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Bob's Quality Vending - Honor Box Sampling


BobTHJ

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I serviced 15 honor boxes today (though I only have data for 14 as I forgot to record one). Here's the results (diff is the theft percentage, Cycle is the number of days since I last serviced that location). These are some of my slower locations. This route is in a city about an hour's drive from my hometown. I ran it last week but didn't have enough boxes ready when I left so I skipped all the slower locations and came back to get them today.

#1 - Government Office (box is in employee break room)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day44611/18/2011$10.56$13.5021.78%$5.02$0.77$4.7618.0000220.818181

#2 - Mental Health Office (box in employee break room) NOTE: This was my first time to service this account. I placed it two weeks ago.

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day44711/18/2011$5.26$6.7522.07%$3.44$0.39$1.449.0000150.600000

#3 - Gravel Pit (box is in staffed office and is available to the truck drivers that come and go. The box here is placed inside a wooden box with plexiglass lid to keep the mice out. I have a few accounts with these type of protective boxes.)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day44811/18/2011$9.15$14.2535.79%$6.09$0.41$2.6619.0000151.266666

#4 - HVAC company (box is in their shop area - available only to employees. They pay any shortage at this account - though it appears I overcharged them by a quarter as one got stuck in the coinbox.)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day44911/18/2011$18.25$18.00-1.39%$8.71$0.81$8.7324.0000310.774193

#5 - Telecommunications Office (box is in a locked office/storage building used by employees that come and go making service calls)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day45011/18/2011$31.25$37.5016.67%$22.96$1.39$6.9050.0000311.612903

#6 - Government machine shop (box 1 of 2. Boxes in adjacent shop buildings in a large facility)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day45111/18/2011$8.50$8.25-3.03%$3.96$0.38$4.1611.0000150.733333

#7 - Government machine shop (box 2 of 2)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day45211/18/2011$11.50$12.759.80%$7.99$0.51$3.0017.0000310.548387

#8 - Electric Company (box in employee break room)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day45311/18/2011$18.36$23.2521.03%$8.58$0.82$8.9731.0000152.066666

#9 - Government Office (box in employee break room) left a shortage note

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day45411/18/2011$26.72$39.7532.78%$21.41$1.19$4.1353.0000311.709677

#10 - Government Office (box in storeroom)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day45511/18/2011$6.16$7.5017.87%$4.71$0.27$1.1710.0000310.322580

#11 - Government Office (in publicly accessible break room) NOTE: The prior owner had a few cases of severe theft here when homeless would take shelter in the courthouse and stumble upon the snack box.

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day45611/18/2011$15.58$16.505.58%$9.17$0.69$5.7222.0000221.000000

#12 - Mental Health Office (in employee breakroom)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day45711/18/2011$18.64$24.7524.69%$12.73$0.83$5.0933.0000221.500000

#13 - Auto Body Shop (in employee breakroom) left a shortage note

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day45811/18/2011$7.50$13.5044.44%$6.96$0.33$0.2118.0000220.818181

#14 - Post Office (in employee break room) left a shortage note

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day46011/18/2011$24.27$36.0032.58%$17.04$1.78$5.4548.0000222.181818

For comparison, here's some service data on some of my faster-moving accounts:

#1 - Plumbing Supply Company (box sits on retail counter for customer and employee use in monitored room)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day35711/08/2011$27.59$29.255.68%$12.48$1.96$13.1539.0000113.54545424110/28/2011$23.55$28.5017.37%$15.24$1.67$6.6338.000084.750000

#2 - Paint Supply Company (box sits in publicly accessible break area)

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day35611/08/2011$18.25$22.5018.89%$9.07$1.30$7.8830.0000112.72727223710/28/2011$24.25$27.0010.19%$14.42$1.72$8.1136.000084.500000

#3 - Screw manufacturing plant (box is in employee break room) left a note on the Nov 3 service which explains the overage on the following service.

IDDateIncomeExpectedDiffCOGSTax / Comm.ProfitItems SoldCycleItems/Day39511/11/2011$32.97$24.00-37.38%$13.36$1.46$18.1432.000084.00000029111/03/2011$19.05$45.7558.36%$25.57$0.85($7.37)61.0000163.812500

And, just for fun - here's a list of products and their sales ratio (number of items sold / number of items available) - this is an aggregate number across all my honor-box services to date:

Zingers 25.00 32 0.781250

Chocolate Donuts 22.00 29 0.758620

Grandma's Peanut Butter 14.00 19 0.736842

Potato Skins 25.00 39 0.641025

Sugar Donuts 21.00 33 0.636363

Baby Ruth 37.00 59 0.627118

Grandma's Brownie 10.00 16 0.625000

Big Texas 18.00 30 0.600000

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin 11.00 19 0.578947

Munchies 22.00 38 0.578947

Butterfinger 71.00 125 0.568000

Austin Vanilla Cremes 9.00 16 0.562500

Blueberry Muffins 9.00 16 0.562500

M&M Peanut 131.00 234 0.559829

Snickers 179.00 320 0.559375

Grandma's Choclate Chip 10.00 18 0.555555

Cherry Cheese Danish 20.00 36 0.555555

Snyder's Mini Pretzels 18.00 34 0.529411

Oreo 64.00 122 0.524590

Pistachios 11.00 21 0.523809

Cheetos 82.00 157 0.522292

Twix 65.00 125 0.520000

Gardettos 33.00 64 0.515625

Sun Chips: Cheddar 13.00 26 0.500000

3 Musketeers 15.00 30 0.500000

M&M Peanut Butter 38.00 77 0.493506

Fritos 29.00 59 0.491525

Payday 8.00 17 0.470588

Rice Krispy Treat 16.00 34 0.470588

BBQ Lays 22.00 47 0.468085

Milky Way 50.00 107 0.467289

100 Grand 7.00 15 0.466666

Snickers Almond 13.00 28 0.464285

Skittles Tropical 10.00 22 0.454545

Pop-Tarts (Strawberry) 37.00 82 0.451219

Hershey's Almond 22.00 49 0.448979

Salted Nutroll 81.00 184 0.440217

Raspberry Shortbread 7.00 16 0.437500

Beef & Cheese 75.00 172 0.436046

Heath 23.00 53 0.433962

Honey Bun 29.00 68 0.426470

Chex Mix: Original 27.00 64 0.421875

Doritos: Nacho Cheese 27.00 64 0.421875

Doritos: Cool Ranch 10.00 24 0.416666

Ritz Bitz (Cheese) 30.00 74 0.405405

Recees 65.00 161 0.403726

Lays 48.00 119 0.403361

Hershey's 26.00 65 0.400000

Famous Amos 31.00 78 0.397435

Cheez-It 38.00 96 0.395833

Nature Valley: Oats & Dark Chocolate 11.00 28 0.392857

Double Barrel Salami 92.00 237 0.388185

Almond Joy 38.00 98 0.387755

Chili Cheese Fritos 22.00 57 0.385964

M&M Cookies 27.00 70 0.385714

Kit Kat 42.00 109 0.385321

Mr. Goodbar 32.00 85 0.376470

Sun Chips: Original 6.00 16 0.375000

Pop-Tarts (Brown Sugar) 12.00 33 0.363636

Austin Lemon Ohs 6.00 17 0.352941

Fig Newton 13.00 38 0.342105

Hershey's Cookies & Cream 6.00 18 0.333333

Crackerjacks 7.00 21 0.333333

Fudge Stix 14.00 43 0.325581

Crunch 10.00 32 0.312500

Fruity Snacks: Cherry 6.00 20 0.300000

Starburst 36.00 122 0.295081

Cereal Bars: Strawberry Crisp 7.00 25 0.280000

Handi-Snacks 71.00 257 0.276264

Salted Peanuts 60.00 222 0.270270

Austin Choco Cremes 5.00 19 0.263157

Toasted Peanut Butter 74.00 282 0.262411

M&M Plain 65.00 249 0.261044

Starburst: Flavor Morph 4.00 16 0.250000

Sweet & Salty Trail Mix 79.00 330 0.239393

Skittles Wild Berry 10.00 42 0.238095

Winterfresh 5.00 21 0.238095

Austin Cheese Crackers 73.00 315 0.231746

Austin Cheese & Peanut Butter 56.00 251 0.223107

Nature Valley: Almond 19.00 86 0.220930

Big Red 8.00 40 0.200000

Apple Juice 3.00 15 0.200000

Nature Valley: Peanut Butter 18.00 92 0.195652

Nature Valley: Fruit & Nut 16.00 82 0.195121

Nature Valley: Peanut 8.00 41 0.195121

Spearmint 4.00 21 0.190476

Skittles Sour 11.00 58 0.189655

Nature Valley: Pecan Crunch 10.00 56 0.178571

Starburst: Tropical 7.00 40 0.175000

Slim Jim 15.00 87 0.172413

Nature Valley: Roasted Almond 9.00 55 0.163636

Cereal Bars: Apple Crisp 4.00 26 0.153846

Act II Popcorn 5.00 33 0.151515

Skittles Blenders 17.00 113 0.150442

Skittles 26.00 177 0.146892

M&M Pretzel 13.00 90 0.144444

Fiber One Oats & Chocolate 13.00 93 0.139784

Nature Valley: Oats & Honey 15.00 125 0.120000

Air Heads: Watermelon 2.00 20 0.100000

Doublemint 2.00 21 0.095238

Air Heads: White Mystery 2.00 21 0.095238

Air Heads: Pink Lemonade 2.00 21 0.095238

Chewy Granola: Peanut Butter 3.00 33 0.090909

Chewy Granola: Chocolate Chip 3.00 37 0.081081

Chewy Granola: Smores 2.00 26 0.076923

Cereal Bars: Mixed Berry Crisp 2.00 28 0.071428

Sunflower Seeds 1.00 20 0.050000

Air Heads: Orange 1.00 21 0.047619

Juicy Fruit 1.00 21 0.047619

Air Heads: Cherry 0.00 25 0.000000

Air Heads: Blue Raspberry 0.00 25 0.000000

Drat - that was all pasted in with neatly formatted HTML tables. The forums stripped out the formatting. Sorry for the tough read!

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Here, this is easier. Just click the link: Service Data. Each line corresponds to one of the stops listed above in the same order.

computing the cogs based on the way you are doing it must be really time consuming for the amt of stops you have. I go by an average % for the whole box and just kind of get a "feel" for the specifics at each location. for the size of route you have i figure you would spending a ton of time computing it exactly.

Have ytou decided on any criteria for dropping locations yet? I looked at cum. averages over time when deciding.

regards

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The COGS calculations are all handled automatically by my tracking system. When I purchase product I input the qty and price. I'll fill about 10 boxes at a time and the system deducts the contents from inventory and tracks them in that box. Then after servicing a box I quickly go down a checklist of the items in that box and indicate what is remaining. From there the system can determine what sold and the COGS. It also gives me data as to what items are preferred by that stop and recommends which box to deliver to them on the next visit based upon which of the available boxes has the most items they want. It took a while at first but now I've got it down to about 5 mins to fill, 5 mins to deliver, and 5 mins to count money and check in post-delivery - so total time investment of 15mins or less per stop (not counting driving time).

I haven't yet pulled any low-performing boxes. I'm probably more likely to pull boxes due to high theft than low usage. Once each stop has a few services worth of data my system calculates the delivery frequency based upon the average amount of time it will take the location to consume 50% of the snack box. So, the low-usage stops will get pushed to 45-60 days (or longer) between services thus making them profitable to retain (assuming they aren't too far out of the way - there are a few I may cull due to the extra driving time required). I am in the process of adding shelf-life tracking to my system so that accounts with longer service cycles won't get boxes with items that will likely expire before the next service unless there is a good chance they will sell.

For accounts that seem to struggle with theft and won't respond to the shortage notes I considered adding a "If the box isn't short you get a free box of donuts!" card to see if that could salvage them. However, anything that still isn't generating enough profit to cover fuel costs and time will get the axe.

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The COGS calculations are all handled automatically by my tracking system. When I purchase product I input the qty and price. I'll fill about 10 boxes at a time and the system deducts the contents from inventory and tracks them in that box. Then after servicing a box I quickly go down a checklist of the items in that box and indicate what is remaining. From there the system can determine what sold and the COGS. It also gives me data as to what items are preferred by that stop and recommends which box to deliver to them on the next visit based upon which of the available boxes has the most items they want. It took a while at first but now I've got it down to about 5 mins to fill, 5 mins to deliver, and 5 mins to count money and check in post-delivery - so total time investment of 15mins or less per stop (not counting driving time).

i tried doing it that way i set up a similar system in excel but frankly re-inventorying the items was a giant pain in the butt to me. Its easier for me to say $20 cash and 3 items left and not care much about what they are, and just go by avg cogs.

You might say this doesnt give me a great idea of my profit but my highest cogs is only 50% and i only put about 4 of those items (candy) in any box of 32 items, so if anything it skews a bit higher than it really is. looking at it weighted or median cogs would probably be better now that i think about it. After 2 months i pretty much got the feel for what sells and what doesn't. If you can do it in 5mins thats awesome, I found it too much work. Especially if I had 100+ to do.

I haven't yet pulled any low-performing boxes. I'm probably more likely to pull boxes due to high theft than low usage. Once each stop has a few services worth of data my system calculates the delivery frequency based upon the average amount of time it will take the location to consume 50% of the snack box.

can you post the cumulative for the data above, id be interested to see it.

So, the low-usage stops will get pushed to 45-60 days (or longer) between services thus making them profitable to retain (assuming they aren't too far out of the way - there are a few I may cull due to the extra driving time required). I am in the process of adding shelf-life tracking to my system so that accounts with longer service cycles won't get boxes with items that will likely expire before the next service unless there is a good chance they will sell.

id be interested to know if you can find enough things that last 60 days or longer (!) to fill a box up with. i tried wise chips when i started i found nobody bough them, ever, not 1 bag. they would not even STEAL them. ymmv of course.

For accounts that seem to struggle with theft and won't respond to the shortage notes I considered adding a "If the box isn't short you get a free box of donuts!" card to see if that could salvage them. However, anything that still isn't generating enough profit to cover fuel costs and time will get the axe.

you're probably better off bribing someone at the office (manager) to keep an eye on it. they are already getting stuff for free (by stealing it) so i dont know if offering the employees free food makes sense as an incentive. i have tried a lot of things to turn locations around for the most part ive just got the attitude to pull anything that doesnt respond to 3 warnings in a row and relocate it . as im sure you've seen honor boxes are the easiest thing in the world to locate anyway so to me an honor box location with over 20% theft consistantly is worth nothing. Luckily i have not found theft to be a significant problem more than low volume so id be interested again on your findings about a long dated product mix.

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Apart from the dozen or so accounts I've placed myself the ones I purchased have all been in place for some time (20+ years in some cases) - so I don't have any accounts at the moment that consistently have high theft (though a fair number alternate high and low theft services as a result of shortage notes). As I start getting data from the accounts I've placed myself I'm sure I'll have to pull some for theft. There's no point in spending my time and money to give people free snacks :(

Chips and pastries are the only items I stock with 90 days or less of shelf-life. I try to be careful when purchasing at Sam's to only buy these when I can get close to 90 days on them. The big sellers of course are candy bars - and these never last long enough to worry about expiration. I also stock meat snacks (double barrel, slim jim), austin crackers, cookies (grandma's, oreos, famous amos, newtons), granola bars (nature valley, fiber one, quaker), trail mixes (kars), and 5-stick gum packs (since I'm buying these for the gum racks in my snack machines). Most of these have shelf-lives of 6 months or more. Because I'm tracking all this data via my system I should be able to rotate boxes with nearly expired product into locations that prefer to eat those products - without having to spend large amounts of time checking dates and moving things around.

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Here's a cumulative total on all the honor box services I've done so far (not counting the initial service where I placed the box full of product). Some of my accounts I have visited twice or more since purchasing this business, some I have not yet even serviced:

Period Box_Services Sold Offered Sales_Rate Income Expected Theft Theft_Percent COGS Profit

------------ ------------ --------------------------------------- ----------- --------------------------------------- --------------------- --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------

All Time 102 3382.00 9711 0.348264 2004.94 2536.5000 531.5600 0.2095643603390498719 1204.362900 800.577100

So, my pre-tax profit thus far has been about 31% of gross sales (COGS is 48% and theft is 21%).

I'll post more data as I have time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can u post some screenshots of ur software im curious how its setup so u can do the inv. So fast

Sorry for the delay. Here's a screenshot showing the check-in list. After taking a minute to straighten up the box I just tab down the list and enter the number of each item remaining in the box. It really doesn't take long unless there are a lot of items left in the box.post-2983-0-19759500-1323063251_thumb.png

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for the delay. Here's a screenshot showing the check-in list. After taking a minute to straighten up the box I just tab down the list and enter the number of each item remaining in the box. It really doesn't take long unless there are a lot of items left in the box.post-2983-0-19759500-1323063251_thumb.png

Bob how about an update.

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Here's my all-time and last 30 days totals (note the past 30 days was 30-40% slower than normal due to the holidays). Theft keeps dropping (the previous owner was experiencing 20% theft) but I'm not sure what exactly I'm doing to cause that (other than being friendly with the customers).


Period   	Box_Services Sold                                    Offered 	Sales_Rate                              Income                Expected                                Theft                               	Theft_Percent                       	COGS                                    Profit
------------ ------------ --------------------------------------- ----------- --------------------------------------- --------------------- --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------
All Time 	299          10714.00                                28779   	0.372285                                6692.09           	8035.5000                           	1343.4100                           	0.1671843693609607368               	3899.015600                         	2793.074400
Last 30 Days 91       	3752.00                             	8816        0.425589                                2427.98           	2814.0000                           	386.0200                                0.1371783937455579247               	1358.868500                         	1069.111500

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Bob, it looks like your software is calculating the "theft percentage" off of the "expected" income and not the actual income. Your theft % dropped because your income dropped below the "expected" level. Its actually right at 20% (20.07%).

JD

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Bob, it looks like your software is calculating the "theft percentage" off of the "expected" income and not the actual income. Your theft % dropped because your income dropped below the "expected" level. Its actually right at 20% (20.07%).

JD

I'm pretty sure it is calculating correctly. Expected is how much money should have been in the box (based on the number of items eaten). Theft is how much was missing and Income is how much was there. Theft + Income = Expected. So, Theft is 13.7% of Expected. The other 86.3% is gross income.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can u post some screenshots of ur software im curious how its setup so u can do the inv. So fast

Since Sue has started her route I have suggested on the slow selling boxes that she adjust the columns to have room for bigger items. If they have a break-room with a microwave, she asks if they are interested in lunchables including popcorn, noodles in a cup and other larger items beef stew, chili, etc. Each of those items have a price sticker right on that item. That way she isn't sitting on a bunch of stuff with dates.

Bob thanks so much for your information.

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BobTHJ,

Now that you have been at the honor box business for a bit what do you think? I have been researching and I am trying to decide whether to enter the business in my area. I am glad you posted your reports to give me a better idea of the numbers.

To be honest, the profit looks a bit low for my liking. I originally believed I could make a solid $5-$10 per week per box but from your numbers it looks like a struggle to make $5 in two weeks. No offense meant of course, I just thought the per box profit would be higher.

My decision would come down to the time to profit ratio. If I start doing honor boxes, it would be part-time so I was hoping to get the most money out of the time I spend possible.

Any wisdom you can share from your time in this business would be appreciated.

Dogcow: Anything you can share would be appreciated also as you are the other expert in honor boxes from what I have seen.

Denis

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Here's my top 20 accounts ranked according to net profit per day. As you can see some are honor boxes and do $0.75 - $1.00 a day in net profit. For a variety of reasons (primarily recent slow holiday sales) these numbers are lower than average. I estimate I spend 15 minutes per box to fill, service, and inventory each time I service it and my top-performing boxes need refilled roughly every two weeks that's $45 - $60 / hour profit:

LocationName                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Make                                                                                                                                                   Key_Serial                                         Daily_Net
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------
Rocky Mountain Steel                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       RC 800                                                                                                                                                 NULL                                               2.988815
Carville's Auto Mart (Old)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 FSI 3141                                                                                                                                                                                                  1.727731
NULL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Seaga Two-Tier Machine                                                                                                                                                                                    1.576202
MA Concrete                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 1.140161
ABC Industries, Inc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       VM-470 III                                                                                                                                                                                                1.061508
Elmer's Glass                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.928450
Speedy's                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   RC 800                                                                                                                                                 NULL                                               0.905835
Delta Pawn                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.764179
Carville's Auto Mart (New)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 RC 800                                                                                                                                                 NULL                                               0.754267
Simpson Brothers Garage                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.743873
Daughty Steel                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RC 800                                                                                                                                                                                                    0.718923
Winnelson                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.681686
Power Equipment                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.675974
Berry's Garage                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.653435
Hartman Brothers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.646634
Hightower Supply                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.621416
Orchard Mesa Vets                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.615567
Recla Metal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Honor Box                                                                                                                                              NULL                                               0.612852
Brass Rail                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Vendstar                                                                                                                                               Dave's #117                                        0.583520
Scott's Printing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Honor Box                                                                                                                                                                                                 0.568593

Of course, these are my top-sellers. Many of my boxes have slower sales or higher rates of theft leading to lower net/day figures. However, I can still make a decent return on these by pushing out the time between services (so long as I am careful not to let the product expire).

Find good accounts though and it's well worth it. 100 boxes @ $1.00/day net profit = $36,000 net per year. Time investment for servicing those (assuming service every two weeks) is 12.5 hours/week. Not bad if you ask me.

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Thanks for the response. It is helpful to hear from people who are active in the honor box business.

You use Dennis' big boxes (80-120 count)? I remember dogcow mentioning that a lot of his locations would not have the space if he used a big one. Any trouble placing boxes because of this?

I noticed you have a lot of higher costing items (pastry/candy) and that they sell well. Was this personal choice or adapting to customer needs? I have been trying to keep COGS to a minimum in my plans to increase profit and Candy/Pastry/Cookie items make this hard.

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Yes, my boxes hold an average of 100 items (actual count is typically in the range of 80 to 120 depending on product mix). I haven't experienced any trouble placing boxes due to their size. The boxes are approx 20 inches square - certainly much smaller than any vending machine.

Candy bars and pastries are my highest COGS items. On the average they do sell MUCH better than lower cost items. I've set up my software to generate a fill list for each box based on what items that customer prefers best adjusted for my cost of the item. Therefore I try to pack the boxes with larger quantities of the lower-cost items while still providing some of the higher-cost items for the accounts that like them. I find I get quite a bit of backlash if I don't include enough candy bars in the boxes (I even had a couple places threaten to get rid of the box). I find that by leaving a little more time between services I sell more low-cost items (the candy bars sell out rather quickly and people are forced to switch to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choices). My top lower-end sellers are Austin crackers & cookies, Oreos, salami sticks, trail mix, and salted peanuts.

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I find that by leaving a little more time between services I sell more low-cost items (the candy bars sell out rather quickly and people are forced to switch to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choices). My top lower-end sellers are Austin crackers & cookies, Oreos, salami sticks, trail mix, and salted peanuts.

Great tip, thanks. I will keep that in mind for locations that like the higher-end snacks.

Which salami sticks do you use? I can get the .28oz slim jims for a great price but they are tiny. I do not know whether customers would pay $1 even in a snack box for them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry - got busy and forgot to respond to your inquiry. Yes - I sell the .28oz slim jims for $0.75 without much trouble. Some places really like them and I can sell several dozen per service. In addition to the slim jims I also carry the Double Barrel salami sticks and O'Brien's Beef & Cheddar (both from Sam's Club). I also just started carrying the Oberto beef sticks to expand the variety of my meat snacks.

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Interesting. I might try to put some in. They are very small so I could fit in plenty. I was worried as even gas stations sell them for the printed $.30.

I saw the Oberto at Sam's Club and was happy to see they stocked the beef jerky stick. It is fairly big and I definetly think it will sell for $1.

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