Age verification is important now more than ever since there are approximately 54,000,000 age-restricted transactions per day. The United States has laws in place that protect minors from age-restricted items, and if your store accidentally makes an age-restricted sale to a minor, then you could possibly face legal trouble. Here are 5 things your staff should learn in order to keep minors and your store safe when it comes to age-restricted sales …
1. Items that are age-restricted
While age-restriction laws can vary from state to state, these items are common age-restricted sales:
- Energy drinks (in certain states)
Make sure your employees are familiar with common age-restricted items so that they are prepared to handle these transactions when they come up.
2. What to do with self-checkout
Self-checkout has become a preferred way to avoid long lines in the grocery store, but it could pose a problem for age-restricted sales. In order to make sure your store complies with age-restriction laws, it is best to make sure your self-checkout kiosk is equipped with camera monitors and is programmed to call over a store associate to check the customer’s ID for verification. Usually, self-checkouts have lights that alert the store associate to come over, but whatever alert you choose make sure your employees know when they need to check an ID on self-checkout.
3. When to ask for ID
In general, the rule is to ask for an ID when someone visually looks under 25, but it is better to be safe than sorry. The FDA has become stricter in enforcing age-verification, so it is best to teach employees to check an ID with every single age-restricted sale.
4. What to do when you think someone is using a fake ID
In this situation, it is best to refuse the sale and make note of this in your log of age-restricted sales. Be sure to check to see if your state allows businesses to confiscate an ID and then you can decide if you want a manager to confiscate the ID from the individual. Make sure your managers are trained to handle this situation and that employees know how to spot a fake ID.
5. What to do when someone does not have an ID
The best thing to do in this case is to, unfortunately, is for the employee to refuse the sale. Your store can get in trouble with the FDA if you accidentally sell to minors, so it is best to always check a physical ID to verify age. At the end of the day, you want to keep your staff, store, and minors safe during age-restricted transactions.
Some general best practices could be keeping a log of refusals to have as evidence that your store complies with age-restricted laws in your area. Buy a notebook and write down each instance in which you deny someone an age-restricted item and why, this is a great way to keep your store protected and to make sure all store employees are keeping minors safe. If your store has an e-commerce platform, you should invest in age verification software to virtually confirm ID so that you don’t have to lose online sales for age-restricted products and you are complying with the laws.
Learn more about age-restricted sales