How to sell on Trade Me NZ

Trade Me NZ is an e-commerce giant in New Zealand with over 17.7 million monthly views. Read on to discover how to sell on Trade Me and capture the New Zealand market as a UK brand.

02 Jun 2023 Jason Kaye

4 min

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Seasonality is vital in e-commerce. When your products fly off the shelves during one part of the year and collect dust in your warehouse the next, it can be difficult for online retailers to maintain optimal profit margins.

You can cushion your e-commerce sales from seasonal volatility in the US by marketing them to a new audience in a different hemisphere –– such as New Zealand. 

Trade Me NZ is a massive online phenomenon. On the platform, you can buy a house, find a job, or even find a partner. But most importantly, Trade Me is New Zealand’s biggest online marketplace. Selling as an international brand on Trade Me NZ can help you maintain a steady revenue stream all year round. 

In this article, we will run you through the steps of selling on Trade Me NZ and offer some tips on how to make the most of a brand-new customer base. 

Why sell on Trade Me NZ?

Besides solving seasonal demand for stock issues, US e-commerce sellers should set themselves up on Trade Me as the website is the central online hub for buying and selling in Australia and New Zealand. Trade Me has over 17.7 million site visits a month

To put this figure in perspective, New Zealand has a population of around five million, meaning that the majority of the adult population of New Zealand visits the site at least twice a month, if not more often. 

Trade Me lists more than 9 million products across its website. Consumers can sign up and sell second-hand goods (similar to Facebook Marketplace), or SMEs can sign up to Trade Me’s business membership list. 

Around 10% of Trade Me’s listings come from US-based sellers (second only to NZ-based sellers that account for 78% of all product listings). There are four main reasons why the marketplace attracts so many American brands: 

  1. The US and NZ share a language and numerous cultural ties –– making marketing campaigns more straightforward. 
  2. Consumers in New Zealand are comfortable with extended lead times on shipping (many NZ customers expect to wait up to ten days for the delivery of e-commerce goods). Consumers’ relaxed attitudes on waiting for goods ease the pressure on US sellers trading on the other side of the world. 
  3. New Zealand customers have fewer choices between brands than US customers. Therefore, American brands are in high demand, allowing businesses to price their products competitively. 
  4. Following the supply gaps mentioned above, New Zealand has many wide-open business niches where a US brand could fit in well –– including clothing, homewares, and everything in between. 

How to sell on Trade Me NZ

To sign up as a professional seller on the platform, you must submit a form outlining your seller details. Make sure you know the differences in consumer protection laws in New Zealand by heading to the NZ government website. One of the most noticeable differences in retail standards is that it is up to the seller’s discretion if they allow customers to return an item should they change their mind about a purchase. For US sellers, the returns rule may be advantageous to your operations.

However, you may want to consider setting a more balanced “cooling-off period” on purchases. If you sell high-ticket items, setting a window of time for returns can help increase consumer trust within your new market. 

Once you have checked the rules and submitted your International Seller inquiry form to Trade Me NZ, the team will check that you are a good fit for their customer base. At this point, you will be emailed a seller’s checklist outlining what you need to do as an e-commerce seller to be recognised as a professional merchant on the platform.

One of the most critical aspects of your seller application is proving your capability to deliver goods to NZ customers within the optimal 10-day time frame, overcoming common barriers to entry. You will need to have all of the fulfillment provisions in place to ensure that Trade Me customers in the farthest-flung provinces of the country are satisfied with your delivery times. 

If you are an international seller looking for help with last-mile delivery to NZ customers, you can check out Trade Me’s exclusive Book a Courier service. 

Import/export duties apply

US companies providing online services to New Zealand residents (including e-commerce) will need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) when their total supplies of goods and services exceed NZD 60,000 in one year. Currently, GST is set at 15% for all imported goods. However, additional import duties may apply depending on the type of product, its country of origin, and monetary value. 

Many logistics companies provide free import/export duties calculators and can put you in touch with freight insurance companies to help you protect your goods in transit. 

The US International Trade Administration website is also filled with useful guides for e-commerce brands looking to sell overseas. For instance, you can read various New Zealand market intelligence reports such as consumer attitudes to e-commerce and advice on labeling and marketing products. 

Product safety documentation 

Trade Me NZ notes that they take a “conservative approach” when accepting seller applications from international companies to minimize customer risk. Under New Zealand’s Fair Trading Act 1986, sellers must provide safety documentation for electronic goods and children’s items like baby strollers, cots, and toys. 

Failure to supply the correct safety documentation could result in a rejection of your Trade Me seller application. 

It is also important to note that Trade Me works hard to uphold New Zealand’s intellectual property laws and biosecurity legislation. For more information, please check out Trade Me’s complete trust and safety guide for online merchants. 

Accept payments from Trade Me in NZD with Zyla 

As a US brand selling in New Zealand, currency exchange rates can affect your day-to-day profit margins – luckily it has never been easier for US brands to accept payments in NZD thanks to Zyla. 

With a Zyla Account, you can collect customer funds instantly and transfer them to USD when FX rates are favorable. Alternatively, you can hold the funds and use your NZD to pay local fulfillment companies. 

Open a Zyla Account and you could reach millions of customers across 100+ global marketplaces. Plus, you can keep sales in your multi-currency accounts until the FX rate is right for you. Open an account for free today and you could be approved and set up in 24 hours. Get started or find out more by calling (855) 797-3366 today.