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GOLD! Selling my Ecommerce Business

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MidwestLandlord

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Probably the most inspirational thread in this forum!

Goes from being a teacher, to exiting an ecommerce biz for a nice payday, all while starting a new ecommerce biz.

Valuable threads like this are the reason I come here everyday!

Reading one of your comments back in December was a big part of why I joined here actually.

Thanks for all the sharing you do here man, seriously.

Congrats!
 
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amp0193

amp0193

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Probably the most inspirational thread in this forum!

Goes from being a teacher, to exiting an ecommerce biz for a nice payday, all while starting a new ecommerce biz.

Valuable threads like this are the reason I come here everyday!

Reading one of your comments back in December was a big part of why I joined here actually.

Thanks for all the sharing you do here man, seriously.

Congrats!
Thanks @MidwestLandlord!

It was threads started by others that got me to join here, and inspired me. I hope to do the same for others.


I may not be a full-time teacher anymore, but I still have the desire to teach/help others.
 

Striver

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The caller from last week put in an offer, however, it turns out he doesn't have his ducks in a row, i.e. funds, and isn't capable of buying the business. (So what was the point?)
You had previously stated someone wanting to know things about your business, such as maybe how to rank a product. I can see people doing this as a way to gain knowledge on that subject. :(

And congratu-damn-lations!!!!! Read it all in one sitting, and got cold chills when you finalized the sale!
 
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amp0193

amp0193

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You had previously stated someone wanting to know things about your business, such as maybe how to rank a product. I can see people doing this as a way to gain knowledge on that subject. :(
Absolutely. Pretending to be a buyer would be a great way, albeit slightly unethical way, to learn a business model. You get to see all the numbers, financials, etc. as well. However, if i'm ready to sell my business, I'm not really worried about new competition, am I?

And congratu-damn-lations!!!!! Read it all in one sitting, and got cold chills when you finalized the sale!
Thanks... it already feels like the sale took place a year ago. Been busy working on new things!
 

Jambla

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Great story. I have been selling on Amazon with limited success for a while with only ‘me too’ products. I have a delivery of 1500 units into Amazon FBA anytime now, but I am now struggling 10 units a day on this product. This product is very competitive, even more now. In my mind I knew I should have moved onto another product but I kept going because I had already invested a lot of time in this one. This is a classic mistake and is detailed in MJ’s new book.

But I have a new idea. A product that has come from being a new parent, it’s actually my wives idea. This baby product does not exist. I have no idea how I am going to make it but I am going to validate the product before working out how to. I am very excited about this product because I think people will love it. The goal will be to sell into retail and Amazon will just been another platform.
 

JAJT

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but I am now struggling 10 units a day on this product.
I had very similar results with "me too" products.

Realistically if it's hard to differentiate your product and you aren't a top ranking search result, 10 per day is probably pretty normal in most categories on Amazon.
 

ejames

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This is a great thread. I've gotten way ahead of myself and just read 'Built to Sell', which I'd recommend to anyone on this forum (although you've now experienced it all first hand).

Best of luck on this.

EDIT - Second on McCallan 25. Excellent single-malt. If you like peaty/smokey though, give Laphroaig 10 a try.
Built to sell is a great book. I actually listen to their podcast once a week.
 
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amp0193

amp0193

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But I have a new idea. A product that has come from being a new parent, it’s actually my wives idea. This baby product does not exist. I have no idea how I am going to make it but I am going to validate the product before working out how to. I am very excited about this product because I think people will love it. The goal will be to sell into retail and Amazon will just been another platform.
Baby products.

Make sure whatever you come out with is fully tested to CPSC and ASTM standards, in a government approved lab, as soon as possible.

Carefully consider the liability and risk, and see if you're comfortable with a worst-case scenario.
 

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Jambla

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Baby products.

Make sure whatever you come out with is fully tested to CPSC and ASTM standards, in a government approved lab, as soon as possible.

Carefully consider the liability and risk, and see if you're comfortable with a worst-case scenario.
Thanks for the heads up. Sounds good though, more barriers.
 

Longinus

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I had very similar results with "me too" products.

Realistically if it's hard to differentiate your product and you aren't a top ranking search result, 10 per day is probably pretty normal in most categories on Amazon.
I have products selling 1/day and totally happy with that. High price, good profit and very little competition. I sleep well at night.
 

Striver

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Absolutely. Pretending to be a buyer would be a great way, albeit slightly unethical way, to learn a business model. You get to see all the numbers, financials, etc. as well. However, if i'm ready to sell my business, I'm not really worried about new competition, am I?
If you don't want potential buyers to see a sudden decline in sales/profit, then I absolutely think you should be worried. I know I would be.

This thread alone took 4 months from 1st post to "money in the bank". Now, I can't comment about Amazon, but I've went from zero to top-seller on eBay before, in just a month or two. Doing 200+ sales per day for a popular product. Surely that hurt SOMEONE'S numbers!

I just don't trust people. Sorry!
 

TKRR

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@amp0193 Congrats on the sale and thanks for sharing, this was quite the read and very informative. Cheers!
 

Patrickg

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Congrats on the sale!

Great thread. Great motivation. Thank you for taking the time to post and inspire us all.

Out of curiosity, when did you decide to quite your job? And what was that experience like?
 
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amp0193

amp0193

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If you don't want potential buyers to see a sudden decline in sales/profit, then I absolutely think you should be worried. I know I would be.
In a few months I'd love to have seen:

A new competitor round up a couple thousand amazon reviews, cause that's the only way they would've gotten on page one.

A new competitor find which retail stores I was selling in, and then convince the store owner/buyer to switch from my brand to theirs.

The only thing a new competitor could really do, at all, in the short term, would be to make my Google shopping bids higher. Maybe. But that was only like 5% of my business. That's assuming they could a get a brand, supplier, website, thrown together in a month.

If a business is vulnerable to competition that can get up and running in a few months, then it probably isn't worth selling.

I just don't trust people. Sorry!
Good luck selling your business without revealing the details of your business or the numbers to potential buyers.
 
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amp0193

amp0193

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Out of curiosity, when did you decide to quite your job? And what was that experience like?
I quit my job when it cost me more in lost profits then it was making me in salary.

The experience was I checked out for the last 4 months (I was always focused on my business), my bridges ended up all burned, and the principal asked me to resign before we even got to summer break, because it was so obvious I didn't give a shit (about staff meetings, etc.). Not proud of it. I tried to care, I didn't want to burn my bridges, but that's what I ended up doing.

A week later I flew to Europe for two months with my family and ran the business from there. It was a nice de-tox from my worst school year ever.
 

Striver

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A new competitor find which retail stores I was selling in, and then convince the store owner/buyer to switch from my brand to theirs.
Well, I was talking about Amazon since... you know... they were asking questions about Amazon! lol

Seems like you're on the defensive. Don't be! You did an amazing job!
 

Patrickg

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I quit my job when it cost me more in lost profits then it was making me in salary.

The experience was I checked out for the last 4 months (I was always focused on my business), my bridges ended up all burned, and the principal asked me to resign before we even got to summer break, because it was so obvious I didn't give a shit (about staff meetings, etc.). Not proud of it. I tried to care, I didn't want to burn my bridges, but that's what I ended up doing.

A week later I flew to Europe for two months with my family and ran the business from there. It was a nice de-tox from my worst school year ever.


Great inspiration, thanks for sharing. I am currently on this journey and it's awesome to speak to someone, who is further ahead.
 

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mikeyjd

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Great read. Inspiring! I'm currently trying to position my own company for mergers and acquisitions, so this thread was quite relevant in many ways.
 

GravyBoat

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It's amazing how all the holes in the plan start to show up once your money is gone. If I had spent 15 min doing some basic fact checking, I would've uncovered the lies. In my case, and probably yours, my judgement was clouded by optimism and wishful thinking.
Great thread man. I've also noticed this about myself: I'm the easiest person in the world to sell to. I buy into things far too quickly. Due Diligence is KEY!!!
 

CareCPA

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Great thread man. I've also noticed this about myself: I'm the easiest person in the world to sell to. I buy into things far too quickly. Due Diligence is KEY!!!
I'm helping a client sell a business right now. The due diligence request list is 14 pages long.
Don't be afraid to ask for everything.
 

Whiskey

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This sounds amazing to me. I started my own business a few years ago, and making a decent living, but definitely more of a job and a business. I think this post so inspirational because I want to be able to spend more time with my kids as well as experience new things with them as they grow up.

Congrats on your success and thank you for creating this post and educating others on the forum.

I quit my job when it cost me more in lost profits then it was making me in salary.

The experience was I checked out for the last 4 months (I was always focused on my business), my bridges ended up all burned, and the principal asked me to resign before we even got to summer break, because it was so obvious I didn't give a sh*t (about staff meetings, etc.). Not proud of it. I tried to care, I didn't want to burn my bridges, but that's what I ended up doing.

A week later I flew to Europe for two months with my family and ran the business from there. It was a nice de-tox from my worst school year ever.
 

Ama

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Hi Amp,

Read through your thread congrats on making it through the process!

I am in the starting stages of deciding to sell. How did you go about finding the right person from those business brokerage websites? Do they charge a flat fee? Did you contact an attorney on your own or was the business broker also an attorney? How were you taxed on the amount?

I see @CareCPA provided a lot of support. I just read the chapter in MJ's book on selling again and it makes sense to pursue an exit now.

Thanks everyone for your participation in this forum, really feels like a family.
 

LittleJohn

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One more side note:

My 30th birthday is on the 16th. Also that weekend is my life-long friend's bachelor party.

It would be wonderful to go into that weekend with the ink dry on the contract and the escrow funds being transferred to my account.

We'll see if it plays out that way.


Anyone got any recommendations for a fine bottle of scotch and/or whiskey? The kind worth getting to celebrate the sale of a business, aging another decade, and seeing a best friend soon to be married?
Dude - all this before age 30? Wow impressive. Soon to be 36 and thinking where the hell have I been? Good news is my track record for doing what i set out to do is good.

Amazing man!
 
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amp0193

amp0193

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Soon to be 36 and thinking where the hell have I been?
That's what I think whenever I see the 19 year olds here killing it.

Everyone's path is different. Just be glad you found it now.

Get after it!
 
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amp0193

amp0193

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I just finished this short book. I recommend reading it before you sell. It was interesting to me at $2.99.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BN2KD1J/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20
Thanks @biophase!

Before getting this new business going I had it all planned out. Slow grow for 2 years. Push the pedal down 3 years. Sell after year 5.

But now... I love what I'm doing so much, I don't know that I even want to sell it!

Some "thought experiments" sounds interesting... I'll check it out.
 

Rabby

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Wow. Thank you for documenting your sale process... it is pure gold.

I must be one of those people who read a novel and say "hay, what happened to that villager who was trying to catch a fish in chapter 4?" But I have to ask. Have you figured out insurance yet?

The only question that was kind of a "gotcha" was "why don't you have insurance?".
 

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