How to make an online auction app like ebay, poshmark, mercari, tradesy?

Vlad Pshenychka
Vlad Pshenychka
9 min read

Online auctions became extremely popular throughout the last several years. Tat is why lots of developers are willing to assemble their own ones. Today, we will present you a tutorial on how to do it.

App design is a pretty popular approach to making money on various needs of different people. One of the most popular and widely used approaches for the arrangement of a web resource is the creation of an online shop. Moreover, lots of people tend to develop not a regular shop but an online auction, such as eBay. As you may know, eBay is one of the most popular platforms for sales all over the world. Due to such a great popularity among the sure all over the world and an astounding influence on different resources, lost of the beginning developers and programmers are willing to know, how to build an app to sell things in the world.

Due to this, we decided to choose several really outstanding examples of the modern world of online auctions, which have already become popular. So, in that article today I am willing to show you the main techniques, which may allow you to build the apps like eBay, Poshmark, Tradesy, and others. Besides, the majority of the primary businessmen tend to have lots of problems with such things as a size of their website, main technological platforms and an actual cost to develop an app like eBay. That is why we are going to observe all of these elements in today's article. However, the very first thing, which we ought to do, is to arrange a brief examination of different really influential players on the market with which we will definitely face and compete in the future. In case, if your app will be pretty successful, for sure.


Collection of valid intelligence is not a crime at all, for sure. Moreover, you will be not the first person in business, who will intervene into the inside life of the main market players, which are presented in that field. Moreover, some businessmen were even trying to know some state secrets, just like Nathan Mayer Rothschild, who decided to send his agents to the Waterloo battle scene in order to find out the result of a battle earlier, than others, what later allowed him to arrange several good deals on stock exchange and make his saving, maybe, thirty times bigger. Anyway, let us be more concentrated on the main auction and selling players. So, here, I am willing to briefly observe such platforms as eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, and Tradesy.

How to make an online auction app like ebay, poshmark, mercari, tradesy?

First of all, we are going to talk about eBay as one of the most powerful and successful platforms for selling and buying, which has ever been created by people in the world. It was developed in 1995 while following a suit of one of the most popular selling platforms like Amazon. Its core founder was an American programmer and businessmen with the Persian roots, Pierre Morad Omidyar. Despite the fact, that this particular web resource was pretty similar to Amazon, it had one really bright distinguishing feature. That feature was bidding. From the day of the birth of eBay, the whole history of online auctions has started. By the way, I have just mentioned about some special bright features, you do not have to forget that because later we are going to get back to those characteristics while giving you several tips.

Anyway, nowadays, eBay is the most powerful online shop, focused predominantly on bidding and auctioning. For instance, an average number of the users of that resource may equal up to 167 million people. However, an absolute record was 1 billion users at a time. So, you may include on your own, that eBay is really magnificent and powerful, in case if we are considering the online shops. In case if we spent a lot of time on the description of the greatest, such apps like Poshmark or Mercari, I would like to observe in a pretty brief manner.

Poshmark was developed in 2011.The aim of the arrangement of that particular bidding auction platform was the creation of a mechanism, which will be focused predominantly on the field of fashion, accessories and luxury offers. Besides, Poshmark is also really famous for its numerous social events. You may ask why it is so popular? The main aspect here is the fact, that the specialization plays a really crucial role. We will also get back to that downstream. There are also other extensions similar to Poshmark, such as apps like Tradesy. That one is also focused on the delivery and selling of fashion items and accessories. However, it also has some special features. For instance, Tradesy has a really good organizational feature; furthermore, it operates upon its own system of currency, which is called Tradesy cash. However, that is not all and we have another really powerful player. Unlike those extensions, highlighted earlier, apps like Mercari have a no commission rule, what makes them highly beneficial, comparing to other competitors. Moreover, it has a great variety of various interesting special offers and discounts, what makes it much more democratic, than others.


Now, let us get closer to the developmental process itself. While facing an issue of the buy and sell fashion app development we have to keep in mind, that in order to successfully fulfil each tape of that pretty complicated process, you have to clearly understand, what are the core parts of its, and which resources will be appropriate to use in order to design your own auction app.

How to make an online auction app like ebay, poshmark, mercari, tradesy? - 1

Looking for a niche

These steps in the beginning are really important. The main reason is pretty simple. It so due to the fact, that there are already too many different competitors in the market, focused on the same aim. So, we may say, that the market is overloaded in this way. Because of it, it might be pretty crucial to look for a certain specialization. I am not saying that you have to be focused on selling only one certain group of staff, of course, no. However, the creation of a certain outstanding feature, a thing, which might act as a trademark in the society, is highly vital. Thus, people may say, that you're really special, comparing to others. That idea is absolutely unlimited and the only limit of its development is your imagination and fantasy.

Main issues of the development of an eBay alternative

There are several petty important problematic moments linked to the development of an app similar to poshmark and others. They may be some issues with shipping, law and taxes, security and cheating. Frankly speaking, several of them may be solved with the involvement of the governmental help. For instance, in order to follow some valid taxing and legislative norms, there is a great need to acquire a license for the arrangement of an auction. Besides, it is so because of the fact, that auctioneering is something more, than just selling, there are no fixed prices, all of them are floating and tend to change during bargaining. Another option is shipping. While being a legal organization focused on selling and buying it is not complicated at all to arrange an agreement with some shipping organizations, like FedEx or UPS.

While considering security and cheating, we have to remember, that this is an attribute of the typical free market, where there are no regulations and limits for those, who are involved in a game. Unfortunately, it is impossible to stop cheating within your Mercari clone or eBay alternative, but it is possible to limit it and make the process of control and examination much more strict and regulated in such a way, that it will be almost impossible for the creatures and adventurers to arrange various fake deals.

Implementation of special features

As I have already highlighted previously, there is a great need for the usage of various special features and attributes, while developing your auctioning application. These features might be separated into three main groups. The first one if the buyer features, the second one is seller features and the last one is general features. In order to make things more simple let me just give you several examples of these features.

While talking about the buyer features, we do not have to forget, that one of the essential things for him is the creation of a proper searching machine in such a way, that he or she will be able to find anything, what is needed in a simple and fast manner. Besides, in case if we are talking about an auction we have to create such a technology, which will make it, possible to put bids faster and with no problems. It is really also vital to make an emphasis, that for the creation of a really good auctioning app, you have to create a mechanism, which may allow you, as a buyer, to easily monitor all the auction in which you are involved and see, where is your bid and how you may rise it. Lastly, I am pretty sure, that there is no need to describe in all the details the process of the creation of an account, and the list of trading products. To be honest, all these features have to be taken by a developer for granted.

Seller features have also several pretty interesting aspects. First of all, we have to allow the seller to create his own account for the presentation of his products and goods. Furthermore, there has to be a good system for the arrangement of really nice media albums, where a seller will be able to upload his photos and videos. Lastly, it is really vital to implement a statistics tool, which will allow the seller to monitor the popularity of a product among those who visit the page.

How to make an online auction app like ebay, poshmark, mercari, tradesy? - 2


In case if we are talking about the development of any type of an application, while it actually does not matter, what is the main aim of the usage of it, we are definitely focused on one of those most vital aspects, which is the price. Of course, in case of the arrangement of any business, a wise way of the financial management plays a highly essential role. But in case of app development, it is an aspect on which the future of the app may depend. So, first of all, you have to find out, who do you need to make your project working. Sometimes, the developers, who have good financial platform, tend to choose big teams of top-notch professionals. Thus, on a small application may work up to a 100 people. But as for me, in case if you are a beginner, that may be enough to have a team, described downstream.

  • Project Manager;
  • 2 iOS developers;
  • 2 Android developers;
  • Backend developer;
  • QA developer.

But if you decided to arrange a small team, it does not mean, that the price is going to change radically. You have to keep in mind, that due to the fact, that your team may also depend on the region, the price could vary radically. So, for instance, in case if you are willing to develop your application in the west, you may face a problem of pretty high prices. For example, in the USA or Canada or Western Europe, the price for an hour of closing can equal $150. But in case if we are talking about Asia, the numbers are much lower. So, in India or Malaysia, you can pay only $35-40 for the same hour.

But, Asia, has a strong drawback, the market is full of really unreliable and poorly educated organizations, which are just able to cheat on you easily. That is why, in case if you need more reliability, you can go to ArtJoker, where we are able to offer our customers not only pretty low and bargaining prices, but also an opportunity not to be nervous about your project, data, and idea. So, you may be sure, that professional developer will make everything on a proper level in a manner you need.


In that article, we tried to answer a question on how to make a multi-vendor app? As you may see, it is really costly and complicated to arrange a thing like that. So, the importance of a good motivation here is huge. By the way, do not forget, that the whole process has to be managed on a proper level by you all the time in order to avoid any possible mistakes and errors. Finally, I wish you all the best in your future project.

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