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Odd Location


Zannah
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So, we got our first list location list from a telemarketing location service today and one of the places is a candy store -- one of those with hundreds of selections of bulk candies and gourmet chocolate.  It's in a busy mall, right by the food court.  If it were any other type of store, we'd would be thrilled with the high foot-traffic factor.

Why would the owner want a vending machine and should we want to be there?  We haven't spoken to the owner/manager yet.  He wasn't there when we called.

What do you think?  Ask for a free replacement location, right? 

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Or ask the manager/owner if he would like to work out a deal to supply you with specialty candy to be put in your machine during the changing seasons so people can try it, of course at a premium price.

The reason the owner/manager probably let the machine be there is charity, of course I'm assuming you are charity based. locators seem to like pushing the charity angle a lot. And you could always ask for a replacement too.

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See if you can put the machine just outside the stor in their leased area in the food court. (If they are close enough to the food court.) That has worked out well for me.

David

Thanks!  I will ask.

Under such an agreement, do they secure it inside the store after closing by moving it inside their doors or security gate every night --- back out on to the floor for you every morning?

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Or ask the manager/owner if he would like to work out a deal to supply you with specialty candy to be put in your machine during the changing seasons so people can try it, of course at a premium price.

The reason the owner/manager probably let the machine be there is charity, of course I'm assuming you are charity based. locators seem to like pushing the charity angle a lot. And you could always ask for a replacement too.

Yes, we're with NCCS.

Ah! Instead of free samples, he gets to sell me the candy and offer $0.25 samples.  I hadn't thought of that.  So you wouldn't be concerned about the direct competition angle if he's not?

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Competition? If he goes for a deal were he supply's you with candy that he wants to feature, you will have your first employee. He will tell people to try the feature candy in your machine, after all it will save him money.

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Well, what if he wasn't thinking of selling to us?  In other words, seems like people would ignore PMM or gumballs in a machine right next to the more interesting specialty stuff.

We'll know more soon, and will update on how the discussion goes.  Seems like it might be worth a trial run if he wants to use it in lieu of free samples.

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Do you have a free replacement for 30-90 days after you place the machine? If so you have nothing to loose. The big question is do you have any product to offer that they do not carry? I would say keep it and maybe try the featured candy of the month that was mentioned earlier. You may want to also consider a prize inside the machine as a selling point with the stores help. Maybe fold up a small paper that will give the winner a free pound of a certain candy if they get it from your machine.

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Do you have a free replacement for 30-90 days after you place the machine? If so you have nothing to loose. The big question is do you have any product to offer that they do not carry? I would say keep it and maybe try the featured candy of the month that was mentioned earlier. You may want to also consider a prize inside the machine as a selling point with the stores help. Maybe fold up a small paper that will give the winner a free pound of a certain candy if they get it from your machine.

Yes we have free replacement for 45 days, so all we have to lose is the time and revenue we might make elsewhere if we pass.  We'll probably give it a trial run.  A bird in the hand... and all that.

We don't have anything unique that they wouldn't already carry.

As for prizes, that's a good idea, and one we're considering.  However, you have to be very careful.   Perhaps this topic would be better addressed in another thread, but here's the bottom line.  In most places in the U.S. you can't offer (1) a prize, (2) with an element of chance, and (3) charge a price ("consideration" in legal jargon).  You have to eliminate one of those three, or it is an illegal lottery.  There are ways to do it properly, but unfortunately, it isn't simple.

 

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Why do you have to put candy in the vending machine?

If it has high foot traffic with both adults and children, wouldn't it be smarter to fill that machine up with toy capsules for the kids? Why would you want to compete with a store full of candy?

Why would someone coming in to a bulk candy store look to buy Mike & Ike out of a .25 vending machine?

I have a yogurt shop and a Dairy Queen. They both put topping on their products that are M&M's, Reese's, etc. I wouldn't even try to compete with them. Customers eating those toppings don't want more chocolate. I sell ton's of toy capsules at those locations.

I think that is the direction you should try with this "Odd Location".

Gary

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You're right, I guess. Toys makes more sense, though we hadn't really considered or planned to do toys.

It's all for nothing anyway. The owner/manager had no idea what we were talking about when we called to setup a time to bring in the machine. Said he didn't have room for one.

How's that for a great first experience with a location service?

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Zannah, unfortunately it's not uncommon with a locator. My experience has been about 15%-20% end up not being placed. It's very frustrating. I lost a bit of my momentum and got a little beat down by it but I'm back on track now. Try to not let it get you down and just keeping slowly moving ahead.

Beth

 

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I agree with Gary. I think our minds work the same when it comes to what we vend.

People are always worried about vending toys. I have no clue why, people just assume to only do candy and gum. The fact of the matter is that, toys sell. You do not see people vending candy in their racks at a grocery store do you? No.

I just got, by luck, a Pilot truck stop. I got in, my machines are right by coinstar stuff. Why you ask? Coinstar had a 3way rack, and many, many cranes. Rack had Gum/Gone Fishing candy on bottom, and 2" BB on the top selling at $1. I went it, and asked to place my triple, with 3 types of toys. I told the manager I was offering something different then CoinStar. I was offering 1" toys. He said "Yes, Why not", after many phone calls, and me feeding him what he wanted to hear. I'm offering 25%, and it is locked in with a 1yr contract.

Went back today, sold 80 toys, in 3 days. Coinstar, still not moving any candy/gum.

When people ask me "Why do I need to vend toys". I tell them, it will benefit their bottom lines. Get a bag of 250 good moving toys, and try it. I promise, you will most likely make more money.

Kyle

To the guy asking about the candy shop, it will take approx. $30 to fill your machine with toys. It will cost less then candy, and you will be offering something different. Something totally new, and exciting. Don't call, go in with your machine and talk in person. Never call ahead, thats a BIG no.

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I only knew when he'd be in by calling ahead.  If I had taken the machine down there he might not have been in.  Even if he were, it would have been a waste of time, since he clearly hadn't authorized it as the locating company said and he wasn't the slightest bit interested. If I wanted to do cold call selling myself, I wouldn't have hired a locator.  I hate it and am bad at it.  I hired a locator to obtain an agreement, not to send "leads" for me to pursue on my own.

What is the relationship between capsule size and vend price?  I have mostly 1-800s.  I have 24 of them (72 heads), but only 12 of the 72 coin mechs are setup with $0.25 mechs.  The other 60 are $0.50 for the energy chews.  Are there other options for vending at the $0.50 price point in some of those 60 heads rather than betting them all on LiveWire Energy Chews?  Is there a way for a fair vend of $0.50 worth of candy? Maybe larger portions or  premium candy?

After reading here and worrying about how the chews will do, I was considering offering toys in some dedicated "kid focused" machines/locations (i.e. no energy chews).  But most of the 1"/1.1" capsules I saw in some quick searching were $0.25 vend items, not $0.50.  If I'm right, I don't think my 1-800s can vend the bigger capsules that most of the $0.50 vend toys come in.

It seems like whether toys, candy, or energy chews is best depends on the locations (which I don't have yet).  I keep going back and forth between being confident that the chews will sell in the right locations and being worried that I've got to come up with a "plan B" and fast.

Maybe I should just focus on getting the right kind of locations for what I have and give it a shot.

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Zannah,

First of all I want to say that I voted for your post. I think you do a great job of expressing yourself. You've got my vote!

Okay, for some help with your questions. I will number the answers in order of your questions just to make it easier for me.

1. You shouldn't have to pay a locator that just sends you leads that you have to chase after. I think you are paying them to do that for you. You should give them the zip codes and tell them what type of accounts you want and what type of products you are focusing on. (toys? Kid friendly accounts, etc)

2. 1" capsules are usually priced at $.25 although there are a few items that you can buy that can be priced at $.50

With the 1800 machines you get only one head that can vend 1" capsules, gum balls, super balls. The other two heads are for candy only. You could really open the heads and give double the amount of candy on certain candy only. ( like peanut m&m's even if you open it up all the way, it's still only a little more than a $.25 portion. If you did cashews or pistachios or macadamia nuts you could do $.50.

1800 machines do not vend 2" capsules.

3. I think that most of us, when we first start want to buy 25, 50 or 100 machines and go out and place them fast. They are all the same type of machines that vend the same type of products. That's the real problem. You soon find out that all stores and locations do not sell or can use the same type of vending machines.

4. I am sorry we got you worried about Live Wire Energy Chews. I am sure they are a good product. You can put them in certain locations, and do really well. But not every location. You will be alright with what you have. There will be more than enough locations for 24 machines. After that you should look for accounts and buy equipment that fits the accounts you have found.

5. The best statement you made in your post was; I need to come up with a plan B. You are new to this and the worst thing you could do right now is get worried about what to do next. I would have a plan B, C, D. E & F.

Real Life Example:

Look at your equipment, think about what you would like to see in each machine and what accounts you would like to see them in. Plan out your first 24 machines and than start on the next machines. Think about the best places for your energy vending machines. Tell the locator's what you want them to do. That's why you are paying them.

Keep coming to the forum and telling us what you are doing. Run your plans by us. We will help you make it through the start of your new vending business.

Thanks again for your supper posts.

Gary

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Thanks, Gary. I have a feeling that help from folks here could be the difference between "making a go of it" and getting demoralized and giving up too soon.

FYI, 20 of my 1-800's (the ones I bought new under their new LiveWire model) are all setup to vend capsules. They don't have 2 candy wheels like my four used machines. That's because the LiveWire chews come in capsules.

I think I may be one of the very first of their new customers under the "Pure Energy Vending" BizOp. I already had 12 used machines from Ebay (6 Vendstars, 2 U-Turns, and the 4 1-800's) when I bit on the BizOp pitch. Even before I bit, I knew they were overpriced, and we plan to continue to add much cheaper machines to get our total per/machine sunk costs average down to something more reasonable.

Anyway, thanks to all for all the feedback. We'll keep posting on our progress and asking for more help and advice.

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I do beleive that 1 800 is still offering components for their older machines (could be wrong) you need to call and let them know you have their older machines and they will set you up an acount. I would find a 1" capsel that sells for .50 and put one mec in each machine. Put candy in the others. What this will do for you is give you more machines with .25 cent mecs containing only one .50

There are .50 1.1 caps call aa and see what they have. I am not sure if this would work just giving my veiw on this.

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Yeah, the machines aren't a new design, they're the same machines as before, except with 3 gumball/capsule wheels instead of 1. The parts on the new machines are interchangeable with my used machines and I can buy new ones from the Pure Energy support site.

Does anyone know if I am stuck with 1-800/Pure Energy for mechs? Or are there other manufacturer's "standard" mechs that could slide into a 1-800?

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