Seller Blog

Thou shalt not spam

Email CCO Pexels Min

Fun fact: emailing buyers about your other products or general business after a trade has been completed isn’t legal. Who knew, right!?

In this day and age, email is one of the best and most common marketing tools out there. It’s a way to own your brand, demonstrate your differences, draw people in, and increase sales. However, when you contact a member outside of a completed sale to promote your business or your products, you’re not only breaching Trade Me’s policy, but the law as well.

Sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages breaches the The Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act (UEMA). In short, this means you can only send marketing emails to those who have given their consent to receive them.

When you obtain a member’s email address as part of a Trade Me sale, you effectively have permission to discuss this trade, and this trade only, with the buyer. Exchanging pleasantries about the weather and your grandchildren are perfectly fine, but at the end of the day, that email address isn’t intended for anything other than that particular transaction.

If you haven’t received consent to send someone further marketing material, it’s likely you’re in breach of the UEMA. To learn more about consent, and spam generally, check out the Department of Internal Affairs’ help page.

All this said, we’re certainly not going to tell you that you can’t build an email database – it’s great to do that, but the key here is to ensure that you ask your Trade Me buyers first.

The best way to do this is to build a wee blurb and set up a link that will sign members up for future promotional emails. If you include this in the trade process (e.g. your payment instructions or a manual ‘your purchase has been sent’ email), you’ll be killing two birds with one stone.

Buyers who are keen to purchase from you in future can take up the offer and enjoy getting the emails, rather than getting frustrated and upset that they need to unsubscribe. You’ll end up with a happy and interested buyer base, and keep everything above board too.

Have you built up a good email database? Why not share your experiences on the Message Board thread for this post. 

Showcase your products with video

Video CCO Pexels Min

As part of the seller update, we’ve released the ability to add video to Marketplace General Items listings, helping to effectively showcase your products to buyers.

Who can add video?

Video has been added as a benefit of the Top Seller programme. If you qualify as a Top Seller, you’ll have the ability to add video to your listings.

If you lose your Top Seller status, your video will remain on current live listings, but will not display on the next relist.

Where can you use video?

At this stage, video is only available on the desktop website, in categories that have the new listing details page. There are some Marketplace categories that still have the old listing details page, and video won’t be available for these categories yet. Please get in touch if you’re wanting more info about this.

Before we implement video capability into listing tools, we’ll be looking at how video is received by sellers and buyers.

Please note there are also some Marketplace categories where video is restricted:

  • Firearms
  • R18
  • Wine

How do I add video to my listings?

You can add videos via YouTube on the ‘Photos & video’ page when creating or editing your Marketplace listing.

Simply make your own video for your product, and upload it to YouTube. You can then copy and paste your YouTube URL over and click on ‘Add video’ to upload. Your video will show alongside your photos on your live listing, as an embedded YouTube video.

It's important you use your own videos rather than existing videos on YouTube, so as not to infringe on any third party intellectual property (unless you have permission from the rights holder).

Remember, you must disable ads and annotations on your video before you add it to your listing. If you’re unsure of how to do this, have a look at these helpful pages below:

Please also you ensure you read the Marketplace video terms and conditions before using.

Overwhelmed by emails? Tips for managing ones from us.

As you sell more on Trade Me, you’ll receive more emails. If you find the amount of incoming emails hard to manage, or have no need for some of them, you can change your email preferences in My Trade Me.

Email Preferences

You can manage your email preferences for buying and selling, as well as general newsletters and updates from Trade Me.

Although you can change most preferences, there’s a bunch of transactional emails we have to send. If it’s not available under email preferences, we’ll need to keep sending that one to you.

As well as selecting your email preferences, creating rules, filters, and folders in your email client is also a great way to manage your Trade Me emails and keep your inbox tidy.

Things to remember

  • Email preferences manage Trade Me emails only. Buyers will be instructed to contact you via the email address listed on your account.
  • You can update your email address via ‘change my email’ at the top-right of your My Trade Me page.
  • Regularly check your ‘junk’ email folder just in case any important Trade Me or customer emails have got lost in there.

What tips do you have up your sleeve? Share with other sellers on the Message Board thread for this post.

Seller update - April 2017

We’ve made some changes for our selling community, and we’d like to go into a bit more detail in this update.

The update in a nutshell

  1. To qualify for the Top Seller programme you must be marked as in trade.
  2. We’ve added more benefits to being a Top Seller, but removed some discounts too.
  3. Our success fee cap will be raised from $149 to $249 – but not for in-trade sellers.
  4. We want to remind you of the ways we support our sellers.

Updated Top Seller programme

In order to qualify as a Top Seller, you must be in trade. You will need to ensure you have the in trade label on your listings, which appears after you set this up on your My Trade Me page. The other qualification criteria for the Top Seller programme will remain the same.

Note that if you simply disclose within your listings details when you’re selling items in trade, you will not be eligible to become a Top Seller.

The aim of our Top Seller programme is to reward professional sellers who are in trade. We believe it’s important to recognise in-trade sellers who abide by consumer laws in New Zealand and, on top of that, provide excellent customer service. We want our Top Seller programme to reflect the best of our best professional sellers in our selling community.

TS Qual Option 2

Changes to Top Seller rewards

Top Sellers are keeping many of their current benefits, including the 15% rebate on success fees, high volume listing fees, Gallery, Feature, Feature Combo and Super Feature promotional extras. The discounted Pay Now rate also remains at 1.65%. We’ve also added some extra rewards for our Top Sellers in the form of a Top Seller label*, and the ability to add video**.

However, we’ve discontinued the 15% rebate on our premium product add-ons: Gallery Plus, Subtitle, Scheduled end, 10-day auction, Reserve and Second Category.

 Rewards Option 2

*Your new Top Seller label will appear on your member details page, Stores page, and all of your general item listings (i.e. not those in Property, Jobs, Services, or Motors).

**Video will only be available on desktop for now (i.e. not available through seller tools, on mobile apps or Preview) for general item listings. Not all general items categories will support video.  

TS Label

Success fee cap

For sellers who are not Top Sellers or ‘in trade’, we’ve increased the maximum success fee payable for the sale of a General item from $149 to $249. This means we’re changing the sale price at which our success fee cap kicks in, and the fee paid on the sale of items for $1886 or more has increased.

Top Sellers staying in the programme are exempt from this change and will continue to pay a maximum success fee of $126.65 (i.e. $149 with a 15% discount).

Sellers who are in trade are also exempt from this change, and will continue to pay $149.

We anticipate this change will impact around 2% of total sellers on Trade Me, and the vast majority are likely to only hit the cap once per year. We believe that with our large audience, buyer and seller protection, and other new initiatives like Book a Courier and Ping, this change still reflects good value for money.

The last time our success fee cap was changed was back in 2008, and over time we’ve seen the average sale price on Trade Me increase, with more items hitting the cap as more items are sold.

We believe we’ve also added value to sellers on Trade Me through ongoing site improvements, seller protection, and having dedicated support and resources just for sellers. Scroll down for the other things we do for our selling community.

How do we support our sellers?

We’re always looking for ways to improve the buying and selling experience on Trade Me, and that includes making sure we have the resources available to help trades go as smoothly as possible.

Seller Protection

We operate things like 24-hour payment monitoring, a dedicated Disputes team, and a Trust & Safety team whose sole purpose is making sure Trade Me remains a trusted place to buy and sell.

Unlike social media sites, Trade Me is set up specifically to buy and sell items in a safe way, and we have dedicated tools, teams, and safeguards in place to help make sure trades go smoothly.

99.99% of trades on Trade Me go through without a hitch. It’s the 0.01% that our dedicated Trust & Safety and Policing teams are focussed on.

Check out this page for more info on how we protect all sellers on Trade Me.

Seller Information Centre & Seller blog

We have dedicated sections to help all sellers: big and small, casual or professional.

Our Seller Information Centre is a fantastic resource for professional sellers who are new and looking for advice on how to improve their sales, or for established businesses looking for ways to grow and expand to be the best in market.

Our Seller blog is invaluable for all sellers, with lots of tips, articles, and relevant posts around general market activity or things going on Trade Me. We also have a dedicated message board for our sellers to discuss the latest blog posts with the wider selling community.

Magento integration

Magento is the world’s #1 commerce platform, helping over 250,000 merchants to sell more and drive innovation. We’ll soon be releasing a plugin via our API to make integration with Magento super easy for our sellers.

Selling via mobile

We’re working away on making selling via our mobile apps easier and faster. For example, Category, price and closing time suggesters are in the mix on our iOS app, as well as the ability to create and manage drafts. Our aim is to make selling on the move a whole lot easier.

Book a courier

Our courier booking service is our way of helping members have an easier and more seamless experience selling on the site. It’s simple to use, the rates are competitive, and the courier comes direct to you.

Phew! That’s it for this seller update. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

To discuss these changes, feel free to head over to the dedicated Message Board thread for this post. 

Tradevine and data – what insights does it provide?

Tradevine is a powerful upgrade to My Products when it comes to automating listings, feedback and good after sales service. But what else can Tradevine provide the professional seller? Data!


This starts on the Dashboard, where we collate sales data so you can track things at a glance.

TV Data 1

The dashboard is great for an overview of how your sales are tracking, but Tradevine also has a full reporting section that breaks all of this down a lot further. Here you can see charts for sales orders, gross margin and gross profit. You can also see your top products by volume, value, gross margin and gross profit.

TV Data 2

You’ll also have the ability to export full sales reports, inventory summaries, and shipments reports, which can be run for all time or a selected date period.

Trade Me Insights

Every Tradevine user has access to Trade Me Insights – a powerful tool which provides a huge amount of sales data.

In the summary section, you can look at you best or worst performing products by either revenue or quantity sold, over one month, three months, six months or a year. This is great for seeing how the top products perform, as well as highlighting the poorer products so that you can look to tweak the listings in order make these perform better.

TV Data 3

The Product Analysis section will provide you with information on all products, a single product or an entire category. Here you can see sales, views, watchers, sell through rate and profit margin. You also get a breakdown of units sold and open listings by week.

TV Data 4

The Market Comparison may be the most powerful section of Insights. Here you can see how you are performing compared to the category you are selling in.

The category analysis shows average sale price, views and watchers and the categories sell through rate. You’ll also find the Me vs Category section which shows your popularity in the category, how your pricing and shipping compares, how your well promotional extras are working, and category demographics (buyer location, age and gender broken down).

You can select one product and compare it against all others in the same category, or compare it to similar listings.

TV Data 5

TV Data 6

All of this data is great to help you better sell on Trade Me and is all available free when using Tradevine.

Find out more about this data and everything else Tradevine has to offer by visiting

Do you use Tradevine, or are you thinking about migrating across? Share your thoughts in the Message Board thread for this post. 

*All data in images is test data only.