Trade Me NZ Trading Tips

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What is Trade Me?

Trade Me is New Zealand's most popular online auction site and marketplace. It is the country's second most visited web site, coming second only to Trade Me has taken New Zealand by storm and has become a cultural icon. In terms of membership scope, it is unlike any other online marketplace in the world, with 2.3 million active members – not bad for a country with a population of just 4.3 million!

Trade Me is on its way to becoming a one-stop shop for online New Zealanders, along with its sister sites TradeMe Motors, TradeMe Property, TradeMe Jobs, Old Friends - a networking site to keep up with old friends from former schools, tertiary education providers military regiments, and workplaces - and FindSomeone, a site helping Kiwi singles meet Kiwi singles (at least we hope they are single!), which is fast becoming New Zealand's fastest-growing dating site.

Trade Me is available to anyone located in New Zealand and Australia.

What Trade Me Offers

  • Like other online market places, Trade Me offers members both auction-style listings and fixed price, 'Buy Now' listings.
  • Trade Me sticks to a simple and easy-to-use format with all listings comprising of member-uploaded pictures (if the member wishes) and simple text descriptions, with no HTML options for personalizing listings, which makes navigating through listings very simple for buyers. Any eBay sellers making the switch will find Trade Me gloriously stripped down and straight forward.
  • Like eBay, Trade Me offers a stores option for sellers. But unlike eBay, only registered businesses with an established trading history are eligible. Trade Me Stores cost NZ$399 to set-up and NZ$79 per month.
  • A busy and supportive member's forum with plenty of gossip and tips and advice from other members.
  • Help for buyers with a video buyer’s guide. 

Fees: (all quoted in NZ$)

Basic Listing Fees

Basic Listing: Free
Gallery (adds photo beside your listing within search results): 25c-55c
Bold Title: 35c-95c
Subtitle: 15-55c
Feature (shows your listings first in categories) 75c - $3.45

Success Fees

$0-$150: 6.9% (minimum of 50c)
$150-$1500: $10.35 + 4.5% of sales price
$1500 and over: $71.10 + 1.9% of sale price ($149 max)

7 Hot Tips for Successful Selling on Trade Me

  1. Sell items with low fees. Consider getting into selling or dropshipping books and CDs, which have much lower fees than all other categories. For example, adding a subtitle feature to your listing for a book or CD will cost you 15c, whereas for all other categories, you will pay 55c.
  2. Skip the fees altogether! When selling multiple identical items, after your auction for one item has finished, go into your 'Sold Items' and offer your watchers and unsuccessful bidders the chance to buy the item at a lower price. For watchers, offer at, or just below, the reserve price. For the unsuccessful bidders, offer them the chance to buy at the price of the last bid they made. This is a great way to quickly move multiple identical products, and also to avoid extra listing fees!
  3. Find bargains first (and sell them on to make a profit!). Visit Trade Me's latest listings page to find the latest listings in every category on Trade Me. Click the 'Buy Now' filter button to see only the latest listings with Buy Now options – meaning you can buy great bargains before anyone else sees them, and without them being bid on by other bargain hunters! You can also specify which region you want to view the latest listings from by clicking 'change region'. Take a look at the latest listings from around your own region: There might be some great larger items that can't be shipped, but which you can purchase and pick up, and then sell on at a higher price (aka Trademe arbitrage!).
  4. Always list with the Gallery option. Using Gallery means that your listings will be featured with an uploaded item picture of your choice alongside your listing title. It also means that when buyers select 'Gallery View', (which shows your picture and title more boldly), you’ll have more chance of attracting impulse buyers. The Gallery option is highly recommended by Trade Me and also by top Trade Me sellers. It costs 25c for books and CD listings, and 55c for everything else.
  5. Cross-categorize. Although Trade Me makes browsing easy, most buyers will just type in a search for specific items they are looking to buy. Trade Me has a massive number of categories, so it's important to think hard about the best one for your item. For example, if I was selling car parts such as suspension springs, I would list some under car parts and accessories, and some under the car make and model, such as Honda Civic, which the car part is compatible with. While you will need to make separate listings to sell over multiple categories, it’s worth testing to find out the best way to capture most buyers.
  6. Always list the shipping cost. Trade Me recommends that you show the cost of shipping in your listing so that buyers understand the costs involved before they buy. If you are unsure what the shipping cost is and do not have time to visit a Post Shop before you list, either offer free shipping on the item, or visit NZ Post's Rate Finder to get a good idea of what it will cost to ship the item. You'll get the most accurate price if you know the weight, measurements and destination of where you will send it (which is why many potential buyers will ask you in your auction how much it will cost to ship to Napier etc).
  7. Keep shipping costs down by buying your own inexpensive shipping bags (Warehouse Stationary have a wide range of cheap postage bags), then add Track and Trace at the post shop for around $3 for a small parcel.
  8. Consider using Auctionitis – the Trade Me-compatible Auction Management Software, which can help you create listings, upload them to Trade Me, relist, and automate post-auction Fixed Price Offers. Visit for a free trial.

Are you a Trade Me seller? Leave a comment below and share your best Trade Me selling tips!

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SaleHoo Group

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  • Frans 16th of July
    It is great to put your products for sale on trademe but what about all those potential buyers who are not browsing on trademe every day and might miss out? Imagine you could advertise or publish all your auction/listings in the news papers or anywhere and let the whole world know about your auction/listings? Go2trademe is a new and unique marketing tool that provides you with a re-direction URL that will instantly direct your customers to your trademe listing(s) and therefore bypassing all your competition.
  • Trades4Trade 19th of December
    Hi, I have read your blog post. It was so useful for me.