Seller Protection

Whether you're a big or small Trade Me seller, we want you to sell with confidence and to be successful. Most trades go off without a hitch, but sometimes things don’t go quite as expected. When that happens, you can be confident that we’ve got your back.

Our dedicated Trust and Safety team work behind the scenes all day, every day. Their focus is on keeping Trade Me a safe place to buy and sell, so that you can focus on making sales.

We favour great customer service

When investigating disputes between traders, we take the bigger picture into account.

Sellers who have a history of great customer service and act in a way that’s in line with our Code of Conduct and other policies, will find themselves in a better position when disputes arise.

We have a dedicated Disputes Resolution team

Their goal is to resolve disputes between sellers and buyers as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

When a seller is unable to resolve a dispute with a buyer, the team will work with both parties to try and help them reach a resolution. This may include applying our Buyer Protection policy where appropriate.

Our Payments team are fraud interception specialists

We know that selling online safely and securely is a key part of your success.

Our Trust and Safety team have you covered by monitoring card transactions 24/7, and being alerted to any suspicious payment activity. They aim to do this with minimal disruption to your business, but work really hard to ensure there are no issues behind the scenes that could affect your sales.

We help protect you from scammers

If your account is phished, the site security experts in our Trust & Safety team are able to guide you through getting your account back up and running.

If a fraudulent credit card transaction occurs because we’ve missed a trick, as the seller you’re protected and won’t be left out of pocket. 

Buyer Protection is good for you too

Our Buyer Protection policy is great for buyers, and it can also help sellers in the dispute resolution process.

To make a claim under Buyer Protection, the buyer needs to have contacted the seller to try and resolve the issue first. This means sellers always have the first opportunity to resolve genuine issues that may arise.

Worried about buyers who say the item never turned up? If you’ve got the track and trace details and proof of delivery, we’ve got your back.

We review feedback

Annoyed about some unfair feedback you’ve received? Our Disputes team can review negative feedback you think is undeserved if it was placed in the last 30 days.

Just file a feedback dispute report and they’ll look into it for you. 

Buyers need to chin the bar

We expect all our members to operate in an honest and fair way. Buyers who don’t communicate, don’t pay for items, or generally make life difficult for sellers won’t last very long on Trade Me.


We're here to help

If you need a hand with anything to do with your Trade Me account our NZ-based support teams are available between 6am and midnight, 7 days a week. Please get in touch.



What protection does Trade Me offer sellers?

We provide some protection via our payment systems (Ping and Pay Now) to protect sellers from fraudulent buyers. This includes never passing on fraudulent card transactions to sellers. This protection means sellers can get on with selling and don’t have to worry about stolen card details being used to purchase their goods.

What if you disagree with Trade Me’s decision to refund the buyer?

We take disputes seriously and want to be fair to both the buyer and the seller. It’s the nature of disputes that in some cases one or both parties are not going to be happy with the outcome. We’ll always aim to do our best, with the ultimate goal of making it easier, cheaper and quicker for sellers to resolve disputes.

If at the end of the process you’re not happy with the outcome, you can still let us know and we can take another look. You may also consider seeking remedy via the Disputes Tribunal. We can help you with some of the information you’ll need for this process.

Do you have to send the goods using a signature courier? 

You don’t have to offer a signature courier, though when it comes to disputes it can help a lot. As a professional seller, or if you offer Pay Now, Ping or Afterpay, it’s your obligation to ensure the goods are delivered to the buyer. Because of this, it’s important to consider the shipping options you offer and if they are appropriate for the items you are shipping.

As a general rule of thumb, if we receive evidence (such as a tracking number with or without a signature) that an item has been delivered, then we would consider that strong evidence (but not definitive depending on the circumstance) that the seller has met their obligations.

There are situations where items may actually be lost or damaged by the courier or postal system, and when this happens, it’s the seller's obligation to remedy the situation. Have a think about if and how much insurance you may need for the items being shipped. Some courier or postal services provide this cover as part of the service, others provide none at all.

What if the buyer authorises an 'authority to leave'?

Each scenario will be different and we’ll need to consider a range of different things. As a general rule though, if a buyer provides an ‘authority to leave’ for a shipment, that's the buyer making a decision about the delivery address's security. If the package (that would usually require a signature) has been recorded as being delivered, but the buyer is claiming they didn’t receive it, we would consider not providing a Buyer Protection refund, as it's the buyer’s responsibility to provide a valid address where the item can be delivered securely.

What happens if a buyer provides an incorrect address?

A claim for non-delivery of the item wouldn’t be covered in the Buyer Protection policy under 'non-delivery' where items are shipped to a vacant address. Part of that clause puts the responsibility on the buyer to provide a valid address where the item can be delivered securely.

What if circumstances out of my control mean shipping is delayed and the parcel takes longer to get to the buyer, will they get a refund under Buyer Protection?
Each situation will be different and we’ll need to consider a range of different things. Our advice is to be explicit and detailed regarding what the shipping options are. If 1-2 days delivery is just a guideline, then you should state that delivery times are estimates and there is no guarantee that the item will be delivered within that timeframe.

Alternatively, if your shipping option states 2-day delivery, and the item does not turn up in 2 days, then the buyer may have a valid claim under Buyer Protection, as the terms of sale (that the seller set) have not been met.

How are disputes processed? Do buyers just automatically get their money back?

Buyers won’t automatically get their money back. Each dispute will be reviewed at least twice by one of the team here, and then a refund to the buyer is the last resort if the dispute can’t be resolved. We also want to hear the seller’s side of the story, and will be considering that before taking any action. Before we complete any refunds we will give the seller multiple notifications that we intend to take that action.

What about fake claims?
We already do a whole lot of work to make sure members are protected (for example we guarantee sellers will not get a chargeback for a buyer using a stolen credit card). We are also very aware of the potential for buyers to make false claims. We have some good tools to check for this sort of stuff, and specifically mention in our policy that we will reject claims which we think are fraudulent. In addition, each dispute will be looked at by at least two sets of human eyes to check its legitimacy.



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