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MQL, the best thing since sliced bread

Multiple quantity listings, how to sell lots of one thing from just one listing

15 March 2021

Imagine buying a loaf of bread from your local dairy.

You get to the checkout and find that the $4.50 price on the shelf was actually per slice, not per loaf.

We bet you’d be mighty cheesed off.

This can happen on Trade Me if you’re not setting the reserve correctly on the items you list.

We want to help you avoid crumby situations like this because it’s frustrating for everyone involved. In our experience this comes up a lot when:

  • You’re selling lots of different things in one listing eg. eggs, bacon, sausage, beans and toast or;
  • You’re selling lots of the same thing in one listing eg. slices of bread from a loaf.

We know that it’s often easier to have one listing in these situations so let’s make sure that you're setting the price right to avoid any unimpressed or confused buyers.

You’re selling a full breakfast in one listing

When does this happen? Generally it’s when you’re clearing out a space like your garage and you want to get rid of your old gardening gear in one lot.

We regularly see single listings with two or more items all bundled together that have different values. This type of auction is great if the reserve you have set covers everything listed within the auction.

Where sellers can run into trouble is when the reserve is set for just one of the items in the bundle. This can be really confusing for buyers as they don’t know what they’re bidding on, sellers can’t keep up with what’s sold and what’s not.

It’s also hard for us because we don’t end up with an accurate record of the trade.

To avoid any sticky situations, we would recommend:

  • Setting your reserve price appropriately for all of the items in the listing, not just for one of the items mentioned.
  • Selling each item separately in its own auction so there is no confusion.
  • Setting up a general listing with a reserve price set for the lot, stating that you can create a new auction for individual items. This can be done on request via the Question & Answer section and then you can adjust the reserve price accordingly on the new listing.

You’re selling slices of the same bread in one listing

When does this happen? Generally it’s when you have multiple amounts of the same item that you could sell in one lot or individually eg. hay Bales and lengths of wood.

These listings get confusing when the reserve is set for a quantity of one, but the auction description mentions that you have multiple amounts available.

This results in confused buyers who think they‘re getting the whole amount, when in reality you’ve only set the reserve price for one.

Thankfully we have just the solution! We have a feature called ‘multiple-quantity listings’ (MQL). Listing via an MQL allows you to list up to 1,000 items under the one auction.

Not only does it save you time, it also gives potential buyers the ability to select the quantity they’re after.

MQL listings are great as they’re really clear for buyers who know what they’re getting, sellers know how much stock they have remaining, and it’s clear for us because we have an accurate record of what has been sold.

For more info on MQLs, check out our MQL help page.

At the end of the day we want everyone to have their cake and eat it too.

Listing correctly will help ensure that everyone has a buttery smooth trading experience.