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Nigel Stanford, General Manager of Trade Me Limited, today announced a suite of changes to, New Zealand's largest auction website.

The site has had problems recently with 'rogue traders' - people logging in and placing bids for millions of dollars in order to sabotage an auction.

"It's disappointing, but inevitable, that there are people out there who like to waste other people's time." Stanford says. "We used to be able to remove them manually, but Trade Me is now growing at such a rate that this is impractical and we have had to take further steps."

The website, already one of New Zealand's top 5, grew by 50% in the final quarter of 2001. It now has 75,000 New Zealand members, and runs over 3,000 auctions each day.

Trade Me trialed a number of new security measures on the site in January. The site now restricts the options available to those who elect not to provide a form of identification.

New members can no longer place bids over $100 without providing full contact details and a form of Id - a driver's license or bank account number.

"New members can still use 90% of the features on Trade Me. However, we encourage everyone to provide full contact information, as it helps build trust between people who are trading. " Stanford says. "We're increasing accountability, while retaining the benefits of internet auctions - the large selection of items for sale, low prices and vast numbers of buyers and sellers."

Other features introduced include the ability to inform the site administrators of auctions which breach copyright or piracy laws, by the simple click of a button.

"As we continue to grow, we'll need to be constantly introducing ways to keep unwanted behavior at its current low levels. Our intention is to ensure that Trade Me remains New Zealand's No.1 place to buy and sell online."


Contact: Nigel Stanford email: Mob: 021 1132 843 Land: 04 473 7955 Fax: 04 473 9257 Web:

TRADE ME LIMITED L4, 125 Featherston Street PO Box 11-707 Wellington NEW ZEALAND

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