Special consumer protections apply to sales made by what are called direct sellers. A direct seller is a person who goes from house-to-house selling, offering to sell or accepting orders for the sale of goods and services.
Some direct sellers are not covered by The Direct Sellers Act and its protections. Door-to-door sales by a farmer, commercial fisherman or a merchant having a retail store are not covered. The Act also does not apply to the sale of newspapers, fuel, dairy products or bakery goods, or fundraising activities (such as youth groups selling chocolate covered almonds).
Protections cover things like contract requirements, down payments, and cancellation rights. Although the law offers these protections, they may not help if the seller has taken your money and cannot be found.
A direct sale includes sales made by agents on your door step, telephone solicitors and in-home presentations. An example of in-home presentations is a home "party" or "information session" where people gather to hear a sales pitch and - the seller hopes - order the goods.
One way to avoid potential trouble is to only buy from licensed sellers. Direct sellers who are covered by these laws must be licensed. When a door-to-door sales person comes to your door, ask to see their credentials. You can also call the Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-880-5550 to check whether they are licensed.
You can report a direct seller who is not complying with the rules to the Consumer Protection Division by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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