Chapter 8

Auctions And Auctioneers

3-8-1: Legal Authority


Idaho Code sections 50-301 and 50-307 authorize the City to adopt and enforce ordinances, rules and regulations governing standards and procedures for licensing persons who engage in or operate a trade or business within the City. (2019 Code)

3-8-2: Purpose


The purpose of the regulations and standards established within this chapter is to ensure sound merchandising practices and to protect the public from fraudulent or false bidding practices at auctions within the City limits. (2019 Code)

3-8-3: Scope


This chapter establishes minimum standards and procedures for licensing and operating an auction business or working as an auctioneer within the City. (2019 Code)

3-8-4: General Licensing Provisions Applicable


To the extent not inconsistent with this chapter, the licensing provisions set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title shall apply with full force and effect to all provisions and sections of this chapter. (2019 Code)

3-8-5: Definitions


A. For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future tense, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory. Words used throughout this chapter, but not defined herein or in chapter 1, article A of this title, shall have their plain, ordinary and common meaning. Words in any gender shall apply to the feminine, masculine and neuter genders.


B. Every person who shall at public outcry offer for sale, either as principal or agent, to the highest bidder on the spot, any article or merchandise or property, shall be deemed an auctioneer, and every such sale shall be deemed an auction; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall apply to judicial sales, nor to sales by executors, administrators or trustees under court order, or regular auctions as hereinafter defined, or to auction sales of jewelry, precious stones, etc. (1952 Code § 5-30-01; amd. 2019 Code)

3-8-6: Classification


For the purpose of regulation, auctions shall be divided into the following classes:


A. Class 1, Regular Auctions: Regular auctions shall be those conducted in a fixed place of business which shall be known and advertised as an auction house; whether the same shall be their own property or whether they sell the same as agents or employees of others.


B. Class 2, Temporary Auctions: Temporary auctions shall be auctions temporarily conducted for the sale of bankrupt, damaged or other goods. All sales shall be deemed and defined to be temporary if they consist of stocks, wares or merchandise brought to the City and so offered within a year of their arrival, or when the party conducting said sale cannot give satisfactory evidence to the contrary to the Clerk.


C. Class 3, Closing Out Auctions: Closing out auctions shall be auctions of stock on hand conducted by persons retiring from business; provided, however, that no license shall be issued for a closing out auction unless the person applying for such license shall have been continuously in business in the City as a retail or wholesale merchant for the period of three (3) years next preceding such sale. (1952 Code § 5-30-02; amd. 2019 Code)

3-8-7: License Required


A. License Required; Fee: It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in conducting an auction, whether of his own goods or as agent of another, without first securing a license so to do and paying any requisite fees as set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title, and this chapter.


B. Exceptions: The licensing requirements governed by this chapter shall not apply to sheriffs' or constables' auctions under judicial process. (1952 Code § 5-30-03; amd. 2019 Code)

3-8-8: Auction And Auctioneer License Applications


In addition to the minimum licensing qualifications set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title, all individuals licensed under this chapter must also comply with the following requirements and qualifications:


A. Application; Time Limit: Any person desiring to engage in business as an auction house or to conduct an auction, shall make application to the Clerk at least thirty (30) days prior to the opening of such place of business or of such sale.


B. Information Required: All applications for auction licenses shall contain the address of the place where such auction house or auction is to be conducted, the names of the auctioneers, and such other and further pertinent information as the Clerk may require.


C. Additional For Class 2 And Class 3: In case of an application for a license to conduct a Class 2 or Class 3 auction, in addition to the foregoing required application requirements, the applicant shall also furnish to the City Clerk's Office a certified, itemized inventory list of the stock of goods or property to be sold at auction with a description of each item and its identifying marks, if any.


D. Statement For Class 3: All Class 3 auctions applicants shall be required to provide a certified statement that:

1. The applicant is acting in good faith to dispose of his stock for the purpose of retiring from business; and

2. All of the stock which shall be sold at the "closing out sale" governed under this auction class, is in fact a bona fide part of the applicant's stock in trade and was not secured, purchased or brought into his business for or in anticipation of such sale. (1952 Code §§ 5-30-04, 5-30-13, 5-30-14; amd. 2019 Code)

3-8-9: Attracting Attention Unlawfully


No auctioneer shall ring a bell or permit the same to be rung, in or about or in front of the premises where he is conducting a sale before, after or during such sale. Neither shall he permit music, singing or loud noise, or soliciting, to be made for the purpose of attracting the public. (1952 Code § 5-30-06)

3-8-10: Fraud And False Bidding


At all auctions conducted within the City limits, it shall be unlawful for any person to act or to employ another to:


A. Act as a by-bidder (or what is commonly known as a "capper" or "booster"), by which an individual bids at auction for the sole purpose of raising the price of the item for the benefit of the seller;


B. Make or accept any false or misleading bid; or


C. Pretend to buy or sell any article sold or offered for sale. (1952 Code § 5-30-07; amd. 2019 Code)

3-8-11: Specific Regulation Of Class 3 Auctions


In addition to the other auction regulations set forth in this chapter, all Class 3 auctions shall also comply with the following regulations and requirements:


A. Days; Limitation: All closing out auctions, as defined in this chapter, shall be held on successive days, Sundays and legal holidays excepted, and shall not continue for more than thirty (30) days in all from the commencement of said sale.


B. Replenishing Stock Prohibited; Itemized Statement: It shall be unlawful for any person during the progress of such sale to replenish his stock by substitution, "fill-ins", leaders or goods of any character whatsoever, and at the close of each day's business and before the opening of the next day's sale, the licensee shall file with the Clerk an itemized list of the articles sold on the previous day's sale, which list shall identify such articles on the inventory filed with the application as heretofore provided.


C. Failure To File Sales List: Failure to file such sales list shall be deemed a violation of this chapter and the right to conduct further sale under such license shall be suspended during such delinquency; provided, that the full time list shall continue to run during such delinquency. (1952 Code § 5-30-08; amd. 2019 Code)

3-8-12: Sales Book To Be Kept


Failure to keep and maintain sales book shall be sufficient cause for the immediate revocation of the license. (1952 Code § 5-30-09; amd. 2019 Code)

3-8-13: Penalty


Unless otherwise provided herein, every violation of this chapter shall constitute a general misdemeanor, and every person deemed guilty thereof shall, upon conviction, be subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-1 of this Code, unless Idaho Code or this Code provides a specific lesser penalty for the violation set forth in this chapter. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or which a violation occurs or continues. (1952 Code § 5-30-16; amd. 2019 Code)

ARTICLE A - Pawnbroker Or Jewelry Auctions

3-8A-1: Definitions


For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future tense, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory. Words used throughout this chapter, but not defined herein or in chapter 1, article A of this title, shall have their plain, ordinary and common meaning. Words in any gender shall apply to the feminine, masculine and neuter genders.

AUCTION OR AUCTIONEER: Every person who shall at public outcry offer for sale, either as principal or agent, to the highest bidder on the spot, any article of merchandise or property, shall be deemed an auctioneer, and every such sale shall be deemed an auction. Provided, however, that nothing in this article shall apply to judicial sales nor to sales by executors, administrators or trustees under court order. (1952 Code § 5-17-01; amd. 2019 Code)

3-8A-2: Classification Of Auctions


Closing out auctions shall be auctions of stock on hand conducted by persons in fact retiring from business. Pawnbroker auctions shall be auctions of personal property on hand theretofore bona fide received and dealt with as pawned or pledged articles in accordance with law by one regularly engaged in the City in the business of pawnbroking, as defined by chapter 7 of this title, and unredeemed. No license shall be issued for any such auction unless the person applying for such license shall have been continuously in business in the City as a retail or wholesale merchant or pawnbroker for the period of three (3) years next preceding such sale. (1952 Code § 5-17-02)

3-8A-3: License Required; Dates Permitted


Except sales under judicial process, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell, dispose of or offer for sale in the City, at public auction, any platinum, gold, silver or plated ware, precious or semiprecious stones, or imitations thereof, watches, clocks or jewelry, whether the same be his property, or whether he shall sell or offer the same for sale as agent, factor or employee of others; provided, however, that a closing out or pawnbroker auction, conducted by persons in fact retiring from business as retail and/or wholesale jewelry merchants, or by persons regularly engaged as pawnbrokers in the City, may be held, but no such auction shall be permitted unless and until the person desiring to hold such auction shall obtain a license therefor, and provided, only one pawnbroker auction shall be held in any year, and then only between August 15 and October 15. (1952 Code § 5-17-05)

3-8A-4: Application For License; Bond, Fee


Any person qualified to hold a closing out or pawnbroker auction as in this article provided, shall file with the Clerk, at least sixty (60) days prior to the opening day of such auction, a written application under oath for a license so to do, showing:


A. Proof Of Term Of Business: The person has been continuously engaged in business in the City as a retail and/or wholesale merchant for the sale of jewelry or as a "pawnbroker", as defined by chapter 7 of this title, for a period of three (3) years next preceding such application;


B. Term Of Ownership: The applicant, at the time of making such application, has owned the goods to be auctioned for a period of six (6) months prior thereto, or that the articles to be auctioned were bona fide received and dealt with as pawned or pledged articles by the applicant as a pawnbroker in the City, in accordance with law, and that the redemption period therefor ended one month or more prior to the application;


C. Continuous Business At Same Premises: The applicant, for a period of one year immediately preceding such application, has been continuously engaged in the jewelry or pawnbroker business upon the same premises where the auction is proposed to be held;


D. Prior Auctions: No auction has been held by the applicant, or by any copartnership, association or corporation, and no auction license has been issued for any auction to any of the above named, or a predecessor thereof, in any capacity in any place in the City at any time within three (3) years in the case of closing out auctions, or within one year in the case of pawnbroker auctions, next preceding the closing date of such proposed auction;


E. Bond: The applicant tenders with the application a good and sufficient bond in the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00), conditioned for the observance of the provisions of this article and for the indemnification, including a reasonable attorney fee, of any purchaser at such auction suffering loss by reason of fraud or misrepresentation, or other violation of this article, in the sale of any article described in section 3-8A-3 of this article, and as assurance to the City that said applicant will pay the sums due as license fees and as indemnity to the City and as indemnity to any and all persons, in any manner, who sustain monetary loss in any contractual or other relation as a result of the conduct of said auction;


F. Good Faith Retirement: The applicant intends in good faith to retire from business at the close of such auction, or to dispose of no articles described in section 3-8A-3 of this article, except such as are bona fide unredeemed pledged or pawned articles as herein provided;


G. Auction Conducted By: The auction shall be conducted by and the auctioneering carried on by the actual owner, manager or officer of the applicant, who shall have been such owner, manager or officer for a period of at least one year prior to such auction sale, or by an auctioneer, giving his name and address and the terms other than the amount of compensation of his contract or agreement for such auction;


H. Dates; Place: The dates and place when and where such auction will be conducted, which dates must be within the times specified in this article;


I. Sale By Auctioneer: If the sale is to be by an auctioneer, the application for the auction shall be accompanied by an application for a closing out or pawnbroker auctioneer's license, and such auctioneer's daily nonrefundable license fee in an amount established by the City Council and listed on the most current City Clerk's license fee schedule. The form of application for either a closing out or pawnbroker auctioneer's license shall be furnished by the Clerk, which form shall be signed in the applicant's handwriting and shall show the name, age, place of residence, length of time the applicant has resided in the State. Upon receipt of such application, and the bond, and the notarized true copy of the inventory, hereinafter provided for in section 3-8A-5 of this article, the Clerk may issue such license, specifying the class thereof and the date therefor, which dates must be within the times herein provided. (1952 Code § 5-17-06)

3-8A-5: Regulations For Conducting Auction


All auctions, as in this article defined, of articles described in section 3-8A-3 of this article, shall be held on successive days, Sundays and legal holidays excepted, and on the dates specified in the application, and in the case of pawnbroker auctions only between August 15 and October 15, and shall not continue for more than thirty (30) consecutive calendar days in all from the commencement of said auction. The applicant must at or before the date of such application file a notarized, true copy of the inventory with the Clerk, and thereafter at all times until fifteen (15) days after the closing date of such auction keep at the place of auction subject to the inspection and copy by the Chief of Police or other persons designated by the Council, an itemized and numbered descriptive inventory of all articles of the character described in section 3-8A-3 of this article to be offered at such auction, and such inventory shall show in connection with each item, if acquired within the previous three (3) months, the date of acquisition by the application, and as to all items forfeited after date hereof, the pawn ticket number therefor, and no other article shall be added to such inventory or offered or sold at such auction; provided, that an article not pledged or pawned and which was theretofore for more than three (3) months a bona fide part of the stock of the pawnbroker and not acquired in anticipation of such auction, may be offered at the pawnbroker auction if shown on the inventory as filed with the application. It shall be unlawful for any licensee, for or in anticipation of such auction, before or during the progress of any auction, to bring into said business or purchase, or add to or replenish his stock by substitution fill-ins, leaders or goods of any character whatsoever, and no merchandise other than shown on the inventory when filed shall be sold or offered for sale at said auction. Any false or fraudulent statement or representation made by any applicant for the purpose of procuring a license, or any failure to make, keep, permit inspection of, or note sales upon, such inventory, or any other violation of this article shall forfeit the right to conduct further auctions under such license, which forfeiture may be declared by the Chief of Police or the Council; provided, that the Council may suspend such auction during any delinquency, but such suspension shall not extend the time for closing such auction. (1952 Code § 5-17-07)

3-8A-6: Tags And Labels


A. Required: No licensee shall offer for sale or sell at any auction any article as described in section 3-8A-3 of this article, unless there is at the time securely attached thereto a tag or label upon which there is plainly written or printed, in English, a true and correct statement of the markings thereon and the meaning thereof relating to the kind and quality of the metal of which such article is made or composed, and the percentage of karat of purity of such metal, and in case such articles are plated or overlaid, of the kind of plate and percentage of purity of such plating and the kind of material or metal covered; and as to precious or semiprecious stones the true names; calipered or actual weight, quality and fineness of said stones; limitations shall be stated to be such; the names of manufacturers shall be stated; no parts of the movements or mechanism of watches or clocks, nor parts of other articles, shall be substituted or contain false or misleading names or trademarks, nor shall secondhand or old movements be offered for sale in new cases, without in each instance a true statement to that effect attached thereto. If any of the foregoing are unmarked and unknown, the tag or label shall so state and shall also state each of the foregoing requirements to the best of the licensee's knowledge and belief. Such tag or label shall show the pawn ticket number as hereinbefore provided for the inventory, if pawned or pledged, and the number identifying such article with the inventory thereof required by section 3-8A-5 of this article. (1952 Code § 5-17-08)


B. Removal Of Tags Or Labels Prohibited: Such tag or label shall remain securely attached to any article or merchandise, shall be delivered to the purchaser as a true and correct description and representation of the article sold, and shall be deemed prima facie evidence of intent to defraud, in case said written statement is not a true and correct description and representation of such articles sold. (1952 Code § 5-17-09)

3-8A-7: Inventory Maintained; Signature Of Purchaser Required


At any closing out or pawnbroker auction, there shall be kept and maintained the applicant's copy of the inventory, which shall contain the identical information shown on the inventory filed with the Clerk, and at the time of each sale the purchaser shall sign on the applicant's copy of the inventory in the space provided and sign in his own handwriting his name, address and all monies paid. Tags showing the inventory number, and the pawn ticket number, as hereinbefore provided for the inventory, if pawned or pledged, of each article shown, must remain on the article until after the purchaser has signed in the blanks provided on the inventory. The purchaser must sign said inventory before any other article shall be exposed for sale on all sales over five dollars ($5.00). Failure to keep and maintain such inventory shall be sufficient cause for the immediate revocation of said license. In the event that a sale has been declared to have been made but no purchaser comes forward and signs the inventory, then the article shall be immediately reoffered, beginning at the next highest bid, and the sale thereof completed before any other article is offered; provided, that the seller may refuse to sell where only one bid has been made, but not otherwise. (1952 Code § 5-17-10)

3-8A-8: Auctioneer To Retain Money


The licensee so selling and offering for sale any article described in section 3-8A-3 of this article shall retain in his possession as auctioneer the money or other valuable thing received for the article sold for at least twenty four (24) hours from the time such sale was made. (1952 Code § 5-17-11)

3-8A-9: Return Of Purchase Price


If any purchaser of such article or thing sold shall, within twenty four (24) hours, make a claim against said licensee upon the ground that the article sold to him at auction was not as represented and shall demand the return of the money or other consideration, and shall offer to return the article purchased, then and in such case said licensee shall return to the purchaser the purchase price, or deposit with the Chief of Police, taking his receipt therefor, said purchase price as a fund to answer and pay any judgment that may be recovered against said licensee by the purchaser; provided, that if no action therefor shall be commenced within fifteen (15) days from the date of such sale, the Chief of Police shall no longer be required to hold such money deposited with him and upon presentation of the receipt may return said money; provided, that the purchaser shall have the right to commence and maintain an action directly on the bond provided for by this article, in the name of the City. (1952 Code § 5-17-12)

3-8A-10: Prohibited Acts And Activities


A. Ringing Bell: No auctioneer or licensee shall ring a bell or permit the same to be rung, nor permit singing or loud noises, or soliciting by persons for the purpose of attracting the public, in or about or in front of the premises where an auction is conducted before, during or after such auction. (1952 Code § 5-17-03)


B. Fraud And False Bidding: It shall be unlawful for any person to act or to employ another to act as a by-bidder, or what is commonly known as a "capper" or "booster" or "switcher", at any auction sale; or to make or accept any false or misleading or self bid, or to bid or purchase in the name or pretended name of another, or to pretend to buy, or sell or deliver, any such aforesaid articles sold or offered for sale at any such auction, or to reoffer or resell or replace in stock for offer or sale at or during such auction any article declared sold and delivered to a purchaser or pretended purchaser during such auction. (1952 Code § 5-17-04)

3-8A-11: Penalty


Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-1 of this Code. (1952 Code § 5-17-16; amd. 2019 Code)