One of the best things about growing an eCommerce business is that it can become a sellable asset.

To maximize the value of that asset, good eCommerce business brokers will help with:

  • Preparing your business for sale by streamlining processes and cleaning up your books
  • Valuing your business accurately
  • Marketing your business to a wide range of potential buyers
  • Negotiating a final sale and overseeing the legal procedure

But how do you find (and choose) the best eCommerce broker for potentially one of your life’s biggest transactions?

Well, in this guide, we’ll carefully review the top brokers in the industry and give you tips on how to make the right choice when the time comes.

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The best eCommerce brokers at a glance

We’ve spoken to, interviewed, and worked with a vast amount of eCommerce business brokers over recent years and they differ greatly from one another.

If you’re in a rush, here’s our shortlist of the best of the best:

Selling your eCommerce business is a big deal, so let’s examine each of the options closely.

Overall

4.9

Best for

Most sellers

Next Steps

Free Valuation

EcomBrokers was founded by Ben Leonard and Alisson Walker after the pair worked together on selling Ben’s brand Beast Gear for 7 figures.

During the process, they realized there was a gap in the market for a hands-on, eCommerce-focused brokerage that brokered deals from a place of experience. Shortly after, EcomBrokers was born.

Ben is a serial entrepreneur who loves collaborating with fellow eCommerce entrepreneurs. He is a published author with his book, ‘Quit Stalling & Build Your Brand,’ and a lecturer at Brand Builder University, where he teaches our Exit Engine course.

Alisson is an accountant by trade and the founder of Mint Accounting, a firm specializing in eCommerce services. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding finances and bookkeeping—critical issues in selling a business.

The team is also rounded out by Jon Derkits, a 7-figure Amazon seller and ex-Amazon staffer who carries a wealth of M&A (mergers and acquisitions) experience, having also previously worked for an Amazon aggregator.

EcomBrokers is our number one recommendation and the specialists to whom we always refer our Brand Builder University members when they want to sell their businesses.

  • Experience: The EcomBrokers team is made up of vastly experienced and dedicated professionals with a wide range of skill sets and areas of specialization. They also operate from a place of personal experience, not just the second-hand experience of previous clients.
  • Global Minds: With a core team from the US and Europe, you’re working with experts worldwide who have their finger on the pulse.

  • Wealth of experience means you are in very good hands
  • Founders have been there and done it themselves, not just for clients
  • Hands-on approach means you will get looked after very well by the founders
  • Not ideal for businesses under $100k in value

  • Free initial valuation consult call.
  • For a detailed valuation and vetting, they charge a fee of £500, which is waived if you choose to sell with them.
  • When the business sells, they take a commission on the price. The commission percentage varies based on the size and type of business.

When the business sells, they take a commission on the price. The commission percentage varies based on the size and type of business.

Overall

4.8

Best for

Amazon FBA sellers

Next Steps

Valuation Tool

Empire Flippers is the leading online business brokerage using a marketplace model. It combines the strengths of a marketplace (transparent listings, large pool of vetted buyers) with the hands-on approach of a broker.

Founded by Justin Cooke and Joe Magnotti, Empire Flippers has grown into a leading brokerage firm, facilitating millions of dollars in transactions annually. Their approach is characterized by a detailed vetting process, ensuring buyers and sellers can confidently engage.

Justin and Joe bring a wealth of experience to the table. Justin’s background in SEO and content marketing, combined with Joe’s expertise in business operations and customer service, creates a powerful synergy that drives their clients’ success. Their team of analysts, marketers, and sales professionals is dedicated to providing exceptional service throughout the buying and selling process.

Empire Flippers stands out for its ability to value Amazon FBA businesses accurately and close sales for a high proportion of their FBA listings. They offer a range of services, from initial valuations to post-sale support, making them a top choice among Amazon business brokers.

  • Valuation Tool: Empire Flippers’ free valuation tool lets you choose your main business model and enter key metrics to be given a quick valuation of your business. While this won’t be the final price you might be able to sell for, it gives you a good feel for the range you might be looking at.
  • Cleared Funds: Buyers that register on the platform submit proof of cleared funds in order to be able to make offers on businesses, so you know there are hungry, motivated buyers.
  • Global Reach: With a large and diverse audience, Empire Flippers offers sellers access to a broad pool of potential buyers, increasing the chances of a successful sale.

  • Strong market presence and brand reputation
  • Over 2,000 businesses successfully sold
  • Large and highly experienced team
  • Tapered fee structure benefits larger businesses
  • Less hands-on than a traditional broker
  • Can be more competitive, with numerous listings vying for attention

Empire Flippers works on a blended commission structure, meaning the rates are stacked on top of one another based on the business’s value. This means you pay lower percentages on the higher-valued portions of your business. The tiers are:

  • Under $700k — 15%
  • $700k – $5m — 8%
  • Over $5m — 2.5%

Example—If a business is listed at $5 million:

  • $700,000 of the value will have a commission of 15% = $105,000
  • Plus 8% commission on the remaining $4,300,000 value = $344,000
  • Total = $105,000 + $344,000 = $449,000 commission

Overall

4.7

Best for

Small businesses

Next Steps

Create Listing

Flippa is a well-known marketplace for buying and selling online businesses, domains, and digital assets. Founded in 2009 by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz, Flippa has become a popular platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs looking to sell their businesses quickly and efficiently. The platform offers a user-friendly interface, making it accessible for sellers with varying levels of experience.

Flippa’s strength lies in its vast marketplace, which attracts a diverse range of buyers from around the world. This exposure can be particularly beneficial for smaller eCommerce businesses that might not attract the same attention on more exclusive brokerage platforms. Additionally, Flippa provides a range of tools and resources to help sellers create compelling listings and manage the sales process independently.

While Flippa offers great flexibility and accessibility, it requires sellers to be more hands-on compared to traditional brokerage services. Sellers are responsible for creating their listings, negotiating with buyers, and managing due diligence, which can be time-consuming but offers more control over the process.

As such, it is more suited to smaller sellers (Under $500k in revenue) in our opinion.

  • Wide Reach: Flippa’s marketplace attracts a large audience of potential buyers, providing excellent exposure for listings.
  • DIY-Friendly: The platform’s intuitive interface and support resources empower sellers to manage their own sales process.

  • Broad audience reach increases visibility for listings
  • Affordable listing fees compared to full-service brokers
  • Empowers sellers to take control of their sales process
  • Easier to get listed than some other marketplaces
  • Less hands-on support compared to traditional brokers
  • Sellers must handle negotiations and due diligence independently

  • Listing Fees: Flippa charges a one-time listing fee, which varies based on the type and value of the business. Fees start at around $49 and can go up to several hundred dollars for premium listings.
  • Success Fees: In addition to the listing fee, Flippa charges a success fee upon the sale of the business. This fee is a percentage of the final sale price, typically ranging from 5% to 10%.

Overall

4.8

Best for

Industry experience

Next Steps

Free Valuation

Quiet Light is a boutique brokerage firm that specializes in selling profitable online businesses. Founded by Mark Daoust in 2007, Quiet Light has built a reputation for providing personalized, expert service to both buyers and sellers. The firm is known for its hands-on approach and deep industry expertise, making it a preferred choice for experienced sellers looking for a tailored selling experience.

The team at Quiet Light is composed of seasoned entrepreneurs and business brokers who have firsthand experience in buying, selling, and running online businesses. This unique perspective allows them to offer insightful guidance and support throughout the entire sales process. Their commitment to integrity and transparency has earned them a loyal client base and numerous industry accolades.

Quiet Light’s focus on high-quality, profitable businesses ensures that both buyers and sellers receive exceptional value. The firm’s comprehensive approach includes thorough valuations, targeted marketing strategies, and meticulous buyer screenings, all aimed at achieving the best possible outcomes for their clients.

  • Personalized Service: Quiet Light offers a highly personalized approach, with dedicated advisors providing tailored support and guidance throughout the sales process.
  • Experienced Team: The brokers at Quiet Light are successful entrepreneurs themselves, bringing valuable insights and expertise to each transaction.

  • Dedicated, hands-on service from experienced professionals
  • Strong emphasis on transparency and integrity
  • High success rate with profitable, well-vetted businesses
  • May not be the best fit for smaller businesses
  • Higher fees reflect the premium, personalized service

  • Free Initial Consultation: Quiet Light offers a free initial consultation to discuss the business and potential sale process.
  • Commission: Quiet Light typically charges a success fee ranging from 10% to 15% of the final sale price, depending on the size and complexity of the transaction. This commission is comparable to industry standards and reflects the premium level of service provided.

Overall

4.7

Best for

Large businesses

Next Steps

Free Consult

FE International is a premier business brokerage specializing in the sale of SaaS, eCommerce, and content-based businesses.

Founded in 2010 by Thomas Smale, FE International has established itself as a leading brokerage firm known for its professionalism, industry expertise, and successful track record. The firm has facilitated hundreds of high-value transactions, making it a top choice for sellers of substantial online businesses.

Its team possesses extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, financial analysis, and business valuation. Their rigorous and data-driven approach ensures that each business is thoroughly prepared for sale, attracting serious buyers and maximizing value. FE International’s strong industry connections and reputation for excellence further enhance their ability to secure favorable deals for their clients.

FE International stands out for its comprehensive services, which include detailed valuations, strategic marketing, and full support throughout the due diligence and negotiation process. This all-encompassing approach provides sellers with peace of mind and confidence in achieving their desired outcomes.

  • Expert Valuations: FE International’s team provides in-depth and accurate valuations, helping sellers understand the true worth of their business and setting realistic expectations.
  • Global Reach: With a wide network of international buyers, FE International ensures that listings receive maximum exposure to qualified prospects.

  • Strong focus on high-value and SaaS businesses
  • Comprehensive and data-driven approach to valuations and sales
  • Wide network of international buyers and investors
  • Higher fees reflect the premium level of service
  • Not ideal for smaller businesses valued under $250k

  • Free Valuation: FE International offers a free, no-obligation valuation to help business owners understand their business’s market value.
  • Commission: The firm charges a success fee upon the sale of the business, typically ranging from 10% to 15% of the final sale price, depending on the size and structure of the business.

eCommerce business brokers guide

Choosing a business brokerage is a big decision. In this section, we’ll help you understand more about the role these specialists can play and their impact on your online business.

The role of an eCommerce brokerage

An eCommerce brokerage plays a pivotal role in the buying and selling of online businesses.

Acting as an intermediary, brokers facilitate transactions between sellers looking to exit their eCommerce business and buyers looking to enter or expand within the marketplace.

An online business broker brings expertise in valuing eCommerce businesses, marketing them to potential buyers, and negotiating favorable terms for both parties. By leveraging their network and industry knowledge, brokers can significantly expedite the sale process and ensure a fair deal for all involved.

eCommerce brokers also offer invaluable guidance throughout the entire sales process.

From preparing the business for sale by optimizing financials and operations to ensuring thorough due diligence, their comprehensive approach minimizes risks and maximizes the chances of a successful transaction.

For sellers, this means achieving the best possible price, while buyers gain confidence in the legitimacy and potential of their investment.

How much do business brokers cost?

The cost of hiring a business broker can vary widely depending on the complexity and value of the transaction.

Typically, eCommerce brokers charge a commission-based fee, which ranges from 10% to 15% of the business’s final sale price.

This fee structure aligns the broker’s interests with those of the seller, as the broker is incentivized to achieve the highest possible sale price.

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In addition to the commission, some brokers may charge an upfront fee or retainer for initial valuation, marketing, and other preparatory services.

While the cost might seem significant, it’s important to consider the value that a professional broker brings to the table.

Their expertise can lead to a higher sale price, quicker transactions, and fewer complications, ultimately justifying the expense—both from a stress and financial perspective.

Additionally, brokers often handle time-consuming tasks such as buyer screenings, negotiations, and paperwork, allowing business owners to focus on running their operations until the sale is finalized.

Marketplaces vs brokers

When it comes to selling an eCommerce business, owners typically face a choice between using a broker or listing their business on a marketplace.

Marketplaces, such as Flippa and Empire Flippers, offer platforms where sellers can quickly list their businesses for a fee, attracting a broad audience of potential buyers.

These platforms can be cost-effective and provide significant exposure, but they require the seller to handle most aspects of the transaction, including marketing, negotiations, and due diligence.

In contrast, working with a broker offers a more hands-on, personalized service.

Brokers take on the heavy lifting of the sales process, from initial valuation to closing the deal, which can be particularly beneficial for owners who lack the time or expertise to manage these tasks independently.

While the broker’s commission might be higher than the fees associated with marketplaces, the tailored support and professional guidance can lead to a more efficient and profitable sale.

Ultimately, the choice depends on the seller’s priorities, resources, and comfort level with the complexities of the sale process.

Choosing an eCommerce business broker

Selecting the right eCommerce business broker is crucial to ensuring a smooth and successful transaction.

When evaluating potential brokers, consider:

  • Experience: A broker with a strong background in eCommerce will have a deeper understanding of the market dynamics, valuation methods, and potential buyer pool, which can significantly impact the outcome of the sale.
  • Network: A well-connected broker with access to a broad range of qualified buyers can increase your business’s visibility and attract competitive offers.
  • Communication: Look for brokers who offer transparent communication and a clear plan for the sales process, including how they will market your business, screen potential buyers, and handle negotiations.
  • References: Don’t hesitate to ask for references or testimonials from previous clients to gauge their satisfaction with the broker’s services.
  • Trust: Selling a business is a significant and often emotional decision, so working with a broker who understands your goals, communicates effectively, and demonstrates integrity can make the process less stressful and more rewarding.

Take the time to interview multiple brokers, ask detailed questions, and choose one who aligns with your expectations and whom you feel comfortable working with.

FAQs

eCommerce business valuations can vary wildly. Typically, a mid-sized eCommerce brand ($1m-$10m annual revenue) would be valued somewhere in the 3-8x EBITDA range. However, this is still only a very rough guide and would depend on a lot of factors such as profitability, age of the business, product lines, and so on. Smaller or larger brands would also see these ranges adjusted up or down accordingly. If you want a quick idea of what range you might be looking at, try Empire Flippers’ free valuation tool.

Selling an eCommerce business involves a number of stages, including:

  • Preparation: First, you need to get your business in a sellable state. This includes systemized processes with clearly documented SOPs for the new owner, along with clean books that quickly show potential buyers the value in the business.
  • Valuation: Next, getting an accurate valuation is important so you know what to market your business for.
  • Marketing: Once you’ve set a price, you need to let potential buyers know your business is for sale. This could be through an online business broker, specialist consultant, or an online marketplace specializing in eCommerce business sales.
  • Negotiation: When your business attracts interest, it’s important to negotiate a fair deal that you’re happy with. Check over your sale agreement’s terms carefully to ensure you’re completely happy with everything.
  • Completion: Once both parties sign off on the deal, it’s time to hand the business over. The buyer will usually place the funds into Escrow while the business owner transfers the various accounts and assets into the buyer’s name. Most deals will involve a period of training or support, but once that is complete, your part in the process is done, and the business is now in the hands of the new buyer.

No, you don’t need a broker. But given how significant this transaction may be in the context of your financial future, it’s highly recommended you consider getting some kind of expert support. Unfortunately, there are instances of large, well-funded buyers coming in and drowning less experienced operators in confusing legal agreements and hard-to-follow jargon, only for that seller to then realize they’ve agreed to far-from-optimal sale terms. Plus, a good broker should be able to net you more total income from your business (after their fees) from the expertise they offer and the exposure they can give your business to a wider audience.

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Ben Donovan

WRITTEN BY

Ben Donovan
Ben is the founder of Brand Builder University and has a passion for helping normal everyday people create financial freedom by building successful eCommerce businesses. He lives in Manchester, UK with his wife and 2 children and loves to play sport and watch continual re-runs of The Office (US version, obviously).
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