[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Prescott as Title 7, Ch. 4, of the former City Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any transient merchant, direct seller or charitable solicitor to engage in direct sales or solicitation activities within the City of Prescott without being registered for that purpose as provided herein.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- DIRECT SELLER
- Any individual who engages in the soliciting of services at any place in this City temporarily, and who does not intend to become a permanent merchant of such place.
- Any goods or services offered for sale.
- PERMANENT MERCHANT
- Any person who has registered as a permanent business at a fixed address.
- 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.
- PRODUCE VENDOR
- Any individual selling agricultural products.
- TRANSIENT MERCHANT
- Any individual who engages in the retail sale of merchandise at any place in this state temporarily, and who does not intend to become a permanent merchant of such place.
The following shall be exempt from all provisions of this chapter:
Regular delivery routes. Any person delivering newspapers or fuel to regular customers on established routes.
Wholesalers. Any person selling merchandise at wholesale to dealers in such merchandise.
Deliveries by permanent merchants. 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 this county and who delivers such merchandise in their regular course of business.
Requested home visits. 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.
Prior sales transactions. 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.
Auctions; sales authorized by statute. 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.
Charitable organizations; limited exemption. Any employee, officer or agent of a charitable organization who engages in direct sales for or on behalf of said organization shall be exempt from fees imposed by this chapter, provided that there is submitted to the City Administrator proof that such charitable organization is registered under § 440.42, Wis. Stats., and the charitable solicitors register with the City under this chapter. Any charitable organization engaging in the sale of merchandise and 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.
Alleged transient merchants. Any person who claims to be a permanent merchant but against whom complaint has been made to the City Administrator that such person is a transient merchant.
Persons licensed by examining boards. Any individual licensed by an examining board as defined in § 15.01(7), Wis. Stats.
City authorized events. Transient merchants, direct sellers, charitable solicitors and produce vendors are required to follow the guidelines of the special event's organizers as authorized by the Common Council.
Resident minors. Minors under the age of 18 who are residents of the Prescott Area School District.
Repair service. Any repair service, including contractors, mechanical, electrical and plumbing repair, roofing companies, etc., contracted by the occupant or the premises to provide a service. This does not include contractors of any of the services previously mentioned who solicit business on a door-to-door basis.
Parcel delivery service. Any delivery service such as UPS or RPS (these are examples but not limited to such examples).
Registration information. Applicants for registration must complete and return to the City Administrator a registration form furnished by the Administrator 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 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 offered and any services offered;
Proposed method of delivery of merchandise, if applicable;
Make, model and license number of any vehicle to be used by applicant in the conduct of his 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 City;
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.
Identification and certification. Applicants shall present to the City Administrator for examination:
A driver's license or some other governmental picture identification, social security number 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 county health officer's certificate where applicant's business involves the handling of food is required within 30 days of application with the City.
At the time of filing applications, a fee as prescribed in the City's fee schedule shall be paid to the City Administrator to cover the cost of investigation of the facts stated in the application and for processing said registration. Every member of a group must file a separate registration form. The primary applicant shall pay the registration fee, plus a CIB investigation fee; each assistant under the application shall also be required to pay the CIB fee.
Editor's Note: The current fee schedule is on file in the City Clerk's office.
Upon payment of the fee and the signing of said statement, the City Administrator shall register the applicant as a transient merchant 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 § 521-5B below.
Solicitors of funds and donations for charitable organizations shall comply with all disclosure and registration above but shall be exempt from the registration fee; such applicants, however, shall each pay the CIB fee.
Appointment of Clerk as agent. The applicant shall sign a statement appointing the City 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 sales activities of the applicant, in the event that the applicant cannot, after reasonable effort, be served personally.
Upon receipt of each application, the City Administrator may refer it immediately to the Police Department for an investigation of the statements made in such registration, said investigation to be completed within five days from the time of referral. (Note: This waiting period is necessary in order to complete the investigation process.)
The City Administrator 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 § 521-4B above.
Any person denied registration may appeal the denial through the appeal procedure provided by ordinance or resolution of the Common Council or, if none has been adopted, under the provisions of §§ 68.07 through 68.16, Wis. Stats.
Sales prohibited. A transient merchant shall be prohibited from calling at any dwelling or other place on Sundays or holidays or 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.
Misrepresentation. A transient merchant 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 visit, his identity or the identity of the organization he represents. A charitable organization transient merchant shall specifically disclose what portion of the sale price of 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.
Use of public property, sales from private property. No transient merchant shall impede the free use of sidewalks and streets by pedestrians and vehicles. Without express approval from the Common Council, sales activities shall not be conducted from a public right-of-way or public parking lot. Sale of items from private property shall only be as permitted by the City Zoning Code. Other than for occasional garage sales, any person engaged in temporary sales activity from private property shall be required to first register as required by §§ 521-4 and 521-5; included in, but not limited to, such regulated activities are sales of Christmas trees, food products, fireworks, art works and sports paraphernalia.
Noise. No transient merchant 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.
Refuse. No transient merchant shall allow rubbish or litter to accumulate in or around the area in which he is conducting business.
After the initial greeting and before any other statement is made to a prospective customer, a transient merchant shall expressly disclose his name, the name of the company or organization he is affiliated with, if any, and the identity of merchandise or services he offers to sell.
If any sale of merchandise is made by a transient merchant or any sales order 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 transient merchant takes a sales order for the later delivery of merchandise, 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.
Sales on City streets, alleys, sidewalks and property. No person may display, market or sell farm or garden produce on City streets, alleys, sidewalks or public property within the City except as allowed under provision of this section.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended:
- FARM OR GARDEN PRODUCE
- Fruits, plants, vegetables, flowers, shrubs or trees intended for planting.
Application for license. A license to display, market or sell farm or garden produce on City streets, alleys, sidewalks or public property may be granted by the Zoning Administrator upon proper application being made.
A produce license to sell on public property may be granted by the City upon receipt of application and approval of the Common Council. The application shall contain the following information:
The applicant's name and address.
The exact time and place of the sale.
Whether the applicant will be present and in continuous attendance at the proposed sale.
Whether the applicant has within two years prior to the application conducted or had any connection with a similar sale in the City or any other place in the county and, if so, the dates and places of such other sales.
Products being sold.
The Council shall designate the place where said display or sale may be conducted when granting any license under this section.
Such license shall be granted to exhibitors in connection with a special civic function and they are required to follow the guidelines of the special event organizers as authorized by the Common Council.
The term of the license shall commence no earlier than the commencement of the event and extend no later than the last day of the event.
License fee shall be as per the City's fee schedule.
Sales shall be limited to no more than four per year, and each shall comprise no more than three days.
Failure to register after being notified of need for a registration will result in a fine being imposed.
The Police Department shall report to the City Administrator all convictions for violations of this chapter, and the City Administrator shall note any such violation on the record of the registrant convicted.
Registration may be revoked by a City law enforcement officer or the City Administrator if the registrant made any material emission or materially inaccurate statement in the application for registration, 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.
Provided a written request is filed with the City Administrator within 10 days of such revocation, an appeals hearing shall be held before the Common Council or committee thereof. Written notice of the hearing shall be served personally or pursuant to § 521-4D on the registrant at least 72 hours prior to the time set for the hearing; such notice shall contain the time and place of hearing and a statement of the acts upon which the hearing will be based.