How to develop Marketplace apps like Letgo and OfferUp


Are you looking to sell your used stuff?? Or looking to buy used stuff in nearby locations??

Letgo and OfferUp are popular marketplace applications for selling used stuff locally. The number of people selling items online increased by 65% between January and August 2018. These online platforms aim to make it easy for people to publish products, chat with each other, and make sales. The concept of Letgo and OfferUp is to sell locally, sellers set a location and buyers search for products they are looking for.

How does a buy-sell app make money? What’s the LetGo and OfferUp business model? Let’s discuss the sources of revenue of the biggest online marketplace apps and find out how marketplace applications make money.

How a local buy and sell Apps Work?

Letgo and OfferUp allow users to sell their items online in a particular area. These apps are easy to use that users can start buying and selling in just a few taps. Once the sellers are on board, they can create advertisements for the item they want to sell and the websites help them to communicate with potential buyers. In addition, these apps also allow buyers and sellers to privately interact and discuss the product specification using built-in chat and call features.

Aside from the basic functionality, these applications also ensure privacy and let buyers and sellers build a profile page on which they can rate each other.

How to create a buy and sell an app?

To understand how a mobile app development company develops an app like LetGo or OfferUp, take a look at some important steps.

  • Conduct an analysis of the best selling apps
  • Elaborate business model 
  • Choose a tech stack 
  • Main basic features should be added
  • Create a good brand name
  • Build an attractive UI and UX 
  • Add a shopping cart
  • Integrate a payment gateway you consider necessary
  • Promote your product
  • Consider fraud protection

Also Read: How To Develop an E-wallet App Like PayPal

Why E-Commerce Marketplace Apps Like Letgo and Offerup is a good idea of business?

Local marketplace apps such as OfferUp and LetGo have made it easier for both sellers and buyers to buy and sell locally. Let’s start with some statistics that will give you a clear idea of the scope of building such an app:

  • According to Stats, in 2018, around 1.8 billion people used online stores for shopping.
  • The worldwide e-retail sales reached around 2.8 trillion USD in 2018, which is expected to be double by 2020.
  • It is estimated that e-retail sales reach 17.5% of total retail sales worldwide.

The above statistics are the reason why your idea to invest in local marketplace applications such as OfferUp and LetGo is a win-win.

Basic buy and sell app features

Social network registration

The marketplace apps like LetGo or OfferUp have a social registration feature. This feature increases the user’s reliance towards your service as it simplifies the process of proof of identity. In addition, a user doesn’t need to enter his data manually because all information will be pulled automatically from a social network.

Search icon Integration

As the number of customers and advertisements increases there is a definite need to manage the traffic properly to operate the app smoothly. This will also make it easier for the consumer to find their desired product.

Advanced Filters

Advanced filter integration is also essential to make the search process easy and fast. To minimize search time, all items should be divided into categories and groups.

Built-in Camera

It allows to take photos in the app and instantly upload them. Sellers can edit images, cut them down, change brightness and contrast.

Push Notifications

It helps the users to remember what they are missing, a great push notification strategy can help to define the success of your application.

In-App Payment

Users can pay for their products online with this app. To streamline the process of buying and selling products, you need to include a powerful mechanism in your application to allow online payments.

Additional features to develop the buy and sell app

The features we described are essential. You should, therefore, take additional features to make the app unique:

Compare the prices and Offer Hot Deals

It is one of the best features for customers to compare and buy the item at the best prices. It is great for a seller to offer hot deals, discounts or coupons.

Picture Scanning

With this feature, your application can provide suggestions to users on how to fill articles descriptions and categorizations. It will also help you track the quality of pictures uploaded.

Delivery feature

You can also provide in-app delivery services to help consumers get their items at their doorstep. You can do a partnership with outside delivery services to provide the best shopping experience to your users.

Monetization Model of Marketplace Apps?

Subscriptions/Membership Fees

The basic functionality of these applications is free. Nonetheless, people will have to pay to get more advanced features.

For instance, the business model of Letgo application has the Letgo Pro subscription plan. Premium members can avail special benefits like:

  • They can get calls from buyers directly through the app
  • The marketplace app provides features to list products automatically on LetGo and OfferUp.

Seller Fees

Most local marketplaces charge a commission from merchants for every deal made on the app. 

Transaction Fees

This is the most well-known revenue method for a lot of marketplace apps. A lot of platforms charge a commission for transactions. When a user pays via your application, you can charge a fixed cost or a percentage. 


Sellers who need to introduce some special offers can display them in the Featured Products tab to the users. And this is another way for local buy-selling online marketplace apps to make money. This promotional technique allows sellers to attract users by providing them with special offers and internal recommendations.

You can also get a good amount of revenue by displaying ads on each page.

Read Also: A complete guide to develop an AI Chatbot

Tech stack to develop a buy and sell app

Let’s define what tools and third-party services that our marketplace app development company use to create mobile buy and sell apps.

  • Mobile Platform – Android, iOS
  • Web – .Net, PHP, JS etc.
  • Push Notifications – Twilio,
  • SMS, Voice, and Phone Verification –Nexmo, Twilio
  • Payments – Braintree & PayPal, Stripe, EWallets
  • Database – MongoDB, Hbase, Cassandra, Postgres, MailChimp Integration
  • Cloud Environment – AWS, Google, Azure
  • Real-Time Analytics – Hadoop, Spark, BigData, Apache Flink, Cisco, IBM

Developing an online buy-sell marketplace app is a good idea of business. All you have to do is share your app idea with us and our developers will make a mobile application with the same. We have many years of experience in building mobile applications for Android and iOSplatforms. 

Are you ready to build your own online marketplace for local buyers and sellers? Discuss your ideas with us!!

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