Flea market vendors put off by regulations - FOX 13 News

Flea market vendors put off by regulations

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PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) -

For the last two years Jim Strunk has spent his weekend selling odds and ends at the Indoor Flea Market and Auction.

"It's pocket money," Stunk said.

The pocket money is getting tougher to earn, thanks to a little-known update for a Florida statute. Last year, the state cracked down on scrap metal dealers. Dealers were required to get detailed documents from people selling aluminum, metal and copper. The rules had a specific exemption for flea markets.

In July, the exemption expired. According to Scott Phillips, owner of Indoor Flea Market and Auction "...the state is trying to track precious metals and anything with a serial number or commonly stolen items."

Strunk worries the new rules will make it too expensive for him to buy trinkets at yard sales and resell them at flea markets.

"By the time I get this little cheap candle to the stand, I have over $5.00 just in paperwork and storage fees," he said.

Other transactions will require photo identification, signature card, even finger prints. Michele Overbeck, manager at USA Flea Market in Hudson, said that's just too much.

"I have a vendor who had three different people come in to sell him computer components or a laptop, and as soon as he said 'I need your finger prints I need your driver's license,' the person left," Overbeck said.

Phillips said he understands many of the people who rent spaces at his flea market may not be required to do the paperwork or get a second-hand dealer's license. But he also said "it seems like a lot of red-tape for not much money."

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