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Buying and Selling eCommerce Websites

Posted by Remy Belanger in Articles

Today’s segment is going to target Buying and Selling eCommerce Websites. A segment on this topic could clearly take hours; one could go on and on about buying or selling an Internet business, but this segment will try to focus on the big picture items that both Buyers and Sellers of e-Commerce businesses should be looking for when it is time to buy or sell a web property.

Buyers: Things change every day in the world of eCommerce, and a large reason for these changes are updates to Google’s search algorithms. These updates reflect what sites rank for what keywords based on a number of different criteria, including inbound link juice, social signals, onsite architecture and much more. 2 years ago, if a person was interested in buying a website, we would have advised that Exact Match Domains that currently rank well in Google and Bing/Yahoo are good places to look. But today, Exact Match Domains have suffered from algo updates, including EMD, Penguin and Panda updates. Today, the search algos are more interested in brands and content and this is a major change from such a short time ago. Today, Buyers should review a site’s architecture, inbound links and offsite content (including guest blogging) to ensure that no black hat tactics have been used to rank the site. If you don’t have a source for such a review, we can provide contacts during due diligence that will help in this review. It is critical.

Sellers: Selling a website property these days is easy as long as you keep a few important factors in mind. First, you want to utilize a website broker that is aware of the ins and outs of how eCommerce websites work so that they can properly communicate with buyers and lenders during the transaction process. Not having this means that you’ll be doing all of these things yourself, and that is not a wise position to be in. Selling a property on your own can remove objectivity, plus, having an expert that knows what buyers and lenders need to see is critical to getting a deal past the finish line. And second, you want to ensure that your purchase price is set according to site performance. We say site performance, rather than “what the market will bear” because two websites that generate the same seller discretionary earnings can be priced quite differently. Some of the reasons for these price differences include the age of the site, barriers to entry, whether the site or its products have any proprietary nature to them, intellectual property holdings, organic vs inorganic visitors and conversions, etc. etc.

At, we have the skills and know-how necessary to represent both buyers and sellers because we are buyers and sellers of websites ourselves. We own and operate a large portfolio of web properties on a number of different platforms and understand virtually every intricacy that goes into site operations, from inbound marketing tactics, creating social signals to email campaigns and blog work. Utilizing a website brokerage that has these skills, compared to a real estate agent or business broker without these particular skills, is simply setting yourself up for achieving poor results (not maximizing your sales price), wasting your time with a lot of buyers/sellers that are not equipped or ready to make the move, or worse, never selling your site.