Cuts to Trade Me fees 'desperate'

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 04/08/2014

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Price cuts for estate agents listing properties on Trade Me have been labelled a "desperate" move by rival agent-owned website realestate.co.nz.

Realestate.co.nz said it now had 20 per cent more property listings than Trade Me and visits to its site grew 56 per cent over the past year.

On Thursday, Trade Me partially backtracked on controversial fee changes it tried to impose on real estate agents last year. The online auction and listings giant had been switching agents to a new model where they paid a $159 fee for each property they listed on Trade Me, but last week announced new options allowing them to pay between $999 and $1399 a month for an unlimited number of listings.

Many agents are understood to have switched more property listings to realestate.co.nz since last year.

A Commerce Commission spokeswoman said yesterday that the competition watchdog was continuing to investigate whether some agents might have breached the Commerce Act by going so far as to boycott Trade Me.

Trade Me Property head Nigel Jeffries said its property site was still attracting treble the audience of "its nearest competitor", which is realestate.co.nz.

Realestate.co.nz chief executive Brendon Skipper said it would maintain its "all you can eat" monthly fees between $225 and $300.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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