Relying on  Age Gates Endangers Ecommerce Stores

By Scarlett Payne  |  November 24, 2021


When underage consumers access  age-restricted products (alcohol, vape pens, fireworks, etc.) the retailer is considered at fault, whether they sell  in-person or online.

The Retailer’s Responsibility

Thus, the retailer receives the penalties, which may include hefty fines, prison time and loss of license. Age verification is the safety net that prevents an offense and protects you in case of one. 

There Is an Overreliance  on Age Gates

An age gate is an age verification pop-up that asks visitors to confirm their age in some manner before allowing them onto the website.

Age Gates  Don’t Work

Most of the time, the information provided in an age gate isn’t verified in any way. Getting past merely requires a quick lie.

Lacking Compliance

For age-restricted products, age gates aren’t enough to meet legal compliance and protect your business. Only gates that confirm user information, like age verification systems, can.

For tobacco products, the FDA prioritizes enforcement for retailers without “third-party, age- and identity-verification services” that compares customer information to public records.

Protect Against Scrutinization

Even if you don’t sell tobacco products, it goes to show that a lack of proper age verification brings greater scrutinization and risk.

In addition to protecting your online business from legal repercussions, accurate age verification helps: - Guard your reputation - Prevent excess   restrictions on your   industry

These tactics are ineffective on their own: - Asking users their age. - Asking users their   birthdate. - Adding age disclaimers   or terms and conditions. - Only taking credit cards   as payment.

Are You  Doing Enough?

The best way you can verify age is with age verification software. Other methods include relying on in-store pickups or delivery personnel, though these come with their own concerns.

What Can You Do?

Learn Your Options  and How to  Implement Them

If your website relies on age gates to sell age-restricted products, read our full post to learn how to better protect your business.