3 Ecommerce Websites grossing over $5M Annually
Adrenalineworld.com, Flymotorsports.com, Dreemdeals.com
A Group of 3 Ecommerce businesses grossing over $5M annually / Why are we different?
Business Description: Over 2 million skus, More growth potential than any other Internet business. 3 businesses equally spread out across the entire Internet, no inventory, still growing with unlimited potential.
As thought leaders in the e-commerce marketplace, our team came together to seek out, organize and innovate cutting edge technologies and processes to survive and win online. Combined, we have over 45 years of experience. We assembled this group of experts to solve the puzzle of how to succeed in the rapidly changing e-commerce world. We have done just that.
From the beginning, the team set out with a very structured plan of attack. We started by looking at today’s e-commerce world from a very high altitude. Utilizing strategic contacts, all of our knowledge, and the better part of the last two years built this strategic company. The team’s years overseeing day-to-day operations and building relationships with domestic and international vendors along with shipping carriers, attending the leading industry conferences and seminars, participating in endless webinars and blogs, and consuming all available literature lead us on the path to discover the secrets that are the fundamental pillars of the new and evolving e-commerce world. Solving the puzzle and innovating allowed us to build our unique and dynamic conglomerate. The capital investments including technology and three full time executives was $750,000 to build the infrastructure. We strongly believe that we have looked into the future of e-commerce and our companies will be thriving for a long time to come.
The first piece of the puzzle embraced is that you always have to stay ahead of the game, and the game is always changing. This is where many companies have failed. We have built a highly kinetic model that is able to adapt with the fast changing e-commerce game. Rather than fighting the inertia of the massive pull of the giants in e-commerce, we have learned to harness their power rather than fight them. Staying on top of this fast spinning e-commerce marketplace takes more than just a standard e-com model. Our thought leadership is the extra value that you cannot put a price on. The secrets we have uncovered is the only way for ANY on-line company to grow and be successful in the future.
It is important that we never lose sight of our story. From the beginning, when e-commerce for us was a garage filled with products, and shipping was filling the back of our pickup with boxes and driving over to the UPS office, this has always been about providing people like us, people who loved to ride, people who sought out thrill and adventure, with products that were both reliable and affordable. We learned that the bottom line is about value and service. We built our many websites by creating loyal customers who come back. We built our companies by creating loyal relationships with vendors who respect us for our integrity, our honesty, and our trustworthiness.
Since the days working out of the garage, the e-commerce world has grown around us, we have come to work every day, determined to be the leaders in our marketplace. We have taken every opportunity to learn and grow. Giant Internet companies have risen to huge (almost unimaginable) sizes, and taken down many small independent web-based sales companies as they grew. We continue to believe that e-commerce is about relationships and service. We strongly believe that with our values of integrity, honesty and trustworthiness we will continue to succeed. We look forward to sharing with you how we used the giants of our industry to make our own websites stronger and more profitable.
2 y/o Public Forum with $13,000 Annual Revenue
Fully automated with high organic rankings
San Francisco, CA
Seller Interview: YouthDebates.org
1. Please state your full name and company name.
[Known To Broker]
2. When was the business established?
3. How is the business monetized? Are there multiple revenue streams, if so, please list and explain.
Subscriptions (membership) and donations are the main source currently, ads are currently supported but not activated, other revenue streams are planned by not activated such as online store / merchandise and sponsored posts/polls/surveys.
4. How is content produced?
As it is a forum, content is created by the community. The volunteer staff also ensure to create several threads daily and interact with the community.
5. What advertising methods do use?
Currently social media, mostly Facebook (~40k likes on page, ~10k in group), which we will occasionally boost a popular post for $10, very rarely. Also, we send out an email blast to the 33,000+ subscribers with a summary of activity in the last 1-2 weeks of the site based on the user’s individual settings and preferences on our mailing system.
6. How has the business evolved since it was first established?
Mostly growth of the community and the platform. I can give a more detailed history and description of lessons learned if asked.
7. Who is your typical visitor?
Our traffic is more diverse, but our main active contributors tends to be male, age 16-30, and interested in politics. Usually based in the United Kingdom or United States. Google Analytics along with our system’s built in analytics will give more detailed information.
8. Are you the original owner of the business?
No, I purchased it in late December, fully transferred it over in January of this year. I’ve done a complete rework of the backend of the system, rebuilding it from the bottom up. Making it far more efficient. The old platform it was using was bottlenecking it and killing growth by drastically slowing down performance and page loading, as well as being difficult to use for the average person. Since making the changes we gained thousands of new users, hundreds of thousands of posts, thousands of threads, more than doubled daily activity, increased revenue, lowered costs, and drastically reduced the amount of effort needed to maintain the site.
10. Why is the business being sold?
I will be moving to San Francisco for work in the coming weeks so having more cash on hand and not having extra concerns would be a great benefit. I’ve enjoyed the project, but it needs someone that can focus on taking it to the next level by focusing more so on marketing it, I enjoy building the technical aspects more.
11. Are you looking to sell the company (stock sale) or just the assets of the business (asset sale).
1. Please list all domain names that are included in the sale
2. Are there any social media accounts included in the sale? If so, please list them along with the URLs to such accounts.
Facebook (39.3k+ Likes): https://www.facebook.com/youthdebatewebsite/
Facebook Group (16k+ Members): https://www.facebook.com/groups/YoungDem
3. Are there any mailing lists included in the sale? If so, which service providers are such lists held with and how many subscribers do they have?
Subscribers: 33,196 as of July 6th, 2016 – It’s built into the forum platform, can be provided as an CSV export as well.
4. Are there any rights, trademarks, intellectual property included in the sale?
Just the brand, logos, and various site assets.
TRAFFIC & MARKETING
1. What are the primary traffic sources of the site?
Other than direct or email, we usually get traffic from Facebook, Google, Reddit, Bing, and Twitter in that order.
2. Have you done any Search Engine Optimisation?
The software handles most of the leg work and is regularly indexed, links appear on Google sometimes within 20-30 minutes of being posted. It ranks well on many related keywords and data on which topics are performing the best and from where they’re found is built into the platform. Other than a daily post to Facebook (volunteer staff usually take care of that and usually schedule posts for the entire week up front), there isn’t any effort in marketing the site externally by myself, however members do spread the word and invite people from time to time on their own.
3. Do you or have you ever purchased traffic?
No, we’ve done some Facebook ads, but no direct traffic purchases.
4. To your knowledge, has the site ever received any search engine penalties (manual or algorithmic)?
5. Do you use, or have you experimented with direct / display advertising? If so, explain.
No we did not do anything outside of social media ads.
6. Do you use, or have you experimented with, social media marketing
Yes, mostly Facebook, but still only a little bit ($10 on an occasional popular post) there.
7. Are there any other sales / marketing initiatives that you use, or have experimented with? i.e. offline advertising, networking events, etc.
We have a few in the works, one that we believe will be the most successful in drastically growing the business is by creating private forum sections on the site for youth groups and debate clubs, thus pulling in members of our niche while at the same time benefitting those organizations. It’ll bring more traffic and active community members, at the very least it could increase donations and ad revenue, as well as give more groups for surveys and polling.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
1. Please provide a breakdown of ownership and the organizational structure of the business.
Owner: 100% ownership, mostly work on marketing or major decisions.
Volunteer Staff: Handle the day to day tasks such as moderation of the site, removal of spam (even though our automated system takes care of that 100% of the time since we upgraded a couple months ago), creates content, engages in community, and manages social media platforms.
Volunteer Group Moderators: Moderates and manages their individual group sections.
Community Members: Creates content, votes on new features, gives suggestions, etc.
2. Please provide a breakdown of the operations of your business
Owner (You potentially): Less than an hour a week of actual hands on work which is mostly just checking stats, seeing if there are any issues, etc. The only time necessary will be in marketing and growing the community, I have done very little focus on that in the last month and the site has remained stable, but the more effort put into that the better the results.
The volunteer staff and the software handles most of the other work.
For managing the servers, software, upgrades, hosting, security, etc that is all maintained for you by Discourse.org, the developers of the platform we use. It’s paid off for the rest of the year as well so it’s completely worry free. I’ve loved using them as it’s completely freed up all my time to focus solely on engaging the community and growing the site rather than worrying about anything else.
3. Does the owner of the site need any specific skillsets in order to successfully maintain and manage the site?
No, the platform is made to be extremely simple to understand and very straight forward, the developers of the platform can answer any questions or help with changes as we have them paid off for support for the remainder of the year, if the new owner would like to move they can simply download a backup directly from the administration panel and move to any host quickly.
4. How do you handle customer support and what is the average volume?
No customer support necessary, it’s a forum rather than a product. So it’s more like running a blog, people discuss and can subscribe or view ads. It’s extremely easy to manage.
5. Do you employ any people or use any freelancers and if so, are such contracts accounted for on the Profit & Loss Statement and transferable to the new owner?
No one is currently employed other than the hosting, which is paid off till the end of the year and will be transferred to the new owner. It is included in the P&L as well as any previous costs.
1. Are you able to provide live revenue verification?
To an extent, it’ll be limited as I haven’t owned the site for the full history of it, some donations were directly to our hosting/platform developers, goods or perks for the members to grow the site, paid directly to social media platforms for ads, etc. I’ve maintained records and databases from our previous platforms as well where a lot of payment history can be found from the full history of the website.
2. Is the website’s revenue kept separate from other businesses and/or personal accounts?
No, however it will be easy to transfer to the new owner, most donations are directly through PayPal, Amazon, Bitcoin. So it’s more of an “in the moment” thing, changing the donation links or placing your ad codes into the platform will be all that is necessary to ensure a simple switch over in payments.
3. Can the website’s revenue be accurately tracked back to the website, i.e. do payment descriptions/details include the website’s name or reference to the website’s products?
Not through the payment platforms themselves, only through the website message records and my records as much of the payments come from direct donations to the site via PayPal, although much of it is recorded on the older platform, it is not all as clear on the newer system since we haven’t finished implementing subscriptions into it yet, but can assist the new buyer in doing so and giving our roadmap of how we planned to implement the system.
4. What are the main expenses of the business (please list any recurring expenses that account for more than 1% of overall revenue)
Hosting, SSL, Security, Upgrades, Maintenance/Support, Backups: $220/month, paid off through the rest of the year, can be lowered to $40/month easily if the new owner is comfortable copying and pasting terminal commands and managing their own hosting.
The software is open source, so really hosting is our main cost, other than that we’ve done some advertising on Facebook, and would recommend focusing more on that.
5. If necessary, do you have tax returns available to support your revenue claims?
Not yet as I’ve only owned it for the past 7 months, my latest tax return wouldn’t include revenue made from this website.
1. What platform does the website use?
Discourse Forum Software, with possible WordPress integration.
2. Where is the site hosted and does this need to change after purchase?
Discourse.org Premium Business Hosting, the developers of the software itself. No, it does not need to change, on top of that the hosting is paid off for the year so they can continue to have the hosting without incurring any extra expense.
1. Please describe your main competitors. What makes the website better than its competition?
We’d mostly be competing with other political forums, but we are very well positioned to become much larger than we already are and already rank well for the niche. We’re beyond the foundational aspects of forums, we have a daily active user base, tons of content, bringing in revenue, have a team of volunteers who help manage much of the site, the software is more modern and actively developed/updated which gives us an edge over the competition as they mostly use heavily outdated software riddled with bugs and not even mobile friendly. Our platform is built for the web the way it is today and tomorrow, not yesterday.
1. Do you own any other internet-based businesses? If so, are any of them related to the website being sold?
Yes, no, none are related to this business.
2. Are you willing to sign a 3-year non-compete contract in the industry that the website operates in?
Not for forums in general, but for a political discussion forum yes, I’ll agree not to compete in the same niche.
3. Will you provide 1-3 months of post-sale support & training, in order to ensure that the buyer is able to fully take over the business and its operations?
Yes, we can discuss with the buyer what level of support they would expect initially and then be able to answer questions for a period of time after to ensure a smooth transition.
4. What are the primary growth opportunities that you see for the business going forward?
Most of this will be easier to describe via a call, but the main growth opportunities we see are partnering with youth groups and universities to offer free group space which will increase ad revenue and activity of the site, activating our new ad system and subscriptions, partnering with surveys/polls, working more on social media marketing, re-implementing the website currency system we used to have which brought in some good revenue but we haven’t finished something like it for the new platform yet.
5. Are there any geographical limitations to the potential buyer of the business?
6. Do you have anything to add to the above?
There has been a lot of history and benefits built into this community, I will gladly describe much more to an interested buyer as well as answer any further questions they may have. I’ve been part of and managed a lot of online communities in recent years, this one by far has the best standing to grow much larger, especially with a major political season in the United States gearing up this year. Just needs someone who can focus on growing it to the next level.