How to build a website like Airbnb

Do you want to build a location based peer-to-peer marketplace? You've come to the right place. Sharetribe Go is an easy and affordable way for you to build a site like Airbnb in a single day without technical skills.

What does "a website like Airbnb" really mean?

To understand how to start a site like Airbnb, it's important to define what we really mean with that. These are the essential components that define such a site:

Peer-to-peer marketplace

The website helps a large amount of customers & small providers (providers can be individuals or small businesses) to offer services to each other or rent out their belongings.

This could mean things like offering gardening services, renting out your car to other people, or organizing dinner parties.


In traditional e-commerce marketplaces like eBay the location of the provider doesn't matter since products can be shipped all over the world. In location-based marketplaces the customer and provider need to be physically close to each other.

These marketplaces allow the customers to search providers by location and view the results on a map.

Online payment

Traditional local classified ads sites like Craigslist connect a large amount of customers and providers locally, but they don't facilitate payments between them. Peer-to-peer marketplaces allow the customer to make the booking and payment through the site.

This is convenient for the customers, secure for the providers, and offers a business model for the marketplace administrator, who can charge a commission from each transaction.

Reviews after transactions

Peer-to-peer marketplaces are based on trust between strangers. Each user has their own profile page, with their picture and real name.

The customers and providers can leave reviews to each other after conducting business with them.

Availability and booking management

When the marketplace offers services or rentals, it requires an availability management system so that providers can reliably specify their availability, and users can easily book on dates that fit them.

This feature increases successful bookings, avoids double bookings, and maximizes user satisfaction.

Delaying payments or holding funds

These type of marketplaces need to make sure that providers deliver what was purchased or booked, and buyers/renters pay the agreed price. The best way to achieve this is to take the payment from the buyer/renter, but only transfer the payment to the provider after the service or item has been delivered.

This is a powerful way to build trust in the marketplace.

P.S. Sharetribe Go is built to support this particular use case.
We have all the features mentioned above, and a lot more!

Start building for free

How much does it cost to build a website like Airbnb?

Peer-to-peer marketplaces are quite complicated to create. They need to handle filtered searching, geolocation, online payments, communication between the users, and review systems. Building such a site from scratch requires a lot of work and technical skills.

If you hire a developer or an IT consultancy to build a marketplace website for you, even building the first version might cost north of $10,000 and easily take up to 6 months to launch. And that's often only the beginning: after launching your site you'll notice lots of issues that need to be fixed and new features your customers are requesting, so the costs quickly add up.

However, you're in luck: Sharetribe has automated all this work for you, so you don't need to spend any time building the technology. You can instead focus on what matters the most: your user community.

You also don't need to install anything or have your own server: we handle the hosting for you. You can simply create your website with Sharetribe Go's online tool in a few minutes, and configure it to match your use case. You can literally create and launch a fully functional marketplace in one day!

What's more, we don't only help you get started: we'll be there working with you as you're building your business, guiding you with every step of the way, and helping you out with any issues you might face. If you face problems, simply contact our support, we're here for you!

Sharetribe Go is also a really affordable solution. There's no setup fee. We only charge an affordable monthly fee for hosting your marketplace, starting from $79 per month. Before you start paying, you can test Sharetribe Go for free by creating a free 30 day trial. This allows you to test all the features of the platform and see how it works, before making any commitment.

Let's build a marketplace!

  • Launch quickly
  • Expand on-demand
  • Support every day
Start building for free

See what others have
built with Sharetribe Go

Don't just take our word for it. Instead, check what kind of peer-to-peer marketplaces our customers have built, and hear what they say about us.

Logo Studiotime

"Thanks to Sharetribe, I was able to build a profitable business in 6 months."

"Airbnb for record studios". Today Studiotime has 5% of all the record studios in the world listed on their platform.

Mike Williams created Studiotime.
Logo The Quiver

"Without Sharetribe, it would have been impossible for me to pursue my dream and start my company."

"Airbnb for surfboard rentals".

Rob Bonvetti created The Quiver.

Other examples

Popnfix, a peer-to-peer marketplace for local home services


a peer-to-peer marketplace for local home services

BoatEasy, a peer-to-peer marketplace for boating services


a peer-to-peer marketplace for boating services

Vinty, a peer-to-peer marketplace for vintage car rentals


a peer-to-peer marketplace for vintage car rentals, a peer-to-peer marketplace  for bicycle rentals

a peer-to-peer marketplace for bicycle rentals

Don't just build an Airbnb clone

There are lots of marketplace script solutions out there that claim they allow you to create a website exactly like Airbnb, with the same design and the same features.

The problem with these solutions is that every marketplace idea requires a bit different set of functionality, from the search filters to the transaction flow. This is something that Airbnb clone software usually cannot accommodate.

You should not try to compete with Airbnb by copying what they've done. Instead, you should find your own target market, and focus on their fulfilling their needs better than anyone else.

Sharetribe doesn't help you to create an Airbnb clone. Instead, it's a customizable software solution designed to adapt to a wide variety of different peer-to-peer marketplaces, including your own.

Next: start building your marketplace today!

Now you know how to build a website like Airbnb. With our technology, you can create, configure and launch your peer-to-peer marketplace in one day.

Let's build a marketplace!

  • Launch quickly
  • Expand on-demand
  • Support every day
Start building for free