"Where Kiwis buy and sell online"

Trademe.co.nz is the brainchild of one Sam Morgan who set up a site for online classified ads 5 years ago. Morgan, then 23, wasn't happy with the initial uptake and quickly started to add online auctions to the available selling options. Since starting the site, Trademe has grown between 200 and 400 percent every year, with last year registering an incredible 900 percent growth, making it the second fastest growing company in New Zealand.

Trademe has a good going monopoly in New Zealand, as ebay's NZ page is pretty darn tiny and incorporated into ebay USA, something that a good, fiercely independent Kiwi is not able to tolerate. Furthermore they profit from New Zealand's relative few population centres, as people find it easier to pick up things in the area where they live.

The size of the market is of course Trademe's potential downfall, as their number of clients can only grow to a certain extend before the market is saturated. At the moment Morgan and his mates compensate for that by adding features on a regular base (recently by adding car and real estate sales and a flat share site). If they reach critical mass, Ebay will probably just step in and buy them.

At this moment in time (February 2004) Trademe has 460.000 registered clients (that's almost an eighth of New Zeland's population) and ca. 60.000 visitors to the site every day.

That's quite a bit for a wee country in which uncapped broadband connections are still unheard of and most people slug away with 32k connections on their modems.

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3545266&thesection=business&thesubsection=technology and http://www.trademe.co.nz

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