I am starting a marketplace to help DIY auto enthusiasts find and rent garage workspace. AMA

Dec 20, 2017

My name is Andrew Koretz and I am a single founder of Garage Time.  We are online marketplace that help DIY enthusiasts rent vehicle workspace and help garage owners get paid for sharing their workspace.

We just launched in November and our goal is to help build the DIY automotive community.

We're fired up and having a bunch of fun working with other auto and motorycle lovers.  Happy to answer any questions you may have about the company or DIY automotive market in general.

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Conversation (89)

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Do you personally like cars and motorbikes?

Dec 22, 8:49PM EST0

How did you come up with this concept?

Dec 22, 11:24AM EST0

It solved a very real problem that I had.  I lived in an apartment in Chicago without space to work on my vehicle.  I had a car and motorcycle that I loved to work on, but that required finding an abandoned alley or working outside in the cold.

Dec 22, 2:38PM EST0

Do you welcome women who love cars too?

Dec 22, 7:25AM EST0

Absolutely!  We highly encourage women (or anybody) that loves cars and motorcycles to get involved with the DIY community.  The DIY automotive community is very inclusive and diverse, with everybody sharing a love of working on and discussing vehicles.  

Dec 22, 2:40PM EST0

How many members have joined since you started it?

Dec 21, 11:58AM EST0

We have a couple hundred at the moment.  It free to join, so we'd love to have you on Garage Time as well!

Dec 21, 12:24PM EST0

A lot of good questions so far about the platform.  Does anybody have any inquiries about the DIY automotive market?

Dec 21, 11:23AM EST0

Who are your targeted members for your project?

Dec 21, 11:15AM EST1

DIY enthusiasts and garage owners looking to make money on an underutilized asset.

Dec 21, 11:21AM EST0

Do you have other projects in mind that we will be expecting soon?

Dec 21, 7:36AM EST1

Ron, I have a lot of projects in mind, but until somebody increases the number of hours in a day, I'm focused on Garage Time.  That being said I think there's a lot to be done directly in the automotive enthusiast space alone:

  • Create a better way to buy/sell parts between enthusiasts (eBay, Craigslist, forums, part stores are all flawed business models)
  • Create a better way to insure drivers and garages

Anybody reading this with free time and an interest in automotive should look into those.  Aside from getting Scrooge McDuck swimming pools of money rich, you'd be be solving a very real problem and improving the quality of life for a lot of people.

Dec 21, 9:50AM EST0

What has been the toughest problem to solve so far with the project?

Dec 21, 3:57AM EST1

Good question: it's how to market the product.  And we're still dealing with this to an extent.  There are many types of users of our service: professional DIY garages looking to utilize bay time, homeowners looking to offset their mortgage with extra income, DIY enthusiasts looking for space, those who are looking for an auto/moto community to join, people looking for a way to save money, etc.

It can't a blast marketing approach as each of those groups has a different perspective on the market and there's no one campaign that reaches them all.  We've had to create different messages to each of those groups and find the appropriate channel to target them, all while explaining our service and being true to our core product and beliefs.

Last edited @ Dec 21, 9:56AM EST.
Dec 21, 9:55AM EST0

Do you also accept bicycle enthusiasts?

Dec 21, 2:25AM EST1

We haven't touched the bicycle market.  Generally bicycle maintenance doesn't take specialized space (if you don't mind some mess in your apartment), or as many tools.  Not to say there isn't a market for bike lovers to have DIY space, but we're focused solely on automotive for now.

Dec 21, 3:11AM EST0

Do you own cars and motorbikes too?

Dec 21, 2:04AM EST1

Just sold my motorcycle, but do own a car.  Garage Time was born out of my frustruation of not being able to work on them easily.

I guess that's how irrational car/motorcycle enthusiasts are and why I believe GT will work.  I literally started a company to fix my problem.

Last edited @ Dec 21, 3:16AM EST.
Dec 21, 3:11AM EST0

How do you see Garage Time 10 years from now?

Dec 20, 5:24PM EST1

As a recognizable brand - helping lead the way in the DIY industry, both in automotive, and hopefully other areas such as makerspaces and home improvement.

Dec 20, 6:09PM EST0

What is the red toy car behind you? :)

Dec 20, 3:07PM EST1

A mini Porsche I've had for a number of years.

Last edited @ Dec 20, 4:49PM EST.
Dec 20, 3:23PM EST0
Show all 3 replies

Have you had help from other people in putting this up?

Dec 20, 1:38PM EST1

Nope, this has been a solo exercise, from building the site, to marketing, business formation, sales, customer service, etc.  A lot of these are firsts for me as well.

Don't let anybody tell you that running a business yourself is impossible.  It is a lot of work, but very rewarding if you'd doing something you love.

Dec 20, 1:41PM EST0

Chicken or egg? How do you go about building a marketplace in your opinion? Thanks in advance.

Dec 20, 12:39PM EST1


Dec 20, 12:40PM EST0

Chad, I'm assuming your question refers to building up supply vs. demand.  There is no right answer, but I believe building supply is the best approach for Garage Time.  Nobody will get excited about a website without any listings and if they can't use the product.  You need to sell a solution to the providers and talk to them about the long-term vision of the product...which is how we've started to push our service.  Hopefully your goals are aligned.

Last edited @ Dec 20, 12:45PM EST.
Dec 20, 12:44PM EST0

What else is left for you to improve the service of Garage Time?

Dec 20, 12:24PM EST1

How much time ya got?

  • create an app to make the mobile experience better
  • book from facebook and other sites
  • find and locate classes and instructional sessions
  • improve our search function
  • improve our booking calendar function
  • and the list goes on.....
Dec 20, 12:34PM EST0

Such a cool idea. Do you have some who signed up to the marketplace already? What kind of feedback are you hearing from those you share the idea with?

Dec 20, 12:06PM EST1

Yup, we have both garage providers and DIY enthusiasts on the platform already.

Garage providers are excited to find alternate methods of filling bay time at their shops.  Auto/motorcycle enthusiasts are skeptical about a new service (I think as most humans are about something new), but ultimately really excited about finding a solution to their problem.

In terms of true feedback, we still need to simplify the listing process and target different DIY communities to make them aware of GT

Dec 20, 12:09PM EST0

Did you build the site yourself or got an agency? Looks sleek!

Dec 20, 8:20AM EST1

Thanks!  Built myself using a number of online tools.

Last edited @ Dec 20, 11:09AM EST.
Dec 20, 11:08AM EST0

Do you do your marketing on your own? What is the best channel for it so far as a social media?

Dec 20, 8:04AM EST1

Doing our own marketing at the moment, but would love to find the right partnership to help our reach. 

The best channel for marketing is in person - you get to look a person in the eye, really understand their needs, show them how your product helps solve their problem, and be a brand ambassador.

As far as best channel for social...it depends.  We want valuable interactions with our customers and feedback to build a better product.  We get great feedback from a newsletter that we publish.

Your're probably still not happy with my answer, so I'll just say Facebook.

Last edited @ Dec 20, 10:56AM EST.
Dec 20, 10:56AM EST0

Is your family supportive of your business, do they get involved?

Dec 20, 6:41AM EST1

My family is wonderful - they've been supportive and gotten really excited about the project.  My mom has helped with market research projects, and my dad has helped with business plan/idea generation/hole poking in my assumptions.  The rest of the family has shown equal excitement and offered to help wherever possible.  I'm very fortunate.

Dec 20, 10:51AM EST0
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