Old Drum

Commentary on Warrensburg, Johnson County and Missouri issues from a Libertarian perspective. View my earlier commentary at www.olddrum.net.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

City Regulating Resale?

I've been doing some more thinking about the City's desire to require resale businesses to keep detailed logs of everything they buy for resale. I know the intent is good - to find theives and return stolen goods to the rightful owners, but ...

I wonder - do they understand how the resale business works around here? Do they want to limit it to certain types of property or include everything? Would there be a certain minimum value? Would it apply to all the people who have booths at antique malls and flea markets within the city or just to management? Would it apply to items bought by booth owners for resale at garage sales? Would it apply to items sold within the city limits if purchased outside the city limits? What about trash picking for resale? What kind of proof would they have to keep of where they actually obtained the goods? Who'd pay for the administrative burden? How many staff people would the city add to compile the weekly reports and compare them to the "hot list?" What's to stop the resellers from moving their businesses outside the city limits and costing the city sales tax money? Do we really want this level of intrusion into our business lives?

Missouri has a law that requires state agencies promulgating administrative rules to estimate their effect on small business and to prepare a small business impact statement. While this law (536-300) doesn't apply to cities, perhaps Warrensburg should follow its precepts before opening this can of worms.

My wife, Sandra, has a booth at the Those Were the Days mall and has written her own thoughts; I'm posting them as a comment to this topic.

In Liberty


  • At Wednesday, March 01, 2006 3:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    All those selling used items or pre-owned merchandise or auction or garage sale stuff, may be forced to identify and get a signed document from the previous owner of such "saleable items."

    Thus, my two booths (24) at Those Were The Days, since 1991, may come under the ordinance. I sell items, merchandise, auction "numerous other items," and garage sale last day items. Plus, I am the "Queen" of trash picking or "recycling" enthusiast during the two designated city free trash pick-up days in the year.

    Does this mean I should approach the individuals or individual who has dumped unwanted "things" on the front public area of his/hers' property for trash pick-up (namely getting rid of unwanted stuff to be deposited for eternity at the county dump site) and ask for approval?

    Let's see, how this works: I take a form for completion to the property owner for signature proving that the pile of stuff for trash picking is not stolen. Furthermore, do I let the "trash" person know I am not recycling, but selling his unwanted possessions for profit in my two booths? Would that cause the "trash" owner in question to grab hold of his/her possessions on the street thinking he/she too could resell what they didn't want at all before I came along?

    Also, do I tell "everyone" at Those Were The Days that I get some of my "saleable" items at no cost. The word "free" is always an inspiration when I trash pick.

    My business ventures of profit for little or no investment in items to be sold may be curtailed by a city ordinance! I say stand up, you other trash pickers, who sell that unwanted junk on the sidewalk and petition the city council to make an exemption for some Warrensburgers who do a service to the community.

    The trash pickers don't care who owned the stuff dumped on the sidewalks out for city trash pick-up days. Hey, city, that junk is out there and more than likely, there's profit sales in them-there mounds of castaways! Why interfere with those who recycle and save space in the county dump called Mount Trashmore? I ain't telling, if you won't!

    Sandra Wayne

  • At Sunday, March 05, 2006 4:31:00 AM, Blogger Ben Pierce said…

    One of the big differences between resale shops, trash pickers, etc., and pawn shops is that pawn shops have loans against the merchandise. This means that loan payments must be tracked, and enough information to find the person for sending notices.

    Since resale shops and trash pickers receive title to the merchandise (either by abandonment through the trash, or by paying for the merchandise that they resale), there is no need to maintain information on the individuals for business purposes.

    The new law imposes a new requirement not met by existing business purposes.


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