Trade Me's users fear fee increase after sale

TAMLYN STEWART
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012

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Trade Me users are most worried new owners will want to increase prices to use the website.

One press.co.nz reader said as long as there were no changes to the way Trade Me was run, and no more increases in fees, they were "happy" with the sale.

Another reader said they expected the cost of selling items on Trade Me would increase, while one said the website's fees to sell items were already "way too expensive" and they used it to sell only large items.

Others said it seemed "crazy" for Fairfax to sell "a money-making future-facing business to prop up an old failing model".

Comments on Trade Me's online community message board showed mixed views on the sale.

Several users were concerned fees could rise, one commenting "Bet it'll be another excuse to hike up the prices. Wonder how ownership will work?"

Another said "More fee increases and increasing retail players having a presence here. Joy."

Another user said: "And it may go to a rapacious Australian finance company who will rip the guts out of it. You shareholders had better be staunch!" and later added: "I guess by ‘guts' I meant those small traders who helped build Trade Me but are now being squeezed out by the large retailers. If you can't successfully compete with the latter, you won't survivie.(sic)"

"They've squeezed the last bit of juice out, and are liquidating the remains. Take note shareholders."

One user remained upbeat about Trade Me's prospects: "Hopefully they will float more shares - I want to buy more."

Another Trade Me user told The Press he did not think there would be major changes to the way the online selling site operated as a result of the sale.

"I don't think they would tamper with it, because it works."

And while he was not worried that buyers could be asked to start coughing up fees, sellers might worry about possible tariff increases, he said.

* Fairfax owns Stuff.co.nz

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