A buy-sell classified mobile app enables the users to buy, sell, or rent a wide range of things, including gadgets, furniture items, properties, cars, educational goods, and even pets. It is an incredible platform that lets you do everything at the touch of a button.

A lot of users fail to understand the difference between a classified mobile app and an eCommerce website. Surprising, there is a huge difference between the two, primarily in terms of the outreach. A classified mobile app has a much larger outreach than a normal eCommerce app or website.

Another discerning point of difference is that the eCommerce websites are mainly a B2C (business to consumer) platform, where businesses are looking to sell products to the consumers. However, in the case of a classified app, the model can be anything, B2C (business to consumer), B2B (business to business), or C2C (consumer to consumer). Thus, anyone can sell or purchase anything on these platforms by reaching a wide market of potential shoppers.craiglist classsified app interface

OLX, Craigslist, and Quikr are few examples of classified ad platforms that are widely used. These apps assist online marketers, advertisers, and freelancers to promote their work and business as well as target customers in an effective and cost-efficient manner. So, if you are a small business firm or a marketing professional, looking for a competent advertising solution, a customized buy sell classified mobile app may just be the right solution to your needs.

In this article, we will talk about the various aspects of developing a classified mobile app like OLX and Craigslist. We will also delve into the important features and functionalities that must be incorporated along with determining the cost of development.

What a Buy-Sell Classified Mobile App Looks Like?

classified ad listings searching and sorting by filtersBefore we dig any deeper into the topic, it is important to know about the vital characteristics of a classified mobile app.

  • The app allows quick and easy registration and login
  • The users can post free ads along with their verified contact details
  • The users can buy/sell products like electronic gadgets, cars, bikes, mobile devices, furniture pieces, fashion apparel and accessories, books, etc.
  • They can use the search option to locate their preferred buyer/seller
  • Private calling and chatting options with the vendors to know about the product condition and negotiate the price
  • Real-time notifications about new products and buyers or sellers who are nearby
  • Availability of attractive deals and discount offers

Why Invest in Buy Sell Classified Mobile App Development?

Today, an increasing number of organizations are leveraging the power of online classifieds to promote their products/services and attract a wider base of customers.

The global online ads market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 9.5% during 2019-2026.

Talking about Quikr, the leading classifieds platform is currently used by over 30 million unique users every month. It operates across 1200 cities in India and deals in various verticals across cars, homes, jobs, education, and services. Presently, the company is valued at $565.70 million.

Similarly, OLX also enjoys a wide user base with over 350 million people using it to locate the best products and services. Currently, it is looking to double its monthly active users count and grow to become a $1.2 billion entity by the end of 2020.

Auto is the biggest category on OLX, drawing 40% of all users on the platform. The increasing user interest in pre-owned cars has been largely instrumental in increasing the number of monthly active users. In an effort to improve the monetization from this strongest category, OLX has launched another business model called “Cash My Car”. This is aimed at buying used cars from sellers and re-selling them to car dealers.

Digital Classifieds Advertising Revenue Worldwide from 2015 to 2021 in USD million

digital classified ads earnings wordwide in usd million

Some Best Buy Sell Classified Mobile Applications

popular buy sell classified apps

Most Sought After Classified Listing Categories

categories in classified buy sell listing app

  • Real Estate Listings
  • Job Listings
  • Dating & MeetUp Listings
  • Car Buy-Sell Listings
  • Fashion Clothing & Accessories Listings

Most Notable Benefits of Using Buy Sell Classified Mobile App

When it comes to buy sell classified platforms, there is a lot to be discovered. And this offers aspiring businesses to develop robust and exclusive solutions. Now let us have a look at the top benefits of using a buy-sell classified mobile app.

For Buyers/Sellers

  • Efficient: Classified mobile apps make things so much easier for users. For selling anything, they simply need to register with the app, click a couple of photos of the product on their device, type a suitable product description and specifications, mention the expected price and contact details. They can post the ad for free and locate potential buyers for their products easily.
  • Draws customer interest: A classified app brings a plethora of products from different sellers/service providers along with attractive deals and offers. This keeps the users engaged as they don’t have to limit their choice to only one seller.
  • Convenience: Mobile apps make it possible to post and manage buy/sell ads on the go. With these apps, anyone can post the ad at any time and from anywhere. Capture a photo of the product, enter a description and your ad is ready to be posted.

For App Owner

  • Scalable Business Model: Developing a buy sell classified mobile app is a much smaller investment with less financial risk as compared to an eCommerce store. This is because, in the former, no investment in inventory is needed. The owners can easily attract more customers and expand their operations without much capital involvement.
  • Steady revenue stream: Buy sell classified apps help to generate a decent amount of revenue. There are a plethora of monetization options to choose from. Apps like OLX and Craigslist earn money through premium listing whereas many others depend on a commission-based model.

Monetization Opportunities Offered by Classified Listings Mobile Apps

Featured Listing

This is an important monetization strategy for classified apps that enables certain sellers to secure enhanced visibility by featuring in the top spots of the app. In return, the sellers need to pay a specific amount of fee.

Advert Selling

This is another useful monetization technique that enables the classified app owner to generate revenue by displaying advertisements for other products or services on your app. In return for displaying the ads, you can charge a specific amount of money from the advertising businesses.

Commission on The Transaction

As the customer makes payment to the seller, the app owner receives a set amount of flat fee or a certain percentage of the transactional amount. This is a popular revenue model preferred by most sellers since they don’t have to pay anything until they obtain some value from the app.

Any one or a combination of these monetization techniques can be used together to generate a steady stream of revenue from classified mobile apps.

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Attributes of a Successful Classified Mobile App

Self-intuitive UI/UX

Efficient and intuitive UI/UX is the most significant attribute of a good app. It is important to develop a classified mobile app that is quick to navigate and features a user-friendly design. This not only boosts user engagement but also helps to keep the users stick around for a long time.

Provide Classified Performance Report

A good app allows the app owner to track sales using accurate metrics. By generating detailed performance reports, the owner will be able to determine which products are in great demand as well as establish the most trusted vendors. Based on this, the owner will be able to find the most accurate notifications to the users that are beneficial to them.

Provide a Guide to Publishing Perfect Classified

This is an important attribute that simplifies the user experience to a great extent. Typically, a classified ad comprises of three parts: the headline, description, and contact details. Offering a simple and quick guide on how to accurately write the three parts and publish an SEO-friendly ad is a great feature to include in your app.

Rating & Review Feature

Ratings and reviews have become an influential part of the purchase journey. According to surveys, ratings and reviews rank high among the factors that impact the purchase decision, just behind price. Thus, integrating this consumer-generated information into the app is one of the best ways to improve its authenticity and boost sales.

Robust Data Security

A good buy-sell classified app must be backed with rock-solid security protocols and measures to keep all the customer and business data protected. Such sites are the first target of cybercriminals and without the implementation of proper protocols, the app owners can put their customers and themselves at the risk for payment fraud.

General Classified Mobile App Features

classified app features

User/Customer Panel Features

  • Signup, login and manage user profile
  • Browse or search classified listings
  • Geo location based listings
  • Find listings by real-time location
  • Search and sort by filters
  • Discover ads near you
  • Create a Wishlist
  • Give rating and reviews
  • Ask a query regarding a listed product
  • Add/view Multiple product images
  • Push Notifications
  • View Related products
  • Send invites and get referral points
  • Social sharing feature
  • Place and view order status
  • Support for multiple languages
  • Upload or post product listings
  • Multiple payment options
  • In-app chat with buyers and sellers
  • Free & Paid listing

Admin Panel Features

classified app admin dashboard

  • Login via email
  • Manage Users
  • Manage products
  • Manage service providers
  • Track and manage orders
  • Spam prevention tools
  • Content management
  • Regular database backup
  • Manage advertising requests
  • Payment management
  • Manage categories
  • Generate reports
  • Manage Inquiry and provide support
  • Manage client reviews and ratings

Advanced Features and Functionality in a Classified Product Listing App

Social Signup/Login

New users need to sign up for the app and create their profile before making any purchase. With the social signup option, the users can do that quickly by using any of their existing social media accounts. This would shorten the process and eliminate the need to input all details manually, thereby improving the customer response rate.

Push Notifications

Push notifications is an effective way to keep the users engaged. Using this feature, the admin can send alerts to the users regarding new products, promotional and discount offers, lucrative deals, and much more.

In-App Chat

in app chatting in classified listing appThis feature facilitates seamless communication via chat between the sellers and the buyers. The latter can use the functionality to get in touch with the sellers and circumstantiate all the details of the deal. This improves the customer’s experience.

In-App Call

Just like in-app chat, the interested buyers can also call the sellers for addressing their queries regarding the product/service, discount, price negotiation, etc.

In-App Camera

This is one of the most significant features that allow the app users to directly click pictures from within the app and post them on the app. For instance, if it is a used camera that the user wants to sell, he can easily upload a couple of photos of the same that will help the buyer make up their mind about purchasing it.

Phone Number Masking

Phone number masking enables the buyers and sellers to call each other from within the app while masking their contact details. The feature ensures complete confidentiality of information as both parties can interact without giving out their real phone numbers.

In-App Navigation

The in-app navigation feature enables the users to track their delivery agents in real-time. Alternatively, it can be used by the delivery person to locate the exact address of the customer and deliver the order on time.

GPS Tracking

This feature keeps the customers informed about the shipment and delivery of their orders. For instance, they can check when their order gets confirmed, shipped, and is finally out for delivery. This is a great tool as it helps to keep the customers engaged.

Geolocation Based Classified Listings

real time classified listings
It allows the users to view classified listings based on their location detected by their smartphone GPS sensor.

AutoComplete Search

The feature enables users to quickly find what they are looking for by choosing from a pre-populated list of values as they begin to type. This is a helpful UI feature that provides common autocomplete suggestions to facilitate user searches.

Multi-Lingual Support

If you wish to make your classified mobile app a global phenomenon, it is advisable to integrate a multi-lingual support feature. This will facilitate quick and hassle-free transactions across different regions as well as languages. This is a great feature that offers a unique sense of inclusivity to users coming from different areas.
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Multiple Payment Gateways

This is one of the must-have features. Integrating multiple payment options helps users to make quick and hassle-free transactions. You must incorporate mobile wallets such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Paytm, etc. to offer to augment ease to the users.

Real-Time Analytics

This is a great feature for the admin so that he can understand what is happening within the app. Using this, he can get detailed analytical reports for scrutinizing and tracking metrics like user acquisition rate, retention rate, customer satisfaction rate, etc. All this information can help to facilitate vital business decisions.

Role-Based Dashboard

Role-based dashboards help in better planning for the business. Using this, the app will display all significant business data and performance reports graphically and intuitively.

Efficient CMS

A content management system enables the app owner as well as the other sellers/service providers to manage the content available on the app. For instance, the seller can use the feature to add a detailed description of the product he is looking to sell. Similarly, the owner can update the users with any special deals and discount offers.

Effective CRM

An efficient customer relationship management system helps to build a seamless communication channel with the customers. Besides, it helps to store the customer data efficiently for future decision making.

Required Team Structure

For building a high-quality, feature-packed app, you need to hire an experienced team. Make sure the team you opt for comprises of the following professionals:

  • Seasoned project manager to lead and supervise operations
  • Expert Android and IOS developers who are aware of the explicit platform guidelines
  • An experienced UI/UX designer who can shape a user-friendly interface design
  • Testers and QA analysts to ensure the app is free from bugs and glitches

Required Tech Stack for Building a Classified Listing Mobile App

Selecting the appropriate tech stack is very important to build a high-performing app. So, make sure to choose a mobile app development company that works with the following tools and frameworks:

  • Mobile Platform: Android, iOS
  • Web: PHP, JavaScript, .Net, and more
  • Payment gateway: Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, e-Wallets
  • Real-time app analytics: Hadoop. BigData, Spark, Apache Flink, and IBM
  • Push notifications: Push.io, Twilio
  • Database: MongoDB, Cassandra, Hbase
  • Cloud environment: Google, Azure, and AWS
  • Voice, SMS, phone verification: Twilio, Nexmo

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Classified Mobile App?

To determine the cost of developing a buy sell classified mobile app, you need to first understand the factors that play an influencing role:

The App Development Platform

Most aspiring business entrepreneurs opt for a native mobile app for either one of the two: Android or iOS. It must be understood that native apps offer superior functionality as they are built to target a single platform. However, they cost much higher. If you have budget constraints, you must opt for a single platform first that is widely used by your target customers.

App Design

The UI/UX of the app are critical elements. If you wish to stand apart from the competition, then you must pay extra attention to the design part. The development cost directly depends on the quality of the app design. A mobile app that features a lot of animations will cost much more than a standard design. To augment your customer experience, it is important to invest in a design that truly imparts your brand message.

App Size

Different apps require a different set of features and functionality. The complexity level of these features helps to establish the development cost. So, if you go beyond the standard suite of features and add advanced functionalities to stand apart from the crowd, your app will certainly cost more.

The Hourly Rate Charged by the App Development Company

Mostly, all app development companies charge on an hourly basis. Based on the time spent by each member of the development team, a loose cost is anticipated.

Location of the App Development Company

The location of the app development company also plays a vital role in determining the total development cost. For instance, in the USA, any local app development company will charge $70 to $250 per hour, making the cost go up to $50,000-$65,000. However, if you are familiar with your precise requirements, you can also go for a good classified app development company in India. Such a company will perform an accomplished job at a much lesser rate. You can easily get a functional app between $10,000-$25,000.


Apps like OLX and Craigslist are cornering the market by offering smart and effective shopping solutions to the users on a global scale. If you are looking to invest in building a classifieds mobile app, now is the ideal time to start your own application with some exclusive and engaging features. Although building a smart app solution is no big deal, but offering unique value than what your competitors are offering isn’t very easy. So it is best to get in touch with an experienced team of mobile app developers so you can stand tall amongst the competition.

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.