Saturday, March 24, 2018

Provendor First Look – September 2012

Provendor First Look

First Look – September 2012

Welcome to First Look, a sneak peek at empowering business information and insights, for PROVENDOR members only.


How to Choose a Wholesale Supplier

This month’s PROVENDOR mediacast discusses what every vendor needs to know when choosing a wholesale supplier for his or her business. Find out the essential questions that can make or break a business relationship.

Exclusive Interview
with Caesar Creek Markets Execs

Caesar Creek Markets InterviewSumner Communications Editor, Gloria Mellinger, recently spoke with Greg Dove, president of Levin Service Company, the parent company of Caesar Creek Markets, and Janet Burton, general manager, about business and legal issues of which vendors should be aware. Dove is also VP of the National Flea Market Association (NFMA) and a member of the association’s legislative committee.

Editor: As a long-time flea market professional, I’d like to get your input on the legalities of the business. Where do vendors start?

Dove: “When vendors contact us, the first thing we do is refer them to our Rules and Rates sheet. It’s their obligation to stay in compliance with all state, county and federal laws. The Rules and Rates sheet encompasses all of our rules for merchandizing, how booths can be set up and hours of operation, and this is one section of it. All the markets that I’m aware of in the NFMA have a Rules and Rates sheet. Maybe some markets wing it, but that would not be advisable.”

Editor: Who would vendors contact for laws about general merchandizing?

Burton: “In order to get your vendors license and sales tax set up, we also provide the web address for the Ohio Department of taxation and there you can purchase a vendor’s license online.”

Editor: Are federal laws around flea markets changing much these days?

Dove: “There are always attempts to put language concerning counterfeit at the federal level that is detrimental to the flea market industry. The NFMA works very hard with our legislative committee and with an outside government relations firm to prevent that. The NFMA’s position, which is what we subscribe to at our markets, is that counterfeit is not allowed. We state that in our Rules and Rates, we police it and we do everything we can to protect manufacturers’ trademarks and their merchandise.

Burton: We stay in contact with government agencies regularly to be sure we are up to date on the information we are giving vendors as well as staying in touch with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. They make yearly visits down to the market.

Editor: What other rules are implemented by the governing agencies?

Burton: “Under Ohio law, second hand merchandise, articles such as clothing and bedding, need to be Steribagged to sanitize any type of porous materials. We have worked with agencies in the past and representatives have come down and given information to our vendors to keep everyone safe.”

Editor: What else do vendors need to know?

Dove: “If someone is coming to set up on the outside, maybe one or two weekends, and they are selling their own merchandise, in the state of Ohio there aren’t government regulations for that. If they are selling their own items, there is no sales tax requirement. If they are selling new merchandise, they have to get the licenses they need.

Burton: “So far, the annual fee for a vendor’s license is $25. That is what it has been for six years or so. With the transient license you can go county to county. I recommend the transient license for our vendors because then they can go to our sister markets, Dixie Drive in Dayton and Treasure Aisles in Monroe, as well as Caesar Creek.

Editor: What else do you recommend?

Burton: “We discuss vendors’ space requirements and whether or not this is a long term business and then we can recommend outdoor or indoor spaces.”

Editor: What else is in the new vendor packet?

Burton: “We have the merchandise guide, the Rules and Rates and parking passes. Vendors don’t have to pay the admission to get in and open up their spaces. They also get complimentary passes to give to their favorite customers, and information on local lodging and restaurants.”

Editor: What else do vendors need to be aware of?

Dove: “If they are selling food and it is a regular business, they have to do the labeling which requires five items on the label.”

Burton: “The Ohio Department of Agriculture requires a statement of identity; ingredients and sub-ingredients, as well (this just changed last year); statement of responsibility (who made it, where and contact information); quantity of content (weight); and that it is a cottage food and home produced.”

Editor: Is it easier or more difficult to become a vendor today as compared to a few years ago?

Burton: “I think it is a little more difficult to make sure you are abiding by all the rules of the county and state but that is why we have changed our rules and include all the updates. We do it for the vendor most of the time and make sure they are abiding by it. We send out memos or we’ll go and talk to vendors one on one.

Editor: What one thing would you tell aspiring vendors?

Burton: “There are some vendors getting into a Walgreens, CVS type store. We want our vendors to know that if they sell anything with drug facts listed on the label, they have to have a health department license. Even some shampoos have drug facts. That is part of the change that occurred about a year ago.”

Read Part One of the interview with Greg Dove and Janet Burton.

How To Get Your Reseller’s License

10 tips to maximize flea market sales

Being a successful flea market vendor requires a solid business plan, anchored by licenses to ensure compliance with municipal and federal regulations. A reseller’s license generally is required when you intend to sell products to consumers at a flea market. While a flea market manager is often a good resource for finding out what the laws are for the state, the impetus for filling out the paperwork is usually on the vendor. Reseller’s licenses should be prominently displayed in at your booth or table. To assist vendors, this tutorial details the various procedures for procuring a reseller’s license.

The process for applying for a reseller’s license, also known as a Use and Sales Tax License, Reseller’s Permit, Reseller’s Certificate and Certificate of Resale, varies from state to state. Regardless of what it is called, it is necessary to get a license, as vendors are required to collect sales tax on nearly all purchases in most states. According to the Business Law Advisor blog at the U.S. Small Business Administration, each state and locality has its own tax laws. Some states require you to pay taxes on all your sales while others have certain floors that must be met first. For example, in Minnesota, vendors do not have to collect sales tax if they qualify for an Isolated and Occasional Sales Exemption. With this exemption, there are certain restrictions on number of days and amount of sales. If you do not qualify for the exemption, you will need to pay all state and local sales taxes. The amount of sales tax is different from state to state, and a few states– Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon—do not have a sales tax. Tax laws, however, can change rapidly and dramatically. Always check your state’s government website for up-to-date information, as laws regarding reseller’s licenses change regularly, and the law two years ago could be drastically different from the law today.

The easiest way to find out what your state requires for a reseller’s license is to check with the website of your state’s Department of Taxation, or enter “reseller’s license” into a search engine, including the state you plan on selling in—for example “reseller’s license Michigan” or “reseller’s license New York.” Remember that it is the state you will be selling in that is important for the license, not the state in which you reside.

In some states, there are different charges and procedures for different counties and towns. There also may be a charge or additional paperwork for vendors selling outside of the county they reside in. Ohio, for example, charges $25 for a “Transient Vendor’s License” for vendors who sell in multiple counties. Each state’s website will go into the details for payments.

Reseller’s Licenses are sometimes free, as they are in California and Texas, but can require weekly, monthly or yearly fees. Some states have multiple options for vendors who sell seasonally. In most states, the paperwork can be filled out online. It is usually fairly simple and requests information such as the name and address of the seller, what they will be selling and where. Here are examples of paperwork for licenses in Colorado and Idaho. It is possible that the license is permanent, but it also may need to be renewed on a yearly basis. Holders of vendors’ licenses are required to regularly file tax returns. In some states, the permit must be cancelled if the vendor goes out of business or decides to no longer sell.

On top of a state reseller’s license, each vendor must have a Federal Tax ID number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Flea market vendors are attempting to make a profit; therefore they are viewed as a small business and are required to obtain an EIN. In addition, most wholesalers require a Federal Tax ID for all sales, to ascertain that the buyer is an authorized reseller. Getting an EIN is a fairly simple process. Vendors can either submit paperwork online, download the form as a PDF and mail it in, or call the IRS’s Business Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. The EIN is issued immediately when completed online or over the phone, and can be used the very same day.

Provendor - - Sumner Communications, Inc.