What is the Cost to Develop a Marketplace App Like Craigslist and Letgo?

Sudeep Srivastava April 17, 2024
craigslist app development cost

Craigslist and Letgo are two of the most popular classified advertisements websites that have been able to establish themselves as leading platforms for users to sell and buy products online. Featuring a larger variety of listings such as job openings, real estate listings, service listings, products on sales, personalized listings, etc, these online marketplaces are home to everything a user might need in his daily life.

As per a report, Craigslist witnesses more than 190 million users every month and the annual revenue of the online marketplace is around $500 million to $1 billion. Today, the site is available to users across multiple countries. On the other hand, Letgo marketplace has also been able to witness an annual revenue of $25 million to $50 million. Currently, Letgo is valued at $ 1 billion and has 5.5 million annual users.

One of the most distinctive features of online marketplaces like Craigslist and Letgo that makes them get a higher user base as compared to marketplaces like Amazon as well as eBay is that they operate without any central website or service. Individual users can run the local websites and manage the ads and listings themselves.

Since people nowadays prefer surfing the internet, rather than visiting the stores to buy or sell the product, business owners are now encouraged to list their products or services on various free classified marketplace sites like Dubizzle, Craigslist or Letgo.


Determining the exact mobile application development cost is a complex process and requires a dedicated app development organization to carefully analyze the custom client requirements, technologies to be implemented in the app and various other constraints.

Now, this article will help you determine the Craigslist app development cost and the various factors that affect it. Apart from this, we will look into how apps like Craigslist and Letgo marketplace earn money as well as various features to be implemented in a marketplace app.

Cost to Develop an App Like Craigslist

Craigslist App

To give you a rough idea, the Craigslist application cost can vary between $40,000 to $200,000. There are further several factors like the location of the app development agency, the UI/UX design of the app, and its coding process that directly impacts the overall development budget.

When developing mobile marketplace apps like Etsy, Letgo or Craigslist, you should remember that its cost will also incorporate the expense of the technologies used, the cost of creating unique and custom features, and the advertising costs.

The overall complexity of the app can further help you determine the cost of the Craigslist app. For instance, a highly complex marketplace app with an extensive feature list can cost you more as compared to a simple app with minimal features.

Let us now try and offer you the estimated costs of apps to sell things as per their overall complexity.

Craigslist marketplace app typeEstimated CostTime Frame
Simple App$40,000 to $70,0003 to 6 months
Moderately Complex App70,000 to $100,0006 to 8 months
Highly Complex App$100,000 to $200,0009+ months

Even though it is a complex task to determine the exact cost of Craigslist app, we can offer you an infallible formula that can help you get clear estimates of the overall budget.

Craigslist app development cost

Here the total development hours is the sum of the time frame required to complete the app’s wireframe, design, code as well as maintenance process.

Get exact cost of developing an app like Craigslist

Now, before moving ahead and discussing the factors that affect the Craigslist application cost in detail, let us first understand a little about the marketplace apps like Craigslist and Letgo and how you can benefit from investing in the same.

Understanding the Hype Regarding Classifieds Apps like Craigslist and Letgo

  • Craigslist search application has 700 sites in 70 countries.
  • Craigslist supports 13 languages, thus people can place an ad according to their choice of language.
  • 50 billion monthly page views are recorded on Craigslist.
  • 100 million classified ads are posted every month on Craigslist
  • The discussion forums on Craigslist receive a maximum of 200 million posts each month.
  • The Craigslist website witnesses more than 250 million visits per month
  • The overall revenue received by Craigslist marketplace is $1 billion in 2022
  • More than 75.81% of the traffic on Craigslist comes from the US.
  • Craigslist has an old design since its inception but has gained popularity among millions of sites.

On the other hand,

  • Letgo witnesses an yearly revenue of $25 million to $50 million
  • More than 5.5 million users have downloaded Letgo ever since its inception
  • 38% users between the age of 24 and 35 use Letgo marketplace

Now looking at the various statistics of the Craigslist marketplace app as well as the buy and sell app Letgo can help you determine how lucrative investing in a marketplace app is for your business.

A marketplace app is a flexible business opportunity that offers you sustainability while surpassing your competition. From getting various opportunities to scale your business to expanding the overall sales and revenues, diving into the growing marketplace ecosystem is one of the most potentially powerful investments.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the latest statistics of the marketplace ecosystem and how creating a marketplace app can be fruitful for your business, let us discuss the factors that affect the cost of marketplace app development in detail.

Factors Affecting the Craigslist App Cost

Creating a robust marketplace app integrated with best-in-class features requires a thorough market analysis and professional expertise from a dedicated organization. In addition to this, one must make sure to decide on a dedicated business model before finalizing the features to be implemented in the app.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Craigslist like App

UI/UX design

A well-defined UI/UX design of the app directly impacts its overall success in the market. Since creating a robust design requires the team to carry out multiple testing procedures for the prototype, the overall cost of development can vary as per that.

Location of the app development agency

The region from where you hire developers for online selling apps like Craigslist differs a lot from place to place. This is on the grounds that depending on the area the hourly rates of the developers or company is calculated and changes. This further increases the overall cost of development. For instance, Full-cycle application development in the US is more expensive than that of other countries.Here is the estimated rate of development as per multiple regions of the world.

RegionHourly Rate of Development
Western Europe$80-$90
Eastern Europe$50-$55

App Platform

The underlying platform of the app also affects the cost of development directly. For instance, you can either choose between an iOS or Android application or go for a cross-platform app development. A Craigslist Android app takes more time for development as compared to an iOS app, but the latter requires extensive testing. It is usually recommended to start with a single platform at an initial stage in order to keep the costs optimized and switch to cross-platform apps once it gains traction in the market.

Team Size

The team size for creating selling apps like Craigslist also impacts the overall development budget. For instance, hiring freelancers can help you reduce the overall cost of development but the quality of the app will be compromised considering freelancers have less professional expertise. On the other hand, outsourcing your project to a dedicated app development agency can help you optimize costs while leveraging their prowess at the same time.

The minimum team requirements to create local classifieds apps:

  • 1-2 project managers
  • 1-2 business analysts
  • 2-3 frontend developers
  • 2-3 backend developers
  • 1-2 designers
  • 1-2 quality assurance analysts

Type of development

Regardless of whether you intend to develop your site utilizing a CMS like WordPress or you want to hire an experienced and skilled full-cycle product development company, the cost will change. Recruiting Craigslist marketplace developers and designers from a top company will cost you more.

Tools and Technologies

This is one of the vital factors in deciding the cost of an application like Craigslist android app. It is determined on the basis of the framework you choose for your website and for which store the app is developed (google play store or iOS app store). Also, if you intend to integrate technologies like cloud-native platform computing, the cost will increase.

Tech stack for marketplace app development

Feature List

The kind of features you want to include in your Craigslist selling app will likewise decide the overall cost of a marketplace website and apps like Craigslist. The more the features the additional time the project will take to complete, thus increasing the time and cost.

Basic Features of Craigslist Marketplace App

a) User Registration

The app should offer an easy registration process for the users. In addition to registering with email addresses, the app should offer social media logins for an easy braiding process. The verification of the accounts must be done with OTPs sent over email ids or phone numbers.

b) Ad Posting

This feature should allow the users to post an ad for the service they wish to sell. The feature must ensure a seamless process of adding an image and description of the product as well as the location where the product or service is available.

c) Search Bar

The search bar is one of the most important features of a marketplace app. It should allow the users to directly jump to a service page they are looking for.

d) Filters

The filter feature should offer optimized results to the user based on their requirements. For instance, if the user is looking for an old car, the result page should only show old cars to the user available in that particular area.

e) Locations Setting

In order for the users to look at multiple deals available in the area of their choice, the location settings feature must allow the user to set their location and find services as per that.

f) Wishlist and Cart

This feature allows the users to add the service or product they wish to buy or save for future purchases.

g) Queries

Users should be allowed to raise queries on particular products or services they wish to avail from the Letgo marketplace or Craigslist app.

h) Communication

This feature must be integrated in the app in order to allow users to communicate with other stakeholders and make deals on products or services.

[Also Read: What are the Elements for Interactive Chat Bots Building Customer Engagement]

i) Notifications

Users must be able to receive timely notifications on the products they wish to buy or if someone has posted an answer to their query.

[Also Read: How to Build a Push Notification Strategy For Higher Conversions]

j) Multi-lingual Support

The app should be available to the users in multiple languages as per their location and settings.

k) Social Sharing

The user should be able to share the query or the products or services they wish to buy over their respective social media channels to get additional responses and more engagement.

l) Payment Integration

A secured payment gateway must be implemented in the app to offer users a seamless checkout process. Know how you can integrate a payment gateway in your app seamlessly.

Now that you have looked into various technologies and features to be implemented in buy and sell apps, let us move ahead and determine how online selling apps like Letgo marketplace and Craigslist marketplace make money.

Get Custom feature list that can help your online marketplace apps ecosystem

How do Buy and Sell Apps like Craigslist Make Money?

Letgo marketplace app uses an ad-based business model in addition to offering multiple subscription plans for users. Apart from these revenue streams, Letgo also uses a Freemium model. The freemium model ranges from $0.99 to $3.99 per month and allows the respective users to list their products on the top of the list.  This way their products are featured to attract more audience and increase the overall sales.

The marketplace app Craigslist makes money by charging the users posting fees for listing their product or service on the website.

There are undoubtedly multiple revenue streams that you can choose for creating a Craigslist mobile app for Android or iOS. Let us discuss in detail the monetization strategies you can choose for your mobile app below:

a) Paid Ads

You can charge a sum of money for every advertisement user wishes to put up on your mobile app like Craigslist. It is one of the fundamental ways to ensure a constant revenue stream for your business.

b) Subscription

A subscription-based revenue model is another one of the most viable ways to make money from your app. The user can buy subscriptions of your Craigslist app on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis and avail premium services and features.

c) Featured Ads

In order to ensure a constant revenue cycle, you can also implement an ad-based model. For instance, you can offer multiple users a place on your app to put up their advertisements for a duration of time. This further ensures increased user base as well as more user engagement.

d) Registration Fee

A registration fee is another genius option to generate revenue from apps like Craigslist marketplace. In this monetization model, the users have to pay a registration fee to avail services from the app at the time of onboarding.

e) Commission

You can also choose a commission-based revenue stream for your Letgo selling app or app like Craigslist. For every successful deal that is executed by the seller, a small share of the revenue will go to your bank account. It is one of the best ways to ensure maximum revenues and attract more users.

Parting Note

In view of the above factors, we hope that you have understood that Craigslist app development cost or the cost of buy and sell apps will be around $40,000 to $200,000. This cost can further go high depending on the complexity of your app.

The team of expert developers at Appinventiv can offer you proper estimates about the mobile application development based on the custom features you choose, technologies to be implemented, third-party APIs required, and more. In addition to promising a robust app for your business, our agile app development practices guarantee increased user base and engagement.

The development of applications like Letgo selling apps and websites requires serious investment of time and money. You need to have a clear conscience of what you need and what you want to serve. Based on this, implementing a smart strategy is what you need to have a successful product.

Get in touch with our team if you need proper assistance in developing a marketplace app like Craigslist and Letgo. Let us help you begin a successful app development journey that guarantees maximum return on your investment.


Q. How much does the Craigslist app cost?

A. The total cost of developing an app like Craigslist varies between $40,000 to $200,000. Several factors like the location of the app development agency, the UI/UX design process, the development team size, maintenance of the app, etc, further directly impacts the overall budget for development.

Q. How much time does it take to create a marketplace app?

A. The time frame required for creating a marketplace app depends on the overall complexity of the app. For instance, a highly complex app with an extensive feature list will take around 9 months for development. On the other hand, a simple app with minimum features can be completed within 3 to 6 months.

Q. How to create an app like Letgo marketplace or Craigslist marketplace?

A. Creating an app like  Letgo marketplace or Craigslist marketplace requires you to carry out the following steps:

  • Analyze your target audience and make a thorough market analysis
  • Choose a relevant revenue model for your marketplace app
  • Hire a dedicated marketplace app development organization
  • Complete the app’s architecture
  • Decide the features and technologies to be implemented in your marketplace app
  • Complete the UI/UX design process
  • Ensure several quality assurance measures
  • Deploy the app in the app store
  • Maintain as per the emerging marketplace app trends
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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