​17 years on… Trade Me approaches billionth listing

“We’ve seen our fair share of quirky, crazy and wonderful listings that have brought us this far..."

New Zealand online auction website Trade Me will soon celebrate its billionth listing for sale, almost 17 years after the business was created.

Trade Me CEO Jon Macdonald says the milestone listing is anticipated to arrive in early December.

“We’ve seen our fair share of quirky, crazy and wonderful listings that have brought us this far, and we marvel every day at the eclectic range of things our members punt up for sale,” he says.

“The team here are pretty excited to reach a billion listings and we have a couple of things planned to help mark the occasion.”

Macdonald says Trade Me members can bid for the opportunity to be the seller of the billionth listing, with the funds raised being donated to charity.

“We’re also running a competition to guess when people reckon the billionth listing will land,” he adds. “We’re currently around listing 987 million, so we’re anticipating the odometer will tick over in the next couple of weeks.”

Trade Me was founded in 1999 by Sam Morgan, who currently serves on Trade Me’s board of directors.

In looking back at almost two decades of Trade Me auctions, Macdonald has unveiled the most-viewed listings:

  1. Tana Umaga handbag and cellphone (2006, 1m+ views)
  2. HP Possessed Printer (2013, 800k views)
  3. Scary Washing Machine (2009, 800k views)

Most-asked questions (popular listings):

  1. Buy a tractor and get a 20 acre farm for free (2009, 2224 questions)
  2. Scary washing machine (2009, 2101 questions)
  3. Two captured ghosts (2010, 1707 questions)

In addition, a key number of Trade Me firsts have also been revealed:

  • First official live listing: Sam Morgan’s 21” AKAI-brand TV. Bidding started at $200
  • First on Trade Me Motors: Subaru Impreza Sedan 1992 (2003)
  • First residential property on Trade Me Property: A house worth $250k in Mission Bay (2005)
  • First job on Trade Me Jobs: Earthmoving mechanic in East Tamaki (2006)o Millionth milestones
  • Millionth bid placed according to our records: 5 Feb 2005 on a replica Air Force jump smock
  • Millionth member: Sue from Napier (who hasn’t logged in since joining) on 19 April 2005
  • Millionth question placed according to our records: 25 April 2005 on a bed frame and trundler

Read more: Trade Me tracking well

On the website, the top overall names were John, David, and James, and Sarah, Lisa, and Michelle, with the top three surnames being Smith, Williams, Brown.

The most common birth year is 1980 with Trade Me describing the average Trade Me user as a 35-year-old named John or Sarah Smith from Auckland that talks more about others than themselves (“You” used twice as much as “me” or “my” on the message boards).

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