Member Feature: Ryan Amoils From MX Locker

Member Feature: Ryan Amoils From MX Locker

Member Feature
August 24, 2021

Ryan Amoils (left), CEO of MX Locker.

Every month we feature some of our Everything Marketplaces community members to help highlight their story, their journey building their marketplace, and get a glimpse at what's ahead.

In this member feature we highlight Ryan Amoils, who's the CEO of MX Locker. MX Locker is a P2P marketplace for buying & selling motorcross riding gear, bike parts, and dirt bikes.

So what was the idea behind starting MX Locker?

The idea for MX Locker was born out of my two passions, which are riding dirt bikes and buying & selling. I grew up in Miami and since my middle school days, I would always find myself flipping anything that I could get my hands on. This was everything from sneakers, snapback hats, to even phone cases. I always needed something to keep myself busy and was always fascinated by buying & selling, E-commerce, and being able to reach a nearly endless audience online. When I was later attending the University of Florida for college, I quickly realized how expensive riding dirt bikes was and decided to once again to start another E-commerce site for buying & selling gently used dirt bike gear. This was the initial customer discovery for MX Locker, so buying & selling so I could have the best gear myself, which then led me to realize that there was actually a large market for this. Customers were asking to constantly sell on our platform, so the idea for a marketplace was born.

Three months after graduating, I set out to build the actual marketplace and it’s been constant improvements and growth ever since!

What were some of the first steps that you took to build MX Locker? What were some of the biggest challenges that you initially faced?

The first steps for actually starting our marketplace was initially building a brand and doing customer discovery throughout college. Looking back at it now though, I honestly didn't know what I was getting myself into when I actually launched the marketplace. For instance, it probably sounds very simple to allow users the ability to buy & sell on a platform, but actually building the capabilities to do so, managing the operations, support, etc there's so much more to it!

I'd say that the biggest challenges in the earliest stages were getting initial supply to join and create listings on our marketplace, since this took sellers trusting us as a marketplace to escrow funds and then issue payouts (we do this for sales). One way that we were able to quickly build up suppliers and listings though was by going to market with a lower take rate then competitors, along with messaging that we were a marketplace for a specialized community, so built for the specific customer and enthusiast in mind.

At what point did you start to see supply wanting to join, an increase in demand, and start to build initial liquidity? 

It took a few months from when we first made our marketplace live, to the point where we were able to build initial liquidity with buyers & sellers. We overcame the classic marketplace chicken & egg problem by being the first suppliers on our marketplace and selling gear. This also helped with setting a quality benchmark for listings. We then started to see a gradual increase in the number of sellers joining, creating listings, and generating sales as our brand and business model was becoming more widely known in the community. Thankfully we've moved away from selling on our own marketplace, so our community of sellers makes up almost all of the listings that we have and sales volume!

How have you approached building MX Locker as a vertical marketplace and built out such an engaged community around it?

I would say that our marketplace is simply built for riders, by riders. Since I’ve ridden dirt bikes since the age of 4, I’ve been around the sport my entire life and focused on building this marketplace for the community that I've been a part of since I can remember and am incredibly passionate about.

In regards to our approach building a community, we've done so through building a presence on social (like our Instagram), where we help showcase community members, share about the gear on our platform, and build out a brand that the community wants to support and be a part of.

What are some metrics that you can share with us so we can get a better sense of scale on your marketplace?

At a high level we have over 70k unique visitors a month that visit our site. Since we just launched our new platform, we’ve also seen a 92% user growth in just two months and 200% YoY GMV growth. Our app alone has 10k downloads since the launch in early June. On launch day, our app actually hit the top 200 shopping apps in the App store. Needless to say, we've hit a point where we're seeing major growth and our community growing with the enthusiast community at large!

What’s been the biggest learning so far?

The biggest learning so far has been transitioning from an initial E-commerce store, to supporting thousands of sellers & buyers on a daily basis as a marketplace. It was almost a blessing in disguise to be on a simple Wordpress site for a year before then transitioning to a fully custom marketplace platform and app. In the first year of this, I quickly learned what features to prioritize, what worked, what didn’t, and it really allowed me to learn the basics of building and operating a marketplace. In February, we actually had Andrew join as our full-time CTO, so he was a huge help in leading this transition from a simple Wordpress site to custom platform. With all of that said, our other biggest learning has been on how to build liquidity with a marketplace, and then all of the moving parts that come with scaling a marketplace.

What’s exciting and ahead for MX Locker?

Well, I’m certainly excited for the future here at MX Locker! I think we’ve only scratched the surface with our community, so we're excited to introduce some new pricing plans, features, and other initiatives that I'm excited to share more about soon.

Connect with Ryan in the Everything Marketplaces community.