I was once a Girl Scout, so I felt the pain of the youth who recently solicited my doorstep, toting miserable little items some wholesaler had signed off on. The details of his pitch were lost in the miasma of pity I was projecting out to him. I begged off by taking one of his pamphlets, but what I didn't know at the time was that his presence was in fact illegal according to the U.S. Department of Labor. For-profit door-to-door sales by minors are handled thusly in CA:
California (1994) - Prohibited for minors under age 16 except the sale of newspaper subscriptions by minors 12 to 16 years of age is permitted if certain conditions are met.
He wasn't selling newspapers, and I couldn't even safely say he was at least 12.
The following states don't permit any kind of door-to-door solicitation by minors:
- Alaska (1989) - Prohibited for minors under age 18
- Florida (1991) - Prohibited for minors under age 16
- Maine (2001) - Prohibited for minors under age 16
- Missouri (1989/2002) - Prohibited for minors under age 16
- North Dakota (1993) - Prohibited for minors under age 16
I grew up in Michigan, and from what I can tell it's still kosher for youngsters to darken doorsteps and peddle goods there. Selling Girl Scout cookies to strangers in the lobbies of sepulchral apartment buildings was bad enough. But playing collections agent six weeks later was way worse. I had a man tell me he'd given up yeast for lent, take the cookies from my hands, crumble them, and scatter them all over his front lawn. Let's just say it had a formative impact on my "closing" ability. Were any of you encouraged to canvass neighborhoods as young entrepreneurs?