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Since App Store opened doors for the first time five years ago, developers on iOS had one huge problem: the total lack of an exit strategy. Once they built an App, they were stuck with it forever. They could only move their Apps to upgraded company accounts, but they couldn’t really sell them to other developers.
But now – 900,000 Apps built by more than 300,000 developers later – Apple finally enabled the transfer of ownership from one developer/company account to another. Great news for those in the iOS ecosystem, because they can finally sell their Apps to other players.
The change in App Store’s terms and conditions for moving Apps between developers is very recent, so we expect a rise in such deals with time.
Moving an App to another developer profile is simple: You have to change the App’s state in iTunes Connect. The new owner will get notified and, once they confirm, the deal is done. No changes in the App’s user base or Leaderboard rankings will be made – turning popular Apps into potential gold mines.
So, if you’re looking to sell your App and make a good buck, here are some great tools and resources to help you cash in your efforts.
Apptopia is the biggest marketplace for developers and digital companies looking to buy or sell mobile Apps – with over $1.3 million worth of deals on iOS, Google Play and Kindle.
It’s not only the first choice for most potential acquirers for your App, but it also works with a handful of Fortune 500 companies, eagerly waiting to purchase the next big thing in mobile.
Before putting your App up for sale, make sure you know its true App Store rankings. Use a tool like App Annie to grab and analyze its data. Which traits can you highlight that turn it into an attractive offer for potential acquirers? Have its global rankings been improving over time? Is there a healthy user growth rate and is its market share steadily increasing? All these factors are good indicators for a potential buyer that your App is a good investment that will guarantee impressive returns over time.
SellMyApp is another popular mobile source code marketplace.
To list your App for sale, you have to create an ad. You can sell either exclusive rights to the entire product (therefore giving yours up), or useful bits of source code that other developers can start rapidly building their own Apps on.
Potential buyers look for optimized Apps – they prefer to invest in a product with proper marketing. Before posting your ad, head over to MobileDevHQ or AppCodes to analyze your App Store optimization. If necessary, make the required changes to your keywords and metadata.
Flippa is the world’s number one website marketplace. It’s essentially the eBay for website auctions. While it’s not possible to sell an App directly, some mobile developers list their App’s websites up for sale there, because of the large number of serious active buyers in Flippa’s community.
Provided your App has a website, you can list it on Flippa and auction the exclusive usage rights to your App along with it. Once again, use App Annie to generate an estimation for your future sales – and include it in your listing. Focus on future expected revenue, because App buyers look for potential.
Hire A Broker
If you own a popular iOS App with a rich user base and impressive cash flow, you may be looking for more qualified buyers with a bigger budget. Much like real-estate agents in the offline world, App brokers can help you close a profitable deal for your iOS App by linking you to targeted investors.
Because App brokers rely on heavy digital industry connections with influential players in the field, they usually deal with expensive Apps, whose selling price starts from $100,000 and above. If you’re comfortable with offering your product for such a sum (and paying a high commission to the broker once the deal is made), then you can easily approach one to help you find a good buyer.
Companies such as ABB (App Business Brokers) have lots of experience in the field and can help you get a well-deserved profit for your efforts on creating a truly popular, recognized and profitable App to sell.
Now that iOS developers can finally sell their Apps, there’s a great opportunity for you to cash in on your product, freeing up time and energy to create something new. No matter what kind of marketplace you choose, always remember to list your competitive advantages and boast your App’s milestones, so that buyers will know that your price is more than worth it.