Once you've baked a pie, cooled it, boxed it and labeled it...how long do you give a pie to sell before you pull it from the shelf? And do you have any tricks to extend shelf life? Any variation on this with crumb pies?
Actually, it depends on the pie. A fruit-filled double-crust pie is fine for about 3 days, then I put them on the half-price shelf. After a day on the half-price shelf, then they get sold by the slice as a dessert on a lunch special. I tend not to refrigerate those kinds of pies, either. The humidity under refrigeration ruins the crust much faster in my opinion.
Pumpkin pies don't take very long to look unattractive, so I would only bake enough for one day's worth of sales. Luckily, it's easy to pull that off because you just keep a lot of pre-made shells on hand and mix up a bunch of pumpkin pie batter in advance. Just fill and bake in the morning.
Cream pies, custard pies and meringue pies vary on shelf life as well too. It doesn't take long for meringue to start weeping (especially under refrigeration), so that's a one day deal too. Depending on how you present cream pies, they can be sellable for about 3-5 days. If I top my pies with a whipped cream decoration, I always make sure I use a stabilizer in the whipped cream so it doesn't break down. I either use a commercial stabilizer or just gelatin, depending on what's on hand.
It's always best to track your sales, however and anticipate trends so you get close to running out of product by the end of the day. As always, fresher is better.