Trust & Safety Blog

Roaches have feelings too – what’s the deal with cockroach bait?

Cockroach

I. Hate. Cockroaches.

I mean seriously, who hasn’t had that terrifying nightmare about a big, creepy cockroach crawling over their face in the night.

Shudder.

My nervous sweat is soaking into the keyboard even as I write this sentence.

And it gets worse, because cockroaches are pretty much invincible.

They can live for a month without food, can go without air for 45 minutes, and remain functional even when you cut off their heads!

I’m thinking that Superman’s new name should be cockroach… man.

But, like Superman, cockroaches have a weakness, and as you’d expect, the aptly named cockroach bait is made from some seriously potent stuff. Because of this, our mates at MPI have some strict requirements on importing it into New Zealand.

So how do you get your hands on cockroach kryptonite?

While it can be imported into New Zealand, cockroach bait (or more specifically, Advion cockroach bait) requires an importation permit from MPI, declaring that the correct process for importation has been followed.

Without a permit, bringing cockroach bait into New Zealand is a breach of the Biosecurity Act 1993.

Check out MPI’s page on importation for more information.

Why are we so worried about cockroach bait? Nobody likes cockroaches.

Cockroach bait contains a bunch of different chemicals. However, the one MPI is worried about sounds relatively germane: honey. The thing is, the honey hasn’t been treated sufficiently to reduce the risk of introducing exotic pathogens to our native bee population.

While cockroaches are gross, fighting them isn’t worth harming our bees. They do a lot of good for our environment, and truth be told, I don’t think I’d survive without honey on toast for breakfast.

Well I’ve got some Advion cockroach bait, can I sell it on Trade Me?

That’s a firm no from us. While cockroach bait can be imported legitimately, MPI is still investigating the potential harm it may cause to our environment.In other words, the jury is out on cockroach bait and we don’t want it on the site until we know more.

Prepare for the roach uprising!

Yeah, most people don’t want cockroaches around. I think if we’re honest with ourselves though, we’d realise that they don’t really cause that much harm. Maybe we should try living in harmony?

In any case, we reckon we’re blessed to live in a such an untouched, beautiful country and we all need to do our part to keep it that way. You never know, cockroaches might have feelings too.    

Consumers and motor vehicle dealers beware of this operator

Vintage -toy -car -with -driver

Warning for motor vehicle dealers

Our Trust & Safety team have received reports of an individual operating in the Auckland area who is claiming to be in the business of selling ex-Japanese imported vehicles.

In reality, we believe he is in the business of using legitimate motor vehicle traders and companies as fronts to conduct his activities.

We have received a number of reports from buyers who have paid this individual deposits for vehicles that have not been supplied.

Keep an eye out for anyone who approaches you or your business with a sales pitch along these lines:

  • Hey, I have access to Japanese imports – can you sell them for me?
  • I’ll give you a cut for any successful sales.
  • The vehicles are in transit to New Zealand, but I can give you all the photos and other information you need to advertise them for sale.
  • I’m happy to deal with the buyers for you.

This individual will also usually supply the same bank account number to receive payments.

If the account number ‘06 0193 0584419 002’ pops up for you at all, let us know.

Be cautious of any unexpected offers

If you’re approached in the above manner, take these steps to make sure everything is above board:

  • Ask questions and require proof – this individual will often use false names, or have others approach you on his behalf.
  • It’s your membership, so make sure you handle all communications with buyers yourself.
  • Never give this person access to your Trade me account.
  • Definitely make sure you are responsible for the flow of money.

Keep in mind

As professional dealers, you have obligations under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act and general consumer law.

You can’t afford to neglect doing your due diligence. You might think you’re just making a good deal, but if everything goes pots up, you will be left holding the can for any unresolved issues.

If you have any questions, or think you might have come into contact with this individual, please let us know right away. 

Hello, is your fridge running?...

Iphone -screen

Ever had a prank caller?

Or someone from ‘Microsoft’ calling to say you have a virus that needs immediate attention, even though you don’t have a PC but a Macbook?

Or maybe one from ‘Spark’ in a similar vein, asking for login details and possibly even your credit card information?

These are phone scams.

They’re designed to gain your trust by using a well-known business name to scare you into giving away your details, with threats of account closure or banishment into the great unknown should you not provide what they’re after.

Unfortunately, some of these industrious individuals are now targeting Trade Me users, calling members and claiming to be from Trade Me.

They’re asking you to ‘top up’ your membership using your credit card or Trade Me will terminate your account.

It looks like they’re getting information from the companies register and potentially getting contact numbers off Trade Me listings (which is generally a no-no and one of the many reasons we ask you not to post this detail).

If you receive a call from ‘Trade Me’ wanting you to top up your membership, or asking you to supply your credit card details for any reason, please end the call and contact us.

If you think you may have fallen foul of this scam and supplied any details to these callers, you should contact your bank immediately and then get in touch with us, or Netsafe to report the scam.

Here’s a plethora of information about staying safe online too. 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing with recognising a scam, but if you can get ahead of the curve to know what to expect, you’ll have a happier and safer time when online.

Take care out there!

What to do if we ask you for ‘proof of product safety’ (or POPS for short)

When you buy something online, you want it to be safe.

We want the items sold on Trade Me to be safe too, so from time to time we ask members for proof that the items being sold are approved for use in New Zealand households.

Government agencies that enforce product safety standards also do their own follow ups, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re informed about what can and can’t be safely used. 

The kind of proof we’ll be asking you to provide will depend on what items you’re selling. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the situations where you might be asked for POPS.

For the shockingly safety conscious…

One of the main areas that crops up is electrical goods. Some of these items will need something called a ‘Supplier Declaration of Compliance’ (or SDoC), which is basically a document that says the item is safe to be sold. Specialty items will also often need additional certification.

If you’re a professional seller, you probably already know about these safety standards and will be able to supply an SDoC when required.

Anybody smell that?

On the topic of SDoCs, but with a bit of a segue, similar rules exist around gas appliances. Since 2010, sellers will also need to show a safety compliance label, which should be found on the item itself.

Again, these documents should be able to be given to you by a supplier or importer if you don’t have them on hand.

Food, glorious food!

Moving away from the dry stuff, and onto something a bit more palatable. Food!

A contaminated barrel of fish is hardly a barrel of laughs, and we care about protecting your insides.

If we ask you to show your food is bug free, we’ll want to know if it’s either made in a registered kitchen, or is covered by a Food Safety Programme.

If you do have some kai you want to share over Trade Me, it might pay to double check that your treats fit within the safety guidelines.

Extras for experts…

Generally, we’re allowed to pick and choose what we buy and what we sell on, but sometimes the Minister puts their foot down where they know something will cause injury. That’s when an unsafe goods notice is issued.

Anything subject to an unsafe goods notice can’t be sold on Trade Me. For example, chainsaws without a chain brake.

Now you’ll be glad to hear that not every request is going to ask for a fancy certificate. Some of the time we’ll just need you to take a clear photo of part of the item.

Don’t sweat it, we’ll make sure to be clear about what we’re asking you for in any POPS request.

For more information about product safety, check out this other great blog. There are also a bunch of other products with mandatory safety standards which can be found in further detail on the Commerce Commission website.

Thanks for reading and stay safe! 

Paying for trades with your credit card is cool

Pay -now -logo

We’re all about making life better for our members while doing our very best to keep them safe so for this post as part of our Connect Smart 2016 series we're focusing on safe trading with a credit card.

When you buy on Trade Me, you’re choosing to spend your hard-earned cash with us, and we want you to feel safe and secure about trading, and know we’ll protect your transactions.

Every day on Trade Me, people from all around the country send money to people they have never met, for goods they have not yet seen.

This could be quite an unsettling prospect, but rest assured there is a level of protection in place and we’re there to assist you in more ways than one.  

Absolutely the safest way you can pay for goods on Trade Me, is by using your credit or debit card via our ‘Pay Now’ service.

Pay Now is a secure payments platform built and maintained by us. We monitor payments 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and proactively contact cardholders when transactions are considered high risk.

What’s a high risk transaction?

Just as your bank keeps watch over your cards’ security, we do the same using a sophisticated array of fraud scoring alerts, investigation tools and an experienced team.

High risk could mean you’ve purchased a high-value item as a newly established Trade Me member, so we may want to give you a quick call and make sure it’s a genuine purchase.

It could also be you’ve purchased a high-value item at an irregular time of day and via an overseas IP address.

Are you simply buying while on holiday or has your Trade Me membership been compromised?

It’s our job to find out.

If your credit card is lost after a night out and then used by an opportunistic individual at 4am to purchase a beer fridge, an Xbox and a mobility scooter for Gran on Trade Me, we’ll make sure trades are put on hold until we speak with you (if you’re suffering from a particularly vicious hangover, we’ll even try to whisper if that helps...).

As a general rule we try to keep this contact to a minimum. We don’t want to bother you every time you make a purchase. In most cases one call is all we’ll need to ensure your card is safely in your possession and the membership it’s being used on belongs to you or somebody that you trust.

To assist us with this process, please keep your contact details up to date.

It’s also really handy if you include your contact details in the delivery instructions.

If we’ve been unable to get hold of you by phone, we may drop you an email.

Purchase protection

Another benefit of buying via Pay Now with your credit or debit card, is the added level of purchase protection you get.

As the verified cardholder, you’re protected against the non-delivery of goods purchased using your card. If your item never shows up, we have a process to assist you.

You can also dispute the quality or condition if you feel it’s been misrepresented by the seller or if it’s been damaged in transit.

This dispute process is known as a ‘retrieval’ and if it’s successful, you’ll get your money back, otherwise known as a  ‘chargeback’.

Moral of the story?

Paying with your card is cool.

This post is part of Trade Me taking part in the Connect Smart 2016 week.  Connect Smart is a partnership that promotes ways for individuals, businesses and schools to protect themselves online.

Check out our posts on wiping your hard drive to protect personal informationworking out who the lemon traders are and keeping an eye out for job scams.

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