What is a Transactional Marketplace?

If you’re buying or selling a used vehicle, you have a lot of online marketplaces to choose from. Except none of them are true marketplaces because they’re not transactional. They’re meeting places.

So what is a transactional marketplace, and how is it different from other sites?

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Components of a Transactional Marketplace

A transactional marketplace enables a vehicle transaction end to end. It provides tools and technologies to facilitate the various stages of the deal. Where other sites merely allow a buyer and seller to connect, a transactional marketplace offers the following functionality:

1. Listings: list your vehicle for sale or browse cars for sale. All online vehicle meetingplaces have this, and so does a transactional marketplace.
2. Communicate: a transactional marketplace should have native messaging capabilities to keep personal info private.
3. Negotiate: a transactional marketplace allows buyers and sellers to easily negotiate with tools to accept, reject, or counter offers without leaving the marketplace.
4. Sign paperwork: a transactional marketplace facilitates easy electronic signing of documents such as the bill of sale.
5. Send money: a transactional marketplace integrates seamless transfer of funds as part of the deal flow.

Let’s look at these five characteristics in greater detail.

Vehicle Listings

All online vehicle marketplaces, transactional and non, have cars for sale. Sellers can list their vehicle, and buyers can go shopping for cars. Essentially, the website or app serves as a way for a buyer to meet a seller. Unfortunately, the utility of non-transactional marketplaces ends there.

Buyers and sellers are left to piece together the remainder of the transaction using third-party tools and channels.

Buyer and Seller Communication

Most marketplaces allow would-be buyers to message sellers via an email integration. If the buyer and the seller want to communicate in a chat format, they often exchange phone numbers and initiate a text conversation. In a word, communication is clunky.

Beyond the inconvenience, “meetingplaces” open buyers and sellers up to bad actors. Scammers abound on classifieds and other vehicle websites.

A true transactional marketplace facilitates secure and easy communication.

Buyer and seller contact info is never exchanged
Communication is seamless and native to the platform
Identity verification weeds out scammers
Integrated scheduler allows easy meetups

PrivateAuto features native messaging and scheduling capabilities that keep buyer and seller info private. Identity verification inhibits bad actors, and a handy scheduler makes setting the test drive appointment a cinch.


Non-transactional marketplaces don’t provide an interface whereby a potential buyer and seller can reach a consensus. Beyond an initial intro, they provide no workflow for the negotiation. A transactional marketplace allows the following:

Buyers can make an offer on a listing.
Sellers can accept, reject, or make counteroffers.
Buyers and sellers can communicate about the offer.
All negotiation occurs natively within the marketplace app

PrivateAuto provides an intuitive framework that leads buyers and sellers to reach an agreement. Our app allows a potential buyer to make an offer on a vehicle. Sellers can accept, reject, or counteroffer. The two parties can communicate back and forth about the offer—or any other aspect of the vehicle or the transaction—within the PrivateAuto app.

Document Signing

Non-transactional marketplaces don’t provide documentation support. Given that paperwork is such a key aspect of a vehicle sale, its omission leaves buyers and sellers adrift.

A transactional marketplace should enable easy electronic signing of key documents such as the bill of sale. On PrivateAuto, both buyer and seller are prompted to e-sign an official bill of sale in their mobile app at the appropriate stage of the transaction.


Non-transactional marketplaces do not have payment integrations. Users are left to their own devices—or expensive and time-consuming third-party services—to figure out how to get funds from the buyer to the seller. Unfortunately, there haven’t been a lot of great ways to conveniently move large sums between strangers.

A transactional marketplace should integrate a payment gateway into its transaction workflow. On PrivateAuto, buyers can send instant, free transfers of up to $1M. Sellers receive their money immediately, even on nights, weekends, or holidays.

Our integrated payment solution, PrivateAuto Pay, allows buyers and sellers to have escrow-like services in the palm of their hand. PrivateAuto Pay enables remote transactions and solves the problem of trust between strangers.

Introducing the First Automotive Transactional Marketplace

PrivateAuto is the world’s first transactional marketplace for getting the deal done end to end. See how we’re creating a new category of marketplace and leaving traditional “meetingplaces” behind.

Marketing features

Other Marketplaces

List Vehicle

Buyer Inquiries / Leads

Mobile App

Vehicle History Report


Vehicle Market Values


Window Brochure with QR Code

Fraud Prevention

Other Marketplaces


Chat Without Sharing Contact Information

Driver's License Verification

Selfie Verification

Banking Compliant Background Check

Deal Features

Other Marketplaces


Proprietary Transaction Technology

Integrated Buyer Financing

Available In All States (U.S.A)

Available nights, weekends, holidays

Split Payment Options

Unlimited Transaction Limits

Instant transaction Speed

For Sellers

For the first time, you can enjoy convenience and security while selling your used car directly to a private party.

In-app messaging keeps your personal info protected
Buyer verification weeds out scammers
Buyer verified funds eliminates window shoppers
In-app scheduler allows you to set the meetup at the time and place of your choosing
In app e-signing of the bill of sale protects you
Instant and free funds transfer with PrivateAuto Pay eliminates the need for an escrow service

Experience the magic yourself. Create a listing in a few easy steps!

For Buyers

Experience the power of a transactional marketplace and you’ll never go back.

In-app messaging keeps your personal info protected
Seller verification weeds out scammers
In-app financing allows you to be pre-approved
In-app scheduler lets you set up a test drive by selecting from times the seller is available
In app e-signing of the bill of sale protects you
Instant and free funds transfer with PrivateAuto Pay eliminates the need for an escrow service

Check it out today when you browse used vehicles for sale!