Trade Me launches Treat Me

Fairfax-owned online marketplace Trade Me has launched a new concept across the Tasman this week:  Treat Me

The new website is a stand-alone group-buying service similar to Australia’s Jump On It, or Spreets, that will initially offer deeply discounted deals in main centres of Auckland and Wellington.

Trade Me CEO Jon Macdonald said the idea would harness the rising popularity of web-based group-buying kicked off by Groupon in the US back in 2008.

“Thanks to businesses like Groupon, coupons and vouchers are back in style. In New Zealand, several sites have sprung up seeking to capitalise on this social e-commerce. With the market still in its infancy we’re confident Treat Me will appeal to Kiwi advertisers and buyers as a place to find a great deal.”

He said Treat Me was a logical addition to Trade Me’s stable.

“We’ve always been focused on providing Kiwi consumers with more spending power and helping New Zealand businesses reach additional customers. Group-buying is about exactly the same things.”

Treat Me will benefit from Trade Me’s trusted reputation and broad member base, but will operate as a separate business unit with a dedicated team led by James MacAvoy.

Treat Me negotiates deals that are only activated when a certain number of customers sign up to get the offer. Buyers only pay once the deal goes live.

Initially Treat Me will feature heavily discounted deals on a broad range of services, events and experiences from businesses across Auckland and Wellington, but it has plans to expand into other regions over coming months.

Macdonald said there were deals in the pipeline from restaurants, bars, cinemas, pools, zoos, accommodation and travel providers, day spas and a bunch of other businesses.

“Treat Me’s focus is on offers from businesses that provide a great service or experience, rather than tangible goods.”

Trade Me is a New Zealand auction website which dominates the sector across the Tasman, effectively preventing US giant eBay from getting a foothold in the country. It was set up by young entrepreneur Sam Morgan who later sold the business to Australia’s Fairfax.

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