Part 5: Routes to exit when selling apps

Our series Selling your app: A guide to a successful exit takes a closer look at the different types of channels you can take to sell your mobile app and the key players within them. Check out the earlier posts on App Valuation and Preparation and Practicalities when selling an app, too.


Everything you need to know to make a successful deal for your app.

Mobile apps differ greatly and so do individual developers. Therefore, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ exit strategy when selling apps – you have to work out which exit route will work best for you and your specific app. This will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The value of your app
    • g. Brokers only make sense for very valuable assets
  • How much work you’re happy to put into the selling process
    • g. You might have a lot of legwork in both marketing and admin if you choose a ‘listings’ marketplace for buying and selling apps
  • How quickly you want to make the deal
    • g. Dealing with a direct buyer, you could complete a deal in as little as two days

As in any transaction, it’s a good idea to get quotes or bids from at least three buyers to make sure you are getting a fair price before proceeding with your sale.

If you are selling an app with users (rather than source code or a new app), there are four main routes to market.

  • Direct Buyers will deal with you directly to buy your app, so deals can be quick and cost-free
  • Marketplaces with a full-service solution are a bit like eBay for selling apps – they provide a full process framework for you to use, but you pay a share of your proceeds for the convenience. They typically have an option to run an auction for your app.
  • Marketplaces that mainly provide listings are a bit like classified ad portals for buying and selling apps. Here, you can simply advertise your app, but you have to deal with negotiations and payments yourself
  • Brokers will have access to buyers and do the deal on your behalf. As commissions are high for this service, it only makes sense if your app is in the higher mid-tier

While app marketplaces may also enable you to trade in source code, there are specific sites which focuses on source code exclusively. These can operate in various ways. SellMyApp, for example, will give you a 70% cut when your app is licensed to a buyer. They also offer a range of services to buyers on top of the source code, such as re-skinning. Developers get no part of these revenues.

Click the image to see the full-size infographic. This brief overview will make it easier for you to work out which exit route works best for you and your App.


Next time, we conclude the series with a Checklist of what to think through when you’re ready to sell your app. Follow us on our social media to find out when it’s out. If you’d like to discuss your app with Appsbuyout, contact us or get an instant valuation and offer.

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