Trade Me’s billionth listing from Nelson

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Trade Me is due for its billionth listing this week, but the auction website already knows who the listing will belong to – Nelson man Alfred Traxler.

After a “nail-biting” half an hour late last month, Alfred won the auction Trade Me had set up to determine who would be their one billionth lister. His winning bid was $755, with all proceeds going to charity.

Originally from Austria, Alfred and his New Zealand wife Rena settled in Nelson, but when Rena was diagnosed with cancer, Alfred turned from baker into full time carer for both her and their son Audi, who has a heart condition.

“Then my wife said ‘Alfred, when I’ve passed away, please start up a business called Junkstyle and look after our son,’ and that’s what I did. Since then I’ve worked and worked and worked, so now we’re here with this business,” he says.

Being an avid collector of anything and everything, Alfred had no lack of items to list to top up the family’s income, and what started out as a useful hobby soon became a business.

Alfred has been a full time seller on Trade Me since 2011 and he doesn’t just have buyers, he has fans, thanks to the way Junkstyle sells a story as well as an item. English is not Alfred’s first language so he expresses himself through the photos that accompany his listings on Trademe. A classic example of Junkstyle humour being his listing for a number of manequins, however, if you looked very hard you may have seen the actual nude person standing amongst the plastic bodies.

“I feel overwhelmed, I never dreamed I could do this, it was my wife’s wish and for that reason I made it work,” says Alfred.

Everything Junkstyle lists is sourced locally, from second-hand shops to collectors, including the item that has become the one billionth listing on Trade Me, a collectable Meadow Gold ice cream sign from the 1960s.

Alfred can’t pin down a favourite listing but says he never keeps any of the items he sources anymore. “It all goes, the only thing I’ve kept was my wife’s last painting. If my wife was still alive, we would have a meticulous, beautiful house with the best of the best, but because she’s gone, for me, nothing material has a meaning anymore, I like to get it, live with it for a week or two and then it has to go again,” says Alfred.

Trade Me was founded 17 years ago by Nelson man Sam Morgan.

Anyone interested in viewing Alfred’s one billionth listing can click on the link from his website www.junkstyle.co.nz.