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Current as of 18/09/14 05:20PM NZST

Trade Me forecasts top year ahead

Leading online shopping site Trade Me expects to host over 35 million auctions this year, despite competition in the sector heating up.

Founder and general manager Sam Morgan said he expected to see over one million listings a week on the site by the end of the year -- up 50 per cent on current levels.

Trade Me is predominantly an auction site for second-hand goods, but Mr Morgan expects the site's biggest growth areas this year to be in listings of brand new items and real estate.

New goods now make up 40 per cent of goods sold on the site, up from 25 per cent a year ago.

"In 2005 much of our growth came from new goods sold by small parallel importers consistently undercutting big brand retailers -- particularly in electronic goods, clothing and watches," Mr Morgan said.

Trade Me Property, which was launched last July, posted more than 12,000 listings in 2005 and the company is tipping this will double to 25,000 this year.

Late last year there was speculation that New Zealand magazine publisher ACP Media was sniffing around Trade Me.

Mr Morgan said at the time he would not be able to comment if talks were going on and played down the prospect of any sale.

The competitive landscape for online shopping sites became much more crowded at the tail end of last year, with Telecom launching www.ferrit.co.nz, newspaper publisher APN's website www.bidnsave.co.nz also going live, Fairfax newspapers the Waikato Times and The Press (Christchurch) launched www.Bid4stuff.co.nz and www.Press2Bid.co.nz , while ACP launched www.sellmefree.co.nz.

In November last year Trade Me overtook Xtramsn to become the country's most popular website -- clocking up 2.03 million domestic visitors during the month.

- NZPA

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