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Captain Tim Pillack 
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Waterloo Police Department
715 Mulberry Street
Waterloo, Iowa 50703




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Peddlers, Solicitors and Transient Merchants
Monday, 22 April 2013 14:27

With the warmer weather finally entering Iowa we are certain to see an increase in door-to-door sales business.   Most of these businesses are reputable and offer for sale a variety of products of interest to our community. Some of these businesses do operate with high-pressure sales techniques that often make our citizens uncomfortable.

With that in mind we wanted to remind citizens of several requirements and steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of our community.

  1. All door-to-door sales persons must have a peddler’s license and they are required to display it upon request. (There are exceptions in the ordinance for route delivery persons, Scouts, School Fundraisers, etc.) You should always ask to see this license before doing business with any door-to-door sales person to ensure they have received a license from the City to offer their goods or services.   If they cannot or will not produce the license ask them to leave and notify law enforcement.
  2. As a rule you should never let anyone in your residence that you do not know or trust. If you wish to do businesses with a peddler it is always safest to interact with them outside your residence, that way if you have any concerns you can ask them to leave and return to the safety of your home. If you have any concerns for your safety call 911.
  3. Some may engage in high-pressure sales and try to instill a sense of urgency to make the sale. Like all purchases you should take the time to research their claims to ensure they are accurate before purchasing. If you want time to think about it, and are truly interested in their product, ask for their telephone number and call them later if you decide to buy.
  4. If you have a non-emergency complaint about a door-to-door merchant please contact the Waterloo City Clerks Office at 291-4233 with as much information about the vendor as possible.
  5. Any time you are looking to make a purchase you are encouraged to check the business you are dealing with through the Better Business Bureau at or 1-800-222-1600.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.