Websites like eBay, BidSpotter,, etc., have revolutionized how people buy and sell goods. 

Online auction platforms have become a virtual marketplace where buyers and sellers can connect, trade, and discover and acquire unique products at competitive prices. These platforms offer an engaging and interactive environment for auction buyers and sellers by bringing together the benefits of traditional auctions and the convenience of eCommerce.

The development of an online auction app offers a lucrative opportunity for an individual seeking to profit by investing in the online auction industry.

As per the report from technavio, the global market size for the online auction industry was valued at $2704M in 2022 and is estimated to reach $5210M by 2027.

Online auction app market size


The above market stats indicate a great opportunity to tap into the profitable market by starting an online auction app development.

In this article, we will explore the key aspects of developing an online auction app in addition to essential features, technology stack, and top applications that are dominating the online auction market.

What Is An Online Auction App?

Online auction application allows users to participate in auctions through their smartphones or tablets. 

The application offers a digital platform where buyers can place bids on items available for auctions, and sellers can list items for auctions they want to sell among potential buyers.

How An Online Auction Applications Work?

The online auction app facilitates a common platform for auction buyers and sellers. Here is the general overview of the working of an online auction app.

1. User Registration

First users need to create an account on the online auction app where they have to submit details such as personal information and contact details, additionally setting up a username and password.

2. Item Listing

Next, sellers create a listing of items they want to sell in auctions. The sellers provide necessary details about items such as photographs, descriptions, auction duration, starting prices, and any other additional terms and conditions.

3. Bidding

Potential buyers at online auction platforms access the available listings and place bids on the items they are interested to purchase. Bits can be entered either automatically or manually, depending on the app’s functionality.

4. Bid Updates

The participants can receive notifications about the status of their bids, and they are alerted when they have been outbid. This allows buyers to increase their bids in case they want to stay in the auction even further and increase the chance of their winning.

5. Auction Completion

The highest bidder becomes the winner after the completion of an auction. The app notifies the winner about how to proceed with the payment and collect listed items or guides them on how to proceed with delivery.

6. Payment and Transaction

The winning bidder completes the payment in a medium that is accepted by the online auction platform. The common payment method includes credit, debit card transactions, or integrated payment gateways. 

The transaction is considered complete upon the successful payment, and the seller gets notified about the status of receiving online payment.

7. Feedback and Ratings

After the completion of transactions, both buyers and sellers got an opportunity to provide feedback and ratings about their experiences with each other. 

This feedback process helps to establish and maintain trust among future buyers and sellers for making informed decisions.

8. Auction History

The online auction app maintains a historical record of past auctions, including final sale prices, bid history, the status of each payment transaction, etc. 

Advantages Of Online Auction App

There are several advantages to using an online auction app, both for buyers and sellers. Here are some key benefits:

1. Convenience

The application provides convenience to both buyers and sellers, where users can participate in auctions without the comfort of leaving their homes by simply using their mobile devices. 

Using online auctions eliminates the need to physically attend auctions which saves both effort and time for the users.

2. Time Efficiency

Online auction applications facilitate fast transactions, which help both buyers and sellers plan efficiently, save their time, and focus on other activities.

3. Transparency and Information

The auction application provides complete transparency in various parameters such as bidding history, item details, current bids, etc. 

Moreover, sellers can leverage the power of mobile applications to track the progress of their auctions in real-time. Whereas buyers can make informed decisions based on the bidding details provided by the app.

4. Wide Reach and Global Market

Online auction platform allows users to tap into the global market where buyers from different regions can access the app and participate in auctions. 

Whereas sellers can get the best value on their auction from global buyers simply by using a mobile app.

5. Increased Competition and Better Prices

With the participation of global users, both buyers and sellers can benefit from the increased competition across different auctions. 

This competition can result in a level-up in the auction pricing, which is best for sellers, whereas buyers can find items at competitive prices even below the prices of market value.

6. Access to a Variety of Items

Global participation of sellers in auction events benefits buyers by accessing a wide range of items available for bidding, including niche-based or rare items that are difficult to find in the traditional market.

How To Develop An Online Auction App?

Developing an online auction platform is a multi-stage process. There is a requirement to have clarity on several elements, such as a feature, user roles, and technology stack, to ensure the app development process is heading in the right way.

Here is a step-by-step process to build your online auction app.

1. Choose the auction type

There are various auction types available that you can select from and can implement into your app.

I. English auction 

The bidding starts at ascending order from a fixed reserve price and continues to level up until the product is sold to the highest bidder.

II. Vickrey auction 

This auction involves submitting goods to the highest bidder, but they will need to pay the second-highest bidding price. 

For example, if there are two bids, let’s say $20 and $40. The one who bids $40 will win but only pay $20.

III. Dutch auction 

The auction starts at higher prices and gets lowered as the bidding progresses. The first winner will pay for the good at the highest price, while the other winners will pay for less price.

IV. Double auction 

Double auctions involve the price submission both from the buyer and seller side. Buyers who submit bids over the price will be allowed to purchase at the defined price, and sellers with lower asking prices than those set by the auctioneer will be allowed for sale.

V. Sealed bid auction 

In this process, buyers only place bids once, and it gets sealed. After the bidding, the sealed bidding price gets opened from all the buyers, and the highest bidder win.

VI. Penny auction 

A penny auction is an auction type that is fixed at a minimum amount. There are no attempt limits in penny auctions, as bidders can place bids as often as they want. When there is no availability of further bidders, the last bidder becomes a winner.

2. UI/UX design

After selecting the suitable auction type, the next part is designing a user interface. 

In this process, there is the involvement of designing wireframes and prototypes to visualize the layout, interaction, and navigation flow of an online auction application.

When creating the user interface part, ensure the design is responsive and visually appealing.

3. Backend and frontend development

Once the design is ready, there will be involvement in the front-end and back-end development process. 

On the front end part, the main focus will be creating a responsive user interface using selected technology such as Angular or React. 

Develop interactive components that will enable users to use your apps, such as search functionality, bidding forms, a list of available online auctions, etc.

Whereas backend development will involve developing server-side components responsible for handling user authentication, data bidding process, and other core functionalities. 

Develop the back end part using selected technology stacks such as express JS, Django with Python, or Node.js. 

4. App testing

In the app testing part, the efficiency of the application is tested in a simulated environment against glitches, security breaches, and bad user experiences. 

Perform unit testing and user acceptance testing to ensure the app functions as expected.

5. App launch

After conducting various testing environments, the app will be ready to launch and deploy across platforms that you are targeting for your online auction business, such as mobile and web.

Must-Have Features For An Online Auction App

The app features are crucial factors that will decide the core functionality of your app. Therefore, we have listed some MVP-level features that can help you minimize app development time, budget, and effort.

A. Features For Sellers-Focused Online Auction App 

The sellers can access these features and can host and create auctions throughout the app. 

1. Listings creations

The feature will enable sellers to create listings of products they want to sell by entering details such as product name, category, description, and images.

Also, sellers can include information in auction formats, such as their preferred currency duration, product quantity, payment options, shipping details, and reserve price.

2. Dashboard

The feature will help sellers to know how their products are performing and what required changes they should make by accessing all-rounder details on the dashboard. 

The dashboard will let sellers know about their product performance by checking various factors such as income, rating, product sell volume, traffic source on their listing, etc.

B. Features For Buyers-Focused Online Auction App 

The following features will enable buyers to participate in various auctions and get the best deals across the globe. 

1. Product page

The product page will help buyers to access the product details such as their images, description, name, condition, pricing, bidding information, shipping & delivery details, accepted payment modes, return details, seller information, etc.

2. Product search

Search functionality will enable buyers to search for products they wish to buy. Try incorporating various search filters such as category, item condition, seller rating, price, buying format, shipping options, etc.

3. Bidding process

Bidding process is crucial for both buyers and sellers. However, there are several kinds of building processes you can choose from for your online auction business.

I. Buy it now 

The model offers a fixed bid price, whereas the product gets sold to the higher bidder.

II. Proxy bidding 

The bidding involves using software that contains data on the maximum cost of lots. Later the proxy bidding system creates bids independently for the lots. 

III. Reserve price  

The highest bidder’s price can either be equal to or exceed the price mentioned by the seller in the reserve price model. The product gets sold and dispatched to the highest bidder after the end of the auction event.

4. Shopping cart

E-commerce functionality is one of the most crucial aspects that will help buyers to pick up and purchase multiple items from different stores. 

However, ensure that you have implemented common e-commerce functionality, such as allowing buyers to change product quantity and letting them manage in-cart items.

5. Payments integration

Payment integration in online auction app development work in two ways.

  1. Sellers can set their preferred mode of payment.
  2. Buyers can make payments through their preferred payment mode.

You can integrate popular ways of payment integration into your platform, such as off-site integration, where buyers are redirected to payment websites for making purchases.

6. Ratings and Reviews

The feature will help buyers to check the ratings and reviews of different sellers and their products. The buyers can decide whether they have to purchase products or not from a seller depending on their past ratings and reviews. 

Moreover, sellers can make an effort to improve their products and services to get better ratings and reviews from their buyers.

7. In-app chat

Implement the in-app chat functionality to help buyers easily connect with sellers if they have doubts regarding the product and want to know more about the building process from the sellers.

C. Features For Admin-focused Auction Mobile App 

You, as an app owner, will access the admin panel for managing your app users and online auction platform.

1. Users management

The feature will enable admins to manage their users, both buyers and sellers, such as edit, add, and delete.

2. Bidding management

The admin can manage bidding either by editing or deleting if the bidding doesn’t comply with the rules and regulations of the bidding system. 

3. Progress tracking

Tracking app progress will enable the admin to level up their online auction platform by tracking various elements such as the number of transactions, product sales overview, incoming source of traffic, etc. 

4. Content management system

The content management will let admit to edit or delete the item listing if they find listings aren’t complying with the platform’s rules.

How Much Does It Cost To Develop An Online Auction App?

There is no way to define the exact cost that is required to build an online auction app. However, several factors can help you estimate and manage the budget that is needed in an online auction app development:

1. Planning and Design

There is a requirement for market research and competitive analysis to define the exact project scope of your auction app. 

The team will charge you based on the effort and time that are invested into planning and designing a strategy for app development.

2. Development

The development process includes developing and implementing app features that are required for the online auction apps such as product listing e-commerce functionality, product search with necessary filters, etc.

Moreover, the cost of development can vary based on the location of the app development team. The team from the Asian region typically charges less as compared to developers located in Western countries. 

Here is more detail about how to hire app developers in 2023.

3. Third-Party Integrations

Integrating third-party services can help you extend the features of your online auction app, such as payment gateways, analytical tools, messaging systems, etc. 

Therefore, based on the number of third-party features and their availability, either free or paid, is another factor that can determine the cost of building your online auction app. 

4. Testing and Quality Assurance

App testing and quality assurance are other cost-affecting factors involved in online auction app development. Typically the cost of testing can range from 10 to 30% of the total app development cost.

5. Deployment and Launch

App deployment and launch include various factors that can help app owners to launch and scale their apps, such as server setup, domain registration, and other infrastructure expenses. 

Therefore all these factors should also be considered when planning your app development budget.

6. Maintenance and Updates

After the initial launch of the online auction app, there will be ongoing maintenance and updates to keep the app secure, free from bugs and offering enhanced experiences with new features. 

The cost of app maintenance can vary depending on the frequency and complexity of updates.

Consult with an app development firm that can help you provide more accurate cost estimations based on the specific requirements and scope of your project. 

Top 5 Online Auction Apps

Explore the best online auction apps across various industries that facilitate both buyers and sellers to connect, trade, and discover unique products at competitive prices.

1. eBay

eBay online auction app

eBay is one of the most popular platforms for online auctions. The platform enables both worldwide buyers and sellers to host and participate in various kinds of auctions.

The sellers can use product descriptions such as photos and videos to showcase their items and can set their listing price and final sale price.

  • Founded in: 1995
  • Developed by: Pierre Omidyar
  • Available on: Android & iOS
  • App Downloads: 100M+
  • App Ratings: 4.7
  • Headquarters: San Jose, California, United States

2. Copart

Copart online auction app

Copart is a well-known platform for automobiles online auctions. The platform manages all auction activities, including shipping vehicles to the buyers’ doorstep.

Moreover, there is no requirement for dealers’ licenses to purchase automobiles, which means ordinary buyers can also bid on a particular vehicle. However, users must purchase Copart’s membership for auction participation and place bids on a vehicle.

  • Founded in: 1982
  • Developed by: Willis J. Johnson
  • Available on: Android & iOS
  • App Downloads: 1M+
  • App Ratings: 4.5
  • Headquarters: Dallas, Texas, United States

3. online auction app

Regarding auctions for real estate, is one of the preferable websites for both real estate buyers and sellers. 

However, most of the deals have time limitations, and the auction closed within five weeks. The platform enables buyers and sellers to access online properties with local market data and photos of each property listed.

  • Founded in: 2007
  • Developed by: Jeff Frieden
  • Available on: Android & iOS
  • App Downloads: 500K+
  • App Ratings: 4.3
  • Headquarters: Irvine, California, United States

4. GSA Auctions

GSA Auctions online auction app

GSA Auction is a government-owned website where buyers can place bids on government surplus items. Every listing available on GSA Auctions has a minimum reserve price which indicates even after being the highest bidder, the buyers may not win the auction.

However, the sellers cannot host their auctions to GSA auctions because the government owns this platform.

  • Founded in: 2001
  • Developed by: General Services Administration
  • Available on: Android & iOS
  • App Downloads: 5K+
  • App Ratings: 2.6
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C, United States

5. Sotheby’s

Sotheby online auction app

The platform has well-established its brand value when it comes to placing bids on luxury houses and collector items. In addition to having high-quality standards, Sotheby’s offers in-house financing with its financial services division.

Every item eligible for auction need to meet quality standards and have minimum consignment value. However, the platform offers no guarantee of the authenticity of available items for an auction.

  • Founded in: 1744
  • Developed by: Samuel Baker
  • Available on: Android & iOS
  • App Downloads: 100K+
  • App Ratings: 4.2
  • Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

Technology Stack For Online Auction App Development

The technology stack for building an online auction app can vary depending on the specific project requirements and the development expertise of the team for utilizing specific app development tools and frameworks. 

Here are some common technologies and components that are often used in developing online auction apps:

1. Front-end Development

  • User interface: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript
  • Front-end Frameworks: React, Angular, or Vue.js

2. Back-end Development

  • Programming Languages: Python, Ruby, or PHP for server-side development.
  • Web Frameworks: Django (Python), Ruby on Rails (Ruby), or Laravel (PHP) 
  • Database Management: MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MongoDB APIs: Payment gateways and notification systems 

3. Real-Time Bidding System

  • WebSockets: A technology that enables real-time bid updates and notifications between the server and clients.
  • Messaging Protocols: MQTT or WebRTC

4. Payment Processing

  • Payment Gateways: PayPal, Stripe, or Braintree
  • Encryption and Security: SSL/TLS certificates 

5. Notifications

Push Notifications: Firebase Cloud Messaging or Apple Push Notification Service (APNS)

6. Authentication and Security

  • User Authentication: Implementing user registration, login, and authentication features. Technologies like JWT (JSON Web Tokens) or OAuth can be used.
  • Security Measures: Protection against cross-site scripting (XSS), and cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks.

7. Cloud Services and Hosting

  • Cloud Platforms: AWS (Amazon Web Services), Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure 

8. Testing and Deployment

  • Automated Testing: Jest, PyTest, or PHPUnit 
  • Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD): Jenkins, CircleCI, or GitLab CI/CD for automating the build, testing, and deployment processes.

Business Opportunities and Future Potential of Auction Apps 

The online auction app development offers various business opportunities for sellers and entrepreneurs they can benefit from by participating in online auctions.

I. Benefits of Auction Apps for Sellers

The sellers can utilize the wide benefits of online auction apps, such as reaching a wider audience beyond geographical limitations.

Online auction platforms enable sellers to connect with potential buyers worldwide. This expanded reach enhances the visibility of products and increases the chances of obtaining higher bids.

Additionally, sellers can easily manage their inventory, track bids, and receive payments securely, helping sellers to simplify the selling process.

II. Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

The rise of auction apps has opened up numerous business opportunities for entrepreneurs as well. Here are some potential avenues to explore:

1. Developing Auction App Platforms 

Entrepreneurs can grab the opportunity to build their own auction app platforms by creating a user-friendly and feature-rich app. This can help entrepreneurs attract buyers and sellers, generating revenue through transaction fees or premium subscriptions.

2. Niche Auction Apps

Identifying untapped niche markets can be a lucrative strategy. Focusing on specific categories or industries, such as vintage collectibles, luxury goods, or art auctions, allows entrepreneurs to cater to a specialized audience and establish a strong presence within that market segment.

3. Value-Added Services 

Entrepreneurs can offer value-added services to enhance the auction experience. This may include providing authentication services, appraisal services, or facilitating secure shipping and delivery. By offering additional services, entrepreneurs can differentiate themselves from competitors and build user trust.

4. Affiliate Marketing and Advertising

Auction apps can leverage affiliate marketing and advertising to generate additional revenue streams. Collaborating with relevant brands and businesses to promote their products or services within the app can provide a source of income. Additionally, displaying targeted advertisements to users based on their interests and browsing behavior can be another avenue for generating revenue.

Auction Aggregation Platforms: 

Another business opportunity lies in creating auction aggregation platforms. These platforms consolidate auctions from various auction apps into a single interface, providing users with a comprehensive view of available items and auctions across different platforms. By offering convenience and saving users’ time, entrepreneurs can attract a large user base and potentially earn revenue through partnerships or advertisements.

5. Data Analytics and Insights

The data generated by auction apps, including user behavior, bidding patterns, and market trends, can be valuable for businesses.

Entrepreneurs can explore opportunities to provide data analytics and insights services to auction app users or even to businesses looking to understand consumer behavior and market dynamics.


Online auction app development offers an enormous opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs looking to profit from this fast-growing industry.

However, building a successful online auction app requires careful consideration of various elements, including technology stack, security measures, essential features, and enhanced user experience.

Therefore, it becomes crucial for you to work with a reliable app development company that can help you identify your project scope to develop and launch an online auction app for your targeted market.

Partner with Idea Usher if you are looking for an app development firm with years of experience in app development. 

We can help you build and implement all the essential app features for an online auction app such as product listing, online bidding, eCommerce functionality, etc.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you establish and grow your online auction app business.

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Q. How do I create an online auction app?

A. Follow the given steps to create your online action app: choose the auction type, start UI UX design, begin frontend & backend development, test your app, build and deploy your online auction app.

Q. How much does it cost to build an auction app?

A. The cost of online auction app development depends on various factors such as the fee of the development team, the investment needed in app design and user interface, frontend development, backend and database, app maintenance and support, auction functionality and features, testing and quality assurance, etc.

Q. What is the best online auction app?

A. eBay,, Copart, GSA Auctions, and Sotheby’s are some of the best online auction apps. 

Q. How big is the online auction market?

A. The global market size for the online auction industry was valued at $2704M in 2022 and is expected to reach $5210M by 2027.

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