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How do I know if I’m in trade on Trade Me?
Fair Trading Act, am I in trade and does consumer law like the Consumer Guarantees Act apply to my trades9 February 2021
A key part of the 2014 changes to consumer law was that the Consumer Guarantees Act now applies when an item is sold via auction by sellers who are 'in trade'.
This is something Trade Me had been pushing for since 2006, and we are very pleased it is now law.
Along with the existing guarantees of the CGA, a seller will also need to guarantee that goods arrive on time (or within an agreed time) and in an acceptable condition.
A new requirement under the Fair Trading Act requires sellers to clearly disclose to buyers if they are selling in trade.
This lets consumers know they're dealing with a trader, and that they will have protection under the Consumer Guarantees Act.
How do I know if I’m in trade?
Whether you’re in trade depends on specific circumstances of the seller and the offer. Trade Me is not able to determine if you’re in trade or not.
It’s up to you to decide!
If you are listing items on Trade Me that you initially bought or acquired for your own personal use, then you won’t be selling them in trade.
Factors that will help determine whether you’re in trade, include if you:
- regularly or habitually offer to sell goods or services online
- make, buy or obtain goods with the intention of selling them
- are GST registered
- have staff or assistants to help manage your sales
- have incorporated a company or set up another type of trading vehicle.
For examples and more information, check out the Commerce Commission's guidelines on working out whether you may be in trade.
If you want to check out the legal wording, you can find it within the Fair Trading Act.
How do I show that I’m in trade on Trade Me?
We’ve made it easy for you to disclose on Trade Me that you’re selling in trade by creating a fancy label that you can choose to appear next to your username in the ‘About the seller’ section on your listings.
You can change your trading status from your My Trade Me page.
Read our full In Trade disclosure help guide for more detail.
Trade Me Compliance Programme FAQ
This FAQ is for persons who have been contacted by Trade Me as a result of being identified they are likely 'in trade'.
What is the requirement to display ‘in trade’?
This is for the benefit of potential buyers. It enables them to clearly identify who is ‘in trade’ and that consumer rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act apply to trades with that trader.
Does this mean I have to pay more tax?
This is entirely separate to, and has nothing to do with your tax obligations, or the IRD. If you are unsure of your tax obligations, please contact the IRD.
Why is Trade Me doing this?
Trade Me has a legal requirement under the Fair Trading Act to take reasonable steps to ensure that our members are meeting their requirements to disclose that they are ‘in trade’.
What does this have to do with me?
If we've contacted you it’s because we've identified that you appear to fit within the definition of ‘in trade’ and you should consider turning on the ‘in trade’ flag.
How do I turn on ‘in trade’?
To turn on your ‘in trade’ status, when you are logged in to Trade me go to:
My Trade Me > more options > In trade status
What is the criteria?
The definition of ‘in trade’ is pretty broad, if any of these apply to you, you are probably ‘in trade’ if you:
• regularly or habitually offer to sell goods or services online
• make, buy or obtain goods with the intention of selling them
• are GST registered
• have staff or assistants to help manage their sales
• have incorporated a company or set up another type of trading vehicle.
However, if you are selling goods initially bought or acquired for your own personal use you may not be ‘in trade’.
I don’t think I fit the definition of ‘in trade’ but you have contacted me, what should I do?
We recommend you contact the Commerce Commission for further clarification, or seek legal advice.
Contact us to let us know so that we don’t contact you with a reminder.
How does this affect me, what does it mean?
For most traders it doesn’t affect the way that you trade, you will already be providing exemplary customer support and trade resolution.
What it means is that buyers can easily see that consumer rights apply to trades with you, and you will uphold those rights when resolving any issues with a trade.
Who is responsible for monitoring?
The Commerce Commission is actively monitoring compliance in this area and may be in touch if your membership comes to its attention.
How can I comply?
We've made it easy for you to disclose that you're selling ‘in trade’ by creating a label that can appear next to your username in the 'About the seller' section on your listings.
You can change your status from your: My Trade Me page > more options > In trade status
Trade Me have contacted me, what are they asking me to do?
We request that you turn the ‘in trade’ status on within 5 working days from the date we send you the email.
I don’t usually sell this much stuff, am I still ‘in trade’?
If you believe you are not ‘in trade’, and that your recent trading history has been more active than usual, please email us and let us know, so that we don’t follow up.
You may also like to contact the Commerce Commission if you are unsure.
What if I don’t want to be ‘in trade or choose not to turn on the ‘in trade’ flag?
If you choose not to comply, and don’t get in touch, with a good reason as to why you believe you are not ‘in trade’, Trade Me may place restrictions on your account so that you will not be able to create new listings.
We think this is pretty fair as we cannot knowingly allow people to continue to trade on our site when there is a likelihood they are not meeting their legal obligations.
I sell both my personal stuff and ‘New’ goods on my one Trade Me membership, is that OK?
If you currently use one Trade Me membership for selling both personal and ‘in trade’ items let us know.
We don’t usually allow multiple memberships, but in these circumstances we are happy for you to set up an additional membership one for personal membership and one for ‘in trade’ purposes.
Customer support can assist you to set up another membership if you need help, just email us.
Why are you contacting me now? Is this a one-off? Are you contacting others?
This is part of an ongoing compliance programme, so you are not the only member we have contacted.
If you have a question that is not answered there, please contact the Commerce Commission or feel free to contact us so that we can include your question and keep the site up to date.
Creative Commons image used courtesy Steven Depolo on Flikr.