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EXECUTION Peer To Peer Marketplace Help

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samsig03

Bronze Contributor
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Jun 8, 2016
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Hello Fastlane Forum,

I have officially launched my peer to peer marketplace for renting. The airBnB of (Insert product). I have been busting my butt on building the community and so far everything is going ok.

I wanted to check in and say hey and also see if anyone has experience building a peer to peer community. Kind of like how MJ built this tight community of fastlaners. I have been reaching out to all the US based associations and groups via email. I have emailed only local shops in my area that currently own and rent this product. I plan on going city by city. Social media is growing pretty good and interaction is not bad.

My website has about 500 page views in 2 days of being online. Probably 20% me tweaking, lol. I have started a Kickstarter campaign that will launch in a few days and also will try to get featured on Product Hunt.

What am I missing? Where should I be focusing? Do I just need more patience and let time do the work?

Thanks,
 

samsig03

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 8, 2016
65
106
132
Houston, TX
Wow not one reply..... ok. I guess everyone is stuck on the import, drop ship, amazon concept that the peer to peer marketplace phenomenon is escaping everyone.
 

Jon0

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 3, 2017
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Hello Fastlane Forum,

I have officially launched my peer to peer marketplace for renting. The airBnB of (Insert product). I have been busting my butt on building the community and so far everything is going ok.

I wanted to check in and say hey and also see if anyone has experience building a peer to peer community. Kind of like how MJ built this tight community of fastlaners. I have been reaching out to all the US based associations and groups via email. I have emailed only local shops in my area that currently own and rent this product. I plan on going city by city. Social media is growing pretty good and interaction is not bad.

My website has about 500 page views in 2 days of being online. Probably 20% me tweaking, lol. I have started a Kickstarter campaign that will launch in a few days and also will try to get featured on Product Hunt.

What am I missing? Where should I be focusing? Do I just need more patience and let time do the work?

Thanks,
Hi, how are you getting on with this? I was considering starting a marketplace for rental but the big issue I foresee is that of Trust and misuse. What if someone rents out an item of value and it is never returned? How do you mitigate that - insurance (not sure insurers will cover this), escrow (a midfield of regulatory issues and you need a licence), PayPal buyer protection (actually in this scenario you need to protect the seller / renter). I am curious how you have dealt with this aspect and if it is working out well for you? What growth have you seen since you posted and how do you charge (per transaction or via subscription)?

I read a very interesting article saying many p2p market places have pivoted to storefront now as they struggle to generate real margins on low percentage per transaction fees. I.e they make money but it's not fast lane in the purest sense.
 

AdamMaxum

a worthy successor indeed
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I'd say post the website name so we can check it out and offer better input to spark convo.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Jon0

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 3, 2017
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UK
There's an interesting article here :

Why the majority of sharing economy start ups will fail

I'm a pretty optimistic chap so I'm not saying this won't work, heck, I'm even considering it myself, but I'm of course I don't want to commit time and money to something without fully researching first.

Part of me can't help but feel this is a "hitchhiker" model in MJ's words, as the real money would have been made by the earlier pioneers and now by the people offering the SaaS marketplace platforms. Happy to be corrected though :)
 

samsig03

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 8, 2016
65
106
132
Houston, TX
There's an interesting article here :

Why the majority of sharing economy start ups will fail

I'm a pretty optimistic chap so I'm not saying this won't work, heck, I'm even considering it myself, but I'm of course I don't want to commit time and money to something without fully researching first.

Part of me can't help but feel this is a "hitchhiker" model in MJ's words, as the real money would have been made by the earlier pioneers and now by the people offering the SaaS marketplace platforms. Happy to be corrected though :)


Hey thanks for the reply. I will be upfront immediately, we are failing and I believe it is because of a 2 main areas; Too niche-y and no real demand. I am just trying to figure out when to pull the plug. I want to give it a few more months to see if summer helps things pick up. Can y'all take a look at the site and give me your take?

Website: KayaksNearMe.Com Rent a Kayak | Get Paid to Share Yours. We also have kayak charters posted.

Status: We have been in business for approximately 3 months and have 30 users with no transactions. We have a limited budget for advertising ($50 a month) and have been using adwords, Facebook and email marketing mainly. I have sent out over 300 emails directly to Kayaking Groups, rental shops, kayakers etc. I always get a nice uptick from this and the feedback has been good. But after a few days, traffic dies and back to wondering when the first transaction will come across.

Insurance Etc: The reason I choose Kayaks is because: kayakers are a loyal group, kayaks are pretty easy to transport and most kayakers have an extra (crappy kayak) lying around that is just collecting dust in the garage. Also the google search for kayaks near me was pretty dang good. I offer a release of liability waiver and most home owners insurance cover water crafts up to $1,000 dollars. Also, I have a link to Boat US for added insurance they can buy on the side.

Thoughts and going forward: I initially started down this path because I wanted to create a marketplace but for another industry. I have it in my back pocket, but it will take a lot of custom work that I haven't had the time to research. This project did however help me understand and see first hand, that is it very difficult to bring supply and demand together and transact. I have not given up yet, but starting to face reality.
 

Jon0

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 3, 2017
33
24
44
UK
Hey thanks for the reply. I will be upfront immediately, we are failing and I believe it is because of a 2 main areas; Too niche-y and no real demand. I am just trying to figure out when to pull the plug. I want to give it a few more months to see if summer helps things pick up. Can y'all take a look at the site and give me your take?

Website: KayaksNearMe.Com Rent a Kayak | Get Paid to Share Yours. We also have kayak charters posted.

Status: We have been in business for approximately 3 months and have 30 users with no transactions. We have a limited budget for advertising ($50 a month) and have been using adwords, Facebook and email marketing mainly. I have sent out over 300 emails directly to Kayaking Groups, rental shops, kayakers etc. I always get a nice uptick from this and the feedback has been good. But after a few days, traffic dies and back to wondering when the first transaction will come across.

Insurance Etc: The reason I choose Kayaks is because: kayakers are a loyal group, kayaks are pretty easy to transport and most kayakers have an extra (crappy kayak) lying around that is just collecting dust in the garage. Also the google search for kayaks near me was pretty dang good. I offer a release of liability waiver and most home owners insurance cover water crafts up to $1,000 dollars. Also, I have a link to Boat US for added insurance they can buy on the side.

Thoughts and going forward: I initially started down this path because I wanted to create a marketplace but for another industry. I have it in my back pocket, but it will take a lot of custom work that I haven't had the time to research. This project did however help me understand and see first hand, that is it very difficult to bring supply and demand together and transact. I have not given up yet, but starting to face reality.

Looks like you are using ShareTribe as the platform? I was looking into this too, on the surface it seemed great. My idea was to create a P2P service for renting outdoor gear, which can be expensive and for some people who only need it frequently. What's not to like? The answer is the risk in my opinion. I road tested the concept by thinking which of my items would list on the site. And that's where it fell down. I have a £400 arctyrex outdoor waterproof jacket, the thought of lending it to a stranger and it coming back stained, ripped or damaged, didn't sit well. The same issue with my tent, one tear (easy to do) and it's a right off. Also what's to prevent someone just never returning it? I get the trust thing but really? Is it enough? It was then I realised if I was thinking that, other people would too. So I wasted £20 on the domain and that's where I stopped.

Look at your T&C's, they basically say that you are a middle man that, other than providing the platform, adds no value around de-risking the proposition for the user. No dispute mediation, no money delaying or escrow. Then look at upwork or airbnb, they do offer value in this area.

So in summary, the barriers here are bigger than sharetribe might wish you to believe. I think to make it work you need heavy investment in that value area to de-risk it for your customer. This sort of infrastructure is out of reach for most bootstrapping starters (me included). So your stuck in the chicken and egg situation where you need to fund capabilities in order to onboard users but you can't do that until you have the revenue from the users.

Again, not wanting to kill the idea, with lots of work and investment it could float.

Please correct me if you disagree.....
 

maverick

Aspice, officio fungeris sine spe honoris ampliori
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I recommend you use this resource:
Startup Secrets

It will help you define all of the fundamentals, such as value proposition, customer segmenting, go-to-market, etc etc
 

AdamMaxum

a worthy successor indeed
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$50 a month isn't enough to advertise a new website...you'd need 500+ easily unless you're doing it all on your own through outreach methods like the kayak forums you mentioned...which is a good strategy. 30 people in 3 months is nothing....not even enough people to validate your website.

Here are some issues with the website that I see..

The layout/design looks fine, but the experience is no good. I hit the homepage and I see some kayak images. Immediately I ask myself..

a) are these kayaks by me? It doesn't appear that way. goodbye.

b) are these just kayaks? are these tours? they appear to be blended together. confusing. I would setup city specific pages where I have listings + content about great places to kayak in those cities. This way when someone types in "kayak+city" in search over time, your website comes up.

c) I search my zip code/city in top left -- nothing happens when I type it in, I have to click the search icon (should update location auto). Better even, the website should detect my location and show me relevant results upon first visiting. The location input box should be more visible/easy to use. I would implement the feature of the top nav bar scrolling down the page with the user. Make it clear on homepage that these are kayaks available to rent near the user (me, me, me)

d) get rid of the price scroller and make the categories bigger. Maybe instead of showing mixed results, show categories first and have them click the category to see the results of that category.

e) I searched random cities. Key west. Tampa. etc. No results for those cities. If someone visits your website from random city, and inputs their city, the results go empty. You have to focus on one market first it appears (especially w/limited budget). Find a popular kayak city? And make sure you have results for it. Then focus your marketing on that specific city to start. At the same time, get more and more sign ups for other cities. Every month your goal should be more sign ups. Add charters on your own. Just rip their info from other sites and add them to your site. If someone trys booking for them, contact that charter and schedule it.....take action to populate the site. Without enough results, nothing will happen.

Hope that helps. I don't think it's a bad idea, just need more data, action and listings.
 

samsig03

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 8, 2016
65
106
132
Houston, TX
$50 a month isn't enough to advertise a new website...you'd need 500+ easily unless you're doing it all on your own through outreach methods like the kayak forums you mentioned...which is a good strategy. 30 people in 3 months is nothing....not even enough people to validate your website.

Here are some issues with the website that I see..

The layout/design looks fine, but the experience is no good. I hit the homepage and I see some kayak images. Immediately I ask myself..

a) are these kayaks by me? It doesn't appear that way. goodbye.

b) are these just kayaks? are these tours? they appear to be blended together. confusing. I would setup city specific pages where I have listings + content about great places to kayak in those cities. This way when someone types in "kayak+city" in search over time, your website comes up.

c) I search my zip code/city in top left -- nothing happens when I type it in, I have to click the search icon (should update location auto). Better even, the website should detect my location and show me relevant results upon first visiting. The location input box should be more visible/easy to use. I would implement the feature of the top nav bar scrolling down the page with the user. Make it clear on homepage that these are kayaks available to rent near the user (me, me, me)

d) get rid of the price scroller and make the categories bigger. Maybe instead of showing mixed results, show categories first and have them click the category to see the results of that category.

e) I searched random cities. Key west. Tampa. etc. No results for those cities. If someone visits your website from random city, and inputs their city, the results go empty. You have to focus on one market first it appears (especially w/limited budget). Find a popular kayak city? And make sure you have results for it. Then focus your marketing on that specific city to start. At the same time, get more and more sign ups for other cities. Every month your goal should be more sign ups. Add charters on your own. Just rip their info from other sites and add them to your site. If someone trys booking for them, contact that charter and schedule it.....take action to populate the site. Without enough results, nothing will happen.

Hope that helps. I don't think it's a bad idea, just need more data, action and listings.


I completely agree with your assessment of the website. I can tweak the website a bit to make a better user experience.

Also the back filling of charters is something I am going to start to implement this weekend. I have been trying to get around to it, but 9 to 5,6,7 ... is getting in the way. I am focusing on Florida, but Cali and Texas started to take off at the same time. Hard to turn away supply. 30 signups isn't much, but with limited marketing I think it surprised me and why I am still pushing along. I really appreciate the feedback, having no one to really bounce ideas off of is pretty tough.

I will keep y'all updated.

Jeremy
 

AdamMaxum

a worthy successor indeed
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Apr 30, 2011
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246
NY
I completely agree with your assessment of the website. I can tweak the website a bit to make a better user experience.

Also the back filling of charters is something I am going to start to implement this weekend. I have been trying to get around to it, but 9 to 5,6,7 ... is getting in the way. I am focusing on Florida, but Cali and Texas started to take off at the same time. Hard to turn away supply. 30 signups isn't much, but with limited marketing I think it surprised me and why I am still pushing along. I really appreciate the feedback, having no one to really bounce ideas off of is pretty tough.

I will keep y'all updated.

Jeremy

Oh 30 biz/profile sign ups...yeah thats not terrible. I thought you meant 30 visits to the website ha. If there is a way to add businesses on your own without having them do it themselves to populate the website, that would be an idea. If anyone tries to schedule anything through any "unclaimed" business you just reach out to them and tell them you have a customer for them and yadda, yadda and that should get them to participate.
 

Waspy

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I recommend you use this resource:
Startup Secrets

It will help you define all of the fundamentals, such as value proposition, customer segmenting, go-to-market, etc etc

Sorry, I have nothing of value to add to the OPs question, however I checked this website out and just wanted to say it is an incredible resource. First time I have come across it. Some fantastic information and advice. Real value. So thanks. Rep'd
 

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