[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pacific 11-20-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-46. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any direct seller to engage in direct sales within the Town of Pacific without being registered for that purpose as provided herein.
In this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
- Includes any benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic or charitable person, partnership, association or corporation, or one purporting to be such, including, among others, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H Clubs and school organizations.
- DIRECT SELLER
- Any individual who, for himself/herself, or for a partnership, association or corporation, sells goods or takes sales orders for the later delivery of goods at any location other than the permanent business place or residence of said individual, partnership, association or corporation, and shall include, but not be limited to, peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants. For the purpose of this chapter, the acceptance of a donation in exchange for goods or an order for goods shall be deemed an act requiring compliance with all of the regulatory provisions of this chapter, including registration and the posting of bond.
- Includes personal property of any kind and shall include goods provided incidental to services offered or sold.
- PERMANENT MERCHANT
- A direct seller who, for at least one year prior to the consideration of the application of this chapter to said merchant, has continuously operated an established place of business in this Town or has continuously resided in this Town and now does business from his/her residence.
- All humans of any age or sex, partnerships, corporations, associations, groups, organizations and any other description of a collection of human beings working in concert or for the same purpose or objective.
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 goods at wholesale to dealers in such goods.
Any person selling agricultural products which such person has grown.
Any permanent merchant or employee thereof who takes orders away from the established place of business for goods regularly offered for sale by such merchant within this county and who delivers such goods in their regular course of business.
Any person who has an established place of business where the goods being sold are 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 goods.
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, 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 Town Clerk proof that such charitable organization is registered under § 440.42, Wis. Stats. However, any charitable organization not registered under § 440.42, Wis. Stats, or which is exempt from that statute's registration requirements, shall be required to register under this chapter.
Any religious organization having tax-exempt status under the United States Internal Revenue Code, upon submitting proof thereof to the Town Clerk.
Any person who claims to be a permanent merchant but against whom a complaint has been made to the Town Clerk that such person is a transient merchant, provided that there is submitted to the Town Clerk proof that such person has leased, for at least one year, or purchased the premises from which he is conducting business or proof that such person has conducted such business in this Town for at least one year prior to the date the complaint was made.
Registration form. Applicants for registration must complete and return to the Town Clerk a registration form furnished by the Town Clerk which shall require the following information:
Name, permanent address and telephone number, and temporary address, if any;
Height, weight, color of hair and eyes, and date of birth;
Name, address and telephone number of the person, firm, association or corporation that the direct seller 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 goods offered and any services offered;
Proposed method of delivery of goods, if applicable;
Make, model and license number of any vehicle to be used by the applicant in the conduct of his/her business;
Last cities, villages, towns, not to exceed three, where applicant conducted similar business just prior to making this registration;
Place where applicant can be contacted for at least seven days after leaving this Town; and
Statement as to whether applicant has been convicted of any crime or ordinance violation related to applicant's transient merchant business within the last five years, the nature of the offense and the place of conviction.
Documentation. Applicants shall present to the Town Clerk for examination:
A driver's license or some other proof of identity as may be reasonably required.
A state certificate of examination and approval from the Sealer of Weights and Measures where applicant's business requires use of weighing and measuring devices approved by state authorities.
A state health officer's certificate where applicant's business involves the handling of food or clothing and is required to be certified under state law; such certificate to state that applicant is apparently free from any contagious or infectious disease, dated not more than 90 days prior to the date the application for license is made.
Completing registration and issuance of license.
The fee for a direct seller's, solicitor's or canvasser's license shall be established by the Town Board and shall be set forth in a resolution adopted by the Town Board. Transient merchants/direct sellers may employ two assistants without payment of an additional license fee, but such persons must comply with the other provisions of this section.
Upon compliance with all of the requirements set forth in this chapter and filing of a bond, if applicable, the Clerk shall register the applicant as a direct seller, transient merchant or solicitor and issue a license to the applicant. The license shall be operational only during the days requested on the registration form.
Such license shall contain the signature of the Clerk, the name and address of the direct seller, transient merchant or solicitor, the type of goods or services being sold or the nature of the solicitation, the dates during which the license is operational, and the license number of any vehicle used for sales or solicitation.
Registrants shall exhibit their licenses at the request of any citizen or police officer.
Every applicant who intends to take sales orders and down payments for later delivery of goods or services and is not a resident and represents a business or organization whose principal place of business is located outside the State of Wisconsin shall file with the Clerk a surety bond for a term of one year from the date of issuance of license, running to the Town, in the amount of $500 with surety approved by the Town Attorney, conditioned that the applicant comply with all applicable ordinances of this Town and statutes of the State of Wisconsin regulating peddlers, canvassers, solicitors and transient merchants. Such bond shall guarantee to any citizen of this Town that all money paid as a down payment will be accounted for and applied according to the representations of the seller and that the property purchased will be delivered according to the representations of the seller. Action on such bond may be brought by the person aggrieved and for whose benefit, among others, bond is given. The surety may, pursuant to a court order, pay the face amount of the bond to the Clerk of Courts in which suit is commenced and be relieved of all further liability.
The applicant shall sign a statement appointing the Town Clerk 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 receipt of each application, the Town Clerk shall, in consultation with law enforcement officials, make and complete an investigation of the statements made in such registration.
The Town 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 § 196-4B above.
In the event that the Clerk shall refuse to issue the applicant a license, the Clerk shall provide the applicant an opportunity to refute said reasons for denial of the license. After the Clerk has made a final determination, the Clerk shall either issue the license or provide the applicant with written reasons for refusing to issue the license.
Any person denied registration may appeal the denial through the general appeal procedures provided by ordinance or resolution of the Town Board or, if none has been adopted, under the provisions of §§ 68.07 through 68.16, Wis. Stats.
A direct seller shall be prohibited from calling at any dwelling or other place between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 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 character of any goods 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 goods 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 goods.
No direct seller shall impede the free use of sidewalks and streets by pedestrians and vehicles. Where sales are made from vehicles, all traffic and parking regulations 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 goods or services he/she offers to sell.
If any sale of goods is made by a direct seller or any sales order for the later delivery of goods 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 sales order for the later delivery of goods, 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.
Any license issued under this chapter may be revoked by the Town Board after notice and hearing if the registrant made any material omission or materially inaccurate statement in the application for a license; made any fraudulent, false, deceptive or misleading statement or representation 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 direct selling.
Written notice of the hearing shall be mailed to the seller at the permanent address shown on the registration at least 15 days, or shall be served personally on the registrant at least 72 hours, prior to the time for the hearing; such notice shall contain the time and place of the hearing and a statement of the facts upon which the hearing will be based.
Any person convicted of violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty as provided in § 1-1 of this Code. Each violation and each day a violation continues or occurs shall constitute a separate offense.