Doing your Christmas Shopping on Trade Me

What? Too soon?

Bah humbug — many savvy shoppers were snapping up Christmas stocking goodies a couple of months ago. But for those of us who aren’t quite so prepared, here are some helpful hints on shopping for the festive season on Trade Me.

Something Old, Something New

Around half of the products for sale on Trade Me are new (and the proportion of new stuff grows at Christmas-time). So don’t worry that you’re only choosing from used goods. Of course, pre-loved pressies can be great, too — for example, a Star Wars card autographed by the voice of Darth Vader, the legendary James Earl Jones, just might be the thing for the geek in your lfe.

Or perhaps your nearest and dearest is a royalist? Check out such goodies as this Chuck and Di cup:


Sometimes we know exactly what sort of gift we want to buy. Gives us a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. So buying that gift is more a matter of knowing exactly where to find it and how much to pay.

1. Search
Start your quest by searching for the item (let’s be incredibly creative and describe it as a ‘widget’) on Trade Me. Make a note of who’s selling widgets and at what price they’ve listed each widget.

2. Browse
Browse in the widget category for misspellings, products without pictures and other items that won’t show up in searches (for more details, read our earlier article on how to find bargains on Trade Me).

3. Verify

Check out the feedback of the widget sellers. Look for any recent negatives. Cross out any sellers with poor reputations, highlight those with better than sterling customer service. Add the good ones to your “favourite sellers” list to be emailed details of their new listings.

4. History Check

Go to the Trade Me Search Box and click on “More Options”. Use the advanced search facility (with “Expired Items” selected) to see at what prices those widgets previously sold (or didn’t sell). That will give you an idea of the actual value of the widget in the Trade Me marketplace. (NB If your widget is rare or obscure, there may be no recent auction listings).

5. Real World

Don’t forget the non-virtual world. Check out widget pricing in actual stores or in printed catalogues. And see what the Recommended Retail Pricing is, perhaps by phoning up widget stockists.

Get ready to buy
Having down all your homework, you’ll now know what sort of price to pay for your widget. Identify target auctions, hurry up and wait.

Hold your breath – and your bid
As you move into Bidding Mode, may we respectfully point you in the direction of Chapter Six of Trade Me Success Secrets. It reveals the most important secret of buying successfully on Trade Me, and deals with the topic in far more detail than we can address effectively here.


What types of gifts would your family/friends/significant others like to receive this holiday season? This is what American consumers told researchers last season:

  • 72% of 18-24 year olds wanted Clothing or Accessories, as did 58% of 25-34s
  • 40% of men (just 26% of women) wanted consumer electronics or compter-related accessories
  • 55% of 25-34s wanted books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games
  • 26% of men wanted sporting goods or leisure items
  • 26% of women wanted home decor or home-related furnishings
  • 56% of 35-44s wanted gift cards or gift certificates, as did 53% of 45-54s and 49% of those 65 plus
  • And 26% of women but just 7% of men wanted personal care or beauty items

This data from BIGresearch’s Consumer Intention & Actions study

Want more specific advice? Google “most wanted gifts 2010″″ and you’ll find a variety of lists of the Most Wanted, for men, women, kids, teens, you name it.

And finally, if you’re buying for kids, check out top toy lists such as this one:

The Toyworld Annual Top 20 Hot Toys for Christmas 2010 (listed below in alphabetical order):

1/ BABY born;
– A life like doll that can drink, wet her nappy, eat and use her potty, cry and squeak and be bathed Suitable for ages 3+

2/ BAKUGAN – This is a collectable battle game with characters that pop open when they’re rolled onto a game card! Suitable for ages 5+

3/BARBIE The timeless and ever popular Barbie range features the latest for 2010 including Fashion Fairy Tale Barbie who flashes when you press her dancing queen belt. Suitable for ages 3+

4/ BEYBLADES – Let it Rip with Beyblade Metal Fusion – the ultimate battling top. Collect, customize and compete like never before with a new, metal gear system! Challenge friends around the global with Beyblade virtual battles on line – Suitable for ages 8+

5/ BIKES – Always a favourite under the Xmas tree. New colours and styles to choose from. Suitable for ages 4+

6/ HOT WHEELS RANGE-Collectable diecast to massive playsets which encourage hours of fun. Suitable for ages 4+

7/ LEAPFROG RANGE – Educational early learning products that enhance oral, sound, colour and motor skills for toddlers. Suitable for ages 6 – 36 months

8/ LEGO AND LEGO GAMES RANGE – Creative building can be enjoyed by all age groups from preschool being Duplo to City or Technic for the older enthusiast. Lego’s New Games offer a new and exciting way of game play. Suitable for ages 3+

– How BIG is your Littlest Pet Shop collection? This brand provides the ultimate choice for girls who love to collect. Girls simply can’t get enough of these quirky, edgy and cute pet pals and the playsets and accessories that make the experience complete. Newly released Blythe doll, fashionista and pet sitter, adds a whole new dimension of play Suitable for 4 Years – & Up

10/ MY LITTLE PONY RANGE – Sugar and spice and friends for life My Little Pony core cast live in the fun-filled world of friendship choose from Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Toola-Roola, Cheerilie, Scootaloo, Starsong, or Sweetie Belle – or collect them all! These ponies make the perfect friend for any little girl Suitable for ages 4 years and up

– Win every battle with Nerf! When you’re in the heat of battle, you need a high-performance blaster that will have your back – whether it’s a Supersoaker water blaster to drench your friends, or a dart blaster N-Strike arsenal, Nerf has the blaster for you! Beware of imitations – its Nerf or Nothin’ this Christmas Suitable 6 Years – & Up

12/ PAPER JAMZ GUITAR – Pick up Paper Jamz Guitar and instantly become a Rock Star. Active Graphics Technology allows you to jam out by simply touching the surface. Built in speaker. Also has connection for earphone or amplifier. Age range: 8+

13/ PLAYWORLD – OUTDOOR PLAY EQUIPMENT – three, four and six swing and slide sets and trampolines provide a complete outdoor fun centre for your garden. Suitable for ages 2+

14/ POCKET MONEY COLLECTABLES – Mighty Beans, Zoobles, Party Animals, Gogo Crazy Bones. Cheap ranges that kids love to collect. Suitable for ages 4+

15/ REMOTE CONTROL (RC) RANGE – Includes cars, helicopters, boats and new and exciting innovative product such as Vectron Wave which flight mode is control by the palm of your hand. Suitable for ages 5+

16/ SCOOTERS – still a popular favourite, kids can ride to school and have hours of fun with their very own scooter. Suitable for ages 5+

17/ SYLVANIAN FAMILIES RANGE – collectable range of miniature dolls. The design of the range sets it apart from most of the other alternatives that are available and the unique little animal families, each with their own story, give children hours of pleasure (and many grown-ups too!). 4 years and older Ages

– The Thomas Wooden Railway’ is designed to grow with your child’s increasing ability and creativity, so the fun and adventure always stay fresh. Suitable for 18 MONTHS +

19/ TONKA CHUCK MY RUMBLIN TRUCK – Your boy’s best buddy. Rumblin’ Chuck knows when he’s picked up, pushed around, or loaded up and says fun phrases for each. With over 50 phrases and sound effects, plus a bonus stock book (all that and he does wheelies too! Suitable for ages 3+

Collectable characters which have their own unique personalities. With their whimsical sounds watch them scoot, scamper, bump and boogie across the floor or through their hamster habitat. Suitable for ages 4+ For more information visit

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