Flippa vs. Acquire (Formerly MicroAcquire): Which Is Best?

Flippa vs. Acquire (Formerly MicroAcquire)

Plenty of marketplaces exist for buying and selling online businesses. With a growing number of options, finding the right one to suit your needs can be a challenge. Both Flippa and Acquire are established, active marketplaces capable of meeting many user needs.

Although both platforms offer many listings and established audiences, they take very different approaches. This Flippa vs. Acquire comparison covers all the important similarities and differences so you can decide which one, if either, is right for you.

Flippa vs. Acquire: A Summary

Differences between Flippa and Acquire include:

  • Specialization: Flippa is a general marketplace suitable for any online business model, while Acquire specializes in startups. More than half of the listings at Acquire are for SaaS (software as a service) businesses, but you’ll also find e-commerce businesses, agencies, mobile apps, content websites, and more.
  • Paid vs. free buyer accounts: Both marketplaces offer free or paid buyer accounts. At Acquire, buyers need an upgraded account to contact sellers, so the free account is only useful for browsing the listings. At Flippa, an upgraded buyer account provides earlier access to deals, but buyers with a free account can make offers and purchase businesses.
  • Confidentiality: At Acquire, every listing is confidential, with the business name and URL only visible to potential buyers after they sign and submit a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). By default, Flippa listings include the name and URL of the website, and these details are visible to the public. A confidential listing at Flippa is a $199 upgrade.
  • Fees: The fee structures of these two platforms are very different. This article includes a complete description and comparison.
acquire - world's largest startup acquisition marketplace

Flippa Overview

Flippa launched in 2009, becoming the first public marketplace for buying and selling websites. Although many more marketplaces and online business brokers exist today, Flippa remains among the most popular. Flippa’s massive user base leads to thousands of active listings and a huge audience of buyers, sellers, and investors.

While many brokers and marketplaces take a selective approach, Flippa is open to nearly any digital asset. There are no minimum requirements, so Flippa is suitable to buy and sell starter sites and pre-revenue businesses, as well as established and successful websites. 

Although Flippa publishes listings in all price ranges, most listings are below $20,000. These listings don’t meet the minimum requirements of most marketplaces, and so they gravitate to Flippa and its lower standards.

Flippa is mostly a do-it-yourself marketplace, with relatively little assistance for buyers and sellers. However, the company offers a brokered service for listings above $100,000. All listings above $1,000,000 must use the brokered service.

Acquire Overview

Acquire launched in 2020 (known as MicroAcquire at the time), so it’s a relative newcomer to the industry. Despite being only a few years old, Acquire has already established a very large audience of buyers and sellers.

When you visit Acquire.com, you’ll see that the platform specifically targets startups. SaaS and e-commerce businesses tend to attract the most attention from buyers at Acquire, but you can also list many other types of online businesses. They recommend not listing pre-revenue startups, although this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Acquire stands out from other brokers and marketplaces by charging buyers a subscription fee. New buyers can create a free account, but the functionality is extremely limited, and you need a paid plan to make a purchase. 

Since Acquire makes money from buyer subscription fees, they can keep the seller fees very low. You’ll find details on the fees later in this article.

FlippaAcquireInvestors Club
SpecializationGeneralSaaSContent and e-commerce
All listings verifiedNoYes (limited)Yes
Curated listingsNoSomewhatYes
Listing fee$29-$699$0$0
Success feeUp to 10%4%7%
Premium buyer account$49 per month$390 or $780 per year$79 per month or $399 per year
Buy with a free accountYesNoYes
Free migrationNoNoYes
Free escrowNoYesYes

Head-to-Head Comparison

Let’s look at how these two platforms compare in specific areas.

Types of Websites and Businesses Listed

Flippa is a general online business marketplace with few restrictions. You can list almost any website, including starter sites and pre-revenue businesses. The listings don’t need to meet specific criteria, so yours won’t be rejected simply because it’s not a good fit (although Flippa does have restrictions against adult content, websites that sell or promote weapons, and anything illegal).

You can also list domain names and social media profiles for sale at Flippa, but we’ll focus on websites and online businesses in this article.

Acquire specifically targets startups, but they don’t define what they consider a startup. About 50% of the listings on Acquire are for SaaS businesses, which matches the interests of many buyers on the platform. Other business models like e-commerce, agencies, apps, content sites, and more can be listed.

The table below shows the types of businesses listed on each marketplace at the time of writing.

Types of Businesses Listed
FlippaAcquireInvestors Club
SaaS8.1%55.7%0%
Content28.0%1.2%87.5%
Ecommerce51.8%31.8%12.5%
Other12.1%11.3%0%

While Acquire specializes in startups, they suggest only listing businesses with revenue. Currently, no minimum amount of revenue or profit is needed to list, but they suggest not listing a business until it has verifiable revenue.

Note, however, that Acquire’s minimum requirements could change in the near future. Acquire CEO Andrew Gazdecki posted on X, formerly Twitter, that the company may introduce a required minimum of $25,000 annual revenue.

Typical Price Range

Both Flippa and Acquire include listings in a wide variety of prices, although lower-priced deals make up the majority of listings at each platform.

As a general online marketplace, Flippa includes listings in all price ranges. You can find everything from small starter sites listed for a few hundred dollars or less to highly profitable businesses listed for millions.

Although you’ll find listings in all price ranges, a very high percentage are priced below $10,000. Many marketplaces exclude websites and businesses in this price range, so many of these sellers turn to Flippa.

As a platform specifically for startups, most of the listings at Acquire are in the lower price ranges compared to many marketplaces and brokers. The asking prices generally don’t go quite as low as some Flippa listings, but you’ll find many businesses listed on Acquire for less than $20,000, and some below $5,000. You’ll also find some six-figure listings and a few with seven-figure asking prices.

The table below shows the percentage of listings by price range at the time of writing.

Price Ranges of Listings
FlippaAcquireInvestors Club
Micro (less than $10k)71.4%12.9%2.3%
Small ($10k – $100k)19.8%38.5%63.6%
Medium ($100k – $1 million)7.0%34.3%27.3%
Large (over $1 million)1.8%14.3%6.8%

One of the common criticisms of Acquire is that you’ll find listings with unrealistically high asking prices and multiples that don’t conform with industry standards. For example, the screenshot below shows a listing with an asking price of 50x annual profit.

marketplace startup

Quantity of Listings

Flippa is the largest marketplace for buying and selling an online business, with thousands of active listings. You won’t find another marketplace of its kind with more listings.

Acquire isn’t quite as large as Flippa but has more active listings than most of the other Flippa alternatives. Currently, there are nearly 2,000 listings on Acquire. 

Buyers looking for lots of options will find plenty at either of these platforms.

Quality of Listings

As large marketplaces with thousands of listings, Flippa and Acquire offer businesses at varying levels of quality. Flippa attracts many low-quality listings because nearly any website or online business can be listed there.

Acquire is more selective and the team reviews each listing, but the unrealistic asking prices of some startups with very little revenue or profit can make the platform more cumbersome for buyers to navigate.

Overall, Acquire is more proactive with monitoring and maintaining listing quality since team members review each listing before publication. However, both platforms allow sellers to set their own asking price, which leads to inflated prices on some listings. Other marketplaces like Investors Club and Motion Invest take a more proactive approach to pricing, which improves consistency across the platform.

If the quantity and quality of listings at Flippa and Acquire concern you, Investors Club may be a better option. As a curated marketplace, the quantity of listings is more manageable, and our team has verified the traffic and revenue of each listing.

Seller Fees

Fees are an important consideration for buyers and sellers, and there are some notable differences between Flippa and Acquire.

Flippa’s fee structure can be confusing because there are several different fees. We have an article that covers Flippa’s fees in-depth, but the most important details are covered here.

Unlike most marketplaces, Flippa charges sellers a listing fee. This fee varies from $49 to $599, depending on the selected package, and it’s not refundable if the site doesn’t sell. 

Flippa also charges sellers a success fee if the listing sells. The success fee varies depending on the price, up to 10%.

Listings over $100,000 are eligible for a brokered service that includes assistance with finding potential buyers, negotiating, and more. Sellers pay $999 for a nine-month term, plus a 3-8% success fee, depending on the price.

Flippa also offers a few optional upgrades, including:

  • Confidential listing with signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs): $199
  • Legal document templates: $199

Acquire’s seller fees are much more straightforward. They do not charge a listing fee, and the success fee (as of today) is a flat 4%. 

Despite this change of course on seller fees, Acquire offers sellers a clear advantage over Flippa in terms of fees.

microacquire comment

Buyer Fees

Flippa introduced its First Access program in 2023 to mixed reviews from users. Buyers can pay a $49 monthly subscription fee to access new listings 21 days before non-paying users. 

While this fee increases the cost for buyers, it provides an advantage for those willing to pay it. However, First Access hurts sellers by drastically reducing a listing’s exposure for the first three weeks, potentially leading to lower demand, fewer offers, and lower offers (compared to how Flippa operated in the past).

Acquire offers buyers the option of a free account or a paid account. However, it’s important to note that the free account’s functionality is extremely limited. Buyers must upgrade to a paid account to contact sellers or make an offer.

Acquire’s premium plan costs $390 per year and provides access to listings with up to $250,000 in trailing twelve months’ (TTM) revenue. The platinum plan costs $780 per year and provides access to all listings, including exclusive ones.

Verification and Vetting

Flippa claims to verify the website traffic (using Google Analytics) and revenue of listings over $50,000. However, listings below $50,000 are not verified. Users should be aware of the number of Flippa reviews that claim a scam took place on the platform, and always perform their own due diligence before making an acquisition.

Acquire verifies every buyer and seller with Persona, which requires identification like a driver’s license or passport. However, Acquire doesn’t publicly provide details about any additional verification or vetting.

Sellers on Acquire can connect to a variety of platforms (Google Analytics, Stripe, PayPal, Recurly, QuickBooks, and more) to verify traffic and financial data. The financial platforms the marketplace integrates with will verify the numbers provided by the business owner, but buyer due diligence is needed to ensure those numbers are accurate and factual. For example, the numbers in QuickBooks could be faked.

Regardless of the platform, every buyer and seller should perform their own due diligence. 

Escrow

Escrow services protect both the buyer and seller. Flippa offers Escrow.com and FlippaPay for an additional fee (the fee varies depending on the selling price). Many of Flippa’s competitors, including Acquire, Investors Club, Empire Flippers, and Motion Invest, offer an escrow service at no additional cost.

Acquire offers free escrow services through Escrow.com, providing a clear advantage over Flippa.

Investors Club also provides a free escrow service for all transactions through our marketplace.

Migration Process

Neither Flippa nor Acquire provide assistance with migration or site transfers. The migration or transfer can be simple or complex, depending on the situation. Buyers and sellers may prefer other marketplaces that offer assistance in this area of the acquisition process.

Investors Club, Motion Invest, and Empire Flippers offer free migration for every transaction.

Flippa Pros and Cons

Flippa Pros

  • Massive audience of potential buyers. Flippa has the largest community and the most active buyers of any marketplace.
  • Open to almost any website or online business. You can list and sell businesses at Flippa that don’t qualify at other marketplaces.
  • No minimum revenue or profit requirements. Many marketplaces have minimum income requirements, but Flippa doesn’t.
  • Potential for a high selling price. Flippa auctions that generate a lot of buyer interest can lead to a high price.
  • Potential for buyers to find excellent opportunities. Buyers willing to browse a large number of listings may find opportunities and sites with untapped potential.

Flippa Cons

  • Higher seller fees. Flippa’s seller fees are considerably higher than Acquire.
  • First Access program limits the exposure of new listings. New Flippa listings are only visible to paying First Access subscribers, limiting the exposure compared to the past.
  • High volume of low-quality listings. Flippa publishes many low-quality listings because it is open to almost any website or online business.
  • Lots of competition for sellers. With so many listings on the site, sellers have a lot of competition.
  • Listings below $50,000 are not verified. Flippa does not do any type of verification on smaller listings while some marketplaces, like Acquire, do.
  • Sellers must deal with lots of tire kickers. Flippa does not require verification or payment to create a buyer account, so sellers have to deal with a lot of people who are unlikely to take action.
  • Migration assistance and escrow not included. Flippa doesn’t offer any type of migration assistance, and escrow requires an additional fee.
  • Confidential listings require additional fees. Sellers must pay $199 to avoid the website name and URL being publicly visible.
  • Legal documents are an upgrade. Flippa offers legal document templates, but sellers must pay $199 extra for them.

Acquire Pros and Cons

Acquire Pros

  • Focus on startups. Acquire stands out from other marketplaces by taking a slightly specialized approach.
  • Every buyer, seller, and listing is verified. Buyers and sellers are verified with Persona. Integrations allow for a listing’s traffic and revenue to be verified.
  • Low seller fees. Acquire doesn’t charge a listing fee, and the success fee is only 4%.
  • Free escrow. Each transaction on the platform is processed through Escrow.com at no additional cost.
  • Legal documents are included. Flippa charges extra for legal docs, but Acquire provides them at no extra cost.
  • Confidentiality. Every listing at Acquire is confidential.
  • Sellers only deal with serious buyers. Acquire cuts down on tire kickers by only allowing paying subscribers to contact sellers. 

Acquire Cons

  • High buyer fees. Although Acquire offers a free buyer account, free users can’t contact sellers or make an offer without paying at least $390 per year.
  • No migration assistance. Acquire does not help with migrating or transferring the website.
  • Financial verification is limited. Sellers can connect with QuickBooks and other platforms, but those financials can still be fake or incorrect, so additional due diligence is needed so buyers can make informed decisions.
  • More ideal for SaaS than other business models. Acquire is excellent for a SaaS business, but there aren’t as many buyers looking for other types of businesses.
  • Lots of competition for sellers. Like Flippa, Acquire has many active listings, and standing out is a challenge for sellers.
  • High asking prices. Many listings at Acquire have prices with multiples that exceed industry averages.

Flippa vs. Acquire: Final Verdict

Flippa and Acquire are two of the most active marketplaces for buying and selling websites and online businesses. Acquire is an excellent choice for SaaS businesses and sellers who want to minimize fees.

Flippa offers more variety and a wider range of business models and prices, but it charges higher seller fees and comes with fewer features and services.

Looking for a curated marketplace that verifies each listing and offers free escrow services and free migration? You’ll love Investors Club.

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