[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Woodruff 3-24-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Sales — See Ch. 390.
It shall be unlawful for any transient merchant to engage in direct sales within the Town of Woodruff without being registered for that purpose as provided herein.
The following definitions shall be applicable in this chapter:
- CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
- Includes any benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic or eleemosynary person, partnership, association or corporation or one purporting to be such.
- The Town Clerk.
- Includes personal property of any kind and shall include goods provided incidental to services offered or sold.
- Includes any person, whether a resident of the Town of Woodruff or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place, or from street to street conveying or transporting goods, wares or merchandise or offering or exposing the same for sale or making sales and delivering articles to purchasers.
- PERMANENT MERCHANT
- Any person who, for at least one year prior to the consideration of the application of this chapter to said merchant:
- Any individual who, for himself/herself or for a partnership, association or corporation, charitable or otherwise, solicits, asks for, or requests contributions, either in the form of cash or merchandise, at any location other than the permanent business place or residence of said individual, partnership, association or corporation.
- TRANSIENT MERCHANT
- Includes any person, firm or corporation, whether as owner, agent, consignee or employee, whether a resident of the Town of Woodruff or not, who or which engages in a temporary business of selling and delivering goods, wares and merchandise within said Town and who or which, in furtherance of such purpose, hires, leases, uses or occupies any building, structure, motor vehicle, trailer, tent, railroad boxcar, boat, public room in hotels, lodging houses, apartments, shops, or any street, alley or other place within the Town for exhibition and sale of such goods, wares and merchandise, either privately or at public auction, provided that such definition shall not be construed to include any person, firm or corporation who or which, while occupying such temporary location, does not sell from stock but exhibits samples for the purpose of securing orders for future delivery only. The person, firm or corporation so engaged shall not be relieved from complying with the provisions of this chapter merely by reason of associating temporarily with any local dealer, trader, merchant or auctioneer or by conducting such transient business in connection with, as a part of, or in the name of any local dealer, trader or auctioneer.
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 county and who delivers such goods in his or her 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 Clerk proof that such charitable organization is registered under § 440.42, Wis. Stats. 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 person who claims to be a permanent merchant but against whom a complaint has been made to the Clerk that such person is a transient merchant, provided that there is submitted to the Clerk proof that such person has leased for at least one year, or purchased, the premises from which he/she 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.
Any person or group participating in a special event sanctioned by the Town.
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.
Age, height, weight and color of hair and eyes.
Name, address and telephone number of the person, firm, association or corporation that the direct seller or solicitor represents or is employed by or whose merchandise is being sold or solicited for.
Temporary address and telephone number from which business will be conducted, if any.
Nature of the business to be conducted and a brief description of the goods or 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 and towns, not to exceed three, where the applicant conducted similar business.
Place where the applicant can be contacted for at least seven days after leaving this Town.
Statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any crime or ordinance violation related to the applicant's transient merchant business within the last five years, the nature of the offense and the place of conviction.
Applicants shall present to the 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 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 the applicant is apparently free from any contagious or infectious disease, dated not more that 90 days prior to the date the application for license is made.
The applicant is also required to obtain a conditional use permit in accordance with Oneida County ordinances and codes. Such conditional use permit must be applied for through the Oneida County Planning and Zoning Office, as well as through the Town Board for a recommendation to the county, and must be presented to the Town Clerk at the time of making application to do business in the Town as a direct seller or solicitor.
At the time the registration is returned, a fee as provided in the Town Fee Schedule for each day the applicant wishes to do business in the Town as a direct seller or solicitor shall be paid to the Clerk. The applicant shall sign a statement appointing the 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 that the applicant cannot, after reasonable effort, be served personally. Upon payment of said fee and the signing of said statement, the Clerk shall, with Town Board approval, register the applicant as a direct seller or solicitor and date the entry. Said registration shall be valid for a period of one year, not transferable, from the date of entry, subject to subsequent refusal and provided in § 263-5B below.
None of the registration fees provided for by this section shall be applied so as to occasion an undue burden upon interstate commerce. In any case where a registration fee is believed by a registrant for registration to place an undue burden upon such commerce, he/she may apply to the Clerk for an adjustment of the fee so that it shall not be discriminatory, unreasonable, or unfair as to such commerce. Such application may be made before, at, or within six months after payment of the prescribed registration fee. The registrant shall, by affidavit and supporting testimony, show his/her method of business and the gross volume of business and such other information as the Clerk shall deem necessary in order to determine the extent, if any, of undue burden on such commerce. The Clerk shall then conduct an investigation, comparing the registrant's business with other businesses of like nature, and shall make findings of fact from which he/she shall determine whether or not the fee fixed by this chapter is unfair, unreasonable or discriminatory as to the registrant's business and shall fix as the registration fee for the registrant an amount that is fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory or, if the fee has already been paid, shall order a refund of the amount over and above the fee so fixed. In fixing the fee to be charged, the Clerk shall have the power to use any method which will assure that the fee assessed shall be uniform with that assessed on businesses of like nature, so long as the amount assessed does not exceed the fees as prescribed by this section.
Upon receipt of each application, the Clerk shall refer it immediately to the Chief of Police, who shall make a complete investigation of the statements made in such registration. The applicant will pay a fee as provided in the Town Fee Schedule to the Town to cover the cost incurred for such investigation.
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 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 § 263-4B and C above.
Any person denied registration may appeal the denial through the appeal procedure 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 or solicitor shall be prohibited from calling at any dwelling or other place between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 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 or solicitor 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 or funds solicited 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 or solicitor 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 or solicitor 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 of a one-hundred-foot radius of the source.
No direct seller or solicitor 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 or solicitor 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 solicitor, or any sales order for the later delivery of goods is taken by the seller or solicitor, the buyer shall have the right to cancel said transaction if it involved 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.
If the direct seller or solicitor 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 or solicitor, 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 Clerk all convictions for violation of this chapter, and the Clerk shall note any 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 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.
Written notice of the hearing shall be served personally on the registrant at least 72 hours prior to the time set 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.