A “Covid free bag of air” has hit $55,000 in Trade Me bids, with a Hamilton seller listing it after claiming to have tested negative for Covid-19.
By Larissa Howie
The bag, which has now been added to the watchlist of 1575 users, is described by the seller as a “free range, gluten free bag of air from the lungs of a 100% New Zealand made boy.”
The seller says the news of community transmission in New Zealand came as a shock, prompting them to get tested.
“After testing negative, I figured I’d share my gift of Covid free air with the world,” they state in the listing.
Trade Me acting Head of Trust & Safety Logan Mudge says while they have received some complaints about the listing, a lot of Kiwi’s are enjoying the tongue-in-cheek nature of it.
“Obviously the change in alert levels is serious and concerning but we also like to see Kiwis having a bit of a laugh and finding some humour in the situation too,” he says.
“It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but clearly it’s giving some Kiwis some pleasure”.
According to Mr Mudge, placing a winning bid creates a legal contract between the buyer and the seller.
“We’ll be contacting the bidders if necessary,” he says.
He says if anyone sees something that worries them, "we urge them to get in touch with us, there's a 'Community Watch' button at the bottom of every listing that can be used to get in touch with our team."
However, many Trade Me users appear to have found amusement in the auction, taking to the Question and Answer section.
One suggesting profits should go towards charity.
The seller responding: “If I even claim money for this auction, 100% of all proceeds will go to a charity that helps the areas affected most by Covid-19.
"However, if this gets even more out of hand, I may withdraw the auction entirely. It’s just a good laugh at the end of the day.”
One user expressing concern the air may not be vegan friendly has been reassured.
“I’m not really sure on the moral standpoint of vegans inhaling other people’s air. But I wouldn’t exactly class breathe as a bi product of animals so you should be sweet.”