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Showing most liked content since 06/23/2017 in all areas

  1. Customers

    I was going to title this thread: CUSTOMERS SUCK! but too much negativity for hump day. My approach (good or bad) to servicing the vending machines when I am on the route is to try and attain invisibility - time my arrivals to low ebb in the breakroom, casual attire in muted colors - no banging the totes or slamming the machines - smile and hand out famous amous cookies when forced to interact but minimize the chit chat - works for me, the accounts are used to my presence, ignore it and carry on with their business. Makes it easy to just observe, be a fly on the wall so to speak. Been at it for a few years now, have gotten to where I categorize customers into general stereotypes: 1. The BUM - you know this guy, he's going to collect from you every time you show up - usually shouting across the room: "Hey, your machine ripped me off for $2" - the bigger the audience, the bigger the show. I have an account bum at a big fab shop with 200+ employees - have a big 5 wide snack in there with Ivend every thing working perfectly but the bum puts on a show every time I get there looking for his "refund" - can never tell me which item he got "screwed" on - just a general "your machine sucks and is always ripping people off" - he's the only one that has ever claimed a mis-vend at that account since the machine was installed, and he claims it every single time he sees me. 2. The INSPECTOR - watch your stales, or this guy is going to do it for you. Had one account that every once in a while I'd walk in and there would be a handwritten "out of order" sign on the machine with notes saying "food is rotten" - or sticky notes stuck on the glass over selections that would say "rotten food" or "food poisoning danger". Used to really piss me off, didn't have any pastries or anything like that in the machine, freaking Lays short shelf life would mean occasionally a bag of cheetos would go a day or two over date, but I always pull stales at every account, every time so the inspector really had to work at it. Finally stopped getting the notes and found out from some of the guys that worked there that the guy was a former employee that never bought anything from the machines, but would spend his break time drinking free coffee reading the dates through the glass on the machines - soon as he would spot one even one day out, slap the "rotten food" notes on the glass. 3. The HELPER - never pay for a business consultant, every single one of your accounts has one on staff. I always act the employee - never imply or admit to the staff at my accounts that I own the business, just stocking machines and answering to the man like everyone else. Not at first, at first I would tell people I owned the machines and all that got me was a lot of "help" - lectures on what needed to be stocked in the machines: get rid of the Diet Pepsi in the stacker that sells a case a week and replace with Diet Dr. Pepper because that is what the helper wants even though she only drinks a couple cans each month. Or the helper that wants to manage the delivery cycle - why don't you come right before lunch twice a week? - for an account that barely cracks $100/mo. Or - you should change our your entire inventory once a month to increase variety because we never get pork rinds or milk duds. Nope, I am just a guy shlepping snacks and pop but will sure pass your great suggestions along to upper management. 4. The SNOWFLAKE - gotta love millennials They don't buy much and if they do it's gotta be cashless 'cause the snowflakes don't carry cash - they are sarcastically amused by the whole idea of vending and ask annoying questions about whether people really still by things out of these machines..... Damn kids need to get off my lawn. 5. The FAKE HEALTH NUT - they make a bunch of noise about wanting healthy options but secretly keep feeding an M&M addiction. I got accosted at one account by a big gal - not obese, built like a linebacker over 6' tall - clearly the alpha female of the office - she backed me up against the machine and went on a diatribe about how the stuff in the machines was terrible and enabled people to continue to make poor decisions, didn't want to hear about 60/40 split wanted nothing but sugar/salt/fat/gluten free options in every selection. I deferred to my non-existent superiors and told her I'd pass her concerns along. Later that day, I had to return to replace a burnt out light - came around the corner and saw that same big gal at the machine - I stepped back where I could see her without being noticed - watched her buy a twin pack of Hostess Cupcakes, march down the hall and go into the womens restroom - suspect she was in the stall hoarking down those cupcakes like nobodies business - so much for healthy options. If I wasn't married, I'd be extremely attracted to her - she scares the crap out of me. Anyway - just curious if everyone on here kind of deals with the same sort of people or if it is just me. ABC
  2. Frito Lay Expiration Dates

    Regardless of what the other chip expiration dates are, if you can't sell a bag of chips in 2 months then you don't have good enough accounts for snacks or it's just a poor choice for that account. Longer shelf lives means more preservatives so you could say that Frito Lay has a higher quality product perhaps. You can't argue with their success and these same dates apply on the retail shelf, too. Keep in mind that in the grand scheme of things, vending chips are slow sellers so there is a longer time from manufacture to distributor to where you buy it for a lot of the time to be used up. You also don't want to eat those chips 2 month after they expire because the do lose much of their fresh taste. Stop worrying about simple stuff and things that have always been.
  3. There just might be an idea here.
  4. It's unfortunate. There's nothing you can do really. He may have done as you said. It's easy to lie. I sold 6 accounts for less than what you paid. I believe I was fair. However, that doesn't mean everyone will be honest. You really only got burned a little. Yes, the difference is huge, but it's important just to use this as a learning lesson. I spent $7,000 in 2010 on an anteres route and got burnt because I was ignorant. All of those machines are gone and only one account remains that does $2k/year. I cancelled most accounts and scrapped the machines. One location generated about $3/week! of course, they invited me to their house and lied about the numbers to my face. Long story short, three of the locations were related and all merged to a 100-person factory. I struggled as they wanted 5 machines (in hindsight, it was way too much). I handed it off to another vendor who I formed a nice relationship with and it has helped me grow to where I'm at. The lesson is to never trust someone who seems honest. If they aren't honest enough to report their numbers and pay taxes, then they aren't going to tell you the truth either.
  5. Vending 2 Gumballs

    We do very well with 2for25. Not only for locations that have other machines but also in locations that are slow. Switch to 2for25 and you will be pleasantly surprised what happens. There are a lot of value seekers out there that buy because it is a great perceived value. Also there are a lot of parents that only have one quarter that typically wouldn't go out of their way to get more change to buy for both kids. At any rate, it works. Always keep an open mind and don't be afraid to try new things and retry old tricks. We use 1080ct gum for most of them but you can use 850ct just to see if it works for you. We keep the NOrthwestern wheels in stock for $3.00. We have the Oak too for $3.00 or for $5.00 the conversion plugs come with it so you can choose to use it as a regular wheel or 2for25. You can't go wrong that way. Minimum of 3 per order.
  6. The dollar coin revitalized bulk in Canada. Instead of being stuck with mechs that take quarters you would have mechs that take dollars. I can't see how that is hard to figure out. A dollar Mech on a NW S80 would now be able to take FOUR dollars. Much easier to merchandise with something people, even adults, want to buy. It would be a life saver to bulk vending.
  7. Non perishable items such as usb cords

    Margin could be big, but probably not the number of sales.
  8. I would only leave a uturn in ( if I was paid to take it) if the location didn't have a dumpster handy and I didn't have room in my own
  9. Route planning

    I've been looking at different ideas on how to start mapping out routes and locations that make sense. I've seen quite a few ideas and I've seen others have had the sand issues. I stumbled upon a route planning app that may be a perfect fit, for me at least. Look up Road Warrior. For $5/mo. or $50/yr. you can create routes of up to 120 stops and it will optimize. It will also navigate and you can mark the locations as you visit. You can set business hours if each location as well and that can be factored into routing also. I've only been looking at it for a few minutes, but it might be an excellent option for vending route management.
  10. For many years I have been advocating for the dollar coin. For over 40 years, many respected and highly successful bulk vendors joined together to try to convince our Government to eliminate the dollar bill and replace it with the dollar coin. Recently both the House and the Senate introduced the Coins Act. The Honorable Rep. Claudia Tenney (R -N.Y.) and the Honorable Bob Brady (D-P.A.) introduced legislation in the House – The Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings (COINS) Act of 2017. Senators John McCain (R- Ariz.) and Mike Enzi (R- Wyo.) have introduced the Senate version of the Coins Act. "Republicans (74 percent), Democrats (68 percent), and Independents (65 percent) see common ground when it comes to replacing the dollar bill with the dollar coin when informed of the savings from making the switch." Source: The Hill Congress needs to support the COINS Act by Former Reps. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) and Tim Penny (D-Minn.), Opinion Contributors - 06/26/17 I ask of you to take a few minutes of your time to email your Senators or local Congress Representative. I am showing you a copy of what I had written to my two Senators and local Congresswoman. You can copy and paste what I have written with your information and changes. Dear Honorable Representative Rice, My name is Frank Parisi and I am a local business owner and resident of Oceanside. I am involved in the bulk vending industry (small vending machines which dispense candy, gum and toys) and my family history dates back to 1942. Gumball machines are a part of Americana and they are slowly fading away due to the lack of the dollar coin. Our machines cannot afford costly bill acceptors. Recently, the Honorable Rep. Claudia Tenney (R -N.Y.) and the Honorable Bob Brady (D-P.A.) introduced legislation in the House – The Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings (COINS) Act of 2017. Senators John McCain and Mike Enzi have introduced the Senate version of the Coins Act. I would like to make you aware that every industrialized leader nation today has a coin instead of a bill for their currency. According to this most recent article in The Hill... http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/339431-congress-needs-to-support-the-coins-act "Republicans (74 percent), Democrats (68 percent), and Independents (65 percent) see common ground when it comes to replacing the dollar bill with the dollar coin when informed of the savings from making the switch." With the current Trump Administration, this proposed Bill should gain easy support. This “will save American taxpayers up to $16 billion without one budget cut or raised tax." I would like to support you in any way I can! I do hope that you will support this Bill currently in Congress. Here is a link to a video news article done on me, my family history and the bulk vending industry done by the Long Island Business News... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwHMAjSRApY I am looking forward to reading your thoughts! Sincerely, Frank Parisi
  11. Buy real machines. Your investment will be returned many times over.
  12. Credit card readers - even for bad accounts

    Yea, What's "bad"? I have just shy of 100 (94) machines. We just set up the last 3 this past month. We put credit card readers on the 3 new machines. Those are our 7th, 8th, and 9th CCreaders. Our slowest machine with credit card does just shy of 4K a year. That could be considered too low, and we have considered pulling the CCreader, but the average age at this office is pretty young so it gets used a decent bit. We also do .10 per item on all of our readers to help cover the cost. While I see why you think a reader on the slower machines will help efficiency, you have to think of the bottom line. If you have a "slow" account, the bottom line is already small. These tiny charges only diminish the already small bottom line. People have said it to you on the other threads, so I'll say it. Really focus your time/resources on just getting better accounts. In the last month we landed 3 new accounts that we had been working on for a while. They are going to be roughly our 5th-7th best machines out on route (out of 94 machines). The revenue that we will get in one year from those 3 new machines roughly equals our bottom 25 machines. Three new good machines in good accounts equals our bottom 25 machines. Just think how crazy that is. I could just get rid of those 25 slow machines and never see them again and I haven't lost anything. Now we won't get rid of all 25 bottom machines, but in the next couple of months we are going to drop a handful of them (3-8 of them). It's not worth our time going to those machines anymore. Five years ago, we were happy to have them and needed them. Now that we are getting bigger and better, they are barely worth our time. You need to do this. Go get motivated and land a "big" account. "Big" might mean something completely different to you. It doesn't matter. Go after an account that you think you have no chance at landing. You either get it, or get laughed at and learn from it. Then in 6 months to a year, you'll land a couple "big" accounts and instead of worry about putting credit card readers on these little small nothing accounts, you'll be counting out all your money you collect from your new good accounts. Just my .02
  13. Northwestern Corp

    Keep trying.
  14. Any one use Vline?

    There is a reason you keep seeing those same names pop up, they are solid reliable machines. They hold up over time and have been used by the professionals for years.
  15. Any one use Vline?

    Ok, oak, a&a beaver, eagle and northwestern again OAK, A&A, BEAVER, EAGLE and NORTHWESTERN
  16. little help

    Ive made a bunch of them. Just use a round piece of plexiglass with a 1/4" hole in the center. Find just about any tubing that will go over your center rod and just drop it on. Works great.
  17. Customers

    Regarding the initial post, I almost NEVER accuse someone of blatantly trying to steal. Usually I just give them the money, but I literally JUST had the "bum" hit me about 2 weeks ago. This particular location is one of my best accounts and this guy is/was just a temp. I doubt he's even still there (I even asked the supervisor if he had worked there long). He approached me and I could just TELL he was going to BS with me. He goes on to tell me that he lost $2 in the machine. First, he lost $1.00 on a bag of chips (85 cents) because it got "hung up." Mind you, I have a VE UCB in there with a drop sensor. I have NEVER gotten a complaint since upgrading the machine, but you never know... but what about the 15 cents? Second, he said he lost $1.00 the NEXT DAY on honey buns because they got hung up too. So this guy is basically telling me that the coin mech gave him no change and the drop sensor failed twice... on two separate days, yet no one else has had any issues. SO I proceeded to give him the money and explain how the drop sensor works (basically calling him a liar in a nice way) and explaining how the machine should give change back too and he just keeps on babbling on and on about how it got turned. So, as the machine is vending a selection that has an empty spot (I purposely took a bag of chips out to demonstrate), he keeps on babbling. The machine makes one full turn, nothing falls. He goes (See! It was just like that!). Suddenly, the machine jogs a little, then again, then one more time. Finally, the bag falls out and the machine says thank you and gives 15 cents back. Then he just keeps on babbling again about how it didn't do that. It just stopped turning and it stayed there. So I actually told the supervisor AND went to the office where he claimed he had talked to someone. No one had heard him complain about anything. I have NEVER reached out to other employees in order to see if someone was lying or not, but this guy looked like the type that would keep on coming to me and wanting free money, so I had to make sure my gut instinct was right. And, as for the "fake healthy nut" person. I had to deal with that last week. An account demanded healthy stuff 6 months ago and I tried to work with them. Long story short, the account offers a few different varieties of candy for free to their customers. Yes, it's absolutely free. That's because the company is owned by Mars. Not only that, but they won't allow competitor products in MY machine (Nestle, Hershey, etc..). So, I can't put the candy they provide for free because it won't sell and I can't put competitor products because it's not allowed... AND they want healthy stuff despite having free candy. So what was our solution? I told this person that I would have to leave a lot of candy selections empty, but there's a very good chance that they will need to look for another vendor within the next 6 months!!! Who demands healthy stuff and then gives candy away for free!??! Oh, and the healthy stuff wouldn't sell. Imagine that.
  18. Healthy vending?

    I would rather lose a slower account because some other vendor offered "healthy" stuff and let them deal with that. My mentality is that you either work with me and let me make a profit or I can take my equipment elsewhere. If someone gives the whole "You need healthy stuff or we'll find someone who will" and the account is slow... well, I let them know that I just need 2 weeks notice if they find someone and I will gladly work with the new vendor on scheduling.

    “The bulk industry is far too small to force that kind of change” but we as individual citizens of the United States are not! We have a voice and our voice can be heard. This Dollar Coin Act will not only benefit the bulk vending industry but so many industries as well. The fight has been and will always be the amount of change, we the individual is willing to change. The fight has been and will always be the mindset of the operator to invest in his or her business. The most common argument is “should I invest in new coin mechanisms or not”. I can say from experience that without investment, without profits and without failures and losses, a business and its owner cannot properly grow. For many, this is a get rich quick idea…well, that has never worked. For others, we have invested our lives into this industry. We live, breathe, eat and then die in this industry. I, for one have family roots that go back to 1942 and some operators and suppliers go even further back. Every time an operator purchases a cheap, used machine is the same machine that is one step closer to putting out a manufacturer that others depend upon. Every time we argue if we should not raise our pricing on capsules is another capsule away from suppliers putting their resources into other ends of the industry. I am 41 years old, young to some and old to others but I received my first machine the day I was born and began operating fulltime at 18. I have my life in this industry and I am sad to see what my family and friends that are like family go away. We once had a strong association; we once had a wonderful, family fun dedicated bulk vending trade show (I went to my first trade show at 7, these were fun!). We once had a strong voice with elected officials all around the country. We once had an industry that basically had a machine in almost every single store, office, factory in the country. What have we become today? Why can’t we have this again? We can! We just need leaders and a change of thought. Most importantly, we do not need to fight each other but rather build each other up. It is very nice to see other new operators take the lead and voice their thoughts on how to improve our industry.
  20. I wouldn't take one even if someone offered to pay me to take it.

    The power today is not in the pen but in the keyboard. Keep emailing your two Senators and Congress Representative. If everyone takes just five minutes of their time, with all the members on this forum, we could reach every elected official that we need.
  22. Vandalism

    Happens all the time. Always will.
  23. Turning around a dud account

    A bad previous vendor CAN create a micro culture in which they don't trust vending machines. I suggest, if it isn't already there, that you advertise if the machines have drop sensors and/or your system for giving refunds. Doing so can often make people trust the machines again, but it can take a long time... like 6 months to a year or more. I wouldn't be too surprised if someone was selling something off on the side somewhere though. You never know. If someone is doing that though... then your prices will never be low enough for them to come back. There becomes this essence of "the vendor rips us off."
  24. Newbie tax question

    I love how they word it "value added tax" when it's more accurately described as a "tax added value"
  25. Newbie tax question

    and the bottom line is the sales tax rate is 17.5%! Breaking it up (like VAT) allows people to believe they are not paying the full amount of tax; but in reality ALL TAXES ARE ALWAYS PAID BY THE END CONSUMER! It's simple really, if you pay part of the tax during production that amount gets added into your selling price for the next step in the supply chain and so on, until the final consumer pays for it all.....
  26. Complete JUNK! Do not waste your time. We had some "dial-mech" machines and finally scrapped ALL of them in the last couple years. They need exact change in EXACT coinage form ( a 75 cent item needs 3 quarters only) AND you can only adjust price up to .75 or maybe a $1.00. Once the $1.00 price point is too low, the machines can't be used anymore. They also look "cheap" and give-off a "negative" impression to your customer. I would avoid. Not worth the money! Just my 2 cents.
  27. Who owns this machine?

    I tend to think ALL Vendstars are like that. No tags anywhere, but a charity sticker slapped on top.
  28. Overwhelmed

    I went through the same thing when I placed 120 machines in 30+ locations in one week. The easy part was having the machine distributor, Coke and Pepsi deliver all the machines to the locations. The hard part was getting the product to my warehouse and stocking 120 machines from scratch with a new employee running the old routes. I had extra help and we used the exact same setup in each machine but all the details of pricing, flavor labels, re-positioning machines, figuring out little issues with each machine, filling coin mechs, etc., made it the hardest week I ever worked.
  29. One thing to keep in mind as you grow, try to get as much bang for your equipment buck as you can. Here's one way: Let's say you land an account, but don't have equipment for it. If the place doesn't merit new or first class refurb, take a look at your best accounts. Your best account might deserve an equipment upgrade and use that equipment for your new account. you have now pleased 2 customers with one purchase.
  30. Royal glass front beverage machine

    If you've never had one, an old used one is a bad way to learn.
  31. Pulled a machine ugh

    Absolutely pay them if that's what you agreed to. I do that every time. Besides your own ethics, you never know who they know, or could get it back later. I leave them with their commission, tell them thank you, and give them a card in case they change their mind or any other type of equipment. Business owners talk to each other.
  32. One thing that I can assure any operator is that if the dollar coin comes about, you will see a healthy supply of mechanisms and products. What we all should be concerned about is informing our local elected officials to get this bill passed. I would like to point out that many of the veteran operators that post on here are absolutely correct – own and operate professional equipment. I am sure many of us could point out bulk vending operators that have routes dating back 50 plus years but they operate real, professional equipment. Plastic, “blue sky” type of machines will only shorten your time as an operator. Always purchase the best machines, best gum, candy and toys and capsules. It will be worth it! Please, the most important thing you could do in your bulk vending career is push for the dollar coin!
  33. I have always thought high value coinage was way more important than just a bulk vending tool. I really think the elimination of at least the one dollar bill and even better the five would have a great economic benefit. Penny's nickels dime are basically tax tokens with little or no value in today's economy. I think our antiquated currency gives us a false security. What is a dollar? A dollar is worth no more than the dime of 1970 or nickel of 1960. What does that mean? For vendors and small retailers I think there is a psychological reluctance to drag out a bill for small transactions because the bill "feels" like money no matter the denomination. I could be full of it lol but I really think eliminating low value paper would energize a lot more than just the bulk vending business. And yes I do have business where I take lots of plastic transactions. And I stil see a place for coin with actual value.
  34. Frank is 100% right. New mechanisms is a good investment for your business. When I first started in this business I sold ball gum and charms together for a penny, you can see how much the bulk vending business has changed since then. These coin mechanisms are only going to be made for professional bulk vending machines (beaver Oak, Northwestern), so next time you buy machines make sure you look to the future in vending, not what you can find that is the cheapest in price
  35. BTW, thanks for the heads up Frank.
  36. The industry started out co-mingling ball gum with charms. Then the Cavalier case came about and Eppy & Co. designed and manufactured the first capsule. Following Eppy, Victor Vending came out with a 1.3 inch acorn type capsule (today’s version is a 1.1 inch) which started to vend for a nickel, then a dime and in the early 1980’s for a quarter. The 2 inch capsule today started off in the late 1960’s/ early 1970’s for the twenty five cent vend. In the mid- 90’s the industry upgraded the pricing to 50 cents. It is very difficult for a child to carry around three or four quarters and on the other hand pricing in general is increasing. This is a very important issue for the future of bulk vending for us to remain healthy and alive.
  37. ****At the end of the day I am still having some fun and look forward to the future... However... I hope this post helps the ultra-newbie like I was once. I now view myself as just a rookie, and not an ultra-newbie.....***** NEWBIES - PLEASE FEEL FREE TO MESSAGE ME WITH QUESTIONS..... MY RULE IS THIS: MESSAGE ME A QUESTION, LET ME ANSWER IT, QUOTE ME ANONYMOUSLY - AND MAKE A FORUM POST TO MAKE SURE WHAT I SAID IS GUIDING YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!! Because again, I am still a newb....**** I will say this... if you are in a warm climate and are concerned about keeping your product cold... Like I was for many months.. read my post about box trucks.... however the knowledge is transferable to most vehicles!!! HI all! I am writing this post for the SOLE INTENTION of helping out people who are new or who are considering entering the industry... similar to me in the last 6-12 months. I am an ultimate newb and have made mistakes like any other business owner. The aforementioned being true... I HIGHLY recommend you read ALL of my posts... my posts represent a VERY helpful guide to newbs like yourself and I. My biggest mistake was buying a route without doing research. The best research you can do is ask the people on this forum about what you want to buy... I NEVER FULLY understood what I have read on these forums until I lived it myself. This forum is free so use it..... DO NOT GO OUT AND SPEND EVEN A LITTLE MONEY (AKA ONE MACHINE) OR A BUNCH OF MONEY (AKA ONE ROUTE) WITHOUT CONSULTING THIS FORUM!!!! A 5 MINUTE POST ON THIS FORUM COULD SAVE YOU 1) FIRST AND FOREMOST - HEADACHES 2) THOUSANDS OF $$$$!!!!!!! I hope you heed my bolded words... I cannot stress this enough Repairs and maintenance happen everyday, if you are not mechanically inclined like myself... it may be rough... it has been roguh for me but is getting better IF YOU THINK that this industry sounds easy.... it is not... the truth is that the margins are slim and the good accounts are taken.. I BUILT A NEST EGG TO INVEST, AND IT IS EXPENSIVE...... I ALWAYS THOUGHT THIS INDUSTRY WAS SO SIMPLE AND HAVE BEEN EYEING IT FOR MANY YEARS.... EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED... SOMETHING THAT IS AN EVERYDAY STRUGGLE FOR MYSELF (AND PRESUMABLY ALL VENDORS, ESPECIALLY BEGINNERS, IS:) HAVING OLD AND OUT-DATED MACHINES: GETTING AN ACCOUNT WORTH ITS WHILE MACHINE UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE PRODUCT SELECTION, FIGURING OUT WHAT YOUR ACCOUNTS LIKE CAPITAL INVESTMENT - SURE IT SEEMS CHEAP AT FIRST... BUT START FACTORING IN MAINTENANCE, REPAIRS, CC READERS, ETC.. TO DO IT RIGHT IN MY OPINION YOU NEED A BOX TRUCK OR SOMETHING SIMILAR... MORE MONEY HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND SHOPPING... VISTAR IS NICE BUT IS EXPENSIVE ACCOUNT CONTACTS BEING JERKS... EVERYONE THINKS YOU ARE GETTING RICH ALWAYS BEING ON CALL FOR PROBLEMS AT ACCOUNTS, DEALING WITH INDECENT COMPLAINTS MANAGING WASTE MISC. BIZ EXPENSES..... INSURANCE, CAR INSURANCE... TAXES.... THE LIST GOES MUCH DEEPER... MACHINE UPKEEP
  38. Process for getting into coffee...

    anI agree with everything said so far but after watching you go, I mean rock the work, this might be a good place for you to go. We had a lot of office coffee accounts doing well over a $1000 a month. We finally brought on a full-time coffee guy. Once you get going you will come across some nice full line accounts wanting stand alone coffee machines or else. Those are ugly. But if you want to get large blue collar accounts that comes with the territory. On the other hand Office coffee is simple. First buy a bunch of Bun burners, for every burner out you need 7 glass coffee pots. Yep 3 red ring (decafe) and 4 black ring (reg.). On the burners, you will either get normal pour overs (they fill a pot with water and fill the tank themselves) or probably more often than not they will want in line systems. Plumbing the line isn't hard but if you can't do it, you will need a plumber. Never do it if you are in a high-rise. The building maintenance will do it. When you service take replacement pots, two black pots and 2 red to replace , take the dirty pots back to the shop or home to put in the dishwasher. You will carry a box with fitted places to put the pots for coming and going. Charge for creamers, cups, sugars, etc. Stirrers are always free. We normally doubled our money on each product. There is extra paperwork, this is a business. If you ever go for a bank loan or line of credit they want to see your books. Pay your taxes (there won't much of anything for your federal because your depreciation will eat it up) Just pick up a Dome book (Staples) to complete each week or month. At tax time just hand that baby to your accountant. Or do books online. Keep receipts. If you haven't gotten your vendors license yet, do it. Some vendors don't it to prevent paying sales tax. Again do it. Vendors think they just pay the sales tax as they go at the warehouse. Not worth the risk. If the State catches you they will get your records from the warehouse then by looking at how much product purchased over time (they will go back 10 years) they determine how much the product would have brought in, based on the amount of you charge. They do give you credit for tax paid at the store but then they bill you for the adjusted balance put a big fine on you and put liens on everything you own. So just do the right thing. Be a real business. My two cents which I am sharing because you seem like a guy wanting to just do the work and build a solid foundation to grow. Of course, you don't have to do all of this in your first few years but you might want to start now. When you need a box truck or more equipment it will feel great to have the bank say, "Pick out what you need and have them call me." B
  39. CC Processing and USA Technologies

    Of course, once everyone gets their machines set-up and running with their reader's, something new will come along like fingerprint vending, ESP vending just think about the product and it drops then charges your card. Maybe Amazon will get into vending, go outside and a drone will fly over to drop your snack. This is all silly stuff but it is a difficult business to stay on top of the new technologies. Glad I retired.
  40. Process for getting into coffee...

    There's coffee vending and there is Office Coffee Service which can be batch brewers (pourovers, automatics or airpots) or single cup brewers which can be free to the user or can have coinage in them for charging for products. The least expensive way to do coffee is with batch brewers where you basically loan the equipment and charge for the products used. This is traditional OCS. Single cup brewers do a limited number of products and are very expensive machines. Coffee vending is between those two in expense and was the preferred way to do coffee for me because it's what I used for years, though I also did OCS so some extent. Until you are well experienced in this business you might want to stay away from coffee if you can - it's a whole other animal.
  41. Location, location, location. This is retail and it's no different in that respect. Start with can-only machines until you have an understanding of the business. You need 5 or more snack machines to control your stales. Blue collar accounts are always better than white collar. There, now you begin.
  42. I was saddened to be notified today that Don passed away at the age of 71. Don was one of my first business contacts in my early vending career in the 1980's. He was a fine businessman and a good friend. Please keep the Greene family in your thoughts and prayers. GB
  43. Silver coins and vending machines

    I often get them in my machines, so I know that not all coin mechs reject them. They are pretty easy to spot though when I do find them. I find them a lot less often now though because of my coin counter which seems to only sort by coin size. However, the coin machine at the bank seems to reject the silver coins so I take them home when they get rejected there. I can promise you that most of us here don't have the time to go through our change to see if any silver coins exist there lol. I think a silver dime is worth something like just over $1 and a silver quarter is worth something like $2. While that's obviously a good find, I would rather spend time with my family than going through thousands of coins. Good luck though!
  44. Newbie Info

    I run a bunch of 1" gumballs and 2" bouncy ball setups. This is my favorite setup. I do the bouncy ball @ 1.00. Stability is just fine. I like it because of not having to rotate product. Just collect and fill. Quick servicing.
  45. You won't find a bottled water at sams that vends reliably. You need to get a brand that had bottles with nitrogen infused plastic. Basically, if you squeeze the bottle and is squished in your hand and isn't rigid then it's going to jam in your machine.
  46. Vandalism

    At least once a week! Use a razor knife to try and pull them out. I keep a knife with me and use the tip to pull it out.
  47. Telemarketing Experiment

    Are you registered with the charity?
  48. Turning around a dud account

    Could be the old vendor was so bad they developed other habits for their needs. That may be a hard cycle to break. Have you been speaking to any of the workers when you are on site? May give you some clues to the problem....
  49. what kind of scam is this?

    He also mentioned ultravends those are even worse than vendstars stay away especially at that price!
  50. Mr.

    Email me and I'll send you the whole manual. george@louisianacanteen.com