Set My Price
February 12, 2012 5:00 PM   Subscribe

How much should I charge for this mobile app?

I saw a site that is an information aggregator. I liked this site, so on my own I decided to write an Android app for the site. It's a thousand lines or so, which for me is something like a day of coding (and in this case more like two total, since I was riding the Android learning curve). Compared with typical engineers, I'm usually about 2-10x faster and with far fewer bugs.

They have a mobile version of their site, but it just doesn't have the feel of the app. They appear to be a company with maybe 2 employees tops and have been around since 2007 and make their money on commission from click through sales and some advertising.

I would like to sell this app to the site. How much should I offer and under what terms? I would prefer an outright sale of source and just walk away from it, although I would consider a short maintenance contract.
posted by plinth to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Where's your lawyer?
posted by oceanjesse at 5:26 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

A friend of mine just did a redesign + development to support redesign of an existing application. That is essentially what you are selling. I'd guess $4-6k.
posted by michaelh at 5:46 PM on February 12, 2012

You should charge whatever they are willing to pay. Odds are, that number is $0.00.
posted by COD at 5:52 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd guess $4-6k.

I don't think most engineers make 5 grand a day. He'd be lucky to get $500.
posted by empath at 7:18 PM on February 12, 2012

Do they want to buy your app?
posted by tjenks at 7:34 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Managing an app takes work. Having a mobile version of a site is much less work. If they wanted an app, it would likely make sense for them to start with iOS unless there is something about their site that makes Android more appropriate.

So, you could ask but don't be surprised if they pass. In terms of price, I'd say $500-5000 depending on what it's worth to them.
posted by alms at 8:15 PM on February 12, 2012

On the one hand, the risk for them is quite low, since they can see the working app. No worrying about finding a developer, whether the developer is competent, whether they can complete the app in a reasonable amount of time, etc.

On the other hand, you may not have designed the app the way they would have wanted it. More importantly, you have a week negotiating position, who else are you going to sell it to?
posted by Good Brain at 10:18 PM on February 12, 2012

I would suggest offering it to them for 0$, asking for a portion of the sales and maintenance fees if they want you to update the code in the future. You don't know the background of the employees there, so selling the source outright could provide little to no value to them.

If they felt like they really needed one, they would have one already.
posted by sarahnicolesays at 7:44 AM on February 13, 2012

I don't think most engineers make 5 grand a day. He'd be lucky to get $500.

I don't know how good the app is, but really good contract developers can get that much. The app is worth nothing to them if they don't want it, but if they want it then it's worth about what it would cost to make it. That's at least a few thousand dollars and probably more because the risk is low.
posted by michaelh at 9:34 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

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