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How to value and sell an Amazon FBA business

Apr 19

Amazon's FBA business has grown to be one of the most lucrative and interesting methods of earning money online. Amazon FBA businesses, dubbed a "new frontier" in peer-to-peer e-commerce by many, allow millions of businesses to profit from Amazon's distribution system and client base.

Well-developed brand value accelerator platforms are appealing online ventures to own and have grown in popularity as an investment possibility for business purchasers.

How to value  Amazon FBA businesses

To arrive at a proper valuation for Amazon FBA businesses, you must examine its financial statements, take into account other factors that affect its value, and then decide on the right multiple. The Seller's Discretionary Earnings (SDE) technique is almost primarily utilized to calculate profits or "net income" for the majority of Amazon's FBA business. However, organizations with revenues of $50 million or more nearly always utilize the Earnings Before Interest, Taxation, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) method.

Amazon FBA businesses are evaluated by  top amazon aggregators similarly to the majority of internet businesses, based on a multiple of seller discretionary earnings ("SDE" or occasionally referred to as "seller discretionary cash flow").

SDE is the profit that remains after all costs of products sold and important (i.e., non-discretionary) operational expenditures are removed from gross receipts. Payment for the owner can also be put back to the profit figure since it is a discretionary item that a new owner may choose to cut or remove. Reconciling owner remuneration with revenue assists in determining the business's genuine earning potential.

To do an FBA company valuation, you must first determine the SDE of the business and then choose a multiple to apply to it.

The multiple is a critical component of the solution and is influenced by hundreds of business-related variables. These parameters encompass a broad range of operational and financial characteristics but ultimately come down to the transferability, durability, and adaptability of the firm. Any operating or market aspect that affects these main drivers, either directly or indirectly, will affect the multiple.

How to sell  Amazon FBA businesses

If you're considering selling your Amazon FBA businesses, you have four primary options:

  • Marketplace — advertise your firm for selling on a listed business-for-sale website such as BizBuySell or BizQuest.
  • Auction - sell your items using an online auction platform
  • M&A adviser - retain the services of a professional broker to assist you in selling your firm.
  • Approach prospective purchasers directly — cold – and sell the firm yourself.

Each of these techniques has many pros and cons, which we discuss briefly below.

  • Marketplace

Offering your Amazon FBA businesses on a marketplace requires you to provide information about your firm and create a listing to attract the attention of purchasers browsing the listings. 


  • Low cost - a listing charge of a few hundred dollars with additional features.
  • Major distribution — if you offer your firm for sale on a huge, renowned business-for-sale network, your advertisement has a good chance of being viewed by a large number of visitors.


  • Low demand - markets process a large number of listings every day, and distinguishing out is frequently a challenge. The majority of purchasers scanning the ads search for brokers (who also use them) since they know the postings have been pre-vetted.
  • Process — You are responsible for evaluating eligible purchasers, distributing non-disclosure agreements, responding to inquiries about the business, discussing bids, doing due diligence, creating a contract for sale, and coordinating the transfer of funds/assets. If you lack experience with the company selling process, you risk being stuck in many locations. Additionally, it will divert your focus and time away from running your firm.

A marketplace listing may be appropriate if you have extensive expertise selling businesses and the time necessary to conduct a transaction. Otherwise, it might be a lengthy and laborious process to locate a buyer. On average, a marketplace transaction takes between 6 and 9 months.

  • Auction

Selling your FBA business on an auction service is similar to placing it on a market in that you will prepare comparable data and manage the transaction yourself. The difference between this and an auction situation is that the firm will have a set length of time to sell, which creates greater competitive strain among purchasers. It is particularly appropriate for enterprises with a worth of less than $5,000 and is mostly used for domain sales.


  • Huge distribution — if you advertise on a large network, your ad will almost certainly be viewed by thousands of people.
  • Set a timeline - by listing for 7, 14, or 28 days, you may estimate the amount of time it will take to locate a buyer if one is found.


  • Buyer qualification — many purchasers on auction platforms are first-time business purchases. This implies that many are seeking smaller company sales (around $5,000) and are unfamiliar with the selling procedure, which might create complications during due research and settlement.
  • Value - the majority of purchasers on auction platforms are seeking inexpensive company sales, with a median multiple of 0.5x to 1.5x. This is very certainly far less than what you desire for your firm.
  • As said previously, you are responsible for the process's end-to-end execution. This is likely to consume a significant amount of your time.
  • Fees — auction platforms cost a set service fee and a ten per cent achievement fee upon completion, making them considerably more costly than a marketplace and comparable to an M&A adviser, but relying entirely on you to handle everything.

An auction platform is ideal if you need to sell a small firm fast and at a low price.

  • M&A advisory firm

Selling your FBA business through an M&A adviser is probably the smartest course of action to take. If you have a major company for selling in the $1-100 million valuation area and lack expertise in selling businesses and/or wish to optimise the sale price, contact us.

An M&A adviser will handle the entire process from start to finish, from marketing materials creation to approaching purchasers, making offers, organising due diligence, producing the sale contract, and managing the movement of assets/funds via Trust. Additionally, they will assist you in determining your worth and negotiating the finest contract conditions for your legal protection and economic advantage.


  • Large distribution — when you list your firm with a respected, well-established M&A counsel, you receive accessibility to their database of skilled and experienced buyers. This implies that your firm will be exposed to a broad, highly focused investor audience capable of executing and closing a deal quickly.
  • Complete process — once you've given adequate data for the initial advertising material, a professional M&A counsel will handle the process from start to finish. You will not be required to fund negotiations, due diligence, or contracts on your own. This frees up time for you to continue operating your company or doing daily duties.
  • Maximum value - a competent M&A counsel will understand how to price your firm based on market data and comparable transactions. They will seek many offers and then negotiate the highest price with the overall best terms.


  • Requirements upfront - to collaborate with an M&A adviser, you must be organised and have facts about your firm available. Their purchasers are highly driven, organised, and eager to deliver for the appropriate firm, but they want the necessary documents.
  • Fees — an M&A advisor will normally charge up to 15% of the business's sale value upon successful completion. If you employ the correct adviser, the net revenues to the seller (selling

price minus broker costs) are nearly always greater than those obtained through a marketplace, auction, or direct sale. 

An M&A adviser is a suitable alternative if you lack experience appraising or selling enterprises, lack time, or want to maximise the revenues from the sale of your firm. Typically, a brokered sale takes between four and eight weeks, depending on the size of the firm (larger businesses can take longer).

  • Direct

The fourth alternative is to contact prospective buyers personally (through cold email or phone call) and convince them to purchase the firm. The most effective strategy is to contact other company owners that operate in the same or a related niche.


  • There are no fees - if you find buyers and complete them smoothly, this option will cost you far less than the other choices. Almost certainly, you will incur solely legal expenses.


  • Finding the buyer - you'll be responsible for conducting the necessary research and outreach to locate a buyer and may wind up disclosing sensitive data to rivals. Cold reach has a poor success rate and is thus avoided by most business brokers when selling a firm.
  • Similar to the marketplace and auction, you are accountable for the end-to-end operation of the process.

The direct approach works if you've been approached or if you're willing to take a gamble on a low probability of success. A direct sale typically takes between three and twenty-four months, depending on whether you have had an inbound interest or are beginning from scratch.