Don't forget to Reorder for 2021 NOW!

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Some retailers have moved to a policy of carding every customer who buys an age restricted product.  And some ID scanning technologies will not proceed with a transaction unless an ID is scanned. How does your store handle carding for age restricted product sales?  When it comes to asking for IDs, laws and regulations vary from state to state and the FDA sets a minimum carding age as well. 
You may not know it, but it’s likely your store has had an FDA compliance inspection using underage youth to attempt to purchase a tobacco or vapor product. Since 2010, FDA has conducted over 1.1 million store inspections. Nearly 88% of those inspections are flagged as a “No Violation” – which means the FDA inspected and did not find a violation -- a passed check.
When We Card started 26 years ago, our most effective method of teaching retail employees how to prevent underage sales of age-restricted products was in the classroom.  Instructor-led discussions and role playing with a class member allowed for practice while others in the class could see how to handle tough customer situations.  The classes were fantastic, expensive and effective in getting frontline employees prepared.
Owners and managers know that they are prominent members of the local community where their stores operate. Stores are often in high traffic areas where local residents come and go picking up needed items (particularly during a pandemic). This provides a great opportunity to let customers and community members know of your commitment to the local community and responsible retailing. This brings us to our final best practice #16          Be a Responsible Retailer: Get Involved in Your Local Community.  
The numbers speak for themselves. Retailers who sell age restricted products and regularly mystery shop their stores see a 95.5% pass rate.  While pass rates can vary, retailers who engage regular mystery shop services using the red and green card notification system are better prepared to pass an official government compliance check.
State and Federal Sales Laws on Vaping and Tobacco retail sales change fairly often.  The Federal minimum age law to buy vaping or tobacco products changed to age 21 in December 2019, and since that time many states have changed their laws to follow this new federal law.  Some laws change immediately with little or no time to prepare (which was the case for the new 21-year-old minimum-age law) and other law changes come along with plenty of lead time.  Clearly, the last thing you want is your customers knowing about a new law before your sales associates.
January is the time to make sure your store is ready for 2021.  If you didn’t order the 2021 We Card Renewal Kit before the end of 2020, right now is a good time to do so. We Card Kits are chock full of materials that ensure your store has what it needs to comply with laws and regulations and to help you and your employees prevent underage sales of age restricted products.  Let’s take a quick look at what you’ll find in the 2021 Renewal Kit,
December and January are peak order months as retailers order We Card materials. We Card Kits are chock full of materials that ensure your store has what it needs to comply with laws and regulations and to help you and your employees prevent underage sales of age restricted products.  Let’s take a quick look at what you’ll find in the 2021 Renewal Kit,
It might not be surprising to learn that age restricted product retailers are always interested in tools to help prevent underage tobacco and vapor sales.  In past We Card surveys, retailers have usually answered that if there’s a new tool or technique to prevent underage sales, they’ll want that tool or technique.
Signs let your customers know what to expect in your store.  Signs showing which door to enter, where things are in the store and signs letting folks know what to expect when they purchase age restricted products. Some retailers might be surprised to know that when it comes to stores that sell tobacco and vapor products, 42 states require either a specific state-issued sign or specific words that must be posted on entry or at the retail point of sale. 

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