Your listing

To list your business for sale on the Exchange Marketplace, ensure you review information on the before you begin page.

The listing form

After you install the Exchange Marketplace app, fill your listing form with information about your business before you publish.

About you

Introduce yourself to potential buyers. This is a great place to talk about your location, interests, and experience in the field.

Advice to future owners

This is an optional section, but is a good opportunity to give potential buyers advice to help them succeed. For this section, think about actionable steps you would take to keep the business growing over the next five years.

This section can include tangible skills a person will need to run this business, such as social media marketing, design, Photoshop. This information helps a buyer understand if they have the skills needed to run this business, or if they need to factor in the costs of hiring someone to help.

This section isn't required to publish the listing. However, having it filled out can help increase the chances of receiving an offer for potential buyers.

Store information and story

This section is a great place to connect with your buyer and get them excited about your business. Share information on the niche of the business and any research you did before opening the store. Tell a story that prompted you to open the business, such as an experience that you had with one of the products or a store that got you excited about the business.

A key piece of information your buyers likely want to know is why you are selling the business. Including the following information can be crucial in a buyer's decision to make an offer:

  • Did this store not meet your expectations in terms of work and sales?
  • Is your expertise more about starting businesses than growing them?
  • Have other opportunities come up for you that require more of your time?

Tell the potential buyer about your experience with the store as the owner, and the day-to-day operations of running this business, such as:

  • How customer service is handled
  • How your fulfillment is handled
  • How your products are acquired
  • What website maintenance you do
  • How you advertise and market your store
  • How many staff you have and their duties
  • Any other business operations in this field

When giving a short overview, enter a description for your business to provide potential customers with important information, including details about the following:

  • your sales
  • marketing strategies - target markets
  • the history of your business
  • why you have decided to sell the business
  • if you're a Partner who's selling a development store, then also include the StorefrontAccessToken,

Profit

You are responsible for ensuring that your profit, profit margin, and average sales per month are accurate.

Calculating your average monthly profit

Exchange automatically displays your business's lifetime revenue, but it's up to you as the seller to let buyers know what your total profit is after expenses. Shopify doesn't calculate your costs for you, so take the time to thoroughly calculate all the costs involved in running the business in your listing. This helps buyers see that you're a trustworthy seller who's fully prepared to hand their business over to the right buyer.

To start, you need to add up your monthly expenses. Your profit is your total revenue minus expenses. When calculating your expenses, make sure to include the following:

  • price of your store's monthly Shopify subscription plan
  • total cost of recurring charges for apps used by your business
  • total amount you spend on advertising each month
  • total cost of goods sold on an average month
  • amount that you pay any freelancers or employees
  • shipping and any warehousing expenses

Add up the total cost of these expenses and subtract it from your total revenue to get your monthly profit amount.

Your average monthly profit is displayed on your listing to give buyers a rough idea as to how much it costs to run your business and how profitable the business is. Including this information in your listing greatly improves your chances of finding a quality buyer.

Because this number is only an average amount, you should also be prepared for buyers who ask for more detailed information about your monthly expenses. You can prepare for this by generating a profit and loss statement. For more information, review Profit and loss statements.

Average profit margin

To give buyers a better understanding of your business's potential, include your average profit margin in your listing. This is the percentage of profit that you make after all your expenses are deducted from your total revenue.

The profit margin is displayed on your listing as a percentage. Although most business's profit margins vary month to month and product to product, you should give buyers an idea of what your total margins are on average.

To calculate your profit margins, calculate your profit (the sales you made minus all the money you spent running the store) and then divide that by the total amount you make in sales. After you have that, multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage.

Include revenue information about profit from other sources, such as an eBay or Etsy accounts, if applicable. You could mention how the date you started making sales affects the overall profit. This is also a great place to add how your marketing strategies have affected your traffic and revenue. If applicable, add your cost of customer acquisition to explain what it costs to generate sales. What have you done to attract customers? Do you have recurring customers that affects your cost per acquisition? Describe your business's marketing strategies, such as advertising campaigns, relationships with social media influencers, or successful email campaigns. If your store isn't currently profitable, then you can add further details here.

Performance

Review the Traffic and Performance data that displays on your listing. This data gives potential buyers an overview of your business's performance. Your store's average monthly revenue and average sessions per month data are pulled directly from your account and are verified by Shopify and can't be modified, however you can elaborate on it when describing other details about profit.

Proof of Performance

The Proof of Performance section lets you upload additional photos to help verify the numbers and statistics that you include elsewhere in your listing. For example, if you mention recent successful marketing campaigns, then you can upload screenshots of these campaigns to help verify your data. Remove any personal or financial information that might appear in a screenshot before uploading.

Your Proof of Performance not only helps your listings stand out but also gives buyers the information that is the most important to them at a glance. 

What to upload as Proof of Performance

To increase your chances of receiving offers from buyers, upload at least 3 images to that help prove your business's performance. Avoid including screenshots that contain customer data like emails, names, and phone numbers. The following is a list of commonly uploaded images that buyers look for: 

A screenshot of your Facebook ads manager

Buyers often want to know more information about your ad spend, such as the number of campaigns you run, conversion rates, and cost per click. Facebook's Ad Manager offers great insight into how your business is performing. Uploading a photo of these stats greatly complements the revenue data that is automatically added to your listing.

Google Analytics reports

Google Analytics contains lots of data that potential buyers can find valuable. Many buyers like to see reports such as purchase funnels, conversion rates, and traffic over time. Consider choosing a few of these reports to upload to your listing. Uploading information from Google Analytics can help validate your business's performance in the mind of a buyer.

Reports from Shopify

There are many valuable reports in the Analytics tab of your Shopify admin. Although Exchange automatically pulls your business's lifetime revenue and traffic information, there are other reports that make your listing appear much more appealing to buyers. Reports that might be useful include average order value, rates of returning customers, conversion rates, total orders report, and whichever other reports you feel could make your listing stand out.

Social media insights

Both Instagram and Facebook have easy-to-access reports that show valuable information about your followers. Try uploading a screenshot of the engagement rate on your social pages, the demographics of your followers, and the reach of your social media content.

Other ideas

Create a listing that shows your business's best side while sharing the honest information that buyers need to make a decision about buying. If you have any other assets that you want to show off in your listing, upload them to the Proof of Performance section. Here are some possibile areas to screenshot and upload:

  • Screenshots of positive customer reviews
  • Mentions in blogs or from social media influencers
  • Photos of media or press where your products have appeared in
  • A photo of your warehouse or place of operations

Take a screenshot

Exchange automatically generates a screenshot of your online store for you. If you update your online store’s theme after the automated screenshot is captured, then contact the Exchange Marketplace support. A new screenshot can be generated and uploaded for your listing. You can request that the generated screenshot be updated, but it can't be removed completely.

To add images of your Proof of Performance you need to take your own screenshot. You can do this by either pressing Shift+Command+4 on Macs, or Alt+Print Screen on Windows.

Assets included in the sale

Make sure that you're including all your business's assets in the listing and sale. Multiple assets are appealing to potential customers. The following assets are recommended:

  • inventory
  • logo and branding assets
  • personal support after sale
  • domains
  • product photos
  • social media accounts and links
  • suppliers

Whenever possible, write what is included and how you will be sending it to your buyer. If you work with suppliers, then discuss your current working relationship with them. This will help your buyer prepare to receive the items and inspect them when it’s time.

If you have physical inventory that is included in the sale, then ensure the value is the retail cost of the inventory, not the wholesale cost.

Expenses

In order for your potential buyers to understand the true cost of running this business, review your costs and add them to the appropriate field of the listing form. Check your monthly Shopify plan, app costs, marketing costs (such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat), domain cost, average transaction fees, average shipping costs, employee or contractor wages, and any other business-related costs. Break down all costs so that buyers understand which services the business uses and how much each one costs.

Your listing valuation

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.

Valuation and price

Exchange's valuation tool automatically 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 buyers are most interested in are valued higher. You can make any changes and set the selling price to an amount that best reflects your business. The selling price can be set at any time.

Service fee

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. The 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. Because you, the seller, is the one who pays the service fee, consider factoring the fee into your sale price.

Listing reviews

Occasionally, Exchange listings are subject to manual review by the Exchange team. If your listing needs review, you'll be notified before publishing your listing on Exchange.

Listing reviews can take up to five business days to complete. The Exchange team reviews the following information:

After your listing is reviewed, you receive an email either approving your listing or requesting mandatory changes. Your listing is also assigned a Completeness Score. When your listing is approved, you can then engage in conversations with potential buyers through Exchange.

Exchange listing review tips

  • Make sure that your numbers add up. Double check all your statistics, figures, and costs before you submit your listing for review. Carefully calculate your monthly profit margin and make sure your social media follower counts are accurate.
    • Include all expenses in the Expenses list. This includes domains, paid apps, and money spent on advertisements. Be sure to factor these numbers into your average monthly profit calculations. If you uninstalled any apps or stopped any advertising campaigns because you are selling the business, but they are still relevant to the business, then include these and their costs so that buyers have an accurate idea of potential additional costs.
    • Separate the cost of paid apps from your subscription cost so buyers understand which expenses are optional.
  • Fulfill all orders, including those that come in while your business is up for sale, before finalizing the sale.
  • If Shopify has requested any identification documentation from you, then you must fulfill this request before your listing can be approved.
  • Make sure your location is approved by Escrow.com.
  • Write your listing in the language that you are most comfortable with. If you are looking for a buyer that speaks a certain language, then consider writing the listing in that language.
  • Offer realistic post-sale support to your buyers. Include an end date and the method in which support will be provided. For example, offer support by phone or email for 6 months. If you want to offer ongoing support indefinitely, then don't offer "lifetime support". Instead, consider entering into a partnership or request equity in the company in exchange for your mentorship and expertise, or state that support after a certain timeframe will be billed at an hourly rate.
  • Use your full name in your account settings. If the store owner name is currently something generic, such as "Admin", then change the store owner to an owner's real name to avoid confusion.
  • Don't include any additional, personal contact information in your listing, such as phone numbers, WhatsApp numbers, or Skype names.
  • Don't duplicate any other Exchange listing, including listings you have.
  • Don't promote any other services in your listing, or in messages to buyers.
  • Pay all outstanding invoices before listing your business for sale.
  • If you aren't including assets such as logos, photos, or a custom domain, then make sure you state this and explain why.
  • If you're a Partner who is selling a development store, consider including the storefront password in your listing so prospective buyers can view your store.

Remove your Exchange listing

If you've decided that you no longer want to have your business listed for sale on Exchange, then you can remove your listing:

Steps:

  1. Log in to your Shopify account and go to your Apps.
  2. Click the Exchange Marketplace app.
  3. Click the Listing tab.
  4. 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 close your Shopify store, then your listing is unpublished automatically.

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