Receiving payments through Exchange
After a buyer sends you an offer that you like, you need to accept it and proceed to create the transaction within the Exchange Marketplace app.
Exchange has partnered with Escrow.com to offer the most secure and efficient way to get paid. In order to have your account transferred to your buyer and for you to be paid, you need to use Exchange’s payment flow.
Setting up accounts and accepting payments
This section describes how you can accept an offer from a buyer and finalize the sale of your business. Exchange securely transfers your business only after you've received your payment by completing this process. Any money that you're owed from sales you made while you were the store owner is also paid out to you.
If you have any scheduled payouts or funds on reserve with Shopify Payments, then you'll receive the funds as scheduled, as long as you transfer your account properly. The Shopify Accounts team makes sure that payouts are routed to the bank account that you had on file with Shopify Payments.
Step 1: The buyer sends an offer
First, the buyer sends you a message showing their interest in purchasing your business. If a buyer is ready to pursue the purchase of your business, then they'll send you an offer. The offer must be at least 80% of your listing price. You are then notified that a buyer has sent you an offer, and you need to review it from the Inbox tab in the Exchange app.
Navigate to the buyer's message to see the Offer banner containing a button to accept the offer.
Step 2: Accept the offer and create a transaction
Click the Accept offer button to accept the offer you like. You are then directed to create a new transaction from the Exchange app.
To start the transaction, you need to provide the following information:
Description: This field is used to describe exactly what you are handing over to the buyer. This should include the Shopify account, domain names, social media accounts, inventory, and anything else that's applicable.
Inspection Period: This is a period of time given to the buyer to inspect and review the business's assets. The inspection period can be anywhere from 3 to 30 days. At any time during the inspection period, the buyer can choose to accept the business's assets and end the inspection period. After this happens, Escrow.com will proceed to disburse your payment. The ownership of your Shopify account will be transferred to the buyer within 3 business days by the Shopify Accounts team.
Selling Price: This is the final price for your business. The amount of the buyer's offer is automatically added to this field. The service fee is calculated and displayed below your selling price. See Listing your business for sale on Exchange for more information on our service fee.
Step 3: Link your Exchange account to Escrow.com
After you've filled in the information about the sale and created the transaction, you'll receive an email asking you to link an Escrow.com account and add your banking information. When signing up for an Escrow account, you need to use the same email address where the link was sent to you. If you sign up using a different email address, then your transaction won't be linked to the Exchange app. If you already have an Escrow.com account associated with your store owner email address, then you can click the Sign In button instead.
After you've created your account, you are prompted to select a disbursement method. This is where you receive payments from your buyers at the end of the transaction.
You have three options for receiving payments: ACH electronic check, Domestic wire transfer, or International wire transfer. If you're outside of the United States, then you can only receive payment through International wire transfer. All transactions, including those that are outside of the USA, are subject to a $10 disbursement fee.
When you add your bank account details, Escrow.com notifies your buyer that they can now send the payment. As soon as Escrow secures the buyer’s payment, Exchange sends you an email with instructions on how to proceed.
Step 4: The buyer pays
After the above steps are completed, your buyer receives an email from Escrow.com asking them to pay. The buyer can pay using a credit card, bank transfer, or Paypal. Here's a full list of supported countries.
When Escrow.com receives and secures the buyer's payment, you'll be notified by email.
If you need to make changes to the Escrow milestones after the transaction has been created, then you can contact Escrow Support to request these changes. After both the buyer and the seller agree to the changes, Escrow will apply them.
Step 5: Transfer assets to the buyer
After you've received an email stating that Escrow.com has received the buyer's payment, the next step is to transfer any assets you've agreed to sell to the buyer.
You first need to give staff permissions to your buyer. The staff login must be created using the email address that is linked to the buyer's profile and Escrow.com account. Buyers can't request that a staff login be created using any other email address. The Exchange system will only read that a staff login has been added and activated providing that the staff login matches the email address that is connected to the buyer's profile.
The buyer will need staff permissions to properly inspect the Shopify account. The buyer can't be made the store owner of the Shopify account before they accept all Escrow milestones. When the Escrow milestones are accepted, Escrow is notified to disburse the buyer’s funds to you, and the Shopify Accounts team turns the buyer into the new store owner within 3 business days.
In addition to your Shopify owner account, you might also need to transfer assets such as social media accounts, domains, and app accounts. Examples of these account might include a Facebook business page, an Instagram account, Domain names, and a Printful account.
Transfer Facebook business page
Before you can transfer ownership of your Facebook business page, your buyer needs to have a Facebook account and needs to either like the business page or be your Facebook friend. You can then make your buyer an admin of the Facebook page.
- Visit the Facebook page from your Facebook account.
- Click Settings.
- Click Page Roles.
- In Assign a new page role section, add your buyer's name and add them as an Admin.
After your buyer is an admin of the page, you can choose to remove yourself as an admin from the Existing Page Roles section.
Transfer Instagram account
If you have agreed to include your business's Instagram account in your sale, then you're responsible for handing ownership of the account over to them during the transfer process.
- Open the Instagram app on your mobile device and go to Settings.
- If two-factor authentication is enabled, disable it. You can do this by tapping the Two-factor Authentication link under Settings > Privacy and security.
- In Settings, tap Linked Accounts. Make sure that your buyer has access to any accounts you plan to transfer that are listed here (like a Facebook Business Page or Twitter account). If there are any linked accounts that you're not transferring to your buyer, then you need to remove them here.
- In Settings, tap Payments. Remove any credit cards or PINs on file.
- Go to Edit Profile > Private information to see the contact information on file.
- Remove the phone number and edit the email to match the buyer's email address.
- Tap Done. If Instagram sends an email asking you to confirm the profile information change, then you need to forward this email to the buyer so that they can confirm this themselves.
Most other social accounts will require to you change the login information for your buyer.
Transfer domain names
If you agreed to sell any domain names associated with your store and you purchased your domain through Shopify, then you can transfer their ownership through your Shopify admin.
- From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Domains.
- Click the Manage link next to the domain you want to transfer.
- From the Manage page, click Edit next to Registrar Information.
- Change the information to your buyer's name and contact information.
After ownership has been transferred to your buyer and they've become the new store owner, all domain renewal fees will be charged to them. If you purchased your domain through a third party host such as GoDaddy or Namecheap, please contact the domain host for information on how to transfer ownership of the domain name to your buyer.
Some apps might have your personal contact information, be sure to check each app and update them with your buyer's information.
Transfer Printful account
If your business relies on the Printful app to fulfill orders, then it's necessary for you to transfer ownership of the app to your buyer. To transfer your Printful account, start by ensuring that your credit card is removed from the account and then change the account login details.
- From your Shopify admin, go to Apps > Printful.
- Click on your name and then click Billing.
- Click the X beside your payment method to delete.
- Withdraw any funds remaining in your Printful wallet.
- From the Printful app, click on your name and then click Settings.
- Change the password to a generic password to be shared with your buyer when the transfer is complete. You'll need to enter your old password then create a new one.
- Change the Full name to your buyer's name and click Save changes.
- Change the email address to the buyer's email address that they are using as staff. An email will be sent to your buyer. When your buyer accepts the changes, you will see the new email address in your settings.
- After the buyer's email address appears in your account settings, let them know that you've changed the account information for the Printful app. You can share the new email address and password you created with the buyer. At this point, the buyer can change the password.
Step 6: Buyer accepts the assets
After you’ve sent all assets that were agreed upon, and the buyer has received them and performed their inspection period, the buyer needs to mark all assets as accepted.
After the buyer accepts, you'll receive an email letting you know that your payment is on the way. Payments from Escrow.com are made by bank transfer, and can take up to 5 business days to appear in your account.
Step 7: The Shopify Accounts team transfers ownership of the business
At this point, Exchange is notified that the transaction is complete, and changes the buyer from staff to store owner. Transfer of ownership occurs within three business days.
The Shopify Accounts team removes your credit card and disables your Shopify Payments account for the new owner to input their own financial information. See Transferring your business to learn how the ownership transfer process works. You are notified by email once the transfer is complete.
Benefits of using Escrow
There are a few different reasons why you're required to use Escrow payments when you sell your business:
- There is no risk that your buyer will file a chargeback after you transfer your business to them. All Escrow transactions are final.
- Escrow and Exchange work together to settle any dispute that could arise during the sale. Some disputes might need to follow the dispute resolution process. Not all disputes can be settled by Exchange and Escrow alone.
- Escrow protects you from fraudulent buyers by securing and verifying their payment.
- Exchange is able to protect your financial data and securely transfer ownership of your business.