Multipack cans not to be sold seperately. Enforceable by law?

It’s often printed on multipack cans of Coke and crisps, among others, that they are not to be sold seperately. If a shop did sell these seperately, what could happen to them?

A fine at most. The individual units are rarely marked with the required nutritional information (in the US, at least). They may also not have expiration dates where applicable.

Even if it has that information, there might be some contractual reason the vendor isn’t supposed to break up a pack - say, your deal with the Coke distributor says you’ll only sell six-packs as packaged. In that case, the worst that could happen is that you’d be in violation of your contract - the contract itself (if well written) would list penalties for that.

Fines? No.
Penalties? No.

Having your supply cut off by your vendor? Yes.

I once worked at a gas station where the owner regularly stocked the shelves with stuff she got at Cost-Co. I don’t think she’d be in trouble there. :wink:

Yes, she might.

Most states & provinces have requirements that every item for sale include certain information on it (like weight, ingredients, manufacturer’s name, etc.). Often this info is printed only on the package (like the six-pack) and not on each individual can. So it technically isn’t legal to sell these as individual cans.

But the amount of government resources put into enforcing this is pretty small.

Yeah, but the whole point of Costco is to sell to resellers and business people. That’s not to say that the boss wouldn’t or would get in trouble, but… Costco’s a good indicator.

Really, that’s not what bugs me so much. What I question is, is Costco really cheaper than using a bona fide distributor? Heck, the distributor will even stock the shelves for you, and take back old stock and credit you for it. Ain’t it so?

How could you print information on a six-pack? It’s just the little flimsy plastic 6 ring holder. And pretty much every soda can I’ve seen in the past decade has had all that information on the can. It’s only really little things like single sticks of gum that don’t have the information.

Yeah, a six-pack of soda pop isn’t a very good example. Consider things like a multi-pack of candy bars, which often has the info only on the outside wrapper, not on each mini-sized bar. Or a package contain individual lunch-sized bags of potato chips, etc. Many of these have the legal info only on the big outside package.

Yes, a distributor will do that. But you pay for those services, somehow. Usually by slightly higher prices. So if you don’t need those services (like if you sell mostly soda pop & similar items which don’t really get stale, and your store is small enough that you can stock the shelves yourself), you can do better by not paying for them.

Mostly it all depends on the volume of sales. For small stores, it’s cheaper to go to Costco, buy it, and deliver & stock it yourself. For bigger, busier stores, it’s better to have a distributor do those things.

Also, distributors often vary their prices, based on volume. For small stores, the prices at Costco might actually be cheaper.

Certainly someone looking for something to do could have had her cited for selling merchandise w/o proper nutritional information - I meant that the vendor would have no contractual recourse in such a situation.

The boss is probably all right buying stuff from Costco because I’ve noticed that a lot of their bulk packaged items specifically state on the outside that they are labeled for individual sale.

BTW, I believe that besides nutritional information, items not labeled for individual sale may be missing bar codes, branding, and pricing information. No law against that, but those are things manufacturers often want on their products.

Chiming in with others on some individual items not having the legally-required size/ingredient information, so those shouldn’t be sold individually. Probably a fine for those cases.

Grocery stores and such don’t want you breaking up six-packs of soda, because the bar code on the soda is in their system as a 6-pack of Coke, not an individual can.

In some places, they’ve told me it’s illegal to buy a single beer or wine cooler, or buy a 4-pack with one missing. No idea why.

It’s probably a liquor license technicality - if you’re selling individual drinks, then you need to be licensed as a bar, or something like that. It depends on your local ordinances.