Professional sellers

Can I describe items as ‘as is where is’ on Trade Me?

‘As is where is’ and Trade Me: No dice!

Last updated: 14 June 2023

‘As is where is’ meaning

Most people in Aotearoa have a fair idea of what ‘as is, where is’ means. It’s a common phrase that tends to crop up when something second-hand is up for sale. Essentially, ‘as is where is’ means an item is being sold in its current condition, whatever this condition happens to be. It typically means that the item defects and/or superficial damage, but the seller doesn’t want to describe them in detail.

Why ‘as is, where is’ doesn’t fly on Trade Me

As the original concept of Trade Me was to facilitate the sale of second-hand goods, it naturally appears on listings quite a bit.

Here’s the thing though; ‘as is, where is’ doesn’t hold up when contending with seller’s obligations to accurately describe an item, as per Trade Me’s code of conduct.

At Trade Me we’re keen for buyers to be fully informed when purchasing online. So, it’s key that sellers make sure they describe the items they are selling fully and accurately. This means we don’t encourage the term ‘as is where is.’ This statement can mislead consumers about whether they have rights should something go a bit pear-shaped.

‘As is, where is’ also doesn’t make sellers exempt from their Trade Me obligations or the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) if they are an in-trade member, so if you are in trade, you should not be using ‘as is, where is’ at all in your listings.

To make sure your listings meet your obligations and fully inform buyers, keep these things in mind:

  • Avoid using ‘as is, where is’ in your listing description. As per our code of conduct, you still need to describe items fully and accurately, quirks included!
  • If you’re in-trade, check out your obligations under the CGA for more info.
  • When there’s no ambiguity about what you’re selling, both parties are more likely to walk away happier.