Trading has always been a part of life since ancient times. However, the nature and way of trading have undoubtedly evolved. If we move a few hundred years in the past, you will find yourself trading against products in the absence of a currency. Moving a few years forward, most of the trading took place against the grains. Then, there were currencies in the place. Until now, every trading took place offline. Now in the 21st century, when we have come a long way, trading is being performed online. 

The mobile application that allows people to perform online trading is called a classified application. Give your few minutes to this blog, and we will discuss everything about the classified app, the cost to develop one, and how it can be a business opportunity for you.

What Is a Classified App? 

What Is a Classified App 

A classified app is a giant platform that helps users promote, advertise, or sell their products and buy the products offered by other users. You can simply set up an account on a classified app, list the products you want to sell, attract customers to the listing, and successfully make a deal. Many classified apps are playing their role in the markets to boost the online trading of products. Craigslist, Olx, Quikr, Shpock, and the most popular among them. 

Difference Between Classified App and Ecommerce Platform

Classified App and Ecommerce Platform

When we are discussing the platform that assists the online trading of products and services, you might confuse between classified apps and ecommerce platforms. Let us understand the difference with a simple statement. Classified apps or platforms are the ones where the seller of the products can be a regular user willing to sell their old product for any reason. Here, the seller is not a shopkeeper having a stock of inventory. You can not expect multiple quantities of a product listed by the seller. 

On the other hand, Ecommerce platforms or apps are the ones where the seller of the products are store owner and merchants. They sell new products and have inventory for their listing. So, you can expect the number of products they have listed on the platform.

What Is Craigslist? 

When talking about classified apps and platforms, Craigslist ought to be mentioned. Craigslist is one of the oldest and most popular classified platforms for advertising and promoting products. You can guess the massiveness of Craigslist with the fact that it is counted among the 20 top websites in the US. The platform was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark. Starting as an email list, the platform is now one of the biggest classified platforms operating in 700 cities in over 70 countries. With its USP to promote the products for the users, the platform receives more visitors than Netflix. 

There might be the rise of a number of other platforms, but it can never be interpreted that Craigslist is dying. According to Semrush, the platform still has 188M monthly visits. Moreover, the website ranks 2nd in its category. So, undoubtedly there will be a solid user base for Craigslist even in 2022. 

How Does the Craigslist App Work? 

How Craigslist Works

Craigslist app works on the business model of that of peer-to-peer. The platform’s user interface remains similar for both buyers and sellers. Unlike Airbnb, users can sell and buy anything on the platform with one profile. Craigslist employs minimal employees, so it doesn’t focus on generating colossal revenue. The platform focuses on establishing smooth communication between the provider and the seeker. The platform has numerous categories such as community, housing, required items, services, jobs, gigs, discussion forums, resumes, etc. You can submit your requirement on the platform in a few simple steps and attract a good response.

Cost to Develop an App Like Craigslist

Having developed an app like Craigslist, you can earn a good income without further investing significant time in it. So, it will provide you with a good sleeping income if developed, managed, and maintained efficiently. However, developing an app will require a specific investment like any other business. 

Cost to Develop an App Like Craigslist

So, talking about the cost of developing an app like Craigslist, no price tag can be stitched to it. You can develop the app for as low as $10,000 and as high as $1,000,000. The cost of developing the app depends on a range of factors. For example, developing an app with basic features and necessary functionality will cost you a lot cheaper than an advanced app with advanced features and exceptional capabilities. Moreover, the market you are hiring the app development team from also plays a significant role in deciding the app development cost. There are other factors as well that will hinder your cost of app development, which you will read in the next heading. 

So, it might not be a good idea to stick to a specific price tag for the app development. However, to grab a quick and rough idea, a basic app with the necessary features and functionalities will cost you anywhere between $20K$30K. However, if you are willing to provide advanced features to your audience, you might proceed with a budget of $40K$200K.

Factors Affecting the Cost of App Development  

There are tens of factors that will affect the cost of app development. However, some of them can be controlled by you while developing the app. Having good control over these factors can save you a couple of thousands of dollars without compromising the usability and functionality of your app. So, we have listed some of the factors you should consider while developing the app. 

Time TakenUnderstand the simple math here. The cost of your app development is directly proportional to the time taken by developers to develop the app. The more time it takes for the developers to build the app, the more it will cost you. The same condition applies vice-versa. 
Complexity Keep your app well-defined and straightforward for yourself and the app development team. A complex project will take time for the team to understand; thus, the more time consumed, the more you will be charged for the project. You should know what you want and communicate it straight to the team. 
Number and Type of Features Features are also the critical deciding factor of the app development cost. More features will attract the higher cost of app development. However, features are going to be your USP to attract customers. So, ensure you don’t compromise on the number of features to save costs. 
Technological FrameworkThe technological framework you are willing to instill in your app also causes the difference in app development cost. Developing the app for Android is a different case than that of iOS. So, the cost will also alter. Moreover, equipping the technology like cloud-native platform computing, additional APIs, etc., will simultaneously increase the cost and usability. 
Type of DevelopmentYou can develop your app with a CMS like WordPress and hire a full cycle app development team to develop the app from scratch. The cost will differ significantly, but so will the user experience. 
Location of Development Team Your decision to hire an app development team from a particular country can alter your cost to a significant extent. Hiring an app development team from India will cost you far less than hiring a team from the US.  

Essential Features for Apps Like Craigslist

Plenty of classified apps are already fencing your target audience in this technological landscape. So, to achieve competitive advantages and make space for yourself in this landscape, it is crucial to play with some features that will help attract the audience. There can be hundreds and thousands of features that you can equip in your app. However, instilling the extra features will do nothing but increase the cost of the app. So, we hereby list some of the features that you should not miss in your app to ensure its usability: 

a) User Registration 

The app should allow users to register themselves with their name, phone number, social media account, or other personal information. Verification should also be performed for account registration. 

b) Ad Posting 

The ad posting options should carry the features like uploading the image, providing the description, communicating the location, etc.

c) Search Bar 

The search bar is fundamental to any app. A search bar should be in place to guide users directly to the product or page they are seeking to access. 

d) Sorting and Filters 

When your app carries tons of listings, it should be armed with a sorting filter to help users filter the relevant results. For example, a person willing to buy a used bike should only get the bike results in a section. 

e) Locations Setting 

The app should have the location setting feature to ensure that a person gets the deal recommendations from nearby areas. 

f) Wishlist and Cart

These options will assist the users in adding a particular product to their wishlist or cart to access it easily in the future (if available).

g) Upload Images 

Words can not communicate what images can. It is easier for customers to make decisions after seeing the photos and pictures. So, your app should support uploading images and photographs of products to sell.  

h) Query Raising 

Make sure that users can raise the query for a product or service being offered on the platform. 

i) Communication 

Ensure to provide the communication mode for users to connect with opposite stakeholders and make a deal. 

j) Notifications

Users should get notifications about any follow-up or update of the deal. 

k) Multilingual Support 

The app should support multiple languages according to the target markets.

l) Social Sharing 

Your user should be allowed to share the listing on various social media platforms to attract a more engaging customer base.

m) Payment Integration 

It can be a plus point if your app is providing the portal for making the payment. It would allow us to complete the deal over the app only without any offline practice.

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What Makes Craigslist Different? 

Other than its establishment way before the alternative apps and its focus on connecting the users instead of making money, some other factors make Craigslist different from other similar apps and platforms. Go through some of those factors with us and decide what factors can inspire your app to be unique:

1. Traditional yet Informative Design 

When other websites and applications are making their user interface creative and attractive using high-end coding, Craigslist is still glued to its traditional newspaper-style interface. Undoubtedly, it might seem boring to users, but this interface carries all the sections, subsections, filters, and options that a shopper or seller might be concerned about.

Traditional yet informative design

2. Vision Driven 

Craigslist is not profit-driven but a vision-driven platform. It carries the vision to connect the different users to fulfill their respective needs. So, the platform is free to use for users, where they can upload ads for their products and connect to millions of interesting buyers. However, the platform also provides the option for paid ads with its own advantages. But, the paid version is entirely an option.

3. Multiple Categories 

Categories offered by Craigslist can be termed as its USP and the most significant factor behind its popularity. The platform is equipped with over a hundred categories in which the users can post the ads or look for the relevant ads. The category infrastructure of the platforms makes it very easy for users to find relevant results with minimum effort.

Popular Alternative of Craigslist in The Market 

a) Ebay Classifieds 


Formerly known as Kijiji, the site was launched in the US in 2007. Besides Craigslist, it is one of the biggest platforms of its kind. EBay’s category range is wide, with some features better than on Craigslist. For example, eBay’s user interface is more attractive with better sorting and filter options. A user can simply filter the results based on price, distance, category, or freshness of the ad posted on the platform. 

b) Facebook Marketplace 

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook is not a dedicated classified app like other platforms. However, it is still one of the most preferred and recommended classified platforms for a galaxy of users. With Facebook Marketplace, users can post the status with relevant pictures of the products or items, write a brief description of the product, tag the price, and ask their friends to share the ad. The plus point is that you sell the products mainly to your friends or friends of friends. 

c) Poshmark 


With over 10M downloads on Google Play Store, Poshmark is also a popular classified platform where you can sell or shop used items. However, the product range of Poshmark is not that broad, but it works more as a USP for the platform rather than a limitation. People wandering to sell or buy used and branded clothes and lifestyle accessories can land on this platform. 

d) OfferUp: Buy. Sell. Letgo. 

OfferUp Buy. Sell. Letgo. 

More popular than Letgo, the platform is a go-to place for millions of people to make money by selling their used products. The platform deals in broad product range categories, including clothes, furniture, shoes, vintage fashion, electronics, cell phones, sports equipment, baby & kids items, used cars, home goods, and much more. Users can message the opposite stakeholder (buyer/seller) to make a deal. 

e) Locanto 


More popular in India, the app has a use case similar to that of Letgo. The app allows sellers to sell or buy a number of commodities in the locality as well as the distant area if the buyer and seller are comfortable. Users can sell or buy almost anything on the platform. Besides buying or selling commodities, the app also helps you find friends in the new locality who share similar interests. The app is being used by more than a million users of the Google Play Store.


f) Gumtree


With more than 5 million downloads and 2.4 million listings, Gumtree is one of the biggest classified marketplaces in Australia. Like Craigslist, the platform deals in a broad range of products and items. 

How Do Apps Like Craigslist Make Money? 

Undoubtedly, Craigslist works on the vision it developed in 1995. However, every platform still needs sources of revenue to run its operations and fund its expenses. Not talking specifically about Craigslist (as they have minimal revenue streams), we will discuss the different revenue streams used by platforms like Craigslist. The same revenue stream can be utilized by you when developing the app alike:

a) Paid Ads

The simplest option to make money is monetizing the platform’s fundamental operations. For example, the fundamental operation of apps like Craigslist is to post ads for commodities to be sold and bought. So, charging the sellers a fraction of their products is a broad option for generating revenue. However, it might cause the threat of substitution to the app.

b) Subscription 

Subscriptions can be a better option to make money as compared to that of paid ads. However, the classified platform must provide advanced features and capabilities to users. Subscriptions can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.

c) Featured Ads 

Many platforms, including Craigslist, keep the featured ads as an alternative to basic ads. By implementing a specific charge, many classified apps put the ads in the featured section, where it is more highlighted and presented to the interested buyers. The platform enhances the chances of getting an offer in exchange for the featured charges.

d) Registration Fee 

A registration fee is an excellent option to generate revenue with a classified app. In this monetization model, users are charged a specific fee at the registration time to use the platform’s respective services.

e) Commission 

Implementing the commission is a good idea to attract more users and eliminate the hesitation to pay for a service. With this business model, sellers will only have to pay commission when the deal has been executed, payment has been made, and the product has been sold.

How Can Emizentech Help You? 

As you can see, the online marketplace of selling and buying products is on a sharp rise and attracting an enormous user base; it emerges as a good business opportunity. Having read the blog this far, you now know the number of income streams that an app like Craigslist brings to you. So, developing an app like Craigslist is undoubtedly a good business idea to generate sleeping income. 

However, developing an app is a big task as the app will perform as the base of business. If you are not an all-rounder, you will need a team to develop the app, and Emizentech is the best at it. There are thousands of app development services out there in the market, but we-

  • Carry an experience of a decade in the industry 
  • Have a team of visionary and innovative developers 
  • Have developed numerous classified apps for multiple clients 
  • Have a research team that keeps you a step ahead of the competitors 
  • Not only develop an app but also give you the right guidance in the journey
  • Offer free consultation sessions to solve all your queries and doubts
  • Provide ample support even after completion of the project.  

In Nutshell

We can say that the classified apps and platforms industry is growing significantly and generating marvelous business opportunities. Several industry players have already secured their user base of millions and are making bundles of dollars. However, the industry is vast and carries space for you as well. Developing an app like Craigslist at this stage, instilling the right features, uploading on Android and iOS platform, performing sufficient marketing, and providing timely updates can bring a good income to you. 

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EmizenTech's Mobile App Development team is led by Naren Bhati, who designs and develops technically innovative solutions for our global clientele. He has the technical expertise to steer our app development team on the right path.