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The NBVA is our advocacy group and voice in local, state, and federal legislature.

This is pulled from their website, nbva.org:

Gambling Excise. In 1950 the main problem was to defeat the attempt of the U.S. Treasury Department to impose gambling excise taxes on our machines. This battle was won but the ramifications of the effort were felt in the industry for several years and similar gambling claims were fought at various state levels as well.

Commingling. The Food and Drug Administration attempted to ban the commingling of charms with ball gum. The initial challenge by the FDA took place by administrative ruling and court enforcement. The industry responded with its own lawsuit and we were successful in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Virginia in the now famous Cavelier Vending case which established as a matter of law that the commingling of charms and ball gum is not hazardous to health.

Health Concerns. The FDA did not give up easily, however, and next attempted to ban the commingling by introducing a special legislation in Congress, which would have the same effect of banning the commingling. Again the Association responded with a lobbying effort which established the congressional precedent of favorable legislation affecting our industry.

Viewfinder. The "viewfinder" was introduced by the industry for a short period of time as a method of eliminating one of the three essential elements of gambling. By placing the viewfinder in the machines in such a way as to identify the item vended, the element of chance was removed and therefore gambling could not be present. As you may recall, to constitute gambling in our machines, there must be a consideration paid for a prize and there must be an element of chance. We also argued that the viewfinder was not required since the element of "prize" is not present in our machines due to the fact that the items vended are of approximate or equivalent value to the coin being inserted.

Bulk Vending Definition. We created the definition of "bulk vending machines" which has been used successfully in numerous states, counties and cities in obtaining relief from sales taxes and license fees. We compose materials for uses in explaining how our industry differs from the balance of the "vending industry" in order to justify separate treatment.

Toy Safety Law. When the Toy Safety Act was first introduced in Congress, our representatives were present and attempted to generate testimony on the floor of the House of Representatives to minimize the impact of the legislation. There was no possibility of defeating the entire legislation since the Act was intended at items most other than bulk vending products.

In the late 1970's, the Consumer Products Safety Commission attempted to enforce the Toy Safety Act on bulk vendors because of the cigarette lighters constituting a thermal hazard, because of certain razors and other sharp objects appearing in our machines and because of the small size our items can be swallowed by children. After a series of hearings on proposed regulations, a sweeping "small toy" regulation was adopted by the Commission. At the same time, however, as a result of our efforts, the Commission virtually approved our entire line of products and determined they were not hazardous.

Tariff Exemption. In 1982, the Association spearheaded a successful drive to obtain a temporary tariff exemption which significantly reduced the cost of importing our small toys and novelties. The temporary exemption was renewed and extended in 1986 and in 1990. That relief expired on December 31, 1992, but we obtained permanent exemption under the GATT. See Item 15

Mandatory Labeling. In 1991, we expressed objections to legislation sponsored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require labeling of small toys. The labeling requirement was rejected by Congress.

Tax Video. In 1992, we produced a Tax Video to be used as a training vehicle for our members or as materials to be shown to legislators in battling licensing and sales taxes.

Voluntary Labeling. In 1992, the Consumer Product Safety Commission withdrew its proposed mandatory labeling requirements for small toys, marbles and balloons and our Association rescinded the voluntary labeling standard we adopted in 1991. Meanwhile, the Child Safety Protection Act was introduced in 1993 to impose almost identical labeling requirements. We succeeded in limiting the labels on our machines, rather than on each capsule.

ADA Rules. In 1992, we issued a bulletin on the Americans With Disabilities Act and furnished a sample response to letters from store owners and managers.

Legislative Fund. In 1993 our members voluntarily pledged close to $50,000 to fight the VAT tax being considered and to be prepared to fight for other national issues.

$1.00 Coin. Since 1993, we have been committed to support legislation for the $1 coin. We continue to support this legislation by our renewed membership in The Coin Coalition. When the $1 coin legislation is finally passed, the effects on our marketing and profit potential will be enormous.

Toy Safety Act of 1994. We supported the mandatory labeling requirements of this new Act on the condition federal preemption was established. First we ensured that labeling is not required on each capsule. Through our efforts, the Act specifically deals with our machines.

GATT Exemption. In 1994, we were successful in being included in the negotiated GATT schedules for permanent relief from tariffs on small toys which cost .08 cents or less. Since GATT passed and became effective, the bulk vending industry has saved well over $1 million per year and the Association no longer needs to retain a Washington lobbyist every few years to seek extension of our tariff relief.

Toy Safety Final Regulations. We commented on proposed Regulations and were instrumental in obtaining favorable provisions in the Final Regulation adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1995. In 1997, we obtained approval of specific wording for multiple products.

Blue Sky Promoters Banned. In 1997 we amended our Constitution and By-Laws to take a strong stand against unscrupulous promoters who use false or deceptive materials to deceive unsophisticated investors. We specifically condemned use of "multiplication charts" and the erroneous reference to "net profits" in a misleading manner.

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I guarantee that if you join the NBVA and attend the next convention that you will learn at least one tip that will make you back whatever money you have spent several times over.

Plus you will discover new products and machines that you never knew about.

Plus some of your money will be going to help with legislative issues that will help ensure that our business remains viable.

Plus you will have a good time.

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Notwithstanding all the accomplishments achieved by the NVBA as listed by Farmer John, I attended the Las Vegas NVBA convention earlier this year and was very disappointed. 

I've attended many conventions in many industries and this one was the worst.

All the operators that attended were mega-operators, each servicing hundreds of machines in several states, all with several employees.  This is who NVBA targets, since their membership revenue is dependable, so if I ever become a mega-operator, I'll join!

My reason for attending was to view the exhibits and most important, attend the seminars, which were attended and run by the good old boy operators, many of who know one another because their parents and grandparents were in this business for thirty plus years.

And the good old boys talked and networked with one another during the seminar period.  Suffice it to say, the only vending network that's tailored the the smaller sized bulk operator that's worth anything is Vendiscuss (not a plug, Casserri!)




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Thanks. That's knid of what I was looking to hear. Andy: networking in the good old boys club is like locating- no ones going to reach out and invite you in. If you look like 'em, talk like 'em, and act like 'em, then they may think you are one of them!



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Philo, perhaps I didn't clarify myself enough about the NVBA good old boys: I met individually with several of them in the one day I attended, and they seemed very nice and receptive to me. I also spent a considerable time talking to the machine and candy vendors and they were very helplful as well.

However, I attended the convention to get educated in this market (at the time, I was in bulk vending for only two months) and came away learning little from the seminars.

Anywho, it's your nickel if you wish to join and I wish you luck if you decide to do this.


PS: I went to the NBVA website and noticed thier convention is in Vegas again in 2009. I just might go again, since I can drive there and get a write off!

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A lot of times, with things like this, you get out of it what you put into it. You probably did see a lot of big operators talking amongst themselves. They know each other. They don't know you.  I guess I'm one of the old boy network you describe. Not once have I failed to give time to a small guy who came to me with a question. If I knew the answer, they got an honest answer.

Some other people would be thrilled to be able to hang out with "the old boy network". I'm sure you've heard of networking, right? Make yourself known as ambitious, hard working, reliable (show every year) and don't be too surprised if someday you get asked to put machines in a location that a big boy got because he doesn't do that kind of machine or go to that area. It's happenned to me.

Seriously, who do you want to run the seminars if not large operators who have been doing it for a while? Did you attend the operator's bull session? That is specifically suited for smaller operators

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Not once have I failed to give time to a small guy who came to me with a question. If I knew the answer, they got an honest answer.

I certainly believe that Smiley. Your honesty and and willingness to teach has been a great asset to this board.




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Philo asked, in his original question, "How many belong to NBVA? Thinking about joining since it’s so cheap, but is it a waste? Opinions welcome."

I gave him my honest feedback, which was suggesting  he not join. Philo asked about the value of NBVA and I gave him my opinion, and since it appears I'm one of the very few in this forum that ever attended an NBVA conference, I thought it would be of some value. 

Anyone here, especially you, should give your opinion on the value of NVBA as well, since you stated good reasons for joining.  But when you stated to me "I'm sure you've heard of networking, right?â€, you were out of line

Smiley, let’s get some perspective on this, Philo asked about the NVBA, not me. Nor did I solicit yours or anyone else’s feedback about the value of networking.

So, let me re-state my position on NBVA:  For what they ask for in membership and convention fees, in my opinion, this money could be much better spent on networking locally, like joining your local chamber. 

Perhaps NBVA might be of some value after logging two or three years in bulk, but not for newbies like many of us using this forum.

In my case, I recently networked with and became the only authorized vending machine operator for a very popular local charity.  Their reputation in my community whose has opened doors for me for many locations I otherwise could not get into.

I pay them substantially more that the national charities, but it’s well worth in investment. For questions about bulk vending, I belong to vendiscuss. 

In fact I’ve learned so much from this forum, Caserri, I’m overdue to make a donation to your site.  Can you make this happen?


PS: No, I did not attend the bull session as this was held on the first day of my holiday, Passover.

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I apologize for taking that tone. I just re-read your posts and mine and I have no idea why  I decided to go the nasty, sarcastic route.

But, you seem to imply that it's even out of line for me to disagree with you because you didn't "solicit my opinion".  However, there is no rule that I can only respond to the original poster and not to someone who responded to the original poster.

Anyway, let's talk about the costs. How much did you spend? I think the passes are ~$100 and to join is ~$100 but that's a guess.

What do you get for your money?

A coupon book, banquet dinner w/ 2 drinks, party invite on another night, seminars, exhibit floor, chances to network and the knowledge that some of your money is going to fight for things like sales tax relief and lobbying to prevent the lead issue from putting our industry under.

I might be at the point now where I don't learn that much at the conventions, but the first 8 or so that I went to I know that I learned stuff that saved or made me thousands of dollars each show.

Seems like a good deal to me.

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