An overview to selling on Trade Me
Make money, save time, and enjoy the experience of selling items on Trade Me.
Last updated: 13 June 2023
We’ve worked hard to create a trusted digital marketplace where Kiwi can easily buy and sell online. Whether you’re new to Trade Me, or want a refresher on best practices for selling on Trade Me, this straightforward step-by-step guide will walk you painlessly through the process.
Selling on Trade Me from start to finish
1. Create an account
2. Create your listings
Selling is easier and faster when sellers take the time to create great quality listings. The appropriate category, a detailed description, and good quality photos are all gold in helping your item get found and sell quickly.
We also recommend:
- Use keywords in your description (e.g. ‘Mid-century standing lamp’ vs ‘lamp’)
- Photograph your item with natural light and ensuring the background is free of distractions
- End your auction between 7-10pm, Sunday – Friday
- Include shipping costs
- Offer appealing payment options like Ping or Afterpay
- Enable the Make an offer feature so members can send you offers you can accept or declineMake an offer
- Promoting your listing.
3. Promote your listings
The best chance an auction has to sell is the first time it’s listed, so it’s worth considering how promotional extras can improve your chances.
- Gallery – appears above basic listings in category
- Feature – appears above Gallery listings in category, highlighted in search results & categories
- Feature Combo – appears above Feature listings in category, extra highlighted border in search results & categories*.
*Highlighted border only available on the new look Trade Me web experience (desktop and mobile)
- Subtitles – increases your up-front keywords character count and maximise your listings reach
- 10-day auction – score more listing views or bids with an extended auction length
- Scheduled end time – select when your auction will end
- Second category – a second, relevant category gives your listing twice the exposure (if a promotional package has been chosen, listings will display as such in both categories, at no extra cost).
Keep in mind:
- Promotional extras are not refundable.
- Promotional extras are automatically reapplied on relisted items and will be recharged too (unless you untick the checkbox when relisting).
Visit our fees page for up-to-date information on pricing.
Promotional extras and add ons will help your listing stand out.
4. Understand our fees
There are no upfront fees when listing items in marketplace categories (other than when listing animals, carbon credits, and domain names*). Instead, casual sellers are charged 7.9% of the sale price, and in-trade sellers have a three-tiered pricing structure, based on listing category. The success fee tiers for in-trade sellers are 5.9%, 7.9% and 9.9% of the sale price and the shipping cost combined. The maximum success fee is $499, and no fees are taken for items that sell for $1 or less.
*Visit our fees help page for specific pricing.
Keep in mind:
- If you need to end an auction early, you’ll be charged a $3 withdrawal fee (or the applicable success fee if it sells).
- You’re able to apply for a success fee refund if the buyer pulls out of a sale.
5. Making it easy for buyers
When selling items online, perhaps the most important thing is to make buyers feel confident about what they’re purchasing. As well as creating a good listing and promoting it, you’ll want to make it easy for potential customers to place a bid or buy without hesitation. Consider adding the Make an offer feature or a Buy Now, offer a range of payment options (outlined below) and always specify shipping costs.
We recommend adding:
Make an offer feature
Add the Make an offer feature to your listing so buyers can send you offers you can accept or decline.
You no longer need to manually email your bank account details after every purchase – use Ping for instant, easy and safe payment, through your own Trade Me account (note the 1.95% transaction fee). Most Ping purchases are covered under our Buyer Protection policy too.
Make pricier items more affordable and appealing with Afterpay (4.95% fee of the total purchase). Buyers pay off their purchase in four fortnightly interest-free payments, but you’ll be paid in full and able to ship the item to them immediately.
Read our tips on how to get the best price for your Trade Me listing.
Shipping plays a huge part in making a sale - make it as easy as possible for buyers.
6. Shipping options
The story doesn’t end when the item sells, you also need to provide clear and transparent shipping information if you want this buyer to buy from you again.
Assure buyers about their total purchasing price by being specific about shipping costs, and manually enter standard, tracked and rural postal fees. Always ship items as soon as possible after receiving payment.
Book a courier
You can use our Book a courier service to send your items and to easily get estimates added to your listing when you set them up. You'll get our courier mates' rates, save time with home pick-up, and track your parcel with our trusted partners.
Buyers are able to filter search results to show listings with free shipping. If you can offer it, give your auction extra appeal by ticking ‘free shipping within New Zealand’ when creating your listing.
If you’re selling a few things, you can also offer a ‘$0 combined shipping’ option so that buyers can pay a flat fee but receive multiple items from you at once. This might encourage buyers to check out your other listings too.
If you're a professional seller, Shipping Templates can help you display structure shipping information to buyers – personalised to them based on their location. You'll need to be a listing tool user to take advantage of Shipping Templates.
7. After the sale
There are a few features you can utilise to ensure the overall trading experience is smooth and seamless for both you, your buyer and others in our community.
Arrange payment and delivery
Setting an auto-email with payment instructions to be sent to the successful bidder makes for a fast trade and cuts down on your administrative time. Including an estimate of delivery times ‘once payment is received’ can incentivise quick payment too.
Our feedback system is designed to help members make decisions about who to trade with – we expect members to maintain an overall rating of 98% or above.
While giving feedback is not compulsory, we’ll automatically remind you about it 21 days after your sale. We encourage buyers and sellers to always place simple and professional feedback after every trade, as it helps maintain those high standards.
Our Customer Experience team can help if a trade doesn't go as expected.
What to do if your Trade Me sale doesn’t go as expected
If you’ve received unfair feedback, your item has been lost in the post, or you’ve not heard from your buyer at all, we’re here to lend a hand.
If you need to resolve a trade issue with a buyer, try to reach a resolution in the first instance. Nearly all problems can be resolved with good communication. You can read the Trade Me Code of Conduct for information about buyer and seller obligations.
If your item has been lost in the post, contact the postal company you used first. Keep your buyer in the loop and arrange a refund or replacement for them if the goods have been confirmed lost or damaged.
Get in touch with us if:
- The buyer hasn’t been in touch with you within two working days of the listing closing
- Your sale doesn’t go through – we’re happy to refund your success fee.
- You can’t find an answer to your issue or concern in our Help centre.
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