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Selling Expired Products


SuzieSnacks
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Hi All,

I would appreciate any support you could give on having expired product in my machine. I understand consumers may not like it, but does anyone have statistics or experience with a drop in sales, or other issues they've had with carrying expired products? I only have two machines (Seaga INF5C-refridgerated combos) and I'm very new to the industry. I bought cases of chips that didn't move as quickly as I anticipated and they are now a month over the best before date and now my one account is asking for fresher product. I realize I have to make them happy AND I need to find a better location!

Personally, my husband doesn't care if he eats expired product and neither do I. But I also know that those dates are more of a marketing ploy to suppliers and consumers to "consume" / "sell" them quicker. Does anyone else have more information into the history of best before dates or other purposes for these dates on products?

What ways have you found to minimize loss in your business due to expiry dates?

Thanks!

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That's really good information to know. Thank you! Indeed, a good but expensive learning experience this has been. I really appreciate all of your advice AZVendor's and Allen Watson's input. And yes, Allen, I thought the very same thing about what people will eat when its free!

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Everyone already covered some of your issues but I will jump straight to how I treat expired products:  If I KNOW it is expired, it gets removed.  I have also started a VERY primitive/low-tech form of vending management by using notebooks to track bottle sales and some snack sales, but that's a different animal.

When customers see that you have expired products REGULARLY, they get the impression that either you 1) put in expired products or 2) no one wants your products OR 3) both.  When your machines have too many expired products too often, people just stop shopping at your machines because it doesn't seem worth paying for anymore.  They'll also complain about your stuff even if they don't buy it and talk about getting a new vendor, even if they cannot get one.

I DO leave some items in the machines if I feel they will sell before they expire even if the next service cycle is after the sell-by date, but I usually never go more than 2 weeks over.  For example, I was pulling December 5th and December 19th out this week, even though it's not December 19th yet because I know many of the items won't sell by next Tuesday so why bother... plus, I can sell some of those December 19th items elsewhere.

You need more accounts and better accounts, but you already know that.  I simply do not KNOWINGLY sell expired products.  I have a few problematic accounts that complain NOT about expired products but about not getting what they want, such as pastries, because I know they will not sell fast enough.  The customers say the same things every time "We would buy them if they were there."  I put them in, they don't sell, I take them back out, and then they complain that there still aren't pastries.  I let them know that they were in there and no one bought them.  We go round and round with them complaining but I won't put it in if it won't sell.

I have one location where the guy loves regular fritos.  He'll buy them no matter what, but I STILL remove the expired fritos because I want to keep my reputation up.

Oh, and as for what I do with the expired products, I have a few places where I give them away.  One location is a place where they will eat them up within 2 days and still buy out of my machines so no real threat of losing sales, plus I have had the location for about 5 years now.

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Chips taste stale after their date, and bottle soda looses carbonation.

And no, dates are not a marketing ploy, because the manufacturer buybacks unsold product from grocers and corner stores. They would love to be able to extend the dates too.

Edited by orsd
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Wow. Okay. Thank you for your honesty AngryChris and Orsd. You have all helped me shift my mindset around expired product. I feel more concerned about when I pull expired product, and of how that reflects on me and my business for the customer. I am so grateful to all of you for your support. Thank you for sharing.

 

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