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Parallel imports may be listed on Trade Me

Parallel imports are great, they bring healthy competition and provide variety in the range of goods available

By Trust and Safety 11 February 2021

You know how this story goes. Whilst on a casual shopping spree you find the perfect pair of black leather boots.

The kind you’ve wanted since you saw Anne Hathaway wearing some that went all the way up in the film The Devil Wears Prada.

You max out the credit card and they are yours. Three days later you see the same shoes for $200 cheaper on Trade Me, and you kick yourself!

Chances are those boots were parallel imported by someone who is able to pass them on to you at a price cheaper than the ‘local leather boot agent’.

Thanks to parallel importing, consumers are able to buy their coveted fashion essentials from a wider range of outlets, and for a more reasonable price.

Heaps of sellers out there in the market place are engaging in parallel importing and it’s been perfectly legal in New Zealand since the Copyright Act 1994 was changed in 1998, and a lot of members on Trade Me are doing it.

Parallel imported goods are authentic, genuine whizzbang products - the real deal. The reason they are more easily affordable is that they can be sourced directly through legitimate supply chains overseas. By not being subject to local licensees or agents, goods are often more competitively priced than they may be locally.

Parallel imports must not be confused with counterfeits. Pirated or counterfeit goods are illegal and cannot be sold on Trade Me.

Anyway, why would you buy fake goods?

They are of a lesser quality than you would get with the authentic brand, and are often faulty and crap out much sooner than you’d expect.

They can also be unsafe.

Check out more on Trade Me’s guidelines around intellectual property rights.

There are some slight drawbacks to buying parallel imports. For instance, unlike with local agents and distributors who often offer backup support and a warranty, there may not be the after sales support you were hoping for.

Additionally, a manufacturer may not support goods purchased through a parallel imported channel.

However, all in trade sellers on Trade Me have obligations under the Consumer Guarantees Act, so check out your obligations as a seller and your rights as a consumer!

There are other considerations too.

Goods may be designed for exclusive use in overseas markets, like cell phones which may be locked, electrical goods that aren’t compliant with our electrical safety standards or have user manuals that aren’t in English.

As a buyer on the site, you need to ask the questions of the sellers. If they don’t play ball, don’t trade with them.

Trade Me’s view is there is a good, healthy level of competition that comes with parallel importing, and that’s what it’s all about. Parallel importing brings good quality authentic products to consumers at great prices.

The more access we all have to genuine items, the more competition in the market place, and all the better to nab yourself a bargain!


Trust and Safety
Trust and Safety