Shopify Exchange VS Flippa VS Empire Flippers


Hey, what’s happening everyone, today I’m going to be talking about the pros and cons of Shopify exchange versus other marketplaces. And I’m going to be taking you through every one of these. So stick around, I’m going to talk about the differences. What the whole marketplace differentials are, what’s the difference between Shopify exchange Flippa micro acquire versus brokers like Empire Flippers, quiet light Fe International. So just a quick kind of background about myself. My name is Mike Swigunski.

I’ve helped broker more than $120 million worth of online businesses. And I have a background in essentially buying and selling online businesses. I’m a best-selling author of the book, global career, how to work anywhere and travel forever. I helped build Empire Flippers, the biggest and fastest growing company in the United States, I was employee number four. And I also help buyers and sellers, buy online businesses, and sellers exit. And I also have my own portfolio of online businesses. You can see it here, I love sharing this photo, I was employee number four and help build Empire Flippers. So I am trying to go in with an open mind trying to be as transparent as possible. But I have a lot of experience in this industry, of working with other companies, and our competitors, and of course, understanding the differences of why and when you should use a certain broker or marketplace. 

So let’s go ahead and just kind of dig in to give you a macro overview of the landscape. If you’re interested in buying and selling online businesses, these are the best options out there. And I’m going to talk you through what the differences are between marketplaces a hybrid brokerage or marketplace like Empire Flippers, and then the full-on brokers like quiet light or Fe International. On the left-hand side, we’ve got what I’ve grouped into just full-on marketplaces, these are going to be places like Shopify exchange, Flippa and micro acquire. 

The big difference here is I like to compare these similar to Craigslist, where somebody can go ahead and sign up, they’re going to have some verification process, a little bit more proof than Craigslist, you know, maybe they need to verify their identity, maybe they need to verify some sort of income through Shopify. So those are going to be kind of fully automated systems and platforms, meaning there’s not going to be a lot of manual oversight to what is going into the business and what’s going into the exchange. 

Because they’re doing this at a much larger scale, where they can’t really have that much manual oversight into all the businesses and websites. And that’s going to allow a lot of smaller businesses where the hybrid marketplaces and even the brokerages, usually don’t touch businesses below $50,000. But on these marketplaces, you’ll have a lot of smaller businesses, because it just doesn’t make sense trade time for these smaller businesses because of their pricing model and structure. Where on Shopify exchange Flipo micro acquires, they have a different pricing model. 

So that is going to lead to a lot bigger inventory for the small side, for the big side as well, you’re going to have a lot of other downsides, which I’ll get into later. But just kind of talking about these are marketplaces, what I consider Empire Flippers is a hybrid where it’s kind of a marketplace, it has like the scale, but it has a curation of a brokerage, meaning they’re actually manually investigating each one of their businesses before it goes on to the marketplace. And they’re actually rejecting around 70 or 80% of businesses that get submitted where Shopify exchange Flippa MicroCare, they’re essentially allowing if somebody’s going to pay or if they’re going to sign up and go through the process. 

They’re pretty much allowing any business that submits to go on here. So a lot of that inventory that gets rejected from here will end up on these platforms, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s just meaning that you know, maybe Empire Flippers are quite late or Fe International, they’re not going to allow gambling or gun sites or some sort of niches, you know, maybe they’re not meeting the strict criteria of earning over $2,000 $3,000 a month in profit. 

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Some of those sites can end up on these platforms, where the brokerages have fairly strict curation standards, meaning that they’re only going to allow a certain number of sites making earning at a certain threshold, they’re only going to allow certain niches, they’re going to have other curation standards that are going to go into the selection process of, hey, you know this business, we don’t think it’s sellable or a good fit for our marketplace, then they might get rejected. So moving on to the brokerage, the two big ones in the industry are quite light and FE International. The biggest difference between these two is the size of the deals where Empire Flippers, you can find businesses around 50 $60,000, they pretty much won’t deal with any businesses. I believe under $300,000. Fe internationals tend to have some inventory around that the quiet light is really focusing on that five to $10 million range, Fe International, I would say is focusing on the one to $5 million range where Empire Flippers are kind of that $100,000 To even $10 million. 

So they have a much wider range. And that’s why the hybrid marketplace allows them a lot of flexibility for the larger deals and the smaller deals. So Flippa, of course, you’ll have some bigger businesses, but a lot of them are going to be a little bit smaller, they have the same thing with micro require and Shopify exchange, the biggest difference between those Shopify is dealing with Shopify businesses. So is it going to be drop shipping and eCommerce businesses Flippa is going to be a lot more websites where a lot of times they don’t even have a business or they’re not actually generating cash flow. So you can find kind of a business or website that’s already done. But there are some businesses on there for E-commerce apps, everything in between. And then micro acquire is focusing on software businesses. And that’s kind of their specialty, where Empire Flippers, quite light Fe International, they all have some specialties, Empire Flippers has kind of become the Amazon FBA broker, but they still do a lot of deals for drop shipping eCommerce software, everything else, they’re still allowing that and they’re still doing a lot of those deals, Fe International has kind of pivoted towards software businesses, but they still do other and then the same with a quiet life, they kind of do a spectrum. 

But I think they kind of skew towards physical products. So one thing I want to talk about is the pros and cons of each. So we have the marketplace pros. So these are going to be Flippa Shopify exchange, and micro acquire. So you’re gonna have a huge selection, you’re gonna have a lot of inventory. But a lot of times the downside to this is it’s too much to sift through, you haven’t had that curation, and you don’t know if the businesses are legitimate. 

So that’s why you’re going to end up with a lot more risk and a potential for scams. That’s the biggest downside to that. But if you know what you’re looking for, there might be a good selection there. The hybrid marketplaces like Empire Flippers kind of had the best of both worlds, they’re going to have the larger selection compared to brokerages, and they’re also going to handle the migration. So when you actually do buy the business, they’ll handle the transition period, they’ll handle holding the funds to make sure that during this period, they’re holding the money to make sure that nobody has the lock and key at the same time. And so that’s going to really reduce, your risk. And it’s gonna really, essentially eliminate any scams, because you do have this kind of migration period and the escrow production, and then you have the curation standard. So a lot of times any of the businesses on the marketplace aren’t going to be scammed because Empire Flippers have a very rigorous testing process to make sure that the businesses are actually legitimate. And the same with brokerages, they’re spending a lot of time investigating these businesses. 

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So on the other side, the cons are you’re going to probably have higher prices, you’re not going to find these scarce deals that are, you know, basically a steal. But the pricing strategy for both the broker and the hybrid marketplaces is, they’re going to be charging the seller a fee, you know, maybe that’s 15% or 10% of the sales price, they kind of have a similar fee structure, that depending on how much the business is selling for, then they take a percentage of that, but because they’re doing a curation standard, they have to essentially add that fee to the buyer in some sense, meaning that the prices are probably going to be a little bit higher than what you’re finding on a marketplace like Flippa or Shopify exchange. 

So you can sometimes find these crazy good deals, but they’re very rare. And it’s a lot to sift through. So again, they’re going to have a lot of similar similarities between the pros and cons, but the brokerages are going to have a smaller selection because they’re focused on the bigger deals, they’re focused on that 1 million $5 million dollar deals, so they’re gonna have a smaller selection. And again, they’re going to have the same sort of curation standards, which is going to be less risk. So now we’re talking about the brokers and they’re gonna have a very similar structure to Empire Flippers or the hybrid marketplace. The biggest differences, they’re gonna have a smaller selection because they’re focusing on those bigger businesses, you know, between the 2 million $3 million businesses and they’re also going to have less risk in scans because they have a very strict curation process. 

They’re also gonna be helping with the migration escrow, but again, they’re going to have higher prices because, you know, they’re they are doing a lot to justify these higher prices. But I think overall, it’s much more worth it than having to sift through spend a lot of time have to deal with potential scams have to migrate The business yourself has to worry about escrow and dealing with somebody else that is maybe trying to scam you. So I think the hybrid or the brokerage is where I ideally work with any buyers because I don’t want to open anybody up to this type of risk. And also for myself, I personally would choose to work with one of these people. So I personally myself work with Empire, flippers, and other brokerages because it’s just not worth the extra time to save a little bit of money, that money is not going to be worth it if you’re gonna get scammed. So now let’s just look at a few of these marketplaces. So right now we’ve got the Shopify exchange, basically, you can see here, that there are some people asking for $150,000 business is only making around $2,000 a month. So I would say that’s really overpriced. $50,000. Again, these businesses are not as cheap as you would expect offering Seller Support after the sale, most high-quality businesses are handpicked for you, again, $600 for $250,000. 

So this is crazy, I just think people don’t know how to price it. And again, they can go in and just ask for whatever they want. Where on other marketplaces, you can find a lot better options here actually a more reasonably priced, level Flippa is going to have the biggest selection, and they are the number one marketplace because they have the biggest options. But again, the difference is that Empire Flippers, they’re going to have the biggest selection of curated options, meaning that they’ve been through a strict curation standard. So they all are offering good things. But I would say Flippa has a lot of options. But a lot of times, these are gonna be websites that don’t actually cash flowing. 

But they do have other options on there. And they do have some businesses for Empire Flippers, they’re going to be a hybrid marketplace, meaning that you’re still gonna get some support. But through their process, it might not just be with one individual, they’re gonna have a team of individuals, where brokers like Effie International, or quiet light, are basically going to have you know when you are working on either side, you’re gonna have one individual that you’re kind of working through the whole time, similar to like how a realtor is, this, this is probably the closest comparison, you’ll have one individual, and that person or that individual is going to help you through selling your business are going to help you through buying a business, when you’re looking on the marketplace here.

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They usually have, you know, a lot less inventory than somewhere like Empire Flippers, or, you know, flipper or whatever. But the prices are going to be a lot larger. So these businesses are a lot larger than what you’re gonna find on Flippa, or Shopify Exchange, or even micro acquire, the biggest difference here is, you know, let’s say you you are interested in these two businesses, you might be dealing with two different brokers. So quiet light usually has a broker assigned to a deal. And usually, that person is brought into the deal to the marketplace. Okay, so you can buy a website here you can see on Fe International, they do have, you know, a little bit higher prices are going to be sold businesses, let’s see available. So one thing I noticed on the website,  it’s actually kind of hard to find this. So you go to their homepage and sell SAS business, I guess they have the recent completions here. But even when you go here, buy a software business. You have to go down and get started, see listings, you would think the marketplace would be a little bit more central. But who knows. 

Anyways, they do have a lot of good options on here. And again, all these businesses, as I mentioned in Empire, flippers, Fe international quite light, they’re very well respected and renowned in the industry. So if you’re interested in buying or selling a business, make sure to reach out I’m going to leave a link below that. I’ll set up a time with you for a free consultation to either exit your business or to figure out what is the best business and marketplace for you to buy an online business that’s going to match up to your skills and sort of the goals you’re looking to achieve. So I’ll leave a link below. Make sure you get in touch and I would love to chat more about buying and selling online businesses with you.

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More About This Topic: is a marketplace for buying and selling online businesses, with two headquarters based in Melbourne and San Francisco. It serves to connect buyers and sellers of websites and other online businesses. As of the time of this writing, the company reportedly has 120,000 registered ‘buyers’ with access to over $8,200,000,000 in available funds.



Founded by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz, as the SitePoint Marketplace, Flippa was given its own separate identity in June 2009. Flippa’s revenue is largely derived from the sale of websites, apps, and online businesses through its marketplace, along with the sale of domain names as well. The marketplace’s most expensive sale up to date was which sold for US$1,200,000.


Other notable websites and domains sold through the Flippa marketplace include Mark Zuckerberg’s former website Facemash,, and Flippa’s platform is free for buyers and currently has a total of 120,000 buyers. Sellers pay Flippa a commission on the sale of their web properties.