Professional sellers

What are my obligations as a Professional Seller?

There are some important rules and guidelines to be aware of when selling on Trade Me and in New Zealand.

What we need from you

All sellers on Trade Me need to comply with New Zealand law, and the rules and policies we have in place. We have these to make sure all users of our site have a great time, and that Trade Me stays a trusted place to buy and sell.

Here are the basics, at a high level:

  • Don’t list items that are banned, or otherwise illegal to sell – and comply with any rules for restricted items.

  • Make sure your listings are in the most appropriate category.

  • Contact details aren’t allowed to be shared in listings, or Q&A – except for classified listings where there’s the option to do so.

  • Listings must be for an actual item for sale. If you’re looking for general advertising, check out our options.

  • Items must be in your possession. We do allow some pre-approved sellers to drop ship – find out how to apply.

  • Respect the privacy of your buyers – don’t use their details for anything other than fulfilling their purchase.

If you haven’t sold on Trade Me before, check out our:

The law

New Zealand law applies to all professional sellers using our site – regardless of where they or their buyers are based. The below isn’t a comprehensive or exhaustive list and there may be other rules and regulations for specific items.

Consumer legislation

Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA)

Under the CGA, there are various statutory warranties that will apply to goods and services provided by a seller, including guarantees that a product:

  • Is of acceptable quality.

  • Is fit for purpose.

  • Will match the product description.

  • Will arrive on time and in a good condition. 

If there’s a problem with the product that can be fixed, the seller (without charge) can decide to repair, replace or refund the product within a reasonable time frame. If the problem with the product can’t be fixed, the consumer can ask for a replacement or refund. 

Fair Trading Act (FTA)

Under the FTA, sellers are prohibited from conduct such as:

  • Making false and misleading representations.

  • Engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct.

  • Making unsubstantiated claims.

  • Contracting out of the guarantees under the CGA (when selling to consumers).

Get more info:

Product safety and consumer information

All items on Trade Me must be safe to use or consume. This covers stuff like electrical and gas appliances, work equipment, food and beverages, and more. Some items have specific rules and regulations.

The FTA also sets product safety standards and consumer information standards that will apply to specific products (e.g. children’s toys, sunscreen, country of origin labelling). These standards apply to both new and second hand products listed on Trade Me. Learn more about product safety standards and consumer information standards on the Commerce Commission’s website

Get more info:

Intellectual property

Info to help you ensure you don’t infringe on others’ intellectual property rights.

  • Don’t list or sell counterfeit or copycat items.

  • Only use brand names in your title/description for original, genuine items (e.g. Pink Batts, Portacom, Tupperware, Velcro).

  • Photos and descriptions in your listings must be your own and not copied from another site – unless you have permission to do so.

  • Don’t mention other brands or products in your descriptions, even for a ‘similar to’ comparison.

Learn more about intellectual property rights.


Aotearoa has strict biosecurity controls in place for imported goods under the Biosecurity Act 1993 – to protect our environment and industry by reducing the risk of harmful pests and diseases entering the country.

  • Some common products can pose a biosecurity risk: plants, seeds, items made of dried plant products, pet food, or pest control products.

  • Before exporting items to New Zealand, sellers should check that their product can come into NZ, and that it meets import regulations and rules set out in Import Health Standards.

  • When selling plants or seeds online, even domestically, check that this species is allowed to be sold and that you are not in breach of the law.

Learn more on the MPI website.

Post-sale problems

Sometimes things don’t go as expected – it’s important to plan for that so you can sort any issues for your buyers quickly.

Find out what you can do if the buyer is unhappy with the item.

Customer service

You’re more likely to get repeat business if you give your buyers a great experience. Here are some tips:

  • Respond to questions and emails quickly.

  • Be friendly and professional when communicating with buyers.

  • Send items as soon as possible, once you’ve received payment.

  • If any issues come up, do your best to resolve them quickly. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, and offer a solution you’d be happy with as a buyer too.


Any goods sold by sellers to consumers on Trade Me are subject to the Consumer Guarantees Act, at a minimum. 

  • All products will come with statutory warranties, even second-hand ones.

  • Sellers can offer warranties that go above and beyond the CGA if they like, to give buyers extra peace of mind.

  • It’s a good idea to mention warranties in the listing description.

Items damaged or lost in transit

Sellers are responsible for items until they’ve been delivered to the buyer. This means if something goes wrong with shipping, it’s the seller’s responsibility to investigate and offer a solution to the buyer.

  • Contact the courier right away – they’ll often be able to help track down the parcel.

  • If they can’t, or the item’s been damaged, follow their claims process. 

  • We recommend refunding the buyer, or sending them a replacement as soon as possible.

  • Any compensation is usually paid to the seller, so you can work out your claim with the courier directly. 


If you need to refund the buyer for any reason, we’ll refund your success fee. Learn how to process a refund via Ping or Afterpay.


When a full or partial refund is made against a Ping payment, your success fee is refunded automatically.

Other payment methods