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flintflash

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  1. Excellent! I always start selling at my new price prior to taking the plunge into a price increase also. It is a GREAT gauge to determine if the price increase is appropriate. If you are able to continue placing new accounts at the NEW price with not much resistance, then you can be confident that the increase is fair. If selling at the new price is much more difficult and met with strong objections, then you know that maybe you are rushing into an increase before the market is ready. Sounds like you are RIGHT ON TRACK with this one. We are still holding strong at $1.00 and hoping to get at least another year out of it, but are ready to go to $1.25 anytime now, since my route drivers have been prepping our customers for quite a while now about a possible price increase. Keep up the good work.
  2. Pretty impressive shortage percentage there. Is that after the increase?
  3. Thank you for the input. I really appreciate that. I have increased the prices on 13 accounts so far, and so far no lost accounts, and only 1 was short more than the normal amount and the ones I am increasing the prices on right now are the ones that while I don't want to lose them, it wouldn't hurt me if I did lose them. So everything is going great so far. I have a total of 84 accounts that need to be increased. Are you dropping letters announcing the price increase with the box, or are you telling the account about the increase? The more communication with the customer that you have, the easier the transition to the new price. I have my drivers explain what triggered the increase (usually it's the chocolate companies; Mars, Hershey and Nestle) and also point the new items we brought in to add value to the box. Remember, when calculating your box cost (inventory cost of your box), it is a percentage value of your retail value. As your price increases, it allows more wiggle room in your box cost. I always increase my box cost a little to add that value to the selections for my customers. But the communication is key! My drivers have actually been prepping my customers for the increase to $1.25 for the last year. I've been able to hold off, but as we get closer to finally needing to raise our price, I know the customers will have been expecting it and most will accept it with no issues. Oh, we'll still see a little "blow-back" from some customers, usually with a drop in usage or a slight increase in the shortage, but that should be short-lived. We did this when we went from .85 to $1.00 and had very little effect.
  4. Great question, Humphrey! I survived MANY price increases and have found the best way for my company is to lay the ground work FIRST before implementing he increase. We start talking to the accounts a few months before, explaining that an increase is coming due to increases in product costs, fuel costs, etc. We let that sink in, and then at the time of actually taking the increase, we drop letters (on company letterhead, looks more professional) along side of the boxes (do not attach letters to boxes!) After an account has been serviced following a price increase, if the letter is still sitting there, I have the route driver remove it (No sense leaving a constant reminder of the price increase). The IMPORTANT thing is that if you laid the ground work by talking to the accounts ahead of time and the account is aware that a price increase is coming, they tend to be more accepting of it. Now...with that said, we WILL lose a few accounts, shortages WILL creep up a bit at some accounts, and your usage WILL drop. THAT IS NORMAL! Stand strong. I have found that typically around the third month after the price increase, things slowly go back to normal. ALSO, it is wise to add some premium-type items in your snack tray. Maybe add a few more chocolate items; anything to help you "justify" the price increase with your customer. You've done a GREAT job growing your business! I've been reading your posts and following you for a while. You're on the right track. Price increases come and go. I've been thru several, and if you stay strong, you'll survive. DEFINITELY try to avoid the "lowering the price" game to save every account. That will just make it tougher on you the next time you need to raise your price. Good luck to you, my friend!
  5. NIce job, Humphrey! The best way to instill a price increase that I've found, is to lay the groundwork ahead of the notice. Start talking to your accounts and let them know it's coming. You don't have to give an exact date, but tell them that a price increase is coming up, mainly due to product cost increases, fuel increases, etc. This allows the price increase to "sink-in". Then drop a notice with your box at the time of the actual increase which again explains the reason for the increase. Most customers will be expecting it and not think twice. You will ALWAYS get some backlash...that is normal. You will even lose a few accounts, but I guarantee that in 6 months you can go back to them and resell the account, and they will accept the new price. Price increases are always scary and create a bit of chaos for the honor snack vendor. But STAND STRONG! It may take a few services, but typically by the third month, most customers have become adjusted and won't think twice. Yes, shortages may increase for a bit, or you may experience a drop in the usage, but it WILL work itself out. One tip: pack a couple of new "Premium" items in the box to justify the increase and keep the customer interested in what's new. It worked GREAT for me on our last price increase.
  6. Price increase? What price did you go to and how did you go about letting your accounts know ?
  7. Chalvo, be careful with the "subsidized" boxes. While it my be a nice way for an employer to provide snacks for their employees, it is still considered an expense for them. Should they decide to cut expenses, the snack box is sure to be removed. Even if you try to explain that the box is on the honor system and that they don't need to subsidize it, they will only see the box as an expense and have it removed.
  8. Nice job newby2vending! At what price are you placing your honor snack boxes and how many items are you putting in the boxes? Sounds like "selling" is in your blood! Way to go!
  9. Nice job bhumphrey829! I'm guessing with the name Gator Vending, you are in the Florida area? How long have you been running your Snack Box route? I enjoy reading your updates. Keep up the good work!