Over the last wee while we have been making incremental improvements to the way cat and dog listings are created on Trade Me.
As part of these improvements we have made a change to the category structure in both the Cats and Dogs categories. Instead of one category for each type of animal, members now have a choice of browsing for cats or dogs to buy, or cats or dogs to adopt.
The category changes don’t affect the way search works, so if you search for a for a Chihuahua, you will get results from both categories if you want.
The cats or dogs to buy categories are pretty much the same as the previous categories. The cats and dogs to adopt categories are a bit different and it’s worth us running through some of the details.
Cats and dogs to adopt
Up until now, if you had a dog to rehome you could list the animal on Trade Me for free and we would leave it up there until you indicated the animal was happily with a new owner. This was not the same for cats, where there was a small listing fee.
This worked well for individual owners who may need to rehome an individual pet on a one-off basis, but wasn’t so great for heaps of the organisations out there doing great work in the community to rescue and rehome cats and dogs.
The result of the changes we are making mean that there will now be a specific category purposed for people who want to rehome their cat or dog. It will be free to list an animal in this category if you meet the either or both of the following criteria:
- You do not charge anything for rehoming the animal – eg: it is free to a good home; or
- You are an approved organisation and the fee you are charging is reasonably necessary to recover the cost associated with finding the animal a new home.
Please note that if you are not an approved organisation you will not be able to charge any fee in exchange for rehoming your cat or dog.
Why are we insisting on organisations being approved?
The changes that Trade Me is introducing in the cats and dogs categories are focussed first and foremost on the welfare of animals. While there are a lot of well-meaning people out there who love animals, they are not necessarily all capable, suitable or resourced to rescue and rehome animals in significant numbers.
We also want to guard against commercial breeders taking advantage of free listings to sell animals they have bred.
Many welfare organisations incur significant costs in rescuing animals. The requirement that animals in the dogs or cats to adopt categories need to be listed for free would not be sustainable for these organisations due to the quantity of animals they care for prior to adoption. We wanted to change the way we approach adoption listings so that approved rescue organisations can charge a reasonable fee to cover their costs (these costs could include medical expenses for the animal, de-sexing and microchipping), but still allow these listings to be advertised in the Adoption category at no cost to the rescue organisation.
To that end, we have published a whitelist of approved organisations. If an organisation is not on this list, it can still list an animal for free in the adoption category, however it will not be able to charge a fee for that animal, either in the listing, or when the buyer turns up to collect it. Trade Me will be actively be monitoring compliance in this area.
Who is an approved organisation and how do I apply?
To become an approved organisation, you will need to get in touch with Trade Me and show us the following:
- Your status as a registered charity or local Government agency (like a pound);
- Provide some background on your organisation;
- Indicate how you structure the price you charge for rehoming and what this covers.
If you are interested in applying, flick us an email through your membership or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view a list of approved agencies click here.