Weight labeling

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melinda48

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I have generally labeled by soaps using the weight of the bar after curing. Recently, at the local farmers market, a woman bought a bar. She returned the next week to say the bar was lighter than indicted on the label and she preferred not to take this to "the board" of the market. What, exactly, do I say to someone when this happens? This was a first for me and I was taken totally by surprise. I explained that soaps loses weight as the water evaporates. She was still unhappy.

I am thinking I will label by bars by weight of the oils only with notation that water adds additional weight which will reduce over time.

Input greatly appreciated!
 

shunt2011

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I always label the weight as less than it really is. My bars are generally 5.5 oz after cure or a bit less. I list them as 5 oz. when packaging. If they sit around a long time I re weigh them just to be sure they are still within that weight or I re-label them. My soap never weighs less than what I label it.
 

TheGecko

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I would have said..."Please, do take it to the Board. I'm sure they will be intelligent enough to understand that the water contained in the soap continues to evaporate and so it is completely natural for the soap to be a tenth of an ounce lighter...it's even worse with commercial soaps."

I round the weight of my soaps down by at least a quarter ounce. Then I check my soaps periodically to make sure the weights are still correct. If they have lost more water than expected, I relabel them.
 

Kamahido

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I'd have been unhappy too. The net weight is the weight of you product without packaging. If it weighs less than printed on the packaging you are misrepresenting your product. Water evaporates as the soap cures, yes. But labeling with proper weights is the responsibility of the the manufacturer... you. Intentional or not, if you're giving people less than what the net weight says, they're getting ripped off.
 

melinda48

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I'd have been unhappy too. The net weight is the weight of you product without packaging. If it weighs less than printed on the packaging you are misrepresenting your product. Water evaporates as the soap cures, yes. But labeling with proper weights is the responsibility of the the manufacturer... you. Intentional or not, if you're giving people less than what the net weight says, they're getting ripped off.
The weights were "proper" when I wrapped the soaps. I would not have labeled them the way I did otherwise.
 

DeeAnna

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It makes no difference what the soap weighs when you package it. It's what the soap weighs when the consumer receives it. It's your responsibility to anticipate the weight loss over time and label accordingly. I know that isn't sitting too well with you, but that's the way things are.

If a customer had complained to me about underweight product, I wouldn't have been happy, but I would view it as a lesson I need to pay attention to so I can correct my methods, not that she was in the wrong.

She was perfectly within her rights as a consumer to complain. If the label said "net weight 4.5 ounces", then the bar of soap when she bought it really should have weighed at least 4.5 ounces. It could weigh more, but should never be less.

I do like the others -- I understate the net weight so I'm 99% certain when the customer purchases the soap in a week or a month or even 6 months from now, that bar will be equal to or heavier than the stated net weight.
 

melinda48

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It makes no difference what the soap weighs when you package it. It's what the soap weighs when the consumer receives it. It's your responsibility to anticipate the weight loss over time and label accordingly. I know that isn't sitting too well with you, but that's the way things are.

If a customer had complained to me about underweight product, I wouldn't have been happy, but I would view it as a lesson I need to pay attention to so I can correct my methods, not that she was in the wrong.

She was perfectly within her rights as a consumer to complain. If the label said "net weight 4.5 ounces", then the bar of soap when she bought it really should have weighed at least 4.5 ounces. It could weigh more, but should never be less.

I do like the others -- I understate the net weight so I'm 99% certain when the customer purchases the soap in a week or a month or even 6 months from now, that bar will be equal to or heavier than the stated net weight.
I appreciate everyone’s input and am certainly not put off by it. I am put off when it is inferred that I do not care - that is why I asked. Never said she was “wrong” just needed guidance on the issue.

I am going to round down by half an ounce to be safe. Will re-weigh and adjust my weights accordingly. A learning moment of the best type! Thank you all who responded!!
 

DeeAnna

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"...Never said she was “wrong” just needed guidance on the issue...."

Please accept my apologies, @melinda48. I made an assumption about your intent, and I was wrong.

When other people have shared similar stories, they often tell the story more in the context of being unhappy with and blaming the customer, rather than trying to understand how to do things better.

"...I am going to round down by half an ounce to be safe...."

I do pretty much what you're proposing. The net weight on my labels is 4.5 oz (130 g). Most of my soap bars weigh roughly 150 grams when they are packaged after a 4-8 week cure. The 20 gram difference between 130 and 150 is about 3/4 ounce.

I set any bar that's under 140 grams aside at the time of packaging -- it will get used by the household or packaged as samples to be given away.
 

melinda48

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"...Never said she was “wrong” just needed guidance on the issue...."

Please accept my apologies, @melinda48. I made an assumption about your intent, and I was wrong.

When other people have shared similar stories, they often tell the story more in the context of being unhappy with and blaming the customer, rather than trying to understand how to do things better.

"...I am going to round down by half an ounce to be safe...."

I do pretty much what you're proposing. The net weight on my labels is 4.5 oz (130 g). Most of my soap bars weigh roughly 150 grams when they are packaged after a 4-8 week cure. The 20 gram difference between 130 and 150 is about 3/4 ounce.

I set any bar that's under 140 grams aside at the time of packaging -- it will get used by the household or packaged as samples to be given away.
Thank you so much! We all misunderstand each other from time to time - I so appreciate your thoughtfulness. Thanks again!

Wish I could just “under-state” my weight! I, sadly, have not shrunk over time!!!!
 

penelopejane

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It’s actually illegal in Australia to sell soap that is under the weight stated on the label. So, a customer would have the right to complain.
But, it’s required that you put a weight on your bars.
I do the same as others mentioned - I weigh a few bars after a long cure and understate the lowest weight bar by 10g or more and put that on the label.

I check every so often but my soap seems to be pretty consistent so far. Thanks for the reminder, though, I’ll check today just to be sure.
 
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mtinetti61

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I live in the twin cities, and none of the soaps I see in health food stores, including Whole Foods, has weight listed on the label, so I assume it's not required in Minnesota. When I used to sell soap I listed it between a range (i.e.: 4.5-5 oz.). It's funny when you think that the xtra 1/2 oz. is just water, so it doesn't really make any difference except to create a harder bar which might last longer.
 

penelopejane

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I live in the twin cities, and none of the soaps I see in health food stores, including Whole Foods, has weight listed on the label, so I assume it's not required in Minnesota. When I used to sell soap I listed it between a range (i.e.: 4.5-5 oz.). It's funny when you think that the xtra 1/2 oz. is just water, so it doesn't really make any difference except to create a harder bar which might last longer.
When we travelled through the US I found many, many handmade soaps didn’t list ingredients or weights. So I didn’t buy any.

It is a requirement in the US to state weights and ingredients so I’d check before you sold soap, even though many people/shops don’t comply. There are lots of threads about labelling. Corrected for misinformation.
See DeeAnna’s post #24 for more info.
 
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MGM

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This conversation hasn't even veered off into a war of scale accuracy.... Surely the customer has a fully accredited scale at her house, not like mine which all say "not legal for trade" on them....
 

melinda48

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I thank everyone who responded! Going half an ounce down from now on and will re-weigh every few months and adjust as necessary.
 

melinda48

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When we travelled through the US I found many, many handmade soaps didn’t list ingredients or weights. So I didn’t buy any.

It is a requirement in many US states to state weights or ingredients so I’d check before you sold soap, even though many people/shops don’t comply. There are lots of threads about labelling.
Interesting. I always thought it was a federal regulation to list the weight - who knew!
 
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