4 Options for Selling Your Amazon Delivery Service Partner Business

An Amazon Delivery Service Partner business is one of the best opportunities in the last-mile delivery industry. However, there are also many reasons an owner might choose to sell theirs. Everything from retirement or relocation on the positive side to divorce, changing finances, or illness on the other, the time will come when leaving the business is the best option for you.

But what do you do? How do you sell your Amazon Delivery Service Partner business (DSP). What are the rules, and what choices do you have? Here are five potential options for you.

A Note on Rules

Transferring or selling Amazon DSP businesses has become quite common, but it is good to know the rules surrounding it. First, your buyer must qualify with Amazon, which includes everything from finances and funding to driver qualifications. It’s not a difficult process, but it is one you want to ensure you follow early on.

Like many other last-mile delivery businesses, Amazon is very hands-on. Being an absentee owner not involved in daily operations is not generally possible while still maintaining an acceptable profit margin.

Your buyer needs to be committed, and you may want to ensure that they are also committed to keeping on your employees when possible; they understand the maintenance and expenses of the vehicles involved and are prepared physically and financially to deal with a delivery route.

Whatever your sales option, have any potential buyer do a ride along, and explain to them the pros and cons of the business in a general sense. This will keep you and them from wasting time if this is not the right business for them.

When you are ready to sell, here are some ideas for you.

Private Sale of an Amazon Delivery Service Partner Business

The first option is a private sale. This is when you list your route for sale, go find potential buyers, and engage in direct negotiations with them throughout the sales process. This involves you finding and vetting potential buyers and managing the sales process.

Pros:

  • This allows you to structure a personalized deal based on the needs and desires of the buyer, your asking price, and other details.
  • Private sales can result in higher profits. If you know your stuff, know your business value, and can negotiate well, you do not have to pay an agent to handle the process for you. This, like it real estate or other business sales, does save you the cost of commissions. There are challenges, though. (more on that in a moment)
  • A private sale does allow for some flexibility in negotiations. If you are able to carry some of the financing as an owner, can stay on as a consultant and trainer, and other concessions, you can negotiate for a higher sale price.

Cons:

  • You can only sell to those you can reach, so without marketing, you have limited exposure to only a few potential buyers. If you have a buyer in mind or have an extensive network, this can work for you. However, you may miss excellent opportunities as a result.
  • Finding buyers, negotiating, and structuring a sale takes time. That time is often better spent running your business. The sales process can feel like a second part-time job and can take a significant chunk of your schedule.
  • The process of a private sale often takes longer as a result of the two issues above: it takes longer to find a buyer and longer to structure, negotiate, and close the sale.

Overall, if you are savvy and have time, a private sale can be a good option, but it is usually not the best one for most sellers.

Online Business Marketplaces

Just like selling any other business, there are online marketplaces where you can list your Amazon Delivery Service Partner business for sale. There are many of these platforms, like BizBuySell and others. There are some drawbacks to these sites and some advantages.

Pros:

  • Increased visibility. By listing on a business sales website, you are increasing your network and reach through marketing efforts. This results in a larger pool of potential buyers.
  • The process of finding potential buyers is streamlined. They contact you only if they are interested in your business.
  • Most potential buyers on these sites are financially able to take over a business, at least generally speaking.

Cons:

Listing fees: a listing on these sites is not free, and these can be costly depending on how long it takes to find a buyer.

  • Tire kickers: often, users of these sites are looking for a business, not your type of business, so you can get a lot of people who are curious but not serious about routes or last-mile delivery companies. This can result in a lot of wasted time talking to those who will never buy your business.
  • Negotiating challenges: buyers are sometimes looking for a bargain on these sites and will attempt to negotiate prices as low as possible. You can encounter difficulties in this area, resulting in wasted time, a lower overall profit, and more.
  • Scams: wherever there are marketplaces, there are scammers who will try to take your money and your business. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Online business marketplaces can be a good idea, but buyer and seller beware: they can also be a time and money waster, and you may end up needing to pivot to another option anyway if marketplace sales don’t work out.

Joint Ventures or Partnerships

Amazon does not allow companies to purchase Amazon Delivery Service Partner routes directly from Amazon, but as an owner, you are expected to form your own business, pay your own drivers, and monitor your own profits and ROI. As a result, you can form partnerships, take on investors in your company, or even merge with another Amazon DSP. This is tricky, though, for a couple of reasons.

Pros:

  • Shared resources and access to greater funding when needed
  • Greater access to additional personnel to handle the business side of things
  • You can continue to be involved directly in the business but in a diminished role

Cons:

  • Negotiations in this area can be complex, and you need to watch for potential issues with profit sharing or an eventual buyout
  • Shared decision-making can result in issues when you need to act quickly to address immediate personnel problems, vehicle issues, and more. Rapid decisions are essential.
  • Shared profits mean everyone makes less money overall.
  • Compatibility is important, and this can be tough to determine during buyout negotiations

Typically, last-mile delivery businesses are not profitable enough to allow for the efficient use of partnerships or venture capital. They can be, but that is the exception to the rule.

Hiring a Route Broker like Route Advisors

Arguably, the best option is to hire a route broker. We have expertise in selling logistics and last-mile delivery businesses and can help you find qualified buyers while managing the entire process around the sale, from listing your business to helping with due diligence and closing.

 Pros:

  • Professional guidance. Something you will likely do at most a few times in your life, we do every single day. We’re here to help you every step of the process.
  • Wider market exposure. We have access to markets around the country and can find buyers looking to buy Amazon Delivery Service Partner routes in your area just like yours. Unlike business listing sites, we specialize in this field, and all of our prospects are genuinely interested.
  • Assistance in all aspects of the sale. We can help you with due diligence, gathering the paperwork requested, negotiations, and even right up until the deal closes and your business passes to a new buyer.

Cons:

  • There is a cost to our services, but we feel the value of having a broker on your side, and the likelihood we will sell your route faster and for more money than what you could on your own often covers those fees.
  • Less control over the process. We will handle much of the process for you, so you control less of it. The advantage: you are also not responsible for it. We take many tasks off your shoulders and take responsibility for you.

In short, a route broker takes on a lot of the work of selling your Amazon Delivery Service Partner business for you, so you can concentrate on running your business and maintaining a good work/life balance until the process is complete.

Before you choose a path forward, it’s crucial to assess your priorities, whether they include maximizing profit, ensuring a smooth transition for employees, or maintaining a certain level of involvement post-sale. While there are other options available to you, hiring a route broker is often the very best way to accomplish your goals.

Have questions? Are you ready to list your Amazon Delivery Service Partner business? Contact us at Route Advisors today. We’d love to partner with you every step of the way.

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