The Trade Me site is a very popular place to buy and sell motor vehicles both privately and from Motor Vehicle Traders and there’s some great deals to be had.
The industry is governed by the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2008 (MVSA). It’s worth pointing out that purpose of the Act is “to promote and protect the interests of consumers in relation to motor vehicle sales.”
As such, Motor Vehicle Traders (MVT) have a responsibility to abide by the MVSA and Trade Me requires those obligations are met when listing vehicles on the site.
Here are the key areas that MVT need to be mindful of:
MVT to be registered
All motor vehicle traders must be registered. The basic test is if you sell more than 6 vehicles in any specified period (this means a year), you are defined as an MVT. Simply being in the business of selling vehicles makes you an MVT as well. Here’s the full definition of MVT in the MVSA.
Trade Me requires all MVT to be registered. Members found to be trading without being registered or trading under a lapsed registration will be asked to become registered. Memberships may be suspended at Trade Me’s discretion until this is remedied.
Members found to be misleading members about their MVT status, such as posing as a private seller, will face sanctions on their membership.
Registration and renewals can be made by applying to the Registrar.
Consumer Information Notices must be displayed
Where second hand vehicles are listed by MVT for auction, the Consumer Information Notice (CIN) must be displayed. Here's our guide to CIN but here's the key points:
- CIN may be added to the listing by way of adding as a photograph or by including a reference to a url link in the listing body. The image must also be clearly legible.
- The Commerce Commission enforces the Consumer Information Standards (Used Motor Vehicles) Regulations 2008 and often monitors Trade Me for compliance.
- Members found not displaying CINs face having auctions removed and enforcement action from the Commission.
- The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has some good advice and a sample template to assist you.
Security interest on vehicles
As per our terms and conditions, both MVT and private individuals are required to ensure that the buyer of the motor vehicle takes the motor vehicle free of any security interest; and it must be disclosed in the listing body whether there is any security interest over the vehicle.
Offshore or in-transit vehicles
Motor vehicles, as defined by the MVSA, that are offshore must be in-transit to New Zealand, and you must be a registered MVT and hold clear authority to sell such vehicles before being able to list them. You must also clearly indicate that such vehicles are offshore or in-transit in the listing. Here's what we mean by in-transit.
Warrant of Fitness
As required by NZTA, vehicles sold by MVT must have a WOF issued that is no less than 28 days old.
On Road Costs
Trade Me believes that pricing should be transparent so when using the term on road costs, these ORC definitions are what to go by.
Dealers wishing to use Trade Me’s Autobase classified listing service can contact us here.
"As is, where is" statements
These kind of statements cannot be made. This is due to the Consumer Guarantees Act applying to all motor vehicle sales by MVT. As is, where is statements suggest to potential buyers than the consumer protections of the CGA do not apply and are thus likely to be misleading as per section 9 of the Fair Trading Act.
For clarity, Motor Vehicle Traders cannot do 'private sales' on their 'private accounts'.
That’s a lot of detail to bear in mind however adherence to the key points in this guide is necessary to help Trade Me keep our site trusted and safe.
Believe us, we walk the talk too when it comes to dodgy MVT – member ‘theautoco’ was recently shut down for shill bidding and investigated by the Commerce Commission as a result of a formal complaint from Trade Me.