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  1. 5 points
    I was getting tired of my old @ gmail email for my business, so I decided to get off my golpher today and make a professional email address with a custom domain. Turns out, it costs a grand total of 12 bucks a year. All you need is a Gmail, and you can register you own domain name (web address) with Google for 12 bucks a year. Then, you can make your own email address (ex service@vendingcompany.com) which Google forwards to your Gmail. IMO, well worth it, and makes you seem like a professional large company.
  2. 4 points
    What you assume about agendas and other product lines to sell is incorrect. No one posting in this thread is a new machine distributor. While some might sell used machines that doesn't mean that we haven't had experiences with machines like yours. Speaking for myself as the only repairman in this thread, I will say that I have worked on many Seaga machines and far too many machines that are made in foreign lands. That experience is entirely why I recommend that any vendor stay away from Seaga or imported machines. I know how poorly they are made and supported and the fact that you are selling them doesn't make them any better. While you have a right to sell whatever you want, I and we have a right to give our opinions. I understand that you are selling to new vendors and it's our desire that they get off on the right foot as I'm sure you desire as well. There will always be new and naive customers for you but I also know that many will become jaded by the problems they encounter. This forum exists solely to give solid guidance to all vendors and we will continue to do so.
  3. 4 points
    Anybody who is looking for a pallet jack or dolly should check out their local toys r us. Just picked up a narrow pallet jack at mine for $75. They said they had regular jacks as well as dollies and appliances dollies with the kick out wheels.
  4. 4 points
    Went out locating and found ,locations for 3 of my new spirals. 2 of them are in small but busy Mexican food places, and one is in my local Pizza Hut. Plus last wee i got a popular steakhouse and an Asian grocery store/cafe. 5 down, 13 to go.
  5. 4 points
    Crane has decided to change part numbers. I just got a call on a P.O. I emailed 10 days ago and was informed that all orders are behind because the "new system" has to match the "legacy number" to the new number. So now, A/P 12000121-02 G&M filler is now item number 109442. AND, bless their hearts, our account number has changed, AND, if you have a credit card on file they only keep the card number but not the security code, and will have to call emailed orders. For those of you who don't order direct, this will still affect you because your distributors will fall under the same fuster cluck. OMFG, shoot me now.
  6. 4 points
    As others have stated, quality equipment, sales records, contracts, etc all add value to your business. The routes we bought had alot of good locations but poor equipment. We offered low because we knew there would be equipment upgrades needed. One company approached us about buying him out almost 2 years before we bought him. He was asking way too much for what he had (90k yearly gross asking price was 100k with average to poor equipment). He bugged us for almost 2 years and finally told him 30k take it or leave it. With some upgrades ( machines and cashless ) and good service those same stops are right around 180k. My point is that if you want to sell one day, you need to keep up with the times. Upgrade equipment and keep current with technology and pricing
  7. 4 points
    Hello all, I just dropped in to say hello. I had a heart attack last year (widow-maker the doctor called it) and several other personal challenges over the last 6 months but all is very well now!! I still have some bulk vending machines out there that I am giving to my now teenage boys along with a brokerage account for them to start investing in. I sure do remember the good ole days on this forum. I joined in 07 and it was the best thing I did for my dream of a vending business, at one point we had over 50 machines out on location that was back during the crash and downturn of 08 / 09. We started with 1 Amerivend globe back then and Caserri helped me buy my second machine from Sam's Club with the profits from that first machine. I can say that if I had it to do all over again I would go with rack machines full of toys and maybe 1 head of gumballs - AT KID FRIENDLY LOCATIONS!! When I switched to toys from candy at my "kid friendly" locations (which I really learned about from this forum) My sales skyrocketed!! Seriously I was amazed. At 1 location I went from about $8.00 / month to over $35.00 each month. I had another location in a mall food court that went from $30.00 / month to over $80.00+ / month until management changed and I lost the location. KID FRIENDLY locations with toys are a BIG HIT!!! I used to love pulling $25 to $60 per week from some of my better locations. I did have some duds too though, it wasn't all glamour. Broken machines, stolen machines, spilled candy in the family van, "I got all they way here and realized I forgot my vending keys", etc. etc, .. I did reach my goal of 50 plus machines in a relatively short period of time though. All from reinvesting the profits from that first couple of machines and selling machines that I got super deals on (some were even free) over time. My kids are still making good money to this day from that first Amerivend gumball machine we located back in 07. I am handing the last of my route to my boys at the end of this month. It's great to see the cash flow that is still coming in after 10+ years from some of those original locations. To everyone on the forum - pursuit your goals and dreams. Love your families and enjoy your life - Every day is a gift! Even when we don't realize it. Learn to save and invest at least 10 to 20 % of your income and you will be glad you did someday. Vending is a lot of fun and I am so glad I did it! hope you all have great success. Don't give up or listen to the naysayers! If you have the vision and passion and desire to achieve something. GO FOR IT!! It's OK to fail because failure teaches us for greater success down the road. It's OK to succeed because success teaches us lessons that are like gold for our families and our future. Happy Vending! God Bless you all. - I'll stop back in sometime.
  8. 4 points
    Everyone knows that if you eat a honey bun and wash it down with a Diet Coke they cancel each other out.
  9. 4 points
    You do not automatically become wiser when you age, sometimes you just become more confident in being an idiot.
  10. 4 points
    Shinkage/stales/open bags should be anywhere near 10%. We don't religiously count ours but ours is about a half a percent if I had to give an educated guess. Keeping your margins high is a constant battle on many fronts. It all adds up. Fractions of percentages add up from many different factors. Go up a nickel or a dime on some of your items. Write down every item that you carry/sell and see what it's specific cogs/profit margin is. Try and add a row or two of the better profit items and one or two less of the poor profit items. Try and be as efficient as you can when it comes time to working your machines. A while back, we maximized our augers in our machines. We luckily had a bunch of spare augers sitting around in our warehouse. For example, if we had a chip that was in a 12 deep auger and it could fit into a 15 deep auger we switched it out. Maximizing your augers like that to most of the rows on a 40 column snack machine will allow your machine to hold 75-100 more items. We did that to 75+ snack machines. That's 5500-7500 more items we can put in our machines, just by maximizing the augers. That means you can go there less often, hence pulling out more money per visit. By doing that, you are also burning less fuel so your fuel expenses going down. Just by optimizing one thing, we helped our business be way more efficient and improved our bottom line.
  11. 4 points
    There is a world of difference between bulk vending and full size vending. Full size vending does require a web presence. Bulk vending has basically two parts; commercial and charity. Charity vending is all face to face with location owners. They are not searching the web for some guy to plunk down a double head machine in their business. "Sales" (locating) are made the first 15 seconds of your conversation, either the prospect likes you and trusts you and wants to help you or not. They do not care much what is actually in the machine. They think they are supporting a good cause at no cost to them. Never ever let a charity location choose the product, it will almost always be cashews or M&M peanuts. Neither of which is a path to profit. Charity locating is very slam bam. There are telemarketers that do a good job (Rodney is one of them). But again, the sale hook is the charity not your vending business. And in charity vending if the location thinks your motive is your profit you will make no sales. Commercial bulk is different. Local, Mom & Pops ( if your area still has some) are very old school. They want to see YOU. They don't care about some glitzy web page. Corporate sales are different. Corporate sales require lots of research. You need to visit locations and judge them, visit with management to get them on your side. You work your way through the gate keepers until you get to the decision maker(s). The talk will be about expected revenue, service issues, liability, commission. You need a profession presentation and good closing skills. It is all about the money. Your Dun & Bradstreet rating will be more important than a glitzy web page. The buyers are smarter than that. Ok, after all that, yes a web presence could help if you are a commercial bulk vending operator. I had one for years. Maybe someone along the way looked at it. But I never got a commercial lead off the page that was worth pursuing. Yes I had the random guy wanting to start an arcade, or second and store, school carnival type thing. But I never had one worthwhile commercial lead via web page. This is the long answer. I tend to give the short uncomfortable ones because: easy and truthful. Bulk vending is a very old school business. Data processing in general: I have been using computers for over 30 years, before most people even knew there were such things. I started on a Commador and moved to a Tandy 1000 with a blistering clock speed of 8mhz. was living large. I used data processing because I was, from the beginning, a commercial operator, charity came after as fill in. I needed it at to handle taxes and commission reports efficiently. So I have fiddled with computers a very long time. With that in mind I will say to you; if you intend to always be a charity operator you need a 8 1/2 X 11 yellow pad and a clip board. If you intend to be a commercial operator, well you need to learn something about data bases and spreadsheets, they will help you manage product rotation, taxes and commissions. I built my first web page myself, and a couple that followed. It is not hard. But it has never been worth the bother of building it, having it hosted and maintaining it. In retrospect the web page was an ego thing. It was never a valuable tool.
  12. 4 points
    One is just progressively crappier then the next one.
  13. 3 points
    I made a graph of my past relationships. It has an ex axis and a why axis.
  14. 3 points
    Because vendors are dumb and we can't be smart because all we do is put stuff in the machines and collect money, nothing else.
  15. 3 points
  16. 3 points
    That's why you should never buy the left ones.
  17. 3 points
    Here's a picture of our faculty break room at the beginning of the year before we got together and painted and decorated it with money from vending sales. B Below are some pictures of the room after we decorated. Also, all the appliances we purchased with vending money. I wish I had a picture of the green 1970 refrigerator that we replaced! I learned a lot about vending repairs by fixing up these machines. The GIII needed new trim, buttons, bill acceptor, ballast, lights, vend motor and home sensor. The AP123 needed some new motors, and I installed all the parts to convert one of the snack trays to a candy tray so that we would have more room for the Kcups. Once again, I thank the people from this forum for their help along the way...especially LACanteen who has helped with parts for my machines. He even sent me the home sensor for the GIII as I waited for Royal to build more stock. Then I sent him the part from Royal to replenish his inventory. It really helped eliminate down time. I also want to thank AZVendor for his wealth of knowledge. He may be moody...but he does know his s*it....something that only comes with many years of experience.
  18. 3 points
    We use the profits from the machines for our Sunshine Fund, which is an account that purchases equipment for the school that the general budget does not cover. It also covers staff outreach...such as special events and gifts for staff members that had a baby or lost a loved one. I have a committee of 4 staff members that decide on how the money gets spent. I am the president of the committee and service the drink machines. Another member of the committee services the snack machines. I also run the bank account. No one on the committee gets paid for being on the committee, including myself. We donate our time to make a better work environment for the staff. The account has been around for many years and was always funded by vending....but in the past we got a commision from Pepsi who had their machines in the building. Pepsi stopped giving us commissions, so I asked the principal if I could take over vending with our own machines and he agreed. Over the period of 2 years, I purchased 4 used Royal stack machines and 2 AP snack machines. I've trained myself to maintain and service the machines with the help of this forum and the Internet. When I took over the account, we only had 700 in the bank and owned no assets and had no income. Now we have over 7K in the bank and own the 5 machines. We currently gross an average of $400 per week. We also purchased equipment for our faculty room such as a new fridge, microwaves, decorations, paint and a hot dog roller for special events. We even funded the installation of a glass tiled backsplash in the faculty room! Our faculty room is probably the nicest in the state....I will have to post some pics. We have all this thanks to vending!
  19. 3 points
    If you dread going to service it, time to go!
  20. 3 points
    Yes, when we do 6/7000 they get new buttons (D&S 440225) and select switch membrane (VE696).
  21. 3 points
    That's often the truth. The most common things I see are "Can you put something healthy like nuts or trail mix?" Then I show them the nuts AND the trail mix and they so "Oh, I never saw them in there." Then they kind of chuckle and admit they never use the machines.
  22. 3 points
    Chris is correct on all counts. Most USI machines do not report all of the data, so cash reporting is a function of the communication with the machine. Additionally, if you want to get DEX data for prekitting USI machines, you will need to map the selection ID numbers. For instance, A1 in the machine is usually 11 in the DEX file. Driver fill feature is indeed a reset point for a VMS. You are telling the reader you have filled the machine. It also sends a manual DEX stamp is you wanted to see or use that data. Your DEX error is exactly that. It sensed that it didn't get a handshake or data from the machine. Usually because the cable is unplugged, but it could be anything from an outdated EPROM, to a system error in the machine, or a bad machine computer board. As George Carlin once said "Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things."
  23. 3 points
    If people did or didn't notice I was missing last week, I was on a cruise ship with my wife. First time on a cruise ship, so we kept to a 4 day cruise. Figured that if we had any issues with motion sickness, then taking a shorter cruise might be best. (We had no issues, which is a surprise for my wife. She get motion sickness at the movies.) This was our ship. I believe it is about the average size for Carnival. A picture of Atlantis resort from the Nassau port. We took a look inside the hotel, and hit the Starbucks they had inside it. And the claw machine they had onboard, in the casino area. I thought of giving it a try, (and getting a video of me failing,) but this picture was the only time I saw it wasn't in use, and we were headed elsewhere at the time. See, our trip was vending related. (Does this make it deductible?)
  24. 3 points
    So if you develop a good supply chain for your business you will be miles ahead of your competition. Every adversity is really an opportunity.
  25. 3 points
    I had my share of small accounts over the years and still provided good machines that could take coins and bills, though I did experiment with Rowe 499s for a while. I never wanted a competitor to come in and offer anything more than I had. I knew my response wouldn't sound very kind but I didn't mean to make it sound unkind, it was just my honest opinion of how vending should be run. Probably wan't fair of me to say it that way. My apologies. I will come across of matter of fact on many topics covering old, antiquated machines that no longer have a place in vending whether it's a Tom's machine, a Savamco, an Edina, a Choice Vend, etc. I can't help myself because I want all vendors to always be looking to be as professional as possible and not to be like their lower competition. The business needs to always drive itself forward, not backward or be stagnant


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