Selling groceries on Amazon can be very lucrative; however, you must pay attention to grocery expiration dates. Here is Amazon’s Terms Of Service regarding grocery expiration dates:
“A product that has an expiration date may be listed with FBA as long as the unit is lot-controlled and the remaining shelf life is greater than 105 days from the time of receipt by Amazon. Units that are within 50 days of the expiration date will be removed for disposal by Amazon.”
So this means that if the expiration date is not at least 105 days out, you will not be able to ship the grocery item into Amazon using FBA. If you enter a grocery expiration date that does not meet this criteria when you are creating a shipment, you will receive an error message.
Also, once the grocery item is within 50 days of expiration, Amazon will take the item out of your inventory. It will show up as Unfillable Inventory. When you click on the number of items that are unfillable, it will say expired. You have two choices at this point. You can get it shipped back to you or you can have it destroyed. Both of these options require you to create a removal order.
One thing that I have done more than once while doing Retail Arbitrage is to buy a grocery item and then realize its expiration date is not greater than 105 days. The way I get around this now, is by using a free app called Date Calculator. This app is available for both Apple and Android devices.
The Date Calculator app allows you to calculate the duration between dates and calculate the date if you input a date and a duration. This is how I use it to make sure I am buying grocery items that I can send into Amazon.
This is the picture I see when I open the app. I select the “Date+Duration” option.
If I want to know what the expiration date needs to be for buying things today, I put in 105 in “the number of days here” row.
I hit the “Calculate” button and the result is Saturday, April 28, 2018.
I would add some days to this to account for the time that the item is shipped and checked in to the warehouse.
This little free app has saved me a lot of headaches and made my grocery Retail Arbitrage trips stress free. No more grocery expiration dates that are too short.