Eggs - customers swapping carton contents in store

My husband recently purchased one dozen Free range eggs. Upon using some, he commented that some of thèm were quite small. I’m wondering how many people swap carton contents in the supermarket so they get Free Range, or bigger eggs for the price of Normal eggs. I have actually seen people doing such a thing in the supermarket. The supermarkets wouldn’t really care because some ‘bunnies’ end up paying according to the barcode on the carton, not the contents.


While some shoppers might game the system there are more than one reason you might see people ‘exchanging’ eggs from carton to carton.

We prefer the 820g eggs carton. They are not always in stock and when there are only a few cartons remaining, they often include broken eggs which is why they are still there. When that happens we [have to] ‘assemble’ a carton with 12 good eggs from the 820g cartons on the shelf or go with smaller eggs.

It is also reality that in any given carton there is going to be some variation as the marked weight is aggregate of the dozen, not per egg. It is possible you got a few bigger eggs so the normal ones seemed small, as much as it could be that a shopper illicitly swapped eggs for their own benefit.


Our local green grocer in Brisbane had a sign saying that swapping was considered ‘theft’ and action would be taken if a customer was caught. I am not sure what action they would take other than baring the customer from the store as it is possibly more unethical than theft.

As egg cartons usually have a minimum weight, swapping the eggs could make the retailer subject to complaints if a carton ended up having more smaller eggs, with a weight less than that on the packaging.

I have seen many customers open the cartons and check for any cracked eggs, but am yet to see anyone swap large eggs for smaller eggs. If I do, I would say something as they are short changing their fellow customers.


I have heard of people removing the eggs in a similar way to what the shop you visit is saying or warning people. How is it any different to people opening or breaking packages for some reason and leaving behind. Could continue why people dump un purchase goods wherever they wish. Anyway maybe its going of course.


I’m another who always open cartons and checks each egg by gently jiggling it to see if broken or not - they don’t move if broken since they’re usually stuck to the carton. This could be mistaken for swapping if an observer was not watching closely.
Occasionally I have had eggs which appear to be small (we buy XL) but on weighing, which I have done out of interest on occasion when this happens, they are in accordance with the stated minimum weight.


I do this to look for broken eggs.

But I have also seen someone swapping larger free range eggs into a generic inexpensive eggs carton, where they would pay less.
So I am also sometimes checking the carton I am purchasing (free range) still has the correct eggs, as they have the brand’s stamp on them


Welcome to the community @Nat.

We buy most of our eggs, free range from our butcher who keeps them on the top of the counter. The best always come from the neighbours, when they have a few too many.


I always open the carton and check that each pair of eggs ‘moves’ and isn’t stuck to the bottom of the carton or obviously broken.

While on occasion I have checked half a dozen cartons or more for a full carton of unbroken eggs, I’ve not had to resort to constructing a ‘good carton’ from the otherwise carnage thus far. I can imagine if one needed eggs for a specific cooking project this might be necessary - for me there has been one or two occasions where I’ve just decided it was too hard and I didn’t need them that badly.

Given the egg-fraud thing seems to have a history - if I needed to reconstruct a carton I’d probably call for an employee to validate the process so I was not accused :slight_smile:

OT: while recently in the big smoke, a place where eggs are not delivered by camel, I purchased a dozen eggs from coles that were advertised as ‘big’ - I don’t remember the specific terminology. All of the dozen eggs in the carton were double-yolkers ! It was like a dream come true :rofl: (and yes, I did check all the eggs were intact and not stuck before I purchased).


Yep, I also check the eggs are not cracked before purchasing. Had enough of getting them home and finding broken ones.
What I can’t work out is-when the eggs have recently been in short supply in FNQ, why are ALL the eggs-across different brands/suppliers-ALL Ex-Large? It’s not like you can leave them in to ‘cook’ longer so they’re bigger for market!! But this has become common up here-no Large eggs AT ALL…what the???

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