[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Schwenksville 11-11-1993 by Ord. No. 263. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any direct seller to engage in direct sales within the Borough 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.
- DIRECT SELLER
- Any individual who, for himself, 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. The sale of goods includes donations required by the direct seller for the retention of goods by a donor or prospective customer.
- 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 Borough or has continuously resided in this Borough and now does business from his residence.
- The Borough Secretary.
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 the Borough 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.
Applicants for registration must complete and return to the Secretary a registration form furnished by the Secretary which shall require the following information:
Name, permanent address and telephone number, and temporary address, if any;
Age, height, weight, color of hair and eyes;
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 applicant in the conduct of his business;
The last three previous cities, villages, towns, where applicant conducted similar business;
Place where applicant can be contacted for at least seven days after leaving the Borough;
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.
Each applicant shall present to the Secretary 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 the applicant's business requires use of weighing and measuring devices approved by state authorities;
A state health officer's certificate, 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 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;
At the time the registration is returned, a fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council shall be paid to the Secretary to cover the cost of processing said registration.
Upon payment of said fee, the Secretary shall register the applicant as a direct seller and date the entry. Said registration shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of entry, subject to subsequent refusal as provided in § 114-6.
Upon registration, the Secretary shall provide the registrant with an identification or registration card authorizing the registrant to conduct his/her/its sales within the Borough for the period of the registration.
Upon receipt of each application, the Secretary may refer it immediately to the Chief of Police who may make and complete an investigation of the statements made in such registration.
The Secretary 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 and proven against the applicant by authorities in the three previous cities, villages and towns 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 § 114-4.
Any person denied registration may appeal the denial through the appeal procedure provided by ordinance or resolution of the Borough Council.
The following regulations shall govern the conduct of registrants hereunder:
It shall be unlawful for any direct seller to call at any dwelling or other place between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. except by appointment; to call at any dwelling or other place where a sign is displayed bearing the words "no peddlers," "no solicitors" or words of similar meaning; to call at the rear door of any dwelling place; or to remain on any premises after being asked to leave by the owner, occupant or other person having authority over such premises.
It shall be unlawful for a direct seller to misrepresent or make false, deceptive or misleading statements concerning the quality, quantity or character of any goods offered for sale, the purpose of his visit, his identity or the identity of the organization he 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.
It shall be unlawful for any direct seller to 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.
It shall be unlawful for any direct seller to 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.
It shall be unlawful for any direct seller to allow rubbish or litter to accumulate in or around the area in which he is conducting business.
The following requirements shall govern the conduct of registrants:
After the initial greeting and before any other statement is made to a prospective customer, a direct seller shall expressly disclose his name, the name of the company or organization he is affiliated with, if any, and the identity of goods or services he offers to sell. Direct sellers shall wear or display to each prospective customer the identification or registration card required under § 114-5 hereof.
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 when such right is provided by state law.
If the direct seller takes a sales order for the later delivery of goods, he 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 Chief of Police shall report to the Secretary all convictions for violation of this chapter and the Secretary shall note any such violation on the record of the registrant convicted.
The registration of a direct seller may be revoked by the Borough Council of the Borough of Schwenksville for any violation of this chapter.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed a summary offense and, upon conviction, shall be punishable for each offense by a maximum fine of $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, by imprisonment for not more than 30 days. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.