Trade laws and what they mean for you – selling ‘in trade’

You may have heard about the  trade laws that have come in to play. From 17th of June 2014, sellers must make it clear that they are ‘in trade’ when selling items online. This means consumers will know when they are protected under the Fair Trading Act and the Commerce Commission guidelines.

The Fair Trading Act applies to what people in trade do and say when selling goods and services. The Consumer Guarantees Act provides guarantees for when you purchase from a person in trade.

If you are trading as a professional seller, the law change means you now need to disclose this to members when you are selling online.


What does ‘in trade’ mean and does it apply to me?

‘In trade’ applies to you if you are a professional seller, if you make, buy or obtain goods with the intention of selling them, if you are GST registered, or if you regularly sell goods or services online. For example: if you purchase 100 pairs of shoes in multiple sizes with the intention of selling them online, then you are ‘in trade’. When you sell them online, you must clearly show that you are selling them in trade and comply with the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act.

If you have a pair of shoes that you bought for yourself, have worn them a few times, and are selling them on, then you are not in trade as you initially purchased them for personal use.


I am a seller in trade – what now?

Determining whether or not you are in trade is something that you need to decide – we can’t make this decision for you. You can check out our Help Section for more information and some useful links to take into consideration.


How do I add the ‘in trade’ tag to my account?

To add the in trade tag to your account, go My account and click on Set ‘in trade’ status.

In trade

This will now appear in your settings and on all of your listings.  It will also appear on your profile, and is displayed on the ‘Seller’s details’ on your listings.


I don’t think I’m in trade – do I need to do anything?

If you have determined that you are not in trade, then you don’t need to do anything to your profile.


What if I’m somewhere in the middle?

If you are selling in trade for some items, and not for others, then there are a couple of options. You could set up a handshake business account for your business, and keep your personal membership open for other items. Or, you could keep your personal account and disclose when you are in trade clearly in the listing details. Or, you could turn on your ‘in trade’ badge when you want to sell in trade, and then turn it off when you are selling personal items. How you want to manage your accounts is up to you.

What if I don’t disclose this information? If you don’t disclose the fact that you are selling in trade, then the Commerce Commission can fine you.


What do I need to know as a buyer?

The ‘in trade’ status is great news for you if you are a buyer! This means that you can see when a seller is in trade, and know that you are protected under the Consumer Guarantees Act.

You don’t need to worry about changing anything in your account – just keep your eyes out for the ‘in trade’ status, and know that you are protected under the new Act.

If you have any questions at all about whether or not this applies to you, or about the changes to your personal settings, feel free to get in touch with our Helpdesk.

We are working hard to make handshake a safe and fair site for all New Zealanders, and we want to make it easy for you to declare your position as a person in trade so our buyers are protected under the Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Guarantees Act. Thank you for your co-operation and we look forward to seeing our ‘in trade’ badges out there in action!

Need help? – Visit our help desk