Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • The Mage

      Please Login   08/02/2017

      If you are not a member, register now to gain access to all of our features. There is no charge for membership. (Though donations are encouraged.) Once registered and logged in, you will be able to participate in the discussion, ask questions, and post, or respond to classified ads. You'll be able to customize your profile, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox! After 1 approved post you are able to access our download section. This message will be removed once you have signed in.


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Russ last won the day on September 10 2016

Russ had the most liked content!

Community Reputation


About Russ

  • Rank
    Add your text here

Recent Profile Visitors

136 profile views
  1. I would dump the monthly accounts. I'm going to look at this from the customer's perspective - if I realized that all the product in that machine had been sitting there for a month - other than canned soda at least - I would not be too anxious to buy it no matter what the shelf life. Even if the account didn't actually NEED servicing more than once a month I'd be there every other week just to swap out some of the product to keep it from looking like snack museum.
  2. Your best locations

    And assuming they are getting commission, it benefits them also in bigger payments. My dad with his small company installed a bank of equipment in a county courthouse / city hall. Nice new modern equipment for the time (early 70's). They didn't tell him that the area would be off limits the public and locked other than at break times. Obviously sales were pathetic. Then they came up to him and said 'you need to buy city license stickers for all your machines' which would have cost more than his gross sales for several weeks so he said 'sorry' and pulled the equipment. I can still remember a lady who worked there watching as we took the machines out, commenting 'It's not fair...' No it wasn't, for my dad.
  3. Has anybody ever had meat only?

    Waaay back when I was in vending and my company had a captive market of the Illinois tollroad restaurants and gas stations (boy did we make money!) we had a salesman come to call on my boss one day. He said 'Someone walks up to one of your machines... what are they looking for? Something new, something different.' My boss said 'No, they're looking for a Hershey bar or some M&M's because that's what they like.' I imagine if he wasn't 100% correct, he was 90% correct. Any new item can be worth a try but going all-in on something to the exclusion of proven sellers is a risk. Imagine buying a whole vendor full of product and having to toss out 80% of it.
  4. Has anybody ever had meat only?

    If you're going to try and play off of the locally-sourced nature of your products, is there some signage or other way to make it apparent without them walking up to the machine and studying the product labels? I would still put in several columns of the 'tried and true' things and see if you can't get ALL their business, not just the 'touristy' purchases. If the machines are in a place susceptible to high temps or direct sunlight maybe avoid items that are too much chocolate to prevent spoilage and unhappy customers, like going with Oreos or CPB's or Lorna Doones, things that can stand more heat.
  5. Healthy vending?

    Meanwhile, the 'politician's wife' who drove this nonsense sends her kids to a very expensive school with a chef on staff, and you should see what is on their menu. I don't know if it meets the 'standards' for calories etc. but it looks far different than what I've seen on regular school lunch menus. And in contrast to Mt. Dew and Cheetos, I have also read stories of a child who brought a lunch to school and had it THROWN AWAY by the staff because it didn't meet their standards. The day that happens to my son is the day he gets pulled out of that school. Too much of this stuff, whether school lunches or vending snacks, is about making 'me' feel good about myself because I asked for something healthy for me or someone else, even if it doesn't get eaten. If I was still in vending I would proceed very slowly with the healthy stuff to be sure I wasn't buying product that I would have to throw away. The vendor does have to try and please the customer, but sometimes what they want is not practical. If sales of other snacks covers the losses then you live with it, but you can't throw away profits chasing a 'feel good'.
  6. Healthy vending?

    Exactly. And it's almost impossible to fix people's poor lifestyles just by changing their diet. It really gripes me as a parent to see what has happened in so many schools, kids being given a 250 calorie 'lunch' that is not even recognizable as to what it is supposed to be in many cases. The kids either don't eat it or don't get enough, and go hungry. This helps them learn and grow how? And as of this fall San Fran is removing chocolate milk from the school cafeterias. I am sure that will make a big difference... lots of kids who used to at least drink the low fat choc milk will stop drinking milk altogether because some just do not care for unflavored milk. Real smart. When I was in vending we had a large IBM site and everyone there of course was an expert on what we should sell. We actually did find and stock unsalted potato chips for a while at least in a few banks of equipment there, but I don't recall if they sold at all. For a while as an added inducement to get people to work weekends they gave away beverages from the coffee and cup soda machines. I would have one of our route persons go through most of the banks turning them on 'free vend'. (We did this from Friday evening til late Sunday and of course took meter readings so we could bill IBM.) Well there were some complaints that there were no healthy choices. They wanted free milk, and we couldn't put the milk vendors on free vend so we set them to a nickel and the managers were given nickels to hand out so people could get free milk. IBM actually caught a manager buying up milk with the free nickels and emptying it into a gallon jug to take home. Imagine making such a fool of yourself in a major company like that which is paying you VERY well.
  7. Healthy vending?

    All this healthy stuff reminds me of the TV ads they used to run for some sort of whipping appliance where they turned skim milk into a 'rich delicious dessert topping'. Basically it was 98% water whipped full of air. They always emphasized that you needed 'freezing cold temperatures' to make this air-foam. And all the ads for 'granola' full of chocolate chips and honey and brown sugar and raisins, with some oats sprinkled on top. Real healthy!
  8. Healthy vending?

    I got a chuckle out of this... the customers are the world's greatest experts on what will make you money. "You put this in and people will buy a million of them!" "Put in an ice cream machine and all six of us will buy one every day!" I hope you sell a bunch of those and make good $$$ on them - I guess there's one way to find out. Just a few granola nibblers who don't care about cost might make it worthwhile, otherwise you'll be feeding some rabbits with the stales.
  9. One heck of a jam...

    Sorry, didn't mean to quote you when talking about the coconut water. But my comment still stands - I know my initial reaction to that would be 'BLEAH!!' I'm not sure I could even keep that stuff down. But if it's profitable, why not...
  10. Frito Lay Expiration Dates

    I could always tell the difference between a bag of chips at the end of its date-life and a fresh bag. I would occasionally snack on a bag that was past the sell date and I can still remember how stale they tasted. There's no way I would want to eat, or sell, chips that were 3 to 6 months old. No worthwhile account should take two months plus to sell the stock of inventory in the machine, and your own purchasing should not result in having such old product sitting around.
  11. Healthy vending?

    Seems to me that lots of the 'healthy' stuff is nothing but chocolate chips, peanuts and a sprinking of oats, all coated with honey. Next up will be cat litter mixed with peanut shells. But hey, if you can sell what they want and make money on it, then it's great product.
  12. One heck of a jam...

    There's another lesson here - keep an open mind. I don't know what I'd think if someone asked me to sell coconut water but my initial reaction wouldn't be 'oh goody'. (I hate coconut.) Making a buck a pop off that stuff, and from millenials who don't seem to look at pricing, is a nice deal.
  13. Silver coins and vending machines

    Being in the business long ago I learned to spot the color of a silver quarter or dime out of the midst of regular 'clad' coins. (I was in 4th grade when the clad coins came out and remember trading silver quarters to classmates to get a clad version.) My dad was also in vending during the 1970's and our collections were counted at home. Over the course of a few years I think we found about $100 worth of silver dimes and quarters, but I'll bet the ones in circulation now are 1% of what they were back then. I wouldn't worry so much about looking for them... not worth the effort.
  14. I would like to know what was in the agreement if there was one, for the sale of this location. Personally even if there was nothing in the agreement I would take the guy to small claims court and tell the judge that you paid for the location based on what was represented as the business it did - but that it does nowhere near that much and you believe the seller stuffed the cash boxes to make it look good. If all else fails, since this guy seems to not keep good records, I'd drop a note to the IRS and tell them you suspect he is not being upfront with his income tax. Give him a reason to start keeping better records. If he's a crook with you he is likely a crook with them as well.