Although private sales are generally not covered by the Fair Trading Act or the Consumer Guarantees Act, goods are covered by the Contract and Commercial Law Act (CCLA).

This means the product must:

  • match the description or the sample of the item given by the seller
  • be delivered within a reasonable time period, if delivery is part of the sales contract but no timeframe was agreed beforehand.


Paula regularly buys books, reads them and then sells them online. When selling books like this, Paula is not in trade because she purchased the books for personal use. Paula also makes jewellery from home which she sells through online auctions. When selling her jewellery, Paula is in trade because she made the jewellery items with the intention of selling them. Paula must comply with the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act when selling jewellery.

Product safety and unsafe goods

Certain second-hand goods must comply with Product Safety Standards under the Fair Trading Act.

The second hand products that the product safety standards apply to are household cots, children’s nightwear and baby walkers. You can read more about the product safety standards.

All unsafe goods must not be sold second hand. Unsafe goods are essentially a product that's banned by the government because of product-related safety issues. You can see the current Unsafe Goods Notices here.

Electrical appliances

Second-hand electrical appliances must also be safe even when sold by a private seller. These rules apply under the Electricity Act.

The legal obligations are the same for an individual and a large retailer for selling electrical products, so make sure you comply with the regulations.

Read more at the Worksafe website.