Every year dozens and dozens of our customers either purchase new retail scales or they have their current legal for trade scale calibrated or certified. These are typically scales they can use at places like the farmers market to sell their fruits and vegetables by the pound. Basically any device used where items are bought or sold by weight is typically required by most state’s laws to be inspected and certified. This would include a counter top scale at a farmer’s market (or mechanical hanging scale) that is used to weigh produce that customers want to buy. Of course, inspecting a retail scale is an advantage to both the farmer and the customer.
I’ve mentioned this in the past but if you are buying or selling your items based on weight, you want to make sure that you purchase a scale that has NTEP approval. The certificate of conformance or CoC# should be on the side of the scale. The article below is also a good resource.
Keep in mind that no device is perfect and must be adjusted periodically. It is also recommended that you do not buy cheap quality scales that will likely not last. There are regional inspectors located across the state that will coordinate with the marketer to complete the certification. The inspectors have a set of standard weights calibrated annually for correctness. They will use these weights to test the marketer’s scales. Once you scale has been inspected you need to recertify every two years. If the scale is out of tolerance (deemed inaccurate) a scale repair service must fix the scale or a new unit must be purchased. Click here to read entire article.
Keep in mind the article was for South Dakota, so be sure to check with your state department of agriculture or weights and measures to see what your state’s rules are. The author of the article linked above also said if you do not want to purchase a certified scale then you must sell your items by the bag, piece, or bunch — or in pint or quart containers. This is not the selling method I would recommend. These days customers are counting every penny and want to know exactly what they’re paying for. Your customers want to know exactly how much they’re buying and likewise how much it costs. Even if you chose to not use a certified scale at the market, you still might want to check weigh some of the bags or buckets to make sure that you and the customer are getting the correct portions versus profits. I have to add one quick note of personal experience. Any time that I buy fresh fruits like strawberries I like to buy them by the pound. That way I see how much it’s going to cost and I know how many pounds of berries I have purchased. If you’re in the market for a retail scale or perhaps you need one tested and calibrated call us at 919-776-7737 or visit our website Central Carolina Scale.com