A Dunedin mobile trader whose roadside stall has been labelled a "mess" by a neighbouring business says beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Since Tuesday, Selwyn Shanks has been using a camper,van and trailer parked in lower Stuart St to sell surplus stock from his old Centrefire McCarthy's Stream and Field Store.

The old Moray Pl store closed earlier this year, but Shanks holds a mobile trading licence issued by the Dunedin City Council, which he is using to sell remaining stock.

That was not good enough for Sue Todd, of Sue Todd Antiques & Collectables, which is located directly opposite where Shanks' truck is parked.

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She said his presence was ''unfair'' on other businesses in the area.

"I just don't think it's fair, and I don't think it's fair that they impact [on] an area that there are so many tourists coming up and down.

"It just looks absolutely dreadful. It's a mess."

She rang the council yesterday but was told no parking enforcement staff were working, and was yet to receive a response, she said.

Shanks said his mobile trading licence allowed him to sell on the side of the road, as long as he abided by any parking restrictions in the area.

He believed parking restrictions were not being enforced yesterday, so did not pay for the three parking spaces he occupied, although council information suggested normal parking restrictions applied yesterday.

He also had tables stocked with goods for sale on the footpath, but the restaurant the tables were in front of was closed and he had received no other complaints about his presence, Shanks said.

While Todd had been "a bit vociferous" about the look of his operation, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", he said.

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"My sales would reflect otherwise," he said.

His licence was valid until February 2018, and he planned to continue his "itinerant" operation around the city whenever cruise ships were visiting Dunedin.

A council spokeswoman confirmed that usual parking rules applied yesterday, but could only add that anyone concerned about the situation "should contact the DCC directly and staff will follow up".