Ideas and Validation May 28, 2020

First Post to Indie Hackers & My Idea

Garrett @thegrid22593

Hello!

Name's Garrett and this is my first post to IndieHackers.

Been doing a lot of reading on here but not any posting so here it goes.

Some back story first, I went to school for design and currently am a developer by trade and work for a fairly large global e-commerce company.

In my off time I am a wannabe mechanic and love working on old cars. I own a 1985 Dodge RamCharger (basically Chryslers version of the Ford Bronco or Chevy Blazer)

The online car world is pretty sparse when it comes to modern ui/ux sites. Minus a few sites like DriveTribe. So I started exploring some ideas of how I could merge these two loves of mine together.

The goal would be to create something specifically for old trucks. Classic cars have been popular for quite some time now but trucks are really starting to take off. An old farm truck thats in good shape can go for 10-15k right now. If all restored, 20-25k. The rare ones, 50k+... And these number are rising every year.

The biggest problem I see in the online forums for old trucks/cars is fanatics will post the latest craigslist ad in their area and the thread will get 50+ replies. Replies are about everything and anything. e.g. "I owned this, pile of junk", "Great ride from the 70's" etc... but what ends up happening is the ad goes down eventually and the links in the thread are no longer live so the content doesn't last and becomes stale. They might not buy the cars but they sure will talk about it.

I have contemplated and done a ton of research on the possibility of maybe fixing this problem with a site that scrapes craigslist (yes I have read their ToU) and creating long lasting content that users can comment on. I would be removing all user personal information from description, ie: phone numbers, emails, etc so I don't take users from craigslist personal information. This still probably breaks their terms of use but if anyone has experience in this area some thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Another problem, a forum isn't the best ux for sharing your personal garage of trucks. People make threads of their own trucks and how they restore/maintain them but there isn't much of a social aspect leading you there other than you sifting through the forums. No activity feeds, metrics on the hottest new trucks someone added. How cool would it be if people could upload their information on the trucks they own/post photos etc. have a conversation about them and if one day they want to post it for sale they still can through the same platform.

If anyone has heard about cars and coffee, its a local meetup in my area and probably others as well where people show up in giant parking lot somewhere and bring all their old classics and some new sporty cars and drink coffee eat donuts and chat. I want to make this but online so the audience is bigger and you can interact with people from all over the world.

I haven't thought about compensation for this, it's not really about that for me. I figure if the idea is good enough and if I end up having a ton of users then I can think about monetizing in some way. I really just want to put this out there for the community because I know I would love it and a few of my truck buddies have said they would kill for something like this.

Anyway, this is more of a share the idea post. I just wanted to put it out there.

I have done a fair amount of work on the project already, even just as an MVP if you will, and am scraping sites that don't have anything saying I cant in their terms of service.

https://findaclassictruck.com <- this domain will change eventually to classictruckdepot

Not getting any users right now and I am pretty low on SEO at the moment so things I need to work on but trying to validate marketing this a bit before putting in all the effort.

At the end of the day it can be a nice portfolio project for me if it doesn't work out.

If you got this far, I applaud and thank you :D

Best,

  1. 3

    Welcome to IH 👋!

    Looks like a nice project. Not super into cars but would you say this is the 'carwow' of classic trucks? I can see this working out

    1. 1

      Appreciate the response! Next is to get this infront of the right audience :D

  2. 2

    Wow good job man. Not into cars myself but your site beat my expectation. Looks very legit and once you solve the SEO it can be profitable.

    And welcome!

  3. 2

    This is great! Really like the concept and the amount of work you've already done is wonderful.

    I really like the related sections on the individual truck pages (more from Maker, Region, etc.). Nice touch.

    Have you reached out to individual sellers and shared this with them? I imagine this could spread in the classics community pretty quick.

    1. 1

      Appreciate the kind words.

      I have not reached out to individual sellers yet. Looking into all of that now as I start to look at sharing this in various communities.

      I am hoping for quick growth as well :D

  4. 2

    I think you've got an interesting niche (which I know nothing about), keep digging, you'll find the right model!

    I think scraping Craigslist should be avoided. I don't mean to piss on your bonfire, but this case should scream don't: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/ending-data-scraping-dispute-craigslist-reaches-31m-settlement-instamotor.

    Cheers!

    1. 3

      wow didn't know craigslist is so aggressive...damn...

      I know Airbnb scraped Craigslist initially maybe they are able to get away with it because it was quite early.

      1. 2

        Yea I mean it makes sense from a user standpoint. If you post on cragislist you really only expect it to be there. Some might really get mad about it being other places. Like personal information ei. emails, cell phone numbers etc.

        I did not know that about AirBnb. That is super cool. I will have to do more research on exactly how they did it. Maybe they just did it long enough where they got traction and users posting their own listings then stopped.

        Thanks for the info!

    2. 1

      Thanks for the response. Yes I have seen that article as well and it definitely gave me chills ;(. The question was more for if anyone has had a successful experience doing this and how they went about getting there.

      So yes, the goal currently is to try to get some traction without scraping craigslist but if there is a way to do it I am all ears since this would make the product extremely valuable in my opinion for the community.

      1. 2

        Couldn't really help you as far as scraping is concerned. I know Puppeteer is a popular tool, but you might already be familiar with it!