Legal for Trade Scale Requirements

Quite often many customers purchase new digital scales or they have their current scale calibrated or certified. These are typically scales they can use at places like the farmer’s market to sell their produce by the pound. Basically any device used where items are bought or sold by weight is normally required by most state’s laws to be inspected and certified each year. This would include a counter top digital 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. As you can see below it’s important to have accurate and legal weighing equipment.

 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 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.

Of course we’ve discussed this topic before on this site 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 with a certificate of conformance number.  The CoC# should be on the side of the scale in most cases.