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Second look at secondhand laws

The rules surrounding how secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers will get some closer scrutiny.
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The rules surrounding how secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers will get some closer scrutiny.

Following a presentation by Game Quest owner Kelsy Polnik during Monday night's meeting, city council instructed staff to examine potential changes to the secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers bylaw.

Polnik's Fourth Avenue business is adversely affected by parts of the bylaw, he told council, specifically, the sections detailing a 30-day holding period between getting products and being able to sell them and the restrictions on where products can be acquired and at what hours they can be sold.

The bylaw "makes a great deal of sense in a pawn shop setting," said Polnik, but in his world of dealing with second-hand video games, turnover needs to be much faster and the ability to sell and purchase items requires more flexibility.

"I have a very narrow window of opportunity to sell product to my customer when they're in my store. If customers leave satisfied that means they're going to come back," Polnik said. "There have been several instances where I've gotten many copies of a game someone's looking for and because of the existing bylaw I have to tell them to return in two to four weeks for that item. That's definitely not a satisfied customer."

Polnik suggested that the rules be relaxed to allow the sale of products until midnight instead of 8 p.m., reduce the holding period to seven days and allow for greater flexibility to be able to get inventory outside of the store, such as at garage sales and flea markets.

City manager Beth James said preliminary inquiries by legislative services director Walter Babicz on the issue and conversation with the local RCMP did not support making changes to the current bylaw.

A full report will come back to council next month.

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