Case Study: Sold for $13,000 on Flippa

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During his senior year, David Sinick read The 4-Hour Workweek and then dropped out of college to become a web entrepreneur. In 2015 he acquired for $13,000 on Flippa, and in the five months since he’s cut costs by an estimated 35% and added 100 new customers. If you’re interested in subscription box businesses, you don’t want to miss this standout interview!

How did you become an online entrepreneur?

College wasn’t for me. I started off at the University of Pittsburgh, then left and went to the University of Colorado at Boulder for 2 weeks, and then University of Miami for my Sophomore and Junior years — and then I dropped out my senior year. That same year I read the book “The 4 Hour Workweek”, and from that moment on I was determined to make money on the internet.

How long have you been buying and selling websites?

I bought my first website on Flippa in 2010. After financing the acquisition by dipping into my college savings, taking out a loan from my parents, and bringing on a business partner to split the costs, I finally had my first real web venture – True Foods Market. In my opinion, the education I received running that business was far better than any education I ever received in college. Despite the venture not working out the way I planned, I gained invaluable knowledge and experience that I continue to utilize to this day.

Why do you use Flippa?

Honestly, it’s the best marketplace for finding legitimate websites for sale, and it has a much better selection and quality of listings than all of its competitors. Flippa has done a fantastic job curating high-end sites and keeping junk and scammers out. For the most part, the marketplace is made up of a wide array of unique business opportunities being sold by an eclectic crowd of entrepreneurs.

You acquired on Flippa, tell us about the business and why it was a good fit for you

Paleo Life Box is a subscription box company that curates new paleo snacks each month — around 7-8 per box — to introduce our customers to new, delicious Paleo snacks at an affordable price. I found the business for sale on Flippa, and I loved the fact that it was a year old and was growing at a steady pace. Additionally, I already run a large Paleo website, and I knew Paleo Life Box could be easily plugged into this site as as a new service offering.

Has there been any major challenges since you acquired the site?

We’re selling Paleo based snacks, and so they are usually more expensive with tighter margins than other similar food. Because of that, I’ve spent a lot of time vetting vendors and making sure we focus on high quality reasonably priced snacks. The thinking is that if we can provide a great experience for our customers, we’ll never have to worry about them coming back for more.

What changes have you made operationally to make the business more efficient?

We started off fulfilling orders and packaging shipments in-house, as in, my apartment (see picture below.) A big shout out to employee Ali Jangbar for being a trooper and fulfilling all these shipments by my side. Luckily, a while after taking over the business we were able to find a fulfillment company who provided cheaper boxes and better transport pricing.

Orders awaiting shipment at David's apartment.
PaleoLifeBox orders awaiting shipment at David’s apartment.

What would you say have been your biggest achievements since taking over the business, and what are your plans for the site moving forward?

We’ve shaved off 35% of our monthly costs by adding a new fulfillment partner and doing a better job of overseeing our vendor program. The site has performed great, and we added about 100 new customers in December without any promotion. We are planning on doing our first big promo this month, and I’d like to get us up to the 2-3,000 customers range within the year. Though we’ve got some aggressive growth targets, we’re making sure that we grow sustainably, so that every customer continues to receive a top notch experience.

What advice do you have for other web entrepreneurs looking to buy and sell websites on Flippa?

Make sure that any company you are seriously considering going after is not doing anything shady, or taking advantage of some sort of web gimmick that doesn’t have a real business model. This means you need to conduct proper due diligence and gaining an in-depth understanding of how the business makes money. Another tip is check Flippa regularly. I check the site at least once a week for websites that fit in with my existing portfolio. Listings come and go quite frequently and you need to pay attention to the market to ensure you don’t miss out.

If you want to acquire a high-quality business like check out the top websites for sale on Flippa.

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