The Christmas Cruise

You may have noticed that Trade Me first hit the magical million listings mark — 1,000,000 auctions concurrently listed — back in October this year. Because Trade Me’s auction base is largely rebirthed every week (old auctions expiring every second, new listings being created at the same frantic pace), that glorious total fluctuated a little bit at first, occasionally dropped back to six figures, before stabilising above a million throughout November and the first two weeks of December.

For the last week, however, that total has been dropping, as listings expire or products are snapped up by increasingly frantic last-minute Christmas shoppers. We are now effectively at the point where it’s too late to close an auction and get the product shipped in time for Christmas.  Yes, items can still be picked up — or gift vouchers created, redeemable after Christmas – but our hard-working posties and couriers are nearly at breaking point.

Even so, as we write these words there are still some 859,000 items on sale on Trade Me. Not every item on offer is a gift, of course — but it made us wonder. How low will Trade Me numbers go this Christmas?

Those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it, so we decided not to make that same mistake twice. We took a look back to see what’s been happening on Trade Me over the last five years worth of Christmases. Here’s what we found:

  • In October 2003, typical listing numbers: 116,000. Late December: 80,000
  • October 2004: 272,000. December 2004: 183,000
  • October 2005: 498,000. December 2005: 379,000
  • October 2006: 737,000. December 2006: 512,000
  • October 2007: 1,000,000. 12 noon 25 December 2007: Your best guess?

Post your answer here as a comment in response to this blog entry. We’ll give a copy of Trade Me Success Secrets (Second Edition) to the answer that’s closest to the actual number!

Oh yes — entries close 10pm Monday 24 December. No entries timestamped thereafter will be counted!

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