Trade Me trading ahead as eBay trails

ANZ eBay chief says fees are being trimmed to boost listings

Trade Me says it has had no fall in sales, despite the recession hitting eBay, its overseas counterpart.

Online auctioneer eBay's auction sales have fallen 20 percent globally, year on year, in the first quarter.

The managing director of eBay Australia and New Zealand, Deborah Sharkey, said the Australian business was experiencing a similar trend, and it was trimming some of its fees to bolster listings. The website eBay.com.au had about five million visitors each month, but while traffic was growing, sales had not increased.

Fairfax-owned Trade Me said it could not release figures ahead of the market, because of disclosure rules. But traffic was up, and year-on-year data showed the sale of general items was "holding up well", chief executive Jon Macdonald said. Trade Me was more diversified than eBay, because of the strength of its motor, property and jobs offshoots.

Trade Me did not charge people to list general items, only success fees, he said. Nearly half of its listings were now new items.

EBay's decision to cut most of its fixed-price listing fees is coupled with a move to increase "final value" or success fees for certain subscribers selling "buy now" items. While general sales have fallen, its global fixed traffic had grown 12 percent, bolstering its confidence in "e-commerce".

Macdonald said eBay's contention that its traffic was growing might change when its second-quarter figures came out next week.

Recent data from Nielsen shows eBay's traffic declined in May.

— Computerworld is published by Fairfax

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