The handbag

There is a bit of a thing with handbags and Trade Me – we even wrote a book about it a few years back called Handbags and Hovercrafts, inspired by the most viewed listing onsite ever starring a couple of Hurricanes and a black handbag.

This week it has been a particularly unusual piece of taxidermy that has captured attention, headlines and airwaves. The REAL Glamour puss PURSE is definitely not to everyone’s tastes but we try not to get into moral judgments when it comes to the creativity of our members’ listings. We thought the seller – Claire in Christchurch – did a heck of a good job responding to concerns and acclaim, and setting out her rationale for the sale.

We allow the sale of taxidermy on Trade Me, it’s legal, and it even has its own sub-category over in Antiques and collectables. We're not animal skin experts but we know there is a wide spectrum of views about this sort of thing in our community: some all for it, some totally against it, and a bunch of people who don't care either way.

Our Trust & Safety team have set out a bit more of an explanation about our approach and thinking in this blog post, inspired by some kerfuffle about a similar listing a few years back. This includes the guidance we received from the SPCA too.

In the end the purse sold for $545 last night, to a buyer based in Nelson. Along the way it attracted just over 55,000 views and a mixture of pun-ridden and straight-faced coverage everywhere from Newshub, RNZ and Stuff to The Guardian and Buzzfeed.