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Plants, PS5s And Pokemon Cards: Trade Me’s Trending Items

Kiwis are cashing in on plants, PS5s and Pokemon cards, according to Trade Me’s latest Marketplace Index.

Head of Trade Me Marketplace Ivan Fuyala said it’s always interesting to see what items Kiwis were searching for. “Every day, 650,000 people from across the country browse our site for the things they want or need, and it’s pretty fascinating to see what New Zealanders are adding to their watchlist.”

Mr Fuyala said over the past few years more and more Kiwis have embraced the convenience and choice of ecommerce, particularly in the wake of 2020 Covid lockdowns. “There is no doubt New Zealand was part of a global trend and steadily warming to online shopping, but due to a number of Covid related factors we’ve seen online shopping resurge in popularity.”

“When compared to February 2016 five years ago, we saw a 26 per cent increase in listing views, with a strong increase in sales.”

Mr Fuyala said while some items are consistently in demand, like furniture and bikes, in February thousands of Kiwis explored their hobbies. “The most popular categories onsite last month were home and living, and clothing and fashion. However, gaming, pottery and glass, music and instruments, and antiques and collectibles saw a large year-on-year sales increase in February.

“Thanks to the lockdowns and New Zealanders spending a lot more time at home than they perhaps wanted to last year, we have seen new hobbies flourish and others reemerge.”

Kiwis gotta catch ‘em all

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Gaming is becoming increasingly popular and thousands of Kiwis have been hunting for trading cards onsite.

“Apparently, Kiwis have gotta catch ‘em all! Pokemon was the 35th most popular Trade Me search in February, up by 97 per cent when compared with the same month last year. In the past seven days alone, we have seen 22,000 searches for Pokemon onsite.

Mr Fuyala said Pokemon cards specifically saw a huge increase in popularity. “Searches jumped 180 per cent on the year prior last month and we saw more than 5,000 hits in the past week. Part of this may be down to huge interest from influencers around the world too with massive amounts of money being paid for rare cards.

“In February 2016, the average sale price of Pokemon cards was $18.01. In February this year, the average sale price had climbed to $31.63.

“PlayStation 5s are the hottest video game console onsite at the moment and in the last seven days we have seen 13,000 searches for the devices. PS5s have been very hard to find since their release last year so it’s no surprise they have appeared on our list of top searches.”

Mr Fuyala said Pokemon was not the only trending pastime last month. “In February sales for brand new Lego were up 56 per cent when compared with the same month last year. New Zealanders have been obsessed with the little bricks for years and Lego always features in our top 50 most searched for items onsite.”

Houseplants see immense growth

Mr Fuyala said houseplants have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years as New Zealanders bring more greenery into their home.

“February was yet another big one for our green-fingered members, with searches for ‘houseplant’ up by 39 per cent year-on-year. Even in the last seven days we have seen 7,800 hits for houseplants.

“We also saw the second most expensive houseplant ever sold onsite in February. A rare yellow-variegated monstera sold for $8,100 after receiving 83 bids and 5,966 views.

“This puts it just $50 behind the most expensive houseplant of all time - a variegated minima that sold for $8,150 in August last year.”

Mr Fuyala said plants had taken off onsite in recent years. “Five years ago, in February 2016, the average sale price for an indoor plant was just $21.69. Last month, the average sale price had nearly quadrupled to $78.07.”

“Adding plants to your living space has been proven to improve air quality, lower stress and anxiety, and increase productivity - with this in mind, it’s not surprising more and more Kiwis are getting into gardening.”

Overall, Mr Fuyala said Kiwis bought 90 per cent more indoor plants in February when compared with the same period last year. “Hoyas, monsteras, and snake plants are among our favourites.”

And it’s not just indoor plants that are growing on Kiwis. “Thousands of Kiwis are purchasing new pots and gardening equipment onsite to keep their indoor and outdoor greenery thriving. New gardening & landscaping supplies sales were up by 32 per cent last month when compared with February 2020.”

Cool collectibles on the rise

Mr Fuyala said an interesting trend among Kiwis was an increase in demand for collectibles. “The lockdowns left many of us with more time on our hands last year and we turned to collecting to keep busy. In 2020 we saw an 11 per cent increase in sales in our antiques and collectibles category when compared with 2019.”

Some of the biggest increases were in the coins and banknotes category. “Cryptocurrencies look out! We saw a 66 per cent increase in banknote sales and a 21 per cent increase in coin sales onsite last year, with both categories also seeing a year-on-year increase in listings - up by 28 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

“And we’re not seeing any signs of this slowing down - in the past seven days alone we have seen 10,600 searches for coins onsite.”

Mr Fuyala said stamps were another item that has proved popular recently, seeing a 45 per cent increase in searches in February when compared with the same month last year. “Looking at 2020 as a whole, we saw a 15 per cent year-on-year increase in sales for stamps when compared with 2019. This was particularly interesting given that the number of listings in this category was flat on 2019.

“While some collectors' items appreciate a lot over time, others are a labour of love and are collected for the thrill of the chase.

Carrot comes out on top as February’s most viewed auction

Mr Fuyala said last month’s top Marketplace listing was a peculiar shaped carrot.

A very interesting carrot indeed, the most popular auction onsite last month was human-like vege that fetched 34,889 views and 56 bids before selling for $46. All the proceeds were donated to The Salvation Army.”

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