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CapitalCityVendingLLC last won the day on February 9 2018

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About CapitalCityVendingLLC

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  1. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    Starting a Vending Business

    If you are worried about vandalism at a certain location, you need to find a different location. When we look at a potential new account, vandalism potential is one of the first things we analyze. We have some gyms/fitness centers that do very well. Is that what you are talking about? As for an LLC, I'm not sure being that you only have a couple machines. We are an LLC, but we have ~120 machines. We avoid contracts but that is just the way we like doing things. We pretty much go on a "hand shake deal" 99% of the time. A contract can help though if it is a big account and you are in a competitive market.
  2. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    school wanting a percentage of revenue

    We have 15-20 schools (teacher's lounges). We used to have a number of them on a commission (5-10%). Over the last couple of years we have just realized that our time and efforts are too valuable to be cutting a check to all of these schools. A $100 check doesn't put a dent in their books at all, but a $100 check (times 5-10 schools) puts a big dent in my profit margin. We didn't lose a single account. We had a couple that didn't enjoy the conversation, but after we explained that no one around our town would ever service a school like theirs. You do what you want to do, but I wouldn't cut a check to a small account. Think about the competition level. It's not like they have 5 vending companies that would love to be servicing a teacher's lounge that isn't even occupied 4 months out of the year.
  3. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    How much commission should I offer?

    Yea. Seems like a potential headache as AZVendor has stated. Those frozen machines open up another can of worms potentially. The scaled commission might be good idea. When I make bids, (I rarely have in the past) I never offer too much. Offer what you feel comfortable with. If you don't get it, no sweat. You wasted little time. The last thing you want to do is offer the world and then hate going there. More details about the bid would help.
  4. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    Thoughts on USAT acquiring Cantelope?

    USAT...... Up 65% since last November when I bought some shares.
  5. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    More good news from Crane! *Sarcasm Font*

    We just went through a similar headache with Crane. Needed a refrigeration deck for an old drink machine we have on route. Went back and forth on the phone 8-10 times over a 3-4 day process. They finally said we are good to go. They billed us. Then reversed the charge. Then dodged my phone calls for about a week. I left numerous voicemails with numerous people. Then I got sick. I told my business partner that I doubted the deck would ever come. Then my business partner and I had poor communication between the two of us. Then my business partner reached out to a different company. They said to contact this certain company directly to save a little bit of money. Turns out that company was Crane. He ordered one after much confusion and frustration over the phone. The deck he ordered was delivered Monday. The deck I "ordered" came in Tuesday. We replaced the deck today. We now have a spare so in 10 years we are set. Vending. lol
  6. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    How to land a large college account

    We used to have a small college (only 4-5 snack machines). Most of them did decent. One of them killed it. Loaded it up with candy/chocolate and it was close to empty each visit. It was an older machine so when they beat the you know what out of it, we didn't lose sleep over it, and trust me, they beat the you know what out of from time to time. It was a pretty good account then they ended up going with a market place type system. We didn't want to bother with that so we picked up our machines. We paid them 10%. I would ask them a bunch of questions (like they told you to do). If you do end up putting in a bid, don't bend too much. Stick to your ground. At the end of the day, you have to make what you have to make. If you don't get it then oh well. But know, as others have mentioned, college kids will be college kids. You will deal with vandalism. Just a matter of when/how.
  7. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    Are my prices to high

    You're prices are fine. (raise pastries to at-least $1) Unless it's someone who is in charge, I wouldn't worry about someone saying your prices are "too high". When someone says that to me, I quickly walk them through our costs. The cost of the product itself, gas, auto, warehouse, parts/machines, taxes, insurance, phone, website, etc. Most people understand. We did what AngryChris just said a couple of years ago. Killed our slowest 10-12 machines/accounts. Our annual revenue went down a little bit, but our Bottom Line was barely effected. We were unsure about the decision but quickly realized it was a no brainer. Add up all the hours that we don't have to waste on those slow accounts, we are in the positive by killing those accounts. Plus we got a handful of good machines out of it to relocate. Most important things I keep an eye on is $/Mach visited, COGS %, Profit %. Keep those numbers high and everything else takes care of itself.
  8. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    Need Eprom? for vendo 721

    I have a vendo 721 live display (5-6 year old machine). I have had a usatech cc reader on it for 2 years and only the cc sales show up on reports. I know everyone always says "update the EPROM". I have never known what that actually means. I finally want to upgrade it so I can also see cash sales. Can someone tell me what I need to do? Thanks in advance.
  9. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    Any insight on this issue?

    Changing motors are pretty simple. But I would check and make sure all the cords are plugged in. Sometimes they can/will wiggle loose.
  10. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    Minimum target proft per drink machine per month?

    Just looked. Our average drink machine does $2,200 a year in rev. The slower ones are older machines that once they die off, we won't spend much money replacing them. If we put out a new machine tomorrow, we try to have $3,000 as our bare minimum. We try and go with cans as bottles are more of a hassle. The majority of the accounts that we have a drink machine on location we also have a snack on location. As AngryChris said, the magic number is going to be different for everyone. To answer your question, on a new account we want to at minimum get $3,000 rev/year. That's $250 rev/month. Our company hovers around a 40% profit margin as a whole before we pay ourselves. So that'd be $100 profit/month at a minimum that we like to hit.
  11. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    Got robbed

    When someone broke into our snack machine at our elderly living facility, we thought it was an employee. We set up cameras and caught them the 2nd time around. It was grandson/granddaughter of one of the residents. They couldn't have been more than 15 years old. I'd bet that it was Jimmy visiting his granny. This is why it is important to have your prices at a good level. People don't see this part of vending. Next time someone complains about your prices being a nickel too high, tell them that one of your machines just got broken into....in a nursing home.
  12. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    How far to travel for an account?

    Our best/biggest account is our furthest away from our home base. We didn't go after it but kind of accidentally got it. It is about a 2 hour drive round trip. That is a con but there are a couple of pros. We have 2 brand new snack machines there (about to add a 3rd as they are expanding). We fill them to the max. We have yet to get a service call in almost 2 years because the equipment is brand new so nothing ever gets hung up or jammed. We have CC readers on their so I know exactly when to service them. We wait until each machine hits the $250-300 mark and then we go service them. When I leave our warehouse, I don't get back for 3.5 hours, but I collect close to $600 and the machine is priced right so my margins are good. To us, that is worth it. To other's it might not be. It's different for each vendor. The only advice that I would give is to put nice equipment in your furthest accounts. That's kind of a soft rule that we go by. That will limit/eliminate service calls at those distant accounts. We put or older equipment closer to home so when they act up, we can drive 5 minutes to fix them instead of an hour. If the account isn't big enough to justify nice/new equipment with CC readers, then the account shouldn't be worth your time. $500 a month for your potential account is kind of on the fence for me. I would personally lean towards no. But if you got 3-5 more accounts in that area it would make more sense. Work that area every 2-3 weeks and collect $1000-1500 from all the accounts.
  13. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    Frito-Lay 1.0oz bags going bye bye?

    Our local Sam's (southeast) was running low on all of there Frito-Lay 1.0oz 50 count boxes late last week. Behind the last couple of 50 count boxes were new boxes. The new boxes were 30 count boxes of 1.5oz bags. The weren't variety boxes. They were just the same item in a bigger bag. We asked the product manager there to look into it. Today he let us know that Frito-Lay is going to try to discontinue the 1.0oz bag to push the bigger bag. We stocked up on the last remaining 1.0oz bags. Has anyone seen this yet at other Sam's? This will be a small headache as 60-70% of the bags we use are the 1.0 oz bags. Hopefully the Sam's employee was incorrect.
  14. CapitalCityVendingLLC


    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.
  15. CapitalCityVendingLLC

    Crate mover from northern tool

    yep, we use those same ones that bvending just posted. We call them "the red things". haha They are wonderful in certain situations.