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The Best Place to Advertise a Business For Sale in Canada

Selling regular consumer products is hard enough. So what about the not-so-regular sales, like a business owner who wants to sell his/her convenience store, or the owner of a restaurant who needs to sell off the business. How do these business owners say ‘we are for sale' without putting an off-putting ‘for sale' sign outside the physical location of the business?

Jerry Uke
Jerry Uke
Market Analyst
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At some point in our lives, we have all tried to sell something. Even if we haven’t exactly sold anything, we have definitely tried to get something in exchange for something else. In business, selling means everything. There’s a whole career path dedicated to selling and this proves that it is not an easy thing to do. 

Selling regular consumer products is hard enough. So what about the not-so-regular sales, like a business owner who wants to sell his/her convenience store, or the owner of a restaurant who needs to sell off the business. How do these business owners say ‘we are for sale' without putting an off-putting ‘for sale' sign outside the physical location of the business?  I mean, that would look like what we have here…

As a potential customer for any business, I would personally develop a lot of doubts in that business if I ever see a sign indicating that the business is up for sale. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. So the question from a business owner’s point of view here is; how do I find a way to let the right audience know that I am willing to sell my business?

Seeing that almost everything can be done on the internet today. I figured that someone somewhere must have tried to create an online marketplace for listing businesses. So I took out time to find these solutions to our problem within our country, and also what makes them different from each other.  Here’s a list of some of the best options I found, take a look; 

8. BusinessesForSale.com

Over here, the platform offers 57,449 businesses up for sale on a worldwide scale. This means you could run an easy search on the site and find a hotel up for sale in Egypt, or a restaurant available in Italy. 

The first thing I noticed about the platform is how easy it is to use keywords to run searches. So, you do not need to know the exact type of business you are looking for at first. You could just search with the name of the country you are willing to find options in and you would see the available options in that country.

To list your business on the platform, you could choose between getting a 20-day free trial where you are allowed to leave your ad running for 20 days. Or, you could pay a subscription fee that is $299 CAD for a month, $399 CAD for three months, or $449 CAD for 6 months.

BusinessesForSale.com is a veteran outfit in this space, having listed their first business for sale on the platform as far back as 1996. When you list with them, the platform also features your ad on the websites of their partner organization. 

7. Kijiji

Kijiji started out back in 2005 as a subsidiary of eBay. On Kijiji, you can advertise anything. From cars, to mobile phones, to houses and apartments, or even furniture.

To use Kijiji, all you need to do is sign up and share your ad listing. Interested potential buyers would have the option of reaching you via the app or website for further conversations on the sale of your item.

Sadly, on Kijiji you are limited to just 2 free live ads. If you have 2 free live ads on and you would like to make another ad, you would need to pay a small fee. Asides from this, Kijiji is a marketplace for all kinds of products. This means that the platform gets a lot of people visiting for different reasons. Because of this, Kijiji isn’t exactly the first option that would pop up in the mind of a potential business buyer.

6. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is similar to Kijiji. Anyone with a Facebook account can put out listings for all kinds of products on the platform. There is also a wide range of audience for this platform as Facebook is still one of the biggest social media spaces in the world. The difference is that it’s completely free and you can put out as many listings as you want.

However, just like Kijiji, everything is sold on Facebook Marketplace. This means you could put your business up for sale on the platform and some of your current customers would see it. This is in addition to the lack of concentrated traffic on the platform.

5. Business Sell Canada

Although not very aesthetic, this platform boasts of getting 3 million visits every month from 90,000 potential business buyers in Canada. The website takes a straight-to-the-business approach which lets you choose if you are a buyer or a seller immediately you hit the landing page.

As a buyer, you get to scroll through a table of available listings to check if you can see anything you like. You can choose to find a specific category of businesses or use location preferences to optimize your search experience.

As a seller, listing your business on the website costs a subscription fee of $33 for the time frame of 61 days. If your listing doesn’t get sold within that time, you have to renew your subscription with the same amount. 

4. BizBuySell

On BizBuySell, you can find businesses as well as franchises up for sale. The platform gets 2.5 million visits every month and has recorded business sales of up to hundreds of thousands.

Getting your business listed on BizBuySell is an easy process. You just need to fill in some bits of information about you and your business. After which you would need to pay a fee ranging from $60 to $150 depending on the plan you choose.

Something to also note about BizBuySell is that they can help tutor you on how to value your business in case you do not know how to. They also offer you a full guide on the steps you need to take to successfully sell your business. 

3. LoopNet

LoopNet claims to give you 18 times more visibility than any other platform when you advertise with them. On the platform, you can find a lot of options ranging from office spaces, to industrial and agricultural facilities, to residential spaces and hotels. You get access to the whole package. LoopNet has built quite a reputation over the years and would show you commercial listing results from Canada and the United States as well.

As a business owner who wants to list his/her property on LoopNet, you get to choose from 5 different subscription plans that would give you varying benefits. These 5 plans are; Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Basic.

Just like you probably are already thinking, this is a top-down arrangement and you would get the most value and visibility if you subscribe to the Diamond plan. Just as you would get much lesser value if you choose the Basic plan option. 

The same thing applies to the cost. The Diamond plan starts at $2499 per month. The Platinum plan starts at $1249 per month. The Gold plan starts at $649 per month. While the Silver plan starts at $79 per month. All of these prices would go higher if you decide to put up more than one listing. 

2. Exchange Marketplace

Exchange marketplace brings a different twist to the whole concept of business buying. The platform gives you the opportunity to buy an already established Shopify store. You get to purchase an online store and take charge of everything from there.

The options here are limitless. If you run an online store, you can list your store on the platform and get offers for your business to be bought. The process of getting listed takes four easy steps from creating your listing, getting contacted by buyers, and finally getting the transfer of your business secured. 

1. Zonado

Joining and using Zonado is free. You really do not have to pay anything to make a listing and get your property sold. Yes, you read that right. The platform takes a Canada-first approach and uses a technology called Smart Match to alert you when a potential buyer is looking for a property like the one you have listed. 

Searching for available listings on Zonado is pretty easy too. You get to optimize your search to get it narrowed down to your preference. I had to take a snapshot of what it looks like: 

Something else that stands out about Zonado is that when you put up your listing, it stays live on the platform until you get it sold or leased. This means no time limits for listing whatsoever.

As a business owner looking to get advertise on Zonado, you get to protect your contact information. Potential buyers get to contact you through in-app messaging and you have the option of vetting who can message you, and who can not.  The Zonado experience is wholesome, and comes with a huge difference for business owners looking to advertise.

In conclusion, selling can’t be an easy thing to do. We have seen that it’s even harder when you are trying to sell a business. This is why you need to find the best tool to make the selling experience a lot less stressful for you. It’s also a really good idea to combine a variety of approaches when trying to sell your business, as opposed to using just one approach. What this does for you is that it gives your business the right exposure it needs, and gives you a couple of options to consider before you make the sale or lease. Combining all factors including visibility, ease of use, and cost, here’s to hoping this piece would help you make the right choice. 

Jerry Uke

Market Analyst

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