- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 1999
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2000
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2002
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2004
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2006
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2008
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2010
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2013
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2015
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2017
- Screenshot of Trade Me site in 2019
Who are we?
We are Trade Me, the place where Kiwis buy and sell online. We're the leading online marketplace and classified advertising platform in New Zealand.
The core idea of Trade Me is simple: we connect people and businesses, and provide them with the information and tools they need to undertake a transaction.
The year was 1999, and a young computer consultant named Sam Morgan founded a small website called Trade Me. According to folklore, Sam designed Trade Me after a frustrating experience buying a heater for his chilly flat.
Whether that's a true story shall remain a tale of yore; nevertheless, the fact remains that Sam was fed up with other websites that didn't cater well to Kiwis, and he reckoned he could offer something better.
It was a novel concept; people sending money to sellers they've never met, for goods they've never seen. Sam single-handedly built the site and ran it out of his small Wellington flat and, within two days, Trade Me had its first twenty registered users.
More than ten years on, Trade Me has become a household name.
For more about our history check out the timeline below or see Trade Me: The Inside Story by Trade Me's former head of Operations & Marketplace, Mike O'Donnell (MOD).
1999 Trade Me established by Sam Morgan
2000 Success fees introduced
2001 FindSomeone launched
2002 OldFriends launched
2003 Trade Me Motors launched
100,000 concurrent listings achieved
Staff count: 100
2004 NZ's fastest-growing company in 'Deloitte Fast 50'
2005 Trade Me Property launched
2006 Trade Me Jobs launched
#1 most viewed auction: Hurricanes handbag & cellphone
2007 Travelbug launched
Pay Now launched
1 billion page impressions/month
2008 1 million concurrent listings achieved
2009 Acquisition of Holiday Houses
Popular auction: Roofliss the Toyota Townace Interisland van
2010 Trade Me daily deals launched
Acquisition of BookIt
iPhone app launched
2011 Treat Me launched
1 million members logging in each month
Staff count: 200
2012 Trade Me listed as a public company
Popular auction: Radio Network building implosion
Trade Me makes it into the NZX 50 Index
2013 Treat Me sold
Daily deals finished
2014 50% of all Trade Me sessions are now via mobile
Staff count: 357
Popular auction: Radio frequency sells for a record $7.4m
2015 Launched Trade Me Insurance
Invested in Harmoney
Trade Me named NZ's most influential local brand by Ipsos
1 billionth listing goes live
2016 Old Friends closed
Book a courier launched
2017 Safetrader closed
Launched Buyer Protection
2019 Trade Me acquired by Apax Partners
Apax Partners has a long track record of investing in marketplace businesses across the globe. Current and past investments include boats in the US/Spain with Boat Trader, Yacht World, Boats.com and Cosas De Barcos, auto with AutoTrader UK, Trader Canada, real estate with Idealista in Spain, Portugal and Italy. Their most recent acquisition was Baltic Classifieds Group who operate 12 marketplace businesses including Autoplius, Skelbiu and Aruodas in Lithuania.
Be a part of the Trade Me story
Our headquarters are located on Wellington's beautiful waterfront, with offices in Auckland and Christchurch.
Keen to join our team? We offer a fun, vibrant work environment with a uniquely Kiwi culture. Check out our vacancies and what it's like to work here.