I am new to vending (about 5 months). I am overstocked with soda in plastic bottles and my code dates are 8/21/06 and 9/11/06 - both dates are literally right around the corner.
I need more time to sell through this inventory. What is the common practice here... do you automatically pull everything that reaches code and donate it for a tax write-off, or do you continue to sell as long as the quality (fizz / taste) does not deteriorate?
Also, as a new entrepreneur, I was wondering how this affects your financials if you end up writing off a few hundred dollars worth of soda.
Pull the expired product and keep yourself free from some nut throwing a lawsuit at you, or your locations being taken away, or customers simply ignoring your machines in the future because they don't want to risk more expired purchases...
A few hundred dollars in loses really shouldn't kill your business, but losing machines and customers will... maybe next time just fill the machine half full instead of completely full so you can better manage the slow machines till they pick up.
Take this as a good time to look at the location of your machines, is there a better facing spot or location in the facility with more visual traffic so people learn to go there? Is the price right for the area? Are the selection flavors right? Have you thought of crazy idea's like half off tuesdays where you change the price for a day? (Just to get regular people used to going there)
That makes sense. But regarding financials, is it best to donate it to charity and get a tax write-off? Can you do that with, say, snacks that have just expired, or can you get a write-off only if expiration dates are still future-tense?
I don't see a lawsuit happening, becuase those are best by dates, not a date where the soda magically goes bad.
It's more of an image thing. Not everyone looks at date codes, but enough people do that it could become a problem. They may also call the 1-800 number on the bottle, where the person on the other end will take down specific info about where/when the soda was purchased. This info could most likely trickle back down to you, and the local office of that company's bottler could come knocking.
Just put in the machines what you know you will sell through before those dates. Then, drink the rest! just kidding. I really don't know anything about donating/tax info.
I agree that would probably be the thing to do if you can find a store that's interested. You may only get (literally) a few dollars a case but it's better than nothing. You should be able to get more for the close dated than the out of date.