[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Genesee 6-9-2003 by Ord. No. 03-2. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any direct seller to engage in sales within the Town of Genesee without being registered for that purpose as provided herein.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
- Includes any benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic or eleemosynary person, partnership, association or corporation, or one purporting to be such.
- Town Clerk.
- DIRECT SELLER
- Any individual who engages in the retail sale of merchandise at any place in this state temporarily, and who does not intend to become and does not become a permanent merchant of such place. For purposes of this chapter, "sale of merchandise" includes a sale in which the personal services rendered upon or in connection with the merchandise constitute the greatest part of value for the price received but does not include a farm auction sale conducted by or for a resident farmer of personal property used on the farm or the sale of produce or other perishable products at retail or wholesale by a resident of this state.
- Includes personal property of any kind and shall include merchandise, goods or materials provided incidental to services offered or sold. The sale of merchandise includes donations required by the seller for the retention of goods by a donor or prospective customer.
- PERMANENT MERCHANT
- Any person who, for at least one year prior to the consideration of the application of this chapter to said merchant:
The following shall be exempt from all provisions of this chapter:
Any person delivering newspapers, fuel, dairy products or bakery goods to regular customers on established routes.
Any person selling merchandise at wholesale to dealers in such merchandise.
Any person selling agricultural products which the person has grown.
Any permanent merchant or employee thereof who takes orders at the home of the buyer for merchandise regularly offered for sale by such merchant within the Town and who delivers such merchandise in his regular course of business.
Any person who has an established place of business where the merchandise being sold is offered for sale on a regular basis and in which the buyer has initiated contact with, and specifically requested a home visit by, said person.
Any person who has had, or one who represents a company which has had, a prior business transaction, such as a prior sale or credit arrangement, with the prospective customer.
Any person selling or offering for sale a service unconnected with the sale or offering for sale of merchandise.
Any person holding a sale required by statute or by order of any court and any person conducting a bona fide auction sale pursuant to law.
Any employee, school fund-raiser, officer or agent of a charitable organization who engages in direct sales for or on behalf of said organization, provided that there is submitted to the Clerk proof that such charitable organization is registered under § 202.12, Wis. Stats. Any charitable organization engaging in the sale of merchandise and not registered under § 202.12, Wis. Stats., or which is exempt from that statute's registration requirements, shall be required to register under this chapter.
Any person who claims to be a permanent merchant but against whom a complaint has been made to the Town that such person is a direct seller, provided that there is submitted to the Town proof that such person has leased for at least one year or purchased the premises from which he/she has conducted business in the Town for at least one year prior to the date the complaint was made.
Any individual licensed by an examining board as defined in § 15.01(7), Wis. Stats.
This chapter does not apply to direct merchants while doing business at special events authorized by the Town Board.
Applicants for registration must complete and return to the Clerk a registration form furnished by the Clerk which shall require the following information:
Name, permanent address and telephone number and temporary address if any.
Age, height, weight, color of hair and color of eyes.
Name, address and telephone number of the person, firm, association, corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, family partnership or any other entity that the transient merchant represents or is employed by, or whose merchandise is being sold.
Temporary address and telephone number from which business will be conducted, if any.
Nature of business to be conducted and a brief description of the merchandise and any services offered.
Proposed methods of delivery of merchandise, if applicable.
Make, model and license number of any vehicle to be used by the applicant in the conduct of his/her business.
Most recent cities, villages, and towns, not to exceed three, where the applicant conducted his/her business.
Statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime or ordinance violation related to the applicant's direct seller business within the last five years, and the nature of the offense and the place of conviction.
The applicant shall present to the Clerk for examination:
A driver's license or some other proof of identify as may be reasonably required.
A state certificate of examination and approval from the Sealer of Weights and Measures where the applicant's business requires use of weighing and measuring devices approved by state authorities.
A state health officer's certification where the applicant's business involves the handling of food or clothing and is required to be certified under state law, such certificate to state that the applicant is apparently free from contagious or infectious disease, dated not more than 90 days prior to the date the application for registration is made.
At the time the registration is returned, a fee set by the Town Board shall be paid to the Clerk to cover the cost of processing said registration. The applicant shall sign a statement appointing the Clerk as his/her agent to accept service of process in any civil action brought against the applicant arising out of any sale or service performed by the applicant in connection with the direct sales activities of the applicant in the event the applicant cannot, after reasonable effort, be served personally. Upon payment of said fee and the signing of said statement, the Clerk shall register the applicant as a direct seller and date the entry. Said registration shall be valid for a period of six months from the date of entry, subject to subsequent refusal as provided in § 285-5B below.
Upon receipt of each application, the Clerk may refer it immediately to the appropriate agencies, which may make and complete an investigation of the statements made in such registration.
The Clerk shall refuse to register the applicant if it is determined, pursuant to the investigation above, that the application contains any material omission or materially inaccurate statement; complaints of a material nature have been received against the applicant by authorities in the last cities, villages and towns, not exceeding three, in which the applicant conducted similar business; the applicant was convicted of a crime, statutory violation or ordinance violation within the last five years, the nature of which is directly related to the applicant's fitness to engage in direct selling; or the applicant failed to comply with any applicable provision of § 285-4B above.
A direct seller shall be prohibited from calling at any dwelling or other place between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. except by appointment; calling at any dwelling or other place where a sign is displayed bearing the words "No Peddlers," "No Solicitors," or words of similar meaning; calling at the rear door of any dwelling place; or remaining on any premises after being asked to leave by the owner, occupant or other person having authority over such premises.
A direct seller shall not misrepresent or make false, deceptive or misleading statements concerning the quality, quantity or characteristics of any merchandise offered for sale, the purpose of his/her visit, his/her identity or the identity of the organization he/she represents. A charitable organization direct seller shall specifically disclose what portion of the sale price of the merchandise being offered will actually be used for the charitable purpose for which the organization is soliciting. Said portion shall be expressed as a percentage of the sale price of the merchandise.
No direct seller shall impede the free use of sidewalks and streets by pedestrians and vehicles. Where sales are made by vehicles, all traffic and parking restrictions shall be observed.
No direct seller shall make any loud noises or use any sound-amplifying device to attract customers if the noise produced is capable of being plainly heard outside a one-hundred-foot radius of the source.
No direct seller shall allow rubbish or litter to accumulate in or around the area in which he/she is conducting business.
After the initial greeting and before any other statement is made to a prospective customer, a direct seller shall expressly disclose his/her name, the name of the company or organization he/she is affiliated with, if any, and the identity of merchandise or services he/she offers to sell.
If any sale of merchandise is made by a direct seller or any offer for the later delivery of merchandise is taken by the seller, the buyer shall have the right to cancel said transaction if it involves the extension of credit or is a cash transaction of more than $25, in accordance with the procedure as set forth in § 423.203, Wis. Stats. The seller shall give the buyer two copies of a typed or printed notice of that fact. Such notice shall conform to the requirements of § 423.203(1)(a), (b) and (c), (2) and (3), Wis. Stats.
If the direct seller takes a sale order for the later delivery of merchandise, he/she shall, at the time the order is taken, provide the buyer with a written statement containing the terms of the agreement; the amount paid in advance, whether full, partial or no advance payment is made; the name, address and telephone number of the seller; the delivery or performance date; and whether a guarantee or warranty is provided and, if so, the terms thereof.
The investigating agent/agency shall report to the Clerk all convictions for violations of this chapter, and the Clerk shall note any such violation on the record of the registrant convicted.
Registration may be revoked by the Town Board after notice and hearing if the registrant made any material omission or materially inaccurate statements in the application for registration or in the course of engaging in direct sales, violated any provision of this chapter or was convicted of any crime or ordinance or statutory violation which is directly related to the registrant's fitness to engage in selling.