We want to make sure everyone using Trade Me has a great experience when they buy or sell. Community Watch is the best way to notify us if a listing isn’t quite right. We have a specialist team who review the reports, and will take appropriate action behind the scenes. It's best to file one report per seller with all of the info in one report - if there are listings from different sellers, they can be reported separately. If you file multiple complaints on a listing, or on multiple listings from one seller, this can slow down our team from getting to your complaint.
In order for us to make the most of your complaint, we need as much information as possible. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Choosing the right complaint subject
It’s important to let us know exactly what the issue is with the listing you’re reporting, so we know what to keep an eye out for. You can let us know if:
- It shouldn’t be listed (or the listing should be withdrawn)
- The way it's listed is incorrect
- Someone’s using the Q&A inappropriately
- The seller is trying to avoid paying the right fees
- There are intellectual property concerns (counterfeit items, breach of trademark, etc.)
- It’s a face mask that’s not in line with our mask policy
If your complaint doesn’t neatly fit into the above, you can choose the ‘something else’ option. When you do this, it’s particularly important to include as much information as possible.
Give us all the details!
Because we can’t all be industry experts about the 8 million listings on the site at any given time, we appreciate a helping hand from those who are. It’s important for us that you point out exactly where the issue is and why it’s a problem. Don’t be afraid to spell it out for us!
For example, if a listing is in the wrong category, it’s really helpful to let us know which category it should be in.
Or, if you think an item is a counterfeit product, don’t forget to add why you think that. Providing us with your source of information is a great way to do that.
Attach any supporting evidence
Our team can only take action based on the evidence they can see. That’s why we need as much info from you as possible, regardless of which complaint subject you’ve chosen.
Most of the time, the evidence will be in the listing itself. Sometimes though, it’s not.
For example, if a car is listed on the site, and the seller has told you it’s been sold already. From our end, we have no way of telling the item isn’t up for grabs anymore – unless the seller mentions this in the description or Q&A themselves. If you’ve emailed or texted them, include a screenshot of your conversation with them so we can see if they’ve said it’s no longer available.
Here are some examples of great reports
This report has the right options selected, and gives further detail about what specifically isn’t right about the listing. Nice!
This report specifies why this isn’t the right category for the item that’s listed. Ka pai!
Here are some examples of not so great reports
This one needs a bit of love. This report doesn’t give any information about what’s wrong with the listing or seller. We can’t do anything with this one.
This is a well-detailed report, but the seller has no links to contact them, it is listed in the right spot, and is selling their parts through the site. All is good!
Without any information or reasons why the item listed could be counterfeit, we don't have a lot to go on with this report.
So with these points in mind...
Go forth, make some great reports, and help us to help you!
If you have any questions, post them below
I get very frustrated with this system. My current bugbear is Daggers, for the life of me I don't even know why you guys have a section for daggers, when we are seemingly not allowed to list them...
I have had a few discussions in the past with the trust and safety team, but the interpretations of what the rules are, seems to change with each staff member, and also each year (as staff move on, and new ones come aboard).
What seems to be happening at the moment, is around double edged blades, so all the Fairbain Sykes are getting pulled down, because they have a double edge, now they used to be ok, because they had a fixed blade that is over 10 cm, but now the blade length is irrelevant, and I am told that any double edged blade no matter what length is not ok. However .... after doing some community reports myself (sorry my fellow trade me users) it seems that a double edged dagger is fine, if they are ethnic in some way, Asian or African and you are all good, European style double blades get taken down. The other strange thing, is that if the one of the blades is serrated then that is fine too.
If you call your blade a Dirk (which is Scottish) it gets taken down, but a Kriss which is Indonesian is all good.
Swords and bayonets are fine - but there is no guideline about what the difference between a dagger and a Sword is - How long does a blade have to be, before it becomes a sword?
What is frustrating is that things get taken down with no warning, Sellers work extremely hard to create content, and its extremely galling to have that work taken down (especially when you are selling something perfectly legal like a Fairnbain Sykes) to satisfy the whim of some Karen.
It also hurts, when as a seller, an item gets taken down, we question it, get a response justifying the decision, and we also get told that "If you have concerns about other listings, use the community watch button" So we find an exact, or near to match to our item that was taken down report it, using the same reasons that we were given for our item being taken down, and then the one we report gets to play out .... NOT TAKEN DOWN!!!
On the other side of the coin we report something, explaining why its not allowed on Trade Me, then it does not get taken down, did someone see our report? There is never any acknowledgement its been read, and if they did see it, why was I wrong, and the listing was allowed to play out?
In theory, if you read the rules, no double edged knife is allowed on Trade Me - this means that none of the 79 Oyster knives currently listed on this site are allowed, as they have a double edged blade that is not folding and is under 10 cm ....
What we really want is some consistency from the team, and perhaps, maybe, you don't need to rely on the CW system so much - so for example, there is an article on this site about "Selling Sea Shells By The Sea Shore" we cannot sell Sea Shells on Trade Me, you are very clear, so you don't need someone to CW all the Sea Shells everyday, you can go on yourselves once a week and type in "Sea Shell" and remove all the ones that don't fit your criteria, you don't really need us to do all of your job for you. I understand that you cannot be a expert in everything, not everyone is Antique Dealer who knows their turtle shell from their Ivory, or an Electrician who is up with he play with the latest legislation, but there is basic searches you could do yourselves.
Sorry rant over, you may go now.
Hi, 1. looking to buy a mobile phone went to mobile phones, choose the phone option from the 4 options including one for Accessories
2. I refine the search by location WELLINGTON and lowest price
Start my search and see pages of adds for mobile phone cases more than 20 rows of 3 when I stopped counting.
Its annoying because having to scroll through pages of phone cases when they should be in the accessories where they belong. Because there's the odd phone amongst all these adds for cases it wasn't even easy to scroll through as some cases looked like phones and needed a second look. They also all seem to be from a single seller
3. I'd like you to tell this large seller to get his goods in the right place because it's a pain where they are now.
Hi Hamish. Are you able to give us any guidelines on what the length of time we need to allow for action to be seen happening? Just so we don't overload the system needlessly.
eg, if a seller is reported for obvious infringements of your T & C, how long should we wait after a first report before sending another report? and how long to wait after that before another one etc?
I would have thought say first report, wait 2 weeks, 2nd report, wait another 1 week, wait another week and by that time, ie after 4 weeks, changes should be evident? or does it take longer than that to action.
If no change after 4 weeks and 3 reports, what do we do then?
Some guidelines would help so we all don't waste our time.
So where to next when reporting a seller for email address in their auctions that they list every week that I've reported at least 8 times stretching back from today to last year, and emailed you guys directly as well and used Live chat?
I'm sort of after the number of times things should be reported before we give up and say, nothing is going to happen, rather than keep on doing it and wasting time. It's just rather annoying when competitors provide contact details to avoid the auction process, like one that lists auctions every day with their email address in them and currently has almost 1,000 auctions with their email address in, that I've reported many times over several months.
What's the next step after CW, Emails, Live chat?
Hi Gary, I'll follow up with you directly in this case as it looks like I might need some more info
Seems quite obvious that your Trademe account was hacked since you say the card was used for Trademe purchases. Presumably you have the emails from Tradme confirming your purchases? or has you email been hacked too?
Are the transactions showing on your Trademe account and in your Ping or Afterpay account on here?
Sounds like you have already cancelled your card, so first thing to do, change your trademe password, and if you can, change your Trademe email address to another one.
Hi, your 'Report this listing' is not operating, I am watching 20 odd saws with no chain brakes listed. Pity help T/M if somebody is injured with a saw purchased through T/M not fitted with a safety Chain Brake
So with 6 days to run on an auction - I reported a throwing knife. - The auction was allowed to play out to its conclusion.
I put it in the right category - "This is not allowed on Trade Me"
I included in the "Tell us more" Section the actual quote form your own guidelines page / Banned and restricted. - "Knives, or weapons incorporating blades which are designed to be thrown such as throwing knives, ninja stars, or throwing axes."
So with all the time available, can I assume that someone saw my report, and reviewed the auction and made the decision that an item that was literally listed as "Throwing Knife" in the title is ok?
Can I list one if I want too?
If you are going to have these kinds of rules, they need to be applied consistently, and if you are going to create a thread like this one, and someone does exactly what you ask, the way you ask us to do it, then you need to follow up.
So I did 6 community watch reports on doubled edged daggers at the beginning of this week, 2 of which had incorporated knuckle dusters, so far 3 of the auctions have played out, and 3 are still live.
I did the reports exactly as asked, I even copy and pasted the quote from the Trade Me guidelines.
Now what has happened???
Did my reports get ignored?
Were there not enough staff to action them?
Or have has Trade Me changed its mind (again) about what counts as a banned weapon?
All I know is, that if I try listing one, it will get taken down in a few hours, and I will get an email telling me what a naughty lad I am.
Lynda Hi there! Trade Me staff don't often comment on here, and they next to never send a confirmation report.Personally as a seller, I find it a very tricky situation when people ask for a bid to be removed, because I feel bad for the under bidder, who is now leading with their absolute highest auto bid.I tend to leave the under bidders bid alone in this situation, because I fear that if I remove their bid as well, it may do more harm than good.If I removed their bid as well, they may not see the notification for example, and not realize that they need to re-bid, and they might miss out on something they really wanted, another thing that can happen is that is can cause confusion, and upset, so it is best to not remove peoples bids unless they specifically ask.The situation you describe, Trade Me will not do anything about, they give bidders the right to request that their bids are removed before an auction closes, the only thing you could do is ask for your bids to be removed as well and start again, although - be warned, this can piss sellers off, as basically you are asking them to reset the auction.Hopefully you get a better experience with your next trade!
Hi Gary, that's a good question, and your current method sounds practical. For auction listings that run for about 7 days, it would be reasonable to report these once per listing/relisting. For classified listings that can run for 90 days, or longer with relists, these can be reported again about every 2 weeks. Generally reports are reviewed in less than 7 days, but occasionally it can be longer.
If you've reported a listing/relisting a few times already, and you are sure there is a problem that hasn't been addressed, you can reach out to our team directly to get clarification.
Fraudulent use of Visa card to purchase from Trademe. My visa was used to purchase goods from Trademe and Holiday houses Wellington yesterday 19/3/22. I can't get in touch with Trademe to get information about the transactions or cancel them which is extremely frustrating as the amounts involved are not small. Any help appreciated in how to get a quick response from Trademe. Thanks
Further to my previous post regarding fraudulent use of my visa card, I forgot to add that we still have the card (cancelled) and hadn't made any online transactions or used the card recently and now wonder if our Trade me account was hacked. I've just read Trade mes tips on keeping cards safe and how they ring to warn people of big transactions, sadly they didn't do this with us.
Hi Gary, We haven't received any emails confirming purchases as someone has used our visa card to pay for their purchases. We have no idea who this person is as we still have our visa card which hasn't been used recently either in store or online by us and as the fraudulent transactions are two Trade me purchases and two Holiday houses Wellington transactions which I believe are also linked to Trade me I'm presuming somehow they have had access to our My Trade me. If Trade me would answer my emails giving details of transactions I would be able to pass details on to Police. The total amount of transactions is $4416. so I'm understandably upset and annoyed at the lack of service Trade me offers in this situation. I also feel sorry for the sellers who will probably miss out as our bank knows these transactions are not ours.
So I presume there is no sign of the transactions on Trademe on your account? ie nothing in Ping transactions, nothing in Afterpay/Pay Now transactions? If nothing there, then at least your Trademe account is safe.
You obviously have some details from somewhere to believe the transactions are from Trademe and Holiday houses, so wherever that is, should have further detail or reference numbers to be able to find more details. Being the weekend, you are not likely to get a response from Trademe till Monday, but it would be worth emailing all the details you have to firstname.lastname@example.org which is the Trust & Safety email address that is usually monitored 24/7. They will be able to at least put a block on anymore activity on that card on Trademe until your card issuer can find out what's happened.
Refererring to a listing. The listing does not conform with previously stated Trademe policy re Restricted Two-Way Radios. The listing has to state that these Baofeng VHF/UHF radios can only be sold to bidders who hold an Amateur Radio Transmitting Licence. Reason being that these Baofeng VHF/UHF radios can be made to operate on unauthorised frequencies. See www.rsm.govt.nz/assetts/Uploads/documents/RSM-Illegal-Two-Way-Radio-leaflet-FINAL.pdf.
Lucy Community team
Hi Terry, I can see you've reached out to the team via email which was the right thing to do. I'll follow up with our Fraud Prevention team right away.
Laurie, thanks for the heads up on that listing. Go ahead and file the report so we have a record of that complaint.
It would be nice to do a good report but alas scratch the human and out comes the beast.
Unsold listings - they either disappear after showing a few or they just do not show. Now this
is not a new problem and may have put this on notice to TM when, I can not remember.
This pathetic scenario causes loss of responding to a potential buyer and subsequently
I have sent a complaint this morning on your HELP platform with screen shots and got a
good OOPS! and a 404.
Now this is very tiring and unacceptable and if this does not get fixed I would need to ring
a bigger bell.
A very unhappy beast.
I have tried to report someone for potentially fraudulent activity but the system keeps rejecting my report!!
Hi Malcolm. The info in this thread below should help you.
What do you do if you have reason to believe someone is listing stolen property?
For example, an uncommon item, listed new, well below wholesale and market prices later in the day that an identical item was stolen from a store in the same region
After my own query, I have come to the conclusion that if TradeMe waits long enough for an auction to finish before responding, they don’t have to actually deal with pesky problems like people using their platform to fence stolen property, because it is now too late to do anything about it.
Oh dear, how unfortunate. The seller has the money, the buyer has their limited edition item and my store has lost any chance of recovering the stolen property.
TM must have gotten rid of it Simon as no listings with Throwing knife in the title currently, although sometimes while it's under investigation it is put in a limbo area so although it might still be on your watchlist and viewable to you, it doesn't appear in searches and other people can not see it. You can usually verify this by searching again for it, or go to the listing on your watchlist, click in to the listing, then refresh and you'll get an invalid listing error, although it stays on your watchlist and you can go back and view it again.
Hi there Gary nah they didn't bud, the auction closed and the seller sent me a fixed price offer, it was never removed.
If they have changed the rules -cool, they also need to update their banned/restricted guidelines.
Edit: There is slightly more to the story, this is item has had been relisted (at least once that i know of), I reported it the first time it went up, I think it had 3 days to run at that point, but i never kept note of it to be sure. This time round I sent the report with 6 days to run, they had plenty of time to see it.
Hmm, strange. I reported a set of throwing knives (didn't show up initially without " " as throwing knives was only in the description not the title), soon after your post at 12:20pm today and TM have withdrawn it now.
And a few more got withdrawn for other reasons, just now less than 15 mins after reporting. Maybe someone at TM just popped in to work remotely.
Hi Gary - Good on you bud, maybe they just take you more seriously than me ... which would be sad, as the rules should apply equally, the very fabric of society is based on rules.
I just have a problem with the whole community watch system, this scenaro just demonstrates how arbitrary it is. Reports are not acknowledged, and if something gets withdrawn or not, is up to the whim of whomever is checking the mail on that day.
I find the knives thing very frustrating, because at some point a decade ago someone sat down and made their own rules, someone who in all likelihood no longer works at T-Me. What it should be, is if the knife is flat out illegal - like a butterfly knife with an inertia blade, or a knife that has a spring loaded blade, then sure it should be banned, no question. Anything else which is legal to own, like a throwing knife should be fine.
There is other funny things as well, like Chainsaws for an example, all chainsaws need to be fitted with a chain-brake, but.... that chain-brake has to work within a certain performance parameter, now poor Joe public has no way of actually testing this, so really, all chainsaws should be banned, unless you can prove the chain-brake works.
Electrical items is another interesting one, especially for second hand older items, the Electrical safety guidelines do have some pretty basic requirements for an item, one of them, is that the plug must be insulated, so really none of the 50 or so Black Singer sewing machines, (the ones that are motorized) are legally compliant. (Unless they have had a plug change). I think people know this too, as no one ever includes a pic of the plug.
I think they need to ditch the community watch system, strip the guidelines back to basics, and hire some consultants to do the work, rather than leave it up to us.
I know what you mean Simon, but believe me, they take no more notice of me than anyone else, that's for sure. There is no consistency and it often takes months of repeat CWs to bring any action, yet sometimes once is all it needs. I had a similar episode recently with someone selling spring assisted flick knives. TM withdrew them after CW, next week seller relists, TM withdrew them after CW and this went on for several months. Eventually I emailed direct to the Manager of Policy and Compliance, Trust and Safety but even that took several goes for effective action to be taken.
Can you please stop traders using the word Leather as a descriptor when something is made out of PU (Polyurethane) it is not a tanned animal hide it is a man made product I don't mind if they say leather look but just saying PU Leather is a false statement as PU is certanly not Leather
this seller is a good example
where the title of the sale is Denim Leather it's not until you open the trade that you then find out it's not Leather at all it's PU
I agree with Sharelle - it feels like they do nothing and just wait it out. its extremely frustrating when other sellers are breaking the rules when you are doing the right thing and following the rules of the site, I am getting to the point of just not caring and doing what everyone else is doing and as nothing gets done and they are getting away with it.
good example seller has auction clearly supplies its own website and states it will be cheaper if you buy direct (this is not a store on trade me or have them as listings) - report every time the list goes live but nothing changes - so maybe we should be doing the same as the fees are painful.