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Trade Me turns 25: The most iconic Trade Me listings of all time

Orlando Bloom’s sticky lollipop, a lamborghini made out of cardboard and David Seymour’s twerking outfit are among the most iconic things that have been listed on Trade Me over the past 25 years.

To celebrate its 25th birthday this month, Aotearoa’s #1 classifieds and marketplace site has released the most iconic listings from when the platform first went live in 1999 until today.

Trade Me’s Jessamy Malcolm Cowper said the top 25 were a combination of listings that had a high number of views but also memorable items that still have the country talking years later.

“From humble beginnings and a desire to keep a Wellington flat warm to over five million members buying and selling their items onsite, for a quarter of a century Kiwi have been using Trade Me as their spot to grab a bargain. Over that time there have been some listings that have made us laugh, cry and on occasion, cringe.”

Ms Malcolm Cowper said the most iconic auctions highlighted some of the significant events for Aotearoa in the past 25 years. “Trade Me has this ability to reflect New Zealand back to itself. Our list includes references to events like the ban on smoking indoors, single use plastic bags, and the impact of COVID-19. It’s a fascinating look back at moments in our collective history.”

“For example, back in 2009, when smoking indoors was banned we saw an infamous ‘last cigarette’ listed onsite which was said to be legally smoked inside Malt restaurant and bar in Auckland, at 11:59pm on December 9, 2004 before the smoke-free legislation came into force. It ended up being sold for $7,475 and racked up over 100,000 views.”

Another cultural moment in history was when the country was obsessed with Lord of the Rings, after the popular movie franchise was filmed in Aotearoa and premiered here in 2003.

“During the premiere in Poneke Wellington Orlando Bloom was seen sucking a lollipop which strangely had a cricket in its centre. This half-sucked lollipop was grabbed and became a listing on Trade Me. Some might find that a little odd but that wasn’t the case for everyone as it ended up being bought for $300.”

The iconic listings also cover a range of creatively crafted items, showing that our country really does love a bit of DIY.

“There’s examples of Kiwi ingenuity with listings such as the Sky Tower that was made out of MIQ trash, a Lamborghini made completely out of cardboard, a Spa boat, a Toyota Townace that somehow made its way across the Cook Strait and those Big FRESH characters that have become legend among kids of the 80s and 90s.”:” said Ms Malcolm Cowper.

Most recently, ‘interesting’ shaped fruit and vegetables have dominated the top viewed listings from the last few years.

“No Trade Me listing roundup is complete without a phallic shaped vegetable or two. Kiwi love to share their weird and wonderful shaped fresh produce, and it wouldn’t be a list of Trade Me top listings without them,” said Ms Malcom Cowper.

A lot of these listings prove that Kiwi love to have a laugh – especially when it comes to making fun of our neighbours across the ditch.

“In 2006, one Trade Me member decided to try to sell the whole Australian continent, categorising it in the BBQ section because ‘it’s the only thing of note you could use Australia for’. The features of the listing included: ‘large brown boring featureless land mass.’ This listing was eventually removed as Australia wasn’t actually for sale.”

“Rounding off the list was a listing titled ‘sandpaper gate,’ which poked fun at the 2018 Australian ball-tampering scandal. Cricketer Cameron Bancroft appeared to rub the cricket ball in a match against South Africa with something which was later found to be sandpaper. One member was quick to jump onto Trade Me and make a mockery (and $58) of the incident, which also got over 260,000 views,” said Ms Malcom Cowper.

Also featuring in the list of most iconic Trade Me listings over the past 25 years is the Tana Umaga handbag, Helen Clark’s beehive sketches and John Key’s signed plaster cast. A number of the listings raised money for charity highlighting how generous Kiwi are for a good cause.

Listing name

Price sold

Year listed

Island Resort

$32,290,000.00 asking price

2024

Used Cigarette Butt

$7,475.00

2005

Iconic Big FRESH Characters

$4,520

2019

Orlando Bloom’s Lollipop

$330

2003

Toyota Townace Boatace 1990

$9,100.00

2009

Launch Payload to Space and Attend Rocket Launch

$5,560.00

2009

PaknSave bag

$52

2019

Ed Sheeran Ticket and Date – Auckland

$205

2018

Ardern, Seymour join forces for pricks everywhere

$100,100

2022

Cardborghini Aventapoor

$10,420

2021

Sky Tower made from MIQ trash

$605

2021

John’s Cast Off

$18,500.10

2009

Spa boat

$9,538

2022

Scary washing machine. No really, it’s terrifying!

$5,160

2009

‘A Wicked Wing Taste Tester’ for KFC’

N/A

2024

Demonic Printer

$200

2020

“Bernie” the Fire Engine

Unknown

2020

The infamous beehive sketch signed by Helen Clark

No bids – listed for $4,562

2007

Phallic shaped vegetables

$151 – $274.99

2019 – 2024

Travelling hat

$1,000

2019

David Seymour Twerking outfit

$1,240

2018

Australia

Not sold

2006

Hurricanes Handbag and cellphone

$22,800.00

2006

Stormtrooper costume

$2,499

2021

Sandpapergate

$58

2018

 

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