Trust and Safety
There are some important rules and guidelines to be aware of when selling on Trade Me, and in New Zealand.
Our Trust & Safety team also keeps a Trust & Safety blog, which is regularly updated with posts about relevant Trade Me and ecommerce issues.
We’ve got help pages for almost everything under the sun too.
Banned & restricted items
Below is a list of items which you are not allowed to sell on Trade Me:
- CCTV footage
- Cigarette or nicotine replacements
- Copyright and other intellectual property rights
- Courier tickets
- Digital currency
- Digital content
- Event tickets
- Foreign plugs
- Frequent flyer points
- Gang paraphernalia/memorabilia
- Human bodies or body parts
- Laser pointers
- Lottery and raffle tickets
- Magnetic and smart card readers
- Menacing dogs
- Novelty lighters
- Offensive memorabilia and propaganda
- Recreational drugs
- Software that interfaces with the Trade Me website
- Spray paint cans
- Uniforms for NZ emergency services
- Veterinary medicines
- Wholesale lists
Please visit the Banned & restricted items page for more information.
Whether you’re located in Amsterdam or Auckland, New Zealand legislation will apply to you when you are selling on Trade Me. The key pieces of consumer legislation to be aware of are the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) and the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (CGA). Further information can be found on the Commerce Commission, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and Consumer New Zealand websites.
One thing that keeps our Trust & Safety team up at night is the thought that an unsafe product could be sold on Trade Me, resulting in the buyer getting seriously hurt or killed. This means all items listed on the site are required to be legal and meet all relevant New Zealand regulations and product safety standards. There are no exceptions to this, and we’ll always take a conservative approach if we have any doubt about a product’s compliance.
- Regulations exist around electrical, gas, and hazardous substance safety in particular, and it’s important to be aware you can only list electrical items with New Zealand plugs.
- You will require documentation for many electrical items, and there is a set of Electromagnetic Compatibility Standards to comply with if you’re listing radio communication devices.
- There are currently six product safety standards under the Fair Trading Act 1986, which largely focus on child safety (e.g. sleepwear, toys, and baby walkers).
- Further information on Product Safety Standards in New Zealand can be found on the Commerce Commission and Ministry of Consumer Affairs websites.
Intellectual property (IP)
Whether it's handbags, clothing, gadgets, smartphones or tablets, we’re all about making sure Trade Me is a safe and trusted place where members can be confident in their purchases. We don’t allow the sale of counterfeit goods because it’s illegal. Sellers are responsible for making sure their items are genuine.
We operate an Intellectual Property Rights Programme, and work closely with hundreds of rights holders to ensure their IP isn’t breached on the site. It doesn’t matter if you’re honest and describe goods as non-authentic, it’s the goods themselves that are the issue.
Remember that text and images can breach intellectual property rights too, so it’s always safest to write your own descriptions and use your own photos. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) is a good source of information, as well as the Advertising Standards Authority’s Code for Comparative Advertising.
You may only list classifiable DVDs, Blu-ray and games for sale if they carry the correct New Zealand classification sticker.
The New Zealand classification rating and all information on the classification label must be included in the listing. This comes under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993, and more information can be found on the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s website.
Warranties & returns
You agree to comply with all relevant industry and legislative requirements, including the Consumer Guarantees Act, Fair Trading Act, Sales of Goods Act, Contractual Remedies Act and other relevant acts.
Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, you will also guarantee that a product is reliable and free from known defects, and that the retailer will, without charge, repair or replace defective parts within a given time frame limit and under certain conditions.
Our expectations of sellers
Trade Me works on the basis that people who have never met, send money for goods they’ve never seen – trust is massively important and maintaining that trust is vital.
As a professional seller you’re the crème de la crème, and smaller sellers will naturally look to you for direction on how to trade successfully. This means we have some high expectations for how you operate, and want to lay the cards on the table from the beginning.
We’ve got a set of seven values we live and work by at Trade Me HQ. Several of these won’t impact you directly day-to-day, but we think value #7 “‘Don’t be a dick” covers it pretty well.
We’re not trying to be offensive or crass, but it means exactly what it says. It’s all about treating people with respect, being responsible, and keeping a sense of humour. In other words, not being a dick. You can expect this level of respect from us, and we appreciate the same in return.
We also have a code of conduct and feedback policy for our members, which helps level the playing field and ensuring the odd member who makes life difficult for others can be handled appropriately. We want Trade Me to be a safe and trustworthy marketplace that buyers flock to, so we all need to pull together to achieve this goal.