Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners (now City Council) of the City of Atlantic City as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Auctions and Auctioneers

§ 87-1 Definitions.

§ 87-2 Mercantile license required.

§ 87-3 Applications for licenses; information required.

§ 87-4 (Reserved)

§ 87-5 Bond requirements.

§ 87-6 through § 87-7. (Reserved)

§ 87-8 License privileges.

§ 87-9 License fees.

§ 87-10 Conspicuous posting of licenses.

§ 87-11 Records of public auction businesses.

§ 87-12 Articles to be labeled.

§ 87-13 Disposal of merchandise to highest bidder.

§ 87-14 False representation.

§ 87-15 Gifts, prizes or premiums.

§ 87-16 Exchanging articles.

§ 87-17 Substituting articles.

§ 87-18 Goods with secondhand parts.

§ 87-19 Urging purchases for special reasons.

§ 87-20 Identifying last bidders to authorized enforcement officers.

§ 87-21 Employing auctioneers who have not obtained a license.

§ 87-22 Entertainment or noisy devices to attract attention.

§ 87-23 Employing cappers, shills or fake bidders.

§ 87-24 Signs or advertising which misrepresent source or quality of merchandise.

§ 87-25 Investigation of licensee; revocation or suspensions.

§ 87-26 Nonapplicability.

§ 87-27 Refusal to refund or return money.

§ 87-28 Cash refund information to be conspicuously posted.

§ 87-29 Auction gallery annual fee.

§ 87-30 Auction premises; proximity to similar premises; number limited.

§ 87-31 Violations and penalties.

Article II Demonstration Places and Showrooms

§ 87-32 Mercantile license required.

§ 87-33 Applications for license.

§ 87-34 Investigation.

§ 87-35 Bond requirements.

§ 87-36 Annual license fees.

§ 87-37 Licenses conspicuously posted.

§ 87-38 Records and books.

§ 87-39 Tags and labels.

§ 87-40 Bona fide bids.

§ 87-41 False representation.

§ 87-42 Substitution.

§ 87-43 Noise-making and attention-getting devices.

§ 87-44 Disciplinary actions.

§ 87-45 Violations and penalties.

§ 87-46 Definitions.

§ 87-47 Sign display.

§ 87-48 Proximity to similar establishments.

[Adopted 7-1-1937 by Ord. No. 24-1937]

§ 87-1 Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PERSON or APPLICANT or LICENSEE
Includes any individual or individuals, copartners, corporations or associations. Whenever a statement or act is required to be made or done by a corporation, the same shall be effected by its duly authorized officers. The use of the singular shall be deemed to include the plural as well; the masculine shall be deemed to apply also to the feminine.

§ 87-2 Mercantile license required.

No person shall act as a public auctioneer and no person shall engage in the auction business, in whole or in part, or cause to be held any public auction or public venue within the limits of the City of Atlantic City, County of Atlantic and State of New Jersey, without first having had and obtained a mercantile license as hereinafter provided for so doing.

§ 87-3 Applications for licenses; information required.

Before any license is granted as set forth in § 87-2 of this article, the applicant shall make application, in writing, therefor, on a form to be provided by the Director of Revenue and Finance of the City of Atlantic City, and under oath, and file the same with said Director, where same shall be open for inspection. Said application shall state:
A. 
Full name of the applicant.
B. 
His residential address.
C. 
Length of time of continuous bona fide residence in the County of Atlantic immediately prior to making the application.
D. 
Places where the application has resided for a period of three years immediately prior to making the application.
E. 
Whether any person or persons or corporation other than the applicant has any interest, directly or indirectly, in the license applied for or in the business to be conducted, and, if so, the name, residence and interest shall be stated.
F. 
If the applicant is a corporation:
(1) 
Location of the registered office in New Jersey and name of the registered agent.
(2) 
Date and state of incorporation.
(3) 
The names and residences of all stockholders, directors and officers.
G. 
Address of the place of business.
H. 
Whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime.
I. 
The experience the applicant has had as an auctioneer or as a person engaged in the auction business.
J. 
The place or places and the time that the applicant has been so engaged as an auctioneer or in the auction business.
K. 
The name of the bonding company to furnish the bond as hereinafter required.
L. 
Said applicant shall also file with said Director, where same may be open for inspection, but for the proper authorities only, certificates of approval by no less than three reputable citizens of the City of Atlantic City, each of whom shall certify that he or she has personally known the applicant for a period of at least three years prior to the filing of said application, and that he or she has read such application and has good and sufficient reason to believe that each of the statements therein are true; that the applicant is honest, of good character and competent to conduct the auction business or calling of auctioneer, and that such person is not related to or connected in a business way with the person so certifying. Said certificates of approval shall be signed and duly verified and acknowledged before an officer authorized to take acknowledgments of deeds.
M. 
Each auctioneer shall also furnish a photograph taken within one year of the application, said photograph to be two by two inches and securely attached to the license, if issued.

§ 87-4 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 87-4, Investigation, was repealed 7-21-2010 by Ord. No. 49-2010.

§ 87-5 Bond requirements.

[Amended 8-12-1937 by Ord. No. 28-1937]
The Director of Revenue and Finance shall, as a condition precedent to the granting of the license to engage in the auction business, require the applicant to enter into a bond to the City of Atlantic City executed by a surety company duly authorized to do business under the laws of the State of New Jersey, said bond to be approved by the Director of Revenue and Finance of the City of Atlantic City and to be in the sum of $2,500, conditioned for the due observance of all such ordinances of the City of Atlantic City as are in force or may be passed respecting the conduct or operation of the auction business at any time during the continuance of such business, for the performance of all duties, the rendition of all accounts and payment of all moneys required by law to be paid, and also conditioned for the payment to any person who shall be defrauded or suffer loss by reason of the violation by such auction business owner or any employee thereof of any of the provisions of this article or state law, or any other ordinance that may hereafter be required. Said bond shall be for the protection of persons and property and for the preservation of the safety and property of the municipality and its inhabitants, and as may now or hereafter be required by any state law or municipal ordinance or regulation.

§ 87-6 through § 87-7. (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 87-6, Residence requirements, and former § 87-6, Residence satisfaction, were repealed 7-21-2010 by Ord. No. 49-2010.

§ 87-8 License privileges.

Every license which shall be granted to individual auctioneers shall entitle the licensee to operate anywhere within the legal limits of the City of Atlantic City for a period of one year from July to July of the succeeding year, provided that said licensee gives the Director of Revenue and Finance written notice of each change of address. Such privilege, however, shall not be accorded to any license granted to an auction business or to a corporation without a new application when removing to a location other than the one given in the original application. No license shall be transferable to anyone other than the applicant at any time.

§ 87-9 License fees.

[Amended 7-29-1937 by Ord. No. 27-1937]
A. 
The annual license fee for public auctioneers shall be $100. The fee herein imposed for such license is imposed for revenue.
[Amended 4-20-2016 by Ord. No. 20-2016]
B. 
The annual license fee for a person engaged in the public auction business shall be $2,000. The fee herein imposed for such license is imposed for revenue.
[Amended 5-21-1942 by Ord. No. 8-19-1942]

§ 87-10 Conspicuous posting of licenses.

[Amended 4-20-2016 by Ord. No. 20-2016]
Public auctioneers' licenses, which are photo ID badges, must be worn at all times during an auction, and public auction business licenses shall be posted for public inspection in a conspicuous place in the place of business of the licensee at all times.

§ 87-11 Records of public auction businesses.

[Amended 7-29-1937 by Ord. No. 27-1937]
Every individual or corporation operating a public auction business shall keep books in which shall be described and inventoried in a clear, legible manner all goods received at such establishment; the date of receipt; the name and place of business of the person or concern on whose account they are to be sold; the cost price to the licensee if purchased by him or consigned to him for purposes of sale, together with the name and address of the vendor, the names and addresses of persons purchasing articles at the auction sale over $20 when the same is obtainable; the dates sold and the prices paid by the purchasers, together with a description of each article so sold. Said books shall be open to inspection at all times by the licensing authority, or its duly authorized enforcement officers only.

§ 87-12 Articles to be labeled.

In addition to the records required to be kept as provided in § 87-11, every article offered for sale shall have securely attached a tag or label, upon which shall be plainly written or printed in the English language a true and correct statement of the kind and quality of the material or substance of which such article is made or composed; if said article is one of those commonly classed as jewelry or articles commonly carried by persons engaged in the jewelry business, the tag shall state the percentage or karat or purity of such articles; in case the article is plated or overlaid, a true statement of the kind of plate and the percentage of purity thereof, and the kind of material or metal under the plating; if the article is one commonly known as precious, semiprecious, synthetic or imitation stones, then the true names, weight, quality and color of said stones must be shown; if watches or clocks, the true name of the manufacturer, the number of jewels and adjustments, the country of manufacture, and if any of such articles or parts thereof is used or secondhand or old works in new cases, or the removal or substitution of works or any part has been made, such information must be noted on the tag which in each and every case must remain on said article until after same has been delivered and received by the customer.

§ 87-13 Disposal of merchandise to highest bidder.

It shall be unlawful for any auctioneer to accept anything other than bona fide bids; and said auction sales are to be so conducted as to dispose of merchandise to the highest bidder.

§ 87-14 False representation.

It shall be unlawful for any auctioneer, in describing goods that are being auctioned, to directly or indirectly, by verbal or written statement or advertisement, make any false representations as to the character, quality, condition, value or ownership of said goods or falsely represent that such goods are, in whole or in part, bankrupt or insolvent stock or damaged goods or goods saved from fire, or to in any way or manner violate any of the provisions of the laws of the State of New Jersey.

§ 87-15 Gifts, prizes or premiums.

It shall be unlawful for any auctioneer, clerk, helper, owner, agent or employee to give, award, bestow or deliver any gift, prize or premium to any person attending any auction sale, regardless of the manner or method used therein.

§ 87-16 Exchanging articles.

It shall be unlawful to switch, fob or exchange any article sold to a customer at public auction, unless the article to be given in exchange shall be sold by public outcry at a regularly conducted auction sale.

§ 87-17 Substituting articles.

It shall be unlawful to substitute another article for or in place of the article sold to the purchaser, and all articles being sold must at all times be kept within sight of the purchaser until delivered.

§ 87-18 Goods with secondhand parts.

It shall be unlawful to sell watches or clocks with new cases but with old works or to remove or substitute works or any parts or to sell secondhand goods for new, unless the auctioneer, before offering such articles for sale, shall clearly state such substitution or removal, or that such articles are used or secondhand.

§ 87-19 Urging purchases for special reasons.

It shall be unlawful for an auctioneer to improperly urge, persuade or force, in any manner whatsoever, the purchaser to bid for special reasons or any purpose other than his or her personal desire to obtain the article by clearly indicated bid.

§ 87-20 Identifying last bidders to authorized enforcement officers.

It shall be unlawful for an auctioneer to refuse at any time to identify the last bidder to a duly authorized enforcement officer of the municipality.

§ 87-21 Employing auctioneers who have not obtained a license.

It shall be unlawful for any person holding the auction license to use or employ an individual as an auctioneer, if said auctioneer has not obtained an auctioneer's license as provided for by this Article.

§ 87-22 Entertainment or noisy devices to attract attention.

It shall be unlawful for any auctioneer to engage in what is commonly called "barking," "ballyhooing," "ringing of bell" or the use of any other noisy device or entertainment of any kind to attract the attention of the people passing the place where the auction is being conducted to enter the place of business. No auctioneer shall cry or call bids or solicit business by any means whatsoever, unless he is standing at least 20 feet from the Boardwalk entrance to the establishment.

§ 87-23 Employing cappers, shills or fake bidders.

It shall be unlawful for any auctioneer to use or employ, or permit to be used or employed, what is commonly called a "capper" or "shill" or fake bidders. It shall be unlawful to sell what are known as "blind packages," or articles which cannot be seen by the bidders before bids are made.

§ 87-24 Signs or advertising which misrepresent source or quality of merchandise.

It shall be unlawful to use window signs or posters or other forms of advertising media which shall in any way misrepresent the source or quality of the merchandise to be sold, nor shall any window poster signs be displayed at any time which shall have a display surface greater than three square feet.

§ 87-25 Investigation of licensee; revocation or suspensions.

[Amended 7-29-1937 by Ord. No. 27-1937]
The Director in charge of granting mercantile licenses may, upon his own motion, or upon the complaint, in writing, of any person, investigate the actions of any licensee; and said Director, as aforesaid, shall have the power to suspend, for the unexpired portion of the license period, or for a period less than the unexpired portion of the license period, or to revoke any license issued under the provisions of this article, or to refuse to grant a new or renewal license where the licensee, in performing or attempting to perform any of the acts mentioned herein, is deemed to be guilty of:
A. 
Making any false promise or misrepresentation;
B. 
Pursuing a flagrant and continued course of misrepresentation or the making of false promises through agents, salesmen, advertisements or otherwise;
C. 
Failure to account for or to pay over any moneys belonging to others, coming into the possession of the licensee;
D. 
Any conduct which demonstrates unworthiness, incompetency, bad faith or dishonesty;
E. 
Making any false statement in the application set forth in § 87-3 of this article;
F. 
The violation of any provision of this article; or
G. 
The violation of any of the provisions of this article.

§ 87-26 Nonapplicability.

This article shall not be applicable to sales conducted by trustees in bankruptcy, executors, administrators, receivers or other public officers acting under the judicial process.

§ 87-27 Refusal to refund or return money.

[Added 1-9-1975 by Ord. No. 42-1974]
It shall be unlawful for any licensee of an auction gallery licensed under the provisions of this article or any licensee licensed under the provisions of Article II hereof to operate a demonstration place, to refuse to refund or return the money, check or other evidence of indebtedness to the person who has purchased an article or merchandise from said licensee within 24 hours when demand has been made for the return of the money, check or other evidence of indebtedness within 72 hours after the purchase, provided that the purchaser returns the article or merchandise to the purchase in the same condition as it was in when purchased.

§ 87-28 Cash refund information to be conspicuously posted.

[Added 1-9-1975 by Ord. No. 42-1974; amended 2-20-1975 by Ord. No. 3-1975]
The licensee in said licensed premises must display, within the licensed premises, a sign of at least 18inches by 18 inches with printing approximately one inch in height for each letter and approximately one inch in width stating "Cash Refunds in Full Amount of Purchase Within 24 Hours of Demand Made Within 72 Hours of Purchase."

§ 87-29 Auction gallery annual fee.

[Added 1-9-1975 by Ord. No. 42-1974]
The annual license fee for an auction gallery or a demonstration place shall be $2,000.

§ 87-30 Auction premises; proximity to similar premises; number limited.

[Added 4-19-1962 by Ord. No. 7-1962]
A. 
From the date of final passage and effect of this article, no license shall be granted to any auction gallery or store conducting auctions that is located within 250 feet of any existing auction gallery or store conducting auctions for which an auction license has been issued.
B. 
Not over 12 licenses to operate or conduct an auction gallery shall be granted by the City Council at any time.

§ 87-31 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 1-9-1975 by Ord. No. 42-1974; 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 104-2008]
Any person violating the terms of this article may be prosecuted in the Municipal Court of the City of Atlantic City and, upon conviction thereof, for each offense shall be punished by a fine not exceeding 90 days in jail or by a fine not exceeding $2,000 or both, at the discretion of the Municipal Judge.
[Adopted 6-18-1970 by Ord. No. 24-1970]

§ 87-32 Mercantile license required.

No person shall act as a demonstrator of goods or merchandise and no person shall engage in the business of demonstrating goods within the limits of the City of Atlantic City without first having had and obtained a mercantile license as hereinafter provided.

§ 87-33 Applications for license.

Before any license is granted, as set forth in § 87-32 of this Article, the applicant shall make application, in writing, therefor, on a form to be provided by the Director of Revenue and Finance of the City of Atlantic City, and under oath, and file the same with said Director, where same shall be open for inspection. Said application shall state:
A. 
Full name of the applicant.
B. 
His residential address.
C. 
Length of time of continuous bona fide residence in the County of Atlantic immediately prior to making the application.
D. 
Places where the applicant has resided for a period of three years immediately prior to making the application.
E. 
Whether any person or persons or corporation other than the applicant has any interest, directly or indirectly, in the license applied for on in the business to be conducted and, if so, the name, residence and interest shall be stated.
F. 
If the applicant is a corporation:
(1) 
Location of the registered office in New Jersey and name of the registered agent.
(2) 
Date and state of incorporation.
(3) 
The names and residences of all stockholders, directors and officers.
G. 
Address of the place of business.
H. 
Whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime.
I. 
The experience the applicant has had as a demonstrator or as a person engaged in the business.
J. 
The place or places and the time that the applicant has been so engaged.
K. 
The name of the bonding company to furnish the bond as hereinafter required.
L. 
Said applicant shall also file with said Director, where same may be open for inspection, but for the proper authorities only, certificates of approval by no less than three reputable citizens of the City of Atlantic City, each of whom shall certify that he or she has personally known the applicant for a period of at least three years prior to the filing of said application, and that he or she has read such application and has good and sufficient reason to believe that each of the statements therein are true; that the applicant is honest, of good character and competent to conduct the business, and that such person is not related to or connected in a business way with the person so certifying. Said certificates of approval shall be signed and duly verified and acknowledged before an officer authorized to take acknowledgments of deeds.
M. 
Each applicant shall also furnish a photograph taken within one year of the application, said photograph to be two by two inches and securely attached to the license, if issued.

§ 87-34 Investigation.

The Director of Revenue and Finance shall investigate, or cause to be investigated, each and every application filed as aforesaid.

§ 87-35 Bond requirements.

The Director of Revenue and Finance shall, as a condition precedent to the granting of the license to engage in the business, require the applicant to enter into a bond to the City of Atlantic City executed by a surety company duly authorized to do business under the laws of the State of New Jersey, said bond to be approved by the Director of Revenue and Finance of the City of Atlantic City and to be in sum of $2,500, conditioned for the due observance of all such ordinances of the City of Atlantic City as are in force or may be passed respecting the conduct or operation of the business at any time during the continuance of such business, for the performance of all duties, the rendition of all accounts and payment of all moneys required by law to be paid, and also conditioned for the payment to any person who shall be defrauded or suffer loss by reason of the violation of such business owner or any employee thereof of any of the provisions of this Article or state law, or any other ordinance that may hereafter be required. Said bond shall be for the protection of persons and property and for the preservation of the safety and property of the municipality and its inhabitants, and as may now or hereafter be required by any state law or municipal ordinance or regulation.

§ 87-36 Annual license fees.

A. 
The annual license fee for each demonstrator of goods or merchandise engaged to work in any demonstration place shall be $100, beginning July 1.
[Amended 4-20-2016 by Ord. No. 20-2016]
B. 
The annual license fee for a person owning an establishment for the demonstration of goods or merchandise shall be $1,000, which may be imposed for revenue purposes under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:52-2, in that the City Council has found that this type of business requires continued inspection and the hiring of additional employees by the City to regulate the same.

§ 87-37 Licenses conspicuously posted.

Licenses issued under § 87-36 hereof shall be posted for public inspection in a conspicuous place in the place of business of the licensee at all times.

§ 87-38 Records and books.

Every individual or corporation operating a demonstration business shall keep books in which shall be described and inventoried in a clear, legible manner all goods received at such establishment; the date of receipt; the name and place of business of the person or concern on whose account they are to be sold; the cost price to the licensee if purchased by him or consigned to him for purposes of sale, together with the name and address of the vendor, the names and addresses of the purchasers at the demonstration sale; the dates sold and the prices paid by the purchasers, together with a description of each article so sold. Said books shall be open to inspection at all times by the licensing authority, or its duly authorized enforcement officers only.

§ 87-39 Tags and labels.

In addition to the records required to be kept as provided in § 87-38, every article offered for sale shall have securely attached a tag or label upon which shall be plainly written or printed in the English language a true and correct statement of the kind and quality of the material or substance of which such article is made or composed; if said article is one of those commonly classed as jewelry or articles commonly carried by persons engaged in the jewelry business, the tag shall state the percentage or karat of purity of such articles; in case the article is plated or overlaid, a true statement of the kind of plate and the percentage of purity thereof, and the kind of material or metal under the plating; if the article is one commonly known as precious, semiprecious, synthetic or imitation stones, then the true names, weight, quality and color of said stones must be shown; if watches or clocks, the true name of the manufacturer, the number of jewels and adjustments, the country of manufacture, and if any of such articles or parts thereof is used or secondhand or old works in new cases, or the removal or substitution of works or any part has been made, such information must be noted on the tag which in each and every case must remain on said article until after same has been delivered and received by the customer. It is the intent of this section that every article purchased by a customer in a demonstration place or a place which demonstrates for sale articles shall have thereon a written statement of what the purchaser is obtaining and the price paid therefor.

§ 87-40 Bona fide bids.

It shall be unlawful for any demonstrator to accept anything other than bona fide bids.

§ 87-41 False representation.

It shall be unlawful for any demonstrator, in describing goods that he is offering to prospective purchasers at a price fixed by the demonstrator, to directly or indirectly, by verbal or written statement or advertisement, make any false representations as to the character, quality, condition, value or ownership or manufacturer of said goods.

§ 87-42 Substitution.

It shall be unlawful to substitute another article for or in place of the article sold to the purchaser, and all articles being sold must at all times be kept within sight of the purchaser until delivered.

§ 87-43 Noise-making and attention-getting devices.

It shall be unlawful for any demonstrator, the licensee or any employees of the licensee to use any sound device, microphone, amplifier, ring bells or make any raucous noise which can be heard outside of the premises, which noise disturbs neighbors or persons passing by, and it shall be unlawful for any licensee or any employee of a licensee to make or cry excessively by his own voice or by sound-producing devices which disturb persons outside the premises and which are made to attract patrons, solicit business or call forth or advertise their goods, wares or merchandise.

§ 87-44 Disciplinary actions.

The Director in charge of granting mercantile licenses may, upon his own motion or upon the complaint in writing of any person, file written charges against the licensee and hold a hearing on whether or not disciplinary action, such as suspension or revocation of license, shall be the penalty against the licensee. Said charges must be served personally or by certified mail upon the licensee, which charges shall include notice of a hearing to be held before the Director, not more than 20 nor less than 10 days from the date of service of the charges upon the licensee, at which hearing the licensee shall have the right of having counsel and produce witnesses in his behalf and to cross-examine witnesses against him. The licensee may be penalized by suspension or revocation of the license if, in the opinion of the Director based upon the greater weight of the believable evidence, the licensee has been guilty of violating any statute of the State of New Jersey or ordinance of the City of Atlantic City, and the licensee under the provisions of this section shall be responsible for the actions of any and all of his employees.

§ 87-45 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 104-2008]
In addition to any penalty herein provided, any person, whether demonstrator or licensee, employee or owner, may be prosecuted before the Municipal Court of the City of Atlantic City for violations of any provision of this article and, upon conviction thereof for each offense, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed 90 days in jail or by a fine not exceeding $2,000 or both, in the discretion of the Municipal Judge.

§ 87-46 Definitions.

As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PERSON or APPLICANT or LICENSEE
Includes any individual or individuals, copartners, corporations or associations. Wherever a statement or act is required to be made or done by a corporation, the same shall be effected by its duly authorized officers. The use of the singular shall be deemed to include the plural as well; the masculine shall be deemed to apply also to the feminine.

§ 87-47 Sign display.

Every licensee, whether an employee demonstrator under § 87-36A or an owner under § 87-36B must have his name prominently displayed on or in the premises in print of at least four inches in height so that the same can be easily read by the customers.

§ 87-48 Proximity to similar establishments.

No license shall be granted to any place demonstrating goods as set forth herein that is located within 850 feet of any existing place of business of the same type or kind for which a license has been issued.