Contacting a seller
Found a business you're interested in buying? The first step is to message the seller directly from their listing.
Contact a seller
All communication is to be done in the Exchange Marketplace messaging system in order to help protect you from fraudulent behavior.
- Create an Exchange account. This can be done with either Facebook or Google.
- Open the listing of a business you're interested in learning more about.
- Click Contact Seller.
- Write your message and click the Contact Seller button again.
- Look for replies in your Buyer Inbox. You can access this on desktop by clicking on your name, and then clicking Inbox. If you are on your mobile device or tablet and want to access your buyer inbox, select the menu then click Inbox.
Questions to ask the seller
It's a good idea to ask some questions to help you decide if the business you're interested is right for you. Here are some questions you might want to ask:
- How much time do you spend on the business each week?
- What skills do I need to run the business?
- Can you tell me more about the business model?
- What type of marketing do you do to attract customers?
- What are some things I could do to improve the business?
- What are your profit margins like?
- Do you offer support after the business is sold?
- What is included in this transaction?
- How do you fulfill your orders?
- Can I confirm the tracking numbers?
After your initial questions have been answered and you feel like you and the seller have built trust, you might want to ask if they can share some more in-depth information with you. Staff-access can be requested after your payment is secured in Escrow.
When you're ready to buy, send the seller an offer. There might some negotiation involved, but once you've settled on a price, the seller will send you an Escrow.com transaction where you can safely pay and start the process of becoming the new owner.
What should I do if I don't get a reply from the seller?
It can be frustrating to not hear back from the owner of the business after sending them a message. Although Exchange cannot contact the seller on your behalf, it's possible that the seller you contacted might be fielding questions from other potential buyers, or is already pursuing an offer with another buyer.
Some sellers receive a lot of interest and might not be able to respond to every message. This is why it's important to send a detailed, personalized message that stands out from the rest.
While you wait to hear back, continue browsing for other businesses for sale on Exchange. New listings are added every day.
Send the seller an offer
The first step in becoming the new owner of a business on Exchange is to message a seller from their listing. After you have a reply from the seller in your buyer inbox, you can send the seller an offer by clicking Make an offer. The ability to make an offer will only be available when the seller has responded to your first message. Your offer must be at least 80% of the seller's listing price.
Click Add offer and then type in your offer value in USD, and then click Send. You are able to click Remove offer if you do not want to proceed. Keep in mind that you must confirm that you are financially capable of completing the transaction because installments and partial payment options are not available.
If you have already sent in an offer, but want to cancel it, then you can click Cancel offer.
As soon as your offer is accepted, the seller will create the Escrow transaction. After the seller creates the Escrow transaction from your offer, you receive an email from our payment partner, Escrow.com, with the details of the transaction and instructions on how to pay the seller. Here's why you should only use Escrow.com for payments.
The option to create a private listing is available to businesses that meet a certain sales threshold, and who want to sell their business while keeping information such as the name of the business, social media accounts, or URLs private.
You can message private listings to find out more information about the business from the seller directly.
Buying or selling a business online requires a large amount of trust. If you're selling a business, you may be concerned that sensitive information about your business could get into the wrong hands. If you're buying a business proper due diligence often requires you to dig deep into a businesses' financials.
This is where the NDA, or Non-Disclosure Agreement, comes in. The NDA is a legally enforceable contract that can help ensure any confidential information that is shared between sellers and buyers is kept confidential. These agreements specifically outline what information should be kept private during and after the sale.
The NDA should specify what purposes the information is meant to be used for and that the information will not be shared with others or used for their own commercial advantage.
When do I need an NDA?
In many cases, sellers of larger businesses must disclose confidential or proprietary information with buyers at the point when the buyer begins their inspection. It's at this point that the seller should begin the process of obtaining an NDA, which will be signed by the buyer or any other parties who could be exposed to confidential information about the business.
Why should I sign an NDA?
If you're serious about buying any larger-scale business online, it's likely that you'll be asked by the seller to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Doing so will help establish trust with the seller and will allow you to vet the information that you require to make a final decision about buying.