Inside Trade Me, we have a value that states that customers are at the heart of what we do: it’s called customer aroha. It’s explicitly tied to our vision which is to make life better for Kiwis through online experiences they love.
Customer aroha means that our customers - the 800,000 Kiwis who visit Trade Me each day - are at the front of our minds. It means they’re a part of our community and we’re a part of theirs. It means we understand how they tick. And it means we deliver them things that are valuable, empowering and easy to use.
We know it is critical for us to know our customers and local market intimately, and be a better fit than any global player can.
Our CEO, Jon Macdonald, says this comes from a mixture of art and science: “The science is to use our rich data to uniquely tailor our offering to our consumers, and to provide those customers with personalised, friction-free experiences [...] The art is us building relationships through strong account management and relationships with our trade customers (retailers, real estate agents, recruiters, car dealers and other advertisers) and through good customer support for our buyers using both people and technology.”
We will never have bigger teams than our global competitors. We are focused on building the core functionality that Kiwis need, and making our customer experiences simple, engaging, trusted and enjoyable.
Throughout this report, you will see the faces of some of our customer heroes and if you visit our offices you will see them up on our walls and hear them being talked about relentlessly too. Because without our customers we are nothing.
"The thing I love about Trade Me, is that it’s a safe platform for sellers to list, and for buyers to get good cars. Trade Me is genuinely fair, and everyone has a great experience."
Hayden works in the used car industry alongside his Dad at their family business, Genuine Vehicle Imports. His partnership with Trade Me has allowed him to become the biggest seller of electric vehicles in New Zealand and he has listed over 3,000 cars to date.
"Trade Me may be ‘just’ a sales platform, but the reality is that you’re so much more than that. Trade Me staff are fabulous - always friendly and helpful, and the message boards are a great place to pass the time with fellow traders, many of whom are faceless despite having been ‘friends’ for many years. Trade Me is a unique site for a unique country!"
For Anne, Trade Me is so much more than being a Top Seller. She’s built up friendships over the years with like-minded traders, and her catalogue of weird and wonderful goods have delighted over 17,000 members. From ‘blue llama earrings’ to a ‘wolf head door knocker’, you’d be hard pressed to find anything boring in her selection.
"My focus and interest was always in fruit-bearing trees, which is why I sell these the most – it’s never going to work when you handle something you don’t like! I meet a lot of people with common interests and that’s started a lot of friendships."
Neville has been selling rare fruiting and seeding plants on Trade Me since we launched in 1999. Neville is known for his sensational customer service and extensive knowledge, and his infectious passion has started countless friendships.
"I actually don’t know that many people who get up every morning super excited about their work, but I do."
Michelle lives and breathes Lego. She’s always buying and selling it on Trade Me, and has a Store that specialises in Lego minifigures. Michelle is super passionate about supporting charities and donates a lot of her profits to various local charities.
"When we first bought the place money was really tight. We couldn’t afford to buy anything brand new so we jumped on Trade Me and fitted out the whole place with second hand stuff. Even our staff came from Trade Me Jobs."
Paul is co-owner of the Karaka Cafe and Wharewaka function centre. When he and business partner Keri started out, everything came from Trade Me – from the tables and chairs to the oven in the kitchen. Karaka Cafe and Wharewaka is an award winning venue and they only use Trade Me Jobs to find their staff.
"I found this old Japanese library bus on Trade Me at 2am one morning. I rang Kei immediately and told her I had a crazy idea of building a kitchen inside the bus. That’s where it all started."
Craig’s crazy late night idea was the beginning of a gourmet success story. Craig and Kei found their food truck, a place to park it and all their secondhand kitchenware on Trade Me. They spent a year renovating the bus until finally, Beat Kitchen was born.
"I had an operation which took six weeks to recover from and I was so bored – I didn’t really know what to do with myself. Then I found Trade Me and my obsession began. Next thing I knew I was super busy."
Linda has become a self-confessed Trade Me addict. She started off finding items around the house to sell and it quickly turned into a hobby. Selling on Trade Me gave her purpose and passion at a tough time in her life – and you should see her smile when she talks about it!
"I’ve always liked old things, but it was an auction for a megalodon tooth that started it snowballing. Trade Me is a great place to fuel and further a passion which is absolutely the case for me. I can’t just go down to the shops and buy fossils!"
Anthony caught the Trade Me bug about two years ago. Since then he finds it the perfect place for niche treasures – he's got a table covered in fossils and his walls are riddled with 'mantiques'.
"When I was 10 my Grandad passed away and my family and I inherited his model trains. I remember my parents put them all on Trade Me for $1 reserve. Turns out that model trains are worth a lot of money - we made hundreds of dollars and after that I was hooked."
Trade Me has been part of Sam’s life since she was young. From selling clothes and buying her first scooter to finding jobs and looking for property, Trade Me has been her go-to for almost everything over the years.