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Trying to compete


dperry
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Just like everybody else, I have a problem with competition.  I have several locations where I was the first, then the next time I came in, there were more machines next to mine.  Some locations even have sprouted exact replica's of my machines, right down to the same product in them, except they have the 2for1 gumball wheels in them.

Now I know they are just trying to compete against me.  Offering 2for1 is a great deal, so the general public will prolly go for that over my machine.  I can get the 2for1 wheels too, and I have, but that would just put me on an even playing field with my competetor.  I can put in a different flavor of gum, but that's a crap shoot.  You have no idea if the public will like yours enough to get only one for a quarter when they could get 2 that are prolly just as good for that same quarter. 

So I'm thinking about how I can get a different piece of the pie by coming at it from a different angle. 

When you sell 2 gumballs for 25c, the retail price is 12.5c per gumball.  That's not very much more than 10c a gumball.  So why not change my coin mechs to accept dimes instead of quarters?  I can't tell you how many times I've found the stray penny, nickel or dime in my coin box.  People, most likely little kids who don't know better, do try to get a gumball for a dime.  Why don't I give them one?  If they don't have any quarters, but they do have dimes, maybe I can make a sale where one wouldn't have been made before.

I"m even thinking of placing double-head gumballs machines; one with a 2for1 for a quarter and one for a dime.  They would have the exact same product, but just sold for different denominations, for about the same price.

What are your thoughts?

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Do it, but make sure you make it seen that it's only 10c.  Put a little catchy sign on top of the machine.  You'll either see those competitors drop like flies, or come back with something better (which I doubt).  8c a gumball is still 400% return, but just with smaller #s.  I say try it, and see how it goes.

 

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I say try it also.  Someone on here posted yesterday, I think it might have been mountain man.  Set a machine with .10 gumballs at a farmers market yesterday for 4 hours and had made $9 in gumballs.

Have you thought of a different candy than the other guy.  Maybe that would be something too.  Or slightly larger size portions in this location.

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I would check your vend size against the other machine. If it is the same or less then I would open up the wheel a little more then the other one. Then put a sign on your machine that you give more for your money. You will have to recoup the cost of a new coin mech plus time to install if you go the other way. If I were to place a machine in a location that had one I would have used different product. How about changing your gum to jawbreakers if the sales drop. I know you will take a profit hit compared to gum but so are they with the 2 for vend. I would get the mini Kaboom jawbreakers. Have your sales gone down or is it too soon to know?

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    I know when I am the first, I would like to be the only vendor for that location. But I also have locations where I was not the first.  So in the spirit of fair play, I will offer something different.  I also try to offer better service.  I always offer free samples when I service my machine.  I hear sometimes that I am the only one who does it.  This means that I have a better chance of outlasting my competitors. 

I also have a location where I replaced a guy who offered poor service.  A few months ago I was greeted by another machine.  To make a long story short, I offered better service then the other guy.  I later found out that the owner tossed his machine.  They have moved into a larger facility.  There is an excellent chance that I will be able to place a second machine to offer more variety.  I average over $50/month at this location. 

Anyway, what I am getting at is that it is OK to be co-located w/ other vendors.  You just be the one to offer good service and let the quarters fall where they may.

Lee

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Darryl:

It is an interesting idea and worthy of consideration. I think you could get a lot of traffic. A couple of downside thoughts are:

 Dimes are a pain in the neck to roll.

If you are using a scale to count, you will have to separate the coins first and reset the scale for dimes.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Darryl:

It is an interesting idea and worthy of consideration. I think you could get a lot of traffic. A couple of downside thoughts are:

 Dimes are a pain in the neck to roll.

If you are using a scale to count, you will have to separate the coins first and reset the scale for dimes.

 

Sorry for the late reply.  I had been on vacation and wasn't able to reply sooner.

I wouldn't roll the dimes.  I would take the coins to my bank and they would count them.  I use Wells Fargo.  I can take the coins in unwrapped, and they will take them to another site and count them and deposit the amount about a week later.  The only issue is to count them when I collect them so that i know how much came from the location.  But I count my quarters that way too.

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I say try it also.  Someone on here posted yesterday, I think it might have been mountain man.  Set a machine with .10 gumballs at a farmers market yesterday for 4 hours and had made $9 in gumballs.

Have you thought of a different candy than the other guy.  Maybe that would be something too.  Or slightly larger size portions in this location.

I do gumballs, so I can't change the portion size, other than 2for1.  And that's a whole different competing concept.
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I don't know how much your machine was bringing in, but being in the Air Force I have learned a few things about warfare. 1. Air Power is Decisive 2. Shock and Awe. I don't know how the first thing will help you unless you plan on bombing the other machine. However, Shock and awe them. Use all the tools at your disposal to make your competitor beg for mercy.

2 for 1 gumballs sounds good to me; Open up your candy wheels all the way and advertise with a small sign that you get more for your money. Freebies are good as well. I prefer to give quarters away and have people put them in my machine...Get them used to putting money in my machine! Keep your machine sparkling and clean. Stop in more often so they can put a face to the machine.

Competition can be fun. It's a good opportunity to build-up our marketing skills.

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