Asking price: 950.000 EUR
Inventory not included
Gross revenue: 2,330,000.00 EUR
Adjusted EBITDA: 225,827.58 EUR
Operating since: 2011
The company for sale specializes in selling real leather products like iPad- and iPhone-cases, wallets, business card cases, passport cases, Apple Watch wristbands, pencil- and writing cases. The brand has built a loyal fan base especially for its iPad- / iPhone-accessories. Some products are test winners. More than 700,000 products have been sold worldwide since the founding in 2011.
In the fiscal year of 2017/2018, the company generated a gross revenue of 2.33 million EUR, as well as an SDE of 225,827.58 EUR. 59 parent-ASINs are sold in total. The brand is registered as a design- and word mark in Germany, EU, USA, Canada, China and Japan.
The use of external fulfillment service providers, automated business processes, as well as 100% cloud-based software solutions has made the company completely location independent and almost fully automated. Both CEOs work 40 hours, as well as 24 hours/week on the business, on the following topics:
- Controlling / coordination of employees / freelancers.
Additionally, the company employs the following staff / freelancers for different activities:
- Contract employee (since 1st October 2012): customer service, operations, logistics, Amazon account management – 40 hrs/week
- Contract employee (since 1st January 2018): customer service, B2B account management – 20 hrs/week
- Working student (since 1st August 2014): social media community management – 48 hrs/month
- Mini-jobber (since 1st January 2014): returns management – 4-5 months/year
- Freelancer (since 1st October 2014): sourcing & photos, videos and quality management – 40 hrs/week
All employees / freelancers can be taken over by the new owner.
The company uses the PAN-EU program to store and sell its wares on the Amazon marketplaces in Germany, UK, France, Italy and Spain. Products are also sold on the North American marketplace in the USA.
Next to Amazon, the company also distributes its products on its own webshop, via eBay, B2B-partnerships (employee portals), as well as B2B-regulars (for example system houses or companies).
As of October 2018, approximately 66% of monthly revenue were generated by the European Amazon marketplaces, 52% of which can be traced back to the German Amazon market. The American Amazon marketplace’s revenue share lies at approximately 20%. Almost 8% is generated by the in-house webshop, started in January 2018, with the rest coming in via B2B (4.5%) and eBay (1.3%).
The company uses Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to market its products. Manual as well as automated campaigns were set up for all products in Germany in 2018. These are continually optimized by a freelancer and are shifted to automated, rule-based bidding strategies with the help of Sellics. In addition, sponsored brand ads were set up for the most important product groups.
The revenue lies between 20-25% of total revenue in Germany, at an advertising cost of sales (ACOS) between 15-20%. The rule-based campaigns for Germany are automated in Sellics.
Automated campaigns with rule-based automation were set up in all EU-countries, as well as the USA. There’s still a lot of room for optimization, especially with regard to manual campaigns.
The company has built an extensive YouTube and Instagram influencer database, who post reviews for free products on a regular basis. In addition, every Amazon review in every country has been created organically.
Next to these influencer cooperations, the brand has been running a Facebook- and Instagram account from the start, whose followers (Facebook approximately 69,000, Instagram approximately 6,800) have grown completely organically. In addition, the company receives many customer photos of products or set pictures via Instagram and Twitter.
A majority of the company’s email marketing is automated. Emails with special offers and news are sent once a week in Germany, as well as every two weeks in the USA, to the
- 8,000 newsletter subscribers in Germany,
- 1,400 subscribers in the UK, as well as
- 15,000 in the USA.
The email lists in Germany and the USA grow by about 250 subscribers/month.
Suppliers and logistics
A stable, reliable business relationship exists between the company and the Chinese supplier since 2013. The company is the supplier’s biggest customer and was therefore able to negotiate excellent terms and conditions:
- The minimum order quantity (MOQ) lies at 50 units per product
- The lead times are extremely fast at 7-14 days
- Excellent terms of payment with a monthly one-time payment only after delivery
- Packaging and preparation take place at the supplier
Amazon purchase orders are sent directly via Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). Purchase orders in the webshop, from eBay and B2B are sent via fulfillment partners. All orders are forwarded automatically to the fulfillment service provider. In general, all products are air-shipped directly from the factory in China by the German forwarding agent to the Amazon warehouse, or to the fulfillment partner.
Included in the acquisition
- A professional website with integrated Shopify-webshop
- A design- and word mark registered in Germany, EU, USA, Canada, China and Japan
- Reliable business relationship with the main supplier in China since 2013, with excellent terms and conditions
- Existing B2B partnerships and cooperations
- Influencer database (YouTube, Instagram, Blog) with 300 influencers for USA and Germany in total
- Email lists with
- 8,000 subscribers in Germany,
- 1,400 in the UK, and
- 15,000 in the USA
- Active Facebook business account with approximately 69,000 organic followers
- Facebook Messenger list with more than 3,700 subscribers, who can be addressed directly via Facebook Messenger
- Active Instagram account with approximately 6,800 followers
- Twitter account with approximately 1,000 followers
- Amazon listings with excellent rankings and reviews
Reason for the sale
Because of a chronic illness, one of the two founders would like to withdraw from the company, to take care of his health and reorient himself, career-wise.
In addition, after seven years, the brand has arrived at a point at which further successful growth will only be possible through new development measures. The founders are therefore looking for a sales-skilled, established buyer, who wants to use the brand’s excellent basis for further expansion and development of the company.
The other founder could imagine staying with the company, to keep overseeing and growing the brand and the new partner’s brands, if applicable, on Amazon (and beyond).
If desired, both sellers are willing to advise the new owner/s and supervise the initial training. They are flexible with regard to training time and -form.
- The sellers foresee high growth potential in the following scaling measures:
- Diversification (for example more colors and beyond Apple products)
- Product range expansion to more smartphone- and tablet cases with existing suppliers
- Expansion with additional fashion products like wallets, belts, messenger bags, purses, backpacks, briefcases, suitcases
- Further development of Amazon marketplaces in France, Italy and Spain, through optimization of product detail pages and implementing advertising activities. Until now, the focus has been on Germany, USA and UK.
- Sales through additional marketplaces in Germany, for example Zalando, Otto and Real
- Connection with additional international marketplaces
- Development of international webshops
- Expansion of B2B cooperations with employee platforms, system houses, advertising agencies and B2B direct business
- Expansion into offline / retail sector
- Optimization of existing sales channels
- Optimization of international Amazon listings
- Optimization of marketing measures on Amazon
- Optimization of automated email campaigns and manual campaigns
- Starting and scaling of PPC-campaigns for the webshop
- Optimization of eBay listings and advertising activities on eBay
- Diversification (for example more colors and beyond Apple products)
Notes on the financial figures:
After the brand’s founding in 2011, it reached its peak in the fiscal year of 2014/2015 with 4,084,308.76 EUR. The revenue has since then dropped, in particular for the following reasons:
- After seven years, there are still “only” 120 SKUs. The sellers put little time into expanding the product range on purpose, as they didn’t want to fly to China too many times, thereby spending a lot of time away from their small children.
- Because of the small number of SKUs, the revenue is strongly dependent on single SKUs. This was the brand’s undoing when the iPhone X was launched in 2017, among other things. In September 2017, before the Apple Keynote, all products were in stock and optimized (in the top 5 for all main keywords in all EU-countries). Right before the Keynote, Amazon (pressured by Apple) blocked all ASINs, reasoning that sellers couldn’t yet know what the design would look like. The products had to be taken out of stock and newly labeled, which took more than three weeks. In the end, this lead to the products being back on FBA only after the Keynote.
- In addition, the main product malfunctioned for a week between two iOS updates (the magnet in the case prevented focusing of the camera, the same as original Apple cases did), which resulted in many 1-star reviews.
- Both factors resulted in iPhone X case sales falling far behind expectations. But the above-mentioned growth opportunities make it clear that the brand can have a very successful future.
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