Consumer Guarantees Act 1993
The Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) applies to some but not all sales on Trade Me. The CGA only applies to sales by sellers 'in trade' – essentially, professional sellers. It does not normally cover private or one-off sales.
If an item is bought through a Trade Me classified, or by “fixed price offer” or “buy now” from a professional seller, it should be covered by the CGA.
The CGA doesn’t apply to items sold by auction. What constitutes an “auction” is not defined in the Act, so it is unclear whether the CGA applies to items bought by bidding online.
Trade Me’s Code of Conduct sets the expectation that professional sellers should honour the obligations they would normally have under the CGA when items are sold by bidding. Professional sellers also have obligations under the Fair Trading Act to not be misleading in trade.
All professional sellers (people in trade) on Trade Me should therefore comply with the following guidelines:
- Ensure items they are selling are safe, durable and of acceptable quality
- Ensure items they are selling are fit for their intended purpose and any other particular purposes indicated
- Ensure items they are selling match the description given
- Act responsibly and promptly to fix any product faults within a reasonable time after the sale (other than those caused by unreasonable use) or offer a replacement or refund
- Offer a full refund upon the return of goods with any serious problems
Sale of Goods Act
In situations where the CGA does not apply, such as for private one-off sales, then the Sale of Goods Act 1908 (SOGA) will generally apply instead. The SOGA includes warranties that are comparable to the CGA guarantees, including implied conditions that the seller is entitled to sell the goods and that the item meets the description.
If it’s clear that the buyer has relied on the seller’s expertise, then there may be warranties as to the item’s quality or fitness for purpose.
For more information, read the advice on the Consumer Guarantees Act in our Consumer Guides or visit the Ministry of Consumer Affairs website.
We also recommend you check out Consumer's advice on safe online trading.
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