Rants, Raves, Reviews

What a funny way to do business

By Gary R, in , posted: 13-Feb-2007 11:00

I would have thought TradeMe was smarter but this appears to be a gaping hole in the way they charge and collect fees.

I listed a product last week that had a buy now of $400.00. With only $3.00 in my account the upfront listing charges pretty much cleared that out. The buy now was accepted quickly which threw my account into $18.00 in the red.

'My TradeMe' now has a little box reminder which (not very politely) warns me '! Your TradeMe Account is in debt. Please credit your account.'

Now this only appears to be a problem if I want to sell something else. It has no impact on my ability to purchase items. Therefore unless I want to sell something there is no incentive for me to actually pay them the money.

Which leads me to what a funny way to do business.
- When I listed the item to sell TradeMe knew that my reserve was $250 and my buy now was $400. They could have easily told me upfront that if I wanted to continue with the listing I would need to credit my account.
- When the product was sold they could have held up the transaction until I credited my account. Now that is an incentive
- They could stop me from buying any further product until I get it sorted

If I was a dishonest type I could get away with never paying the money by:
- Opening a new account
- Using my wifes account
- Never selling another item

Sure TradeMe is a profitable business but you have to wonder how much the debtors ledger is growing.


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Comment by muppet, on 13-Feb-2007 15:14

My bank allows me to overdraw on my account too. I might take out an extra $200, then just use my GF's account!


Author's note by Jama, on 13-Feb-2007 15:20

Very true but your bank will charge you for an 'unarranged overdraft facility'. TradeMe are not charging me penalties for having my account in 'overdraft'

Comment by muppet, on 13-Feb-2007 15:43

So? I've run off and I'm not using that account anymore, remember?

TM don't loose out at all in the situation you've described. You can't sell anything anymore, so you can no longer make money.

You can still buy stuff and as soon as you do TM earn the listing/sale fee from the person you bought it from. You buy 10 things, TM have made that $18 dollars back and most probably a lot more. Not from you, but from all the other sellers.

I'm sure you could run off and your account would be $18 in debt. But what have TM really lost? Nothing. You've lost your ability to sell, plus you will probably get put into the debt collection agency if you don't credit the account within a reasonable time. Meanwhile TM's still making money from you (and everyone else) buying stuff.

Gaping hole? I don't think so.

Comment by barnaclebarnes, on 13-Feb-2007 17:50

They would rather get you to list the item and keep using the service. A person coming back and using the service for 2 years is worth far more than the occasional person listing something and never coming back.

Comment by asianbro, on 14-Feb-2007 10:21

It's funny, but TM has been proven to be a very profitable company. Although it is now owned by Australia (FairFax=Australia). It's amazing to see how [not so] many companies are actually NZ owned.

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