Bit of an odd one, I'm just wondering if anyone with more experience of using TradeMe can help. I bought a car from TradeMe earlier this week via a TradeMe auction. I had a funny feeling about the person I was bidding against, but I shrugged it off. Picked up car and paid cash on Tuesday evening. Today, I did some cyber detective work and discovered that my initial feeling about that bidder was correct. It was another account of the seller's and he had used it to increase the price of the auction. I also discovered that this is called shill bidding, and is illegal in NZ. I have tried to resolve this with the seller all day and have offered him 2 choices - I'll return the car, and he refunds the full amount, or he can refund me a partial amount which would have made the car a "fair price" ie, the price I had bid before his second account came along.

He's not co-operating. I've contacted TradeMe and they've had a look and confirmed that it is shill bidding. They said they can see more in the background, so I'm guessing the IP addresses for the accounts matched up, and things like that. They've told me to try and resolve it with the seller, so I'm giving him til this evening to get back to me before I get back on the phone to TradeMe.

My worry is this. If the seller refuses to refund, where do I go from there? I paid by cash, so have no protection via Paypal or the bank like I normally do when using eBay at home in the UK. Normally, eBay would refund the money and then chase it from the seller. I have a feeling that TradeMe will not be able to do this as I paid in cash. I feel so frustrated and angry, and wish I had trusted my first instinct when bidding on the car! Has anyone had any experience of this?