Trade Me's more unusual objects

By Gemma Hartley

A taxidermy cat is among one of the many strange things people sell on Trade Me. Photo / File
A taxidermy cat is among one of the many strange things people sell on Trade Me. Photo / File

After Trade Me was forced to remove controversial Nazi memorabilia from its website on Monday we look at other unusual objects that failed to make it to auction.

Positive pregnancy tests, an amputated leg, used underwear and an iceberg are just some of the auctions that caught the attention of the Trade Me policing team.

The site has more than three million users and enforces a strict policy on banned and restricted items and does not hesitate to remove auctions that may be classed as offensive, illegal or controversial.

More than 28 items are on Trade Me's banned list, ranging from menacing dogs, uniforms for New Zealand emergency services, novelty lighters and CCTV footage.

However that hasn't put off some Kiwis from listing unique items in a bid to make fast cash.

In February last year, a member from Auckland tried to sell four positive pregnancy tests.

Described as a way of "making that man yours forever", the bid came with a $75 buy now and reserve price.

Trade Me removed the auction on the grounds of a medical device that was not suitable for sale, also due to distaste and "entrapment".

One Kiwi from Manurewa, Auckland listed an iceberg, stating his girlfriend didn't like it so it had to go.

Described as being in good condition, "with a few stains that should come out", it was available as a "collect only" object for an incredible $99 million.

The auction was dismissed as a joke and removed on the ground that items listed must be in the member's possession.

When a Trade Me member lists an auction, anyone can object by pressing the community watch button and Trade Me can take appropriate action, usually shutting down the auction.

A KKK belt buckle and Mongrel Mob T-shirt were removed because of strict rules on gang-related paraphernalia and items that promote or glorify racism.

With a reserve price of $50 and a buy-now of $75, the KKK belt buckle listed from the North Shore didn't last long; neither did the $50-reserve T-shirt from Hamilton.

Justin Bieber's backwash was listed as "a way to get close to kissing Biebs". for a $1 reserve.

Apparently the teen heartthrob drank from the bottle at a gig in Auckland; it was advertised as having his backwash and alcohol in it.

Given the restrictions around buying and selling of alcohol on Trade Me it was banned.

Trade Me spokesman Logan Mudge said, "This list has been developed over time based on the law, common sense and our community's response to random things that have cropped up.

"If an item is legal but is something that we think a good portion of our members object to, then we may move to ban or restrict its sale.

"We're here to help Kiwis buy and sell things so we don't want to be the fun police, we work hard to try and find a line that keeps most people happy most of the time."

Trade Me clearly states that you cannot list "a human body or body parts" but that didn't stop two Kiwis from trying their luck.

A Nelson man listed his amputated leg for $3000 in a desperate bid to cover his debts and raise money for his diabetic daughter.

The tattooed leg, which he kept in his freezer, was withdrawn from the website within hours of being listed but still managed to drum up 20 views.

One man tried to sell one of his kidneys for $250,000, saying he was trying to combat the rising cost of living in New Zealand.

The user, identified only as Phil from the Tokoroa/Putaruru area in Waikato, said the kidney would not only give a buyer "a chance of life" but also help him support his family.

"For the person who has everything, a fresh pair of dog's testicles to call your very own," read another unique listing.

The seller said the "canine balls" were 6 months old and "lovingly preserved in something poisonous".

Other items removed from the website include a hoax dolphin, toenail cuttings and used underwear.

- NZ Herald

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