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How do refill shops work?

How do refill shops work?

While every refill shop (or refillery, as the kids are saying) may have a slightly different process, the general structure goes like this:

  1. TARE: Get the weight of your empty vessel, so that it can be subtracted from the filled weight later - that's how you avoid paying for the weight of your container. 

  2. FILL: Add whatever you've wanting to buy to your container. If you container has a pump, be sure to leave room to replace it after filling. Overflows are a bummer when they waste perfectly good product.

  3. WEIGH: Take a final weight of the container and subtract the tare weight. 

When in doubt, ask!

Some shops have more automated or independent weigh stations, some shops (like ours) ask that customers come find a staff member to handle the taring and final weighing for you. Likely the trickiest scenario in a refill shop is when someone fills a container that hasn't been weighed already. That results in extra work, likely some wasted product, and possibly paying more than the value of the product you intend to buy. It's always easier to ask first, fill later.

What am I filling (or refilling)?

Theoretically, you should always be able to bring your own container to a refill shop. That's kinda the entire point of this retail concept. However, each shop will have their own expectations for the state of the vessels they allow to be refilled in their shop. At Ware, we require that all containers to be refilled are empty, clean, and dry.

Most refilleries will also have containers for sale and likely a selection of free containers that have been saved from the waste stream and brought in by their community. Additionally, you may be able to buy bulk products already packaged and just return with that same container each time.

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