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fredflare.com 14yr old site / 168,083 uniques/mo making avg $200K/mo

fredflare.com

Auction Ended Unsold

$102,000

Bidding History: 36 bids
Started:
Sat, 05 Oct 2013 06:15:30 EST
Completed:
Thu, 31 Oct 2013 08:40:46 EST

Website Statistics and Collected Data

External Ranks

Google PageRank 5
Alexa Rank 56,680

Backlinks

Links in Google 71
MajesticSEO Inbound Links 1,198,607

Other Stats

SEMRush Keywords in Google 2,072
Domain Registration Date 9 Jun, 1999
View extended due diligence data for this listing

Description

10 REASONS why u should buy e-tailer fredflare.com

1)    Strong, recognizable 14yr old e-tailer averages $3 million in yearly sales with a mere 9 full-time employees, (more part-time help needed in 4th quarter). No one on our staff has any business or tech expertise.

2)    Loyal customer following with heartfelt connection to brand includes…

            60,000           EMAIL subscribers

            111,982         FACEBOOK likes

            7,609            TWITTER followers

            4262            TUMBLR followers

            2305            PINTEREST followers

            3418            INSTAGRAM followers

            1277            FLICKR contacts

            590            YOUTUBE subscribers

We also very recently did a customer survey with TONS of great input from our shoppers that can be used to build loyalty even more.

3)    With no PR team and no media expertise, the brand has garnered over 1000 press mentions.

4)    Great relationships and current database of over 700 press contacts in long and short lead publications, primarily in the fashion/style/celebrity/home categories.

5)    Complete database with over 800 vendors in home, novelties, fashion and accessories. While retail always includes risk, partnering with these vendors to select the right merchandise can generate incredible revenue.

6)    Recent $200,000 update to website with lots of new features.

7)    Company has no debt.

8)    Totally fun, creative feel-good company culture with exciting, challenging business opportunities. Owners may be willing to stay on and consult for a limited time.

9)    Great online growth potential for the tech-savvy and/or terrific potential for retail stores – we’ve seen incredible profits in pop-ups! – as well as wholesale opportunities for branded product development.

10) This price is a steal! While we're not as profitable as we were two years ago, then the asking price was around $3 million.

 

10 CHALLENGES that face fredflare.com

Gonna keep it real about the tougher sides of the biz...

1)    Our brand-new site still has functionality issues and speed issues.

2)    Site is not optimized for cell phones and tablets so there will be some additional expense making a more phone friendly shopping experience. It’s critical, however, as this customer sector is important and growing.

3)    We have no tech team.

4)    Online retail marketplace has become increasingly competitive with Amazon, discounters and flash sites.

5)    Changes in email marketing deliverability from Google have made it more difficult to reach our customers.

6)    Since the merchandise we offer is typically inexpensive, you need volume to insure profitability.

7)    Last two years traffic/sales/profits have dropped considerably.

8)    Our conversion rate has always been somewhat challenged:(

9)    We’re primarily a 4th quarter business.

10)  It’s a lot of work, but what isn’t?

 

If I had it to do over, here are some things I believe could make a difference…

TESTING TESTING TESTING

As I’ve said a couple times, we’ve never had an in-house tech team, no programmers, no research analysts, nothing... We never had anyone who could perform A/B testing on different areas of the site. I know there’s an opportunity here as I believe playing around with key elements on fredflare.com could easily result in better conversion, better sales, better profits.

INVEST IN A TOP TIER TEAM

We always dreamed of having rock star executives, visionary CEO's, inventive developers... But mostly our team comprised of younger, inexperienced people like us, all learning on the job. Take that excitement and now add one supersmart biz person like yourself and I know this place would KILL it.

SELL ONLY GIFTS AND ACCESSORIES AND NOT FASHION

Pls! Learn from us. We love fashion and worked hard to present it in a fun way. Sadly, except for an occasional star, it just never performed to our hopes. And, of course, you have all the extra work of shooting the item on a model and all the additional returns that come with offering clothing. Lastly, the business is much more seasonal than the home category which has a longer shelf life. I truly believe carrying fashion is one of the reasons we fell so far behind profit-wise. We loved it and worked to make it grow but it just wasn't working and we couldn't let it go.

UNIQUE MERCHANDISE

Certainly we love novelties but, more and more, we see the same items on Amazon or other big box retail sites. The customer Google shops more than ever now so the way she selects her purchases has changed. To counter this it’s important to offer more unique, even handmade, items that connect to what she's searching for. Fredflare has a history of doing this with a call for entries called Next Big Thing where we selected talented designers all over the world and featured their items for sale on FF. The project didn’t necessarily make money but helped us find the occasional top seller that wouldn’t be found elsewhere. We suggest growing this angle.

DISCOUNTING

If you can generate the volume, one idea might be to move fredflare.com more and more towards becoming a discount site all the time. Our sales have always done well and you could keep presenting them in unique ways. Our flash sales often presented art or other special items, available for a limited time, and those did well. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

FOCUSING ON LOYAL CUSTOMERS

While social media is important and an active part of our daily marketing, we suggest focusing on the loyal customers that have spent money with us over the years. Every day we have customers who have ordered from us 10-20 times before. We LOVE our customers and have always felt it's our job to make them smile. I’ve always wanted to develop a campaign that gives them extra personal service. I’m confident this would also build sales.

CORPORATE GIFTING

We really are known as a great source for gifts, especially at the Holiday period. On occasion we’ve had companies or individuals contact us for items in bulk. One time we made $65K on one order. I believe developing this part of the business could lead to great revenues, assuming new team is interested in product development.

REBUILDING TRAFFIC

Somewhere over the last two years or so we began to lose traffic as a continuing monthly trend. We honestly still aren't sure why. One year our Google ads go crazy, bringing so much business, and then the next year they barely pay for themselves. I believe an experienced analyst could more thoroughly investigate this phenomenon and develop sound strategies to counteract the downward trend. We were just kinda guessing.

LICENSING

We have had licensing meetings with a couple major retailers. There is great potential to take this brand and turn it into a line of products at Target or book products with Chronicle or a collaboration with a shoe brand. Anything!

 

WHY ARE WE SELLING?

Well, as you can see, this last year has been rough on the pocketbook and we haven't been profitable. We were convinced that a redesign on the website would turn it around and, sadly, we spent nearly $200K to do this, only to have the site have the complete opposite effect of what was intended.

We love this business very much but, after 15 years (14 online), we think it’s time to do something else. We are moving to the country where our house and car are paid for, thanks to fredflare.com, with a small savings and who knows what's next??

For a couple years we tried to find an investor or someone interested in purchasing the company, requiring a much bigger investment than we are asking now. Today you’re getting a great deal on a cute website, one made up of a lot of hearts and rainbows and sweat and tears but mostly so much love.

All we ever wanted was a partner, either with tech or retail or business expertise, to help take fredflare.com to the next level. We’re so happy we found you.

Comments

  1. Px48x48
    Posted by:
    fmaster ( | $14.2K )
    Date:
    Sat, 05 Oct 2013 18:04:42 EST

    traffic and profit stat proof please

  2. Noavatar
    Posted by:
    pengfield ( | $510 )
    Date:
    Sat, 05 Oct 2013 22:02:43 EST

    What about products, are you selling those too ? Do you have a warehouse or do you do dropshipping ?

  3. Noavatar
    Posted by:
    pithecus ( | $21K )
    Date:
    Sat, 05 Oct 2013 23:21:12 EST

    Hi: your honesty in giving the good and the bad is much appreciated. Hard to find that here. thanks

  4. Px48x48
    Posted by:
    keithcarollo@gmail.com ( new )
    Date:
    Sat, 05 Oct 2013 23:35:01 EST

    @pithecus Thx!

  5. Px48x48
    Posted by:
    keithcarollo@gmail.com ( new )
    Date:
    Sat, 05 Oct 2013 23:38:01 EST

    @pengfield Great questions. Depending on timing of sale we may have some inventory, though our goal is to sell as much as possible. We *do* have a warehouse but lease is month-to-month so company could easily be moved anywhere. We do not dropship.

  6. Px48x48
    Posted by:
    keithcarollo@gmail.com ( new )
    Date:
    Sun, 06 Oct 2013 00:05:24 EST

    @fmaster Hi there. Keith here. Thx for your comment. I've uploaded a pdf from Analytics that shows traffic over last 5 years. Hope that helps.
    Unfortunately we haven't been profitable these last two years but I can definitely show you more. More than happy to discuss in depth with serious buyers. Pls PM me. Thx!!

  7. Noavatar
    Posted by:
    linda_p ( | $2K )
    Date:
    Mon, 07 Oct 2013 13:51:00 EST

    Wow, crazy seeing this site on here. I've known about Fred Flare for years and the selection of products is great. It's way out of my price range though :) I just wanted to wish you luck with the sale.

  8. Px48x48
    Posted by:
    keithcarollo@gmail.com ( new )
    Date:
    Tue, 08 Oct 2013 06:00:26 EST

    @linda_p Hi Linda! Just wanted to say thanks very much for your comment. Means a lot.

  9. Px48x48
    Posted by:
    deansquad ( | $48.2K )
    Date:
    Mon, 14 Oct 2013 22:12:04 EST

    Where are you customer base, do you offer worldwide shipping? What is current SAV?

  10. Px48x48
    Posted by:
    keithcarollo@gmail.com ( new )
    Date:
    Tue, 15 Oct 2013 00:02:35 EST

    @deansquad Hi there. Thx for your questions. We don't offer shipping worldwide but we *do* ship internationally to about 12 countries. Most of our sales are in the US. Our top 3 states are NY, CA and TX.

  11. Px48x48
    Posted by:
    Scorpiono ( | $10.2K )
    Date:
    Sun, 20 Oct 2013 04:42:45 EST

    @pithecus +1 to that.

  12. Noavatar
    Posted by:
    Tectopcat ( new )
    Date:
    Wed, 23 Oct 2013 18:42:27 EST

    Wow, an honest seller on Flippa! Makes me want to be a customer. Have you ever thought about trying to get on Amazon?

  13. Px48x48
    Posted by:
    keithcarollo@gmail.com ( new )
    Date:
    Sat, 26 Oct 2013 08:50:41 EST

    @Tectopcat Thx so much! We did have an Amazon store a couple years ago and, maybe we're total dunces but we couldn't really make much money there as the process added many steps in our warehouse. Dunno. But, again, thanks for what u said. Have a great wknd.

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