Internet auction site Trade Me has hit back at claims its changes to real estate listing fees were unfair.
Earlier this month Trade Me announced changes to the way it charged real estate agencies to list properties prompting Tauranga estate agents to explore other options to market properties online including industry website realestate.co.nz.
Previously Trade Me charged a fee per office but now it is asking for $159 per listing. It suggested vendors be charged $199+GST ($228.85), allowing a 20 per cent commission for agents.
Trade Me's Jon Macdonald said the company was changing the model for fees to better reflect the value delivered by Trade Me Property. "Under the new model, we believe a fee of less than $200 per listing still represents great value for money," he said.
"We're focused on delivering great value to everyone who uses Trade Me and that is the number one consideration when we look at what we're charging for the product we're providing and the results we're getting for advertisers."
Mr Macdonald said it was not just about a price increase, it was a structural change removing minimum fees and a cap, which he said provided a transparent pricing structure for all agents and vendors.
"We expect the fee to be able to be transparently passed on to the vendor where appropriate, as the new model makes it much easier for agents to do this.
"We think online should receive a bigger slice of marketing spend in relation to house sales to better reflect the value it delivers. We think it's nuts that listings online continue to be such a small proportion of the overall cost when people are selling their house, despite independent research and feedback showing that the internet works much better than print here."