fact, today there is a real market for the purchase/resale of websites, with the possibility of monitoring and delegation, which did not happen a few years ago.

I founded one of these rare intermediates (there are quite a few), so my opinion is necessarily a little biased about whether or not to use this type of expert and I won’t go into detail. Just know that there are experts to call if needed – and that’s reassuring nonetheless.

Before any sale it will be necessary in all cases – alone or accompanied:

To get an idea of ​​the market, don’t hesitate to take a look at the online advertisements. Namely: there are many online tools to give you a free quote, some specializing in digital businesses.

  • Understanding e-commerce resale taxation

It is crucial to fully understand what you are going to sell, in what form, and what the tax and legal implications of your choice are. You will really need to check what the tax rate for your assignment will be and if there are any specific steps to take upstream. Do not hesitate to contact your accountant on this point, he will give you good advice or refer you to a competent person. You can take a look at this summary of taxation related to e-commerce sales to see it more clearly.

  • Introduce your business

This is a comprehensive presentation of your website so the buyer knows what they are dealing with.

You have to understand that a buyer or a buyer will be afraid that you are hiding something from him. Therefore, it is necessary to collect a certain number of documents or supporting documents.

It is best to go even further and organize these documents by presenting them in the form of a clear and comprehensive “sales file”. To help you out, here is a framework as well as a summary of the documents or supporting documents you will need to gather for your task.

Anticipate this part, buyers are often in a hurry for more information – it’s best not to keep them waiting so they don’t miss an opportunity!

Once these prerequisites are met, you can proceed to the official sale.

Please note that when selling, you must also notify your creditors and, in some cases, your employees.

Step 3: Find a Buyer

There are several options for finding a buyer.

You may :

  • Use your network to make your intention to sell known;
  • Post an ad on one of the ad platforms that specialize in selling e-commerce websites. You have the option to remain confidential or not in this part;
  • Go directly to fundraising companies that may be interested.

Note: if you have chosen to delegate your transfer to an intermediary, this part is, of course, the responsibility of the latter.

It’s important to carefully filter requests so you don’t waste time. This part can quickly become time consuming.

Step 4: Negotiations

The more you do at the right time, that is, when your business is in the progress phase, the more you will have an advantage in negotiations. A company in decline or in financial difficulties will, in fact, be much harder to sell.

Don’t be surprised if the buyer seeks to negotiate, it’s completely normal. He or she will also want to go into detail to fully understand what is for sale. Frame exchanges with a confidentiality agreement and letter of intent. You will be able to protect yourself from potential curious or malicious people.

Step 5: The signature

Depending on the amounts involved, be sure to go through a professional, especially to guarantee payment!

You can contact a notary or a lawyer. They will also take care of the administrative paperwork and you will avoid any risk of tax adjustment or contract nullity. Make sure you choose a service provider who is used to e-commerce transfers.

Note: these costs can be paid in part or in full by the buyer – this point must be negotiated.

Step 6: Transfer

It is possible (and even recommended) that the buyer wants to be accompanied for some time in the transmission phase after the subscription. It’s up to you to determine in advance how much time you want to spend with him. The goal is for the transmission to be as smooth as possible so that your company remains on the right track!

Very good broadcast to all!

About the author

Marie-Laure Blasquez, co-founder of Storybee, specialist in reselling e-commerce sites.

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