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Showing most liked content since 03/30/2017 in all areas

  1. 7 likes
    The company gave you a job for 5 years, put the bread on your table, must not have been too bad to work for if you stayed that long; so now you want to take advantage of them? Now you are gone a few weeks and suddenly the accounts are getting service so bad they want to change? And these accounts just happen to know to call you? Glad you didn't work for me.
  2. 6 likes
    Truthfully, I can't say there is too much that keeps me up at night. The two most recurring things that DO keep me up at night (if anything does) are deciding where to spend my money (ie. repairs, upgrades, new equipment, myself, etc..) and dealing with machines that need repaired and/or machines that need to be stocked soon. Since I do this completely on my own, it gets difficult to balance repairs and stocking machines. When it's time to have machines moved or major repairs done (refrigeration decks, board exchanges, etc...), I find myself getting behind with the business and THEN it becomes a mental battle of who needs done tomorrow and who can wait a few more days. Those are the things that keep me up at night. I used to get bothered by simple things such as disgruntled customers who get upset about prices or locations that ask for some sort of upgrade (when they make almost no profits to begin with). Now, since I am more experienced, I don't let those types of things bother me too much. So.. in summary, it's the simple management of my time and my money that keeps me up at night. Virtually everything else is a piece of cake and I usually forget about things until the next morning.
  3. 5 likes
    You guys all crack me up. Cvending is the only one that called them nuts correctly. The one you can't get to is the nut on the faceplate screw that cvending mentioned. The other 4 nuts on the corners are what need to be removed. I always have a 11/32" deep socket, 1/4" drive on an extension in my tool bag. It's about the most common tool I use other than my phillips. Many machines have one nut that's almost impossible to get off or back on so you can easily run those validators with just three nuts on it.
  4. 5 likes
    On a side note, guys like lacanteen make this form well worth a donation to this forum. I have gotten a vast amount of information, and entertainment that is priceless. I think i'll make a donation today. Thanks.
  5. 5 likes
    Again, whether it's wrong or not depends on who you ask. Legally speaking, your answer has been pointed out. You're probably fine, but that doesn't mean they won't try to go after you if you went crazy on getting accounts. Getting two accounts shouldn't warrant an actual lawsuit to go through to court, or be worth anyone's time or money, so you're probably good if you just go after two. Personally, I am just a little put-off because I feel like you were a little deceptive in order to get an answer you were looking for. It seems like you already know how you feel about taking the accounts but you want us to give you the answer you want to make you feel better. That's simply my opinion and should be taken as such.
  6. 5 likes
    Chris brings up a big problem we have these days - wholesale is no longer limited to businesses. Anyone can walk into Sams or go to their website and see what our product cost is, but they have no idea about overhead costs. They just think that everything over product cost goes into our pockets. It would be nice if everyone had the experience of running a business for a while to better understand how many different expenses we have to cover out of revenue before we make anything.....
  7. 4 likes
    The first rule of business is “if the customers can’t or will not pay for all costs plus a fair profit, we must go out of this business” There are lots of ways to lose money in the shipping department. 1 Shipping even small parts in envelopes is risky business. Yes the postage costs are lower than boxes but the trade off is will the sorting machines rip open the envelope and allow the parts to escape. Who pays for the lost parts? Who gets to deal with the PO customer that gets the empty envelope? 2 If you do not have smart focused people in the shipping department expensive mistakes get made and good people do not work cheap. How many minutes of labor do you think Vendnet has in entering, picking, boxing and shipping your $20 transaction? My guess is they lost money on this transaction. Walta
  8. 4 likes
    You're doing fine. Don't let old farts bother you man. This forum is too valuable to have a grudge. Personally, I only know of two people who really rub me the wrong way on this forum and I know at least one guy knows it but the other guy is a complete moron anyway. Regardless, I won't let someone else get me all pissed off when this forum has probably been the most helpful thing to my business as far as learning repairs goes. I don't know if I count as a millennial at the ripe-old age of 32, but I did start as a driver at the age of 21 and got into business for myself at the age of 25. I may or may not look like it from my posts, but I am relatively young compared to quite a few people here. I'm not telling you how to live your life, but little things in this business (or any business probably, but vending is what I know) can seriously piss you off if you can't control yourself. You got upset with vendnet over a shipping charge. Yes, it was later corrected, but it got you ticked off. A man made a comment on the forum and you got ticked off. If you take my advice for anything, try to not let the little things bother you. Most of us here have dealt with TERRIBLE days where you just want someone to approach you with even a ridiculously low offer just so you can accept it and walk away. Some real crap happens sometimes and you NEED to be able to just let it go. No level of ego or pride is worth losing a good account in my opinion. Yes, I will kiss a good customer's golpher if it means making good money, at least while I am on location. How you live your life is your choice, but you'll be so miserable in this business if you let even little things such as a snarky forum comment or a $15 shipping charge get your heart rate up. It gets much worse than that.
  9. 4 likes
    I've kept parts off machines I know I will never use! But I have parts when friends or know vendors need that strange part you will not find on a website. When I order parts it a multiple of different items for different machines, because of shipping. Plus with some places you must order over $25 worth of parts. Good luck in your ventures of vending. It's a school of hard knocks!
  10. 4 likes
    You want us to settle your marital affairs too? Lol. I try not to mix them. Customers get frustrated.
  11. 4 likes
    Lubrication. Don't use wd 40. On royal machines a little pam cooking spray helps with bridging bottles.
  12. 4 likes
    Tell them he's the new driver. Then, after a few months, he can let them know the situation. If they realize that the new guy has been providing their service and they are happy with it, they probably won't care.
  13. 4 likes
    Pricing strategy is an important part of this business, but few operators agree on how to do it. Do you tell the account? I will if there is a key contact I deal with often, just as a courtesy. I won't go hunting for someone I barely know to tell them (and give the impression that they might actually have some say or can debate the matter). If I raise a common price, say all the canned drinks in a stack machine, I will post a small sign for the first couple weeks so that people will know and not think the machine is broken when they put in the money for the old price. I try to raise only one category at a time and space out the increases by 6 months or so. If you leave prices alone too long, people will be more upset when you do finally raise them; as opposed to being accustomed to routine but not too frequent changes. I try to make clear in a nice way when I am speaking to a new account that pricing is my territory - unless they want to subsidize costs for their employees. I can make the point that if my prices are too high I will lose business, and my prices are reasonable compared to the local C-store. At least that is my theory.... in 5 years I have only lost one account because of a price increase, and I didn't cry over it at all...
  14. 3 likes
    Please excuse my directness. As an older man, I often forget about the younger, more gentle youth of today. There is no excuse for rudeness, nor causing conflict on this great informational forum. However, it is discouraging to look at posts such as, "how do I remove this screw?" "what part is this?" "where do I buy a water slide?" without being somewhat direct. So please, accept my apology, and as you said earlier, "you (meaning me) have no idea what you are talking about," and good luck with your endeavors.
  15. 3 likes
    Ah yes, I can just see it now, boxes and boxes of mud encrusted crap even AZ (our resident hoarder) wouldn't want. All packed under your mom's house.
  16. 3 likes
    I can't speak for them but it's common practice that things are shipped priority. I shop from two different sources regularly and the parts are almost always shipped in priority boxes and I get them within a two or three days, sometimes one day depending on what time I called in the order. If you don't specify how to mail, they'll ship it the "default" way. Not defending them, but it is the norm. On the plus side, you get your parts fast and you can fix your machines quick. When I order parts, I try to order several parts at a time so I get my money's worth in shipping. D&S vending is my primary source and they almost always ship it fast unless I specify something else. To be honest, when you're buying several hundred dollars worth of stuff, the $25'ish shipping doesn't really mean much. Since youve just started out recently (as far as I know), you'll obviously be more sensitive to shipping costs and things like that. I'm really trying to tell you not to feel so upset about it. If you let something as simple as that get on your nerves, you'll get burnt out real quick. It is possible that a mistake was made in some way but I recently paid $5 for a couple bolts for my car and it cost me $12 for shipping of these 4 bolts. They aren't huge bolts either.
  17. 3 likes
    There may be no machine due to low usage in a small complex or, more likely, vandalism. With apartments it's not if, but when vandalism occurs to your machine. The bulk machine will just disappear. And don't think that a locked door or camera will save you.
  18. 3 likes
    Take the validator off machine B y removing the four nuts. Once off you will see a Phillips screw on the face of validator that hold faceplate that attaches to that nut
  19. 3 likes



    Simple yet effective Excel spreadsheet for tracking locations and sales. The following automatic calculations are included. Days in service Revenue per day Projected annual revenue by location Total active revenue Total revenue per day Projected annual revenue for entire route Machine daily average All of these calculations are done for you after you make entries into the "pink" column. There is also a section to track inactive locations.


  20. 3 likes
    Super shady imo. Business is business at the end of the day but this is borderline at best. I'm not into it.
  21. 3 likes
    For spares, you should always have a spare validator and changer on board your truck. If all of your machines are the same (pretty rare situation) then you could look at other spare parts like vend motors, but for the most part your problems will be with payment systems.
  22. 3 likes
    Screwdriver set, primarily standard size Phillips and flathead in addition to one narrow screwdriver for coin jams. A whole set is useful. Deep socket set with ratchet AND a socket drive. I have an extendable socket driver with a deep/extended socket set. Between that and a screwdriver with 4 different interchangeable tips, those do about 90% of my repairs. Scissors are useful. Pliers. That's probably all you need. Maybe a swear jar.
  23. 3 likes
  24. 3 likes
    Hi folks!! Sorry it has been so long since I have dropped in. I am still alive and well and doing fine. Still working in the industry and consulting. I want to say I am sorry to the people that sent me private messages that went unanswered, I do not get a notice until I sign into the forum so I missed tham. Most were about doing locating and my answer is I do not do locating. I hope everyone is doing well and making plenty of money. Again, sorry it has been so long but I will try and drop in more often.
  25. 3 likes
    I can't say there is much about vending that keeps me up at night anymore. After 20+ in the business and 13of that as an owner, as long as I don't do anything crazy, things tend to work out. We've lost business that I thought would put us in the hurt locker but we've always managed to push through and be ok. My biggest problem right now is finding time to acquire new locations.
  26. 3 likes
    Same as the others. Cash flow. I have grown the business 160% in the last 14 months and as we all know after machine, moving costs, other expenses new accounts require it gets expensive real quick. Have had some unfortunate luck with a ton of MEI acceptors and validators needing to be refurbished lately, almost 30 in a 3 week period. Never fun! Makes it real hard to draw a salary or feel like you're actually profitable.
  27. 3 likes
    I guess my big worries right now center around cash flow and inventory control. I know the bills will get paid, but I like to stay ahead of the curve. Doing my product orders and setting up new accounts eats up cash so fast I have to always watch not to overspend so other bills can get paid on time...
  28. 3 likes
    Always buy everything used or refurbished in life accept for bedding and clothes.
  29. 3 likes
    To calculate the gross profit margin as a percent, you need to know the revenues and the cost of the goods sold 1. Subtract the total costs of your goods from the revenues the sales generate to find your gross profit. $145K (gross sales) - $105K (cost of goods) = $40K (gross profit). 2. Divide your gross profit by your total revenue generated. In your example, you would divide $40K by $145K to get 0.2758 3. Multiply the result from Step 2 by 100 to find the gross profit margin percentage. You have a 27.6% gross profit margin percentage. I try to double my money, i.e. if it costs me $0.27 to buy it, it sells for $0.27 x 2, or $0.54. Then I look at the cost and round to the nearest nickle, In this example, I'd sell it for $0.55 This will provide you with a 50% gross profit margin (after cost of goods, before other expenses).
  30. 3 likes
  31. 3 likes
    If you are going to run charity bulk you will always be losing locations (or voluntarily pulling equipment) for a multitude of reasons. Losing/relocating accounts is a frustrating and constant part of the vending business. Why do you think there are garages all over the country with vending machines sitting in them? Most of the time they were bought with the intention of getting them out on the street and it never happened or they were on the street at one time and the location was lost. Two different scenarios...same result. Why? Because the vendor wasn't up to the task of locating or relocating the equipment. This is, in my opinion, one of the biggest reasons people fail at bulk vending and to a lesser extent all other vending as well. So many people entering the vending business think "I'll place the machine and it will be there for years making money.". Unfortunately it doesn't always go that way and slowly the machines start coming back home . In short order the new vendor is overwhelmed and disenchanted. Then it's fire sale time. If you are getting into this business you better put "Finding New Customer Accounts" at or near the top of your business plan. Be ready to get those machines back out earning in short order. If you plan for it going in, I really think it will improve your odds of growing and succeeding in this business.
  32. 3 likes
  33. 3 likes
    Now that there aren’t smoking and non smoking sections in restaurants they should change it to children and non children sections.
  34. 3 likes
    Let’s have a moment of silence for everyone born near Christmas who gets one present that “counts for both.”
  35. 3 likes
    Well, here are a few tips that will come in real handy if you don't already know them: 1) There is a switch on the back of the sliding panel. When you pull the panel out, the switch is essentially "off" and your electronics will be disabled during that time. I guess their idea was that you couldn't screw anything up on accident that way. If you need to program anything, you have to pull the switch out first and it's near the rear of the panel that slides out. It's difficult to find at first. This allows you to program the machine. If you change any parts out though, you want the electronics disabled first. 2) On the specific 6632 I am referring to, I had some problems with the first coin mech I had in it. The problem was with the coin mech's harness directly. Once I switched it out later, the problems went away. 3) The Polyvend 6632 uses a 24v coin mech. The most common mech I use for 24v machines (USI 30xx, older royal can machines, polyvends) is a Coinco 9302-L. the "2" refers to 24 volts. A 9300-L is 110v and is NOT compatible. A 110v mech might plug into the female part of the harness but your coin mech will be ruined pretty much instantly if you put it in, so don't use anything unless it's a 24v non-MDB unit. I'm not sure what the mars equivalent is off the top of my head but maybe a mars TRC 6010 (not to be confused with the TRC 6000). I believe the TRC 6010 is also 24v and would work on the polyvend. 4) The 6632 is capable of having a mars validator installed but it can be a bit difficult to install as the machine was made for a MAKA and has totally different hardware. 5) My 6632 has pretty much never failed me. Only the coin mech and the tiny bulb has failed. Should the control board ever fail and I have another snack machine available, I'm taking a few motors, spirals, and the mech and validator out and sending that thing off to the scrap yard. We all give our thumbs-down to polyvends here but it's not because they were necessarily bad machines.. but because a lot of parts are simply unobtainable. ...and they look like crap.
  36. 3 likes
    He's serious... he will probably send you a FREE sample bag of coffee if your lucky too.
  37. 3 likes
    I'm going to take pity on you and send a changer to try. Make sure you turn the machine off before plugging or unplugging anything. The only thing you can check is to be sure the acceptor gate assy is plugged in. At the top of the changer are 2 cream colored or gray latches which when pushed down will allow you to tilt out the acceptor and look behind it. You should see a gray ribbon harness plugged into the board which is attached to the back plate. Otherwise email me your info: george@louisianacanteen.com If this works, you must swear to avoid Polyvend, because they are not for newbies.
  38. 2 likes
    We are pretty lucky. We have a couple part out machines in the garage, and have soooooo many random parts laying around collecting dust. We rarely have to order or look for something on the internet (unless it's a new changer or validator). Hang in there sport. Live and you learn.
  39. 2 likes
    I would've called the local scrap yards and bought them.
  40. 2 likes
    Vendnet usually ships UPS. UPS isn't cheap. You also need to figure in the cost of the shipping materials and labor. Any manufacturer that sells parts will probably have charged close to the same and I know of one that would have been more. Honestly, everyone is allowed to make a profit on what they do. Your frieght would have been the sme for that size package if it was a $1000 part if it was the same size. It is part of the cost of doing business. What Angry Chris does is the way it should be done. Or you could have spent an hour going to your local hardware store and searched for the parts and saved money and wasted time.
  41. 2 likes
    They could pay me $150 to haul them away.
  42. 2 likes
    You need to get video and have him arrested for criminal mischief. Do not retaliate in kind. Use the law.
  43. 2 likes
    Not yet. I haven't serviced any of the ones I left the notes on. That starts on Monday, but no one has called to have me remove any boxes yet. I started with locations, that were slow or higher theft so if they ask me to remove the box, it's no big loss
  44. 2 likes
    I highly HIGHLY doubt that many vendors are selling hostess products anymore. Hostess went completely out of business for a while (over a year I think) and you could NOT buy hostess products at all during that time. I haven't sold hostess products since I have been in business (since 2011) but I DID put them in machines when I worked somewhere else. I don't think hostess do any better than cloverhill or mrs. freshley's. What do you think customers want? Do they want to pay $1.00 - $1.25 for a Mrs. Freshley's chocolate cupcake that looks and tastes pretty close to hostess? Or do they want to pay $1.75-$2.00 for the hostess variety? They were 67-75 cents each a few years ago when mrs. freshley's and cloverhill were 43-50 cents. Now, I think they cost close to $1.00 each for most flavors IF you can get them. You're wasting your time and money if you sell hostess products in my opinion.
  45. 2 likes
    Besides telling the Top Gun to F off, the Crane Bev 4 is available in a grey cabinet or at least a grey front. You may then still need to paint or GTP the sides with grey. You can also GTP the Vendo sides with grey and paint the black metal fronts to grey. Some accounts just don't deserve to have any vending machines because they are a-holes.
  46. 2 likes
    We use usat and have had no problems with them. The readers are definitely worth it in my opinion. The hotels i have them in have seen about 40-50% increase actually. The increases we have seen across the board have exceeded my expectations. Before we started using the cc readers, we had a location we were going to pull out of. Snack and drink averaging about $15 a week a piece. Decided to give it one last chance with the cc reader ( because the average age of worker is probably 28), they are now averaging $75 a week a piece. Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
  47. 2 likes
    You know Parrot, we learned a whole lot about your family in this thread. But in spite of that you still love them, trust them and help them out. That's good, up to a point.
  48. 2 likes
    I am going to get me a gumball machine tattooed to my arm from one of my customers! How's that for patronage! Sent from my Z987 using Tapatalk
  49. 2 likes
    Weekly update: 234 locations. Grossed $1,591.00; avg $19.80 per box. Shortage ran at 9%, serviced 77 boxes.
  50. 2 likes
    I would get rid of Route if I wasn't capable of running it myself.