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SELLING GOODS OR SERVICES ONLINE THE RIGHT WAY

From 17 June 2014 businesses who sell goods or services online (e.g. through websites or smartphone applications) must make it clear that they are in trade, so that consumers know they are protected under the Fair Trading Act 1986 and the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993.

Who is in Trade?

The definition of "trade" is broad and can be quite fact specific. Broadly, any person who regularly offers to sell goods or services online will be considered in trade. On the flip side, a person who is simply reselling a good they initially purchased for personal use (e.g. selling a used item on Trade Me) will generally not be considered in trade.

The Commerce Commission has emphasised that businesses selling goods or services online must:

  1. Make it clear to potential buyers that they are in trade (i.e.
    they should disclose their trader status clearly and prominently in every place
    online where a customer can complete a purchase);
  2. Ensure any representation they make about the goods or
    services they are selling are accurate and do not mislead or deceive consumers;
  3. Not mislead consumers about their rights and obligations;
  4. Avoid engaging in unfair sales practices, such as bait
    advertising or pyramid selling;
  5. Have a reasonable basis for any claims they make about their
    products or services, whether the claims are expressed or implied; and
  6. Comply with the product safety and consumer information
    standards where relevant, and not sell any goods prohibited by an unsafe goods
    notice.

The Commerce Commission has provided some very helpful tips
for people who buy or sell goods or services online in the link below:

http://www.comcom.govt.nz/fair-trading/changes-to-the-fair-trading-act/fact-sheets/buying-and-selling-online/

 

Written by James Moran at 09:20

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