Kiwis outraged after Trade Me announces it's increasing its fees

Kiwis are outraged at Trade Me after it announced a hike in fees.

Earlier this month, Trade Me posted it would be increasing the success fee cap for casual sellers from $349 to $499 from September 1, and on Tuesday, the e-commerce site said it would be doing the same for professional sellers. 

The website also announced on Tuesday it is updating some of its pricing tiers based on the listing category.

While the success fee for large hospitality appliances in the Business, Farming and Industry category will decrease from 7.9 percent to 5.9 percent, it will go up in many other categories.

The following categories will have an increased success fee of 9.9 percent from 7.9 percent:

  • Motors parts and accessories
  • Toys and models
  • Baby gear
  • Several subcategories in Business, Farming and Industry which includes: Office equipment & supplies, postage & packing supplies, wholesale lots, retail & hospitality (except large appliances).

TV accessories in electronics and photography will increase from 5.9 percent to 9.9 percent.

Trade Me said the price increases came after a review.

"Like any company, we review our pricing from time-to-time and make a call about prices we think offer good value." 

"We continue to invest heavily to ensure we provide a safe and trusted site with great features, so that our professional sellers can deliver an awesome experience for over 2.2 million active users visiting Trade Me every month."

But New Zealanders on social media were fuming at the changes and did not think they were justified.

In a Reddit post, several users complained about Trade Me increasing its fees.

One Reddit user said: "What improvements have they added to justify this price increase? F***ing none."

Another commented: "Why... specific categories? The items don't go through them, why does it matter what it is? If it was increases for their buyer protection for categories, that would be a different story."

Reddit users also thought it was a strange tactic to increase the fees as it is already competing with Facebook Marketplace, which is free.

One user commented: "Trademe: Waaah people are using FB Marketplace. It's not safe!

"Also Trademe: we aren't charging enough. Let's charge more!"

Another said: "Why do they need to increase fees? They are a percentage so naturally, with Inflation, their revenue will increase... F**k TradeMe. Wish marketplace wasn't so full of dodgy f**ks I don't want coming near my house."

One person added: "Bring back Trade and Exchange."

The changes for professional sellers and the changes in listing categories will be made on October 1.

In a statement, Trade Me head of marketplace Lisa Stewart said, like other companies, they review their prices from time to time and aim to make sure they offer good value.

"From 1 October, we're changing the success fee for some listing categories, for professional sellers. These changes will impact 17 percent of in-trade sales," she said.

"This means some professional sellers will experience a net decrease, others a net increase but the majority will see no change at all.

"To put this into context, the average sale price for an item on Trade Me is $78 so a success fee rise from 7.9 percent to 9.9 percent would result in a success fee increase of $1.56."

The increase in their success fee cap from $349 to $499 will impact about 0.05 percent of in-trade sales, Stewart said.

"It's also important to remember that we only charge a success fee when listing is sold," she said.

"We're committed to providing a safe and trusted site with great features, so that our professional sellers can deliver an awesome experience for buyers.

"Unlike other unregulated marketplaces, we have a dedicated Trust & Safety team of approximately 30 people based in New Zealand who monitor the site around the clock to keep our site and our members safe.

"When compared to other regulated online marketplaces, we believe our prices are very competitive and offer great value for money."