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My journey launching a truck rental comparator

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nico17b

PARKED
Sep 16, 2018
1
0
THE IDEA
I started last summer to think about the moving truck business and wondering why there is so little comparison sites, especially compared to similar business like the car rental business. I thought I found THE NICHE. The business model is also a very popular one, we all know it works, the so called affiliate business model.

I thought I could skip the market validation because it works for airlines, for hotels, for car rental, so it should work for truck rental. ;) I thought I could launch that in my home country which is a non English speaking country.

THE EXECUTION
So I started (like always :happy:) building the site right away and this became my side hustle as I am working full time as a software engineer. So I found and choose between the different technical solutions to get prices from different providers and compare that by cities.

Two months after, by October 2019, I had a working product with 6 different big brands, with links validated by affiliate programs.

Now that I have a product, let’s find people to use it (and that’s where it start to smell, I’m accustomed to making that mistake :happy:). I don’t have any email list or anything like that. I’ve never worked in the industry except having myself renting that kind of truck 3-4 times in my life.

THE CONFRONTATION TO THE MARKET

So I started driving traffic from Google Adwords using different keywords using CPC. The results are quite hard to digest. I spent on average 1,6€ to drive a visitor to the website. I think it’s a common number and doesn’t seems expensive or cheap.
The bottom line is, I need to spend on average 30€ to get 1€ of affiliate commission :duh:. I have approximately 2% conversion. I need 56 visitors to get one that will go through the whole process and rent a truck thanks to the website.

MY ANALYSIS SO FAR
It’s difficult to analyse when you’re involved in. You tend to be subjective. Anyway, it’s difficult to reach that kind of people because it can be everyone and you are not renting a moving truck every month. No repeat business. But it’s like for the airline ticket comparison business, I’m not tight to a particular one, I just want the best price.

So I’m wondering if it’s a hard enough problem? I'm I bringing enough value? I mean, the prices differences are not crazy and the day when you’re moving, maybe you just want one close by rather than saving 40€ on the rental.

The solution I came with. Maybe I should have weighted higher the following red flag: Almost no competitors. I also got someone from the travel industry saying that has been done before but abandoned. But I don’t like excuses to avoid taking action.

Now I’m a bit lost. I'm a huge fan of the forum and love the "value added mindset". I thought I would rely on paid advertising but it’s really too expensive and makes no sense from a financial standpoint taking into account that it’s not a repeat business. What are your thoughts? Should I go the SEO path, writing article and trying to go up in google ranking? It’s gonna be hard because the big companies like Hertz, Europcar Avis...are on the top and they have a way better authority than me.
 
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Lee Wright

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 28, 2018
104
104
53
Orange, NSW, Australia
I'm afraid I don't have any advice for you but I appreciate you sharing & in particular the numbers. Often people only want to share what works but we can learn so much from what doesn't work. Maybe others have got some ideas to tweak it & make it work but either way I hope you're not discouraged & keep going.
 

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