Banned & restricted items

You may only sell items in your possession that you are legally entitled to sell.

Banned Items
Below is a list of items which you are not allowed to sell on Trade Me:

Restricted Items
Below is a list of items that you can sell but are restricted on Trade Me:

Note: This list of banned and restricted items is not exhaustive, and is intended only as a guide.  Trade Me reserves the right to determine what items are or are not allowed to be listed on our site at any time.  We may remove items that are not listed below if we decide that they are offensive, in breach of our terms and conditions, or are in any other way a risk that we're not prepared to take.  This list is subject to change without notice.

Adult items
Adult rated items (magazines, DVDs, etc) must be listed in the appropriate adult category. Adult novelty and erotic clothing must be listed in the Novelty & adult category.

You may not use explicit language or descriptions. Photos, where permitted, should be of the item only. Use of props or accessories is not permitted. Trade Me will remove any image it deems offensive.

Agricultural compounds
You must ensure that any agricultural compound complies with the requirements of the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act. For further information visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website or phone their Approvals and ACVM Group on 04 463 2550.

Airguns (BB and paintball guns)
People over the age of 18 do not need a firearms licence to own an airgun. However those aged 16 and 17 years who wish to own an airgun must hold a firearms licence.

Those trading air guns face to face should ensure that they sight the firearms licence or proof of age of the person they are trading with.

You may only list air guns that are already in New Zealand. Overseas members may not list firearms on the site.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 states that the sale of alcohol to the public or any member of the public requires a licence. Unless you have registered as a wine seller with Trade Me (read more), you may not list alcohol of any nature on the site.

You may not list any endangered species, protected wildlife, sports fish, game or unwanted animals (e.g. ferrets). If in doubt contact the Department of Conservation.

You may not list snails, whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, sea lions or indigenous birds (or parts thereof). If you want to list fish, including shellfish (or parts thereof) contact the Ministry of Primary Industries for more information.

You may not sell ivory, or any part of any animal listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (‘CITES’), except for:

  • Pianos with ivory keys manufactured before 1975; or
  • Bag pipes with ivory parts manufactured before 1975.

You must comply with the National Animal Identification & Tracing Scheme. Cattle and deer are required to be tagged prior to being listed for sale.

Also see our section below on listing pets and domestic animals. The Ministry of Primary Industries has provided some more information in this blog post about what to consider when buying or selling animals on Trade Me.

Animal traps
You may not list hard-jawed leg-hold animal traps.

Bike helmets
You may only list a bike helmet if it is certified to a standard approved by Land Transport New Zealand. Your helmet should have a sticker inside it stating which standard it complies with. For more information please see this Land Transport site.

Businesses for sale
All businesses listed on Trade Me must be sold as a going concern. You can not sell or promote new franchises or opportunities.

Carbon credits
You may only list certified credits that are registered with a carbon credits registry such as Markit Environmental Registry or the NZ Emission Unit Register.

You may only list a chainsaw if it has a chain brake. For more information about chain brakes and their ISO 6535:2008 requirements, visit the Ministry of Consumer Affairs website.

CCTV footage
To ensure compliance with the Privacy Act 1993, you may not list CCTV footage on Trade Me.

Child restraints
Child restraints must meet approved standards and be less than 10 years old. Child restraints certified for use in New Zealand will show an 'S' mark (New Zealand Standard NZS 1754), or a tick mark (Australian Standard AS 1754), or an 'E' mark (European Standard ECE 44).

Read more about child restraints.

Cigarette or nicotine replacements
You may not list cigarette or nicotine replacements, including e-cigarettes or products intended for use as a nicotine replacement.

Copyright and other intellectual property rights
You must not list any item which infringes anyone else's copyright or other intellectual property rights. As a seller it is your responsibility to ensure the items you list and the content of your listing are not in breach of any intellectual property rights.

Read our Intellectual Property Rights Guide, or learn more about copyright law.

Courier tickets
You may not list courier tickets for sale on Trade Me.

Digital currency
You may not list Bitcoins or other digital currency, offers of the service to mine coins, or digital or paper wallets. You may list rigs or devices which mine Bitcoins or other digital currencies.

Digital content


These restrictions on digital content are to prevent breaches of intellectual property rights and to ensure the requirements of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classifications Act 1993 (FVPC Act) are met. 

You may not list any of the following unless one of the exceptions below applies:

  • Digital content (such as photos, software, audio files including music, and digital video files).
  • Storage devices (such as hard drives, flash drives, CDs or DVDs) containing digital content (if the contents of the device would not otherwise be allowed to be listed).
  • Access to subscription-based digital content (such as Netflix or Hulu accounts).
  • Accounts or memberships for online services (such as gaming networks).

Exceptions: Provided the item or content is classified in accordance with the FVPC Act or does not require classification, you may list:

  • Accounts, subscriptions or access to digital content or online services, but only if the service provider allows it (for example, Sky Television does not allow the re-sale of Sky subscriptions).
  • Digital content (like games and other software) on original discs.
  • Installation keys for games, add-on packs and items such as avatars and account top-ups for PlayStation and Xbox.
  • Installation keys for software.
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) software, but only together with the equipment for which it is licensed.
  • Text works (such as eBooks) for which you are the sole copyright owner and the original author.

Event tickets
You may not list tickets to events which are subject to the Major Events Management Act 2007. For more information please see this Ministry of Economic Development site about major events.

Electrical items
All electrical items listed must be safe. Some items require a supplier declaration of compliance (SDOC) before they can be sold; other items considered higher risk also require safety approval or certification.

For more information on electrical items, visit the Energy Safety website and check out their guide to supplying safe electrical products.

Electrical items with foreign plugs may not be listed.  See the Foreign plugs section for more information.

Firearms and ammunition
You may only list "A" category firearms, in sporting configuration, as defined by the Arms Act 1983.

Large capacity magazines (i.e. more than 15 cartridges for .22 rimfire, or more than 7 cartridges for others) and all free standing pistol grips or other stocks which when fitted to a semi-automatic rifle would result in the firearm being classified as a military-style semi-automatic may not be sold.

Sellers must sight the firearms licence of the buyer, or for remote sales sellers must receive written confirmation signed by Police confirming the buyer holds a valid firearm's licence. Forms are available at any police station and following an October 2015 change in Police policy, Police will email the completed form to the seller. Sellers will need to supply their name, physical address, email address and firearms licence to buyers to facilitate this.

Firearms must already be in New Zealand. Overseas members may not buy or sell firearms on the site.

Only one firearm may be advertised per listing.

You may not list reloaded ammunition.

You may not list fireworks for sale on the site.

You may not list any kind of flight ticket or airfare for sale on Trade Me (even if the ticket is transferable) unless you are the originating airline or a travel agent. 

Foreign plugs
In order to comply with New Zealand laws, items with foreign plugs may not be listed. This applies to items that require an adaptor to connect to a New Zealand socket.

For more information on plugs, visit the Ministry of Economic Development's Energy Safety website and check out their guide to supplying safe electrical products.

All food listed on the site must be produced in a registered premises or under an approved food safety programme or registered risk management programme. It must also comply with food labelling and standards requirements.

Visit the New Zealand Food Safety Authority website for further information or contact your local council.

Frequent flyer points
You may not list frequent flyer points on the site. Most frequent flyer reward schemes do not allow the transfer of points.  

New items containing fur may not be listed, unless the fur is sourced from a New Zealand domestic species (like possum or rabbit). You may list second hand items (but not new items) containing fur, from non-domestic animals or animals covered by CITEs.

Gas appliances
All new and second-hand gas appliances must be safe, and need to have been declared safe under the Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations 2010 before they can be listed.

For more information, visit the Energy Safety website and check out their guide to supplying safe gas products.

Gang paraphernalia/memorabilia
You may not list gang-related paraphernalia or memorabilia on the site. Trade Me reserves the right to determine (in our sole discretion) what is considered to be gang-related.

Hang gliders and paragliders
Gliders must have a new Warrant of Fitness before they are listed. WOF's can only be issued by the New Zealand Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.

Human bodies or body parts
You may not list a human body or body parts on the site. This includes such items as sperm, eggs, excrement, and bone.

Items subject to product safety standards
The following items must comply with all applicable product safety standards before you list them on the site:

  • Baby walkers
  • Children's nightwear
  • Children's toys
  • Cigarette lighters
  • Cots
  • Pedal bicycles

Read more about product safety standards.

Kwila and merbau
You may only list new kwila or merbau products that are certified by one of two accreditation bodies: the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

We may ask for proof of these certifications if you wish to list new kwila or merbau products. For more information, visit our Help page.


You may only list new ladders that comply with safety standard AS/NZS 1892.1:1996.

Laser pointers

You may not list laser pointers or any similar devices with an output power greater than 1 milliwatt.

Lottery and raffle tickets
You may not list lottery or raffle tickets for sale, as selling them online is prohibited under the Gambling Act 2003. For more information, visit the Department of Internal Affairs website.

Made to order items
You may list items that are 'made to order' only in the following circumstances:

  • The goods will be shipped within one week of the auction's close.
  • The auction is for a specific item, where the winning bidder may choose one simple thing such as colour or size.
  • The winning bidder does not have to supply additional information, such as a photo, in order for the item to be made.

Magnetic and smart card readers
You may not list magnetic / smart card readers or writers, or blank cards that can be used with these devices.

Medical devices
If listing a medical device (excluding first aid kits) you must state in the listing "Consult a medical professional first and follow the instructions." Medical devices include but aren't limited to: insulin pumps, infusion pumps, enteral feeding devices, CPAP machines, ventilators and apnoea alarms.

Pharmacists who are registered by the Pharmacy Council under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 can list general sale and pharmacy-only medicines on Trade Me with our express permission in writing. Medicines listings must be Buy Now Only, and created within the following medicines categories:

  • Allergy & sinus
  • Cough, cold & flu
  • Creams & lotions
  • Digestion & nausea
  • Pain relief
  • Contact lens solution

Prescription medicines are not able to be listed. Listings must comply with the Therapeutic Products Advertising Code, the Pharmacy Council Statement on the ‘Promotion and Supply of Medicines over the internet’ and the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand and Pharmaceutical Society’s ‘Advertising Guidelines'.

Menacing dogs
You may not list the following dog breeds:


  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Brazilian Fila
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Presa Canario

Movies and games
You may only list classifiable movies and games for sale if they carry the correct New Zealand classification sticker. When listing such items, you must include the New Zealand classification rating and all information on the classification label.

The listing of such publications is covered by the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993.

For more information visit the Office of Film and Literature Classification website.

Motor vehicles
Motor vehicles traders must not list motor vehicles that have been statutorily written off in Australia, unless you clearly disclose within the listing body that the vehicle was previously written off. This applies to vehicles that were imported to New Zealand, from Australia, on or after 1 January 2011.

For more information visit our help page. We'll enforce this requirement from 1 July 2016 onward.

Novelty Lighters
You may not list novelty lighters on Trade Me. Novelty lighters produce a flame and are designed to look like another object. Lighters shaped as toys, tools, food or other objects, that make noise, have flashing lights or other functionality are likely to be novelty lighters. Trade Me has the discretion to determine whether a lighter is considered a novelty lighter. Please note that cigarette lighters can be sold, but these must meet the mandatory product safety standard.

Needles and syringes
The Health (Needles and Syringes) Regulations 1998 state that only approved professionals such as Pharmacists may sell needles or syringes. Unless you are approved under the regulations you may not list needles or syringes on the site.

Offensive memorabilia and propaganda
You may not list items that promote or glorify racial, sexual, religious or other intolerance, hatred or violence, or that promote organisations with such views. Nazi and Ku Klux Klan memorabilia and propaganda is usually prohibited although we generally allow the sale of historical coins and postage stamps from Germany and educational books about World War II or Nazi Germany. You may not use wording that could be considered derogatory or offensive in this context.

We reserve absolute discretion as to whether we permit or prohibit listings of this type.

Paint colours
If you're listing paints which are "tinted to" or "similar to" the colours of certain brands, you may not refer to those brands.

Pets and animals
Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, donkeys and ponies may not be auctioned. These animals must be listed in their correct category as a classified ad, so the seller won't be obliged to sell the animal to an unsuitable home.

We have banned the listing of some breeds of dogs on the site.

Puppies, kittens and rabbits may be listed but must be at least eight weeks old before they are rehomed, except where the mother has abandoned or is otherwise unable to nourish her offspring.

Unborn animals may not be listed.

Electronic dog collars may not be listed.

The Ministry of Primary Industries has provided some more information in this blog post about what to consider when buying or selling animals on Trade Me.

You may not list plants that are on The National Pest Plant Accord, which can be found at Protect New Zealand.

You may not list kiwifruit plant material including kiwifruit budwood, kiwifruit pollen or kiwifruit firewood.

You may not list pea straw or pea seed that originated from anywhere in the whole Wairarapa region, including south of Pahiatua. This is to help prevent the spread of pea-weevil help prevent the spread of pea-weevil.

Protected New Zealand objects
Under the Protected Objects Act 1975 (previously the Antiquities Act), it is an offence to sell taonga tuturu (Maori cultural objects) to people other than registered collectors, public museums and licensed dealers. The Act also regulates the export of protected New Zealand objects and you must obtain permission from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to export such objects. Find out more.

Radio transmitters or transceivers
All radio transmitters or transceivers listed for sale must comply with New Zealand licensing and compliance regulations. Check your compliance requirements and licensing requirements.

For further queries please contact Radio Spectrum Management on 0508 RSM INFO.

Recreational drugs
You may not list recreational drugs (herbal or chemical) or related equipment on the site. This includes such items as dance pills and NOS canisters, and items used in the cultivation of cannabis.

You may only list services on the site in the Services Category.

Software that interfaces with the Trade Me website
You may not list software that technically interfaces with the Trade Me website. This includes but is not limited to things such as auto-relisters.

Spray paint cans
You may not list spray paint cans on the site.

Listings for supplements for human use must comply with the Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985. We do not permit listings for supplements which are intended to alter libido or sexual performance. We reserve sole discretion to permit or refuse permission for listings for particular supplements.

Treated timber
Treated timber may not be listed as being suitable for firewood. For more information, visit our ‘treated timber’ blog post.

You may not list tobacco on the site. The advertisement and sale of tobacco based products contravenes the SmokeFree Environment Act of 1990.

Underwear or undergarments
Used or second hand underwear may be sold on the site. However, it must be washed thoroughly.

Uniforms for NZ Emergency services
You may not list uniforms or accessories for New Zealand 111 Emergency services. This includes police, fire and ambulance uniforms.

You may not list VCDs for sale on the site. 

Veterinary medicines
You cannot list Prescription Animal Remedies (PAR) or veterinary only medicines.


You may not list weapons intended for attack purposes, including (without limitation):

  • Knives, or weapons incorporating blades which are designed to be thrown such as throwing knives, ninja stars, or throwing axes.
  • Knives with a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, commonly known as flick knives or switchblades.
  • Knives with a blade that is released from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force, commonly known as butterfly or gravity knives. 
  • Any knife or blade which is designed to give the appearance of another article such as sword sticks.
  • Any knife (excluding folding pocket knives with a blade less than 10cm in length) that is designed for easy concealment on the body, or has a double-edged blade designed for stabbing/throwing.
  • Knuckle dusters, nun chucks, mace/morning star/flail, axes (designed/advertised as weapons) hooks, and spikes.
  • Side handled/ASP/extensible batons, pepper/OC spray. stun guns or tasers.
  • Any weapon, the possession of which would constitute a criminal offence under current New Zealand legislation.

Listings may not promote or imply violence. This includes describing (or implying) that an item can be used in fighting, security, military or combat scenarios, or that using it in self-defence may cause injury (for example a 'self-defence knife').

Trade Me reserves the right to remove any listing which it deems to be for an offensive weapon.

Wholesale lists
You may not list wholesale lists or place listings that are used to solely promote the purchase of items through other channels.

If you are unsure of whether or not you are allowed to list an item please contact us.


Want further assistance?

  • Call us on 0900 87233Available 24/7. Calls cost $1.99 + GST per minute.
  • Email us your questionWe aim to respond within 3-5 days.