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Comparing The Cost of Resale Apps: Trendful vs. Custom Development



Comparing The Cost of Resale Apps: Trendful vs. Custom Development

For merchants looking to integrate a resale app onto their online store, two primary options are available: subscribing to an existing service like Trendful or opting for a custom-built app. Each choice has its own implications on cost, time investment, and technical complexity.

Option 1: Trendful Resale App Integration

Trendful offers a straightforward and cost-effective way to implement a resale app onto your storefront. For a monthly fee of $350 (Pro Plan), merchants can enjoy a suite of features without the need for deep technical knowledge or significant upfront investment. Here's what the Pro Plan includes:

  • Customizable App Interface: Merchants can set the type of goods and brands they accept, insert their terms and conditions and disclaimers, select which payout options are available to customers, and more. For an overview of our available customization options, read this guide.
  • Customer Accounts: From the Resale App, customers can manage their submissions and personal information, review offers, and print shipping labels independently.
  • Automated Notifications: Merchants and customers receive automated email and in-app notifications that guide them effectively through the reselling process.
  • Admin Dashboard: Merchants have access to a back-office which includes CRM functionalities and analytics that enable them to interact with customers effectively. All submissions made from the Resale App are automatically reflected in the dashboard where merchants can update and send quotes, shipping labels, payouts, and custom emails. Then, when a merchant sends a quote, for example, the customer can instantly accept or decline their offer from their Resale App account.
  • Pricing Database Access: Merchants have pricing insights for a vast range of pre-owned items.

From the day you sign up, we can have the app up and running with all of your customizations in less than one business day. If you want to learn more about the Resale App before getting started, don’t hesitate to book a demo with us!

Option 2: Develop a Custom Resale App

While developing a custom app offers maximum customization, it also entails significant costs and requires technical expertise. Here are the estimated costs involved in developing a custom resale app:

  • Domain Registration: $10–$30 annually
  • Hosting Services: $100–$300 per month, depending on traffic and data requirements
  • Servers: $200–$1,000+ per month, based on scalability needs
  • Design and Development: $20,000–$50,000+ initially, for both frontend and backend development
  • Ongoing Maintenance: $500–$2,000+ per month for updates, security, and server management
  • External APIs and Integrations: Costs vary depending on third-party services for payment processing, email automation, etc.

Industry standards suggest that following the initial investment in design and development, the ongoing expenses for operating, maintaining, and upgrading a resale app can be substantial. In the first year after launch, you should budget around 15–20% of the initial development cost for maintenance, which often amounts to over $4,000. For subsequent years, it is recommended to allocate approximately 50% of the first year's maintenance budget annually, typically ranging between $10,000 and $25,000. This ensures your app remains up-to-date, secure, and functioning optimally.

These estimates do not consider the time required for designing and overseeing the development of your custom app. At Trendful, we also provide a custom Enterprise Plan that includes all the features of the Pro Plan, with extensive customization options and the ability to integrate your own features and services. Additionally, this plan gives you access to our APIs, facilitating the development of your own resale app without starting from scratch. The best part? Our team of experts handles most of the heavy lifting, making this solution not only less labor-intensive but also likely more cost-effective than building your own app from the ground up.


Choosing between Trendful and a custom solution depends largely on your specific needs, budget, and technical capability. Trendful's Pro Plan is a compelling choice for those seeking ease of use and quick deployment, costing significantly less than developing and maintaining a custom app. On the other hand, a custom app might be suitable for merchants with very specific needs or those who require full control over their software environment.

This guide provides a basic framework to help you decide which option aligns best with your business goals and operational capacity. Remember, the right choice balances functionality, cost, and the ability to meet your customers' needs efficiently.