Startup Acquisition Stories w/ Charlie Joseph – Founder of Bazaar Tracker

Charlie sold Bazaar Tracker on Acquire for five figures. Hear Charlie’s experience selling his startup as a first timer and what he learned along the way.

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Transcription-

Andrew Gazdecki:
Here we go. All right. I’m live with Charlie, someone who recently got Acquire’d for five figures, and I’m really excited to hear your story. I don’t know the details. So I’m excited to have you on here and thanks for coming on, Charlie.

Charlie Joseph:
Thank you. Thank you so much. It’s great to finally be here.

Andrew Gazdecki:
So to kick things off, give me a little bit of background of the business that you had Acquired. What problem did it solve? And maybe just like the two minute pitch behind it.

Charlie Joseph:
So Bazaar Tracker is a item tracking platform. So it utilizes a API from a game. It pulls the current prices in from the game and it stores it in the database and then essentially creates historic rules of the game. This allows people to come onto the site, view how the item is performing. They may find that they want to buy an item now and sell it later on.
If they know that there’s a pattern within the game, they might decide actually they want to hold onto that item. So our tracker just lets players of the game be able to see the performance of those items and they can make an idea themselves if this is an item that could be profitable later on. Essentially a stock market within a game. That’s how I would describe it.

Andrew Gazdecki:
That’s so cool. And you sold it for five figures, right?

Charlie Joseph:
Yeah.

Andrew Gazdecki:
Nice congrats, man, for the acquisition.

Charlie Joseph:
Thank you. It’s my first sale. It was just great to set it on Acquire because there’s a lot of platforms out there, but they’re all targeted at the bigger companies. Companies like the one I just sold, being smaller, there wasn’t really any other platforms. And so, seeing Acquire all over my Twitter feeds, it was just great to know that there was a platform now.

Andrew Gazdecki:
I appreciate hearing that and more than happy to help. I guess my next question would be, walk me through your experience on Acquire. You go live, buyers start reaching out. How did you find the right buyer to work with and how did the transaction go from there?

Charlie Joseph:
So we had lots of inquiries. We had some which was just one message and then no one would reply afterwards. And we had the odd few that actually continued the conversation on. One of the buyers, we got speaking with him and we could see that he had a strong interest. So we then moved to emails. We would discuss over emails. We arranged a call. Then we jumped on a Zoom call, showed him the site.
We went through everything. I discussed some ideas and he was really interested. That led on to a second call. And then we expressed more. We showed the functionality of the site, how we monetize, what our revenue figures were, broken down. And it went from there really. And then it ended up being that they were interested. They gave us a price. We negotiated back and forth for about three weeks. And then the closer he just gone… We’ve managed to get a deal and it was finalized.

Andrew Gazdecki:
Nice. Well, it sounds like a pretty smooth deal. Were there any bumps in the road or any headaches during the process?

Charlie Joseph:
It was mainly when it was looking for buyers because we had a lot of people that would message us saying, “I would like more information.” But then we wouldn’t get anywhere after that. That was the only part for me that I think were bumps. But with this buyer, it was good to see it straight through. It was nice to see where the buyer would like to take it. It’s nice. I think that the buyer wanted to see where my ideas were and where I would like to see it in the future.

Andrew Gazdecki:
Nice. So successful acquisition. That’s awesome to hear. So a lot of entrepreneurs are probably going to watch this and wonder, “How can I sell my startup?” If you were starting over again and you were listing at Acquire without any knowledge, what’s some advice you’d give to another entrepreneur looking to get Acquired?

Charlie Joseph:
I would honestly say, “Just keep trying. Push your product.” One big hurdle I came across, which is why a lot of my other projects didn’t do as well as this is, I focused a lot on the revenue of my product, not the products itself. So a lot of my products were too focused on the money and wasn’t focused on pushing at the core. Whereas with this one, we pushed at the core and it ended up driving revenue and it allowed us to, when we then posted it on Acquire, it looked more feasible.

Andrew Gazdecki:
Nice. And then let me see… What kind of dog you got by the way I can hear it barking in the back.

Charlie Joseph:
A Pomeranian.

Andrew Gazdecki:
I love dogs. I actually love Pomeranians.

Charlie Joseph:
They’re good.

Andrew Gazdecki:
I have a mini Yorkie, and it barks and [inaudible 00:05:21]. Some are loud. But anyways, so what are you up to next? You just got Acquired. Anything you’re working on now that you’re really excited about?

Charlie Joseph:
My next project now is with my, this one will be with my father and this is a holiday booking platform. So it’s over a much more complex scout than what this one is. And I’ve already been researching. There’s a lots of APIs that are going to be needed across the board for flights, hotels, et cetera. That’s where my next project is. So it’s a lot bigger than my previous project, but it’s something now that it’s going to require a lot more time. But this acquisition now gives me funds to be able to go and do that full time and push at this project now.

Andrew Gazdecki:
Right on. So I love that. So as an entrepreneur, you just sold something for five figures. You had a winner under your belt. I assume a ton of experience, learnings, mistakes, lessons, things like everything involved in creating a company. And now you’re moving on and creating a bigger company. Is that accurate?

Charlie Joseph:
Yeah. So one of the big takeaways that I had with this, that I learned along the journey was that, as I said earlier, with all my previous projects that failed, they were all too revenue driven. From the start I wanted to create something that made me money. But what ended up happening is those projects failed out because I was too focused on the money. I ended up getting demotivated along the journey because it wasn’t making the money that I was overestimating.
But whereas this project was, I had a job. I had steady income. I just wanted a project to create in my spare time. And it was actually solely aimed at being free. There was no revenue whatsoever put into this, but yet revenue actually fell into this. So in the end, this played much better for me than my previous projects which were money focused.

Andrew Gazdecki:
I think if I’m reading you, right, it sounded like you started working on something that you enjoy rather than something to make you money.

Charlie Joseph:
Yeah. It was because prior to this project, all my other projects I was trying to do full time and I was trying to generate as I was building them. Whereas with this project, I had my full-time job and I just wanted something to do outside of work, that was a fun hobby that I could practice my skills, learn a few new things along the way. And it ended up going from just being this fun project that I ended up earning money from advertisements.
It remained a completely free to use site, but we would sell Google Ads, not sell Google Ads. Sorry. We would put Google Ads on the site. And then eventually we started contacting companies individually that was to do with our community’s niche. And we would go out to these companies and say, “Hey, we have this lot, top and bottom. Would you be interested in purchasing?”
And we went from having Google Ads which were making about 500 to a $1,000 a month, to selling sponsored ads directly to the company for about $3,250 a month. So like a massive score of what we were making at Google versus what we were making by contacting these companies individually and saying, “Hey, we got a top and bottom placement, would you be interested?”

Andrew Gazdecki:
That’s awesome. I’m so happy for you. And again, congrats on the successful exit. And I guess final questions. I always like to ask this, but who’s your favorite entrepreneur?

Charlie Joseph:
My favorite person aside from yourself, would be Adam Wathan.

Charlie Joseph:
I hope I’ve said that name correctly, just because I love how him and his team have built Tailwind and how much they’ve scouted, and all the things they’re building and going from just a little fun again, project, to something that has multiple team members and designs and everything else.

Andrew Gazdecki:
I want to pick up and pet your dog, man.

Charlie Joseph:
It’s funny hearing that.

Andrew Gazdecki:
And then final question. Do you have a favorite book that you recommend entrepreneurs read?

Charlie Joseph:
My favorite book would be, I think I’m forgetting, sorry, hang on. I have it on my phone.

Andrew Gazdecki:
No pressure.

Charlie Joseph:
Favorite book I’m still reading at the moment it’s called, The Choice Factory.

Charlie Joseph:
I’m still only half way through it. The Choice Factory, it’s-

Andrew Gazdecki:
What’s it about?

Charlie Joseph:
It’s about decisions that you can make on your website that can influence people coming on. So when it comes to payments and stuff coming in, it could be simple things like the 99 trick and stuff like that. And moving the pound sign in front, little gimmicks like that. For me, it opened my eyes a bit because we are so used to just seeing those things and we don’t think anything differently. Whereas when you read through these guys and you go, “Oh my God, I’ve seen that. I’ve seen the 99 trick everywhere,” like 4.99 and 9.99. They’re so simple. And you wouldn’t think anything of it.

Andrew Gazdecki:
So actionable tips for building a company. I like it. I’ll check it out. Well, it’s been a pleasure having you on this podcast cast Charlie. I definitely appreciate you making the time. And if people want to reach out and chat about your new project or just follow what you’re doing, where’s the best place to-

Charlie Joseph:
Best place I would say is Twitter. So my DMs are open. So it’s @heychazza, C-H-A-Z-Z-A, would be my best way. My DMs are open.

Andrew Gazdecki:
I’ll have that in the show description. So right on, man. Well again, great chatting. Please give that dog a huge hug for me. And if I can ever help in any way, feel free to reach out. And congrats again and on the acquisition. Super excited for you.

Charlie Joseph:
Thank you so much. Thanks for creating Acquire. As I say, it’s good to have a platform for smaller companies to actually be able to put our site somewhere and sell to people who still see a potential.

Andrew Gazdecki:
How much did you pay in our fees and commissions by the way?

Charlie Joseph:
So we were going to use escrow originally and then-

Andrew Gazdecki:
No. No, on Acquire.

Charlie Joseph:
Zero.

Andrew Gazdecki:
That’s right. Sorry. I just said, shameless plug.

Charlie Joseph:
Fantastic. It’s great to be able to post on now. The questions that you guys asked as well were fantastic. And I think that’s good for both me selling it and the person looking to buy it. They get a exact idea of what the company is.

Andrew Gazdecki:
My pleasure, man. And I hope to do it again. So Charlie, enjoy the rest of your evening and thanks so much for coming on this podcast. I really enjoyed hearing your story.

Charlie Joseph:
Thank you so much.

Andrew Gazdecki:
All right. Cheers. Bye.

Charlie Joseph:
Thank you.