Buyer Protection policy

Check out our Buyer Protection policy, and let us know if you have any questions.

Buyer Protection logoWe want to make sure our members have a safe and great trading experience.

Buyer Protection can help if you buy a Marketplace item using our preferred payment systems (Ping or Afterpay) and it doesn't turn up, it's not as it was described, or it's faulty.


How does it work?

Put simply, if there's a problem with something you've bought and the seller won't resolve it – we'll refund your purchase, up to $2,500.

There are a few requirements and exclusions, so check these out.

What we can cover

  • The item hasn't been delivered by the seller (non-delivery).
  • The item is materially different from what the seller described in the listing (not as described).
  • The item has stopped functioning as it should – within a reasonable timeframe (faulty goods).


The process

Visit Problems with your purchase to see the dispute resolution process.

  1. Most sellers are awesome, and will sort things quick-smart, so always contact them in the first instance.
  2. If you and the seller can't reach a resolution, a dispute report needs to be filed within 30 days of buying the item (or a reasonable timeframe for faulty goods).
  3. We'll consider your situation. If you meet the below eligibility criteria and we believe your situation is appropriate, we'll refund you.


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Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a Buyer Protection refund, you'll need to meet the following criteria:

  • basic-tick-framed-16-green.svg You purchased the item via one of our preferred payment systems (Ping or Afterpay).
  • basic-tick-framed-16-green.svg You've filed a dispute report within 30 days of buying the item or, in the case of a faulty good within a reasonable timeframe.
  • basic-tick-framed-16-green.svg The item is not excluded from being eligible (see exclusions below).
  • basic-tick-framed-16-green.svg You've already tried in good faith to resolve the dispute directly with the seller.
  • basic-tick-framed-16-green.svg We encourage you to post feedback on the seller about the trade prior to raising the dispute as this can assist with resolution.
  • basic-tick-framed-16-green.svg If you're claiming an item is not as described, or faulty, you've returned the item with original packaging (where reasonable) to the seller's address in materially the same, or similar, condition as when it was received by you (unless an exception applies)
  • and it has been shown to be delivered.
  • basic-tick-framed-16-green.svg You've acted in good faith – we retain the discretion to refuse a refund if we decide you've failed to act reasonably and in good faith with us or the seller.
  • basic-tick-framed-16-green.svg Your dispute meets the criteria in the 'What's protected' section below.


Refunds under Buyer Protection are limited to $2,500.00 (including original shipping costs). If your item is worth more than this, we may still refund you up to this amount.

Please make sure dispute reports are filed by the registered account holder. In some cases, we'll need you to provide proof of identity before we refund you.

Refunds for Afterpay purchases will be made with the involvement of Afterpay (see below for more details).

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What's protected

If we decide you meet the eligibility criteria, we may provide you with a refund in the following circumstances.

basic-tick-framed-16-green.svg Protected situations


You may be eligible for a refund if you arrange shipping with the seller and the item doesn't arrive within the time indicated by the seller (or, if not indicated, a reasonable time).

However, if the item is tracked and shows that it was signed for, we'll consider the item delivered, meaning the seller isn't responsible.

If there's widespread disruption to shipping caused by a national disaster, civil defence emergency, or by COVID-19 complications, we may give the seller more leeway to meet their delivery obligations.

Faulty goods

You may be eligible for a refund if you receive the item from an In Trade seller and it stops working, or is faulty, within a reasonable amount of time after purchase, as set out in the Consumer Guarantees Act.

Not as described

Different item:

For example, if you order a large t-shirt and the seller sends you a small t-shirt.

Item's condition misrepresented:

For example, you order a pair of shoes described as "new" but receive shoes scuffed with the soles worn through.

Item missing parts or features:

For example, you order a phone described as coming with a charger, protective case and headphones, but you only receive the phone.

The item is fake, unsafe or otherwise illegal:

For example, if the item is counterfeit or is non-compliant with product safety standards. Note: If an item is counterfeit, unsafe or illegal, we may require that you return this to Trade Me for disposal or detention through appropriate authorities.

The number of items is wrong:

For example, you order three rugby balls but only receive two.

Item damaged during shipping:

For example, you order a set of wine glasses and they're broken when you take them out of the box.

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What's not protected

The following cases are excluded from Buyer Protection.

basic-cross-framed-16-red.svg Excluded situations

Buyer's mistake

You won't be eligible where you mistakenly purchase an item, or a different kind of item than what you intended.

For example, if you wanted to order a large t-shirt but mistakenly ordered a small t-shirt, Buyer Protection won't apply.

Buyer's remorse/change of mind

You won't be eligible If you buy an item and subsequently decide you do not want it.

For example, if you buy a Christmas present for your partner but they do not like it, you won't be able to get your money back or return it.

Incorrect delivery address

Buyer Protection will not apply where:

  • An incorrect delivery address is provided to the seller.
  • A correction to delivery information is not made in a timely manner.
  • Delivery instructions in any way frustrated the delivery.

Seller or another party has refunded you

You won't be able to receive a refund under Buyer Protection where we receive evidence that the seller or a third party has refunded you for the entirety of the purchase price (including shipping).

If the seller or a third party has partially refunded you, we'll consider whether this has satisfied the seller's obligations under our terms and conditions, the Consumer Guarantees Act, the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 or other relevant laws before deciding whether you're eligible for a partial refund from us.

Item excluded

Buyer Protection only applies to some Trade Me Marketplace items. Trade Me may exclude certain items, including any of the following:

  • Banned items
  • Real estate for sale or rent
  • Vehicles (including boats, aircraft, tractors, trailers or similar items)
  • Pets and animals (including livestock, poultry and bees)
  • Plants, ungerminated seeds and bulbs
  • Businesses for sale
  • Carbon credits
  • Goods requiring installation, where the seller has stated the good must be installed by a professional, and the buyer has not engaged a professional to perform the installation.

Fraudulent claims

You won't be eligible for Buyer Protection if Trade Me considers that you are or may be acting fraudulently.

For example, if we have evidence from a courier that you signed for an item, we will not accept a dispute report that the item was not delivered. We may also refuse it if you have a history of making false or fraudulent claims and we consider it is appropriate to do so.

Items damaged during pick up by the buyer

If you or an agent acting on your behalf (such as a freight company you've engaged) come to the seller's premises to pick up the item, and due to the nature of the item it suffers damage while being picked up by you, you won't be eligible for Buyer Protection.

For example, if you pick up a marble statue from the seller, the seller won't be responsible if you damage this moving it to your vehicle or taking it home afterwards.

Non-delivery where items are shipped to a vacant address

If you arrange for an item to be shipped to an address where you won't be available to pick the item up, Buyer Protection won't apply.

For example, if you arrange for a new television to arrive at your holiday house on a Thursday, but you won't have a chance to go to the address until the Saturday morning, you won't be eligible if the item isn't there when you arrive.

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Return shipping

If your item needs return shipping

We expect:

  • Not-as-described items to be returned to the seller.
  • The seller to cover the cost of return shipping in these situations.
  • The buyer and seller to work together in good faith, to get the item returned.
  • Return shipping to be tracked. For items over $250, return shipping must be sent via 'signature required' courier.


Items should be returned in the same condition as when you received it. Except if the problem wouldn't be discoverable without using the item.

We may not require you to return the item to the seller if

  • The seller refuses to accept the return of the item.
  • The item is hazardous to ship.
  • The item is impractical to return to the seller (in which case, we may require that you return the item to us).
  • The item has lost its value due to timing (for example, event tickets).
  • The item is counterfeit or unsafe (in which case, we may ask you to send this to us and we reserve the right to dispose of the item or pass it to government agencies).
  • We decide return shipping is unnecessary or inappropriate.


Where goods are returned directly to Trade Me, they may not be returned to the seller if the goods themselves are counterfeit, unsafe or otherwise in breach of New Zealand law.

If there's a dispute regarding return shipping

We may credit your Trade Me account with an amount proportionate to your reasonable shipping costs, up to the value of $50, so that you can return the item back to the seller via a recognised shipping company.

If we decide to give you a Buyer Protection refund for the item, we'll usually pass these shipping costs on to the seller (as well as your original shipping costs).

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Our role

For each dispute report made under Buyer Protection, we'll make reasonable efforts to ascertain whether your dispute falls within our Buyer Protection Policy, and if it is appropriate for you to receive a refund.

In particularly complicated scenarios, rather than processing a Buyer Protection dispute, we may refer you to the Disputes Tribunal instead. For example, if an item is not as described, but used is and damaged by the buyer before filing a Buyer Protection dispute.

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Other important terms

In order to make Buyer Protection available to Trade Me members:

  • Buyers and sellers accept that it is ultimately Trade Me's decision whether a buyer receives a refund under Buyer Protection, but this doesn't affect the buyers' and sellers' ability to refer the matter to the Disputes Tribunal or a court.
  • Members authorise Trade Me to provide the other party with any correspondence or evidence relevant to the dispute. In limited circumstances, Trade Me may also provide a member's contact details to the other party to help resolve the dispute (but will always seek the member's permission first).
  • Buyers understand and agree that they won't be eligible for Buyer Protection if they have initiated a credit or debit card chargeback for the item through their bank or payment card company.
  • Trade Me reserves the right to reverse a reimbursement or refund to a buyer that is made by mistake.
  • Members understand and agree that Buyer Protection is not a form of insurance, guarantee or product warranty of any kind.
  • Where a member makes a request for member contact details based on a signed statutory declaration for the purposes of taking a Disputes Tribunal hearing, any release of member personal information is solely at the discretion of Trade Me. If a contract has not been formed between a buyer and seller, Trade Me may choose to not release contact details.


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