San Francisco, United States of America
joined a year ago
Marketing guy building Threadbase.io. Notable former companies: ComiXology (acquired by Amazon). Bonobos (acquired by Walmart). Quidsi (acquired by Amazon).
What two-sided marketplaces still need to be developed?
Well, I believe there could be a market place for web scraper / bot libraries so I am working on Scraper Palace www.scraperpalace.com
This is a really cool idea! I was actually thinking of building a LinkedIn scrapper for a side project so I might list it when I’m done.
Cool, thanks for the feedback.
If you wish to subscribe to mailing list for update (no spam). You can register here is a buyer/seller/both.
I can let you know when we launch.
eBay needs to be re-invented.
The original idea was that people with stuff to sell could use it to get rid of items they no longer wanted.
eBay no longer wants to sell in that marketplace and other solutions seem to be very fragmented.
If I were to develop such an idea, I would look at the crafts and hobby market. There are loads of different hobbies which use materials and equipment. I would divide by hobby / leisure area and offer two sections:
A. Commercial: traders pay a fixed, monthly shop "rent" but supply their own payment gateway details (e.g. PayPal, Stripe etc.). You build the integration; they supply thier cusotmer account details.
No other charges for traders apart from the rent.
B. A hobbyist seller market. Free to list; items withdrawn automatically if not sold within 90 days (user can always relist but this keeps the database honest). Integration gateway to PayPal / Stripe etc. Charge per actual sale but listings always free. Be generous with images etc.
Lots of legal issues to research but that is true of any marketplace platform.
eBay needs to be re-invented.
Markets are in a sense public utilities, like roads or public parks. Sure, there is a maintenance overhead which needs funding, just as roads needs maintenance and parks need wardens: yet these entities can not be owned by anyone, they are the commonwealth.
Yet to what extent can private capital monopolise and essentially extract rent from a public utility? Do we allow a private company to build all the major roads in a country, then extract enormous fares for a daily necessity?
Unfortunately this is an increasing reality, healthcare in the US and the rail network in the UK are examples. The big hype about technology was that is was supposed to free us of these dead ends, because the net is open and its basic technology (LAMP is all opensource).
The reality hasn't matched up to the hype, and instead we have technological monopolies. The freedom of the internet is increasingly under attack from forces such as the big G and the EU (passing surveillance legislation under guise of consumer protection).
Ebay and Amazon have essentially become the market, and they charge sellers a platform cost of 15% gross - that's simple extortion. Udemy takes 50% - the whole thing is ridiculous. It's analogous to a new slaveholding class, lording over the masses. The private capital argument (but hey they built it) doesn't hold, because at some stage the commonwealth needs to outweigh private interests (you can't 10x the price of Insulin (without which some-people would die) just because it suits your profit margins).
But hey this is all philosophy, let's make our first million, then discuss...
Except that your argument amounts to "the entrepreneur should shoulder all the risk and costs, possibly for years and then it should pass into public ownership as soon as he makes some money".
The proper answer, of course, is to create a legislative environment whereby other entrepreneurs can take down the behemoths. And history shows that it can and does happen.
Arguably, the most pernicious monopoly / cartel and one which is unassailable except by violent revolution is Government itself (which, incidentally, created the bureaucratic mess of a privatisation framework that is the UK railways against every sensible business principle known to man!).
very interesting. which other solutions did you have a look at?
I've not really seen proper solutions. I have seensmall groups of hobbyists setting up informal marketplaces using forum / BBS type software but lacking the skills to do a proper job of it. For example, my Dad lives in northern Cyprus and there is a forum for expariates there based on phpBB or soemthing similar. Finding stuff and the process of purchasing is pretty clunky.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think there could be room for a service which allows groups to create their own marketplaces. Think schools, expatriate communities, youth groups ... anywhere with small communities which don't scale to a full-blown individual solution but which could pay fr a small marketplace solution as an add-on to whatever website they are currently running. It would scale for the developer but would also offer such small groups a cheap, reliable and easy to use method to buy and sell second hand goods (e.g. school / scout uniforms) or services (e.g. carpentry or electricals ervices for railway modellers). The product would be a general purpose one which individual groups / organisations could customise for their own needs.
As for pricing, you could either charge an annual subscription to the organisation or take a cut of each sale or something.
@thomasm1964 what you're describing is almost the local/regional groups, e.g. craigslist city pages.
You mentioned used goods and services, both of which are logically distance/region specific. A successful marketplace would have to address infrastructure such as:
What's the differentiator for group ownership vs merchants owning their own account and storefront? One I can think of is self promotion and administration. 咸鱼, the used-goods c2c marketplace for Taobao (Alibaba) has this feature where admins can create their own groups with specific regional or category themes. Another example is Carousell, which has Groups as its own tab within the app as a place to foster news and chat for interest groups e.g. photography or mountain climbing.
How do you see such a group ownership feature addressing buyer or seller experience?
There are a lot of marketplaces for engineering and design help. And on IH, I’ve even noticed some for copywriting. But are there parts of the business lifecycle that are currently underserved and a marketplace should exist for this?
I totally agree. A lot of the marketplaces for engineering, design, and copywriting help seem like they are just job boards, repackaged (way to go for the people who are able to make this work though!). We are trying to take a different approach that solves more problems at www.folyoz.net .
I think one thing that would be extremely beneficial to people looking to start their businesses would be a platform to get inexpensive but reliable tax, accounting, and legal advice. If someone created a platform that was tailored to the startup community, I think it could take off! You see quite a few developers, marketers, and designers on the well-known forums and websites, but less finance and legal professionals.
I’m currently trying to lease a car and it’s a f*cking nightmare. Now maybe no one will own a car in 10 years, but the process could be way better
Pretty much every single section of Craigslist can and likely eventually will be broken off into its own 2-sided marketplace.