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flintflash last won the day on May 17

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About flintflash

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  • Vending Type
    Full Line
  • Vending Since
    1994

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  1. M&M/MARS had them as well. Saw a couple a Cedar Point a few years ago.
  2. ABSOLUTELY Keep It Simple!! Just remember this simple formula: Total sales - Cost of Goods = Gross Profit. DO NOT mix up GROSS profit with NET profit. GROSS profit is what you have BEFORE you pay your expenses and NET Profit is what is left for YOU (or to put back into the business for growth). TOTAL SALES is the money you bring in, period. Do NOT complicate it by trying to figure Retail Sales - Shortage and any convoluted formula. TOTAL SALES IS THE MONEY YOU COLLECT. Also, do NOT figure shortage as some sort of expense. It is NOT! The money you collect is the what you sold your snacks for. Your COGS should be roughly around 50% of your Total Sales. It may fluctuate by a percentage or two, but should NEVER exceed 55%, that is trouble. Just thought I would try to simplify the business end of things. It's Honor Snacks! It should be FUN (you are selling snacks afterall), it should be run like any other business, and you should be committed (to hard work not an insane asylum...LOL). Best of luck to you!!
  3. I'm assuming that you are servicing the Charity Mint/Lollipop type boxes. This would be ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! Employee breakrooms are meant for Honor Snack trays. You want your business to sound professional. DO NOT go with a company name that is TOO small like "Uncle Joe's Candy Service" or "Betty's Snacks". WAY TOO small potatoes, and customers will not respect you, especially with regards to a price increase or a change in menu. You are running a business, so you want to present a professional image. If they think you are a rinking-dink service, they will treat you as such. Just my 2 cents.
  4. I thought the same about cash and cashless too, but we recently took our price to $1.25 and found that we have had no drop in volume because of the "odd" pricing (a dollar and a quarter). In fact, our shortage (shrinkage, as some call it) has actually DECREASED (go figure). I had several competitors in the area try a cashless system (there are a few on line to hook up with), but they soon went out of business. 38 cents out of a transaction is A LOT in the Honor Snack world. If you were priced at $1.00, you would run 38% short and NO BUSINESS could sustain shortages that high. I don't care how small an honor snack company was, 38% shortage will have you closing the doors within a year (more like 6 months). We have only ONE vending account (a large one at that) that has Tylenol, Advil, etc. in it and they are marginal at best. Many companies think it would be a great idea to have "medicines" available, but most simply won't use enough to make it profitable to carry them. Even the large micro markets don't see consistent volume with these items.
  5. Welcome to the forum, Deacon. All good questions. Here's my take. Honor Snack boxes and Mint/lollipop honor boxes are two different beasts. While in theory, it may seem like a good idea to have both in the same location, the reality is that they are not meant for the same locations. Mint/lollipop boxes are driven by PUBLIC access and primarily thrive on counters in restaurants, retail stores, etc. Honor Snack trays are geared more for breakrooms and backrooms of businesses such as offices, shops, small industry, etc. While both technically could be serviced in, say a beauty salon or gift shop, for example, they are still serviced differently and CASHED differently. As a small operator, you could service both yourself, and some do, but if you get to the size where you would hire route drivers, this would be a huge mistake and lead to big problems down the road. Your idea with the "toiletries" would require a much higher price point, thus requiring a separate box. But most importantly, it would require DEMAND, which I can tell you thru experience that there is NOT. Hotel/motel locations for vending would really be the only sensible locations and many vendors who have these type of locations (myself included) will tell you that it is a select market. Meaning that even at THOSE locations, they seldom produce the volume needed. Not too many offices are going to be in high demand of mouthwash or handiwipes, even though it sounds great in theory. It just is not going to produce the results that you are imagining. TRUST ME, we've tried. As far as a "Paypal" system, that is a project I have been working on for a while, and there is A LOT MORE INVOLVED than just moving money from Paypal to your bank account. There are a 100 other things to consider (I won't bore you with them all), but the biggest issue is monthly fees PLUS transaction fees. When you are dealing with shortages from customers and narrow profit margins, there is NO room to hand off extra fees to service providers. Again, TRUST ME, it will kill your bottom line and put you out of business quickly. That's just my experience and my two cents!
  6. Mars took a 10% across-the-board increase increase last Friday. Vistar ALWAYS follows suit immediately, just like the gas stations do when they see oil prices go up. It's ridiculous that they react that way, especially since they are still selling the "cheaper" inventory, but that's Vistar. I believe that they will get an allocation for all of their customers to purchase at the "old" price, before the increased price. The allocation will be based on previous purchases and some convoluted formula. Look for HERSHEY and NESTLE (now Ferrara) to follow suit. They always do. Chris, you may want to look at $1.25 for candy. It's pretty much becoming a standard up here in MIchigan. Some of the bigger guys might be at $1.15, but the days of $1.00 candy bars are pretty much behind us now.
  7. Rock steady as always, my friend! Keep up the GREAT work!!
  8. How many States are you in? Are these Charity mint/lollipop boxes or Honor Snack trays? Some states have rigid rules regarding interstate business as well.
  9. Absolutely! We carry an umbrella policy as well. Between Work Comp, General Liability and Auto Insurance, the Umbrella policy is there as an "Insurance for the Insurance"...LOL. But seriously, in this age of "Lawsuit Crazies" out there, it's good to have the extra...Just In Case. And Apple is right, it's not very expensive.
  10. Do you get all of your product thru Sam's club or are you buying some stuff from distributors? If you want, you could send me your menu that you are running (in a PM) and I would be happy to give you some ideas that are working for us. I try to keep volume up during the Summer, but it can be a challenge without the chocolate in the box. There are a lot of new items out though that help to keep your customers interested in the box.
  11. You will need a business license/tax ID (FEIN), but the rest depends on where you are going into business. Different states have different requirements. Are you doing charity mint/lollipop boxes or servicing business with Honor Snack trays? Does your state have sales tax on food/snacks ?
  12. Looking GREAT, Buddy! Little drop in volume, but that is normal for Summer usage. SUPER!! :)
  13. That's EXCELLENT! And exactly why you never want to just walk in a pull an account. Well Done, my friend!! Looks like you may have a long-term account here.
  14. Sorry *Tuna* My auto correct is a pain sometimes...LOL
  15. We've run the Bumble Tune Kits too. Sometimes Big Lots will have deals on them. We plug them in at $2.00. Shelf-life is great.
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