Did you know that Middle Earth (okay fine, "New Zealand" for those who are not into the Lord of the Rings franchise) is open to cross-border eCommerce?

At Easyship, we took a look at our shipment data from 2018 and noticed that New Zealand was one of the top shipping destinations from the US.

eShopWorld also noted that New Zealand shoppers are purchasing more than 6 items per year online, with 38% of those orders being cross-border retail sales.

Whether you're interested in shipping to New Zealand from the US or any other part of the world, this guide will lay out the basics you need to know about the eCommerce landscape in this lovely South Pacific country.

New Zealand eCommerce Landscape and Market Penetration

Various surveys have revealed that, unlike in the past when New Zealanders would prefer walking into the nearest shop to pick up what they want, they now prefer to grab their digital device and make their purchases. A Nielsen survey showed that over 2 million New Zealanders now shop online.

There are also future projections that show a significant increase in this number, which is good news to those who intend to start shipping to New Zealand soon.

Further research has shown that at least 3 in 5 New Zealanders use their smartphones/tablets while they go shopping in-store in order to find out more about an item before making a final purchase. As of 2015, these shoppers are confirmed to have spent approximately $4.7 billion buying about 20.6 million items.

Also worth noting is that the New Zealand online market has grown by over 28% since 2012. One of the major reasons cited for the steady growth is the convenience of shopping online. Other reasons include the competitive pricing, broader product assortment, and value.

Internet usage is also very high. The percentages of Kiwis that use the internet daily are as follows:

  • 16-24 year olds: 97%
  • 25-34 year olds: 97%
  • 35-44 year olds: 93%
  • 45-54 year olds: 89%
  • 55 and over: 81%

Popular online marketplaces

Before you start shipping to New Zealand, it may help to be familiar with the popular online marketplaces. Here are some of the popular eCommerce platforms you cannot afford to overlook:

  • Trade Me: This platform has grown to be a household name in New Zealand. Most of its traffic is driven from Facebook and over time, it has come to be rated the country’s most popular eCommerce platform.
  • Ebay AU: While based in Australia, it's still rated as the 5th most popular eCommerce platform in New Zealand.
  • Graysonline: This is another Australian online eCommerce platform. It serves as an online store and auction site, with a wide variety of consumer and industrial items up for sale.
  • Amazon: Although it does not maintain a separate website for its customers in New Zealand, Amazon has come to make a name in both New Zealand and Australia.
  • Wow HD: Similar to Amazon, this eCommerce platform offers New Zealanders DVDs, CDs, books, and cosmetics. The platform ships to multiple countries and even offers free shipping on products, excluding cosmetics.

Other platforms to consider include Gumtree, Ezibuy, and others. Some of these platforms are multi-channel retailers while others are not.

What Kiwis like to buy online

Here are some popular product categories for online sales:

  • Fashion
  • Multimedia entertainment
  • Books

New Zealanders also tend to buy toys and gifts from overseas retailers from various countries, including the United States, China, Japan, and Singapore.

Shipping to New Zealand

When shipping to New Zealand, it's worth noting that goods may be subject to import duty, and a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15%, which are usually calculated on the customs value of the goods in New Zealand currency.

While you may think that cheap shipping to New Zealand will be with USPS or some other postal courier, you may be surprised that there are other courier options that may provide a more competitive rate.

To quickly find the best couriers to New Zealand, you can use our rates calculator for a brief overview of your options and shipping estimates.

Restricted/Prohibited items

Certain items are prohibited from being shipped into New Zealand, while others require certain approval before they are imported. Some of the prohibited items include the following:

  • Equipment for cannabis
  • Disguised weapons
  • Objectionable materials on items like films, videotapes, records, etc.
  • Weapons like swords, butterfly knives, knuckle-dusters, flick knives, and more.

Apart from the above, they also have a list of items that you need permit to import. This list can be found on the official customs website.

You can find out more by visiting Easyship's country page for New Zealand or their official custom website for information on additional taxes when researching shipping to New Zealand costs. These resources will also help you get a better idea of the charges your customers can expect.


If you're looking to expand your estore’s to new markets, New Zealand is a good market to look into. With its ever increasing eCommerce audience, you might be able to improve your estore’s yearly revenue.

For more accurate shipping rates, you can sign up for a free Easyship account and get a quote right away.