Trust & Safety Blog

Mermaid Tails - Use with caution

Mermaid -tail

Mermaid tails have been making waves this side of summer.

As with any water-related activity involving children, we need to use common sense and have proper supervision when a child is in the water, especially when they are using these toys.

Mermaid tails are an accessory that bind a child’s legs together to make a single flipper and allows them to resemble a mermaid.

They’re often sold as both a costume and a toy and they allow kids to splash about like a real mermaid.

While these toys certainly look cool in the summer heat, there’s a real risk that some kids may struggle to swim if they have these toys on.  

The New South Wales Fair Trading Commissioner and Australian consumer watchdog, CHOICE, recently issued a product safety warning about mermaid tails, advising these toys may be dangerous and unsuitable for very young children. 

While these toys are available for sale on Trade Me, we echo CHOICE and the Fair Trading Commissioner’s warning: supervision is key.

While it’s up to  the caregivers whether their children should be using these toys, safety should be the top priority.

We think children should be supervised when near water at all times, especially while using these toys.

If a child is using a mermaid tail, they may need a lesson on how to properly use the toy and should also be strong swimmers.

It’s important to note that young children are most at risk when using these toys.

Creative Commons Image courtesy Libby.

Can I list an emergency service uniform on Trade Me?

Firemen -uniform -hanging

Police, firefighters, paramedics, the army – one thing these people have in common is that they all look great in uniform.

We recognise the great work done by New Zealand’s emergency services, but before you list your collection of uniforms on the site, be sure to check out the rules.

If you head over to our list of banned and restricted items you’ll see that uniforms for New Zealand emergency services are listed under ‘Banned Items’.

There are good reasons for this.

If you have a police uniform and it’s the real deal, it’s still the property of the New Zealand Police and shouldn’t be sold by a member of public.

This is also true for other emergency services uniforms.

Even if the uniform is an imitation, if it’s recognisable as belonging or relating to one of New Zealand’s emergency services, it still can’t be sold.

Impersonating a police officer can also get you in a bit of trouble, have a read of the Policing Act 2008 for more info.

There are also security concerns about crooks getting their hands on these uniforms and using them to gain access to places they shouldn’t.

As always, safety is a top priority when it comes to our policies and what can and can’t be sold on the site.

If you’re selling an antique uniform or accessory, provided it isn’t recognisable as a current-issue item, it’s all good to list on Trade Me.

Remember to do your research before you list though, as if we think your listing could cause confusion, there’s a good chance it will be removed from the site.

As per the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004, there are also restrictions around the use of red and blue flashing lights on vehicles so these can’t be listed on the site.

One more thing to keep in mind – you can only sell a company uniform if you actually own it.

If your company has issued it to you, there’s a good chance it’s still their property, so it’s best to check this before listing.

We’re not complete party poopers though – if you’re having a dress-up party there’s always a huge range of costumes for sale. Head over to our Clothing & fashion categories to snazz yourself up.

Creative Commons image used courtesy Jason OX4 on Flickr. 

Don't let Kylo Ren ruin your Christmas

Kevin As Darth

If you’ve ever watched a Star Wars movie, you might recall the concept of the Force – a wondrous energy field created by all living things that surrounds and binds the galaxy together.

The Force has a light side, but also a dark side as well.

Just look at Kylo Ren as an example...

The internet is much the same.

We’re all connected by devices like phones, iPads, PCs, smart watches, Fitbits, gaming consoles and mediums such as Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, Instagram and of course, Trade Me.

Like the Force has the infamous Darth Vader and his Clone Army of Storm Troopers, the internet has its fair share of dark side advocates who, like Vader, want you to part with your money by way of fraud, manipulation and mind tricks.

Given the lead up to Christmas and a new Star Wars film on the way, we thought it’d be a good occasion to remind Force users everywhere how they can stay protected from sneaky Tusken Raiders, both on Trade Me and the wider internet.

Only complete trades through Trade Me

If you get a text or email from the ‘seller’ of a listing you haven’t actually won, offering the item to you for a knockdown price, it’s likely the item doesn’t actually exist and the offer is a con to get you to part with your money.

This is the main reason we ask people not to post their contact details on Trade Me, as doing so presents an easy ‘in’ for scammers and a direct line of contact.

Never send money overseas when using Trade Me

Everyone on Trade Me must have a New Zealand bank account so you should never pay by Western Union, telegraphic transfer, international bank transfer or overseas money order to complete a trade made on Trade Me. Y

ou also never need to pay via PayPal and Trade Me doesn’t have a ‘shipping agent’ based in the UK. Also, no one from Hong Kong wants to buy your 15-year-old Mazda for thousands of dollars over your asking price.

That said, it is OK to trade with international sellers who’ve been accepted by us and meet our terms and conditions.

It’s important to keep in mind that approved international sellers only use our Pay Now service.

Consider using Trade Me’s Pay Now service

Pay Now has three great benefits for buyers:

  • Paying with a credit or debit card offers a heightened-level of security, should you experience any unforeseen issues with your trade.
  • When items are purchased using a credit or debit card, a buyer has the assurance that their payment will be investigated (if there’s a problem) and potentially refunded if it can be proven that the goods were not sent/delivered, or if the item supplied was deemed to be defective. This is called a ‘chargeback’ and information on the process will often be available on the card issuer’s website.
  • Transactions are also processed over secure payment gateways, and any high-risk transactions are investigated by us to ensure your card is being used by you and hasn’t simply been found in the park or nicked from your bag.

The Banking Ombudsman

A most noble Jedi, the Banking Ombudsman, has warned that email hackers are assuming the identities of their victims online and stealing thousands of dollars from them as a result.

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has dealt with several cases recently in which the fraud was enabled via email, with instructions to transfer the money given by hackers rather than the person the victim thought they were communicating with.

Check out their quick guide on common scams that target bank customers  to learn how to recognise these sorts of swindles.

Survey scams

Be wary of survey scams that trick you into downloading Malware designed to conduct malicious actions on your computer.

These sorts of scams are most commonly designed to make money for criminals (like Darth Maul).

This can be through the stealing of information, modifying or erasing of information, disrupting access or even ransoming your computer back to you for a fee.

Merry Xmas from the Trust and Safety team and may the Force be with you!

Extra for experts: Here's a sweet cosplay effort from one of our staff and his lad which they did during Trade Me's 'May the Force be with you' day this year.

Great job!

Han -solo -cosplay