Selling guide

How to get the best price for your item

Our listing and pricing tips will help you get the best price for any item you're selling on Trade Me.

Last updated: 13 June 2023

How to sell on Trade Me: a guide to pricing your items

1. Do your research

Whether you’re selling a beautiful guitar or a scratched-but-functioning fishing rod, have a peek at similar listings before you create yours. Note their start price, how much interest there is, and what they end up selling for.

Here are a few ways to check out your competitors:

Use your watchlist

Just because another seller is requesting one price doesn’t mean that’s what people are prepared to pay.

If you’ve got the time and patience, keep an eye on similar listings over a period of days or weeks by adding them to your watchlist. Note their start price, the sale price, if there was a Buy Now, and how long it took to sell.

Compare condition

Compare your item with existing listings to get a sense of where yours sits in the marketplace.

Don’t assume that just because your item has flaws that it will be less desirable or harder to sell – in fact, you might have a larger buyer pool. You can engage as many of those people as possible by setting a slightly lower start price.

Make your item stand out

When the item you’re selling is commonplace, identify what’s unique about yours. Is it hand-made, a limited edition colour or a collectors piece? If there’s a story behind why your item is special, consider sharing it.

Describe the unique features of your item to make it stand out.

2. Price your item right

An item’s best chances of selling are during the first time it’s listed, so take the time to price sensibly.

Price Suggester

Our Price Suggester looks at similar auctions to the one you’re about to list, and recommends the most effective start price based on how successful those auctions were. Use this alongside your research to determine a good price to start.

Set your reserve

The lowest amount you are willing to sell your item for is your reserve price. Equal to or higher than your start price, your item won’t sell unless the reserve has been met or surpassed by bids.

Set your start price

Your start price entices and engages potential bidders. Setting it at 20% less than your reserve is a reasonable place to start. An equal start price and reserve (known as an auction with 'no reserve') can be enticing to buyers too, as there’s a chance their single bid could be successful.

Set your Buy Now

Buy Now is a fast and satisfying option for buyers who don’t have time to wait for auctions to close. Buy Now can signal to buyers how much you want for your item but will disappear once your reserve has been met.

If you reckon your listing could be the type to inspire a heated bidding war, skip the Buy Now and let the market decide your item’s worth.

Adding a Buy Now may result in a quicker sale.

3. Make it easy for buyers

People prefer to shop online for many reasons, like sustainability, ease or necessity.

Whether they’re seeking a second-hand desk or a brand-new pram, buyers are more likely to pay a higher price when things are made easy for them. Consider this when creating your listing and tailor it to their needs.

Create a great listing

High quality images, a detailed description and free shipping can fill a buyer with all the confidence they need to bid or purchase instantly.

Don’t forget to answer any questions as soon as possible too. Check out our tips to create a great quality listing.

End in the evening

Most Trade Me shoppers are online between 7pm and 10pm, Sunday to Friday, so arrange for your auction to close during this time frame.

4. Promote your listing

Use promotional extras to promote your listing to increase views, have your item appear higher in search results, be found in a second category or even feature on the homepage.

Offer Ping

Three out of four buyers will choose Ping when it’s offered because it’s instant, seamless and safe – they don’t need to manually transfer funds online or visit an ATM before pick-up.

Eligible trades completed with Ping are covered under our Buyer Protection policy too. There’s a 1.95% transaction fee for sellers, but the funds will appear in your Ping balance immediately and you can ship the item straight away.

Offer Afterpay

Paying a large sum upfront can be a barrier, so adding Afterpay can make your listing more accessible to more people.

They might be prepared to spend more with you, simply because you’re offering a payment plan. You’ll receive full payment in three business days and the buyer will get to pay in four fortnightly instalments with no additional charge.

There’s a 4.95% fee on the total purchase.

5. Get ready to sell

It’s important that the effort you put into creating and managing your listing pays off.

No matter how unique or common the item you’re selling, you can always figure out the right price for it by doing a bit of research and keeping marketplace trends in mind.

Head to our homepage to start your research now.

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You now know how to get the best price for your item, it's time to start selling!
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