S.D. Dept. of Revenue and Regulation Reminds Residents to Properly Check Vendors Doing Work, Selling Items

April 16, 2004

Warmer weather brings more than just tourists to South Dakota every spring and summer; it also draws transient vendors who converge on the state to sell their products and services.

The South Dakota Department of Revenue and Regulation said although many of these vendors are legitimate, the public should use common sense in deciding whether to do business with them.

For folks considering hiring a person to provide repair or construction services, the department advises them to:

· Ask for a price quote, in advance, in writing.

· Question the contractor as to whether they have a permanent address and telephone number, and don’t assume that if the information they provide is local, they’re a local business. Often transient vendors will have business cards printed with a local mailing service or motel address and telephone number.

· Ask for a list of local references and check them before making a decision.

· Ask if the contractor has workman’s compensation and general liability insurance. If they’re not properly insured, the homeowner may be liable for accidents that occur on the property.

· Be careful about paying for work in advance and before making final payments, make sure the transient vendors have paid their local suppliers. The customer may be held liable for unpaid material bills.

· Make sure to be completely satisfied with the work before paying the bill and don’t pay more for the job than originally quoted unless having given written approval for the additional work or cost.

Out-of-state vendors often travel to South Dakota to sell items like fruit, seafood, meat packages, paintings, magazine subscriptions, rugs, t-shirts, sunglasses, household cleaners, furniture, stuffed animals, and asphalting and roofing services. Asking the right questions when approached by these vendors can help folks avoid making a purchase they may regret:

· Question the salesperson about the product, warranties, guarantees, etc.

· Get something in writing with the company’s name, address and phone number.

· Ask to see their current South Dakota tax license. State law requires all persons selling products or services to have a current South Dakota sales or contractors’ excise tax license. To verify if the license is valid, call the Department’s toll-free helpline at 1-800-829-9188.

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