PACKET RADIO: For Sale Messages

(and Quotes from the FCC)

Steve Wolf, W8IZ@W8IZ

(This text from the W8IZ packet radio bulletin

board. It's formatted to fit a 80 character screen.)

#: 95333 S9/Packet Radio
02-Apr-89 01:03:53
Fm: Ed WA6AOD 73317,2513
To: all


The following quote comes from the The FCC Rule Book, page 6-9, published
by the American Radio Relay League, and is followed by an additional written
policy statement from the FCC:

Q. In the United States there are many nets that cater to hams selling and
buying their ham radio equipment. Are these so-called 'swap and shop' nets
A. Yes, within certain constraints. Amateurs may use their stations from time
to time to discuss the availability of a piece of Amateur Radio equipment, but
such activity would be limited to that of an occassional nature. It's best not
to discuss price on the air. Instead, swap phone numbers with the interested
party and finish the dickering off the air. Activities could not include any
items of a personal nature, such as a camera or ordinary broadcast radios.
Hams should not engage in regular 'flea market' or business activities on swap
nets so as to derive a profit by buying and selling ham gear on a regularly
scheduled basis (97.112).


Direct quote from FCC PR Docket 88-139, page 5 (i.e. this is a policy
statement direct from the Federal Communications Commission):

36. Current policy permits amateur stations to transmit information about
the availability of amateur radio equipment, notwithstanding Section 97.110,
47 C.F.R. Section 97.110, prohibiting business communications. In this
context, amateur radio equipment is equipment normally used in an amateur
station by an amateur operator. An asking price may be mentioned, but no
subsequent negotiations or bartering may take place. If interest is expressed,
the amateur operators should exchange mailing addresses or telephone numbers
and finish negotiations using means of communication other than amateur
service frequencies. Dealers may not take advantage of this exception.
Amateur operators who derive a profit by buying and selling amateur radio
equipment on a regular basis are considered dealers and violate the business
prohibition if they use amateur service frequencies for this purpose. Proposed
Section 97.219(c) codifies these policies.


Clearly, under written policy statements from both the ARRL, and the FCC,
in 1988, the posting of for sale items concerning Amateur Radio equipment is
completely and unequivocably legal, including, as stated above, the posting of
an asking price. Note also that the FCC interpretation is slightly more
liberal than the ARRL interpretation.

While Section 97.219(c) is a part of the proposed rules rewrite, the FCC has
made it explicitly clear in this section of the NPRM that the FCC's own
interpretation of the existing Part 97 is that the posting of FOR SALE items,
including an asking price is legal.

I urge all SYSOPS to adhere to the this FOR SALE policy. There is no need
to censor messages that fall within the above described categories.

signed, Ed Mitchell WA6AOD (SYSOP) @ N6IIU Palo Alto, California.

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