5 (Sobering) Lessons from the Sales of Hammocks.com

December 22, 2017 |  

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About this episode

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David Fairley estimates he has sold more than 20 online properties but admits it was the sale of Hammocks.com—one of his first exits—that taught him the most.

Fairley had grown Hammocks.com into a seven-figure website with a pre-tax profit of more than $300,000 when he decided to put it up for sale. He received a “low seven-figure” offer and agreed to meet with the buyer.

That’s about when things started to unravel.

The buyer questioned Fairley’s bookkeeping and dropped their price to around $700,000. Exhausted, Fairley felt cornered and decided the only thing he could do was to accept the lower price.

In this cautionary episode, you’ll learn:

  • How acquirers use an opening offer to bait sellers into a conversation
  • How sloppy bookkeeping can derail a deal
  • The dangers of over-valuing your business
  • The worst time to sell your business
  • The tell-tale sign that an earn-out contract will never be paid

Are You Tired of Always Carrying Your Company?

One of the reason Fairley agreed to a lower acquisition price was that he was exhausted by the weight of single-handedly running a seven-figure business. Is your business too dependent on you? If so complete the Value Builder questionnaire to identify some quick ways to free up more of your time.

Our guest

David is a serial Internet entrepreneur who started a hammock importing business back in the early nineties which he expanded online, establishing an early internet presence that eventually became Hammocks.com. After selling this company, David went on to personally develop, buy and sell over 60 website businesses in multiple niches and of various business models including strollers.com and unicorns.com. David started WebsiteProperties.com as the first online business brokerage that specializes in selling established and profitable Internet based businesses. For over 12 years, he has helped over 500 internet entrepreneurs successfully sell their business.

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