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16 December 2013 - Door-to-door Selling PDF Print E-mail


Jaimie wrote to about door-to-door selling... scroll to bottom to begin the communications:



On 17 December replied:



Police harassment & intimidation - invasion of privacy


This is an example of "opinions about the law" rather than application of the law.


The activity you describe is door-to-door selling.
There is no regulation for door-to-door sellers whose contract is below £35.
Neither you nor your operatives need to rely on or refer to exemption under Section 23 of the Pedlars Act.
You are not acting as a pedlar in public but exercising your right to enter into private contract in private going door-to-door.
A pedlars certificate covers private contract in public but you are exercising private contract in private.


We have discussed these points with the Chairman of the Direct Selling Association the DSA whose UK membership replicates your door-to-door sellers activities.
None carry a pedlars certificate and police must scratch their heads about why that is so.
There are much bigger fish in the pond for police to harass and intimidate so why target an individual entrepreneur trying to make an honest living who provides a service to consumers... in private?


Police are acting outside their powers (ultra vires) by invading the privacy of an exclusively private matter.
It appears that the police opinion is entrenched and we suggest you make formal complaint to the local Police Commissioner to resolve the matter.
Your Commissioner and MP also have helpful surgeries at which you can make your case verbally.
We will accept your instructions to draft a formal complaint or you may use these self-explanatory communications with covering note to the Commissioner.
You will need to let us know name of police officer, station, incident date, etc... always keep contemporaneous notes of incidents as evidence.


The only moot point is whether a leaflet constitutes a book but this is irrelevant in this matter.




On 16 December Jaimie replied:

Hi Robert

Thank you so much for your quick reply. I am still a little confused.

- Are you saying that no matter what the product is, as long as the value is below £35.00 nobody would require a Certificate or License to sell on the door?
-The police have said the reason for the seizure of my equipment is 'Peddling without a certificate'
- My product at the moment is a tri-folded leaflet and because the law says 'selling or seeking orders for books' they told me that my product does not constitute a book and therefore I would need a certificate?

Due to the police continually stopping my vendors we have had to stop trading all together as every time they go door to door they are threatened with arrest or seizure of the items, I am at a total loss at what to do




On 16 December responded:




Thank you for contacting
You are giving work opportunities to young people otherwise on benefits... well done... the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions needs to know this... suggest you write to him or at least let your MP know.


The Pedlars Act Section 3 "or other person" is a valid description of a pedlar.
The Pedlars Act Section 23 "Nothing in this Act shall render it necessary for a certificate to be obtained by the following persons as such; (that is to say,) (1) Commercial travellers or other persons selling or seeking orders for goods, wares, or merchandise to or from persons who are dealers therein and who buy to sell again, or selling or seeking orders for books as agents authorized in writing by the publishers of such books"  so your operatives do not require a certificate.


More importantly is this Act:
2008 Cancellation of Contracts Made in Consumers Home or Work Place Schedule 3 Clause 6 "Any contract not falling within paragraph 5 under which the total payments to be made by the consumer do not exceed £35" so your operatives are exempt for contracts under £35. No such person requires a pedlars certificate. There is no regulation for what they are doing.


The link page to legislation is here.


Suggest that you go immediately to the police and request return of goods and lodge a formal complaint that officers have acted ultra vires.
Be sure you ask under what legislation confiscation occurred... let us know what they say.


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On 16 December Jaimie wrote to

I have been trading for 2 years now selling magazines/leaflets/books door to door. I have never used a Pedlars Licence becaase I was under the impression I could sell without one as Section 23 states an exemption 'or other persons' 'selling or seeking orders for books as agents authorised in writing by publishers of such books' . I also employ people to sell my leaflets and i authorize them in writing. Am i correct? As the local police recently seized my items as they believe I am trading without a licence but i was under the impression i am exempt? due to what mt product is?



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