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 (as seen below) 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 and permissions (or Settings > Account) and look for the Sell or Close Your Store button.
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 must 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 must be on a paid 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, you must 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 must wait one day after paying your first invoice to be eligible.
- If you use Shopify Payments, then your account must be in good standing. If your business has been removed from Shopify Payments, then you can't list your business 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 must be resolved before you can list your store for sale.
- All listings must 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. We have some tips that will help you create a great listing here. Here are the basic steps for creating a complete Exchange listing:
- Review your contact information. Buyers won't be able to see your email address, but their responses are anonymously forwarded to this email. The email specified under Settings > Plan and permissions (or Settings > Account) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Buyers aren't able to see your email address.
- Select an industry for your business. If your business is in the Starter store category, then you won't see the option to select an industry. If your business has less than $100 USD in whitelisted revenue, then it's automatically placed in the Starter store category. See our guide about understanding your business's revenue data for more information.
- Enter a description for your business. Use this to provide potential buyers with important information, including details about your sales, marketing strategies, target markets, the history of your business, and why you have decided to sell the business.
- Check all of the assets included in the sale.
- Exchange automatically generates an estimated value, but you can make any changes and set the selling price to an amount that best reflects your business. The valuation is visible before a listing review is approved. The selling price can be set at any time.
- Check the options for what's included in your sale.
- Include links to your social media accounts.
- Exchange automatically generates a screenshot of your online store. If your automated screenshot is out-of-date, then contact us to make a request for a refreshed automated screenshot. You can also upload your own screenshots of sales or traffic reports, ads you've created, or anything else buyers might be interested in seeing.
Your listing's sales and traffic data cannot be modified. Exchange will show all verifiable sales and traffic data on your listing.
When you're ready, click the Publish button. Your listing may be eligible for a review process by the Exchange Support team. You will be notified of any changes that need to be made before publishing. Once your listing is approved, it will be live on Exchange. You can expect to start getting messages from potential buyers in no time!
The option to create a private listing is available to businesses that have made at least $100 USD in whitelisted 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 buyers 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 may not incorporate all information relevant to the value of your business. We recommend editing the list price of your business to account for any information which might add value to your business 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 must be over 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 include your personal email address, phone number, or any other form of contact information in your listing. Buyers and sellers should only contact you through Exchange.
- Always have Exchange make store ownership changes for you.
- Exchange does not support searches for business partnerships. A business must 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 must 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.
Important: Failing to meet any of these requirements and guidelines can result in you being permanently banned from using the Exchange Marketplace.
All listings are subject to review by the Exchange support team. Breaking any of the above guidelines may 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 buyers. 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 will be deducted from the final sale price that you and the buyer 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 will change if the seller accepts a lower or higher offer. The final fees will appear 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 will be disclosed after you accept an offer and create a transaction in the payment flow. When you decide on a sale price for your business, remember that the service fee will need to be paid by you, the person selling the business, so you might want to factor that into the sale price.
Business type categories
Once you publish your listing, it will automatically be placed into business type categories that Exchange believes will give your listing the most visibility for the right buyers.
If you have made more than $100 USD in whitelisted sales (sales made through Shopify), then you can choose which industry type your listing will appear under. 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 won't see an option to 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 may 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 whitelisted sales (those made through Shopify). If this is the case with your business, then you won't see the option to pick an industry when creating your listing. This is the most popular category on Exchange, and being placed in this category will give your listing a lot of visibility and increase your chances of selling.
If your online store has installed a dropshipping app, it will automatically be placed in the Dropshipping category on Exchange. Dropshipping apps include Oberlo, Spocket, Modalyst, and more. Your business may not rely on these apps as a primary fulfillment method, but will still be displayed in the dropshipping category. This is still helpful for buyers looking for a business that is equipped for dropshipping.
If your business has made more than $20,000 USD in revenue, then your listing will be added to the Established Store category. When buyers 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 will automatically be placed in this category. This lets buyers 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 will appear under 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 will be 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.
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 buyers. If you feel as though your listing does not belong in a category, it's best to use your description to let buyers 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 buyers 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 buyers and takes into account the number of buyers 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 will greatly improve your chances of getting featured.
It all comes down to creating a quality listing that will spark the attention of buyers. Here are some things you should do:
- 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 buyers 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 listings that we believe will appeal to what people looking to buy businesses are currently searching for. We do not 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 buyers 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 buyers 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 will be 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 will be unpublished automatically.