Trust & Safety Blog

A ‘how to’ for discount pricing on Trade Me

Was -now -pricing

Everybody loves a good bargain, and we’re no exception.  

It’s for just this reason that the Commerce Commission (or ComCom for short) are around, keeping an eye on the way retailers use discount pricing.

Amongst other things, ComCom are tasked with enforcing the Fair Trading Act, which prohibits traders from making misleading representations with respect to price.

So what’s misleading?

There are a bunch of behaviours that could be considered misleading, but the main theme is that the discounts you advertise need to be genuine. This means that if you want to advertise a discount, this needs to be done based on an ordinary price that you regularly use.

For example, you can’t just list a product with a 50% off label for the purpose of attracting buyers. This is misleading behaviour if not based on real, commonly used prices.

If you don’t use discount pricing appropriately, chances are you’ll get a letter from ComCom with a big please explain attached, and it’s not uncommon for this kind of thing to lead to some pretty hefty fines.

How does Trade Me deal with discount pricing?

We’re all about the sales at Trade Me, and we love to see our members getting great value on the site.

We also make it easy for members to advertise by providing a feature that sellers can use to display what the price used to be, alongside the new, discounted price.

But, like ComCom, we don’t want people using discount pricing inappropriately.

So, off the back of some recent media around the subject, we’ve chosen to implement some clear rules for advertising discount pricing on Trade Me.

The rules around using was/now pricing on Trade Me

  1. You must have previously offered the ‘was’ price on Trade Me. Advertising the price somewhere else, like a brochure, or in store won’t cut the mustard.
  2. The ‘was’ price must have been offered on Trade Me for a minimum of 28 days before a discounted ‘now’ price can be advertised.
  3. Discount prices should only be offered for a maximum of 28 days. In other words, the ‘was’ price becomes out of date if it has not been offered in the last 28 days, or the ‘now’ price becomes the ordinary price if it has been offered for more than 28 days.   
  4. You won’t be able to offer discounts consecutively. A discount should be a special price for that item. If you’re offering consecutive discounts, chances are the discounted price has become the ordinary price for that item.  

Sounds serious?

Yeah, it can be – but it’s an easy fix!

If you haven’t updated your pricing in the last month, it’s worth going through your listings to make sure that the discounts you’re offering follow these new guidelines. Our Trust & Safety team look after this kind of thing too, so don’t be surprised if you are contacted by them directly to let you know if your pricing is out of date.

Just remember, at the end of the day all we want to see is our members offering, and receiving genuinely good value.

For more information on pricing, check out ComCom’s pricing fact sheet, or drop us a line. We keep the lights on 24/7.

Image Consumerist Dot Com as per Creative Commons on Flikr 

No more orange fire safety labels on kids pyjamas

Fire -labels -nz

The Commerce Commission has released guidance for parents and traders on new safety regulations for children’s nightwear.

The Commission has published this advice: 

The new regulations and the standard they enforce are intended to reduce the number of serious or fatal burn injuries to children by informing consumers of the relative flammability hazard of children’s nightwear.

The regulations came into force in April 2016, but a one-year transition period was allowed, so that suppliers and retailers could sell existing stock and ensure new stock meets the regulations.

The key change is around labelling, with a reduction from three types to two:

  • White label: low fire hazard fabrics
  • Red label: higher fire hazard risk
  • Orange label: now phased out, and must no longer appear on nightwear

The Commission has produced guidance for both traders and consumers which can be found on the Commission’s website.

The consumer information is also available in brochure format contact the Commission to request copies


Trade Me welcomes these guidelines and enourages members to be familiar with them.

When members list in the children's clothing category we send an automated reminder email so that they are alerted to the requirements and can make selling decisions accordingly. 

These regulations apply to both new goods AND second hand nightwear. More detail about PJ labelling can be found at this help page.

Privacy Foundation of New Zealand launched

Privacy -foundation -nz

Trade Me is pleased to support the launch of the Privacy Foundation of New Zealand.

The Foundation is an independent civil society group that has been established to help to advocate for people’s privacy and personal information rights in New Zealand.

The Foundation aims to be a new and strong voice that offers independent, informed and fair public comment. It will help to keep an eye on government and business uses of our personal information, and will make statements on law and policy proposals where it sees a potential erosion of rights, or introduction of unnecessary intrusions.

The Foundation will also conduct research on important privacy issues, as capacity permits.

Foundation members are all volunteers with expertise or interest in privacy issues. Its members include people from the business, IT, health and legal sectors, as well as from a variety of academic disciplines.

Chair Marie Shroff said today

“Control over our personal information is a crucial 21st century human rights issue. Hardly a day goes by without a fresh report of loss, carelessness or deliberate misuse of our information. Also, the complexity of our information environment leads many people to wonder how much control they have in the big data age. They are rightly worried about whether anything is off limits to government and business. They are concerned for the safety and rights of both themselves and their children.

"The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has a crucial and sometimes lonely role in upholding the Privacy Act 1993, in resolving privacy complaints from the public and working to influence government and business practice. While the Foundation is separate from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and our views may sometimes differ, we expect to be able to complement and support its work in most instances".

Consumers and motor vehicle dealers beware of Richard Wallace

Richard -wallace -fraudster

Update: We were very pleased to see fine work from the NZ Police has resulted in the arrest of Richard Wallace.

Warning for motor vehicle dealers about Richard Wallace AKA George Auckland

Our Trust & Safety team have received reports of an individual operating in the Auckland area who is claiming to be in the business of selling ex-Japanese imported vehicles.

His real name is Richard Wallace but he has many aliases including George Auckland.

He appears to be in the business of using legitimate motor vehicle traders and companies as fronts to conduct his activities.

We have received a number of reports from buyers who have paid this individual deposits for vehicles that have not been supplied.

The NZ Police are very interested in catching up with him.

Keep an eye out for anyone who approaches you or your business with a sales pitch along these lines:

  • Hey, I have access to Japanese imports – can you sell them for me?
  • I’ll give you a cut for any successful sales.
  • The vehicles are in transit to New Zealand, but I can give you all the photos and other information you need to advertise them for sale.
  • I’m happy to deal with the buyers for you.

Be cautious of any unexpected offers

If you’re approached in the above manner, take these steps to make sure everything is above board:

  • Ask questions and require proof – this individual will often use false names, or have others approach you on his behalf.
  • It’s your membership, so make sure you handle all communications with buyers yourself.
  • Never give this person access to your Trade me account.
  • Definitely make sure you are responsible for the flow of money.

Keep in mind

As professional dealers, you have obligations under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act and general consumer law.

You can’t afford to neglect doing your due diligence. You might think you’re just making a good deal, but if everything goes pots up, you will be left holding the can for any unresolved issues.

If you have any questions, or think you might have come into contact with this individual, please let us know right away and also the Police.

Stranger danger: beware of malware

If you’ve not heard of clickbait, they’re those tantalisingly-titled web articles like ‘learn how to make millions while eating pizza’ or ‘never before seen photos of Beyoncé’s baby bump’.

It’s a hook, and advertisers use these techniques hoping to draw you in to generate more page views. They’re trying to trigger that ‘I MUST KNOW MORE’ impulse, and it can be pretty effective.

The bad news is clickbait isn’t all harmless media. Scammers have adopted the same tactics in order to distribute a particular kind of computer virus called malware.

We go together like clickbait and malware…

Malware loves clickbait. It uses our impulses against us, hiding beneath the surface, just waiting to get onto your PC and wreak all sorts of havoc.

Here’s what happens:

You receive an email from someone or find a link to something that looks cool or important.

You’re unfamiliar with the sender, the content it references, and the site it wants you to go to. But it looks interesting or urgent so you ‘click here’ as directed.

Sometimes it looks like nothing happens, and you just get redirected to the previous web page. Behind the scenes, a dodgy piece of malware is making its new home on your PC.

Once it’s on there, malware can be tricky to dislodge, and it can get up to all sorts of mischief.

It can record your login information for any website you access, lock your computer, and even email people in your address book to try and hook them as well.

Cut the hard line!

You don’t necessarily need to take a bat to your modem, but there’s a bunch you can do to prevent malware gaining access to your data. Here’s a few simple tips and tricks:

On desktop make sure:

  • your browser is up to date
  • your operating system is up to date
  • you’re using up to-date antivirus and antimalware software
  • you practise safe browsing and be suspicious of unfamiliar senders or links.

When downloading app on your phone:

  • research the publisher of the app (e.g. whether they made other successful apps)
  • check out the reviews from other users
  • read the permissions when you download or update an app (e.g. it shouldn’t need to access your contacts list)
  • consider using a (genuine) antivirus/antimalware program.

Want to know more?

For more information, check out these help pages:

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 support team if you have any other questions.

Stay safe out there!