Age-Restricted Sales – Are Your Employees Doing It Right?


Convenience stores conduct more ID checks than any other industry, even more than TSA. And with a large percentage of your sales coming from tobacco, beer, and lottery, you have to make sure your employees are handling age-restricted sales according to the law.

Age-Restricted Sales Training

Effective convenience store training on how to responsibly sell alcohol, tobacco, and other age-restricted products should cover the “Why,” “What” and “How” of age-restricted sales specifically for your store.

  • Why do I care about age-restricted sales? Your age-restricted sales training should specify the federal, state, local, and company regulations at your specific location. Beyond the basics of the laws themselves, employees also need to understand the consequences for selling to underage customers. Some employees may be tempted to just “let it slide” when a customer that may be underage tries to buy a pack of cigarettes, for example. Convenience store employees need to understand their personal liability should they sell to an underage person, as well as the consequences to the store.
  • What products are classified as age-restricted? Products like alcohol and lotto tickets are easy to identify. Tobacco products can sometimes be harder for employees to identify. For example, do customers have to be a certain age to purchase e-cigarettes, vape refills, paper rollers, or lighters? Another part of the “what” question involves the different age requirements for certain products, especially tobacco. The federal guidelines have changed the legal age to buy tobacco is 21. A few local areas have enacted rules that try to circumvent the federal law. Make sure you train, test, and follow-up with employees to ensure they understand all the age restrictions that exist at your store.
  • How do I effectively sell age-restricted products? To help ensure compliance with age restriction laws, your employees must be trained on how to check IDs. For tobacco products, employees should be trained to check ID of anyone who looks under the age of 27. For alcohol, they should be trained to check ID for anyone who looks under the age of 35. Your age-restricted sales training should include tips on how to spot a fake ID as well as strategies to balance customer service with checking IDs and, if necessary, refusing sales.

Online Age-Restricted Sales Training

When your employees are trained online how to effectively conduct age-restricted sales, you can be sure everyone is receiving a consistent message. A Learning Management System that streamlines assessments and tracking frees up managers’ time to follow up on the job. Convenience store compliance training Ready Training Online offers online courses in responsible sales of alcohol, tobacco, and lottery tickets as well as an Age-Restricted Sales Refresher course.

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