How to Buy and Sell Source Code

The source code is the essential part of an app. Think of it as the framework from which you build a house. Without a framework there can be no house, without the source code there can be no app.

source codeThe source code of any program is specially designed to facilitate the work of programmers, who specify the actions to be performed by a computer. This source code is often transformed by a compiler program into low-level machine code understood by the computer.

You might be thinking that you need an entire app to make money. Did you know you can also make money from source code alone? Yes, you can sell and also buy code from the source market.

There is now a market for source codes you can buy or sell. You can buy code for almost all apps available, locator apps, business tools, games, you name it. And with the wide and ever-growing app market out there, someone is always bound to be on the lookout for something.

Why buy source code?

app development moneyIn developing an app what takes the longest to make is not the graphics, the features, the links, or the color scheme – it’s the code. Some developers can spend weeks just writing the source code for apps. Having a ready source of codes can drastically cut down on an app’s development time. Having a ready source code also means you can devote more time and effort into the details of the app because the framework has already been taken care of.

Sure, you can always write your own source code, but that will take money. Speed is essential in putting out an app, to have a chance at beating the competition you have to put your product out before they do. Remember that source code development essentially means trial and error, tweaking, fine-tuning and even going back to square one in some cases. When it’s a choice between spending time to save money or spending money to save time, companies and app developers will often go for the latter.

Where to buy and sell code

Since a source code is not a physical object, don’t expect it to be traded in a physical market, unless it’s stored in a data device. The source markets are on the Internet.

We also sell source codes that we believe in.

Code Marketplaces

In the same way that there is more than one marketplace in your area, there is also more than one code marketplace on the Internet. You can do a Google search about what markets are available. Notable mentions are www.sellmyapplication.com and www.sellmyapp.com.

Apptopia

This is a site that doesn’t just provide source codes; it allows you to buy full rights to an app. The advantage is that you get full rights so you can use the existing design for yourself and also re-sell that code as your own. The downside is that these rights can get quite expensive compared to just buying a source code license.

The site touts the ability to pull data from app stores every day in real time, they also have a platform where buyer and seller can negotiate if they do not see eye to eye on the price.

Independent Developers

app developersThese are the lone wolves of the industry, people on the lookout for something special or just those who don’t want to deal with a website in their transactions. They might offer source code or apps or might not advertise what they are selling at all. Look for them in forums, social network groups and outsourcing websites.

Not to say that independent developers are not to be trusted, but the buyer is urged to be careful in dealing with them since there is no way the quality of their codes can be verified and they can also easily disappear and become untraceable since they are not registered in any app market.

How to buy code

For the commercial app markets, you have to register before you can use their contact seller module. You can then scan the notice board for any source code you like and then communicate via with the seller private email to negotiate. Once you two have reached an agreement you will coordinate the exchange of code and funds to complete the transaction.

After you have made your purchase, you will be sent a file with all the source code files, images, sounds, and other files that can be compiled to a working project. Depending on how hard it is or how responsible your seller was, you may get some instructions as well.

source codeYou will also be given the rights to create a certain number of apps using this code. Remember that you can also buy multiple licenses for a source code so you can create multiple versions of this app using the same code, although this option may not always be available.

You will also be made to understand that you will not abuse this license by re-selling the code as your own. Even if you transfer rights for this application, the license will stay intact. More often than not you will have free access to ongoing updates to the source code purchased.

Can you expect some customer service from the person who sold you the code? This is often a matter of discretion from the developer’s side, however developers tend to extend each other the professional courtesy of customer service.

How to sell code

Once you are registered with any commercial app market you can post whatever you are offering in their notice board and anyone who is interested in what you are offering can contact you privately. Some sites allow you putting up a link from their site to your site, if you have any (and as a developer you should), to let potential buyers fully appreciate the extent of your work.

After you have been contacted, negotiations concluded, payment made and the source code shared, you have to mark your post in their notice board as SOLD. If you have questions about the right source code to buy, be sure to ask someone in our private community.

COMMENTS

  • Craig August 5, 2014

    Great article! I do have a question though…

    I’m selling an app and I have all of the assets from one developer.

    What is the standard list of file assets that another developers would need from me? If I sold the source code to them.

    For example:

    1. Xcode project file.
    2. Image assets
    3. ???

    I look forward to your response.

    Craig.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas August 5, 2014

    @Craig – That’s about it. You need everything they need to build, compile, and upload the binary. It’s best practice to include PSD files of the images for all device sizes if you have them. If you don’t, then you don’t. Core images for the app should be included in the resources folder anyway.

    Good luck!

  • Daniel November 19, 2014

    Hi Carter.
    I would like to know if selling source-codes is better (I’m talking about money) than reskinning apps.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas November 24, 2014

    @Daniel – two completely different businesses. Reskinning is the mobile app business, selling source code is more of the internet marketing business. Pros and cons to each.

  • Paul Dome April 24, 2016

    I wish to know how I can go about selling a source code of an ERP I ve developed. should I send the object first for testing to prove the capability , is when later I ll send the source code. Just explain what is approach better

  • walter June 10, 2016

    i want to buy windows source code

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas June 10, 2016

    @walter – I haven’t seen many Windows source codes. You might want to try to reach out to developers directly on the platform. Often they’ll be willing to license you their source code if you just ask.

  • thippesh July 11, 2016

    We have one college Administrator software source code,

    How to sell that?
    where I Can Sell It?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas July 11, 2016

    @Thippesh – any of the source code marketplaces can work. You also may have luck by building your own website and driving qualified traffic to it.

  • mehboob sultan August 24, 2016

    Hi. I’m intersted in purchasing an uber clone called Cabily.
    The software company is in India. How can i be assured that I won’t be conned. And I get what I paid for.

    Thanks

  • john April 14, 2017

    good article, I am trying to build a language dictionary but i don’t know how to put all the spreadsheet lists of vocabularies i have to a solid app. is anyone have a format or can build me the source code for a good dictionary like just to search words in a dictionary

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