Tuesday, 15 March 2011


We have been a bit like a ram in a paddock of ewes in the past few days - rogering Trademe with undisguised gusto because we reckon that Trade Me was taking advantage of little traders and sucking them dry.

It had to do with listing a mad rooter ram we needed to get rid of - a ram we thought would only fetch about $60 - but it was going to cost us $30 bucks if we sold him. We need to get rid of him because we have replaced him with a Wiltshire studdly muffin called Nigel.

So we blogged, tweeted and facebooked our outrage.

Today we got an answer and hopefully a solution - a category for pets and single farm animals.

We think thats a good option and we hope that Trademe follows it up.

Hi Busted,

I couldn’t squeeze this into 140 characters so had to resort to old-fashioned email. Rest assured, we’ve still got our mojo and our soul here at Trade Me. More than 750,000 Kiwis visit Trade Me each day and more than 250,000 items sold last week – both of these numbers are up on a year ago and up heaps on a few years ago. We’ve also been putting our recent mojo towards building a free site for people affected by the Chch earthquake, iPhone whizz-bang stuff, and a just launched today group-buying site.

You’re right we did increase our success fees a while back. They went up from 6.9% to 7.5% so that meant that on the sale of something for 50 bucks there was a 30-cent increase (to $3.75). That was the first time we’d increased the success fee since September 2008 and we reckon we still offer great value for money to put your items, be they buttons or sheepskin rugs, in front of a massive Kiwi audience.

In terms of livestock (of which your mad rooter is a supreme example), there was no recent fee increase on that front. To list a sheep it’s 29 bucks to list it until it sells – that might take an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year. There is no success fee. The livestock fees haven’t moved since November 2008 (way back when John Key got the top job, and the mad rooter was only a lamb, maybe...)

The livestock category is mostly used by people selling a flock of woolly beasts rather than just one ram. On that front, if you were selling a flock of sheep then $29 to list all your stock is pretty cheap. There’s overs and unders and we acknowledge the model is not perfect so we’re sorry about that. Perhaps we need a “pet lambs and mad rooters” category?

Anyway, we reckon you should relist the Mad Rooter – he might go for heaps more than 60 bucks – remember somebody paid $60,000 for a boulder last week. If you do, make sure you nominate the fecund fellow for a Chch charity auction slot on the homepage – we reckon he’d probably make the cut.


So we have listed the Mad Rooter and a ticket - to BustedBlondes Veuve Clicquot party on Trademe and the lions share of the proceeds will go to the Christchurch earthquake fund. Yes the mad bitch Busted is back.

Party - on. Details soon.

And yes the proceeds of the party will go to Christchurch as well. We grew up in Southland and to all Southlanders of our vintage, Christchurch was the glamorous and sophisticated metropolitan centre of the South Island. And so it will be again.

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