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Shopify Store for Sale: How to Buy a Prebuilt Store [Step-by-Step]

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Getting into the e-commerce world is a dream for many entrepreneurs. Whether they already have a physical business or are merely looking to begin a profitable venture, jumping into an online store can be a worthwhile endeavor.

However, building an online store from scratch can be daunting. The amount of work needed to build a brand-new e-commerce site requires careful attention to detail and plenty of elbow grease. As a result, the amount of work needed to take an e-commerce site from idea to practical application may be too much for some entrepreneurs.

Additionally, entrepreneurs looking to make a profit within a short period can make starting an online shop from scratch unattractive. That is why the idea of purchasing an existing online store can make quite a bit of sense. After all, buying an existing business removes many of the growing pains that come with a brand-new e-commerce site.

In this article, we’re going to look at everything you need to know to purchase a prebuilt Shopify store. We’re also going to look at what to look for and issues to avoid so that you can make an informed decision before making a savvy business decision.

So, let’s jump right into it!

What Are Prebuilt Shopify Stores for Sale?

Prebuilt Shopify stores for sale are fully developed and ready-to-launch e-commerce businesses built on the Shopify platform that are put up for sale by their owners. These stores have been established, customized and often come with a product catalog, a website design, and sometimes even existing customer data. Essentially, they are turnkey businesses that allow buyers to enter the e-commerce market quickly without starting from scratch.

Here are the key characteristics of prebuilt Shopify stores for sale:

#1: Turnkey Solution

Prebuilt Shopify stores are ready to go, requiring minimal setup and configuration. They usually come with a pre-designed website, product listings, payment gateways, and other essential e-commerce functionalities.

#2: Established Branding

Many prebuilt stores have established branding, including logos, color schemes, and brand identity. This can save buyers time and effort in creating their own brand from scratch.

#3: Product Catalog

These stores often come with a preselected product catalog, which can be particularly attractive for buyers interested in specific niches or industries.

#4: Existing Traffic and Customers

Some prebuilt Shopify stores may have already generated traffic and have an existing customer base. This can be a significant advantage for buyers, as they won’t have to start marketing efforts from scratch.

#5: Income Potential

Depending on the store’s performance, a prebuilt Shopify store may already generate revenue and profits. Buyers can assess the store’s financial history to understand its income potential.

#6: Customizability

Although these stores come prebuilt, buyers can customize and add their personal touches to make the business uniquely theirs.

#7: Technical Support

Some sellers may offer technical support during the transition period to help buyers understand the store’s backend, settings, and processes.

#8: Faster Market Entry

Buying a prebuilt Shopify store allows entrepreneurs to enter the market faster than building a store from the ground up. This can be beneficial in fast-moving industries or competitive markets.

As you can see, buying a prebuilt Shopify store allows you to get into the e-commerce market immediately, sidestepping many of the common issues brand-new stores face. That is why entrepreneurs looking to hit the ground running may consider an established Shopify store as a viable investment opportunity.

Why Should You Buy Prebuilt Shopify Stores?

Buying a prebuilt Shopify store depends on your circumstances, expertise, and business goals. If the store aligns well with your interests and objectives and you’ve done your due diligence, it could be an excellent opportunity to fast-track your entry into the e-commerce world.

The following reasons highlight why you might consider buying a prebuilt Shopify store:

#1: Time and Effort Saving

Building an e-commerce business from scratch requires considerable time, effort, and expertise. A prebuilt Shopify store saves you the hassle of creating a website, setting up payment gateways, designing the user interface, and sourcing products. It lets you launch your business quickly and focus on marketing and growth strategies.

#2: Ready-to-Launch

Prebuilt stores are ready to launch as soon as you take ownership. You don’t need to go through the complexities of the website development process, which can often take several weeks or even months.

#3: Proven Business Model

Suppose the prebuilt Shopify store comes with a track record of generating revenue and profits. In that case, it provides evidence that the business model works. You can see the historical performance and assess its potential for future growth.

#4: Established Branding

Many prebuilt stores have an established brand, logo, and design elements. Having a recognizable brand from the start can help build trust with customers and create a consistent brand experience.

#5: Existing Customer Base

Some prebuilt stores may have an existing customer base. This means you won’t have to start from scratch to build a customer list, and you can leverage existing customers for repeat business and referrals.

#6: Product Selection

Buying a prebuilt store in a niche you’re interested in means you can avoid the time-consuming process of sourcing products and curating a catalog. The products are already selected and listed for sale.

#7: SEO and Traffic

Established prebuilt stores may already have some level of search engine optimization (SEO) and traffic coming in from various sources. This can give you a head start in getting organic traffic and sales.

#8: Technical Support

Some sellers offer technical support during the transition period, helping you get familiar with the store’s backend, settings, and operational processes.

#9: Market Validation

If the prebuilt store has a history of success, it provides some level of market validation for the product niche or industry it operates. This can reduce the risk associated with launching a completely new business.

#10: Fast Market Entry

By acquiring a prebuilt store, you can enter the market faster. This is especially beneficial in rapidly evolving industries or when timing is crucial for capturing market opportunities.

While the advantages are clear, it’s always important to keep in mind that thorough research is needed before making a significant investment in an established Shopify store. In doing so, you can determine if the store is a worthwhile investment, leading you to profit from the early going. Otherwise, waiting longer is better to find the right fit for your investment needs and goals.

What to Look for in an Established Shopify Store for Sale

When considering buying an established Shopify store for sale, there are several key factors you should carefully evaluate to ensure you are making a sound investment. Here are the important aspects to look for:

#1: Financial Performance

Review the store’s financial data, including revenue, profit margins, and expenses. Analyze the growth trend over time, and compare it to industry standards. Ensure the financial claims made by the seller can be backed up with verifiable data.

#2: Traffic Sources

Understand the sources of traffic driving sales to the store. Evaluate the mix of organic, paid, and referral traffic. Check for any significant reliance on a single traffic source, as this could be risky if that source were to diminish in the future.

#3: Customer Base

Assess the customer database, including the number of active customers, their demographics, and purchase behavior. A loyal and engaged customer base can be a valuable asset for future growth.

#4: Product Quality and Suppliers

Examine the product catalog and the quality of products offered. Look for reliable supplier relationships and inquire about product sourcing and inventory management.

#5: Brand and Reputation

Evaluate the store’s brand and reputation. Check customer reviews and testimonials, both on the store’s website and on external platforms. A positive brand image can significantly impact future sales.

#6: Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Verify that the store complies with all relevant laws and regulations. Check for any ongoing legal issues or potential liabilities.

#7: Marketing Strategies

Understand the marketing strategies used by the store to attract customers. Consider the effectiveness of these strategies and how you can leverage or improve them.

#8: Social Media Presence

Examine the store’s social media accounts and their engagement levels. A strong social media presence can be an indicator of brand awareness and customer loyalty.

#9: Website Design and User Experience

Evaluate the website’s design, user interface, and overall user experience. A well-designed and easy-to-navigate website can positively impact conversion rates.

#10: Competitor Analysis

Conduct a competitive analysis to understand the store’s position in the market and how it compares to similar businesses. Identify the store’s unique selling points and competitive advantages.

#11: Reason for Selling

Ask the seller about the reason for selling the store. Their answer can provide valuable insights into the store’s performance and potential challenges.

#12: Future Growth Potential

Consider the scalability and growth potential of the store. Look for untapped markets, product expansion opportunities, and potential marketing strategies to drive further growth.

#13: Intellectual Property

Verify that the store’s intellectual property, such as logos and trademarks, is properly protected and can be transferred to the new owner.

#14: Technical Aspects

Assess the technical aspects of the store, including the platform version, app integrations, and the website’s overall health.

#15: Support and Training

Inquire about any support and training the seller is willing to provide during the transition period. This can be crucial for a smooth handover.

Please keep in mind that the transition period is crucial. The seller should take the time to show you the ropes before completely handing over the store to you. This approach ensures you hit the ground running while understanding the potential issues the store may be facing. So, be sure to work with a seller willing to sit down with you. Otherwise, you might be better off working with a more approachable seller.

Where to Find Online Stores for Sale Shopify

When looking to buy a prebuilt Shopify store, there are several reputable platforms and exchanges where you can find established e-commerce businesses for sale. These platforms provide a secure and reliable marketplace for buying and selling online businesses. Here are some of the most reputable places to buy prebuilt Shopify stores:

#1: Flippa

Flippa is a popular online marketplace for buying and selling websites and businesses, including prebuilt Shopify stores. It has a vast selection of e-commerce businesses, making it a go-to platform for many buyers and sellers.

#2: Empire Flippers

Empire Flippers specializes in brokering the sale of online businesses, including Shopify stores. They have a rigorous vetting process and only list businesses that meet specific criteria, ensuring higher quality and trust.

#3: FE International

FE International is another reputable brokerage platform that deals with acquiring and selling online businesses. They have a team of experts who perform thorough due diligence on the businesses listed on their platform.

#4: Investors Club

Investors Club is an exclusive community for buying and selling online businesses. They have a vetting process to ensure the quality of businesses listed on their platform.

#5: Quiet Light Brokerage

Quiet Light Brokerage specializes in selling established online businesses, including Shopify stores. They have a team of experienced brokers focusing on providing personalized service to buyers and sellers.

#6: Digital Exits

https://digitalexits.com/ is a brokerage platform that deals with the sale of e-commerce and online businesses. They have a range of listings, including prebuilt Shopify stores.

When using these platforms, it’s crucial to exercise due diligence and perform thorough research on any store you’re interested in. Take the time to verify the seller’s claims, assess the store’s financials and performance data, and check for any potential issues or red flags. Additionally, consider using secure payment methods and, if possible, employ escrow services to ensure a safe and smooth transaction. Remember that buying a prebuilt Shopify store is an investment, and you want to ensure you’re buying from a reputable source to minimize risks and set yourself up for success in your e-commerce venture.

Please note that as of November 2002, Shopify discontinued its Shopify Marketplace feature. Instead, Shopify encourages users to visit third-party platforms to buy and sell Shopify stores. That is why researching the most reputable platforms and brokers is essential to ensure a good deal.

What to Look for in a Reputable Online Store Broker

When looking for a reputable online store broker to buy or sell an online store, choosing a trustworthy and experienced broker who can facilitate a smooth and successful transaction is essential. Here are the key factors to consider when evaluating online store brokers:

#1: Experience and Track Record

Look for brokers with a proven track record of successfully selling online businesses, including online stores. Check their history of completed transactions and reviews from past clients to gauge their expertise and reliability.

#2: Industry Expertise

Consider brokers who specialize in the e-commerce and online business industry. An experienced broker who understands the unique challenges and opportunities of selling online stores can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the process.

#3: Vetting Process

Inquire about the broker’s vetting process for listing businesses. Reputable brokers perform thorough due diligence to ensure their listed businesses are legitimate, financially healthy and have growth potential.

#4: Confidentiality and Privacy

Selling an online store requires disclosing sensitive financial and operational information. Choose a broker who prioritizes confidentiality and takes measures to protect the privacy of both buyers and sellers.

#5: Marketing Strategy

Ask about the broker’s marketing strategy for listing and promoting your online store for sale. A broker with a strong marketing plan can attract a larger pool of qualified buyers, increasing the chances of a successful sale.

#6: Communication and Support

Choose a broker who communicates promptly and is available to answer your questions and provide support throughout the selling process. Clear and regular communication is essential for a smooth and efficient transaction.

#7: Transparent Fees

Ensure the broker is transparent about their fees and charges. Reputable brokers are upfront about their fees and do not charge hidden or excessive costs.

#8: Client Testimonials

Look for client testimonials and reviews from previous buyers and sellers. Positive feedback from satisfied clients is a good indication of the broker’s reliability and professionalism.

#9: Legal Knowledge

A knowledgeable broker should be familiar with the legal aspects of buying and selling online businesses, including contracts, agreements, and transfer of assets.

#10: International Reach

If you are selling or buying an online store with an international customer base or presence, consider a broker with experience in handling cross-border transactions.

#11: Escrow Services

Brokers who offer escrow services can provide an added layer of security for both parties, ensuring a smooth and protected payment process.

#12: Negotiation Skills

A skilled negotiator can help maximize the deal’s value for sellers and find favorable buyer terms. Look for a broker with strong negotiation skills.

#13: Online Presence

A reputable online store broker should have a professional website and a visible online presence. Their website should be informative, showcasing their expertise and services.

#14: License and Accreditation

Check if the broker is licensed and accredited by relevant authorities or professional organizations.

By thoroughly researching and vetting potential brokers based on these criteria, you can choose a reputable and reliable broker who can help you navigate the complexities of buying or selling an online store, ensuring a successful and satisfactory transaction.

Grow your sales with high-performing deals.

The Most Popular Market Niches for Prebuilt Online Stores

While there is a wide range of potentially profitable market niches, the following niches stand out due to their popularity and possible upside:

#1: Health and Wellness

The health and wellness niche has been consistently popular due to increasing consumer awareness of health, fitness, and well-being. Prebuilt online stores selling fitness equipment, dietary supplements, organic and natural products, or niche-specific health products cater to a growing market of health-conscious consumers.

#2: Pet Supplies

The pet supplies market has seen steady growth, driven by the number of pet owners and increasing spending on pet care. Prebuilt online stores offering pet food, accessories, grooming products, and pet-related services can tap into this profitable and passionate market.

#3: Home and Living

With the growth of e-commerce, many consumers are turning to online stores for home and living products. Prebuilt stores selling home decor, furniture, kitchen gadgets, and smart home technology cater to the lifestyle needs of modern consumers.

#4: Tech and Gadgets

The tech and gadgets niche is evergreen, with constant innovations driving consumer interest. Prebuilt stores offering electronics, gadgets, and accessories can attract tech-savvy customers seeking the latest products and trends.

Turbo Shopify Theme how to detect
Source https://outofthesandbox.com/collections/turbo-theme

#5: Beauty and Skincare

The beauty and skincare industry has witnessed significant growth, especially with the rise of beauty influencers and social media marketing. Prebuilt online stores selling cosmetics, skincare products, and beauty tools can benefit from the popularity of self-care and beauty trends.

#6: Fashion and Apparel

The fashion and apparel industry is a massive market with a constant demand for new styles and trends. Prebuilt stores offering clothing, shoes, accessories, or specialized fashion products cater to fashion-conscious consumers.

Vogue Shopify Theme how to detect
Source https://hasthemes.com/blog/vogue-shopify-theme/

#7: Home Fitness and Equipment

The home fitness niche has experienced significant growth, especially with the popularity of at-home workouts and fitness equipment. Prebuilt stores selling home exercise equipment, workout gear, and fitness technology can tap into this market.

#8: Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Products

Consumers are increasingly interested in eco-friendly and sustainable products as environmental concerns increase. Prebuilt online stores offering eco-friendly alternatives, reusable products, and sustainable lifestyle items can appeal to conscious consumers.

#9: Personalized and Custom Products

Consumers enjoy unique and personalized products, making the personalized and custom product niche appealing. Prebuilt stores offering custom-made items, personalized gifts, and tailor-made products can cater to this demand.

#10: Subscription Boxes

Subscription box services have gained popularity due to their convenience and surprise factor. Prebuilt stores offering subscription boxes with various themes or products can benefit from recurring revenue streams and customer loyalty.

While these niches were popular and promising in the past, remember that market trends can change quickly. Before buying a prebuilt online store in any niche, conduct thorough market research to assess current demand, competition, and potential growth opportunities. Additionally, consider your own interests, expertise, and long-term business goals to ensure a good fit for your venture.

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Prebuilt Online Store

When buying a prebuilt online store, there are several common mistakes that prospective buyers should avoid. These mistakes can lead to significant financial losses or undesirable outcomes. Here are the top mistakes to steer clear of:

#1: Insufficient Due Diligence

Failing to conduct thorough due diligence is one of the biggest mistakes. Buyers should verify the store’s financial performance, traffic sources, customer base, product quality, and legal compliance. Request access to data and documentation to validate the seller’s claims.

#2: Relying Solely on Metrics

While financial metrics are essential, don’t base your decision solely on numbers. Consider other factors, such as market trends, competition, and the store’s growth potential.

#3: Not Understanding the Niche

Buying a store in a niche you don’t understand can be risky. A lack of industry knowledge may lead to poor decision-making and ineffective marketing strategies.

#4: Ignoring Customer Reviews

Customer reviews provide valuable insights into the store’s reputation and product quality. Ignoring negative reviews can lead to a poor customer experience and damage the store’s brand.

#5: Falling for Overinflated Claims

Be cautious of sellers who make unrealistic or overinflated claims about the store’s potential. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

#6: Neglecting the Competition

Overlooking the competition can be detrimental. Analyze competing stores and their offerings to understand the market landscape better.

#7: Neglecting SEO and Traffic Sources

Traffic sources are critical for online stores. Understanding the sources and their sustainability is essential for long-term success.

#8: Not Investigating Legal and Tax Obligations

Ensure the store is compliant with all legal and tax obligations. Failing to do so can result in unforeseen liabilities or legal issues.

#9: Skipping Escrow Services

Avoid making direct payments to the seller without using escrow services or secure payment methods. Escrow services provide protection for both parties during the transaction.

#10: Disregarding Website Security

Check the store’s security measures to safeguard customer data and prevent potential cyberattacks. A compromised website can be detrimental to the business.

#11: Not Asking for Support During Transition

Some sellers may offer support during the transition period. Failing to negotiate support can leave you struggling with the store’s operations after the purchase.

#12: Neglecting Website Design and User Experience

A poorly designed website with a bad user experience can deter customers and lead to lost sales. Ensure the website is visually appealing and easy to navigate.

#13: Ignoring Mobile Compatibility

Mobile commerce is crucial in today’s market. Ensure the store is optimized for mobile devices to capture a broader audience.

#14: Impulse Buying

Don’t rush into a purchase without a thorough evaluation. Take the time to compare options, analyze the market, and consider the store’s fit with your business goals.

#15: Ignoring Red Flags

Trust your instincts and be cautious of any red flags or inconsistencies in the seller’s claims or the store’s performance data.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can increase your chances of making a well-informed decision and finding a prebuilt online store that aligns with your objectives and sets you up for a successful e-commerce venture.

How to Buy a Prebuilt Shopify Store

To make the best deal, there are several important steps to consider. Here’s a detailed guide on how to buy a prebuilt Shopify store and get the most value for your investment:

#1: Research and Define Your Niche

Before you start looking for prebuilt stores, determine the niche or industry you want to target. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your target audience and product offerings. A well-defined niche will help you find a store that aligns with your interests and business goals.

#2: Set a Budget

Decide how much you are willing to spend on purchasing a prebuilt Shopify store. Your budget will influence the size and potential of the store you can afford. Remember to allocate some funds for marketing and improvements after the purchase.

#3: Find Reliable Marketplaces

Look for reputable online marketplaces that specialize in selling prebuilt Shopify stores. These marketplaces often provide verified data and analytics about the stores on sale, making it easier to evaluate the potential of each store.

#4: Analyze Stores

Once you’ve found potential stores, analyze each one carefully. Look for stores with a solid track record of sales and revenue, positive customer feedback, and steady traffic. Some key metrics to consider are average monthly revenue, average monthly expenses, traffic sources, conversion rates, and profit margins. Request access to the store’s analytics and sales reports to verify the data presented by the seller.

#5: Verify Legitimacy

Beware of scams and fraudulent listings. Verify the legitimacy of the seller by checking their reviews and ratings on the marketplace platform. Ask the seller for proof of ownership and sales data. If possible, speak directly with the seller via video call to establish a personal connection and trust.

#6: Evaluate the Website

Assess the overall quality of the prebuilt Shopify store. Look for a well-designed and mobile-friendly website with an easy-to-navigate user interface. Check for the presence of essential pages such as About Us, Contact Us, Terms of Service, and Privacy Policy.

#7: Check Inventory and Suppliers

If the store sells physical products, inquire about the inventory and supplier relationships. Ensure that the suppliers are reliable, and there are no potential issues with inventory management.

#8: Negotiate the Price

Once you have selected a prebuilt store that aligns with your niche and budget, negotiate the price with the seller. Be respectful but firm during negotiations, and don’t hesitate to ask questions about any uncertainties.

#9: Secure the Purchase

When you’ve agreed on a price, use a secure payment method provided by the marketplace platform to complete the transaction. Avoid making payments outside of the platform, as it may result in a lack of buyer protection.

#10: Transfer Ownership

After the payment is complete, the seller should transfer ownership of the Shopify store to you. Ensure that all relevant accounts, domains, and access to the Shopify store are transferred properly.

#11: Post-Purchase Improvements

Once you’ve taken ownership of the prebuilt Shopify store, you may want to make some improvements or modifications to suit your branding and marketing strategies. Consider investing in professional product photography, updating product descriptions, optimizing SEO, and enhancing the overall user experience.

Among the most important post-purchase improvements is adding PickyStory to the mix. PickyStory is the top Shopify app you can leverage to boost sales thanks to its product bundles, tiered discounts, smart checkout, and post-purchase upsell features.

PickyStory helps you stand out from your competitors by giving you the edge you need to create enticing offers your customers will not be able to turn down. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from PickyStory:

Check out what  PickyStory can do for you today. With PickyStory, you’ll never go wrong!

Conclusion for Shopify Store for Sale: How to Buy a Prebuilt Store [Step-by-Step]

Buying an established online store can be a fantastic entry point into the e-commerce world, offering a head start with a prebuilt business and existing customer base. However, it’s crucial to exercise due diligence to ensure the right deal aligns with your needs and expectations. Thoroughly researching the store’s financial performance, traffic sources, product quality, and legal compliance is essential to minimize risks.

By conducting proper due diligence, you can make an informed decision and set yourself up for success in the dynamic and competitive e-commerce landscape.


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