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TradeMe Alternatives & Buying Online in Australia

In New Zealand, we all know that if you want to sell or buy something for a bargain price, you head to TradeMe. Does Australia use TradeMe? What’s the Australian Equivalent to TradeMe?

While you can buy and sell on TradeMe while located in Australia, you will be liable for customs tax and duty, extra packaging and courier fees, and a longer shipping time. While you can use it, there are far more efficient and productive Australian sites. TradeMe is mostly a site for New Zealanders in New Zealand.

What are the Australian equivalents to TradeMe?

There are a number of alternatives to TradeMe in Australia. Each have a range of benefits or drawbacks so find one you like.

  • TradingPost is probably the closest equivalent to TradeMe. It has similar categories, a great place to find jousting sticks. It’s biggest category is vehicles and related accessories/ parts.
  • Ebay is another option. You’ll have the largest number of options Ebay, but because vendors have to pay listing fees for the goods even if they don’t sell, and there are extra success fees, it can be expensive. It does have 7.8 million users in Australia though….it has thousands of product categories and is the behemoth of online sales in Australia.
  • Amazon is in 180 countries, and Australia is one of their 13 country-specific sites. It has about 3.8 million visitors to the .com.au site. They have 37 categories of products, and it’s pretty customer-centric.
  • GumTree is pretty popular for selling second hand stuff. You list for free and can buy extras such as ads and top listings, so it’s similar to TradeMe in a number of ways.
  • Etsy is a place where you can buy your home-made, crafted whimsy items. If you need something one-of-a-kind for your home, this is where you’ll find it. If you need something personalised, if you lust after a certain type of vintage item, or you like the unique touch that handmade items add to your home, this is for you.
  • GraysOnline is a little bit different. It’s specifically for industrial and commercial sales. The sales are direct from distributors and manufacturers wanting to dispose of excess stock. It’s great for jewellery, appliances and furniture.
  • Bonanza is an alternative to eBay, with a huge variety of products. You can buy pretty much anything, and sometimes for lower prices as the listing fees are lower.
  • BidMate is built for Aussies, by Aussies. They don’t have listing fees or commission and offer a wide array of products. It’s only in Australia, so it’s going to have quick shipping times.

What about offline options?

Cash Converters and pawn shops: You won’t make much if you sell here. Jewellery is often purchased for as little as 1/10th of its original purchase value. It’s also not amazing for buying, although it’s risk free- you can pick up the item, test it, check it for damage, and know exactly what you’re buying. Often pawn shops will offer limited guarantees too.

Classified Ads: Some people apparently still read the Saturday paper. This might be a great way of picking up a bargain that not as many people see.

Garage sale: If someone is selling a lot of stuff in one go, a garage sale is a great way for them to get rid of everything one foul swoop. Garage sales are often advertised in the local paper, with the ‘big’ items listed. Then, there will often be signage in the area strategically to attract as many people as possible. Garage sales are hit-and-miss, but you will be guaranteed a bargain- after all, you are paying to take away their junk!

Local markets: A great way to sell- or buy- a bunch of random second hand stuff in one go. You’ll want to avoid the gentrified farmers markets and head to where the locals go to get the best deals.

Schools: often want donations of unwanted goods which they then on-sell, so you’re buying things you need and fundraising for the local school at the same time.

Op shops: For housewares and clothing, there is no better place that Vinnies or other op shops. Be prepared to spend a few hours hunting through miles of shelving and racks looking for whatever it is you need and be aware you might not always find it. However, you’ll always find something. There are plenty of bargains to be found and it’s highly accessible, with most shops open seven days a week.

Auctions: There are a variety of auction houses across Australia. If you want to buy a house lot of anything, this is the place. Auctions are exciting places and you can pick up a bargain, especially if bidding for a house lot.

What about Facebook Marketplace?

You can sell in two ways on Facebook; join a local swap page, or find and second hand page to buy from. There is a huge variety of levels of organisation and moderation from page to page. Some have categories, some don’t, some are shambles, some are great.

Facebook doesn’t offer the security that other sites do, so you have to manage your own selling and buying thoroughly. The people you deal with could be problematic and there are stories of money- or goods- never arriving. Never send something without first receiving money, and never buy anything where you feel you can’t trust the seller.

Currently, only about 7% of online sales are conducted through social media. It’s not a huge market but it is growing.

The online options in black and white

While there are many different options, we’ll compare the big four. Amazon, ebay. Gumtree and Tradingpost.

 

Listing fee

Selling fee

How many photos

How many videos

Average visitors a month

Amazon

Free

$0.99 per sale+ commission

10

1

10 million

EBay

Free if under 40 a month

10.9% of the sale price up to $440

12

1+

14.3 million

Gumtree

Free except cars and vehicles

Free

10

0

7 million

TradingPost

Free except cats, dogs, cars and caravans

Free

15

15

1 million

This gives the numbers in black and white, but it really depends on what you’re looking for. A lot of eBay and Amazing sellers are businesses, so you’re going to find a lot of the same things purchase from the same cheap AliBaba shop. Things on here, especially Amazon, are more likely to be brand new rather than second hand. Also because there are listing fees and success fees, prices will be slightly higher.

TradingPost is true blue Aussie owned and operated, with a lot of individuals selling things- so you’ll likely find the slightly rarer and quirky things. TradingPost is definitely the easiest to navigate and simplest in terms of buying and selling.

What are the categories?

The choices of categories are huge, and each site has a slightly different take. However there are some similarities across the sites.

TradingPost

With 28 main categories and literally hundreds of sub categories, there is everything for everyone. Their biggest category is automotive, with 1.5 million cars, trucks, accessories and parts for sale. For any car enthusiast, this site is clearly going to have whatever obscure part you need.

The real estate section is small, with residential sale/ rent, commercial sale/rent, and houses for removal. There is no section for flatmates. There is a jobs section, but it is small.

Their homewares section is solid, with plenty to choose from, both brand-new items and second hand.

Gumtree

With 16 main categories, this splits off into hundreds more. There’s everything from resume services to purebred puppies.

There is a ticket category where you can buy concert, sport, theatre and plane tickets. This is something that’s not offered on the other sites so if you’re looking for a cheap AC/DC or Jimmy Barnes concert, this might be the place.

The real estate section is large, with everything from flatting and houseshare, through to real estate services and packing and storage facilities.

The jobs section is large, with about 25,000 listings across Australia. The ‘freebies’ section is also pretty huge, which is a mix of people just wanting to get rid of second hand stuff, through to stuff that’s not quite free when you read the comments. If you’re not fussy about what’s in you’re home and garden or you like upcycling, this is a fantastic option.

The homewares section is large with a mix of new and used items.

Amazon

20 categories and a few hundred sub categories give you lots of options to choose from. However, most things on Amazon are brand new. There is a lot of things that will be the same as eBay, and a number of mass-imported items. It’s less of an auction site and more of a set-price shop.

It’s great to buy stuff for your home without leaving the house- it’s dependable and comes with various assurances, which you don’t always have with second hand good sites. The homewares section is huge and it’s all brand-new.

Amazon, of course, sells Kindle e-books, so you don’t need to buy books in your new home…

eBay

With 35 main categories and hundreds more precise options, ebay has everything. Tickets, second hand antique rugs, food and alcohol and collectibles like coins and art. They don’t have real estate or jobs but they definitely have the biggest selection of goods of any site. There is extra security too, knowing that you know you’re buying from a legit site and vendors who are often professional.

Have you got irreplaceable belongings you'd like to ship to Oz?

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