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Develop An App Like Carousell
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How To Develop An App Like Carousell? Cost & Features

Sanjay Kidecha,

Do you remember that barter system people used for centuries for trading locally long before money was invented? People exchanged goods and services for other goods and services in return. Well, the trend has returned but with some innovations. Today, people don’t stock unwanted stuff in their garage. They sell them off themselves online and receive money in return.

The trend has taken off very well that making an app like Carousell appears as a profitable online business idea. Carousell is a classified marketplace app popular in Southeast Asia for selling and buying new or used goods. 

Do you want to develop an app like carousell? Read on…

On Carousell, users create an account for free, list ads in seconds, and sell new or secondhand items locally. In contrast, buyers browse new and pre-loved stuff with keywords for fast and convenient shopping.

Carousell and other community-driven classified platforms like Letgo, Offerup empower people to become sellers and buyers of their stuff. Millions of users of these customer-to-customer marketplaces reciprocate with heavy revenue to the brands. How? You will know later in the post. 

First, you need to understand the business model behind the Carousell snap-sell and chat-buy mobile app. Knowing this will help you lay the robust foundation for your classifieds marketplace app development. 

Business Model For Carousell-like buy & sell app development

Carousell operates on a C2C model. Its business model is to let anyone buy and sell goods as well as services. Launched in 2012, Carousell operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, with its headquarters in Singapore. 

Carousell is best known as a classifieds platform. It has classifications for everything a user wants to offer and buy. From cars & property, home & living, mobiles & electronics, hobbies & games, fashion to jobs & general services there’s no bar. It looks like Carousell has left nothing that its users cannot sell/buy. 

Next to its classified ads, users often praised Carousell’s user experience. It makes selling as easy as posting on Instagram and buying as chatting. With features making local buying and selling processes handy, the app serves both Android and iOS users. Not to mention, users can access the web app as well. Carousell competes with apps like Letgo, OfferUp, Wallapop, Depop, Shopee in a similar market. 

Now that you know Carousell’s business model, let us move forward to understand how it earns revenue.

How can you make money with an online classified buy and sell app like Carousell?

Carousell and similar apps monetization strategy includes below revenue streams. 

  • Delivery charges:

Despite being a bridge for buyers and sellers, it offers help with delivery services when needed. Plus, the delivery carries additional guarantees. For instance, it ensures the product matches the photo and description as uploaded on the app.

  • Transaction fees

Carousell app does not take fees from any parties on regular transactions occurring in the marketplace. However, it offers an exclusive feature to reserve funds on the app. When a user pays online through the app, the feature holds the money until they receive the goods. And for this service, Carousell charges a small amount for operation.

  • Partnerships

The classifieds app cooperates with local businesses and promotes other numerous services as well. Although these services are relevant to categories, it already incorporates—for example, financial services, car sales, maintenance, etc.

  • Advertisements. 

Carousell sells in-app currency, using which users can purchase Carousell Ads. These ads help drive views to listings and increase sales. Plus, users can use purchased Carousell coins to promote and bring their profile to the spotlight to grow their reach.

Ahem! See now you are acquainted with Carousell’s monetization models to boot. Do you know what comes next? Yes, it’s the principal factor to develop a mobile application, App Features.

Develop Buy & Sell App Like Carousell

Main Features to Develop Buy & Sell App Like Carousell

You don’t need to brainstorm deeply for the app features. There are some standard features every classified marketplace app should have. You may find many similar characteristics in Carousell, Shopee, or Letgo. Where you need to research is how to make them look unique. Nonetheless, you can introduce distinct features like Carousell’s reserve fund, Letgo’s image recognition. 

Find below the list of basic features for buyers, sellers, and your app’s administrator.


  • Registration and login
  • Sign up with Facebook or other social media
  • User authorization to prevent any fraudulent 
  • Set up profile
  • Browse classified ads
  • Fetch user real-time location to display nearer ads
  • Search by keywords to find items quickly
  • Product condition label to identify if the product is brand new or how old it is
  • Follow reliable sellers to see and buy items from them hassle-free
  • Like and add items to favorites
  • Seller & product information
  • Chat with sellers
  • In-app payment solution
  • Delivery services
  • Track order
  • Review and comment section


  • Registration and login
  • Sign up with Facebook or other social media
  • Seller authorization to prevent any fraudulent 
  • Create, edit, post, and delete ads
  • Upload photos and videos of products to provide a view from each angle
  • Manage buyer requests
  • Chat with buyers
  • Promote ads
  • Offer discounts
  • Hire delivery services
  • In-app payment gateways
  • Transaction receipt
  • Respond to comments
  • Generate report


  • Approve user registration by verifying their profile 
  • Manage classifieds
  • Manage recommendations to provide to buyers
  • Ensure secure payment transactions
  • Assign a driver for delivery service
  • Content management system
  • Generate invoice for both parties
  • Offer in-app promotional to sellers
  • Manage premium ads
  • Analytical tools for app marketing

Cost To Develop An App Like Carousell

Cost To Develop An App Like Carousell

After seeing the list of features, having a budget-related question is obvious. Isn’t it? Owning that features and functionality is a critical element for the mobile app development cost. The more features, the costlier to build an app. Why? Because each component takes a few hours to code and integrate into the app. Since the development cost is calculated hourly, the number of features directly impacts the final price.

Oh, and features are not the only element. Prototyping, costsUI/UX designing, front-end, back-end development, and quality assurance also affect the development cost. Not to mention the maintenance cost you have to bear post-deployment. 

Drawing from our industry experience, developing a basic marketplace app requires around $10000 to $15000. Want an accurate estimation for your project requirements? Schedule a free brief consultation with our expert today. 

We are a master of mobile app development. We innovate and help startups with digital solutions. Our happy clientele is rapidly increasing. Book your seat now before it gets too late.

Sanjay Kidecha

Sanjay Kidecha is the Chief Finance Officer at Kody Technolab and a Fintech geek. With one foot in finance and the other in tech, Sanjay likes to write on emerging Fintech trends, ideas, and how-to guides to keep industry leaders updated with the ever-changing world of fintech!

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