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MARKETPLACE FOCUS: TRADE ME

1 June 2015

About Trade Me

Founded back in 1999 as an online auction site, Trade Me is now the largest e-marketplace in New Zealand, and has been ranked the fifth most visited website by New Zealanders since February 2015. Trade Me receives more than 750,000 daily visitors and has more than 3.6 million active users, representing an impressive 80% of New Zealand’s 4.5 million population.

Despite being a multi-category e-marketplace, Trade Me has a strategic focus on fashion, with 17% of all total sales coming from apparel and accessories. Indeed, Trade Me Fashion is New Zealand’s largest collection of new and used fashion items.

Trade Me has managed to retain its original image, as an outlet for second-hand clothes offered by non-professional sellers, whilst simultaneously boosting the presence of new designer clothes and accessories, sourced from well-known local and international retailers. Currently around 62% of fashion sales come from professional sellers, including well recognised local brands such as Hallensteins, Hannahs and Glassons, and international retailers, such as Australia’s Surfstich, New York-based Shoecenter and Scottish and Irish merchandiser Tartanista.

The company also operates several sister websites, including Find Someone, Old Friends, Travelbug, Safe Trader, Holiday Houses and Treat Me.

Why Trade Me?

Trade Me offers retailers an opportunity to enter the New Zealand market, and access a domestic channel with strong product and brand demand in the opposite season to the Northern hemisphere. As a market that traditionally has high retail prices, and limited brands and ranges available locally, New Zealand represents an attractive opportunity for merchants, with 45% of online retail purchases coming from international sellers.

Accustomed to buying from international online retailers and not conditioned to free shipping, 85% of online shoppers in New Zealand intend to maintain or increase their expenditure, with ecommerce expected to grow to $5.37 billion in 2016.

New Zealand experiences supply gaps in categories such as men’s accessories, sportswear, women’s clothing, shoes and well priced branded clothing, so merchants that cover these segments can be extremely successful when selling on Trade Me; an average of 255 items of clothing are sold per hour.

What does Trade Me’s offering include and how to get started?

Trade Me partners with well known international retailers, and offers simple API integration for international retailers taking their first steps into cross-border trade, or for brands expanding their global offering.

Retailers from outside of New Zealand and Australia need special approval to sell, but Trade Me provides dedicated in-house support and account management to help get you started. Once live, retailers have the opportunity to open their own branded store on Trade Me.

Returns only account for 0.75% of all sales made on Trade Me, which has been put down to how integral Trade Me is to the New Zealand culture. Buyers are more likely to resell a bought item through Trade Me, rather than send it back to the original seller. However, when returns do happen, merchants are not expected to cover the costs of return postage, in case a customer changes their mind.

Trade me offers a variety of payment options, such as pay on pick-up, international bank transfers, Pay Now – Trade Me’s proprietary credit or debit card payment facility, or SafeTrader -the escrow service owned and operated by Trade Me. Payments are transferred into the merchant’s local bank account once a month, and if the retailer has a New Zealand bank account, they receive disbursements daily.

Trade Me’s basic listing fees are free of charge. Every seller is allowed to list a certain number of items without incurring a high volume listing (HVL) fee of 10 cents per listing. This helps to maintain a healthy rate of sales on Trade Me and discourages sellers from crowding categories.

Once an item sells, a success fee applies, depending on the category; some categories have fixed listing fees and do not incur success fees. Sellers also have the option of add-ons to their listings, such as Gallery Plus, subtitles or bold titles, all of which incur additional fees.

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