Utah has nearly 30 flea markets and swap meets registered around the state and while most of the vendors obey the laws regarding items they can sell, occasionally prohibited merchandise is put up for sale.
Swap Meets and Flea Markets Act
The Swap Meets and Flea Markets Act found in Utah Code Title 13 Chapter 32 defines swap meets and flea markets act as “an event at which personal property is offered for sale or exchange:
(i) by two or more persons and a fee is charged to vendors ( . . . ) or to prospective buyers for admission ( . . . ); or
(ii) if the event is held more than six times in any 12-month period, regardless of the number of [vendors] or the absence of fees.”
If swap meets or flea markets are done to raise money for a fundraiser such as a charity event or if the items sold are new and being sold by a representative of the manufacturer, then these instances would not need to be regulated under the Swap Meets and Flea Markets Act.
Almost anything can be found at a flea market, however there are three specific types of merchandise that are prohibited:
• Baby food. Utah Code 13-32-103 states “food product which is manufactured and packaged specifically for consumption by a child under two years of age” is not to be sold by vendors, unless they are a distributor from the company.
• Over the counter drugs. According to 13-32-103, “nonprescription or over-the-counter drug or medications other than herbal products, dietary supplements, botanical extracts, or vitamins” are also prohibited.
• Makeup or toiletries that can expire. Upon first glance at the last sentence of the section, a reader might assume they mean makeup or toiletries that are past their expiration. Surprisingly it states any “cosmetic or personal care product that has an expiration date.” If there is a date stamp, it cannot be sold at swap meets.
Caution to vendors
For those who choose to use flea markets as a business opportunity or a side gig, it is important that they follow the above rules concerning prohibited merchandise as well as the rules in place regarding receipts and transaction records. Failure to follow swap meet and flea market laws can result in an infraction.