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How to list 'third party' products on Trade Me

Branded goods often have consumables that are replaceable with a cheaper compatible product. Advertise correctly.

By Trust and Safety 9 February 2022

It can be tempting to use third party products instead of a brand's replacement part.

Many brands produce their own line of complementary products – known as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for their goods specifically designed to work with, or optimise the performance of their products.

For example, Apple produce cables and ear phones, Epson makes its own printer ink, and there’s a flourishing market full of complementary goods made by other brands such Moshi, Griffin, Lifeproof, Speck who all make cases for smart phones. And let's not forget car brands...

Amid the veritable ‘lolly scramble’ of colourful branded products on offer there are also ‘generic’, non-branded or perhaps lesser known brands making compatible products –often referred to as third party compatible products.

These are products designed to complement your trendy smart phone, like brightly coloured USB cables, cell phone covers and for printers plain black or coloured inks.

At Trade Me, we love competition and third party compatible products offer great product diversity, competitive pricing and shed loads of choice for buyers.

To avoid buyer confusion or disappointment the key thing when it comes to listing your third party compatible goods is to make clear the true nature of the item in the listing title AND the description, making it obvious to potential buyers that these aren’t OEM products.

Make it clear what you’re advertising by using phrases like:

  • Black ink compatible with Epson printer
  • Blue USB cable works with Apple iphone 
  • Rainbow smart phone case to fit Samsung galaxy

When you’re describing your third party compatible goods avoid using wording like:

  • Apple iphone 4 case
  • Epson ink cartridge
  • Apple lightning cable
  • Blackberry battery

Wording like this can confuse bidders as they may think they are bidding on items made under licence for that brand and in some cases could be a breach of trademark law and the Fair Trading Act. 

Also try to avoid using keywords to boost your listings (spamming), if a product in a listing isn’t compatible, don’t say that it is or use an irrelevant brand name in the description as it skews search results which causes frustration to buyers looking for specific goods.

An example is if you’re listing a product that looks vaguely similar to another, try to avoid likening it to that product, a regular kitchen mandolin is not like a Genius Nicer Dicer, but it is keyword spamming and a breach of our listing policies.

'After market' product

Sellers also should be wary of so called ‘after market’ products which can be simple copies of the original OEM.

These may be listed but cannot breach any intellectual property rights of the manufacturer.

In particular brand logos and design styles should not be copied. Have a read of our IPR Rights Guide for further advice.

Trade Me regularly works with brand to protect their IP and incorrect use of their trademarks really gets under their skin so we work with them to address matters as described above.

This may result in listings being amended or removed or worse such as accounts being closed.

Buyers of third party compatible products should do their research and ensure they are indeed suitable for use, especially if intended for use in a motor vehicle or machinery such as a chainsaw. Always make sure items are installed properly and are working correctly as intended.


Trust and Safety
Trust and Safety