Today Trans World Entertainment has acquired etailz for $75 million in cash and stock. Founded in 2008 etailz has become one of the largest Amazon marketplace sellers, consistently in the TOP 10.
It was reported that over the 12-month period ended September 2016, etailz generated $116 million in revenue. And from 2013 to 2015, sales grew from $27 million to $93 million. Getting beyond the $100 million revenue threshold is a rare achievement and very few sellers have ever went there.
It’s not common to see a marketplace seller get acquired - we struggle to remember the last one. So we wanted to look at what made etailz special and a worthy business to acquire.
What made etailz stand out first was their expansion into other areas. They had their own brands they were working on, they had a few websites they were building following for, they even had brick-and-mortar stores in Spokane, WA. Plus they are also selling on Canada and Europe Amazon marketplaces, and eBay. However of course most of their sales are coming from Amazon.com.
With the recent change in Amazon reviews system, many sellers are left wondering how to grow sales. etailz example is to rely on Amazon, but still differentiate into many other areas. Not only this decreases risk, but also makes the business a much more valuable asset for possible investors.
For other sellers to repeat a similar success the task is also to move beyond being an “Amazon seller” tag-line, and instead focus on becoming a ecommerce retail company with Amazon as one of the outlets. Many of the top sellers have been following this path for years, but for new sellers excited about the possibilities of Amazon reach it’s important to think what lasting value they can build.