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Buyer Experiences at Empire Flippers

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wouldntitbenice

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I have been consuming Empire Flippers' content for awhile, but it just dawned on me that they're a marketplace and not a broker company. I was excited to use their services because they appear to do more in depth vetting of sellers, but then I learned there's no exclusive due diligence period after an agreeable LOI. I'm too new to look at a business, speak to the seller, do due diligence, and then make an offer before other competing buyers. (No matter how in depth their vetting is, it's no substitute for due diligence.)

Can anyone share their experience? It would be great to hear what level of online experience or buying experience people had before using Empire Flippers. Thank you.
 

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I have been consuming Empire Flippers' content for awhile, but it just dawned on me that they're a marketplace and not a broker company. I was excited to use their services because they appear to do more in depth vetting of sellers, but then I learned there's no exclusive due diligence period after an agreeable LOI. I'm too new to look at a business, speak to the seller, do due diligence, and then make an offer before other competing buyers. (No matter how in depth their vetting is, it's no substitute for due diligence.)

Can anyone share their experience? It would be great to hear what level of online experience or buying experience people had before using Empire Flippers. Thank you.
I talked to them before I sold my last company and concluded they sucked. They ballparked my company at 1/3 of what I sold it for 3 months later.
 

Mike Partee

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I talked to them before I sold my last company and concluded they sucked. They ballparked my company at 1/3 of what I sold it for 3 months later.
Which brokerage did you end up using, or did you end up selling yourself with own lawyers, etc? Just curious.

edit: paging @empireflippers if there's anything he'd like to clear up
 
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MoneyDoc

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I talked to them before I sold my last company and concluded they sucked. They ballparked my company at 1/3 of what I sold it for 3 months later.
Thanks for sharing that! Had a call with them 2 weeks ago and the guy seemed so uninterested in his job. Anyways, the estimate valuation I got was significantly lower than what a M&A firm gave me.
 

daniel_m

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I've used them as a seller in the past and personally thought they were great. Empire flippers is the best option out there at this point with the death of Flippa. And AFAIK there is a due diligence process? The sale wasn't completed until a few days passed of normal revenue on the buyers end. The only thing that kinda sucks is their commission.

Generally they price business at a 24X-32X monthly revenue model depending on the business which is normal.
 

empireflippers

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Hey all - Justin w/ Empire Flippers here.

I have been consuming Empire Flippers' content for awhile, but it just dawned on me that they're a marketplace and not a broker company. I was excited to use their services because they appear to do more in depth vetting of sellers, but then I learned there's no exclusive due diligence period after an agreeable LOI. I'm too new to look at a business, speak to the seller, do due diligence, and then make an offer before other competing buyers. (No matter how in depth their vetting is, it's no substitute for due diligence.)
Glad to hear you dig our content! I just wanted to clear up that we're a bit of a hybrid between a marketplace/brokerage. We present listings as a marketplace, but we also:
  • Have a Vetting team that reviews/approves each listing
  • Have a Sales team that prepares and guides Buyer/Seller calls and provides post-call feedback
  • Sales team involved in negotiating price and support including earnouts, retained equity, etc.
  • Migrations team that drives the transfer of assets from seller to buyer and overseas the inspection period
  • Migration team that manages earnouts (when applicable) for longer-term deals
We also provide exclusive offer periods for larger deals, but require more than just an LOI to lock up the listing. Feel free to setup a call with our team to discuss if you'd like - they can walk you through the criteria.

I talked to them before I sold my last company and concluded they sucked. They ballparked my company at 1/3 of what I sold it for 3 months later.
Thanks for sharing that! Had a call with them 2 weeks ago and the guy seemed so uninterested in his job. Anyways, the estimate valuation I got was significantly lower than what a M&A firm gave me.
We monitor this pretty closely and we're pretty in-line with our main competitors in an apples-to-apples comparison. (Sometimes we're 10% higher, sometimes we're 15% lower, etc.) I can think of a handful of cases where the value difference was significantly different and all of them came down to a misunderstanding or a differently structured deal. (Under-reporting earnings/margins in one case, deciding to wrap up a few businesses into one sale in another, etc.) We closed on more than 250 deals last year, so we have a pretty good sense of the market.

Anyway - thanks for the discussion - happy to answer any other questions if you have them.
 

Bigguns50

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I have a call scheduled today with Empire Flippers.

I've been looking to buy for 3 months and have 9 websites like BizBuySell, Flippa, etc., 've been looking at. They pretty much all suck IMO. Empire seems reasonable.

From what I understand so far, to be considered a serious buyer and 'unlock' features that are needed to properly vet a deal, you either have to send E.F. $10,000 or have an accountant verify you have the funds available to purchase. No way will I send money, but to verify funds is probably fine.

I'll let you know what happens.
 
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wouldntitbenice

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Aug 13, 2018
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I need to figure out why I didn't get email notifications that this post had replies...

Glad to hear you dig our content! I just wanted to clear up that we're a bit of a hybrid between a marketplace/brokerage.
I agree with hybrid. I was too black & white with my description. Empire Flippers does right everything Flippa does wrong, and does a lot no one else (e.g. brokerages) does, but for buyers without extensive online business knowledge your service is very intimidating. Buyer legitimacy is checked to a degree because funds have to be verified by Empire Flippers to get a deeper look at listings, and buyers can easily be backlisted for repeatedly backing away after an LOI is accepted, so having no lock-in period for due diligence looks like a strategic decision. That isn't criticism; it's just disappointing to me.

I have had a call with Empire Flippers, and not alternative arrangement was mentioned for deals in the $250,000 to $400,0000 range.

I was hoping to hear from buyers like me that went through the Empire Flippers' process, because I want (wanted) to do business with them, but this post quickly went off into valuation unfortunately.
 

biophase

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I have a call scheduled today with Empire Flippers.

I've been looking to buy for 3 months and have 9 websites like BizBuySell, Flippa, etc., 've been looking at. They pretty much all suck IMO. Empire seems reasonable.

From what I understand so far, to be considered a serious buyer and 'unlock' features that are needed to properly vet a deal, you either have to send E.F. $10,000 or have an accountant verify you have the funds available to purchase. No way will I send money, but to verify funds is probably fine.

I'll let you know what happens.
I’ve unlocked a bunch of listings on EF. All you need to do is send them your drivers license, a photo of you holding a sign and an image of your bank account with the numbers blacked out. It’s an easy process to get the unlocks. I didn’t put any money on a credit card or have my cpa send anything.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything worth pursuing on there. Many businesses aren’t really brands. As a shark tank shark would say, you have a product not a brand.
 

Bigguns50

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I’ve unlocked a bunch of listings on EF. All you need to do is send them your drivers license, a photo of you holding a sign and an image of your bank account with the numbers blacked out. It’s an easy process to get the unlocks. I didn’t put any money on a credit card or have my cpa send anything.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything worth pursuing on there. Many businesses aren’t really brands. As a shark tank shark would say, you have a product not a brand.
Thanks ! I sent an email to the rep i spoke with 2 days ago but no reply. I'll do what you did tomorrow.

I know the owners of a Segway Tour company here that wants to sell. 10 yrs in biz. Great rep. I'll look at the numbers but I'm not much interested in giving tours and don't know if it can produce enough profit with others running it.
 

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wouldntitbenice

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Aug 13, 2018
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I’ve unlocked a bunch of listings on EF. All you need to do is send them your drivers license, a photo of you holding a sign and an image of your bank account with the numbers blacked out. It’s an easy process to get the unlocks. I didn’t put any money on a credit card or have my cpa send anything.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything worth pursuing on there. Many businesses aren’t really brands. As a shark tank shark would say, you have a product not a brand.
Unlocking is easy, but it's the race to do due diligence that is less than ideal for me. If you've been around the block it's less of an obstacle I guess. Also, due diligence is easier with content and affiliate sites, but once you get into e-commerce and SaaS businesses that are brands there's much more to confirm that I can't see doing without exclusivity.
 

biophase

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Unlocking is easy, but it's the race to do due diligence that is less than ideal for me. If you've been around the block it's less of an obstacle I guess. Also, due diligence is easier with content and affiliate sites, but once you get into e-commerce and SaaS businesses that are brands there's much more to confirm that I can't see doing without exclusivity.
Yes, that part is kind of annoying. I haven't gotten to that part yet. But I would ask for an exclusivity period if I were really interested in purchasing one of the businesses over $100k. You could also hire a business broker to search for a business for you. Especially if you are talking of a high dollar price over $1M, many good businesses don't even get listed as brokers usually have a list of potential buyers to shop them to already.

Personally, I probably wouldn't list my business for sale on empire flippers because 15% is a very high commission. I would list it with a true business broker. When I sold my business I paid a 8-10% commission for a sale around $1M.
 

biophase

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I have had a call with Empire Flippers, and not alternative arrangement was mentioned for deals in the $250,000 to $400,0000 range.

I was hoping to hear from buyers like me that went through the Empire Flippers' process, because I want (wanted) to do business with them, but this post quickly went off into valuation unfortunately.
I wonder how this would be handled if you had a business broker contact them directly and act as the middleman. If you have a business in mind, maybe you should hire someone to negotiate it for you.
 
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wouldntitbenice

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Aug 13, 2018
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I wonder how this would be handled if you had a business broker contact them directly and act as the middleman. If you have a business in mind, maybe you should hire someone to negotiate it for you.
I don't think a buy-side broker would change anything. Whatever commission you'd pay a broker would probably be better spent hiring someone well versed in due diligence for the monetization you're looking for.
 

biophase

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I don't think a buy-side broker would change anything. Whatever commission you'd pay a broker would probably be better spent hiring someone well versed in due diligence for the monetization you're looking for.
You don't need to pay a commission on the buying side.
 

PapaGang

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Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything worth pursuing on there. Many businesses aren’t really brands. As a shark tank shark would say, you have a product not a brand.
Does it seem to you that the multiples are high?
I couldn't justify the prices there.
 

biophase

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Does it seem to you that the multiples are high?
I couldn't justify the prices there.
No, I think many are priced reasonably. But many of the businesses that I looked at (Ecommerce and FBA) were not really branded businesses. Many were just a bunch of products thrown together, or they were 8 SKUs, but only 1-2 SKUs made up for the bulk of the income.

They weren't something that I could build the brand upon. Most needed a complete rebrand to get to the next level.
 

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