After a decade of building and selling SEO and affiliate marketing websites, Travis Campbell was ready to try something new.
“It gave me the perfect excuse to educate myself on drop-shipping, which is something that looked very lucrative to me,” Campbell said.
In drop-shipping, a business doesn’t hold any inventory; instead, it buys only the stock it needs to fulfill orders as customers place them. Drop-shipping businesses typically purchase inventory from wholesalers or directly from manufacturers, then have it shipped directly to customers.
Within a year, Campbell’s site had more than $1 million in revenue, said Campbell. By August 2021 — just a year after he launched the bootstrapped business — Campbell sold Energy eBikes for mid-6 figures.
Energy eBikes: A solo venture from launch to sale
The business was a strategic one from the beginning, Campbell said. “I specifically built [Energy eBikes] to get acquired so I can put money into another business,” he said.
To lay the groundwork for an eventual sale, Campbell built the business with a handoff in mind. “I made sure to make things as automated [as] possible and had good systems in place so it’s easy for someone new to come in and run,” he said.
Since the site sold only high-priced e-bikes, Campbell’s revenue increased quickly. “The average order was over $1,000. This gave us a healthy profit margin on each sale,” he said.
After about a year, the solo founder was ready to sell the business. Campbell listed Energy eBikes on Empire Flippers, a startup marketplace he had used to sell previous websites. Within 24 hours, he had a deal.
“It was an easy experience,” Campbell said. “It sold for list price the same day the listing went live, which was a record for me.”
Campbell has since purchased Prime Sound, a site that offers musical instrument reviews and online music lessons. “I plan on growing [Prime Sound] as much as I can and possibly selling it in the future,” he said.