Questions asked over online auctions

Current legislation never envisaged auctions where goods can't be inspected

Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard is considering whether the position of online auction houses such as TradeMe needs to be regularised in the context of laws that never envisaged an online auction of goods.

She voiced her concern at a recent meeting of th Australasian Association of Convenience Stores, whose members are busy acquainting MPs with their own concerns.

However, Sam Morgan doesn’t need to start quaking in his shoes yet. A spokeswoman for the minister says the online auction question is simply “a matter of interest to her and she has asked officials to look into it.” There are no concrete proposals that might form a policy.

Tizard says she is concerned because although buyers at a physical auction can examine goods online buyers can’t. She says she has no desire to stand in the way of technological advance, but the question needs considering.

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