Second Hand Sales Ordinance

After input from the Surprise Police Department, citizens, the general public and the business community, the Surprise City Council adopted ordinance #2012-01, amending the City Code to address the pawning and secondhand sales of goods, and resolution 2012-05, which sets the transaction fee at $3.00 per transaction.

It is expected the ordinance will protect buyers, provide guidelines for sellers, deter trafficking in stolen property and facilitate the return of stolen property back to rightful owners. There is an educational grace period with the ordinance until July 1, 2012 during which there will be no enforcement of the ordinance. Beginning July 1, 2012, reporting will be mandatory, as will be the payment of the $3 fee per transaction.

The adopted ordinance includes:

  • a new $3 transaction fee for Pawnshops, Secondhand Dealers, Scrap Metal Dealers & Related Businesses. The ordinance has been drafted to provide as little burden on business as possible by providing for up to 999 items to be included in each transaction.
  • a requirement that all scrap metal dealers, pawnshops and secondhand dealers be licensed. The license cost is $80 plus a charge of $50 for the initial fingerprinting and background check. Download the business license application.
  • a requirement of such businesses to file a detailed report with the Surprise Police Department for each transaction where the business purchases an item for $25 or more. All reporting is done electronically and the reporting software is provided to businesses free of charge. NOTE: State law already requires this reporting from scrap metal and precious metal dealers.

    The following businesses do not have to file reports:
    • Nonprofit or religious institutions
    • Sellers of agricultural produce
    • Real estate sales
    • Business that exclusively sell secondhand books, magazines, posters, handbills, records or cassette tapes
    The following may not have to be reported (see the ordinance for details):
    • Purchases of business inventory or business equipment
    • Purchases of household items from a place of residence
    • Purchases of clothing, footwear and most baby items
  • a provision for a police "hold" on items for situations in which the officer has strong reason to believe the item is stolen. Businesses would not be able to sell items placed on police "hold". If requested, items placed on police "hold" would be turned over to the Surprise Police Department.
  • a provision for a hearing on the return of an item seized by police when the business and an alleged owner both claim the item.
Click here to review the ordinance

For comments or questions regarding the ordinance, contact:

Harold Brady, Police Legal Advisor

Phone: (623) 222-1164

Det. Jason Kulfan
Phone: (623) 222-4156


Due to the volume of preventable property crimes being reported in the City of Surprise, Police are conducting the "It Can Happen to You!" campaign to encourage residents to lock doors, windows, and gates.

Visit the "It Can Happen to You!" website