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How YouTuber Doug DeMuro Built A Platform For His Community To Sell Rare Cars


How YouTuber Doug DeMuro Built A Platform For His Community To Sell Rare Cars 

Doug DeMuro built a hub for his community to buy and sell rare cars, without the risks other marketplaces offer. His company, Cars & Bids, is now a major player in the space and secured $37 million in investment in 2023.

Doug DeMuro has driven some unbelievable cars during his time on YouTube. From a $10 million Koenigsegg Agera RS1 hypercar to an all-electric Amazon delivery van, he deals with vehicles most of us are never likely to touch in our lifetime, and gives his viewers a chance to virtually go inside these rare machines as he tests them out. With 4.8 million YouTube subs he is living the dream of almost every car lover in the world and while he can’t quite offer the same experience to all of his fans, he has at least, set up Cars & Bids to give them a shot at owning their dream vehicle. 

How YouTuber Doug DeMuro Built A Platform For His Community To Sell Rare Cars 

Launched in mid-2020, Cars & Bids is an online auction house for collection vehicles. You won’t see any beat-up old bangers as the main focus is on rare and collectable vehicles from the 80s through to the 00s, although you will see a fair few more recent luxury cars on there. At the time of writing, a 1998 Plymouth Neon Highline Coupe is going for around $4500 that you might not look twice at unless you know what you are looking for and on the other end of the scale is a 2023 Range Rover for $190,000 that looks like it belongs in Beverly Hills. 

For DeMuro, Cars & Bids was a project to remove his reliance on the YouTube algorithm. He told Forbes that the worry that one day the platform could just stop sending viewers to his videos made him look for other revenue streams that he could control, and that was the spark that bought Cars & Bids to the world. 

After teaming up with his co-founder Blake Machado to make the project come to life, the site was launched in mid-2020 as most of the world was in lockdown and cars were not flying off the shelves for most dealers. But that didn’t stop Cars & Bids from being an instant success. The first day saw over 900 cars submitted to the site to be sold, and quickly DeMuro knew he needed to staff up as he had a hit on his hands. 

With the site taking a 4.5% fee from the buyer after the auction ends there is some serious money to be made by facilitating these sales. While the concept is nothing new, after all, eBay has facilitated the exact same thing for over 20 years at this point, being led by someone who specializes in these vehicles and has built up a reputation as a trustworthy member of the community makes it an obvious choice for enthusiasts to go to. 

Despite how much we would all love to buy a car like some of the fancier models available on Cars & Bids, when it comes to these rarer vehicles finding a buyer isn’t as easy as you might think. Finding an easy way to advertise it to the widest possible audience can be a challenge, but with DeMuro’s community featuring many people who would be interested in such a purchase, his audience makes the perfect target market for would-be sellers. 

On both his own channel and the Cars & Bids YouTube, which has over 730,000 subs, he willcha show off vehicles that appear on the site, usually the more unusual ones, aiming to both entertain his audience and find that one person who is looking to purchase that specific car. Sometimes, the vehicles he profiles are not what you would expect, for example, a few months ago UFC president Dana White sold his Tuk Tuk on Cars & Bids with the proceeds going to charity. 

The Cars & Bids ecosystem isn’t just a marketplace, there are also other, very profitable areas of the business. Once you’ve sold a car, there’s the issue of how to get it to the buyer. In the old days of newspaper ads, you’d likely be selling to someone within your local area, but with Cars & Bids, they could be anywhere, even outside of the county. So the company introduced Cars & Bids shipping, a service where they take care of moving the vehicle to its new owner for a price. It makes sense when you think about it, but it’s not the kind of service you could find somewhere like eBay. 

After a successful first couple of years that saw Cars & Bids transform from an idea to one of the leading marketplaces for uncommon vehicles, DeMuro knew he had the opportunity to take things to the next level. He had always been managing the business and leading it along with his co-founder, but to turn this into a massive business he knew he needed to bring in some experts. 

That led him to strike a deal with The Chernin Group, an investment firm that has worked on a number of influencer-led brands. In early 2023 the group invested $37 million in Cars & Bids, offering a nice payday for DeMuro and the chance for the company to expand its operations further. Rogelio Choy was added to the company as CEO. With experience at the likes of BitTorrent and even eBay Motors, as well as experience growing similar tech-based start-ups, he was the perfect fit. 

DeMuro is still very much hands-on with the project, and can still be seen in content for the brand, but with his time split between his own content and Cars & Bids, it was clear that he needed help to take it to the next step. Now, a year on from that help arriving, Cars & Bids is scaling up and quickly becoming the go-to marketplace for unique cars in the US and Canada and expanding outside of DeMuro’s fanbase. 

Creating a service, rather than a product, is an unusual move for an influencer. We’ve seen countless times where an influencer has slapped their name on a product and tried to sell it, but offering a useful service for their community, which isn’t even directly related to them, is less common. But it arguably serves a greater purpose, filling an actual need for the community rather than just trying to sell them something. Cars & Bids hasn’t solved a new problem, but it has arguably become the go-to place for this type of car sale and with the backing of a recognizable and trusted face, has created a much safer and trustworthy platform than those that came before it. 

Mike is an experienced journalist with over 10 years of experience covering the tech and online culture space. He is a contributor to Forbes and has written a book about the esports industry.

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