Expiry or Best Before Dates

One of the users’ most requested features; The use of lifespan dates is vital to many businesses in food, pharmaceuticals or cosmetic industry.

The ‘best before’ dates (BBE) and the ‘expiry’ dates (EXP) are regularly understood as the same by consumers and inexperienced sellers alike. I could confuse you even more and start talking about ‘sell by’ dates. Many governments have abandoned the term in the past decades, so I would prefer not to bring it up.

What does ‘BBE’ date mean and how is it different to the ‘EXP’ date?

BBE – some properties of a product may only be active before this date. The consumer can still use the product; however, it may be missing its taste, smell or similar properties. It is up to the user, who needs to decide whether the product is safe for use. It is important to know that as a seller BBE date does not mean the end of selling. Usually, sellers reduce the price of the product when it reaches its BBE.

EXP – means the last day the product is safe for use. Consumers should dispose of these products immediately once they have passed the ‘EXP’ date. Similar to EXP is a ‘Use By’ date, but this term is only used in some countries and for only few product categories (fish).


Expiry Dates or Best Before Dates

Expiry Dates and Best Before Dates Premium Add-on Proposed Features:

  • Adding the multi-stock per product feature
  • Adding the ability to set product expiry dates (best before dates)
  • Adding notification for products close to the end of their shelf life. The user can set the frequency of notification pops per product
  • Adding the ability for users to set expiry date and batch number on Purchase Orders when receiving the inventory.
  • Adding the ability to add more batches per product. (when user receives a Purchase Order from a supplier with two different batches, user needs to add another product to the Purchase Order manually and amend the stock amount).
  • Adding the settings for multiple batches of the same product in the product data section (within the inventory tab) and in a quick edit (WP Products Menu) as well.
  • Show batches preview in Stock Central or Manufacturing Central respectively. Use the hierarchy view with the ability to edit batch number and stock level within the popup window.
  • Adding the ability to sell shorter lifespan products first (FIFO).
  • Adding the ability to sell longer lifespan products first (LIFO).
  • Adding the ability to use shorter lifespan BOM first (FIFO).
  • Adding the ability to use longer lifespan BOM first (LIFO).
  • Adding the options to show expiry dates and batch numbers on the front end.

One of the most wanted and requested features since the launch of ATUM is about to start development. We ask all users to feel free to comment and suggest additional features below.

We hope to discuss the development process with our users, so do not hesitate and let us know your thoughts.

Hope to hear from you soon.



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Pavel Minarik

Author Pavel Minarik

CEO @ LIVE UK DEALS LTD, the company behind Stock Management Labs™ and creator of ATUM Inventory Management for WooCommerce.

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Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Hello! Do you have an estimate date for this feature? Thank you.

    • Hi Maria Cristina,

      Thank you very much for the comment. Well, this is very hard to tell. We hope it will be out there before summer, but do not think it will include all the above features at first. Is there anything in particular you need to cover?

  • Kim says:

    Hi Pavel, this is super exciting news! My company’s needs don’t center so much around expiry dates as we sell frozen food with a relatively long lifespan, but we still need to keep track of the quality of different batches. Let me explain briefly a typical scenario:

    Say we receive three different batches of shrimps from three different suppliers. A week later a customer phones in with food poisoning from eating shrimps. We now need to know which batch the bad shrimps came from so we can trace and recall other items from the same batch. I believe the proper term for this functionality is ‘batch-tracking’.

    Will this be possible with the new ATUM feature?

    Best, Kim

  • Hi Kim,

    I am not sure the batch tracking will be available in the initial release, but that is one of the features our business needs too. So it will be a priority to develop asap.

    Hope this helps.


  • Kim says:

    OK Pavel, that’s great. I’ll be sure to check back:)

    Keep up the good work!

    Best, Kim

  • Kim says:

    Hi Pavel,

    Just checking in to see how it’s going with implementation of the batch-tracking feature. Any exciting news?

  • Hi Pavel,
    I just purchased the Multi Inventory add on, and I was wondering if the following feature will be included or if it will be on a separate add-on:
    – Adding the options to show expiry dates and batch numbers on the front end.

    Can you estimate a date when this will be released? We show the best before date on the front end, so our customers can make informed decisions before purchasing. Sadly though, that plugin isn’t working reliably, so it would be great to have it within ATUM.

    Thank you so much for all the great work you’re doing!

    All the best,


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