Trade Me has announced new guidelines for buying and selling on the platform, with commerce continuing on the website but with only essential items being traded.

Trade Me said it has followed the guidelines set by the government around essential goods and services. Essential items include those from the following categories: phones, office supplies, health and exercise, heating and cooling, kitchen, food and beverage supplies, computers, and car parts, among some others.

In addition to severely limiting the items which can be traded on the site, Trade Me has also made all payments contactless, and limited item delivery to courier services, which means no pick-ups.

Trade Me has also advised its users that in order to comply with government regulations, the company may provide the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment with limited information about users’ names and items sold.

“We want to make sure our members are able to get the things they may need during isolation quickly and safely,” said Trade Me head of marketplace, Lisa Stewart. “This means we are allowing both casual and professional sellers to list items in approved essential categories.”

The company also clarified what happens to auctions trading in items not deemed essential: users cannot buy these items, but they can still be viewed and saved to watch lists. Users will not be charged a withdrawal fee if they wanted to take a listing off the website due to the item being deemed non-essential.

Trade Me has also stated that anyone not following guidelines will likely have their account suspended.

"The safety of buyers and sellers is Trade Me’s top priority,” concluded Stewart.