Tips for Discouraging Solicitors

They always seem to know when you have just gotten out of the shower or have just sat down to dinner. The knock on the door interrupts what you are doing and when you look out a total stranger stands there. Depending on the age of the person you can normally tell when they are going door to door soliciting. If you don’t want to buy every magazine subscription on the planet, there are some things you can do to discourage solicitors.

Post a sign
While many still disregard any posted notice not to solicit, this will ward off some who are aware that many cities have ordinances prohibiting a solicitor from soliciting where it is posted they are not welcome. Signs can be bought, but can also be made to match your homes exterior dcor.

Have a dog
Dogs are great protection and have a unique sense about people. If Fido sits at the door and growls, or is even in the yard, the solicitor will probably be glad to go to the next house.

Don’t answer the door
While it may be difficult to ignore the ringing doorbell, just don’t answer the door.

Be polite but firm
Tell the person at the door that you are not interested. If they persist ask them to see their solicitor’s license. Many cities require anyone going door to door selling (beyond school children for school fundraisers) to have a license with them. This shows they have registered to go door to door. If they can not produce the license (as most won’t), ask them to leave and shut the door.
You can also ask to have their manager’s name and number. Also ask where they are staying while they are in town. Many travel in groups and can be hard to track down. When you start asking for this information they should beg off.

Act like someone else is in the house
When answering the door, even if you are home alone, call out to an imaginary someone in the house that you will get the door. If the solicitor won’t take no for an answer tell them you are going to check with Sam and be right back. Make sure you shut and lock the door. If there is really no one else there make sure you watch the person at the door. Go back and tell them through the closed door that Sam is not interested either. Thank them for their time and tell them you are burning something in the oven.

If the solicitor persists, gets mouthy or pushy or does anything else you do not feel comfortable with, ask them to wait, shut and lock the door and call your local police department. When someone refuses to leave after being asked to do so they are trespassing, which is illegal almost everywhere. In this day and age of identity theft be very careful purchasing anything from solicitors at your door.