Why do you need to build a car marketplace website?

As we live in the challenging times of COVID-19 related lockdowns and restrictions, many industries suffered a significant impact on their operations and revenue. The automotive industry is no different, as online car sales leaders experienced almost a 50% sales drop at the beginning of the pandemic. However, as the world adjusted to the new normal, the online car sales market slowly and steadily experienced an unexpected rise.

used car marketplace

It makes sense because public transportation services became less available in most parts of the world and dangerous at the same time. According to FindTheBestCarPrice.com, the use of public transportation dropped by 69% compared to pre-COVID years. The ride-sharing services experience a similar decrease. 

So, not only personal transportation becomes more popular, but both the car dealers and the car buyers find it more convenient to trade vehicles online, rather than use actual places where the cars are sold.

online car marketplace

To benefit from these trends, car dealers should focus on online car sales methods. Building a marketplace for cars is a great way to safely connect with the target market and make some sales. 

What is a car marketplace? It is an online platform with photos and detailed descriptions of vehicles that allows dealers to connect with customers without the need of meeting in person. In this article, we will dive deeper into the process of building one!

Top reasons for building a marketplace for your business

Based on our own experience at SPD Group, there are several more reasons for your business to build a marketplace website right now.

New channels for marketing

Even if you have physical car dealerships, and they were moderately affected by restrictions, introducing an E-commerce website will increase your options to reach new audiences and boost sales as a result. According to Google, 95% of potential car buyers look up the information online first, so with your car marketplace website, you can’t go wrong. 

Less marketing costs

It is way cheaper to promote your business online and gradually increase the reach of your business compared to placing billboards, for example. In comparison, with every other marketing method, getting the same exposure out of an E-commerce website will be less expensive. 

Keeping up with competitors

The chances are your competitors are already engaged in building a marketplace for their businesses, or already have one. You need to have a matching platform, in order to compete with them. 

Building a brand

In case you are a small local business owner, launching a website such as car marketplace website may help you to obtain a stronger business presence in you are and build more trust and loyalty among your customers. 

Opportunities to collaborate

Having your business represented online will open up more opportunities to connect with partners and engage in collaborations. You can launch marketing campaigns with other businesses, which were impossible to run in other scenarios.

Building a marketplace 101: Classification for the car industry

Speaking of the automotive industry, there are multiple types of marketplaces you can create, which can be classified by the following categories:

Target audience

There are three primary divisions here:

  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P), also known as Customer-to-Customer (C2C). Meaning, that you only create a platform, where your customers can trade vehicles. Sellers pay some kind of fee for placing an ad or buying an additional promotion. 
  • Business-to-Customer (B2C). If you don’t like the idea of third-party sellers getting involved, that might hurt your reputation, selling your cars exclusively to the customers is probably the way to go.
  • Business-to-Business (B2B) is another type, and it is huge in the automotive industry. 


You can choose between Vertical and Horizontal. The first has a specific aim, selling retro cars, for example. Horizontal can cover any type of vehicle but will be harder for a customer to navigate through.   

Financial model

Once again, there are three models, that people usually choose. The first is called Commission Model and charges a seller with a fee for a successful transaction. The second one, Subscription Model, charges a seller regularly, usually with a monthly fee. In a Listing Fee model, a seller pays for each listing going online. For a car market, the third option is the most common. 

Management type 

You can also choose the extent, to which your platform is managed. From unmanaged to fully managed websites. 

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”

  • Henry Ford

How to build a marketplace: The main options you have

So, you decided to enter an online car sales market and make an impact. What options do you have to make your presence felt? Let’s list the most common ways to do it! 

Website builders

Today you can create your own marketplace website (build a car marketplace website) almost in a day, with little to no IT expertise. Did you ever wonder how to build a marketplace website fast? In order to do that, you need to pick one of the website builders, like WordPress or Wix, and start choosing your design among countless options. Of course, it is hard to call this method flexible, and it’s limited in features, but for a small business with a little ambition, it can work well. 

Marketplace platforms

What if your business doesn’t need a separate website for selling cars, and you will be fine with connecting with a successful marketplace that already blooming? If you choose to go with the marketplace platforms, you will already have a set of tools and features that are made to help you increase your sales fast, for a certain fee, of course. 

Custom development

If the above-mentioned options don’t suit your needs, and you are serious about building a marketplace website that will fit your business like a glove, development from scratch is the way to go. What do you need? A trusted development partner with a proven track record of successful case studies. A partner can provide you with consultation and share valuable insights that will help you to adjust your business vision. With the custom-developed website, you have limitless options for features, payment methods, and design. You will have an opportunity to leverage such innovative solutions as ML-powered E-commerce Fraud Detection software or tools from third-party vendors. The most important thing here is that you will be able to introduce something entirely new to the market, which in turn will separate you from the competition and elevate your business to an entirely new level. 

How much does it cost to build a website marketplace?

The answer to this question depends heavily on the desired list of features and timeline. Additionally, the geographical location of your development team (if you decide to go with custom development) is a big factor. Here is the quick comparison between three approaches mentioned in the previous section:

Website BuildersMediumUp to 12 months$350-$200,000+
Marketplace PlatformsLow1 dayMonthly or Per Item Fees
Custom DevelopmentHighAt least 3 months$60,000-$300,000+


How to start a marketplace startup?

Conducting deep market research and a series of brainstorming sessions will be a great place to start. In case, you decided to go with custom development, it makes sense to consult with your partner right away on desired features. Only after this analysis, you can think of things like registering a domain name or choosing the designs. 

What makes a marketplace successful?

It’s a combination of factors. Being Sometimes at the right place at the right time can help you succeed but in most cases, you can rely on impeccable implementation of your idea and proper marketing activities.

What is the best marketplace website?

Speaking of the automotive industry, you can take as an example websites like AutoTrader, CarsDirect, and Hemmings. 


Guess now you know, the requirements to build a car marketplace website in this year. The future of the used car market is looking to be brighter than ever. Last year it was valued at USD 250 billion, and in five years that number will exceed USD 400 billion! The part of online sales in this statistic is massive, so get ready to take this opportunity and introduce your own online car selling platform. With experienced software development as a partner, you will have the opportunity to not only increase your revenue but also help the world with a secured and convenient service that will become the game-changer in the industry! 

Belayet Hossain

I’m a tech enthusiast, entrepreneur, digital marketer and professional blogger equipped with skills in Digital Marketing, SEO, SEM, SMM, and lead generation. My objective is to simplify technology for you through detailed guides and reviews. I discovered WordPress while setting up my first business site and instantly became enamored. When not crafting websites, making content, or helping clients enhance their online ventures, I usually take care of my health and spend time with family, and explore the world. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or read my complete biography.