Peddlers, Solicitors, and Transient Merchants Common Questions & Answers
What is the difference between peddlers, solicitors, and transient merchants?
Peddlers are door-to-door salespeople who sell you something you immediately receive
Solicitors are door-to-door salespeople who sell you something that will be delivered at a future date
Transient merchants are salespeople who temporarily use a structure, like a building or even a vehicle, to sell something
Does the city treat peddlers, solicitors, and transient merchants differently from one another? No. The city treats all of these salespeople the same. This means all fall under the same permit and same rules within the city code. The city generally refers to all as peddlers as well.
What is a peddler's permit? A peddler's permit serves a couple key purposes:
Allows door-to-door salepeople or transient merchants like food trucks to sell their goods or services
Provides citizens information about the salesperson they are dealing with
Provides the date or dates the peddler is allowed to sell
Provides proof city staff has done a background check on the peddler
Helps ensure city staff knows when peddlers are present in town
Ultimately, peddlers permits are meant to help keep the citizens of Marengo safe while still allowing these salespeople to conduct their business. I am a part of a church or a school organization and would like to give out information or sell items door-to-door for a fund raiser. Do I have to get a peddlers permit? There are certain groups that are exempt under the city code from the peddler permit requirements. Those groups are:
Newspapers. Persons delivering, collecting for or selling subscriptions to newspapers.
Club Members. Members of local civic and service clubs, Boy Scout, Girl Scout, 4-H Clubs, Future Farmers of America and similar organizations.
Local Residents and Farmers. Local residents and farmers who offer for sale their own products.
Students. Students representing the Iowa Valley Community School District conducting projects sponsored by organizations recognized by the school.
Route Sales. Route delivery persons who only incidentally solicit additional business or make special sales.
Resale or Institutional Use. Persons customarily calling on businesses or institutions for the purposes of selling products for resale or institutional use.
Religious and/or political advocacy.
There is a person who knocked on my door and is now trying to sell me something. What can I do? The first thing you can do is ask what organization they are a member of. If they are not a member of one of the types listed above, they would need to get a permit.