Bismarck Police say they frequently get questions about door to door sales. In a press release the PD says not every door-to-door salesperson is dishonest but when someone solicits you at home you should be extremely careful and follow these guidelines.
1) Sales may not be attempted at any private residence, business, or establishment where there is posted a sign stating “No Trespassing”, “No Soliciting”, or similar notice.
2) Door-to-door sales or solicitation with proper city of Bismarck permits, are allowed only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., daily.
3) If you are unsure if a solicitor is legitimate, ask for identification verifying that they are employed by the company they claim to work for. If they don’t have any I.D., don’t give them any money and tell them to leave. Permit holders must wear and clearly display the Bismarck Door to Door Permit (pictured below) on their person when conducting sales.
4) In addition, if the salesperson is from a state other than ND the salesperson must have a Transient Merchant License issued by the State of ND, with their name on it, in their possession.
5) Anyone soliciting door-to-door for a charity, religious entity, non-profit organization or political candidate do not need a permit so long as they comply with the other provisions pertaining to door-to-door sales.
6) If solicitor refuses to leave after being asked to, or becomes irate, shut the door. If they don’t leave, call 911.
7) If you don’t feel comfortable giving the solicitor any money, DON’T! Do not let anyone “guilt” you into giving them money or buying their product. Remember, voluntarily giving them money is not against the law. Not providing services paid for and not leaving private property when asked to is. DON’T give anyone money when you don’t feel it’s a legitimate cause!
8) Ask yourself if you really need the product or service right now. Don’t buy on impulse.
9) Never give out personal or financial information, including your credit card or bank account number, unless you know the selling company’s reputation.
10) Never sign a contract without reading and fully understanding it. Don’t sign anything with blank spaces.
11) Don’t be pressured or rushed into a purchase. Common high-pressure tactics include setting time limits and forcing customers to make hasty decisions – often with the promise of a “special” offer. You can always take time to consider the purchase. If it’s a great deal, it will still be there tomorrow.
12) Don’t feel embarrassed about protecting yourself. If you feel threatened in any way, ask the seller to leave. If you are at all suspicious, call the police.
For updated information on current city permit holders, please go to: http://www.bismarcknd.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1181