I'm looking for a smaller machine like Seaga HY100 or its like. The machine I have is brand new, never been opened. Need a smaller machine for my prospective location.
http://ilovevending.com / email@example.com
Ever heard of the Pareto Principle, also called the 80/20 rule? I’m sure most of you have, but how many of you are applying it to your business?
If you haven’t heard of it, the Pareto Principle is the idea that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. It’s more an observation than rule, and a loose rule since the numbers often don’t exactly fit 80% and 20%. But as a generality it can be found everywhere, including in your business.
This concept (that I learned in the forums) can be used to help make your business more efficient. If you take a serious look at your locations, you will find that somewhere around 20% of them are underperforming. You should consider eliminating those locations. The effects will have a small impact on your income, and a larger impact on freeing up time.
A caveat is that this should not be a simple action. You don’t just want to dump that bottom 20% without taking a few steps first. Take a look at the location, and products, and figure out if there is something that could bring it up. Maybe it could be in a better location, or a change in products could make a big difference. Does the machine have a flaw that nobody has told you about? Sometimes people will avoid the machine that “eats their money” without ever mentioning it to the Vendor.
Distance is also a factor. A location in a real convenient location that takes little to no time to get to, or is on the way to another can perform lower than a location that can take a long time to drive to. But even then, that further location might not be as bad if you are expanding into that area.
How you eliminate is also depending on if you want to grow. If your growing your business, you want to eliminate slower than you are building. If you are right about where you want to be, you keep adding locations, and eliminating the worst performer each time you add a location. And then if you are wanting to cut down, you can be the most aggressive, until you get down to where you want to be. Although you might want to sell off those locations instead of just eliminating them.
Every time you do this you are increasing your hourly income. Below is the cycle you should follow, but while they are in a numbered order, you really want to do all constantly:
a. Add new locations. Some will be good, some will be average, and some will be bad.
a. Attempt to fix the issues with the poor locations. Doesn’t hurt to see if you can make your good locations better too.
a. Remove the worst locations at a speed consistent with your desire for growth.
Since Mr. McGowen has taken over management of the TVF, we've opted to reopen the BLOGS section! Hooray!
If you have an old blog here, contact either The Mage or myself, and we will be happy to re-activate it. If you'd prefer to start fresh, you are welcome to do that as well!
As for me, I'm keen to cover the business and all things surrounding it as I move ahead with my bizarre vending endeavors! If you want to keep up with what I'm up to, this is the place to be!
Thanks all, and rock on!
Selling the right product to your customers is one of the most important aspects of running a good, profitable vending business. I get calls all the time from new vendors who are excited to stock their new vending machine but don’t know what items to stock it with. This blog-post will focus on the most popular and profitable vending items.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, there is not one solution that will work with every location and much testing and modifying should take place to get the right fit for each location. What I have seen work well is to provide the business with a checklist of snacks and drinks that you are willing to sell and have all the employees check the items in which they are most interested in seeing in their machine. I would not give them a blank sheet as you may get some suggestions that just aren’t available or aren’t popular enough to consider. Many times I have had customers ask me to stock something odd like black licorice or raisins and I had to refuse them as I knew that they just wouldn’t sell to the masses. Listed below is my list of most popular items to be sold in the different vending machine categories:
This is my list of the most popular items found in snack vending machines, not in any particular order: Snickers, Peanut M&M’s, Twix, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfinger, Milk Duds, Milky Way, Baby Ruth, Gum, Doritos, Cheetos, Lays Potato Chips, Oreos, Grandma’s Cookies, Rice Crispy Treats, Peanuts, Corn Nuts, Trail Mix, Honey Buns, Strawberry Pop Tarts, Cheez-its, Granola Bars, Beef Jerky, & Pretzels.
[b]2. Soda Pop & Drinks[/b]
The following drinks are my most popular ones: Water, Mountain Dew, Energy Drinks, Pepsi, Coke, Sprite, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Gatorade.
[b]3. Bulk Candy[/b]
The most popular Bulk Candy, in order of popularity, would be Peanut M&M’s, Mike & Ikes, Skittles, Gumballs, Hot Tomales, Plain M&M’s, Runts, and Boston Baked Beans. I have tried various kinds of nuts but I prefer not to stock them with my bulk candy machines since they go bad so fast and make a mess.
Most people use vending machines to sell food and drinks, but they can also be used to sell a multitude of items. The other day I had someone who owned a Laundromat call me to discuss the possibility of selling laundry detergent packets from a vending machine. I have had other people call me who were interested in selling school supplies in the vending machine at school. Motels use vending machines all the time for not just snacks and sodas but also to sell items that travelers often forget, such as toothbrushes, tooth paste, aspirin, deodorant, feminine pads, chap stick, cough drops, or condoms.
Vending machines can sell almost anything and the list keeps growing everyday. Most machines are adjustable so they can accommodate a variety of items with differing shapes and sizes; However, knowing if the item will sell or not is another crucial step to making your vending business a success. Be sure and check out the huge selection of [url="http://thediscountvendingstore.com/new-machines/"]New [/url]and [url="http://thediscountvendingstore.com/pre-owned-machines/"]Pre-owned[/url] vending machines at [url="http://thediscountvendingstore.com"]The Discount Vending Store[/url]
Been planning on getting more chickens recently and was gonna use uship. Ended up only getting 1 bid on uship that was in my budget and after reading their feedback I passed and instead decided that I will go get them myself. Panama City FL to Oceanside NY in a Ford Ranger pulling a 5x8 cargo trailer. Google maps says 1214 miles 18h 16m.
So the plan is to work at my other job (county jail) tomorrow from 5:50am-6pm, hopefully get to bed by 8pm get up at 2am and be on the road by 3am. To save on cost im onli planing to eat out twice so I previousve prepared by stocking up on travel food. Got the essentials: gatorade, water, monster energy drinks, cookies, apples, bananas, vienna sausages, granola bars and pringles.
Planning on driving to Elkton, MD and getting a room (motel 6, thats right only the best) Friday night then wake up early and meet Rob Saturday morning at Parsals headquarters.
Work 12 1/2 hrs today at jail then came home and repacked bearings on trailer. Couldn't find a cheap spare for trailer so hope theres no flats.
Got up at 3am but didnt get on the road till 5am. Drove till 9pm and got a room in Virginia. Didnt want to waste money on fancy hotels so opted for the Howard Johnson, guy wanted $65 a night, I got it for $50.
Got up at 5am and on the road by 6am. I had never been this far up the coast before. A few things my first trip taught me NJ tolls are crazy all combined I spent $80 on tolls one way, the trashy and smelly reputation NJ has is well earned. And lastly you better be able think and react fast in that traffic from the NJ turnpike all the way into NY cause they are well use to running on the ragged edge all the time. At origimally planned to meet frank and rob at 8am that morning which that got pushed back to 10am since I didnt leave Virginia 6am. Actual time it takes and what gps say is two totally different things. Ended up getting there around 2pm. Got there and Frank showed me around 1 of his buildings, he has some really cool historical stuff from bulk vending. Before we left to go get something to eat frank showed a pallet that had 2 coolers and a couple boxes of food to take for the trip back home. It was insane the amount of food Anne(franks gf), frank and rob had put together. Got a quick tour around the area and seen alot of the old buildings the folz vending, Eppy Charms and few others in the business used. When then went and had dinner at the cheese cake factory, it was awesome again. Got back to parsal loaded up 8 chickens and all the product my trailer could hold and then got back on the road.
Plan was to get back to around Virginia and get another room, didnt make it out of NJ. Couldn't keep my eyes open so I got a room just north of Atlantic City. Stayed at a red roof inn, it was easily the crappiest hotel I ever stayed in between the cockroaches that were apparently having a meeting around the outside of my door, the broken safety latch lock that look like door had been kicked in, tv didnt work, non-smoking room that reeked of smoke, broke toilet and my favorite all the left over soap pieces in the bottom of the shower from previous renters.
Got some sleep then got back on the road around 10am.
There’s nothing worse than loosing a prized vending account. The only thing that compares to it is finding out that the account has allowed in your competition which undercuts your profits. So how do you prevent your competitors from sneaking in? Listed below are my top 10 ways to keep your customers happy and loyal to you:[list=1]
[*]Be friendly. More than anything else, you, or your employee that services that account must be likeable; you must greet the secretaries, workers, etc, talk to them and ask them how everything is working.
[*]Offer freebies. Give product away as a token of your appreciation. Whether it’s to one of the workers or a kid that’s hanging around the vending machine, showing your appreciation by giving away free candy and soda goes a long way.
[*]Be clean. Keeping your machines free of dust and dirt will not necessarily invite new customers but if you machines are dirty, you will certainly lose the customers you already have.
[*]Keep fresh product stocked. If your product is out-dated, you may lose your customers and never gain their trust again.
[*]Don’t allow your product to be sold out. You need to service your account as often as required so it doesn’t run out of product. Some of your popular items may need to be stocked in multiple slots so they don’t run out. This is better than offering a larger selection of different items that are never being purchased.
[*]Ask for product suggestions. When you first obtain an account as well as periodically when you service your account, you should ask your customers what they would like to see in the vending machine. Be as accommodating as possible.
[*]Keep your prices competitive. As with everything in the world, people are looking for value. You don’t have to be the cheapest in the marketplace, but you do need to be average as least.
[*]Keep your machines functioning properly. Nothing will lose an account faster than having a broken machine. It’s normal for the machine to break down occasionally but if it happens to often, your customer will kick you to the curb.
[*]Provide the right equipment. Be sure that you are providing your account with all their vending needs. Some businesses will need not only beverages, but snacks, lunch items, healthy foods, and bulk candy too. Also be sure to offer credit card readers, dollar bill changers, and nutritional value information if the demand is there.
[*]Look and act professional. Your vending operation will be judged by the way you and your employees look and act when servicing the account, so be sure to act the part. The Vending Operator doesn’t need to wear a suit and tie but he/she should look professional and clean and act professional as well.
I have found that when I follow these 10 steps, my customers are happy and I can hold onto my accounts for a long time. What else have you found to ensure a long lasting relationship with your vending account?
I got a Roadrunner spiral in a deal a couple years ago for free, and have had it sitting in my garage taking up space. Then last summer, a deal on 3 of them landed in my lap one day. I bought all 3 for $75.
The first one is just the body parts and the globe. The last 3 are complete except 2 burned globes, no locks, and 2 coin doors missing. 2 had rope lighting down the spiral which did not work. The time came to get them ready for the route or sell them for profit. So I disassembled all 4 of them and started the tedious task of removing petrified gumballs and cleaning them.
This is what I have learned so far.
1) Spiral gumball machines are a pain in the ass.
2) Locks are expensive for spiral machines.
3) Take pictures of things before you take them apart.
4) 2 special screwdrivers are needed for the spirals. Square bit and spanner screws. Cost $40 (Good HD quality tools)
5) Spiral locks are expensive. 8 locks cost $102
6) Spiral gumball machines will make you cuss.
7) All Roadrunner spiral gumball machines are not the same. 4 different machines with 3 different globes and plastic pieces that goes over the hopper. You can't simply take a globe from one and put on another.
8) Spiral gumball machines suck.
9) Spiral gumball machines have a lot of parts.
So here I am a few weeks later and I have 1 machine ready to go. I still need 2 more globes, but will be taking a crapshoot chance that they will fit even if I order them. I made 2 money doors but still need to paint them. 1 of the bases has a chunk broken out of it that I will have to fix with a fiberglas repair kit.
I still need to find 2 globes, mech and hopper Beaver style, chute and door. Got $217 in 4 machines so it still might work out..............
Statistics are showing that cashless vending is on the sharp rise and there are some significant profits to be realized when Vendors use Credit/ Debit Card readers on their vending machines. A recent study showed that “cashless (purchases) represents 25% to 27% of total sales in the overall workplace market. That figure has risen sharply from 15% to 16% a few years ago”. See more at: [url="http://www.vendingtimes.com/"]http://www.vendingtimes.com[/url]
Not only can sales increase with the use of credit cards but the amount of money people are willing to pay also increases significantly when a credit is available. Have you ever wondered why a 20 oz soda bottle can cost $1.50 or more in a store but in a vending machine it normally cost $1.25. A study by USA Tech, who is the leader in Credit card reader technology, reports that an average vending transaction with cash equals $1.15 verses the average transaction with cashless vending equals $1.49, which represents a 30% increase in your sales. See more at: [url="http://www.vendingtimes.com/"]http://www.vendingtimes.com[/url]
So the question that everyone has been asking me is, “How does it work and how much does it cost?” The credit card reader is attached to the vending machine and must be programmed into your machine in order for it to function. If your machine doesn’t have this as an option, it would probably too costly to change the programming to allow for card readers.
USA Technologies developed the Eport card reader back in the year 2000 and this was the pioneer technology for cashless vending. There is a sim card built into the card reader and an antenna to transport the information, so as long as your location has cell phone coverage, you should be able to have a wireless cashless vending machine. If the connection is spotty, then you could purchase a High Gain Antenna which would increase your signal.
As for service charges to be connected, USA Tech charges the vendor a monthly fee, which is typically $8.99 to have this service, plus a transaction fee of 5.95% or $.05 cents, whichever is greater, for each transaction. This may seem high at first but when considering the increased profit potential by using the credit card reader, your ROI would quickly be realized.
edited by mission vending to remove outside links.
vending in the 4 state area for 32 years have 4 differnt routes travel 5000 miles each month. mostly oak bulk machines,also northwestern and claw machines rrgumball and sticker machines. had some trouble figuring out correspondence in forum. hopefully am on the right track.
I recently got a chance to meet with Frank Parisi of Parsal Vending. This meeting came about through another member Havending. So Anthony (Havending) knowing that I was interested in the chicken machine text me one day and asked if I was interested in meeting Frank, already knowing the guys ties to the industry I jumped all over the opportunity and told him line it up as soon as possible. So by that afternoon Anthony had lined up a meeting with Frank 4 days later. We were to meet at a home he owns in south Florida and was gonna have lunch at the club house at noon. This was about an 8hr drive for me so I decided to leave the day before. I pulled out around 10:30am on a Monday morning. Got about half way there when I blew a tire that ended up sending me across the interstate in a 360 spin, a semi truck narrowly missed me when I slid in front of him going sideways down the interstate. The truck finally slid off the road thru the ditch and up on to an embankment. I got out accessed the damage then quickly changed the tire and got back on the road. When the tire came apart it ripped off one of the fender brackets and caused some other damage to the rear fender well. Got to the next exit on the donut spare tire and had 4 new tires put on at a wal-mart. About 2 hours later I was on my way again. Once I had got to within an hour from Naples, Fl, where his house is at I decided to get a hotel room. Didn't want to spend a lot of money so I chose a Howard Johnson. First thing I noticed was a room upstairs with the door standing wide open with 2 girls standing in the doorway. First thought was they must be smoking. I observed them for a few more moments until it hit me. PROSTITUTES! They were casing up the guest checking in to see who to approach. Now I would like to say the story gets really exciting here but since I'm a happily married man working on 10 years now the night ended with me falling asleep watching tv in my room, alone. The next day I decided to get a bite to eat at chic-filet for breakfast. After getting the food I was headed back to my hotel when I heard a noise, when I got to a stop light I hop out and found I had ran over a nail, yes one of the brand new tires that had just been put on the day before was quickly loosing air. I pulled off and put the spare back on, oddly enough it was the left rear which was the same spot the tire the day before had come apart. I got back to the hotel in time to choke a chicken biscuit down and take a quick shower before I had to get back on the road and drive the rest of the way on the spare since I didn't have time to get it fixed before needing to meet Frank. Well an hour later I was there. I ended up spending the whole day with Frank. First met his wonderful girlfriend Annie, super nice, a great host and easy on the eyes to boot fellas. Next we had some lunch and ended up talking about vending for hours. Frank is a real vending nerd like a lot of us, he eats, sleeps and breathes this stuff. After a long lunch we ended up going back to his house and relaxed. It wasn't long when I found myself In a situation I had not expected, Frank holding out his phone saying "here it's Roger Folz, talk to him for a little bit". We talked vending for a little bit got to hear some old war stories and some of his insights about vending. We hung out for a little longer, got to talked to several members of the Parsal team. Seems Frank has put together a very experienced team having recruited several of Rogers old crew. One of many things I came away with about Frank and his team, they are all about working with operators and getting new ideas. By this time I figured our day wrapping up when Frank asked if I would join them for dinner. Not wanting to impose I declined the offer, but Frank insisted. We ended having dinner at The Cheese Cake Factory. Now I had never eaten there so didn't know what to expect. I must say I have a new favorite restaurant. The food was awesome. Frank being the host he is insisted on paying. We left the restaurant and went back to pick up my truck from his house. Frank and Annie offered me a place to stay for the night but I really could not accept besides already haven taken up there whole day I had a buddy that lives down there I wanted to visit with before I got another hotel room. I can't say enough about Frank and Annie's generosity, great down to earth people. During mine and Franks conversations he shared experiences and stories of other successful operators and pointed out several ways that he seen as the best ways to be successful in the business. Never felt like I was being pitched to just given good solid advice from an industry veteran. We had only gotten half way through the day when I knew this was a company I wanted to work with. I don't want to say to much cause I'm not sure what Parsal wants out there right now but I will say the "All American Chicken" is just the beginning for Parsal Vending. Expecting my first chickens Monday or Tuesday, can't wait.
I am looking for new ideas on how to get locations. I have tried call lists such as sales genie, ect. I have used locators but have not had much luck with them. I have also tried cold calling over phone as well as visiting in person. ANY IDEAS??
I have been in the vending business for over 16 years. I have been a Fawn/USI distributor for 2 years as well as a tech. I am very competitive when selling machines as well as parts. I also offer unlimited support and service over the phone or emails for free of charge. If you have any questions about your USI, fawn, selectivend equipment please feel free to ask and I will try my best to help get your problem resolved. If you ever need new or remanufactured equipment, I would appreciate you allowing me to give you a quote. I am located in the Dallas, Texas area but can have machines shipped direct to you anywhere in the U.S.
Up until this month I've been unsure about the direction I wanted to go with vending. Now that I have chosen the direction of racks and amusement machines I have begun to move it that direction. The main factor in this decision was I had got to the point where I stopped enjoying vending as much and it started feeling like more of a burden then anything. First I purchased 2 cranes that I already had locations for. Next I sold off or pulled equipment from all locations that didn't it the new business model. Then I bought 2 more cranes for $550 one needs claw assembly, still have to go pick them up from south Florida. Realizing the need for a better way to haul and deliver these machines I picked up a drop deck trailer Tuesday for $800, not the hydraulic ones but the manuel winch ones. Wanting to make the most of that 8 hour round trip I picked up another bulk machine consisting of two 2" machines a 3 column tattoo machine in perfect shape for $225. Now waiting on product from coast to coast and new appliance dolly from Northern Tool to get here, hopefully tomorrow. Oh I almost forgot, been taking heat for not working mandatory overtime at my full time job but needed time for vending and family so as of last week I am now part time at the jail I work out. I have found the biggest deal between part time and seriously working on getting this to a full time gig is mind set, at some point you have to stop hiding behind the fears of not getting a steady pay check, benefits and retirement and make tough choices that will hopefully put me where I want to be.
I have been on the forum for almost 3 years now. I have been in vending almost 4 years. I recently just made big life changing move. My girl friend and I just moved
from Nebraska all way to gulf coast of Mississippi. I sold my vending business in Nebraska and extra machines quite my job and bought a moving truck and packed up. We are staying with family till we find a place and get on our feet and get know the area. It has been a journey let me tell you but we are both looking forward to getting settled and she is interested in starting another bulk vending business with me. I plan to join military reserves and work and she plans to go back to school. So the vending route will fit great with our schedules. It is a big adjustment the temp difference alone this time of year is 50-70 degree difference then back home. I just thought I would blog to you all and needed make my first blog entry.
Hope all had wonderful holidays and wish you all most success in 2013
I have posted about this before but after yesterday I feel inclined to resurrect the topic in this blog. When a business tells you they are about to close to you remove your machine or let it ride in hopes of securing location with new tenants. Yesterday I was driving down the road and seen a car sitting in the parking lot and front door of the biz proped open. It was a vietnamese restaurant that was placed about 2 years ago. After six months the place called and said they were shutting down and to come pick up the machine. Well I thought about it and said piss on it "let it ride". Well after about 6 or 7 months there was a sign on the building that said papa joes coming soon. Papa Joes is a popular restaurant in another town not to far away. So I was stoked about the possibilty of possibly gaining two new accounts, both the new restaurant and the original one about an hour away. Well months went by and they wasn't ever any activity and then the letters were removed from the sign. So at this point if my machine was even still in there I figured the only chance of ever getting it back would be through the real estate leasing agent. Well after a few more months went by I had pretty much forgot about it until yesterday when I drove by. Well end up securing new location with a double head (mints and gum).
My second stop yesterday was gonna be a rack and a 4 col. sticker machine pick up. Hate to chance that much equipment on "letting it ride". I was suppose to meet old owners friend there to let me in so I could retrieve machines. When I got there no one was there yet so I played on my new Galaxy Note 2 until a van pulled up. It turned out to be the new tenants of the building who is opening up another restaurant. After talking to him and his father about the way it works with me providing machines and servicing them free of charge and paying them a commission they wanted the machines to stay. After a little more chit chat they requested an email with other machines I might have available also inquired about a crane. Got to get on the ball and get some of these cranes, already have at least 6 locations they I could put them in, takes money (I don't have right now) to make money I guess.
All in all I have had great success securing new accounts by leaving machines in closing businesses, not saying these ,ocations couldn't have been secured without old equipment already being in place but I think it did make it alot easier. So in the future I will continue to "let it ride"!
Having owned my own business before and now building another I absolutely without a doubt know that it's the only thing thats makes me happy professionally over working for someone else. I love business, looking back I wish had went to school for it. The one thing that I enjoy most about the vending biz is the networking with other business owners and talking about ideas. Besides vending I have had a few other interest but nothing that is currently realistic without additional income to fund the expense of a start-up. Some of the things that has struck my interest is the restaurant biz, coffee shop, car wash and recently a micro brewery among other things. The ideal situation is hit the lotto just so I can afford trying out different businesses, lol. Mainly started this entry to get some other entrepreneurs feedback on ideas and other resources about business, like websites, books, online courses or whatever.
Right now I frequent sites like forbes.com, entrepreneur.com, investopedia.com, inc.com and fox business.
I've been wanting to add some cranes along with a few other kind of machines to my route for a while now. Thought yesterday was gonna be the beginning of that with 2 cranes that I was suppose to pick up in Jacksonville. Everything that could hinder this pick up seemed like it happened yesterday. It was gonna be real tight with buying machines, locks, plush, trailer rental and one crane needed new graphics. I have reservations about amusement vending only because lack of knowledge and experience. I have decided not to try and rush into this. Instead gonna wait til I find a suitable trailer, hand cart, ratchet straps at a good price. Also want to learn a little more about them first, i guess the best way will be repair manuels and reading online articles and of course old post here. Looking forward to a new challenge! Any ideas from the veterans to make this a smoother transition, throw them at me.