New Zealand online auction site Trade Me is removing listings for tickets to see stars Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran after promoters found a loophole to stop scalpers.

According to the Stuff.co.nz news website, as purchasers have yet to receive their tickets, so do not have the barcodes to enter the show, they are not legally allowed to sell them.

Trade Me’s external communications manager Logan Mudge​ said the site had taken down 70 listings for Ed Sheeran tickets as of Thursday. He explained that Trade Me would not be allowing anyone to sell Harry Styles tickets on its platform, because promoter Frontier Touring was requiring ticket holders to have the credit card that the tickets had been purchased with.

Brent Eccles, of Frontier Touring New Zealand, said they had been in discussions with Trade Me for more than a decade about how to stop scalpers.

“There’s someone in the middle there taking absolutely no risk and getting a profit, while the artists get nothing and the punters pay more,” Eccles said.

“We’re targeting them one at a time, protecting the punters out there who should be buying at the price that we set and not an inflated price,” he said.

Trade Me spokesman Mudge added: “The promoters of Ed Sheeran have said they’re not providing tickets to concert goers until January so we’re removing any Ed Sheeran ticket listings until they are in people’s possession.”