10 Trade Me Selling Tips That’ll Get You More Money

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Selling stuff on Trademe is still an excellent way to make extra money online in 2021.

In this article, David shares his top ten trade me selling tips for getting your items sold and money in your back pocket (or bank account).

Top 10 Trade Me Selling Tips 2021

There are many ways you can approach selling on TradeMe.

The ten tips below intend to guarantee your items get sold, while also getting the best price by attracting as many buyers as possible.

1. Use a price anchor.

Either have a high buy now price, or state the retail price.

2. Create buyer urgency by generating competing bids.

The easiest way to generate buyer urgency is to run a $1 reserve auction.

This may seem risky, but if the item your selling is in demand and you follow the rest of the tips below, you’ll get the market price.

Everyone bidding knows it will be sold, it will be gone, and they may not get the opportunity again.

3. Pay to promote your auction.

I always pay the $0.55 gallery listing, and for goods I believe will sell for over $50, I pay the $3.95 combo.

Attracting impulse buyers is a great way to get extra bids in to help drive up the price.

Don’t be cheap in the hope of saving a few cents.

4. End the auction at a sensible time.

11 pm on a Friday, or midday Saturday are not good times.

I normally target 8-9 pm on Monday to Thursday.

If you are not normally home at these times to start the auction, pay the $0.25 so you can pick the exact closing time.

Run the auction for at least a week, to ensure you get exposure to as many buyers as possible.

5. Take good photos.


Try to avoid photos taken at night with your cellphone that end up super grainy.

Take your photos during the day with lots of natural light.

Avoid placing your items in direct sunlight. Make a space around the items so it’s clear what is for sale.

6. Use emotive and technical language in your descriptions.

A good product description will connect with different buyer personalities.

Emotive language can be as simple as a couple of key words thrown in like beautiful, stunning, reliable.

Technical details can be as simple as the object’s dimensions, colour, or appropriate age range.

Don’t go overboard with listing every spec. Just what is relevant for today’s buyer.

7. Put a shipping price on it.

Trademe’s new built in shipping service provides shipping quotes for you from a range of courier companies.

Just enter the dimensions, and the weight (sometimes I just guess how much it weights) and Trademe does the rest.

Best thing is the couriers will pick up from your doorstep, avoiding unnecessary errands to the post office.

For furniture and bulky items if you can deliver yourself charge a reasonable rate, but restrict delivery to you own city.

Often the eventual buyer wants to pickup anyway, but it’s getting the buyers who can’t interested and bidding up the price.

And if I do end up delivering $30 is well worth an hour of my time.

8. Optimise your time.

When selling lots of items for pickup, email the auction winners a one hour time slot to pickup on the weekend. E.g. 10-11 am Saturday, and then be open to other times by arrangement.

My best result was having six people turn up within that slot. This can save you a lot of time.

If you live a busy life and hate juggling pickup times like I do, consider leaving items at your doorstep for buyers to pickup when it suits them.

Ensure you have received payment first, then send them a photo of the item on your door step, ready to be picked up.

For items under $20 I don’t even insist on payment in advance. I just check their feedback first and ask them to leave cash under the door mat.

9. Sell items individually.

Just because you liked having a bookcase that matches the coffee table, doesn’t mean other people will.

When it comes time to sell you limit the number of willing buyers by bundling multiple items into one auction.

10. Be realistic about what you own is worth.

Add similar items to your watchlist, and see what they actually sell for.

Understand retail shops typically run 100% markup, so if what your selling is new expect no more than the wholesale price (50% of retail).

If it’s used but in good condition expect 25%. If it’s used, but imperfect 10-15%.

Ultimately all I’m interested in is getting the market price, and following the tips above seems to get me there.

Got your own tips for selling on TradeMe? Share them in the comments.

Author bio.

David Brouwers is a father to a wonderful young family, an avid fisherman, keen cyclist and a solar power advocate.

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About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.