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Locating is AWESOME


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Last week I got the okay for my first machine at an auto shop. I placed it Monday before work. I have wed/thursday off, and I finished putting together my second machine -- and getting the bulk wheel set right (thanks guys!). I went out locating today, took 4 stops to get a yes. Not too bad IMO. Less than 30 minutes. (5 stops if you count the place where no manager was on duty - subway)

Got one "corporate won't allow vending machines", one "if we had the machine I'd grow fat from eating too much" (seriously, that was his reason, but he was respectful and I liked the place), next place looked kinda dumpy, I found two vending machines in there. One soda machine, one table top candy machine. The candy machine looked like it wasn't serviced well. The soda machine had a sticker "cash removed from this machine daily", and I thought "yeah right". So I asked the guy there who is supposed to be working what kind of service he was getting. He responds "EXCUSE ME?", and I'm thinking "maybe he's hard of hearing.... so I asked him clearly if he was pleased with the service. He growls back "WHO ARE YOU?". With this kind of deranged person I figured I'd avoid giving my name and just get out. I said I was a local vendor, and thank you. He growls at me, "THE MACHINES ARE MINE".

In the future, I will watch for stickers that say the machine has the money taken out daily -- it may indicate that an employee is running them.  I've also decided that since I am doing research, when met by a vendor I will say that I'm researching vending as part of a college project. (I am planning to use my experience in vending for admission to a master's program) That seems better than letting a loose cannon know that I'm a local vendor -- there was no way to tell if he had his own business outside of those two locations. Yikes, on the other hand, if that guy is the competition in this city, I'm confident my attitude will win me plenty of accounts.

My next stop was at a small business accounting place. I've taken up the advice of asking if the person I'm speaking to is the manager. So far it seems to work better than asking for a manager. (I did ask at subway because no one appeared qualified, I realized that was a bad move and adjusted for all future stops. )

I made a pitch on the fact that they didn't have a vending machine, and their customers might get hungry. I could see they had put some candy out for the customers because it was the holidays, so clearly they wanted to make the customers comfortable while they were waiting. I was a local business, and I had a small classy machine that I thought would fit nicely there. Nothing big, I wanted it to look nice, and I believed it using large vend settings because their customers deserve respect.

They asked to see the machine and if they could have it there for a one month trial basis. Sure :) The office manager saw the PMM and sighed, saying he would be broke now. I can appreciate knowing that he enjoys his PMM, and dropped a buck twenty five on the table in quarters. Told him the first few were one the house.

2 for 5 on locating -- no commissions, no charities.

Now to get some working coin mechs for my other machines to get them on location.

Anyone else have good stories of when they ran into someone who seemed off their hinges while locating?

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I would not lie about being a vendor, nor would I say "I am researching for collage". I would gladly tell him: "I am here with a bulk vending company. We are placing our machines today in your town and I was wondering how you like the service you are getting" and hand them a business card. If the go off, so what. It is their ignorance, and shows you how they do business. Those are actually the stops that when I get out to the car, I laugh, and think about what it would have been like with the owner if I would have actually placed a machine there.


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I went in to get my oil changed today, and check on my machine. It had only been four days, but I wanted to see how it had done.

0$ in gumballs

1$ in RP

(Edit: This is grosse, not net. Also, these are before the next quarter went in. I'm optimistic for a turn around)

While I was sitting there Asst Mngr came up and dropped a quarter in, turned the vend, and brought out about 6 RP. Now granted, he missed one that fell to the floor, and two were left in the tube, but he asked about the small size.

Knowing I hadn't set it to be so small, I thanked him for showing me and went to work on that machine. It turned out I had been off by a knob or two on my candy wheel. So after someone had purchased RP, anyone could jiggle the handle a few times and get a third to a half of the next serving to come out. I got the machine reset so it couldn't be cheesed and gave him his quarter back to try again. (I ran about 6 tests on it to make sure I had it working right) Low and behold out comes about 16 RP. He was happy. I can do that many because I don't have to pay a charity or a commission. There are three machines in there though, and I want to push people out. He said the waiting room had to many and they were thinking of pushing one of the other machines out. He seemed to think it should be the terminator that left.

I'll have another test in a few weeks to see if it's doing better now with the bigger RP sizes (since I'm battling the terminator's RP)

I hope gumballs will start moving, but I suspect they won't. I'm interested in trying to get some spiral gumball machines. I think I can get a location in a store in the local mall w/o paying commission or charity. If I'm able to get a good deal on a spiral and set it up I will report of course :).

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Well it was good that you caught it early. It also showed good business sense to give him his quarter back a show the proper vend size. It is all about good service. You never know if they asked the same thing to the other vendors about their machines. It could be how they are deciding on eliminating one of the machines.

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