Trust & Safety Blog

Ivory and other endangered species products banned from sale on Trade Me

Ivory -jewellery -illegal

We’ve decided to ban the sale of animal parts from animals listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (‘CITES’) on Trade Me. The ban will come into effect on 17 September 2014.

The ban will affect almost all ivory sales on Trade Me. It also includes parts from animals such as red panda, gorilla, chimpanzee, tigers, lion, leopards, jaguar, cheetah, elephants, dugong, manatees and rhinoceros.

What is CITES?

CITES is an international agreement between governments that came into force in 1975. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

When will the ban come into play on Trade Me?

From 17 September 2014. We’ll review this policy (and the exceptions) from time-to-time.

Why has Trade Me made this decision?

A ban on ivory (and other animal products) feels like the right thing to do. We’ve consulted with a lot of experts in this area, including advocacy groups and the Department of Conservation.

Trade Me allowing the sale of ivory in particular is increasingly out of step with international trends. We also read the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee’s report which recommended a full ban on ivory sales in New Zealand.

So will all ivory be banned from sale on Trade Me?

Almost all. It will become a breach of Trade Me’s terms and conditions to sell any item made of or containing ivory, regardless of age or size, subject to two exceptions:

  • Pianos with ivory keys manufactured before 1975; and
  • Bag pipes with ivory parts manufactured before 1975

Why are there two exceptions?

These items pop up from time-to-time. They are pretty uncommon historical antiques and are clearly identifiable. We do not believe allowing the trade in these items supports demand for ivory – modern versions of these instruments substitute ivory for alternative products.

Want to know more about CITES and the ivory trade?

More information about ivory trading can be found at these sites:

Creative Commons image used courtesy USFWS Mountain-Prairie.

Trade Me transparency report August 2014

Like many NZ-based companies, we receive requests for information from NZ government agencies to assist them with their responsibilities to maintain the law.

We've put together our second 'Trade Me Transparency Report' to give insight into how we work with government agencies to help keep our website trusted and safe.

This transparency report details the number of requests from government agencies for information from us in the year from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014

The 2014 report can be read here.

You can also read the 2013 Trade Me Transparency Report

You have not bought a BBQ - but you did receive a phishing email

Overseas scammers are taking the time to do a spot of 'phishing' and are targetting Trade Me members (and also persons who do not use Trade Me) by trying to trick them out of personal details to use to commit fraud.  

You may have been sent an email that looks like the below image.


It is a faked credit card payment receipt. The recipient has NOT actually made a transaction on Trade Me at all. It is an attempt to trick you into 'cancelling' the transaction and providing your credit card details to the scammer. 

DO NOT click on the links contained in the email. They may look like Trade Me but they are not our URLs. Simply delete the email and commend yourself for being cyber safe. 

We are working to have this site removed as soon as we can.

Points to take action on for you to take action on:

  • If you have provided your credit card details via the fake site you MUST CALL YOUR BANK RIGHT NOW. Explain the situation and they will cancel the card immediately
  • If you believe you entered your Trade Me login details into a phishing website, you will need to reset your Trade Me password immediately via your My Trade Me page.
  • As a security precaution, we recommend you run a full virus scan on your computer immediately. In case you don't already have security software to assist with this, you might like to check out this free product:
  • If you use the same password elsewhere, it’s possible that your other online accounts may also be accessed. We strongly urge you to secure these accounts by updating your password and any security questions as soon as possible (but call your bank first).
  • If you'd like to know more about phishing, read our guide to how to protect yourself from scams.

Safety considerations for parents when purchasing second-hand infant sleep products

Oak -cot

This is a guest post on children's sleep safety by the Child Youth Mortality Review Committee (CYMRC). It works under the umbrella of the Health Quality & Safety Commission to provide advice on how to prevent deaths among children and young people. 


Babies can suffocate during sleep due to unsafe cots and bassinettes. This occurs by wedging of the infant's face, neck or chest between sleeping surfaces and/or bedding. Unintentional suffocation is preventable, and can be minimised if the right precautions are taken when purchasing sleep products.

Where deaths have occurred, cots and bassinettes commonly had an inappropriately sized mattress that allowed for wedging between the mattress and the base of the cot.

Another common factor was that the sides of the cot were faulty and allowed infants to slip through and become trapped.

The Child Youth Mortality Review Committee (CYMRC) emphasises the following guidelines for families and whānau when buying sleeping products:

Mandatory standard

When looking to buy a second hand cot, it is important to ensure that it is compliant with the mandatory safety standard AS/NZS 2172:2003. All cots sold in New Zealand must comply with this standard. It requires that the cot must not have any gaps or protrusions that could trap a child or catch their clothing, and it must not have any sharp edges. Additionally, the sides must be high enough to stop a small child climbing out and there should not be any footholds.

It is important to note that if a cot is old or damaged, it may no longer meet the requirements of the standard. A product bought overseas might also not comply with NZ safety standards.

The Commerce Commission enforces the law and have a great help page

Instructions for construction

When buying a second hand cot or bassinette, always ask for the instructions or check that they can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website. You need to know how to set up the product and use it safely.

Safe sleeping for babies includes:

  • Putting babies to sleep on their backs so they can breathe unobstructed, and making sure there is no bedding nearby that might cover their faces.  Avoid using pillows or loose blankets, remove any cords from bedding, and ensure there are no gaps in their bed in which they might become wedged.
  • Make sure babies sleep in a smoke-free environment and that the room is not too hot, so they will not overheat while sleeping.
  • Babies are safest when sleeping in their own cot or bassinette, and in the same room as their parents for the first six months of their lives.
  • Ensure the person looking after a baby is sober, drug-free and alert to the baby’s needs.

What to look for when buying a cot

Many infant products are covered by standards which aim to prevent injury or reduce the risk.

  • Look for a certification mark that shows the product complies with the AS/NZS 2172, such as the ‘S’ mark (must be accompanied by the Standard No and a Licence No) or the Australian ‘tick’ mark. There may also be some other certification body’s logo referenced.
  • Check there are no broken or wobbly bars.
  • All bolts and screws should be firmly in place and not protruding
  • The corner posts should not stick up more than 5mm.
  • Make sure the mattress fits the cot snugly, and that there are not gaps which would allow a child to become trapped beneath the mattress.
  • The mattress should be firm and flat.

What to look for when buying a bassinette

As soon as babies can support their own weight and lift themselves, they should go into a cot. Note: there are no Australian or New Zealand safety standards for bassinettes.

  • The bassinette should be sturdy and durable with a wide base.
  • The mattress should be firm and fit snugly around all sides with no gaps larger than 25mm.
  • There should be no sharp edges or protrusions that could hurt a baby or snag their clothing.
  • Mesh sides provide good ventilation.

What to look for when buying a portable cot 

Avoid cots that have puffy fabric sides.

  • The cot should have 2 locking mechanisms to prevent it from collapsing accidentally.
  • The cot should be stable and have good base support.
  • The mattress should fit snugly with no gaps at the sides or ends. Only use a mattress that was designed specifically for the cot.
  • Inside the cot, there should be no footholds that could allow the child to climb out.
  • Make sure there are no protrusions or sharp edges.
  • There should be no gaps that could trap a child’s finger, limb or head.
  • If the cot has a removable base, check that it is firmly secured.
  • Mesh sides give good ventilation and allow you to easily see the child.
  • A pocket on the outside of the cot is good for storing small items or toys.

There also a ‘Community Watch’ button on each listing. You can use this to report a product you suspect may be unsafe. Trade Me staff will check the product and, if there are any concerns, remove it or refer it to the Commerce Commission.

Selling a cot

People wishing to sell a product on Trade Me that appears on the list of Banned & restricted items – such as a child's car seat or a cot – must confirm they have read the guide to the Product Safety Standard for cots and that their cot complies.

Trade Me works closely with the Commerce Commission in this space and notes the Commission may hand out heavy fines for selling a non-compliant cot.


In 2013, the CYMRC released a special report on unintentional suffocation, foreign body inhalation and strangulation. Here’s a full copy of the report.  

Safekids Aotearoa, the national injury prevention service of Starship Children’s Health, supports Safe Sleep Day. They provide parents with important product safety advice, specifically about cots, check them out!


A big thanks to the Child Youth Mortality Review Committee for putting this guide together.

The keeping safe online campaign

As part of a recent Netsafe and Google ‘keeping safe online’ programme, teens from all around New Zealand were tasked with putting together a submission that would get the message out to other teenagers about protecting themselves online and treating others respectfully.

Trade Me contributed to the handbook produced as part of the campaign and a few staff popped along to the parliamentary launch event where we met some talented young ‘Web Rangers’ who were doing great things to draw attention to online risks.

Netsafe’s Martin Cocker talked about risk being a reality of our online existence. He noted the importance of a responsive framework regulating internet use, allowing for flexibility as new issues arise. Poor regulation could stifle creativity as could attempts to control the organic, user-driven nature of internet communities. 

It is important to be educated and aware of the risks; from cyber-bullying, to identity theft or to having your devices compromised by spyware and malware. 

About 140 teens from Southland to Northland met with experts in public awareness campaigns, and then had six weeks to put together a campaign that would highlight the risks in online participation. 

The submissions were many and varied, with the winners from each region taking out the top prize of a trip to Sydney to visit Google Headquarters. The three top prize winning campaigns from each region are below, with two videos and one website:

Hayley Smith from Auckland’s Te Kura

Angus Slade from Wellington

Tip Varnakomala from Burnside High School, Christchurch 

Trade Me would like to congratulate all of the winners for their exceptional entries – well done!