Monthly Archives: January 2008

What's Hot On Trade Me 23 January 2008

A pleasant change in the Top Ten Hottest Products On Trade Me this week – only one bike/car makes the list. As for the the other nine slots? See for yourself (we’ve included the headline with each listing so you can see how they tried to attract bidders):

10. New TaylorMade R7 CGBMax 3-SW Graph FreeShiping $1
For this Brand New TaylorMade R7 CGB MAX Irons set (9 clubs), $530 is the top bid, the auction has attracted 128 bids and 878 pageviews.

9. Toshiba 61″ huge Rear Projection TV 
A self-explanatory listing, this auction closed at $945 after attracting 128 bids and 1641 pageviews.

8. Chen Hanwei Miyamoto Mushashi Daito $1
RRP $1299 – one only [this listing included a subheading]
If you have to ask what this is, then you’re just not a potential buyer. According to the listing details, Miyamoto Musashi, arguably the most famous swordmaster in Japanese history, was well above average height and Hanwei’s classic rendition of his Daito (long sword) reflects the impressive length of the original and features the legendary double-ring iron tsuba.

Current pricing (from a $1 start): $205  129 bids and 783 pageviews.

7. New Black Leather Lounge Suite
No Gallery image on this listing, so you have to click through for more details. The text of the listing, in its entirety: “This suite consists of a three seater & Two seater plus one chair.Very comfortable suite..Be quick to have for christmas”

Actually, there’s no rush now — you have eleven months. Current bidding stands at $900 (but the reserve still hasn’t been met). 131 bids so far and 1319 pageviews.


6. Food Trailer
This trailer has been used as part of a baked potato business, for carting and storing appliances, potatoes etc [Note: This listing is for the trailer only -- see the photo above] Bidding stands at $3,551,  with 131 bids and 2133 pageviews. 

5. A BEST BUY++ Conn M20 Alto Sax – USA made 1990
This saxophone “was my mothers and she loved this sax. Has not been used at all in last 5 years and only occassionally before that so is in excellent condition.”
$425 to date, from 136 bids and 184 pageviews.

4. Kestrel 20
This Trailer sailer is [so the listing description tells us] ideal for the beginner and is ready to go. The trailer has a road worthy and the out board was just serviced recently. The out board is a johnson 6HP. This yacht has a VHF radio fitted and comes with lots of extras. ie life jackets extra sails ect

Lots of questions and answers on this auction, currently up to $1,500 with 138 bids and 2041 pageviews.

3. Bmw BMW R1200RT 2005 
Bidding for this damaged motorbike currently stands at $4,110, with 165 bids and 4746 pageviews.

Bidding for this Monster Watch stands at $280 after 165 bids and 457 pageviews.

And, in the top slot:

1. Luxury 3 Person Infrared Sauna $1 Reserve
New Year Big 3 Person Sauna $1 Reserve [this listing also included a subheading, but then wasted the investment by saying almost exactly the same thing]

“Enjoy all the benefits of an Far infrared sauna in the privacy of your own home and get on track to a revitalized, healthy lifestyle.”

This sauna started life at $1 Reserve and is currently sitting at $360. What’s really unusual is that the item has attracted 202 bids despite only achieving 72 pageviews. How is that possible? Essentially we’re seeing a bidding war between one bidder’s reasonably high Autobid and a determined bidder who has been nibbling away in small increments, losing every time and then making a new bid (until finally getting to the top of the heap).

As readers of TRADE ME SUCCESS SECRETS will note, this is the worst possible bidding strategy (for the buyer) but fabulous news for the seller!

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HD DVD: Game Over

Gizmodo is reporting that the format war (between high-definition TV recording/playback formats HD DVD and Blu-Ray) is over — and Blu-Ray is the winner. If you’re selling HD DVD consoles or discs on Trade Me, you’d better read the coverage in full.  If you’re just an interested bystander, however, some highlights:

“During the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft said HD DVD would be over when Toshiba said it was. Universal said the exact same thing: ‘If Toshiba says it’s over, it is over.’ Our impression? Toshiba knows it’s over. The crazy part is this: Just a few weeks ago, it might’ve gone the other way entirely.

“Before Warner defected, things could have turned out quite different. A few days before the Warner/Blu-ray deal went down, a Fox executive told Microsoft they were going exclusive to HD DVD, not Blu-ray. And if Fox went, the deal was that Warner would go. At the last minute, Fox decided to stick with Blu, effectively taking Warner with it. Toshiba’s total surprise at the Warner shift corroborates that it was an 11th-hour move. Graffeo also confirmed that a bunch of HD DVD execs were on the plane to Vegas when the news dropped, so they had no idea.

“So what happened? Don Lindich at the PIttsburgh Post-Gazette says Fox was handed $120 million by Sony to stay put, and Warner received around $500 million for painting itself Blu. BusinessWeek put the Warner number ‘closer to $400 million,’ which trumped the $100 million Toshiba was prepared to offer it.

“Insiders tell us that the purported amounts—in the hundreds of millions, varying by camp and studio—are pittances in what is a multi-billion-dollar game. It makes little sense to those in the know (on both sides) that the studios would be swayed to either side of the river by a drop in the bucket, or even a bucketful of money. More likely the payouts constituted good will or in some cases, just free money, as the commitment itself wasn’t as hard as the coin.

Where we officially are: The ball is in Toshiba’s court, and Universal, Paramount and DreamWorks Animation are sticking with Toshiba until it calls it quits, which it may do if the market for its players turns sour—according to Toshiba, the most recent price cuts may well lead to a sales bump before any kind of bitter end.

Where we actually are: Blu-ray execs are 100 percent confident they have won—publicly and privately in our conversations with them. It could have gone either way just a few weeks ago, but now it really is over for HD DVD.”

Now retailers and Trade Me sellers can focus on a single format — just in time for the launch of High Definition Television broadcasting in New Zealand, planned for later this year.

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Nintendo The Wizard Of Oz In 2007

The Melbourne Age is today reporting that:

Huge mainstream demand for video games over Christmas and a bumper year for Nintendo caused total games industry sales in 2007 to swell by almost 50 per cent over the previous year.

Holiday sales were dominated by the Nintendo DS handheld and the Nintendo Wii sold more units than the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (PS3), but retailers say 2007 was unique in that all of the games systems on the market performed extremely well.

Market watcher GfK today announced total Australian games industry sales hit A$1.3 billion in 2007, an increase of 43.6 per cent over 2006.

Ron Curry, CEO of the industry body, Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, said the growth was a record achievement compared with the 7 per cent increase between 2005 and 2006.

He said the growth was partly driven by the fact that 2007 was the first full year of sales for the new console platforms, the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360. He also noted a major upswing in handheld sales, dominated by the Nintendo DS.

“I think it’s reflective of the fact that video gaming is moving out of the lounge room and it’s much more mainstream – the appeal is much wider than kids and young adults now,” Curry said in an interview.

“The success of titles like Singstar, Buzz and Guitar Hero have certainly made gaming much more social … it’s exposed more generations to gaming.”

Curry said the average age of gamers in Australia was now 28.

GfK has released detailed holiday sales results for each individual console to the manufacturers, but refused to release them publicly, saying it was up to each manufacturer to decide how much data to release.

Microsoft and Nintendo have so far refused to release their sales figures for the final weeks of the year, but Sony said the PS3, PS2 and PSP figures were 48,000, 81,000 and 45,000 units, respectively.

However, GfK rankings obtained by this site show the Nintendo DS handheld dominated over the holiday period, followed by the Wii and the Playstation 2, which were neck-and-neck. The final three places were filled by the PS3, Xbox 360 and the Playstation Portable (PSP), but it is understood the trio were within a few thousands units of each other.

Commenting on sales in EBGames outlets around the country, CEO Steve Wilson said all systems performed extremely well but the Nintendo DS dominated by a large margin. He was also impressed with the Playstation 2, which attracted significant mainstream demand thanks to its low price and array of social games.

Of the three new console platforms, the Wii was also a standout but was held back by stock shortages, Wilson said.

“It’s pretty unique when you can actually say there isn’t a system that did badly – I mean, the PSP was bringing up the rear and you would even say the PSP had a good Christmas,” said Wilson.

Australians bought 15.4 million games in 2007 but more than a third of those sales were made in the lead up to the holidays during the final quarter of the year, GfK said.

The best-selling game across all consoles was Halo 3 for the Xbox 360, which sold over 120,000 copies.

Top selling game consoles in Australia 2007:
1. Nintendo DS
2. Nintendo Wii
3. PS2
4. PS3
5. Xbox 360
6. PSP
Source: GfK Australia

Useful news for Trade Me sellers wondering which consoles to support.

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Crunching The Numbers On Trade Me Jobs

According to Trade Me number-crunching (of 30,000 jobs listed on Trade Me Jobs over the last quarter of 2007), doctors were the highest paid profession advertised on the site and kitchen-hands the worst. 

Wellington showed up as the best paid location for jobs listed on the site, Southland the worst. And Wanganui turns out to be the toughest place to recruit people online.

According to Trade Me Jobs manager, Jimmy McGee:

“While doctors were the highest paid profession with an average salary of $123,850, IT jobs took the next three positions with technology architects, IT sales people and IT project managers all being paid on average over $100,000. Project managers in construction rounded out the top five paid professions”.

Aprt from kitchen-hands, data entry staff, waiters, cleaners and caregivers made up the five worst paid professions.

“Wanganui ended up the toughest place to recruit staff, followed by four other provincial areas; Thames, Marlborough, Tasman and Masterton.”

Over 600,000 Kiwis searched for jobs online each month during 2007, a 15% increase on the same period in 2006.

The rest of the numbers make for interesting reading:

Best paid professions
1. Doctors ($123,850)
2. IT architects ($117,768)
3. IT sales ($108,742)
4. IT project managers ($100,251)
5. Construction project managers ($94,634)

Worst paid professions
1. Kitchen staff ($29,625)
2. Data entry ($30,727)
3. Waiting staff ($30,826)
4. Cleaners ($31,964)
5. Caregivers ($31,967)

Best paid locations
1. Wellington ($65,689)
2. Auckland City ($61,075)
3. Timaru ($60,274)
4. Western BOP ($55,583)
5. New Plymouth ($55,106)

Worst paid locations
1. Southland ($41,224)
2. Palmerston North ($42,636)
3. Napier ($42,786)
4. Nelson ($43,515)
5. Rodney ($44,197)

Hardest place to find staff
1. Wanganui
2. Thames/ Coromandel
3. Marlborough
4. Tasman
5. Masterton

Most competitive markets
1. Central Otago
2. Hamilton
3. Palmerston North
4. Waitakere City
5. Tauranga

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Latest Pricing Changes On Property & Motors

Property Pricing Changes – selling up, renting stays the same.
The fee to list a residential, rural or commercial property on Trade Me has increased from $149 to $199, effective yesterday, 15 January. The fee to list a rental property remains at $49.

Motors pricing changes - if they go, they go up. If they don’t go, they go down.
The fee to list a car, boat or truck is increasing from $29 to $39, effective 22 January. The fee to list a wrecked car will decrease from $29 to $19. There are no changes to vehicle success fees and you may continue to relist your vehicle until sold for no additional cost.

The pricing of promotional options for Car Parts Wanted will also change, and will become the same as the standard fees for general goods. This is a decrease for Subtitle and Bold options, and an increase of 50c for Featured Listings. All success fees, and the fee to list motorbikes remain the same.

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Top Searches From December 2007

What was everyone looking for on Trade Me in the lead-up to Christmas (and in the post-Christmas crush)?

All kinds of everything, but the Top 15 most-searched-for items in Trade Me for December 2007 were:

15 Harley
14 $1 reserve (new)
13 Kayak
12 Trampolines
11 Puppies
10 Louis Vuitton (new) 
9 Wedding
7 Transformers
6 PS3
5 Billabong
4 Unwanted (new)
3 Tents
2 Playboy clothing
1 iPod 

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What's Hot On Trade Me – 16 January 2008

Two-wheeled contrivances are in again.  We’ve come a long way since Pierre Lallement whipped up a velocipede (also known as a boneshaker) in France in 1763.

These days you can choose from utility bicycles, mountain bicycles, racing bicycles, touring bicycles, cruiser bicycles, BMX bicycles, tandems, recumbents, lowriders, tall bikes, fixed gear and folding models. And those are just the human-powered variety. There’s a seemingly endless variety of motorised contrivances as well. And it’s to those that we now turn, as we note (with a hint of surprise) that four of the ten most popular items on Trade Me this week are motorised two-wheelers.

  • In the Number One slot (most popular of all items currently for sale on Trade Me), boasting 2182 pageviews, 327 bids and a current selling price of $2610, it’s the Vespa PX 200 2003 scooter. On offer from Landcars, this sporty little number is well-described, very professionally presented (smart photos and useful description) and obviously a popular model. If you want to list your own vehicle for sale, you could do worse than to follow this example.
  • Second most popular bike (and third most popular item on Trade Me overall): the Yamaha YZ450F 2004 dirt bike, proud recipient of 1468 pageviews, 201 bids and a pricetag currently hovering at $4810. Of particular note with this listing: the 17 photos (you can have up to 20 as part of the listing price) which capture most every important aspect of this good-lookin’ machine. Photos do matter.
  • Third bike on the block (and in sixth place overall), the Honda Dio 1996, another scooter, is brmm-brmm-ing along with 1470 ardent viewers, 153 bids and an accumulated dollar value of $725.
  • Fourth motorbike of the top Ten (seventh overall): a BMW R1200RT 2005 cruiser, on offer as part of “the original Star Insurance $1 Damaged Motorcycle & Wreck Auction”. This motorised steed started its second life at $1 and is now purring along at $1510 after attracting 2593 pageviews and 148 bids.

The remaining six of the Top Ten hottest auctions on Trade Me at this moment include three cars, a carport and a carpet — and (just to spoil the symmetry) an Ibanez electric guitar.

So why do vehicles (whether of the two or four wheeled variety) feature so strongly at the top of the Hot Auctions category? Because auctions are ranked based on numbers of bids. Given that Trade Me sets minimum ‘next bid’ prices that range from 50 cents (for values under $20) to $100 (values over $25,000), only high-inherent-value items are likely to attract enough bidders to rank near the top of the list. Motor vehicles are the most obvious prospects, especially on those auctions that start life at $1. 

The Hot Auctions category is a good place to hang out if you want to see what’s selling on Trade Me. Just don’t get caught up in a bidding war, okay?

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Climb Every Mountain

As more than a few of our media darlings have pointed out (here, herehere and here, for a start), the death of “the greatest living New Zealander” has prompted an outpouring of sentiment in the form of selling off the memorabilia of our illustrious mountain-climbing legend on Trade Me.

Without commenting one way or another about the ghoulish, exploitative nature of these sales (oops – couldn’t help ourselves!), allow us to share a word or two of advice.

For sellers of this mountaineering memorabilia: if you’re going to try and make a buck out of this, at least get the spelling right! Our hero’s name is Sir Edmund Hillary, okay?

Does it matter? Yes, it does, because most Trade Me buyers use the Search facility to find stuff. They won’t find it if you don’t spell the name right.

Want proof? Read on.

  • 8 sellers opted for the spelling ‘Edmund Hilary‘. Only 2 of their auctions have attracted bids.
  • Another 8 sellers went for ‘Edmond Hillary’. Again, only 2 auctions with bids.
  • 219 auctions correctly identify ‘Edmund Hillary’, with 74 auctions collecting bids as a result.

For the more laconic sellers amongst us:

  • 11 incorrectly specified ‘Sir Edmond‘, resulting in only 1 bid
  • 79 correctly, if briefly, named ‘Sir Ed’, luring bids to 31 auctions 
  • 190 acknowledged ‘Sir Edmund’, 69 of which drew bidding action.

And the lesson for buyers? If you want to find the best deals, track down the misspellings!

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List #6: 2007's Most Popular Out-Of-Print Books

According to Anirvan Chatterjee, founder of book search engine, “From 98 to 99 percent of all books ever published are now out-of-print, so they don’t show up in traditional bestseller lists. Without big marketing budgets behind them, these books have been getting buzz the old-fashioned way: reader word of mouth.” to the rescue, with its annual list (now in its fifth year) of the top ten most sought after (but out-of-print) bestsellers of 2007:
10. Dear and Glorious Physician (1959) by Taylor Caldwell; novel based on the life of Saint Luke.
9. One Way Up (1964) by John F. Straubel; history of helicopters and vertically rising aircraft.
8. Aran Knitting (1997) by Alice Starmore; history and how-to about the Irish technique.
7. Raven: The Untold Story of the Reverend Jim Jones and his People (1982) by Tim Reiterman; chronicles the inner workings which allowed the Peoples Temple to flourish.
6. The Principles of Knitting (1988) by June Hemmons Hiatt; ultimate indispensable hand knitting resource.
5. The Lion’s Paw (1946) by Robb White; enduring children’s adventure story.
4. Promise Me Tomorrow (1984) by Nora Roberts; early novel that the bestselling romance novelist refuses to reprint.
3. Sex (1992) by Madonna; the pop icon’s book of erotic photos, a perennial favorite.
2. Football Scouting Methods (1962) by Steve Belichick; legendary college football scout’s playbook, used by coaches and players.
1. Once a Runner (1978) by John L. Parker, Jr.; cult classic distance running novel (long-awaited sequel, Again to Carthage, just released in November).

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