Trust & Safety Blog

Lost goods in the mail - whose responsibility is it to sort?

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Occasionally parcels purchased via Trade Me get lost in the mail system. In rare cases the postie steals them and sometimes things just go walk about.

So what happens if goods have been sent but never arrive?

Who is responsible and what action has to be taken?

Generally speaking, it is the responsibility of the seller to ensure the goods end up in the hands of the buyer.

If the item has been lost in the post, the seller needs to make an enquiry with the postal company used to try and recover the item.

This is because the arrangement to provide postage or courier services is between the service provider and the seller, not the buyer.

A key point here is if the goods don’t arrive, the issue is between the seller and the service provider. The seller should provide a replacement or a refund (whichever is the more appropriate) to the buyer, and work with the service provider to resolve the issue.

This begs the question, what if the buyer is lying and did receive the goods?

This happens on occasions -  so for higher value items, we’d suggest using a track and trace method so each party has some piece of mind.

We note the Consumer Law Reform Bill placed a new new delivery guarantee so that goods supplied to consumers must be received at an acceptable level of quality. Members who are 'in trade' are subject to this law.

Where a non-delivery has occurred as a result of the actions of the seller (and not at the fault of the carrier) Trade Me is able to lend a hand in getting you the goods.

This help page has some advice on how to resolve a non-delivery in the first instance and also how to file a report with us so we can look into it. Often a quick phone call can sort things out.

Taking money without intending to supply is theft.

Where non-deliveries cannot be resolved due to such behaviour of the seller, Trade Me will often file a complaint with the Police.

And trust us, we have a great conviction record.