Secondhand goods legislation passed in municipalities across the country that require merchants to gather extensive personal information from customers when making a transaction are causing problems for some businesses, hobby advocates report.
And it’s only going to get worse, says Kathy J. McFadden, executive director of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets.
“We need everyone in the dealer and collector community to be a part of ICTA to help us fight these type of laws,” she said. “We can’t do this alone nor can just a handful of dealers take on all the responsibility to finance the fight and do all of the heavy lifting.”
The latest casualty is Scott Nichols, owner of Chester’s Coins & Gifts in Ames, Iowa, where the Ames city council on May 19 passed a second-hand goods ordinance with little public notice.
Nichols closed his shop for 30 days while he assesses his next move, which will likely involve selling his location in Ames and possibly moving the business to another locality where there is no such ordinance.
The Ames ordinance requires business owners to file electronic reports for secondhand goods purchases into an online database, restricted to law enforcement access, called LeadsOnline.
The reports would include the seller’s name, date of birth, date of sale, description of the item, and a photograph of the item sold.
Under the ordinance, coin shops and similar businesses are now required to report all bullion purchases of $1 or more.
The personal information requirements will drive customers away who feel the request is an intrusion into their privacy, according to Nichols.