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The Star Wars guide to safe trading on Trade Me

Staying safe online for Star Wars fans

By Trust and Safety 12 March 2021

Yes, I admit it - like most of my fellow Trade Me crew, I have a soft spot for Star Wars (that's my fan site,I love a good Darth Vader quote!), the greatest space opera that there ever was.

Given Star Wars was set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away away, I presume Chewie, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo had never heard of the internet, let alone tried to send their ‘galactic credit standards’ via Western Union.

But just in case Luke and his Rebel buddies did somehow find themselves needing to do some wheeling and dealing on Trade Me, here’s some great tips they’d need to ensure their transactions go smoothly and safely:

  • If Luke is looking to buy a podracer and leaves his contact details in the Q & A of the listing, he’s open to getting texts from scoundrels. He should watch out for the so called 'text scammers'  who might pretend to have a really, really cheap podracer for sale. Newsflash Luke - the podracer doesn’t exist and your credits will disappear faster than a Wookiee can rip apart a protocol droid.

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Trade Me username should not be the same as the first part of his email address. For example, if his email is, his user name should not be oldben1977 as this increases the odds of receiving a phishing email.

  • If Obi-Wan does receive an email that purports to be from Trade Me suggesting he enters his credit card or Trade Me password details, he should check again. This is a phishing attempt to compromise his accounts. Remember, Trade Me will never ever ask Obi Wan (or you) for his password.

  • If Princess Leia is going to buy a fleet of X-Wing fighters to help battle the Empire she might wish to consider using Trade Me’s Ping payment service. It has two great benefits:

    1. She will have the assurance that her payment will be investigated by the Trust and Safety team if there’s a problem and potentially refunded if it can be proven that the goods were not sent or delivered.

    2. Any high risk transactions are investigated to ensure that her card is being used by herself and hasn’t simply been found in the Mos Eisely space port or nicked by a rogue R2 unit and used.

  • All trades on the site should be done within New Zealand or Australian boundaries as only people in those countries can be members (except certain approved sellers). If Yoda bought a car from ‘bobbafett1138’ who says the car is on Alderaan and he’ll need to send money via Western Union before shipping it, Yoda should slink back to the Dagobah system as there’s no way he’ll ever see the car or his money again.

  • If Lando Calrissian is looking to invest in some mining equipment he should check who he’s buying from. Sellers with good feedback are generally responsible traders. If the seller is not authenticated or has no feedback (or plenty of neutral or negative feedback), Lando may want to reconsider bidding on or buying the item. If it’s a high value transaction, Lando could consider using our Ping service.

  • The 'little unit' that could, R2-D2 should be conscious of the need to protect his password, after all, he should know as he’s hacked a few networks in his day. R2’s Trade Me password should be different to that of his email account and his internet banking. He’s got to keep everything separate so if one account is compromised he won’t lose them all. He should also never share his password.

Remember, the evil Empire is still out there and when it’s not hunting down escaped Jedi Knights, it’s only too keen to con Trade Me members of their hard earned credits.