09-19-2015, 07:19 PM
#1
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Just got a bottle of Village Barber pre shave oil and a bottle of the post shave balm from West Coast Shaving. I love this stuff. But was very dismayed to see that the expiration date on the balm bottle is JAN. 2015. 

The products are loaded with natural oils, which go rancid quite easily. Now, I'm not in the shaving products biz but it seems to me that a vendor should know better than to sell a product that has an expiration date of nine months before the stuff was ordered. Very annoyed. I don't think this was intentional, just sloppy. Will let you know how West Coast responds. I find them to be a solid vendor. 

Update: Thanks for all of your responses, they're helpful. I think that vendors selling products with BBE dates that passed long ago should put a note on the website to alert fussy bastards like me, something along the lines of, "Please note that some of these products bear a Best By End of date which might have passed some time ago. Nevertheless, the product's freshness is unaffected and we guarantee that the contents are fresh and will remain so for at least one year from the date of your purchase."

I assume that expiration dates/best before dates are there for a reason, and a note like this might be helpful. 
 [Image: 9anOwP9.jpg]

Update: Both Iain Kane and West Coast Shaving responded, Iain with assurances that the balm is still good and will continue to be for quite awhile; however, he offered to send me another bottle, gratis, from a new batch. He is a class act, and he explained that under law in Europe, many products must carry BBE dates unless they are tested in a lab. Village Barber has now had its products lab tested and no longer has to carry the BBE, so Phil is correct in his comment near the end of this thread that some of the stock is without the BBE.


West Coast apologized for sending a bottle with a BBE date that passed nine months ago and is sending a new bottle. They are sending a mailing label so I can return the bottle I currently have. What they'll do with that, I don't know. But they were prompt and courteous.


As far as indifference to expiration dates on shaving products, I do try to use up products within the periods set forth on the labels. Doesn't happen often, but I'm aware of shelf life. However, the key thing with the Village Barber balm is this, which I think I noted below: if a vendor is selling a product with a Best Before the End of date, and that date has long since passed, TELL THE BUYER IN ADVANCE. "Hey, just because this says it's best before the end of January 2015, we think that's a load of nonsense. But for our fussy or neurotic customers who might wonder why they have a product that, ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER, is nine months past its best, we assure you that this is just as good as batch that came out of the still this morning."

Certain products do not age well. This balm might not be one of them, but the customer should be told that up front: "disregard the BBE date, it's bull. And here's a little warranty from the manufacturer to assure you."


Or, as someone else suggested, sell it at a discount. 


In any event, I'm very satisfied with Iain Kane's response, and am satisfied with WCS's, though I do wonder what they're going to do with this particular bottle when they get it back. Let me say this: I like WCS, but had I known that Bullgoose now sells Village Barber products, I would have bought them there, not just because of Phil's relationship to this site, but because I don't think this would happen on his watch. 

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 09-19-2015, 07:32 PM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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WCS is a solid vendor.
Contact them directly to clarify the issue.

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 09-19-2015, 08:50 PM
#3
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Is it actually rancid or are you just assuming?

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 09-19-2015, 08:52 PM
#4
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It is expired, duh!

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 09-19-2015, 10:28 PM
#5
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I would also contact Iain at Village Barber and get his opinion on this.  I've had no problems with my balms and one of the bottles is quite old.

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 09-19-2015, 10:33 PM
#6
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Not to mince words but what you have there is a best before date, not an expiry date.

Anyway yes contact the vendor is the way to proceed

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 09-19-2015, 10:45 PM
#7
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I've got a bottle that expired before that one. It's still good inside!

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 09-19-2015, 11:57 PM
#8
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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That's not an 'expiration' date.  BBE is "Best Before End", meaning the contents are at their best prior to that date, but will still be fine after. 
I've got a half-full bottle of balm with a BBE in 2014, and a bottle of oil with a BBE in 2013 and they're still fine.

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 09-20-2015, 01:23 AM
#9
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(09-19-2015, 10:28 PM)Johnny Wrote: I would also contact Iain at Village Barber and get his opinion on this.  I've had no problems with my balms and one of the bottles is quite old.

Thanks, I sent him an email and copied him on the email to West Coast Shaving.

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 09-20-2015, 01:25 AM
#10
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(09-19-2015, 10:33 PM)helmut Wrote: Not to mince words but what you have there is a best before date, not an expiry date.

Anyway yes contact the vendor is the way to proceed

Thanks, yes, my concern is that it's best before Jan. 2015 and it's now nine months later. West Coast Shaving is a good vendor and I've contacted them.

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 09-20-2015, 01:27 AM
#11
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(09-19-2015, 11:57 PM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: That's not an 'expiration' date.  BBE is "Best Before End", meaning the contents are at their best prior to that date, but will still be fine after. 
I've got a half-full bottle of balm with a BBE in 2014, and a bottle of oil with a BBE in 2013 and they're still fine.

Thanks for clarifying. My concern is that I don't think they should be selling products that were at their best nearly a year ago, particularly when they are expected to last at least another year, given the small amounts that will be used per shave.

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 09-20-2015, 03:17 AM
#12
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(09-19-2015, 11:57 PM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: That's not an 'expiration' date.  BBE is "Best Before End", meaning the contents are at their best prior to that date, but will still be fine after. 
I've got a half-full bottle of balm with a BBE in 2014, and a bottle of oil with a BBE in 2013 and they're still fine.

Completely agree mine is years old but still works great and is by far one of the best balms in my den

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 09-20-2015, 05:57 AM
#13
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JMO, but I would have begun with the vendor before posting here. 

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 09-20-2015, 07:51 AM
#14
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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It is not as if it is milk or eggs. If it isn't off, I would not worry too much about it. These products usually have an effective shelf life of at least three years if stored in proper conditions (and this is a conservative estimate).  The BBE date is an EU requirement and corresponds to 12 months after the batch is produced. This is true for soaps, creams and aftershaves. If a vendor were to toss everything in the bin 12 months after it was produced, the retail prices would be triple to account for loss.

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 09-20-2015, 08:05 AM
#15
  • eengler
  • Administrator
  • South Dakota, USA
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Great Points Phil. 

We all have stacks of soap tubs and other products marked with the 12M(or other) EU requirement that are years old and perform as new. Storage is key, cool temps, no direct sunlight, ect.

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 09-20-2015, 08:08 AM
#16
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(09-20-2015, 07:51 AM)bullgoose Wrote: It is not as if it is milk or eggs. If it isn't off, I would not worry too much about it. These products usually have an effective shelf life of at least three years if stored in proper conditions (and this is a conservative estimate).  The BBE date is an EU requirement and corresponds to 12 months after the batch is produced. This is true for soaps, creams and aftershaves. If a vendor were to toss everything in the bin 12 months after it was produced, the retail prices would be triple to account for loss.
Completely agree with you Phil.  I have the same discussion with my wife regarding food products, explaining to her that at midnight on the expiration date the product doesn't turn into a pumpkin and go bad. However, I can see how a customer might be a bit miffed to receive as new, a product with an expired date. 

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 09-20-2015, 09:31 AM
#17
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(09-20-2015, 07:51 AM)bullgoose Wrote: It is not as if it is milk or eggs. If it isn't off, I would not worry too much about it. These products usually have an effective shelf life of at least three years if stored in proper conditions (and this is a conservative estimate).  The BBE date is an EU requirement and corresponds to 12 months after the batch is produced. This is true for soaps, creams and aftershaves. If a vendor were to toss everything in the bin 12 months after it was produced, the retail prices would be triple to account for loss.

Thank you, Phil. That's very helpful and explains a lot.

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 09-21-2015, 11:02 AM
#18
  • kav
  • Banned
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The 16 year old lagavulin from my granduncle's estate ( bottled in 1955) and his Colt Bisley .45 revolver are holding up well. I did make up some reloads when a old blackpowder ballon head case cracked in firing. Buy quality and don't worry so much.

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 09-21-2015, 11:09 AM
#19
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(09-20-2015, 01:27 AM)stroppinglad Wrote: My concern is that I don't think they should be selling products that were at their best nearly a year ago, particularly when they are expected to last at least another year, given the small amounts that will be used per shave.

This is how I see it too. The bottom line is, the date is on there as a guide to use for optimal performance. You bought it new and it is already well past it.

The 12 month use by dates on most soaps are not date specific. I thought those were to be used within 12 months of opening.



All evidence has been buried. All tapes have been erased.

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 09-21-2015, 12:47 PM
#20
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(09-20-2015, 07:51 AM)bullgoose Wrote: It is not as if it is milk or eggs. If it isn't off, I would not worry too much about it. These products usually have an effective shelf life of at least three years if stored in proper conditions (and this is a conservative estimate).  The BBE date is an EU requirement and corresponds to 12 months after the batch is produced. This is true for soaps, creams and aftershaves. If a vendor were to toss everything in the bin 12 months after it was produced, the retail prices would be triple to account for loss.

Exactly what I was thinking. People worry too much. On another shaving forum a guy posted a thread worrying if a hair trapped under his smartphone screen protector could damage his screen. Rolleyes

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