So, you want to buy a bike.
You log onto Trade Me, and you locate a company by the name of “Trident Cycles”.
Trident Cycles is not a registered Trade Me Online store, but sells its products exclusively through Trade Me.
You see a bike that you might be interested in, and you make an enquiry about coming and having a look at the bike before you bid (a very common consumer pre-sale question):
You are advised that the company is not allowed to divulge its address:
You then ask if there is someone you can speak to about the bike, or a phone number, but you are told that that is not possible either:
By this time, you are feeling a bit suspicious – why is Trident Cycles being so secretive about where it is, who works for it, and their contact details?
You decide that you need to “test” as to whether the answers you have been given by Trident Cycles are true i.e. that they will only give out their address details to an “auction winner” (see above).
You win an auction with Trident Cycles via a “Buy Now” option on one of their products:
You receive payment instructions after winning the auction – but what you don’t receive is the address of the seller, as previously promised by the seller – and you still don’t receive any contact or personnel details:
You also discover that the name of the account holder, and the name of the company directors who gave Trade Me an undertaking that only they would be operating the Trade Me account, are different people.
Compare the name in the above screen shot, with the names of the Directors listed for “Trident Cycles: at the Companies Office – they don’t match.
Have a look at the email address as well – its a Gmail account, not a commercial business account, and we all know who is fond of using Gmail accounts, posing as a real business:
So, in order to buy a bike from Trident Cycles, you have to pay money to an organisation that won’t confirm its contact details, pay money to an organisation that won’t confirm its commercial address, pay money to an organisation that won’t allow you to look at the product before you buy it, and pay money to a company where even the company personnel are not who they say they are.
And if you get ripped off – you’re screwed – because you have precisely no information on the company that you have paid your money to.
And Trade Me permits this sort of business practice.
Dodgy, dodgy, dodgy, and dodgy.
When dealing with Trident Cycles, it’s Caveat Emptor, Consumers, Caveat Emptor.
As for me, I think I’ll stick with Bike Barn.