Little shop of horrors

The Hamilton woman is selling a complete set of the New World Little Shop collectibles.
The Hamilton woman is selling a complete set of the New World Little Shop collectibles.

Some tiny little groceries are causing a mighty hassle for a Hamilton woman who dared to sell a full set of the collectible items on Trade Me.

The North Hamilton woman, whose Trade Me alias is lily_gurl, is advertising a complete set of 44 New World Little Shop miniatures, plus two accessories - but many Trade Me users are slamming the move.

The Little Shop promotion is part of New World's 50th birthday celebrations. It began on September 2.

For every $40 spent, customers receive a toy-sized copy of a New Zealand grocery item. Onselling is forbidden.

Multiple Trade Me users pointed this out to lily_gurl through questions on the auction, which has received more than 26,000 views.

"Conditions are that they were not to be sold on here ... or any other auction site," said lookgoodfeelgr8.

Others threatened to contact the police or Trade Me.

Commenters were also suspicious about how lily_gurl could have collected a full set by September 16, when the first comment was made on the listing.

"Are you a New World employee??? Seems a lot of extras to have if you were just a collector!!!," said serahz1.

But lily_gurl said a large group of colleagues had worked together to complete the Little Shop set, and some had come with purchases for work.

"All employees at my work (which has many employees) have donated their items (if they wanted too) and the profit is being used to buy an expensive coffee machine for our lunchroom," she said.

"I am sure New World came out better off and now Trade Me is making profit and so are some people using their initiative, as well as making many children happy. It's working well for everyone so I don't see the problem."

Foodstuffs New Zealand group communications manager Katherine Klouwens said the Little Shop promotion had brought out the kid in everyone.

"Response to this promotion has been overwhelmingly popular with most of the accessories having sold out throughout the country."

The terms and conditions forbid customers to onsell the miniatures, but Klouwens said it was very difficult for the company to stop customers selling the items online.

However, they were happy for people to swap through social media.

Trade Me spokesperson Jeff Hunkin said there were about 1000 listings on Trade Me for Little Shop, from individual items to the whole collection, and no complaints from New World or Foodstuffs.

However, lily_gurl's listing had provoked "a handful of complaints from Trade Me users," mostly about the no onselling rule.

"We reckon it could be a case of [mini] sour grapes from other keen Little Shop collectors and we're happy to let the listing run its course at this stage."

At the time of writing, bidding was at $535, and the auction is due to close this evening.

Fairfax Media