Building a marketplace is quite a challenging task. What do you need to know to prevent the failure of peer-to-peer(P2P) marketplaces? Let’s look throught the main reasons why P2P marketplaces might fail.

Peer-to-peer marketplaces are extremely popular today. This business combines two different areas - versatility and convenience of online stores in addition to the idea that every consumer could be a provider. This powerful combination already helps many businessmen to create extremely successful marketplaces. An excellent example of P2P marketplaces are Airbnb, Etsy, Lyft. These marketplaces became the basis of inspiration for many projects.

Of course, despite the huge popularity of peer-to-peer marketplaces it is quite difficult to build it. In an effort to succeed, many developers have failed. Based on ten years of experience, I picked up the most common reasons for marketplace failures. Here are some of them.

Solving a problem in P2P marketplaces


A fairly common mistake of most startups is that they do not solve the main problem of their projects. Therefore, even if a lot of people like your idea, you cannot be sure that it will be successful. Why?

If you are interested in this question, I recommend reading Adam Berk's article, related to the "sharing with neighbors" experience. Imagine, in the each person’s house there are many things that are not so often used (for example, cameras, equipment for sports or power tools). Why not divide these goods between cohesive neighbors, thereby reducing the amount of waste. Great idea, isn’t it? In 2006, this startup brought a lot of hype, but in the end, this concept was not successful, since no one began to use it in real life.

Also read our article: Best way to calculate your marketplace business:is it cost to start?.

People like the idea. We choose P2P marketplaces because we expect to get good quality services and products at a low price. And also do not forget about the convenience. On the other hand, such conditions do not always lead to certain action.

Therefore, it is necessary to struggle with such a problem and find ways to solve it.

The problem is also in the details. For example: using the peer-to-peer marketplace, I need to:

  1. Synchronize several times to receive and pick up a particular product.

  2. Trust the goods to another person and hope that he will not break it.

Of course, when a good is inexpensive, then this problem becomes less significant. But it's also important to remember that there is competition and there will always be something like Airbnb that will offer people a unique experience.

Of course, we should not assume that the idea of sharing marketplaces is initially doomed to failure. It is simply necessary to be able to solve this problem creatively.

Also read our article: Best way to calculate your marketplace business:is it cost to start?.

For example, recently gained popularity Peerby. This marketplace stood out by giving people innovation. Namely, they proposed a slightly different idea. The company proposes to focus on borrowing instead of tools.

Thus, the service offers to receive the tool within half an hour. And it's much more convenient and faster than buying the tool yourself. Therefore, such an approach will be more successful among the users.

Therefore, when creating a successful project, do not forget to solve the real problem and make sure that people will use your idea.


Building a business is always a challenge. However, to make your life a bit easier you should solve the main project's problems at the very beginning. P2P marketplaces are expected to get good quality services and products at a low price. Nevertheless, do not forget about the quality and convinience of your product, too.

Got left any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us and we will assist you in any inquiry!