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My first honor box


Donkata

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Behold, my first honor box!  I set this up in the lunchroom at my office.  If shortage gets too high, I'll pull it, but we'll see how it goes.
 
If it goes well, there are lots of nearby office buildings I could hit up too.  The goal with all this is to make enough profit to buy the inventory needed to open the Pop Warner snack bar next season.

Snack Box

 

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I think you'll regret putting candy in there before long.  Candy currently costs me around 60 cents in my area and my best honor box accounts were usually around 15% short (so I would expect an average of 85 cents per each $1 as it relates to the purchase price).  You'll be lucky to make 25 cents profit on those candy bars, and 25 cents just isn't going to make it worth your while in most places.

 

When I first bought my honor box route, I had about 10 varieties of LSS chips, 2 varieties of nuts, 4 varieties of pastries (for good customers), 2 varieties of poptarts, and about 4 varieties of cookies.  Now, after downsizing a lot in the honor box department, I still have 10 varieties of chips, no nuts, no pastries, 2 poptarts, and about 2 varieties of cookies.  The chips cost me around 43 cents each, poptarts around 38 cents each, and cookies around 32 cents each.  My average COGS is maybe 40% of the $1.00 purchase price and, when you account for the 15% shortage, I basically double my money whenever I sell something.  When I go to a customer and pull out $20, I figure about $10 of that is profit and it only takes me about 20 minutes on average to do each account... so I can easily make anywhere from $15-$30/hour from honor boxes based off of COGS alone... but fuel expense eats into that quickly.

 

I am moving away from honor boxes as my vending machines take a major priority in my time.  I have downsized from roughly 55 accounts when I started to about 20 accounts now and I will be cancelling more within the next few months.  The end goal is to devote no more than 1 day each month to honor boxes and collect nearly $120 in profit from an 8-hour delivery.  It's still not worth it considering a good vending account can bring me about that much profit in an hour's worth of work, but it's okay to devote the time when I have a free day to do so.

 

Chips expire quickly so they don't work out at a lot of places, but people like chips here.  I recommend trying just a few varieties if the variety packs are available somewhere.  Just stay away from anything that will be more than $1.00 after you've doubled the price of the product.  Candy should be closer to $1.25 when the price has been doubled and people simply don't want to pay more than $1.00 for stuff out of a box.  And don't lose sleep over coworkers stealing your stuff.  People take stuff and forget to pay.  They aren't necessarily thieves (at least they don't intend to take your snacks without paying), they are just irresponsible.

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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.  I had a specific request for the Snickers, so I bought a variety pack from Smart & Final to stock it.  They're priced at $1.50, my price is $.67, and they're not moving.  I'll give it a week or two, but will likely drop the price to $1.00 and see if that works.  The other candy in there is leftover inventory from our Pop Warner snack bar, so it'll stay until it sells.  Jolly Ranchers don't seem to be a big hit among the 20-30 year old set.

 

I've added Slim Jims and Beef Jerky.  The beef jerky flew out of there today at $1.50 a pop.  My price on that is $1.08, so I'm really not making much margin on that but maybe that's okay.

 

I'd thought to add chips, but was a little worried about the room they take up.  There's probably some (box real estate) / (realistic margin) * (sell rate) sweet spot.  Maybe that's mints!

 

It occurred to me if shortages became an issue I could put up an IOU sheet with a date I'll come by with my card swiper and phone to collect.  That way there's no worries about having correct change or remembering to put in more tomorrow because you shorted it today.  I think most shortages (here) wouldn't be outright theft, but more along the lines of losing track of how much you owe the kitty.

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