Should I Build My Own Marketplace Platform From Scratch?

Are you looking to build your own peer-to-peer marketplace? You may want to think again as the costs can quickly add up. On average, the costs of building a marketplace on your own can be in the upwards of $500,000 and more! Now if you are a well established company such as Amazon or eBay that may not scare you away but for an entrepreneur that is looking to get their feet wet, it is jaw dropping. How can it be so expensive? Here are a few things you may not have thought of going into it.

Testing And Customization

Where will you host your site? Sure you may start on WordPress but you are limited with functionality. It’s a good start but as your marketplace grows, how will you enable multiple buyers and sellers all on one platform? Things will soon get out of hand. This is where hosting on a marketplace platform builder is ideal. A number of great companies exist such as Sharetribe, Near Me, Arcadier, Mirakl, BigCommerce, and the list goes on. Do you have the budget to spend on customization and testing to build the platform to your satisfaction?  


Who will be capable enough to perform updates? Take your smart phone for example. We get updates whenever an issue or bug is found in the software. What about your marketplace platform? Issues will arise and it will need to be fixed sooner than later. Do you have a designated employee to monitor the customizations and efficiency of the platform?  Now, if chose to build your marketplace with a platform provider, you would not have to worry about this issue. With capabilities of automatic updates and scheduling, it can be done in your sleep.   


In today’s day and age, it is ESSENTIAL to ensure your platform is mobile optimized. Doing so on your own would not be cheap. First off, if you don’t know how to code you will have to pay a developer to do so. Someone who will be capable of managing development, have the technical talent, and perform quality assurance testing. Do you have the budget to spend that kind of money on full time developers?

Opportunity Costs

This is a given in any business decision you are making. Will building a platform yourself out weigh the cost of building on a platform provider? Now you may not have the expertise to build from the ground up and the time and effort it will take for you to learn how to do so, just might make your decision. Your opportunity costs must factor in the lost income (money must come from somewhere) and time, when in reality you be spending that time building your peer-to-peer marketplace.

With the different platform opportunities that are out there, it seems as a no brainer. No need to put so much pressure on yourself to design your own platform. Using a builder can help you put your focus on the other facets of the marketplace (supply, demand, customer acquisition, marketing, etc).

Is it really worth it in the end to build your own marketplace from scratch? We think not. No need to reinvent the wheel when it already has been done. There is a reason so many people have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into building their software and perfected their business. Let someone else handle the IT side of things and you will be much better off.

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