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My route average has dropped dramatically.... Just curious what other vendors do to boost theirs


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I noticed a drop in sales in december and a little in november. You could change the selection that certainly can be a cause. Check the businesses where you have your machines. Some of them will lose customers during the Christmas season simply because people are at other places. Some of your office building people will skip snacks, because they are overeating from thanksgiving through new year. Interestingly my health club account has killed the M&M's. Maybe they want to be in shape and enjoy the M's.

I noticed this last month some different candies did very well for me and one account had a jam and it cost me several dollars. employees said we meant to call, but... Oh well they'll make up for it this month.

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A couple things to keep in mind:

1.  Sales in general will nearly always take a dive from about Thanksgiving to about March 1.  People who don't have to travel in wintertime won't, plus the holidays eat up a lot of disposable income.  My sales drop anywhere from 10-30% in some spots.

2.  If you vend candy, check to make sure you are rotating fresh product. 

3.  Look around to see if the business is showing signs of stress.  You will get more business closures around New Years...

What you can do:

1.  If certain items take a dive for 1-2 service cycles, change the product out sooner rather than later.  (gum to toy balls, gum to toys, PMM to MI)

2.  Downgrade spots from doubles to singles or yank them for relocating/upgrading elsewhere, it is a judgment call but will improve your averages.  A good amount of good locations beats a large amount of dud locations any day, just ask the Vendstar biz-op victims...

3.  Gum and toys sell more consistently (for me) year round than candy, another reason why I do 90% of my business with these products.  I don't know about you but I don't care for frozen Skittles or Mike & Ikes on a chilly winter day!  :)

4.  Upgrade spots that are doing well or are your cash cows even if they are off so they take off when the thaw arrives.  Being proactive is a huge advantage in this business, and the easiest thing to do is to upgrade and already top-notch spot.

5.  Do anything you can to reduce your COGS!  This again speaks to vending more gum/toys/stickers, catch candy on sale somehow someway (not sure how right now with the recent price hikes)

6.  Don't be afraid to experiment.  For example, stick a smaller 2-3 column sticker machine as a single in a good spot next to your existing double or whatever and see if it catches on and improves sales.  If it works then go to 4 column and then a rack with a 4-column.

7.  Stretch your service cycle if you can to save gas/travel/time to get about the same collection as before the dive hit.  It may not always be feasible but evaluate it for yourself.

8.  Look for deals on used equipment.  Build/clean/repair mechs, heads, machines.  Get them ready for the spring.  You might build your next $500 spot over the next week and not even know it, or your next portion of a route or a whole new route altogether.

So you see, there is a lot you can do during down time to build up your business even when your income is off.  When you repeat this process a few times, a 10-20% drop will still mean significant income and be better able to survive bad times.  It is a great time to plan out your business model for the next year.

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I would get all of the charity vendors kicked out so that I can have the location all to myself! :D No, No, Not really, just kidding! :P

Joe made some great points as well. I think you need to identify what type of downturn you are experiencing in order to determine your proper course of action (as described by Joe).

1. Novelty Spike Downturn. The classic situation where a location does really good to start with and tapers off when the novelty wears off and never really comes back (the honeymoon is over). :?

2. Seasonal Downturn. The holidays in Nov and Dec are really bad for me and I now expect a slow down during this time.:(

3. Permanent Downturn. It can take about 6 months to know if this downturn is for real. :X


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The issue that im having is i have several locations that were secured by locators that after 3-4 months the revenue amounts from these locations went from $20.00 down to 3-10 dollar locations which is bringing my overall revenue down. Im going to be changing out products and seeing if that makes any difference and ive been cutting my costs down. IM adding a soda machine to the route today so that should help me out but the bulk locations just arent firing like they should be.

Just wondering if anyone else has any suggestions for:

1. Locations that were doing good at one time but nose dived.

2. Locations that never did over 10.00 how to increase them

3. Ive got generaic toys in my machines will name brand increase sales on 2" and 1.1

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1.  Locations did well but now they nose dived ----> You can change product, downgrade the spot or pull the spot. 

2.  Locations that never did 10.00 ---> If you are new, I would try to change product, if you have been in business for a year or two, I would yank the spot and try again.  I am presently yanking any spot that doesnt do 10.00 for 2 straight services. 

Exception to #2:  If you are doing less than 10.00 in a hot spot where there is heavy competition (chinese, pizza place, arcade) try to change to different products, stick with gum/toys if at all possible.  I have a Chinese spot that I have a Vendmax and double against a 5-way rack and interactive and I hold my own by doing two kinds of gum and Runts.

3.  Changing toys to brand names ---> This is a tough decision for me, I only do special toys in racks or toy-only spots that do great volume.  If you are in a Spanish area, definitely try it.  Otherwise try changing the toys to superballs or toys to gumballs.

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Generic toys are basic toy mixes, like A&A Treasure Chest, some companies call them a Mystery Mix or something like that.

Brand names are anything specific, Sticky Mix, Spongebob keychains, collectible items series, Monkey Around, etc.  These are more expensive mixes and are focused on specific genres.

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