Have you ever thought about starting a sharing or used goods marketplace? Well, there hasn't been a better time to start than now. Awareness of the benefits of sharing and re-use is growing daily. And now there are turnkey solutions that make it easy to create almost any type of marketplace, from renting surfboards and storage space to selling used engagement rings.

Creating a sharing or used goods marketplace is a good strategy to lessen environmental impact and help people thrive financially through savings and income generation.    

Here are five ideas for high impact marketplaces from our friends at Near Me, which is a customizable, software as a service solution that helps people create marketplaces for goods and services.

1. Leather Jackets and Goods

High-end products, such as leather jackets and goods, make good resale items because they have higher price points to begin with. Take quality photos of each item and, when applicable, showcase different styles and colors.

Selling these luxury goods is a good strategy for growing your marketplace. As Near Me’s Sylvia Sommer points out, “I imagine many closets are filled with leather jackets that aren’t being worn for various reasons. You could find people willing to sell in your area and eventually grow to nationwide and even globally.”

2. Musical Instruments

Did you know that a Stradivarius violin can sell for upwards of $40,000? Although that’s an exception, it speaks to the fact that musical instruments can have a high resale value. If you have knowledge about instruments and access to a community of musicians, you can leverage those to create a successful musical instrument marketplace.

3. Fine Art

With a fine art marketplace, you can sell either original pieces that you collect, or create a platform for local and community artists to sell their art. As Sommer says, “If you already have expertise in art apprising, art history, or are an artist yourself, you could set yourself apart by customizing your marketplace as a one stop shop for buying and selling fine art.” She advises personalizing the marketplace experience with artist biographies and a blog to update readers about what’s happening in the art world.

4. Exercise Gear and Equipment

How much exercise equipment do you have lying around? How often do you use it? Creating an exercise gear and equipment marketplace enables people to share, rent or sell equipment they’re not using and find new gear that they will use.

“I think this marketplace has huge potential for growth,” says Sommer. “And the growth goes beyond mere transactions to building an online community—a marketplace of health-conscious individuals who support each other in forums, write reviews, gain connections, and enhance their reputation.”

5. Baby Carriages, Cribs or Children’s Clothing

While baby clothes have a lower price point than some other goods, the sheer volume of clothes required, and the quick turnover for young children’s clothes makes this marketplace an interesting possibility. Baby carriages and cribs have higher price points, which creates more financial incentive for both buyers and sellers.

A children’s goods marketplace is also a way to establish trust between parents and build a modern day version of the hand-me-down chain. Vendor and customer profiles, as well as ratings and reviews, assist in this trust-building.

Bonus Tips: Keep It Simple and Build Community

Creating a marketplace benefits from hard work, but there are ways to make it easier. Sommer advises following the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. Yes, you’ll need some startup money, but a lot less if you use a platform like Near Me. What is absolutely essential are vendors—people willing to resell their products or services on your site.

Sommer suggests personal outreach to potential vendors to build up the initial inventory of products and services in your marketplace. She also stresses the importance of building relationships with your marketplace community. Building community one person at a time is vital to creating a successful marketplace, especially in the early days.

“It starts with a few dozen,” she says, “grows to hundreds, and could expand to thousands of users to fuel your marketplace." For more information about creating a marketplace, visit Near Me.


This post is part of a series on the sharing economy sponsored by Near Me.

Cat Johnson


Cat Johnson | |

Cat Johnson is a content strategist and teacher helping community builders create strong brands. A longtime writer, marketing pro and coworking leader, Cat is the founder of Coworking Convos and