A man has attempted to sell one of his kidneys online via auction site Trade Me for $250,000 to keep up with the high cost of living in New Zealand.

The kidney listing appeared on the auction site before 5:30 pm on Aug 1. The username was identified as Phil from the Tokoroa/Putaruru area in Waikato. To capture the interest of potential kidney buyers, his ad description said his kidney would not only give the buyer a "chance of life" but it would also help him support his family.

The listing said the man lived in a user-pays society and the cost of living in New Zealand has continued to rise. The man's kidney was listed under the "Other" category of the Health and Beauty section. The entry bid price was $17,500 with a buy now price of $250,000.

The auction site has a standing ban of human bodies or body parts including eggs, sperm, bones and excrement. Spokesman for Trade Me Paul Ford said the auction was already removed from the listings.

The "Banned Items" rule was added to the site's regulations after a man from Nelson, Shane Torrance, tried to sell his amputated leg on the site in 2006.

According to Dr. Ian Dittmer, Auckland City Hospital renal transplant specialist and Organ Donation New Zealand spokesman, said selling human organs is illegal under New Zealand law. Before a person can donate a kidney, a strict code of ethics must be observed.

There was no bidding for the man's kidney but 30 people viewed the listing.

As for the high cost of living in New Zealand as claimed by the man who tried to sell his kidney online, economic factors must be considered.

Based on the world rankings for cost of living, New Zealand has the eighth highest consumer price index of with 113.63 and local purchasing power index of 80.65 while Australia is third with 151.77 and purchasing power index of 103.02. The larger the disparity between the consumer price index and purchasing power index, the higher is the cost of living. Based on the figures, Australia has the higher living costs than New Zealand.

Although illegal also in many countries, selling of kidneys are rampant in developing nations.