Threat to web seller

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 07:13 21/02/2013

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The passion appears to be going out of Kiwis' love affair with Trade Me auctions as shoppers tire of the foreplay and seek instant gratification from any corner of the internet that can offer them a quick and easy trade.

Chief executive Jon Macdonald promised Trade Me would try to move with the times by sprinkling its site with more new goods from mainstream retailers.

"I do think there is a shift towards buying at a fixed price online through an 'e-commerce experience' and away from online auctions," he said.

"The challenge for us is to make sure we remain relevant and people get the kind of experience they increasingly expect in terms of immediacy and access to a great range," Macdonald said.

Trade Me yesterday hurdled the last remaining financial forecasts set out in its 2011 prospectus, reporting a 3 per cent increase in its interim net profit to $37.4 million on the back of an 18 per cent jump in revenues to $80.4m.

But Macdonald reported a 3.8 per cent drop in the number of general items traded through the site, versus a forecast 3.5 per cent rise.

Activity in the "general items" marketplace had been "a bit disappointing", he said.

Kiwis were turning to Trade Me less frequently to buy and sell books, CDs and games, in part because of the shift away from physical media to digital downloads.

But overseas websites were also courting Kiwi consumers with greater ardour.

Trade Me shares closed down 2.3 per cent at $4.31. Fairfax NZ

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- Taranaki Daily News

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