Banned and restricted
You may only sell items in your possession that you are legally entitled to sell.
Below is a list of items which you are not allowed to sell on Trade Me:
- CCTV footage
- Cigarette or nicotine replacements
- Copyright and other intellectual property rights
- Courier tickets
- Digital currency
- Digital content
- Event tickets
- Foreign plugs
- Frequent flyer points
- Gang paraphernalia/memorabilia
- Human bodies or body parts
- Laser pointers
- Lottery and raffle tickets
- Magnetic and smart card readers
- Novelty lighters
- Offensive items and memorabilia
- Recreational drugs
- Seat belt extenders
- Shares and securities
- Software that interfaces with the Trade Me website
- Tattoo ink
- Uniforms for NZ emergency services
- Veterinary medicines
- Wholesale lists
Below is a list of items that you can sell but are restricted on Trade Me:
- Adult items
- Agricultural compounds
- Airguns (BB and paintball guns)
- Animal traps
- Baby walkers
- Bees and hives
- Bike helmets
- Businesses for sale
- Carbon credits
- Children's nightwear
- Children's toys
- Child restraints
- Cigarette lighters
- Electrical items
- Face masks
- Felt soled waders
- Firearms and ammunition
- Flat Mates Wanted
- Gas appliances
- Hang gliders and paragliders
- Kwila and merbau
- Made to order items
- Medical devices
- Motor vehicles
- Movies and games
- Natural Disaster and Civil Emergency Policy
- Needles and syringes
- Paint colours
- Pedal bicycles
- Pets and domestic animals
- Plastic shopping bags
- Protected New Zealand objects
- Radio transmitters or transceivers
- Sunbeds and sunlamps
- Treated timber
- Underwear or undergarments
Note: This list of banned and restricted items is not exhaustive, and is intended only as a guide. Trade Me reserves the right to determine what items are or are not allowed to be listed on our site at any time. We may remove items that are not listed below if we decide that they are offensive, in breach of our terms and conditions, or are in any other way a risk that we're not prepared to take. This list is subject to change without notice.
Adult rated items (videos, magazines, DVDs, etc.) must be listed in the appropriate adult category. Adult novelty and erotic clothing must be listed in the Novelty & adult category. We will remove any adult content not listed in a designated adult category, as soon as we become aware of it.
You may not use explicit language or descriptions. Photos, where permitted, should be of the item only. Use of props or accessories isn’t permitted. We’ll remove any image we consider offensive.
You must ensure that any agricultural compound complies with the requirements of the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act. For further information visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website or phone their Approvals and ACVM Group on 04 463 2550.
Airguns (BB and paintball guns)
People over the age of 18 do not need a firearms licence to own an airgun. However those aged 16 and 17 years who wish to own an airgun must hold a firearms licence.
Those trading air guns face to face should ensure that they sight the firearms licence or proof of age of the person they are trading with.
You may only list air guns that are already in New Zealand. Overseas members may not list firearms on the site.
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 states that the sale of alcohol to the public or any member of the public requires a licence. Unless you have registered as a wine seller with Trade Me (read more), you may not list alcohol of any nature on the site.
You may not list any endangered species, protected wildlife, sports fish, game or unwanted animals (e.g. ferrets). If in doubt contact the Department of Conservation.
You may not list snails, whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, sea lions or indigenous birds (or parts thereof). If you want to list fish, including shellfish (or parts thereof) contact the Ministry of Primary Industries for more information.
You may not sell ivory, or any part of any animal listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (‘CITES’), except for:
- Pianos with ivory keys manufactured before 1975; or
- Bag pipes with ivory parts manufactured before 1975.
You must comply with the National Animal Identification & Tracing Scheme. Cattle and deer are required to be tagged prior to being listed for sale.
You may list bones, teeth, feathers and other remains of indigenous and non-indigenous species that are generally believed to be extinct. Where protected objects or taonga tuturu are made from or constructed using feathers, bones, or other remains of indigenous extinct species, these remain classified as protects objects, and the same restrictions apply to their sale.
Also see our section below on listing pets and domestic animals. The Ministry of Primary Industries has provided some more information in this blog post about what to consider when buying or selling animals on Trade Me.
You may not list hard-jawed leg-hold animal traps.
Bees and hives
All sellers listing bees or beehives on the site must include their beekeeper registration number in the listing details. Registration is a legal requirement so all current beekeepers should be registered with the American Foulbrood Management Agency. Sellers must advise the Management Agency of all sold hives within 7 days. See our blog post for more information.
Beekeepers must comply with their legal requirements. Read more on the Ministry for Primary Industries' and Apiculture's websites.
The sale of hives, bees, bee products (beeswax, honey, propolis), or equipment used for hives, that are infected with varroa mite or American Foulbrood is prohibited on Trade Me.
The sale of imported bees, raw bee products (honey, bees wax, pollen, propolis) and used beekeeping equipment is prohibited in New Zealand, and cannot be sold on Trade Me.
You may only list a bike helmet if it is certified to a standard approved by Land Transport New Zealand. Your helmet should have a sticker inside it stating which standard it complies with. For more information please see this Land Transport site.
Businesses for sale
All businesses listed on Trade Me must be established and sold as a ‘going concern’. Franchises that are not a going concern may be listed where the lister can demonstrate a viable business model on request.
‘Business opportunities’ or ‘work from home’ and other vague offerings are not permitted.
Multi Level Marketing schemes are not permitted.
Trade Me will exercise its sole discretion to determine whether or not a business for sale listing is acceptable.
You may only list certified credits that are registered with a carbon credits registry such as Markit Environmental Registry or the NZ Emission Unit Register.
You may only list a chainsaw if it has a chain brake. For more information about chain brakes and their ISO 6535:2008 requirements, visit the Ministry of Consumer Affairs website.
To ensure compliance with the Privacy Act 1993, you may not list CCTV footage on Trade Me.
Child restraints must meet approved standards and be less than 10 years old. Child restraints certified for use in New Zealand will show an 'S' mark (New Zealand Standard NZS 1754), or a tick mark (Australian Standard AS 1754), or an 'E' mark (European Standard ECE 44).
Read more about child restraints.
Cigarette or nicotine replacements
You may not list cigarette or nicotine replacements, including e-cigarettes or products intended for use as a nicotine replacement.
Copyright and other intellectual property rights
You must not list any item which infringes anyone else's copyright or other intellectual property rights. As a seller it is your responsibility to ensure the items you list and the content of your listing are not in breach of any intellectual property rights.
Read our Intellectual Property Rights Guide, or learn more about copyright law.
You may not list courier tickets for sale on Trade Me.
You may not list Bitcoins or other digital currency, offers of the service to mine coins, or digital or paper wallets. You may list rigs or devices which mine Bitcoins or other digital currencies.
These restrictions on digital content are to prevent breaches of intellectual property rights and to ensure the requirements of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classifications Act 1993 (FVPC Act) are met.
You may not list any of the following unless one of the exceptions below applies:
- Digital content (such as photos, software, audio files including music, and digital video files).
- Storage devices (such as hard drives, flash drives, CDs or DVDs) containing digital content (if the contents of the device would not otherwise be allowed to be listed).
- Access to subscription-based digital content (such as Netflix or Hulu accounts).
- Accounts or memberships for online services (such as gaming networks).
Exceptions: Provided the item or content is classified in accordance with the FVPC Act or does not require classification, you may list:
- Accounts, subscriptions or access to digital content or online services, but only if the service provider allows it (for example, Sky Television does not allow the re-sale of Sky subscriptions).
- Digital content (like games and other software) on original discs.
- Installation keys for games, add-on packs and items such as avatars and account top-ups for PlayStation and Xbox.
- Installation keys for software.
- Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) software, but only together with the equipment for which it is licensed.
- Text works (such as eBooks) for which you are the sole copyright owner and the original author.
You may not list the following menacing dog breeds:
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Brazilian Fila
- Dogo Argentino
- Japanese Tosa
- Presa Canario
You may not list the following dog breeds, which may be susceptible to Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome:
- English Bulldogs
- French Bulldogs
You may not make listings offering stud services or the semen of these breeds.
You may not list tickets to events which are subject to the Major Events Management Act 2007. For more information please see this Ministry of Economic Development site about major events.
All electrical items listed must be safe. Some items require a supplier declaration of compliance (SDOC) before they can be sold; other items considered higher risk also require safety approval or certification.
For more information on electrical items, visit the Energy Safety website and check out their guide to supplying safe electrical products.
Electrical items with foreign plugs may not be listed. See the Foreign plugs section for more information.
Only members that have explicit written permission from Trade Me may list face masks. You can apply to be an approved member here.
Approved members may only list face masks in the designated face mask category. Non approved members may not list any masks, including fabric face masks and DIY face mask kits.
All approved members need to demonstrate that their goods are safe and fit for purpose as part of their application. If approved members wish to sell different types of face masks after being approved, they will need to reapply.
Applications may be rejected at Trade Me's discretion.
Approved members selling face masks are also required to disclose their in trade status.
Sports, recreational and construction face coverings are not deemed to be face masks if they are listed in the correct category and make no therapeutic claims.
Felt soled waders
It is illegal under the Conservation Act 1987 to use felt soled waders for freshwater sports fishing in NZ.
If you are listing felt soled shoes or waders you will need to include the text below in your listing description:
“It is illegal under the Conservation Act 1987 to use felt soled waders for freshwater sports fishing in NZ. This is to assist in preventing the spread of aquatic pest organisms such as didymo and other pest species which can be spread by water droplets contained within the felt soles.”
You may not sell firearms that require additional licence endorsements to purchase. You may also not sell any items that would allow “A” category firearms to be converted into semi-automatic firearms or other category firearms.
The sale of firearms and ammunition remotely on Trade Me is within the provisions of section 43A of the Arms Act 1983. It is an offence to sell by mail order a firearm or any ammunition for a firearm otherwise than pursuant to a written order signed by the purchaser and bearing an endorsement signed by a member of the Police stating that the member of Police has inspected the purchaser's firearms licence and is satisfied that the purchaser is a fit and proper person to purchase that firearm or ammunition. Accordingly, sellers must sight the firearms licence of the buyer, or for remote sales sellers must receive written confirmation signed by Police confirming the buyer holds a valid firearm's licence. Forms are available at any police station and following an October 2015 change in Police policy, Police will email the completed form to the seller. Sellers will need to supply their name, physical address, email address and firearms licence to buyers to facilitate this.
You may only sell firearms that are already in New Zealand. Overseas members may not buy or sell firearms or firearms parts on the site.
Only one firearm may be advertised per listing.
You may not list reloaded ammunition.
- Race, ethnicity or national origin
- LGBTQI+ identity
- Disability, impairment or illness
More information can be found in this guidance.
You may not list fireworks for sale on the site.
You may not list any kind of flight ticket or airfare for sale on Trade Me (even if the ticket is transferable) unless you are the originating airline or a travel agent.
In order to comply with New Zealand laws, items with foreign plugs may not be listed. This applies to items that require an adaptor to connect to a New Zealand socket.
For more information on plugs, visit the Ministry of Economic Development's Energy Safety website and check out their guide to supplying safe electrical products.
All food listed on the site must be produced in a registered premises or under an approved food safety programme or registered risk management programme. It must also comply with food labelling and standards requirements.
Visit the New Zealand Food Safety Authority website for further information or contact your local council.
Frequent flyer points
You may not list frequent flyer points on the site. Most frequent flyer reward schemes do not allow the transfer of points.
New items containing fur may not be listed, unless the fur is sourced from a New Zealand domestic species (like possum or rabbit). You may list second hand items (but not new items) containing fur, from non-domestic animals or animals covered by CITEs.
All new and second-hand gas appliances must be safe, and need to have been declared safe under the Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations 2010 before they can be listed.
For more information, visit the Energy Safety website and check out their guide to supplying safe gas products.
You may not list gang-related paraphernalia or memorabilia on the site. Trade Me reserves the right to determine (in our sole discretion) what is considered to be gang-related.
Hang gliders and paragliders
Gliders must have a new Warrant of Fitness before they are listed. WOF's can only be issued by the New Zealand Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.
Human bodies or body parts
You may not list a human body or body parts on the site. This includes such items as sperm, eggs, excrement, and bone.
Items subject to product safety standards
The following items must comply with all applicable product safety standards before you list them on the site:
- Baby walkers
- Children's nightwear
- Children's toys
- Cigarette lighters
- Pedal bicycles
Read more about product safety standards.
Kwila and merbau
You may only list new kwila or merbau products that are certified by one of two accreditation bodies: the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
We may ask for proof of these certifications if you wish to list new kwila or merbau products. For more information, visit our Help page.
Lottery and raffle tickets
You may not list lottery or raffle tickets for sale, as selling them online is prohibited under the Gambling Act 2003. For more information, visit the Department of Internal Affairs website.
Made to order items
You may list items that are 'made to order' only in the following circumstances:
- The goods will be shipped within one week of the auction's close.
- The auction is for a specific item, where the winning bidder may choose one simple thing such as colour or size.
- The winning bidder does not have to supply additional information, such as a photo, in order for the item to be made.
Magnetic and smart card readers
You may not list magnetic / smart card readers or writers, or blank cards that can be used with these devices.
If listing a medical device (excluding first aid kits) you must state in the listing "Consult a medical professional first and follow the instructions." Medical devices include but aren't limited to: insulin pumps, infusion pumps, enteral feeding devices, CPAP machines, ventilators and apnoea alarms.
Pharmacists who are registered by the Pharmacy Council under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 can list general sale and pharmacy-only medicines on Trade Me with our express permission in writing. Medicines listings must be Buy Now Only, and created within the following medicines categories:
- Allergy & sinus
- Cough, cold & flu
- Creams & lotions
- Digestion & nausea
- Pain relief
- Contact lens solution
Prescription medicines are not able to be listed. Listings must comply with the Therapeutic Products Advertising Code, the Pharmacy Council Statement on the ‘Promotion and Supply of Medicines over the internet’ and the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand and Pharmaceutical Society’s ‘Advertising Guidelines'.
Movies and games
The sale of films, videos, DVDs, VCDs and laser disks is covered by the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993.
You may only list movies and games if they carry the correct New Zealand classification sticker. When listing such items, you must include in your listing the New Zealand classification rating and all information on the classification label. Additionally any photos you upload must prominently display the appropriate New Zealand classification rating.
For more information, visit the Office of Film and Literature Classification website.
Motor vehicles traders must not list motor vehicles that have been statutorily written off in Australia, unless you clearly disclose within the listing body that the vehicle was previously written off. This applies to vehicles that were imported to New Zealand, from Australia, on or after 1 January 2011.
For more information visit our help page. We'll enforce this requirement from 1 July 2016 onward.
You may not list any item that is intended to take advantage of a time of national or international crisis, natural disaster, or civil emergency. If any such event occurs, you may not:
Create any listing which attempts to take an excessive profit.
Feature excessive Buy Now or Reserve prices that do not reflect normal retail pricing.
Trade Me will exercise its sole discretion to determine whether or not you are in breach of this policy.
If we consider that you are taking advantage of any national or international crisis, natural disaster or civil emergency, we may remove or edit your listings, remove your access to certain categories or suspend your membership.
You may not list novelty lighters on Trade Me. Novelty lighters produce a flame and are designed to look like another object. Lighters shaped as toys, tools, food or other objects, that make noise, have flashing lights or other functionality are likely to be novelty lighters. Trade Me has the discretion to determine whether a lighter is considered a novelty lighter. Please note that cigarette lighters can be sold, but these must meet the mandatory product safety standard.
Needles and syringes
The Health (Needles and Syringes) Regulations 1998 state that only approved professionals such as Pharmacists may sell needles or syringes. Unless you are approved under the regulations you may not list needles or syringes on the site.
We recognise the importance of remembering the past. We are aware that some groups may be distressed at offensive goods being in the marketplace and that others may use them for modern hate.
Legitimate collectors of these items may still trade such goods on Trade Me, subject to the restrictions outlined below.
Subject to the permitted categories listed in this section, you cannot list items that, either in themselves or by description, promote or glorify racial, sexual, religious or other intolerance, hatred or violence, or that promote organisations with such views.
In particular, this includes:
You may not list items that feature the Confederate flag as a focal point. This excludes film and literature.
Golliwogs and Dinah/Jolly money boxes
You may not list items that utilise the black face caricature. This excludes film and literature.
Nazi and Nazi-related items
- Stamps, letters, and envelopes displaying Nazi postmarks.
- Currency issued by the Nazi German government, including military scripts.
- Nazi-issued documents (including passports, travel papers).
- WWII military model kits that have Nazi symbols.
- Historical and religious items that bear a swastika if they are made before 1933 and are not related to Nazism.
- German military items not related to the Nazi Party or the Schutzstaffel (SS) or Waffen SS.
- Propaganda from Allied parties that contain reference to Nazism or Nazi symbology.
- Books which are reproductions of original publications by Nazi personalities, or which contain information about the Nazi party, or the holocaust, may be listed where they contain information that informs the reader of its historical context e.g. Mein Kampf, academic text books.
- Not permitted:
- Historical Nazi-related items, including reproductions such as: Uniforms, uniform components, weapons, medals (not including sports medals), or other items that bear Nazi symbols, whether visible or covered.
- Historical Holocaust-related items, including reproductions such as:
- Uniforms and personal belongings of concentration camp prisoners
- Jewish identification (including armbands, Star of David)
- Listings in which images are edited or cropped to try and hide Nazi symbols.
- Items that originally had Nazi symbols that have been removed.Items that were owned by Nazi leaders or identities such as:
- Joseph Goebbels
- Hermann Goering
- Rudolf Hess
- Reinhard Heydrich
- Heinrich Himmler
- Adolf Hitler
- Adolf Eichmann
- Any item made after 1933 that bears a swastika (e.g., jewelry, clothing, rugs, fabrics, posters), unless expressly permitted in the section above. We appreciate that the swastika symbol is used in religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. However, we have decided to not allow any non-historic items bearing a swastika as they may be used in support of modern hate groups.
- Any other media identified as Nazi propaganda or that otherwise promotes hatred or racial supremacy including historic and current items.
Reproductions of racially or ethically questionable historical items
We allow the sale of items with historical significance in the following contexts:
- Items of historical significance which are original in nature. Reproductions of these items are not permitted.
- Images of items that contain offensive terms may be listed if it is part of the actual name of the item, but the term cannot be in the title or description of the listing.
- Reprints of works of literature or art which are of historical significance.
- Art and media listings and products (such as books and music) where the offensive word or phrase is part of the title of the work.
The examples provided above are not intended to be a prescriptive list. Given the wide variety of items relating to these categories, Trade Me reserves the right to remove any listing at its sole discretion. Trade Me will listen to all points of view when making these decisions.
If you're listing paints which are "tinted to" or "similar to" the colours of certain brands, you may not refer to those brands.
Pets and animals
Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, donkeys and ponies may not be auctioned. These animals must be listed in their correct category as a classified ad, so the seller won't be obliged to sell the animal to an unsuitable home.
We have banned the listing of some breeds of dogs on the site.
Puppies, kittens and rabbits may be listed but must be at least eight weeks old before they are rehomed, except where the mother has abandoned or is otherwise unable to nourish her offspring.
Unborn animals may not be listed.
Electronic dog collars may not be listed. You may not list a pinch or prong dog collar as doing so encourages buyers to breach MPI's Code of Welfare: Dogs, which states that this type of collar must not be used.
The Ministry of Primary Industries has provided some more information in this blog post about what to consider when buying or selling animals on Trade Me.
You may not list plants that are on The National Pest Plant Accord, which can be found at Protect New Zealand.
You may not list kiwifruit plant material including kiwifruit budwood, kiwifruit pollen or kiwifruit firewood.
Plastic shopping bags
You may not list plastic shopping bags with handles, and that measure under 70 microns thick. This applies to the kind of plastic bags that used to be provided to supermarket shoppers prior to the Waste Minimisation (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulations 2018.
Protected New Zealand objects
Under the Protected Objects Act 1975 (previously the Antiquities Act), it is an offence to sell taonga tuturu (Maori cultural objects) to people other than registered collectors, public museums and licensed dealers. The Act also regulates the export of protected New Zealand objects and you must obtain permission from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to export such objects. Find out more.
Radio transmitters or transceivers
All radio transmitters or transceivers listed for sale must comply with New Zealand licensing and compliance regulations. Check your compliance and licensing requirements.
All two-way radios must have the seller's licence to supply number disclosed in the listing.
International sellers are prohibited from listing two-way radios on the site.
For further queries please contact Radio Spectrum Management on 0508 RSM INFO.
You may not list recreational drugs (herbal or chemical) or related equipment on the site. This includes such items as dance pills and NOS canisters, and items used in the cultivation of cannabis.
Seat belt extenders
You may not list seat belt extenders on the site.
Shares and securities
There are special laws and regulations that apply to trading items of a speculative nature. Because of this, you can’t use our Services to sell these sorts of items like shares, securities or pyramid schemes.
Software that interfaces with the Trade Me website
You may not list software that technically interfaces with the Trade Me website. This includes but is not limited to things such as auto-relisters.
Sunbeds and sunlamps
You may only list sunbeds or sunlamps if you include the following information within your listing:
- Anyone under 18 should not be using the sunbeds or sunlamps
- A warning that fair-skinned people may be at greater risk to skin damage
- Recommend use of safety goggles
- A link to Cancer Society’s information sheet on Sunbeds and Sunlamps.
In addition, you cannot make any therapeutic or health claims about the use of these products.
For more information on these products, check out the Cancer Society’s information sheet.
Listings for supplements for human use must comply with the Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985. We do not permit listings for supplements which are intended to alter libido or sexual performance. We reserve sole discretion to permit or refuse permission for listings for particular supplements.
You may not list tattoo ink. Ink must also not be included in tattoo kits.
Treated timber may not be listed as being suitable for firewood. For more information, visit our ‘treated timber’ blog post.
You may not list tobacco on the site. The advertisement and sale of tobacco based products contravenes the SmokeFree Environment Act of 1990.
Underwear or undergarments
Used or second hand underwear may be sold on the site. However, it must be washed thoroughly.
Uniforms for NZ Emergency services
You may not list uniforms or accessories for New Zealand 111 Emergency services. This includes police, fire and ambulance uniforms.
You may not list VCDs for sale on the site.
You cannot list Prescription Animal Remedies (PAR) or veterinary only medicines.
You may not list weapons intended for attack purposes, including (without limitation):
- Knives, or weapons incorporating blades which are designed to be thrown such as throwing knives, ninja stars, or throwing axes.
- Knives with a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, commonly known as flick knives or switchblades.
- Knives with a blade that is released from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force, commonly known as butterfly or gravity knives.
- Any knife or blade which is designed to give the appearance of another article such as sword sticks.
- Any knife (excluding folding pocket knives with a blade less than 10cm in length) that is designed for easy concealment on the body, or has a double-edged blade designed for stabbing/throwing.
- Knuckle dusters, nun chucks, mace/morning star/flail, axes (designed/advertised as weapons) hooks, and spikes.
- Side handled/ASP/extensible batons, pepper/OC spray. stun guns or tasers.
- Any weapon, the possession of which would constitute a criminal offence under current New Zealand legislation.
Listings may not promote or imply violence. This includes describing (or implying) that an item can be used in fighting, security, military or combat scenarios, or that using it in self-defence may cause injury (for example a 'self-defence knife').
Trade Me reserves the right to remove any listing which it deems to be for an offensive weapon.
See what listings are banned and restricted across Trade Me.