Seller Blog

An update on Ping for Top Sellers

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In March we told you about our new instant payment system, Ping. At that time Ping wasn’t ready for Top Sellers to use, however since then we’ve added a bunch of features and it’s now ready for Top Sellers to start using.

We’ll email you in the coming weeks when we’re ready to activate it on your Trade Me account.

What’s Ping?

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.

We now have tens of thousands of customers using Ping, and we’re adding more each week. We’re getting great feedback from buyers and we’re currently seeing higher conversion rates on listings that offer Ping.

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

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 should save you time as it reduces 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).
  • You can now make as many refunds on a sold item as you need to up to the value paid; Pay Now only allows one refund per item.
  • 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, with 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 working on many new features, and also making sure that Ping will work well with listing tools such as Tradevine.

Should I use Ping?

Ping is open for business, and we’ve give you access to it as soon as we can.

If you use a listing tool, we’ll be in touch with you when Ping is ready to go on your listing tool. In the meantime, there are a few things to be aware of:

  • As Ping is not replacing Pay Now for a while, you’ll need to manage both your Ping and Pay Now ledgers. This means you’ll 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’ll be no breakdown or split to show you how many were made via bank transfers versus how many were made via credit card.
  • Buyers who use Buy Now to pay for items immediately with Ping won’t see your payment instructions in their confirmation email. If you include important information in your payment instructions, you may want to include this info in your listing description or email the buyer separately. Payment instructions will be sent as usual for other payment types. Listings won via auction or Fixed Price Offer will still be sent a link to your payment instructions.
  • As Ping is not yet available to all buyers, we’ll automatically enable Pay Now on listings with Ping. Buyers will only see one of these payment options – if they have access to Ping, they won’t see the Pay Now option.

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 work 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.

Use popular keywords to make the most of your listing titles on Trade Me

We’ve talked before about how important a listing title is to your relevance and placement in search results, but did you know that searching on Trade Me can help you with choosing your keywords?

When you start typing into the site search box, it will populate suggested searches. These are search terms that are popular on site, so they’re a great springboard to use when creating your listing titles.

 Populated Keywords Search Example

By doing a quick bit of research and checking up on these popular searches, you can make sure you’re capturing these search terms in your titles and even your descriptions, to reach more of your potential buyers.  

Just make sure that any keywords are properly incorporated into your description and that they are relevant to your product. Irrelevant lists of keywords is considered keyword spammingand it’s simply not okay on Trade Me. This is part of our listing policies, so keyword spamming on your listings could result in warnings or even restrictions on your account. 

Do you have any tips on creating good listings? Head over to the Message Board thread to share.

A 'how to' for discount pricing on Trade Me

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This post was penned by Trade Me's Trust & Safety team, and featured on the Trust & Safety Blog

Everybody loves a good bargain, and we’re no exception.  

It’s for just this reason that the Commerce Commission (or ComCom for short) are around, keeping an eye on the way retailers use discount pricing.

Amongst other things, ComCom are tasked with enforcing the Fair Trading Act, which prohibits traders from making misleading representations with respect to price.

So what’s misleading?

There are a bunch of behaviours that could be considered misleading, but the main theme is that the discounts you advertise need to be genuine. This means that if you want to advertise a discount, this needs to be done based on an ordinary price that you regularly use.

For example, you can’t just list a product with a 50% off label for the purpose of attracting buyers. This is misleading behaviour if not based on real, commonly used prices.

If you don’t use discount pricing appropriately, chances are you’ll get a letter from ComCom with a big please explain attached, and it’s not uncommon for this kind of thing to lead to some pretty hefty fines.

How does Trade Me deal with discount pricing?

We’re all about the sales at Trade Me, and we love to see our members getting great value on the site.

We also make it easy for members to advertise by providing a feature that sellers can use to display what the price used to be, alongside the new, discounted price.

But, like ComCom, we don’t want people using discount pricing inappropriately.

So, off the back of some recent media around the subject, we’ve chosen to implement some clear rules for advertising discount pricing on Trade Me.

The rules around using was/now pricing on Trade Me

  1. The ‘was’ price must have previously been offered on Trade Me by the member advertising the discount. It cannot be an RRP or valuation, unless the member has previously offered the goods on Trade Me at that price.
  2. The ‘was’ price must have been offered on Trade Me for a minimum of 28 days before a discounted ‘now’ price can be advertised.
  3. Discount prices should only be offered for a maximum of 28 days. In other words, the ‘was’ price becomes out of date if has not been offered in the last 28 days, or the ‘now’ price becomes the ordinary price if it has been offered for more than 28 days.   
  4. Members can only offer consecutive discounts on the same item if they are further discounting the price. The previous "now" or sale price must be used as the new "was" or original price. Members can't offer the same discount on consecutive listings.
  5. New members may not have ‘was/now’ pricing enabled until at least 28 days have passed since their registration.
  6. An allowance of 3% will be permitted for international marketplace sellers using ‘was/now’ pricing to account for currency fluctuation.

Sounds serious?

Yeah, it can be – but it’s an easy fix!

If you haven’t updated your pricing in the last month, it’s worth going through your listings to make sure that the discounts you’re offering follow these new guidelines. Our Trust & Safety team look after this kind of thing too, so don’t be surprised if you are contacted by them directly to let you know if your pricing is out of date.

Just remember, at the end of the day all we want to see is our members offering, and receiving genuinely good value.

For more information on pricing, check out ComCom’s pricing fact sheet.

You can also discuss this blog post on our dedicated Message Board thread

Thou shalt not spam

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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

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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.