Real Life

Receiving damaged goods from Trade Me seller

When it comes to sending fragile goods, it’s a case of seller beware.
Receiving damaged goods from Trade Me seller

I purchased a rimu wine cabinet in perfect condition off Trade Me and had it delivered by a carrier from Auckland to Tokoroa. When it arrived, it was ruined. It had big gouges out of the wood, a huge chip in the top of the cabinet, scratches everywhere and one of the door knobs smashed off. I complained, but the firm said the damage was because the cabinet wasn’t properly wrapped when it was picked up, and refused responsibility. Where do I stand?

You are taking on the wrong party. If you buy goods on Trade Me and they arrive damaged, it is the seller’s responsibility, not yours, to take it up with the courier. The only exception to this is if you have agreed that the goods be sent at no risk to the seller. So if you haven’t already, don’t pay for the cabinet. Tell the seller your position and arrange for the goods to be returned at the seller’s expense. The seller will then have to fight it out with the carrier. However, the Carriage of Goods Act states that carriers are not liable if goods are not properly packed. The seller will have to prove that the goods were properly packed. I know this sounds tough on the seller, but that’s the way the law works. It’s why many Trade Me sellers are hesitant about sending easily damaged goods. I know that the damage by the carriers seems excessive, but at least you are covered.

Do you have a consumer question for Kevin? Email [[email protected]](mailto: [email protected]), or post to Weekly Consumer, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

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