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About MrVendAlot

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  1. OK I am going to sound like an idiot but need advise. I have a Dixie Narco SIID that blew a fuse due to connecting a MDB harness when it was hot. Being an idiot I though the board burnt out. I purchased a SIID E-boardf to replace it(I think I also just wanted the EPROM upgrade while I was at it). When I added the new board and installed the bill and coin and fired up the front panel displayed 8888(pretty much all lights on). The bill validator cycled and would not accept dollars. When coin were entered they went straight through the coin mech to the coin return. Then I thought the new board was bad and returned for another(local guy that repairs them). He gave me the newest unused SIID E board he had. I went back and got the same error(all lights on with use exact change illuminated). So then I found the bad fuse on the original one and installed it again. It give the standard "." decimal with the "Use exact change" light on. I tried two bill validators and two coin mechs. All still dont work. I went through the diagnostics to be sure MDB was on. When I do the coin mech check there is no reponse(coin straight through). Pretty much the board is not signalling the coin mech and bill validator. So my question. I know its the board, not the coin mech, and not the bill validator. What would cause this? What does 8888(or similar) mean on the new boards? Should I start pulling wiring? Transformer? Ideas? At a loss - Mr Vend Alot
  2. I am ordering a SEM board to add to an old dixie narco. The machine is up a ton of stairs at an apartment and i dont want to move it. I have had great sucess with upgrading snack machines(installed 8 in one boards). However have done nothing to soda machines. I have a LOT of single price machines that i want to solution for upgrading. Ideally i will get rid of all old harfware. To universalize my route i only install vn2512 bill validators and cf7000 coin mechs. Does anybody have reviews of the SEM boards on single price machines? I just ordered one that I will test on a single price in my garage. Then i will attack this apartment if I suceed. https://www.dsvendinginc.com/p-8734-ds8010a-sem-single-price-to-mdb-conversion-kit-coinsbillscredit-cardsdex.aspx
  3. Growth, Upgrade, and Business Questions

    What is the process to add a custom name to field so that reporting will show that?
  4. Growth, Upgrade, and Business Questions

    Another question to the group in regards to USA Tech Eport's. Is there a way to map the "Item" to an actual name? I am trying to universalize my beverages and way I stock my food. So, in other words, I will make the top left slot of all snack machines "Salsista Spicy chips". Ideally, I would like to be able to update USA Live to have a name that says "Location - Car Dealership Name" and them "Item - A1 Salsita Spicy Chips". This will allow me to be able to to pull a report since last stock and quickly load the product that is needed into the totes. Is that possible with USA Tech? Does anybody do that?
  5. Growth, Upgrade, and Business Questions

    Yes - all of these machines have to be upgraded for MDB/Credit Card. I have only done the InOne(mainly because they had a AP4000 upgrade and I didn't have a way to get the AP4000 out of the warehouse and place one of my spare machines in). I will say that I am impressed with the InOne upgrades(I am not affiliated with InOne). For ~$300 you can upgrade without drop sensor or for ~$450 with the drop. So far I have had a lot of positives by doing this. I am also narrowing in on Mars coin mechs and Bill validators. It will likely take a year plus but eventually, I will only have upgraded equipment with Mars equipment and higher traffic locations with credit cards on them. This will open up to have 2-3 bill validators, 1-2 credit card equipment and 2-3 coin mechs in the van ready for a 5 minute swap out.
  6. Growth, Upgrade, and Business Questions

    Thanks for the reply that helps. I am looking at a 13-15 hourly wage to start. I have accounted for the worker's comp with the taxes. In Colorado it comes out to roughly an additional 10% on top of wages(for all those pieces). I think for the van I am going to purchase a previously used fleet van and modify it(add insulation, shelves, safe, etc). I am targeting a 10k investment there(8k for vehicle and 2k to modify).
  7. Growth, Upgrade, and Business Questions

    So to clarify. I have 4 inone boards that I placed on AP6000's and AP7000's. These DO report cash and credit transactions. I am also assuming that the AP4000 with the InOne upgrade(its different than the 6000/7000 upgrade) will track also(I am waiting on my Eport Adapter to 3 in 1 MEI bill validator and credit card to be able to test this). The problem one is a Studio 2 that had MDB already(i didnt change or upgrade). That one will show me the credit card transactions but not the cash. I verified it was all active through eport so I am assuming its the older machine causing it. It may be a long shot but I will likely change the bill validator to Mars and and CF7000 coin mech, just in case that makes a difference.
  8. Growth, Upgrade, and Business Questions

    Anybody else have thoughts or ideas on the cash not being tracked through Eport? I can call them tomorrow and may get some answers but thought somebody may have already worked through that.
  9. Growth, Upgrade, and Business Questions

    Great information guys. That helps a ton! Thanks!
  10. Growth, Upgrade, and Business Questions

    Oh, I just thought of one more. I have two machines that I put G9 credit card readers on. One is a AP Studio 2 and the other a combo USI(where the soda and snack are separate but only the snack has a coin mech/bill/board). They both work for credit cards but I can't get cash reporting. They don't have the mars bill validator and coin mech but wanted to see if anybody knows why I don't get cash reporting. I was going to call USA Tech and see if they know if the answer isn't easy.
  11. Hey All, I am going through aggressive growth in snack and soda vending and am coming across a few questions. I am just going to fire away! Credit Card Readers - I am working with USATech on adding credit card readers. I have upgraded 4 machines with the InOne boards and added the credit card readers(yesterday I did an upgrade of a AP4000 in record time and just in time before I threw it in the businesses dumpster). My question is regarding the G10 vs. G9. I initially bought two g10's but then was able to get a $50 discount to by G9's which I bought 18 of. I am also working to put the MEI Cashflow equipment in all upgraded machines. My question is regarding putting a 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 bill validator on a G9 vs. a G10. For the G9 I know it takes a couple adapters through USATech. What about the g10? Can it connect directly a 3 in one validator(I have two VN 27h2r's in my garage). Second Credit Card Reader - I have 4(maybe 5) Dixie Narco soda machines with the SIID board in them. I also have 2 with the SII board(501's). I want to add my G9's to two of these machines. I did some reading and it obviously needs the MDB connection. However, there is comments of a Epron(I think) upgrade. Can somebody explain what that is and if it is needed(or how to tell if it is needed)? I believe it is some sort of memory upgrade but am lost beyond that. Technology/Repair - I want to do 90% or more of my own upgrades/repairs. I was shocked how easy a Cooling Deck was to replace. The employees thought I was doing a open heart surgery until I showed them the 6 screws and two bolts I put in - ha. Anyways I also want to at least generally be able to manage bill validators and coin mechs. My question is regarding flashing bill validators. I am focusing on buying generally VN2512 bill validators off ebay. I am buying anyone that has "new 5" capability at a good price - $80-120. I had three Conlux bill validators and two didn't work so they are dead to me and I will never use them by choice again. I have been tinkering with changing belts on a bad Mars and think I am good there. My question is regarding "upgrading" to new $5's. Is there a process to update? How is that done? Only "certified" tech's? Just curious to better understand these. Employee - In the coming months I am planning to explore hiring a part time driver/stocker. They will likely be 16 hours per week with me making the difference. My question is regarding wages. I have figured out taxes and what not but want to find a good starting wage. I met a local truck driver at one of my warehouses that was saying he is getting 20 hours with that company. I think I am going to discuss with him on hiring him for 16 hours a week. What is a good starting wage for this? He does not have stocking/vending experience so there will be a learning curve. I live in the Denver market(super hot wages). Any thoughts? Thanks!
  12. Yea - I am working through the "weeding". I have a range of machines profits. Some of the weeding is out of my control. For example I have a office building that has a soda machine grossing $70 in the break room and another in the copy room that grosses like 4 dollars a week(ha). They requested the machine so I sort of have to eat it. There are some tiny accounts that I would rid myself of. Is your normal steps to prospect a better location and move the machines, or do you normally just sell the location/machines to another vendor?
  13. Hey All, Few questions for everybody. I am working to create a plan of refurbishing and upgrading machines month over month to improve the overall value of a route. I have read a lot of writing that you all have on this but want to get your thoughts on the plans or hear how you do it. I'll start with Soda. If you have a high traffic location with ancient soda machines(like a non MDB Dixie Narco single price) that stops working or you want to get to MDB/Card Reader how do you do it? Would simply get a newer/used machine to place? If so what is your strategy of disposing of the old single price(Craigslist?, Scrap?). On Snack I have read a lot about upgrading AP6000 AP7000 Studio 4 etc. Is my understanding that getting a InOne Board to replace it free's up the option to add a card reader while continuing with the current Coin and Bill validtor. Is that your experience also? The revision doors seem to require starting over and adding MDB Coin and Bill Validators. If its the right location I can see how spending 1k for the door, Adding 500-600 in coin, bill, and card reader could make sense. Is there a easier way to upgrade snack machine? Is it better to just sell the machine off and buy a non placed upgraded newer machine to replace(maybe the answer is both). Thanks
  14. Thanks for the replies. Just for some more details to hopefully clear up some of the questions. AZ - 50k gross is already in place and I am running on my own 2 days a week. The additional 350k gross is what I am considering buying. The combination of the two routes would result in 144 soda machines, 130 snack, 30 snack/soda, 1 frozen, 2 "rotating" foods, 12 bottles. On the repair cost. The primary machines would be AP6000/AP7000 for snack and Dixie Narco on cans. For longevity I would try to determine a balance of upgrading and repairing. I would likely look to combine this budget and try to exceed my repair budget(whatever it lands on) to proactively upgrade higher volume accounts that have risk of needing repair. From a yearly budget standpoint(I know all routes are different) does anybody have a formula off upgrade/repair planning? I am working on a spreadsheet playing with estimates based off 100 machines and categorizing them as Soda "Non-MDB", Soda "With MDB" and same with snack/combo but would be interested in someone doing yearly budgets and how they look at it. Angry Chris - That is meant for cash flow not taxes. I am playing around with what the investment would be upfront(probly 40k or 20%). Just wanted to get a gauge on the cashflow until that is paid off. My estimates are that cashflow would be tight for first 5 years and after that I could open up the upgrade budgets. Thanks for the note Southeast on the coverage for the driver. Some of that would have to be me stepping up but the other consideration is to hire two drivers for 3 full days(24 hours). My thought is that I can run two drivers with two trucks on opposite ends of the week(M-W & W-F). This would also free a van for me on 4 of the weekdays and using my personal vehicle if needed on Wed. I also would minimize my risk of a driver quitting and having little to no support(I could pick up the other half until hiring again). Has anybody had situations like that? Or is better to just focus on one solid driver that you work to retain long term? Also the sales tax would have to be backed out. Do you have a recommendation of a VMS program? What type of cost does a good program have monthly? Thanks for reviewing guys
  15. Hey All, Great site. I have learned a ton from this site over the past year. I got into vending by buying a close friends route as a part time job. Since then I am now weighing out the options of scaling to a very large size. I want to open up the question for vendors that have large routes and need to hire a driver(s), create budget, etc. The primary information I am looking for is a understanding of your gross income and a percentage breakdown of your yearly budget after that(I don't care about your real numbers just want to get a understanding of your pay to employees vs. net income, repair, upgrade etc). For just a snapshot here are some numbers I am playing around with. The route would be roughly 150 stops ranging in cashflow with 330 machines. Yearly Budget 400k Gross (Assuming 200k loan w/5 year payoff - 6% interest) Gross Income - $400,000 COGs - $204,000 Loan Payback - $46,000 Employee Wages/Taxes - $43,000 Van/Insurance/Maintenance - $5,000 Mileage - $10,000 Vending Upgrade - $12,000 Vending Repair - $8,000 Accounting/Tax Prep - $5000 Net - $67,000 Following the 5 year loan payoff and reducion of transportation cost(assuming can save there), I would be increasing the overall take and increasing the upgrade budget. I would likely carry a $1000 month loan forever to expedite those efforts. Can anybody tell me from experience that these numbers are way off(not enough labor cost, vending repair, etc)? Thanks!