According to a projection by Statista, the eCommerce industry will reach $6.4 trillion by 2029. The marketplace segment is an integral part of the eCommerce structure. With the growth of marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and others, it is indeed the right time to invest in a good marketplace.

eBay is indeed one of the top marketplaces that earned $2.5 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2023. With a simple strategy of making goods at all price ranges available online, eBay has made its marketplace inclusive.

Annual net revenue of eBay from 2013 to 2023

Along with different shipping and buying features made available, it has added convenience to their life. If you want to build a successful marketplace model, eBay would be a good place to research and clone.

You can understand the features that work, and the ones that probably may not be useful to you. however, moving forth with a marketplace app development without defining the budget is like navigating the sea without a compass. You are lost and may even delay the arrival of the app in the stores.

That’s why the first step is to research and define the budget for the application. Throughout this article, you will learn the implications of costing and what are some of the factors that impact the budget definition.

9 Key Features of Marketplace app like eBay

The first step to budget definition is proper planning. If you have thought through the features and understood the inclusions that matter for the application, you are ready to build a top-notch marketplace.

This section will introduce the top features that you must add when building a marketplace app like eBay for your business.

must-have features of marketplace apps

#1. User Registration and Authentication

This simple feature will help your users access the application with better security. They will use their passcodes or other means of authentication to ensure no one else can use their data to shop.

You must ensure a quick sign-up feature that includes social media sign. Additionally, you can introduce the shortest way to login, in case they don’t want to use social media.

Make sure to offer multiple authentication methods that can help them stay safe and make the transactions.

#2. Product Listing and Management

As a marketplace, you will be working with several products. It is crucial that your audience is aware of the different products and can browse through them easily. Segmenting them into categories is a good way to get started. You can make the listing organized with this method.

Make sure to use a simple and intuitive product listing process, as that will guarantee usability and ensure maximum purchases. You must also integrate the inventory management tools with the product management feature.

This way if the product is out of stock, the store would mention it. it can improve the user’s experience with the application.

#3. Search and Filter

Search and filter is a key function of your eBay like marketplace application. This will allow the users to find the products of their interest easily. you can allow them to filter their searches using multiple options, like brand, price-range, seller and others.

You can also introduce advanced search capabilities, where users can use the categories or keywords to find their products. Auto suggestions turned on in search bars can also enhance the search results and engage them better.

You must also offer them an option to sort the entire category or listing to ensure they find the products with ease.

#4. Payment Gateway

The payment gateway you introduce to your marketplace app should accept multiple payment methods. Make sure it allows the users to pay via their wallets and other sources along with traditional methods. This would increase their convenience and trust on your application.

You should provide a secure option for payment processing. Make sure to include strong encryption methods for the best outcomes. The payment gateway should be swift when it comes to handling refunds and disputes. This would help the users rely on your application in the future.

#5. Communication Options

Communication between buyers and sellers and even between the support team and users is crucial. That’s why you must work on integrating top-notch communication tools into your application.

Integrated messaging options are a great way for buyers and sellers to stay connected within the application. You can also use the push notification strategy to keep the user updated with the information, releases and buyer’s notes in real-time.

There should be an in-app chat, and email feature that allows the users to connect with the customer service agents.

#6. Admin Panel

This is an important part of the application that you are planning. You must allow the admin a view into the different users using their platform. It is also a splendid way to study the total sales made by the platform, understand the profits and define the preferences.

This dashboard will give complete insights into the business’s progress and help make the right moves in the correct direction. Using these insights, the business owners can improve sales and keep the customers engaged.

#7. Security

It is crucial to ensure that your marketplace application is protected from fraudsters. That’s why you must rely on robust security measures.

You can implement anti-fraud algorithms that will detect inconsistencies in the payments made. This will help you ensure that the transactions are perfect.

Similarly, make sure there is enough privacy policy in place to protect the buyers and sellers. This way they can be on your site freely, without worrying about their data theft.

Conducting regular security audits is equally important when you are planning an app like eBay for your business. this will help mitigate the risks and remove potential security hazards.

#8. Mobile Compatibility

Most users will use the marketplace app on their devices. it is crucial that the app opens easily and with the best design layout on their device. Creating responsive and adaptable layouts that are tested across devices is important.

You must optimize the app for a seamless experience across devices. moreover, they should offer consistent load times and performance. You should also create a dedicated application for the iOS and Android platforms.

#9. Regulatory Compliances

this is more than just a feature; it is a requirement to keep your application safe and sound. Make sure to read aloud the compliance requirements for your business segment. Ensure you implement these practices while designing your application.

Apart from industry-specific compliances, you must adhere to the GDPR and other data protection laws. This would help you ensure safety. It can also help reduce the potential hazards regarding theft.

8 Key Factors that Affect the Marketplace App Development Cost

As discussed, the budget is a crucial part of planning the eBay marketplace clone. Here are all the factors that impact marketplace app development costs.

factors that affect the marketplace app development cost

#1. Platform Choice

This is integral in developing the budget for your application. If you are planning a native-only application, you might need to invest separate resources for iOS and Android. Moreover, you will need the infrastructure, including devices for testing. This can cost more. If you choose to create a web app as well, it will add to the costs.

On the other hand, if you focus on delivering a cross-platform app using a framework, you might notice a reduction in the budget. At the same time, focusing on a single platform (iOS or Android) can also lower the cost.

#2. Design Complexity

If you plan to use pre-built components or in-built designs, you can always lower the cost. There is not much design investment in this case.

However, if you wish to plan the user experience, you need an expert UX designer with unique skillset. Similarly, you might need a skilled user interface designer, who will help you create an engaging interface.

This will increase the budget of the design, as there are complex design layers to consider. If you want to offer 360-degree view of the product and want to increase the visual appeal, you can add animations and special effects.

These would again increase the overall cost of the mobile app design. Depending on the type of components and elements you aim to add, you will notice an increase in the cost.

#3. The Development Team

This is an important part of the budget definition. If you believe an in-house team can help you release the product faster, you might need to invest in hiring and training the people. Moreover, you will be enrolling them on your payroll. This can add a bit more to your cost.

Outsourcing, on the other hand, allows you to enjoy the results of a well-trained team. You will pay for the services alone. However, the team composition depends on your needs and the project requirements.

Additionally, you may want to consider the strength and expertise of the team. This will also impact the overall budget for the marketplace website development.

#4. Third-party Integrations

This is a crucial part of the marketplace app development. You may need to add multiple third-party applications to ensure the app performs well. this would include the payment gateways and the APIs.

You must look for reliable payment systems to integrate. Each gateway has a specific costing system, which can increase the budget of the application.

Moreover, depending on the number of integrations you need for the application, you will budget the integrations. If you need three APIs, the cost will be defined accordingly. however, if you need multiple APIs, you may need to define them one by one.

#5. Scalability and Future Maintenance

It is possible you are starting out at the moment or have a mid-sized business. As you grow your business, you need to ensure your marketplace application meets the increasing demands. That’s why scalability is crucial from future-proofing perspective.

You must always work on building a scalable architecture, which involves higher upfront costs for the business. moreover, you must also include the bug fixing, and continuous improvement cost while defining the budget. This is crucial for smooth functioning of the application, even in the future.

You must make space for regular maintenance as well in your budget. This way the team will be able to keep your application in running condition.

#6. Security Measures

Security in marketplace applications can guarantee maximum engagement. people feel safe when accessing your application. That’s why you must have a separate budget for the security measures you incorporate in these apps.

You must consider the cost of user data protection and safe transactions while building the budget. Ensure your app meets all the regulatory standards. For this, you need to spend some amount on legal aspects as well. integrating the compliances will need some effort from the development, which will add to the budget.

#7. Marketing and Launch

Your app will not be visible to the audience all of a sudden. You need to present it to them. that’s where marketing and launch are pivotal. It helps build a certain level of awareness among the people regarding the application.

You must ensure you have a thorough pre-launch and post-launch plan for attracting and retaining users. The promotional activities will also demand a good amount of your budget. It is important to define the goals for your marketing activities so that you are prepared.

#8. Geographic Location

The location of your team is also an important part of budget definition. If your team resides in developing nations, chances of low-cost outsourcing are high. However, if they reside in a developed nation, you may experience a higher hourly rate.

This entirely depends on the cost of living and other factors within the region.

Cost Breakdown Phase-wise

Here is a detailed breakdown of the costs for the individual phases.

Phase Estimated Cost Detailed Activities
The Development (Frontend and Backend included) $50k to $130k Frontend and backend development, initial setup, server management, database design, API development
Design $13k to #37k UI/UX design, wireframe design, prototype development, user testing and branding
Testing $15k to $30k Functional and usability tests, security testing and bug fixing
Integration of Third-Party Services $15k to $30k Integration of APIs, payment gateways, social media channels and others
Launch and Marketing $15k to $45k Server setup and cloud hosting, domain registration, marketing campaign creation, social media ads
Post Launch Support $5k to $20k Continuous improvement, regular updates and ongoing content +SEO support

The total development cost can be estimated to be about $108k to $272k. The regular monthly expenses are factored to be around $5k to $20k, depending on the different factors.

Cost Estimates- Development Scenario Wise

We will look at the cost estimates for the different scenarios, and how they impact your budget.

Let’s begin with how the team location can impact the hourly rates for the development.

#1. Hourly Rates for Different Locations

1) Local Hourly Rates

we have considered locations like US, Canada and Western Europe to calculate these rates.

Resource Hourly Rate
Frontend/Backend Developer $75 to $150
UI/UX Designer $70 to $140
QA Tester $50 to $100
Project Manager $80 to $160

2) Offshore Hourly Rates

we have considered Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America to calculate the rates.

Resource Hourly Rate
Frontend/Backend Developer $20 to $60
UI/UX Designer $15 to $50
QA Tester $15 to $40
Project Manager $25 to $70

Note: These are average rates and may vary according to expertise and other factors.

#2. Team Structure as a Factor

We will consider the hourly rates according to the engagement model you have opted for in specific countries or regions.

1) In-house Development

Resource Type Total Hours Hourly Rate Cost Estimate
Frontend Developer 500 – 700 $75 – $150 $37,500 – $105,000
Backend Developer 500 – 700 $75 – $150 $37,500 – $105,000
UI/UX Designer 200 – 300 $70 – $140 $14,000 – $42,000
QA Tester 200 – 300 $50 – $100 $10,000 – $30,000
Project Manager 150 – 200 $80 – $160 $12,000 – $32,000
Total Estimate $111,000 to $314000

2) Offshore Engagement Model

Resource Type Total Hours Hourly Rate Cost Estimate
Frontend Developer 500 – 700 $20 – $60 $10,000 – $42,000
Backend Developer 500 – 700 $20 – $60 $10,000 – $42,000
UI/UX Designer 200 – 300 $15 – $50 $3,000 – $15,000
QA Tester 200 – 300 $15 – $40 $3,000 – $12,000
Project Manager 150 – 200 $25 – $70 $3,750 – $14,000
Total Estimate $28,750 to $125,000

3) Outsourcing Engagement Model

1) Local Outsourcing
Type of Development Hours Hourly Rate Cost Estimate
Full Development 1200 – 1600 $100 – $200 $120,000 – $320,000
Project Management Included Included Included
Total Estimate $120,000 to $320,000
2) Offshore Outsourcing
Type of Development Hours Hourly Rate Cost Estimate
Full Development 1200 – 1600 $30 – $80 $36,000 – $128,000
Project Management Included Included Included
Total Estimate $36,000 to $128,000

Note: They are approximate estimates and can vary depending on the specific requirements.

6 Ways to Reduce Marketplace App Development Costs

Whether you are a startup or an established business, cost saving can help you immensely. However, the real challenge is to reduce the extra unnecessary expenses without compromising on the product quality.

tips to reduce marketplace app development costs

Here are a few tips on how you can achieve it.

#1. Be Clear About Your Requirements

This may sound obvious but, it is the place where most companies commit their biggest mistakes. Instead of straight out diving into finding an agency, look at the requirements and create a comprehensive document.

Use your team to design the wireframes that can give some understanding of the project to the eCommerce app development company or team. This clarity will avoid scope creep and let you enjoy the best software development process.

It is equally crucial to work on prioritizing the features at this point. You can collaborate with the internal team or available tools to create an MVP. This would streamline your development process and reduce the costs.

#2. Selecting the Development Approach

You must plan on the appropriate development approach for your business. if you want to increase visibility and reach maximum people, cross-platform approach is a good way to proceed. On the other hand, if you notice your niche’s dominance in a particular segment, you can use the platform to build the application.

It is a good idea to look for open-source solutions that will save a lot of your time and money. This way you will also get to transform and customize your application.

#3. Efficient Hiring

This approach will definitely help you optimize resource costs. You will be able to hire expert developers and specialists in the job at competitive rates.

Moreover, where you don’t need an entire team, you can hire freelancers and get the job done at lower costs. It is also possible to hire a small and agile team with focused communication protocols to accomplish the job.

#4. Implement Agile Methodology

The iterative development can help increase your development speed and ensure you reach the market before competition. It also allows you to continuously improve the product using the external feedback.

The agile methodology also allows you to implement CI/CD pipelines that automate the entire workflow and help identify issues early.

#5. Include Pre-built Modules

Instead of creating all the components from scratch, you can use the in-built components. This would reduce the efforts of developers and optimize costs. You will be able to design and develop faster, thus reducing the man-hours.

You can also use third-party integrations to support your requirements. this would also help optimize the cost.

#6. Focus on UX Design

The user is the person who will determine if your application is a success or not. When developing the marketplace application, use user experience as the focus point for design.

Understand your users and create designs that are usable and accessible for them. this way you would be able to simplify the design and improve conversions.

3 Successful Marketplace Apps like eBay

There are several eBay-like marketplaces operating in the eCommerce niche. We will look at some of the successful ones.

top 3 ebay clone apps

#1. Mercari

This is a Japan-based marketplace application that has expanded in the US markets as well. they allow users to buy and sell using a simple and usable mobile application.

  1. They used the mobile-first approach to make buying/selling easy and impactful.
  2. The low seller fee has helped them attract a huge number of sellers on their app.
  3. They have introduced focused and robust security measures that have allowed the buyers and sellers to trust the marketplace.

As a result, they have shown sustainable and steady growth along with an increasing number of active users.

#2. Etsy

The premise of this marketplace was to connect buyers and sellers over handmade and vintage items. They were specifically designed for small scale creators and selling unique products.

  1. The focus of the marketplace was on niche market, such as handmade products and vintage items. This helped them differentiate from strong players like eBay and Amazon.
  2. They used a community-building approach to help raise a good number of buyers and sellers for their platform.
  3. Leveraging the personalized shopping experience via AI algorithms, they were able to enhance the user’s retention rate.

As a result, they earned a strong reputation in the vintage and handmade goods market, which helped them improve acquisitions.

#3. Rakuten

Another Japan-based marketplace, they have created a strong presence akin to Amazon in the local regions.

  1. They adopted the Amazon strategy to sell diverse products and introduce variety of sellers to the buyers.
  2. Incorporated the loyalty programs that helped them improve repeat purchases and enhance customer loyalty.
  3. They built their user base with the help of strategic partnerships and acquisitions that helped them reach new markets and customer segments.


The marketplace segment is continuously growing and it is the right time to build your marketplace application. You must focus on strategies like community development, diversification, product category development and partnerships to create a strong selling point.

Introducing capable features and adding robust security protocols can help you build trust and reliability in your brand. However, before you begin dreaming of the final product, it is crucial to work on the budget.

Determine the platform, select the right team and define the scope before proceeding with the cost calculation. It is equally good to implement cost optimization practices to reduce the budget without compromising product quality.

At Best Remote Team, we help you find the right people with the ideal resources and infrastructure. We aim to give you the best solutions at competent rates. If you believe in your idea, hire dedicated marketplace app developers from our team to help convert it into a successful marketplace.


Jatin Savaliya

Content Marketing Specialist

I'm working with Best Remote Team, which is an India-based company that provides dedicated remote developers on an hourly and monthly basis. I'm a tech enthusiast and write content to give readers the lowdown on different technologies and their related trends.

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