Filing a dispute report

Trade Me involves buyers sending money to people they’ve never met, for goods they’ve never seen. This means there’s a huge element of trust placed on members to ensure goods are delivered safe and sound.

If you've made a purchase and it hasn't arrived, turns up broken, or is not what was described on the listing, please follow the advice below before lodging a report. If you've paid via one of our payment systems (Ping or Pay Now) or via Afterpay, you might be eligible for Buyer Protection.

Feedback disputes

If you have bought an item and received negative feedback, please ensure you contact the seller in an attempt to resolve the trade in the first instance. If you aren’t able to resolve the issue, please see our feedback dispute help page for more info.

I've paid and haven't received my goods or service

Once you've paid for the goods, you should allow at least seven days for them to arrive before contacting us. We’ve found the vast majority of trades are resolved within this time frame.

Here are some steps you can take in the meantime:

1. Read the auction details carefully

There may be genuine reasons why the shipping is taking longer than you expect. Perhaps the item is being sent to a rural delivery address, or maybe you purchased a ‘made to order’ item that may take longer to produce.

It’s also worth checking to see if you’ve made a purchase from an international seller. These sellers are under strict obligations to notify the buyer of shipping time frames in their listing descriptions. However, their goods are shipped internationally, so they’ll usually take a bit longer to arrive than the standard seven days. You can check whether you’re purchasing from an international seller by checking out the ‘seller location’ area on any listing page.

2. Double-check the payment

When paying through internet banking it can be easy to make a mistake when entering details such as account numbers or reference details. Check with your bank if you need help locating a payment. If you paid by credit card, perhaps it declined, or if you used one of our payment systems (Ping or Pay Now) or via Afterpay, we may be waiting for more information from you. Check your credit card statement and keep an eye out for any emails from Trade Me support.

3. Email the seller

We find that having direct communication with the seller solves the majority of delivery problems.

To speed things up, provide the seller with the purchase reference number (it starts with a ‘P’), the date you made the payment and the reference you included. Ask the seller when they sent the goods and when you can expect delivery. The seller may be able to give you a tracking number for your purchase.

4. Check your spam filters and junk mail box

Make sure the seller's emails aren't being blocked by your email provider or directed to your junk mail box. Read more on spam filters.

5. Place feedback on the auction

We find that placing friendly feedback on the auction can help to facilitate contact if there is trouble with emails being sent or received. Remember to keep your message polite and stay within our feedback policy requirements.

If you’ve been through these steps, and still can’t reach a resolution with the seller, please file a dispute report

The goods or service were different than described or damaged

If the item you receive is significantly different to the item described in the listing (remember to read it carefully), or the service provided was different to what was agreed, we recommend you contact the seller first.

Most sellers will do their utmost to try and resolve any issues and may offer you a refund or a replacement item. If, however, you have not been able to come to an arrangement with them please file a dispute report.

If the goods arrived damaged, please contact the seller to find out if it's new or existing damage. If it's new, the seller will need to make a claim with the courier or postal service they used. Ensure that you hold onto the goods and the packaging as it may need to be inspected. If the damage is determined to be pre-existing, please discuss your options with the seller.

Filing a dispute report

Sometimes communications can break down between buyers and sellers and disputes can't be resolved. We're more than happy to try and help you out when this happens.

Please let us know about the issue by filing a dispute report – this will get the ball rolling at our end. We'll then investigate the situation and get in touch with the seller to hopefully get the issue resolved.

When you file your report you will need to include the purchase reference number or listing number and the amount you paid. If you’ve paid into a bank account, please provide us with this information as well as any other details you feel will help better explain the issue.