NZ govt ministry questions legal status of online auctions

The status of on-line “auction” sites such as TradeMe in the light of the Consumer Guarantees Act and the legislation governing traditional live auctions is once again being questioned.The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has issued a discussion paper on consumer law reform, which points out the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) does not apply to goods purchased at auction. The paper discusses whether TradeMe-like sales qualify as auctions and should not have CGA protection, in the light of the fact that many features of the traditional auction are missing; in particular it is usually not possible for an online customer to examine the goods physically before purchase.

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