Seller Blog

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

Today we’ve announced some important news for our selling community, and we’d like to go into a bit more detail in this update.

The update in a nutshell

As of 1 May 2017:

  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

From 1 May, 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, but on 1 May it will become compulsory to be marked as in trade. If after that date you are not marked in trade when we check you meet the qualification criteria, you’ll lose your Top Seller status.

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 will keep 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 will also remain at 1.65%. We’re also adding some extra rewards for our Top Sellers in the form of a Top Seller label*, and the ability to add video**.

However, from 1 May we’re discontinuing 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’re increasing the maximum success fee payable for the sale of a General item from $149 to $249 on 1 May. 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 will increase.

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!

Dashboard

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 www.tradevine.com.

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. 

Ping – what it means for you

Ping

This week we began rolling out our new instant payment system, Ping, to some members who applied for early access. To find out more about what Ping is and how it works, check out our help pages or tutorial video.

Below are some answers to the common questions we’ve been asked about Ping and clarification on what Ping means for you.

What’s Ping?

Ping is our new instant payment system. As a seller, you’ll receive money instantly into your Ping balance regardless of whether a buyer has paid with their bank account, credit/debit card, or Ping balance. You can then use this money in your Ping balance to pay for items on Trade Me, or transfer it out to your bank account.

For more information, please have a look at our help pages or FAQs.

Why did you create Ping?

We want to improve the Trade Me experience for all of our members, whether they’re buying or selling.

For lots of our members, the hassle of swapping bank accounts or jumping over to internet banking to pay the person they’re trading with is a pain point, and potentially a barrier to using Trade Me. Ping cures the pain and will make the process of buying and selling easier and faster.

What are the benefits?

By removing barriers to purchase and making payments faster, we expect Ping to increase transaction volumes, meaning more sales for sellers who accept Ping payments.

Ping, along with our courier booking service and Buyer Protection, are all aimed at making it easier to buy and sell on Trade Me.

A snapshot of Ping’s current benefits include:

  • It’s fast. As a seller you’ll receive bank payments instantly, just like credit card payments.
  • Ping will save you time as it will reduce the need to search for payments in your bank account.
  • Ping enables you to ship goods straight away. There’s no more waiting for funds to clear into your bank account as the money will instantly show in your Ping balance.
  • If a buyer’s bank payment defaults or doesn’t go through, we’ll take care of this with the buyer and it won’t affect sellers. You’ll be able to send the goods and will still have the money in your Ping balance (and that’s where it will stay).
  • There are improved balance withdrawal options for sellers either on an automated daily basis or manually when it suits you.
  • Every Trade Me member will be able to buy and sell with Ping – over time we’ll put it on all accounts, no signup required.
  • Ping will provide split payments for buyers, meaning they’ll be able to pay with a combination of Ping balance and either their bank account or credit/debit card.
  • The Top Seller discount applies to Ping transactions, bringing the 1.95% fee down to 1.65%

What are the future plans for Ping?

We’re still developing Ping to make it extra awesome. Over time we’ll be working on the following:

  • Refunds for Ping payments (bank account refunds will become as easy as credit card refunds). Sellers will be able to issue multiple refunds per transaction.
  • Updates to the Ping ledger including more search filters, ability to export transactions and GST receipts.
  • Ping will be integrated with listing tools.
  • Plus a bunch more stuff that will make Ping better and easier for you.

Why am I being charged 1.95% (or 1.65% for Top Sellers) to receive bank transfers?

There is a fee involved with bank transfers through Ping because this type of payment (instant payment confirmation from a bank account) is unique and not commonly offered online. Unlike a direct bank transfer, bank payments with Ping ensure sellers receive the money instantly into their Ping balance.

This allows you to easily track the payment and ship the goods faster. Like Pay Now, Ping provides safety and certainty for both the buyer and seller.

Providing a credit card-type payment experience to a larger audience comes with costs, and risks, which we are covering on your behalf to help make for a smoother buying experience on Trade Me.

You can still select bank transfer as a separate payment option, but it will be up to the buyer as to whether they use Ping or a traditional bank account transfer method.

What happens if I apply for early access to Ping?

We recommend big sellers do not sign-up as early adopters of Ping, as it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles yet. We don’t want to create any hassles for you, and encourage you to hold fire until we have the right functionality in place.

We wanted to let all sellers know about Ping and give everyone the choice of early adoption, but there are a few things to be aware of if you do decide to apply for early access:

  • It’s currently not integrated with listing tools. We’ll be in touch with sellers who use a listing tool again when Ping is ready for them to use.
  • As Ping is not replacing Pay Now for a long time, you’d need to manage both your Ping and Pay Now ledgers. This would also mean that you would have two bank payments made to you – one from Pay Now and one from Ping.
  • Your Ping ledger will simply show payments made with Ping. There will be no breakdown or split to show you how many were made via bank transfers versus how many were made via credit card.
  • At the moment you won’t be able to process Ping refunds on your end as we’re currently building this functionality. You’ll need to get in touch with us if you need to make a Ping refund so we can do this for you.
  • For any sales made using Ping as the payment method, your buyer won’t receive the payments instructions email. This is something to be aware of if you include important information in your payments instructions, such as return policies or pick-up addresses. These will need to be emailed to the buyer separately.
  • You’ll need to have at least one other payment option on your listings in the meantime, as Ping is not yet available to all buyers. To accept card payments from all potential buyers, we recommend adding Pay Now as well as Ping until all members have access to Ping. Note that buyers will only see one of these payment options – if they have access to Ping, they won’t see the Pay Now option.

Rest assured, all of the above will be ironed out and ready to go for when Ping replaces Pay Now, and we’ll keep you in the loop on when to expect this.

I don’t offer buyers the ability to pay via their bank account. Why do I have to allow people to pay me this way with Ping?

Ping allows you to experience the benefits of Pay Now by providing access to a wider pool of buyers. It’ll work the exact same way as a credit card payment, and refunds will eventually act in the same way too.

I’ve got more questions about Ping...

Head over to our help page for sellers or drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help.

We’ve also got a Message Board thread if you’d like to chat about this post with other sellers.

Tips and tricks for competing against the big guys

Competition CCO Pexels Min

Ecommerce is a huge industry, and it’s only getting bigger. In New Zealand, more and more shoppers are going offshore for their online purchases (nearly 40%*), so as a local or small business in an ocean of ‘big guys,’ how can you compete?

Find your unique selling point

Think about what sets you apart from the big guys, whether they’re local or international. What do you offer to make someone purchase from you instead?

Is it that you can provide fast overnight shipping, or do you offer gift wrapping and personalised packaging? Maybe you offer outstanding customer service, and reply to emails within an hour. Or, do you provide great servicing, installation or repairs for products?

And exploit it!

Once you’ve pinpointed what makes you unique, tell potential buyers all about it – shout it from the rooftops! You’ll need to sell yourself by spelling out what they’re getting if they purchase from you, and why this matters to them.

The best place to do this on Trade Me is in your listing description, and you can also use the subtitle ($0.25) to add extra oomph to the title of your listing.

If you use My Products or Tradevine, you can also use the footer to easily set up this information as part of your description. This means you can edit it in bulk too. You’ll find the footer in the settings tab of My Products, or in the Trade Me settings in Tradevine.

Keep an eye on the competition

It always helps to be aware of what you’re up against. Keep an eye on your competition to see what they’re giving buyers that you can learn from. Do they have better, more eye-catching photos, or a more informative product description? Perhaps they offer a better return/refund policy that makes their buyers keep coming back.

Just take care not to copy any other sellers directly – especially when it comes to photos and descriptions as this could be a breach of their IP.

What can you do better?

Ecommerce is an ever-changing industry, and yours and your competitors’ unique selling point can shift and change with the market. Always be on the lookout for new trends, ideas, and ways you can improve your business and buyer experiences.

What are some of your own tips and tricks? Head over to the Message Board thread for this post to discuss. 

*Neilsen 2015