There are a number of app marketplaces online that allow developers to upload app files for anyone to purchase. We are coming into more regular contact with these sites as clients come to us after trying to “buy an uber app” online in their quest to make an app.
Invariably what has happened is the client has googled “how to make an app”, found an app marketplace and has paid an enticingly low price for an app that appears to be jam packed with features (for real example google “taxi cab business android” to see what I mean), only to end up with a collection of files that he/she cannot use, an echo in their bank account and no app in any app store.
I will use one of these real examples to illustrate the risk you exposing yourself to if you are just a guy looking to buy an app for as cheap as possible.
Firstly, the ‘app’ costs $ 99 for a single app license only. If you want multiple licenses then its an extra $ 150, thank you very much. Then unless you have your own app stores developer licenses you will need to pay an extra $ 949 for the marketplace to facilitate publishing in the store for you.
So what you’ve got is an off the shelf app which you have not yet customized at all, you have spent $ 1198 (approx R 15 000). You still have no guarantee that the developer will actually publish the app or whether it will be accepted by the Apple, Android or other app store and you have very little recourse if you feel you have been ripped off.
If you want to customize the app then you are advised to have the software and know-how to work with .apk, .db, .dex, .java, .know and .xml files. If you dont then you will have to find a developer to do this for you, probably at an hourly rate.
We ourselves have been commission to work with some of these off the shelf files before and have run into such trouble that it has worked out cheaper and quicker for the client to begin from scratch. And, although we always try to do things as cost effectively as possible and to work within our client’s budget it is a very bitter pill for the client to swallow to wave goodbye to the money spent in the marketplace.
Essentially the risk you expose yourself to is paying a lot of money for nothing in return. The potential reward is that you could have an app in the store for approximately R 15 000 (excluding the monthly costs to keep it there) which is perceived to represent a sizable discount on what local developers would charge.
From our perspective the risk/reward equation is completely out of whack and clients are ill advised to go the marketplace route. Rather get in touch with local development agencies to quote for your project specifically…it may be slightly more expensive (not necessarily) and you get the piece of mind that they are real people with a real office you can visit and that they are obliged to satisfy your needs.
We are always available on email or the phone to discuss projects with clients and our office door is always open to those who want to meet us in person.
Please guys, be careful out there!