Ride List Ready For Online Classified Growth
By Vipe Desai
Consumers are hitting the outdoors with frenzy, leaving in their wake empty shelves at retail stores but a new App, Ride List, prepares to change that by creating a marketplace for used action sports gear. And with no sign of hard goods slowing down, timing this platform might just be perfect. I caught up with Ride List founder, Mike Bagnuolo, to get a better understanding of how this new App works and where it's headed.
What has the feedback been from consumers?
Consumer feedback has probably been the most important element for us, especially in the early stages. The user experience is the most important thing for any good app, so feedback is incredibly valuable. There are so many little things you don’t realize when building out the app until you get it in the hands of a big group of people. Since launching, we have updated the map function to protect privacy, updated the camera feature to accept vertical and square formats, added new buttons to initiate chats within the app, and added tutorials on our social page to walk people through the posting process. We are always looking for ways to improve the app and appreciate constructive feedback.
How does this platform differ from other ones like Craigslist, Facebook Market, etc?
We built this for the dedicated board sports enthusiast. Our goal is to create a community of users that understand the value of the equipment and can have knowledgeable conversations with each other about the gear. A focused community that limits the amount of scammers, random tire kickers and low ballers, which is mostly what you find on the other sites. I don’t need to look for a couch and washing machine in the same place I am searching for a surfboard. We want a curated user base and a safe place for people to post their gear for sale. We are also launching unique features that differ from the competition and make the process even easier for the user. We built in a feature coming out soon called The Want List. Users will be able to create a list of items they are interested in buying. Once anyone posts an item that matches your description, you will be notified via text. This creates huge time savings by not having to comb through the site daily. It also gives you the advantage of being able to contact the seller right away if you are interested.
What has surprised you about offering this App to consumers?
A few things…
1. How long it takes to build a user base. When you here of a popular app, you assume it was created and instantly exploded with thousands of users. The reality is that most apps that are well known took years of trial and error to finally gain a large customer base. We’ve heard the saying in the tech world that “7 years is an overnight success.”
2. The overwhelming need to add the Android platform. I get questions about it all the time. The decision out of the gate was to start with IOS and have proof of concept before rolling out to Android. That and the cost to add both platforms was significantly higher.
3. We initially cast a broad net with marketing and have users in quite a few countries. We realized it would better suit us to focus our marketing efforts in specific key regions to gain a stronger user base in those locations.
Why do you think now is the right time for this type of service?
Now is the right time because people want the simplicity of the whole experience on their phone. It literally takes one minute to post an item. Also, who doesn’t need to clean out their garage and update their gear?
Has the pandemic helped or hindered your growth efforts?
I would say both.
It hindered us in the beginning in terms of meeting up in person, but now people seem comfortable meeting up as long as it’s outdoors. You can also choose to ship stuff and use a service like Venmo for the transactions. That’s the beauty of it, we are facilitating the connection, but it’s up to you how you want to complete the transaction.
On the flip side, it’s helping because people are spending more time cleaning out their garages and also spending a lot more time in the outdoors. Hardgoods sales are at an all-time high. There are so many newcomers to these activities buying up boards, bikes, anything to get them outdoors.
How can the action sports industry benefit from an App like Ride List?
I think it is helping to reduce waste. You know the saying that one mans trash is another man's treasure. Instead of letting this stuff rot in your garage, it is nice to find a new home where someone else will appreciate it.
We are also a home for collectibles and art, things of value in our industry. This kind of stuff is typically only found in online auctions at certain times of the year. It can be hard to come by. Ride List is a great outlet for a community of people who understand the value of these items.
At what stage are you at right now with your growth plans and are you seeking any investment or collaboration partners to grow the App?
We are actively looking to bring on a partner that sees the value and growth potential of Ride List. We have come a long way in the last two years and have a tangible platform that is proven to provide a good solution. I think most people are looking for a better option than what has been available. There are actually a fair amount of used board sites out there, but Ride List is on your phone, covers the whole globe, and is not based in only one board sport.
You have some notable business partners, can you share who they are and tell us how they’re involved?
Yeah, we are really stoked on our partners. Currently involved are Jamie O’Brien, Jack Freestone, Strider Wasilewski, John Jackson, and Eddie Wall.
They each came on board because they really believe in the concept of Ride List and what we are bringing to the community. Being in the industry for the majority of my life, I have been fortunate to meet some amazing people and could not ask for a better crew to help bring this app to life. Each of them has such a positive outlook and brings a unique perspective to our team of owners.