Creating an Exchange Marketplace listing
To list your business for sale on the Exchange Marketplace, you’ll need make sure it is eligible for sale and then install the Exchange app in your Shopify admin. There are two ways to get the app:
- Go to exchangemarketplace.com and click the Sell Your Business button in the site header. You’ll then need to log into your Shopify account to install the app.
- Or, from your Shopify account, go to Settings > Plan > Pause or cancel subscription. In the Sell your store on Exchange banner, click Learn more.
Currently, only Shopify businesses can create live listings on Exchange. If you have a Shopify business, however, you can sell it regardless of the number of sales. There is no minimum number of sales required in order to list your business on Exchange.
You need to meet the following requirements before you list your business on Exchange:
- Only the Shopify store owner can access and install the Exchange app in a Shopify store.
- Your Shopify account needs to be on a paid plan or a development plan. This includes Shopify's Pause and Build online store plan.
- Your business can't be on Shopify Plus plan. If your business is currently on Shopify Plus, then you need to contact Shopify Plus Support and discuss the possibility of negotiating your contract and downgrading to an eligible plan.
- Your business can't be in its trial period. You need to wait one day after paying your first Shopify subscription fee to be eligible.
- If you use Shopify Payments, then your account needs to be in good standing. If your business has been removed from Shopify Payments, then you can't list your business on Exchange.
- If you use or if you've ever used Shopify Balance on your store, then you can't list your store on Exchange.
- You can't have active financing from Shopify Capital.
- You can't have any open tickets with the Shopify Risk team, the Shopify Recovery team, or the Shopify Legal team. Any outstanding issues need to be resolved before you can list your store for sale.
- All listings need to adhere to the Shopify Terms of Service and Partner Program agreement
Refer to the Exchange terms for all limitations pertaining to Exchange Marketplace.
Creating your Exchange Marketplace listing
After you install the Exchange Marketplace app, fill your listing with information about your business before you publish. Here are some tips that help you create a great listing here. Here are the basic steps for creating a complete Exchange listing:
- Review your contact information. Your email address isn't displayed to customers, but their responses are anonymously forwarded to this email address. The email specified under Settings > Users and permissions in your Shopify admin is used for all Exchange and Escrow notifications. It’s important that you have access to this email inbox. If you need to update this email address, then contact email@example.com for assistance.
- Select an industry for your business. If your business is in the Starter store category, then you can't select an industry. If your business has less than $100 USD in verified sales revenue, then it's automatically placed in the Starter store category. Refer to our guide about understanding your business's revenue data for more information.
- Enter a description for your business. Use this to provide potential customers with important information, including details about the following:
- Check all of the assets included in the sale. Multiple assets are appealing to potential customers. The following assets are recommended:
- logo and branding assets
- personal support after sale
- product photos
- social media accounts and links
- Exchange automatically generates an estimated value for your business, but you can make any changes and set the selling price to an amount that best reflects your business. The valuation is based on information, such as revenue and traffic. The valuation is visible before a listing review is approved. The selling price can be set at any time.
- Exchange automatically generates a screenshot of your online store. If your automated screenshot is out of date, then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a request for an updated screenshot. You can also upload your own screenshots of sales or traffic reports, ads you've created, or other assets that customers might be interested in.
- Use the Business Story section to provide customers with the following information:
- a background on why you started the business
- why you’re selling the business
- how you run your business, such as daily operations, order fulfillments, customer service, marketing, or more.
- Check that your store's Traffic and Performance data is accurate to give customers a clear understanding of your businesses performance. Your store's average monthly revenue and average sessions per month data are pulled directly from your account and are verified by Shopify. You are responsible for ensuring that your profit, profit margin, and average sales per month data are accurate. We suggest following our Calculating your average monthly profit guide for determining your store's profit and profit margin. If you have a physical inventory that is included in the sale, please ensure the value is the retail cost of the inventory, not the wholesale cost.
- When filling out your store's Expenses, include all costs that your business incurs. This includes your Shopify subscription, paid apps, marketing, domains, and other required expenses for operating your business.
- The Seller's Advice sections are not required to approve your listing.
Your listing's sales and traffic data cannot be modified. Exchange shows all verifiable sales and traffic data on your listing.
When you're ready, click the Publish button. Your listing might be eligible for a review process by the Exchange Support team. You are notified of any changes that need to be made before publishing. After your listing is approved, it is live on Exchange. You can expect to start getting messages from potential customers in no time!
The option to create a private listing is available to businesses that have made at least $100 USD in verified sales revenue. Exchange offers the option to create a private listing for sellers who are interested in selling their business, but who want to keep information such as the store name, social media accounts, screenshots, or URLs private.
Potential customers can message private listings to find out more information about the business from you directly.
How is my business's valuation calculated?
Exchange's valuation tool recommends a selling price by taking into account a number of factors, including the last 12 months of revenue for your business, traffic, and other features like social media followers or email subscribers. Businesses that have features that are proven to sell are valued higher by our valuation tool.
The valuation is based on limited information, and might not incorporate all information relevant to the value of your business. You can edit the list price of your business to account for any information that our valuation tool does not have access to.
Exchange user requirements
It is our goal to provide a fair and safe environment for anyone who wants to buy or sell a business on Exchange. To help achieve this, we've set the following requirements and guidelines:
- You need to be at least 18 years old.
- If you live in one of the following countries or regions that Escrow does not support, then you can't use Exchange:
- Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Moldova, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe
- Don't use Exchange Marketplace to promote a product or service.
- Exchange Marketplace doesn’t support an auction format. Sellers are expected to set and adhere to their asking price so that they don't confuse buyers and create a negative experience.
- Don't ask for or include a personal email address, phone number, or any other form of contact information in a listing or any communications, and don’t move the conversation off of the Exchange Marketplace. Buyers and sellers should only communicate through Exchange.
- Always have Exchange make store ownership changes for you.
- Exchange doesn't support searches for business partnerships. A business needs to be sold in its entirety in order to be listed on Exchange.
- All listings should be unique and not copies of existing Exchange listings.
- Online store templates that are sold on Exchange needs to be unique. To avoid issues with dissatisfied buyers, it's important that each business sold is not a duplicated version of another one.
- Unlike regular development online stores made by partners, businesses that are listed on Exchange are not eligible for a commission.
- You might be subjected to a "Know your customer" request, to confirm your identity.
- Don't encourage either party to begin a payment transaction outside of Exchange's payment flow. If a transaction is completed outside of the Exchange Marketplace Escrow.com flow, then Shopify can't help you with any issues that involve that transaction. Using Escrow.com outside of Exchange to begin a new transaction is considered outside of the authorized Exchange payment flow. All official Exchange transactions will have
email@example.com as the broker in the Escrow.com transaction.
All listings are subject to review by the Exchange support team. Breaking any of the above guidelines might result in you losing the ability to list your business, so please read over everything very carefully as you create your listing.
After you've been banned from selling on Exchange, the decision can not be reversed. These decisions are made carefully and ultimately protect our community of sellers and customers. Although there are other marketplaces online where you can sell your business, Exchange can not make an exception and allow you to list your business again.
The calculated service fee is found in the same section where you enter your listing price. This service fee is deducted from the final sale price that you and the customer decide on. The service fee is a combination of the Escrow fee and the estimated Exchange fee, excluding Escrow’s standard $10 disbursement fee. Exchange's fees are estimated based on the final sale price of the business, but changes if the seller accepts a lower or higher offer. The final fees are displayed in the actual Escrow transaction.
Exchange charges a service fee for the successful sale of your business through the Exchange payment flow. This service fee is a combination of Escrow and Exchange fees and is deducted from the proceeds you receive from the sale. There is no cost to list your business on Exchange and the fee only applies if you successfully sell your business through the Exchange payment flow. Our service fee gets you hands-on support with your transfer, a secure payment system to help ensure you get paid via Escrow.com, and the knowledge that your financial information is protected during and after your sale.
To be transparent about the fees that apply to a successful sale, Exchange estimates the amount that you can expect to pay when you first create your listing. The final service fee is disclosed after you accept an offer and create a transaction in the payment flow. When you decide on a sale price for your business, the service fee needs to be paid by you, the person selling the business, so you might want to factor that into the sale price.
Business type categories
After you publish your listing, Exchange automatically places your listing into business type categories that might give your listing the most visibility for the right customers.
If you have made more than $100 USD in verified sales (sales made through Shopify), then you can choose your listing's industry type. The revenue is updated in the Exchange Marketplace listing at the beginning of every month. These industries include Fashion & Apparel, Electronics & Gadgets, Health & beauty, and so on. If your business has made less than $100 USD in revenue, then you can't select an industry for your business.
In addition to Industry, your listing is automatically placed in many other categories. Here are the categories your business might appear in and what qualifies it to display in these categories.
A Starter store is any business that has been listed with under $100 in verified sales (those made through Shopify) and has a maximum selling price of $10,000. If this is the case with your business, then you can't pick an industry when creating your listing. This is the most popular category on Exchange, and being placed in this category gives your listing a lot of visibility and increase your chances of selling.
If your online store has installed a dropshipping app, it's automatically be placed in the Dropshipping category on Exchange. Dropshipping apps include Oberlo, Spocket, Modalyst, and more. Your business might not rely on these apps as a primary fulfillment method, but are displayed in the dropshipping category to help customers that want a business equipped with dropshipping.
If your business has made more than $20,000 USD in revenue, then your listing is added to the Established Store category. When customers browse this category, they can also filter the selection based on industry type, that you select when creating your listing.
Businesses that have installed print on demand apps, such as Printful or teelaunch, are automatically be placed in this category. This lets customers who are interested in running a business that can do print on demand know that your listing is right for them.
If you've selected the option to include physical inventory in your sale, your listing is displayed in the Inventory category. This is selected when you create your listings.
Any business that was built by a Partner and has not yet been managed by a separate business owner is placed in the Partner stores category. Partners are professional designers, developers, marketers, and influencers who belong to Shopify's Partner Program. What makes these businesses different is that they come set up with everything you need to start making sales, and have been built for those looking for a ready-made online store. These businesses have not had a previous owner other than the Partner that created it.
Removing a listing from a category
There is no way to change which categories your listing appears in. Exchange has designed this system to give all listings maximum exposure to potential customers. If you feel as though your listing does not belong in a category, it's best to use your description to let customers know what type of business it is.
Featured and promoted listings
Only a limited amount of listings can be featured on Exchange at a time. One to three high-quality listings from each category are featured at a time, with a few appearing on the home page. The businesses that are featured are rotated often in order to give quality listings exposure to the thousands of customers who use Exchange each day.
Featured listings are not chosen manually. Exchange uses a tool that automatically selects top listings to place in featured spots on the marketplace. This tool analyzes your listing for information that is important to our customers and takes into account the number of customers who are viewing and engaging with your listing.
Improving your chance of being featured
Everyone selling their business on exchange hopes to get their listing featured, but with limited space, not every listing can be promoted. However, there are changes that you can make to your listing that greatly improve your chances of getting featured.
The following suggestions are to help you create a quality listing that grabs the attention of customers:
- Include at least 280 words in your listing's description. It's important to use the description to accurately describe your business and reason for selling. If you're looking for help thinking of what to include in your listing's description, try reading our article on what to include in your listing.
- Try not to abandon order fulfillment & usual business operations as soon as you list. Keep your sales up if you can.
- Have a custom domain registered with your online store and include this in the sale.
- Let customers know all other assets you're including. This can be social media accounts, product photos, personal support after the sale etc.
- Upload quality photos to your listing. A screenshot of your online store is great, but uploading additional screenshots is even better.
Featured businesses are updated each day to display new high-quality listings. Exchange also sends a weekly email promoting a handful of curated business listings that people are currently searching. Exchange doesn't currently have the option to pay to have your listing promoted, getting featured is free.
Making sales while your business is listed
Businesses that continue to make sales while listed for sale on Exchange have a higher chance of selling. This demonstrates to customers that the business is still active and healthy, making it all the more appealing to buy. You are responsible for fulfilling all sales made while you are the owner.
You cannot close a business while it is listed
Your business needs to be open and on a paid plan to sell on Exchange. This way, potential customers can still visit your website to decide if they'd like to buy it. It also allows you to continue making sales while you have your business listed, helping you increase your chances of selling.
Remove your Exchange listing
If you've decided that you'd no longer like to have your business listed for sale on Exchange, you can follow these steps to remove your listing:
- Log into your Shopify account and head to your Apps.
- Click the Exchange Marketplace app.
- Click the Listing tab.
- Click the Unpublish button and confirm.
Your listing data is saved in case you decide to publish your listing again in the future. If you decide not to sell your business on Exchange, and you close your business, then your listing is unpublished automatically.