Before Kyle Mayers and Wally Namane founded WheelPrice in 2017, hobbyists used sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to buy and sell car parts.
According to Mayers, the experience left a lot to be desired. The features on generic platforms weren’t suited for showcasing a collection of rare automotive parts. Finding precisely the right kind of wheel size, brand, and model was difficult.
For sellers, in particular, the lack of a specialized platform could mean the difference between turning a profit or making a loss.
"Because the landscape was scattered, there was no standardization. The same set of wheels that sold for $500 on a site like Craigslist could have gone for $1,500 on the right forum," explains Namane.
Mayers and Namane realized there was demand for a specialized marketplace solution. They first tried to build the platform using a few different website tools but weren’t satisfied with the feature set.
"We didn’t want to deal with heavy customizations or a multitude of plugins just to integrate payment providers or multi-language support. Factoring in maintenance and support, the total cost of ownership would have gotten very high," Mayers says.
The speed and ease of Sharetribe made the choice a no-brainer.
"The biggest benefit of Sharetribe was the vast number of built-in features that allowed us to spin up a minimum viable product at a fraction of the cost. After only a few hours of configuration, our site was live."
Mayers and Namane first did a soft launch to see how much organic traction the site would gain. They also took careful note of the feedback users had.
"We soon learned that being able to calculate shipping costs and track the status of the order was really important for our users. Sharetribe didn’t offer this functionality out of the box, but we partnered with a shipping company to develop a solution," Namane explains.
The founders also started contacting some key people with collections that were in high demand. After establishing a handful of high-profile, quality listings, the founders officially launched their site in 2018.
The reception has been enthusiastic. Only a year after the official launch, WheelPrice has become a leading automotive marketplace with over 2,000 active providers and a freshly launched mobile app. The user community ranges from enthusiasts looking to modify their car with aftermarket parts to purists who want to preserve their vehicle in its original, period-correct state. What unites them is careful attention to detail.
"This is a meticulous market to which quality is critical. We have started to earn a name as the trusted destination for enthusiasts looking for rarities."
Now, Mayers and Namane have their eyes set on the next phase.
"We are preparing for explosive growth. Our goal is to expand into the services industry and introduce new technology that will help to springboard WheelPrice as the go-to automotive marketplace of the future," says Mayers.
"All of this is possible while remaining on the Sharetribe platform. The Sharetribe support team has been incredible, and we look forward to continuing the partnership as our business grows."› Check out WheelPrice