I’m joined here with Tim Richard after he just finished selling an eBay storefront on Flippa for $70,000! Tim, also known as CHG on Flippa, has had over 63 transactions on Flippa, totaling over $208,000. In this interview, we talk about his professional background, what drew him to start an eBay store, and just how he sold an eBay storefront for $70,100!
What is your background with online businesses? How did you get started and how many businesses do you currently operate?
I have been involved in online business since the age of 17, half a lifetime ago! I got my start in car parts, importing them from China back when The Fast and Furious was a budding franchise and everyone wanted the coolest parts. Since then I have bought and sold over 500 websites, 1,500 domain names, and processed somewhere in the ballpark of $90,000,000 in revenue across my various properties over the years. Currently, I am heading up a small group of people who are developing a SAAS project with implications that can disrupt an entire market. Aside from that main project, I operate a few dozen smaller properties and also control a network of automated Amazon affiliate websites that make a healthy profit as well.
Tell us about the eBay business. How did you start selling on eBay and what are the advantages of selling through eBay?
The eBay business model was my brainchild half a lifetime ago – that’s where I got my start selling online. It did well – really well. More recently, I met Dave (my partner) who at the time was a manager of a medical device sales company in their biologics division. There has been quite the debate about whether eBay can stand up against Amazon, Etsy, Rakuten, etc. My opinion is simple – eBay is a place to find things you cannot find anywhere else. Collectibles, unique items, even things that are less than new (customer returns, open boxes, etc). Of course, you can always find new products too, as well as a seemingly endless supply of imported products as well. To me, this business could never have worked anywhere else but on eBay. Buying and reselling customer returns and open box items is a wildly profitable venture if you’re capable. I started with $200 buying returns in bulk and ended up doing over $1k/day at peak with this particular store. The disadvantage to this business is simple – there is a higher than usual rate of returns. These items sometimes have issues, and when you deal in such large quantities/volume, you can’t inspect them all. So you simply refund the ones with issues and move on!
You sold an FBA business on Flippa not too long ago, and have decided to sell your eBay business on Flippa as well. What made you decide to sell the business and what brought you back to Flippa?
We’re in the midst of a large SAAS project and need to clear our plates in order to focus as much time as possible on it. We’re slowly divesting from the bulk of the holdings to hone in on the larger project. I’ve been a member of Flippa for 8 years, and have enjoyed the marketplace as both buyer and seller. There is such a detailed infrastructure in place to manage Flippa that most people will never see, and that compels me to trust in the marketplace more than any other. Sure there are some marketplaces that are larger or offer higher volume, different properties, etc – but none with the personal service that Flippa offers. I came back to deal solely on Flippa because, simply put, I am happy here.
What should all potential buyers of an eBay store know, before buying the business?
eBay is a great business to get into as a first timer. I have coached a number of people who were just coming out of corporate work or were retiring and wanted a low impact but profitable job. That’s exactly what this is. eBay businesses are easy to run, profitable, and don’t require a major amount of time investment. I definitely suggest buying a couple of things on eBay (if you haven’t before) just to get a feel for the process on the opposite side. You need to see how it all works from a buyer’s perspective, that way you can in turn become a more effective and efficient seller.
How were you able to transfer over ownership of an eBay storefront to the new owner?
The transfer process is actually relatively straightforward. The first and most important part of acquiring or selling an eBay store is: If you’ve EVER been banned from selling, you can not sell or buy a store. Plain and simple. If they detect a transfer of ownership and it links you to your banned store, you’ll have wasted potentially a lot of money.
The transfer process itself is rather easy, and in order to do it without raising any red flags – these are your steps:
1 – Log into the store with the provided password
2 – Go directly to Account -> Scroll down to Link My Paypal Account
3 – Proceed to link it with your Paypal, it will take 3-5 tries for it to work (don’t know why)
4 – Go to Account -> Change Automatic Payment Method
5 – Replace card on file with your own
6 – Log out
7 – Log back in
8 – Change email address of account (the one you sent is already registered)
9 – Log out, check email, verify change through email link
10 – Log back in
11 – Go to: https://fyp.ebay.com/
12 – Change account password
13 – Log out
14- Log back in
15 – Pay $20 to the seller fees using the newly linked card information (this locks all account changes in place)
16 – Check all other account information to ensure it was set properly
What advice would you give someone looking into selling an eBay storefront on Flippa?
eBay storefronts don’t run by the same acquisition multiplier and valuation that other businesses (like FBA) would. If my FBA store did the profit that the eBay store has done, I would have probably been paid $500k for it. So you need to make sure you’re realistic about your expectations and be open to accepting a lower amount. Be prepared to sell for between 6-12 months, depending on how it operates. If your eBay business is dropship only and still profitable, it will command a much higher selling price. However, if the buyer is required to have physical space and an investment of time/labor, it won’t get as much in a sale.
Want to be notified whenever Tim has a new listing for sale? Go to his profile here and click “Watch Seller” to be the first one notified when a new listing of his goes live!