With little money and time available to work on the site, Morgan made the critical decision to sell almost half of his new company to his former Deloitte colleagues, bringing him around ,000.
By August 1999 membership had risen to 3500, and Morgan could dedicate most of his time and funding to the site.
Morgan commented on e Bay's attempt to penetrate the New Zealand market in an interview: "...
I think there are big cultural issues there that are just not well understood.
For example the Americans think that everyone has a zip code [...] they were a little late in and then they launched in US dollars." Morgan took time off from the stress of running the booming Trade Me site in September 2001, and went to the United Kingdom to manage an IT team in London.
When he returned to his role at Trade Me the site had become profitable, with a membership of 100,000 and growing. In August 2003 Trade Me went live with Trade Me Motors.
Sam Morgan founded Trade Me during the first few months of 1999, constructing the site while working full-time for Deloitte as a technology consultant.
Within Deloitte, Morgan worked on Internet projects and supply-chain issues.
Many buyers pay cash on pickup with larger items — probably partially due to the relative concentration of the New Zealand population in a relatively small number of urban areas.
Trade Me shares many features with other online auction websites, such as e Bay.
Trade Me was publicly listed as a separate entity on 13 December 2011 under the ticker "TME".