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SNACK BOXES


candyman007
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Ok, My locator does snack boxes and swears by them so I decided to start selling them on my website.  http://www.kickstartvending.com

However, I honestly don't know that much about them but it seems like a very good idea to me.  I realize you're working on the honor system but..  you are selling generally to employees that you are going to see every couple of weeks.  Are they really going to have the gull to steal from you if they know they are going to see you?  I know I wouldn't.  And if the person said something to me one time I sure as hell would make sure to pay for every snack that I took.

Anyway if someone would log onto my website and check out the snack box offerings and let me know what you think I would be very appreciative.  Thanks so much.

Regards,

Rob

http://www.kickstartvending.com

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Do you really belive that there is much honour left in the world today!

As a business owner with thirty employess and first hand knowledge on the results of honour boxes I would not attempt it. Most people who do not pay the honour box are probably not doing it intentionaly, I want a chocolate bar now but forgot my money, oh well I will pay later and take the bar now and forget. I have had the person who placed the honour box ask me to reimburse them as the owner of the business; not likely. I know other businesses that have allowed these with almost the same results, including a bank staff room, now under lock and key (it was the floor cleaners). If you do research on honour boxes the norm seems to be around 20% lost revenue, if you can absorb this as part of doing business, then give it a try for yourself and report your results for all to see! As a side note I even had charity donation boxes stolen from the front counter.

Not much honour when people can steal from a charity.

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I think I can take the 20% hit on revenue.

Here is my take:

20 snacks sold at 75 cents = $15

20% of $15 lost = $3

Average Snack Cost 20 cents.  20 cents x 20 snacks = $4

Revenue $15

Stolen $-3

Snacks $-4

Net $8  That is a 200% return on investment.  I think that is pretty good.  Snack boxes I would assume are easier to locate and I know they are a lot easier to service.  Just pickup the old one and drop a new one off.  In and out.  I could service 100 a day. 

What do you think?  Did you check my site?  I really love this business model.  Consider paying 30% to store owners for commission for regular full line machines.  Plus I can't imagine people would be more apt to buy from a mechanical machine than an honor box would you? 

Anyway, Thanks for the information!

Rob

http://www.kickstartvending.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took a look at your site and it looks interesting, but I'm not sure I'd buy them.

We have an older mechanical combo snack/pop machine and we keep getting ripped off.

Apparently it's really easy to trigger the mechanism and get free product. And this is in a place where the manager and assistant manager are always watching it for me. We lose on average 10 items a week, selling only about 40. So a 25% loss.

 

Cheers,

Chris

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Rob, why not try the smaller mint boxes. Here is me take: People will say "Hmm, I'll just pay latter, after all I'm here all the time". They will forget.

With MINT BOXES you are loosing 1 cent with ever stolen mint. If some one only puts 1 cent it the box and takes a mint, you are not in the hole. If someone puts .50 in the box, and takes a mint, they have paid for 49 stolen mints. You WILL not go in the hole with mint boxes, as you will with snack boxes.

Kyle

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  • 1 month later...

I'm with Rob on the snack boxes!  There are more ways than one to control theft on these boxes, (i.e.) service levels (they see and become to know you), cards that let them know if everyone paid or the box was short, plus you are providing a real service for them... they want it, and the thought of taking it away if you lose money is another threat.

And yes some business owners will make up the difference, others will pay in advance.  Rob I like the idea that everyone is so skeptical about these.  It creates a niche for us!  There is no competition for these where I live. 

There is a reason that 90% of the people in this world are poor or middle class and only 10% are wealthy.  It's easy they do the opposite of what the other 90% won't do!  They don’t follow the herd!  This is a small example of that.

RJ

 

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  • 2 months later...

I think this works in the right location.  I did an internship with a company that had multiple office buildings, but only one cafeteria with a kitchen.  Our building was located about 2 miles from the main building, so they would stock our "buffet" and then leave.  We were completely on the honor system and I never saw anyone steal food.  The only questionable activity I saw was that sometimes a vendor would come in with labeled cups saying that they had bought us a drink, so we could use it for free at the drink machine, and some people would clean the cups and reuse them without ever paying.  This was a multi billion dollar company, so if it works for them, it could work in small honest setting.

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  • 5 months later...

I've been seriously considering honor box vending. I've been back and forth on the matter. My wife used to work in a larger office with full line machines and said that I would've been robbed blind. I can see that in a bigger office, but in a smaller one without vending machines, I think that it would be a valuable service and the theft would be much lower. I'd love to know if honor snack boxes were profitable for you or if you got robbed blind.

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joebob

I worked in an office of 12 and the honor box guy was always crying about being $10.00 - $20.00 short over 3 weeks or so. (I don't know who was robbing who)

I know from personal experience it is easy to take an item when you don't have the money and intend to pay it later. If you write down what you owe you'll probably pay it. If you trust your memory, who knows. This is just talking about loss from basically honest people not the out right thief. It got so bad we used to count the snacks when he came in and check it against the cash to see if he was really short. It was hard track though because you never knew when they would come in to re-fill.

I read an article about a fellow who did this with bagels in his own office years and years ago. He said his loss was about 2%. When he expanded into other offices it jumped to 12-15%. I think you would have to price to allow for a lot of losses. The other pproblem with the box in our office was they used a lot of cheaper items like lifesavers and other candy that was not big name brands to fill out the box. That stuff never sold. That is ok in one location but if you have items that don't sell anywhere you will have to allow for those losses too.

Good luck with your decision.

 

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What amazes me is that I see these boxes in a lot of places..and if it was that big of a loss, the vendor would likely pull the box.

I put a bulk in the other day, the lady had her own soda machine..a major oldie..but it works and she fills it.   She mentioned the honor box...she said that she had not seen this person in forever..

It seems to me that this area also runs rampant with bad service..

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I have to agree with you. If you see the boxes around, then they apparently do make some profit otherwise the boxes would be pulled. I am skeptical, but it is my impression that these boxes can be profitable if they are well maintained and if you use tools like comment cards, and tracking cards as-well as using a charity you can decrease theft.

I was thinking about the Homeland Security terror threat levels and how I could put up a colored card indicating the threat of the box being pulled (Green - none, Yellow early warning, Orange - very likely). I also thought about taping a raffle ticket on each snack, so that a snack purchase equals a chance in the raffle, and if the snack sales balance with money collected I would hold a raffle for a free snack.

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Joebob, I like some of your ideas as it shows thinking outside of the box, not just doing the norm. But I have to agree with Ted that a lot of the missing revenue is from honest folk who forget to pay. As for a charity to lessen theft, in a world of honest honorable people maybe, but in the here and now it will not play a roll.

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Just trying to get to the truth. T-Bird, I thought you were going to do honor boxes at some point. Did you?

I've looked into some of the mechanical vending machines and none work the way I want. I'd love it if they had a machine like a small newspaper box flipped on its back so you could put your money in and have the door unlock so you can get your candy. Just like a newpaper box, someone could always take more than what they pay for, but hey, they already paid!

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Joebob, have you tried sourcing old newspaper boxs. Of course that is also close to snack mechanical vending, and can be robbed pretty easy. The snacks when its open and the money can be had pretty easy too.

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Grumpy, While it is true that it can be robbed pretty easily, it would cut down on the honest folk who intend on paying later but forget. The mechanical vendors currently available are expensive, bulky, and don't offer the variety an honor box provides.

I was really looking for a box that would lay down horizontally, but the newspaper box coin mechs are gravity-fed and so it wouldn't work. Now that I think about it an upright box would work too. as long as you removed the cage that holds the display paper so that everyone could look inside to see what they want. That does reduce the flexibility of the honor boxes somewhat, but it would cut down on theft. I'm not too big on trail-blazing, but it sounds like it could work well in the right location. You'd have to put a sign on it that said "SNACKS" since it wouldn't be your typical snack vendor.

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Joebob, there are worst things then being a trailblazer. Another drawback is the size of it. Why not make one of your own honour box and put it in a location that you think is very trustworthy and give it a try for a couple of months. I would but I'm just to dam lazy.

If you do this I wish you good luck and of course keep us updated with your success.

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  • 8 months later...

Kyle, thanks for posting the photo of the mint boxes.  I'm considering doing a charity sponsored candy box like that, but wonder about the candy selection.  Do you or anyone else have experience with people paying a quarter for 1 of those candies?  I wouldn't do that even though I love candy, because I'm so/so on hard candy, and I would think it's overpriced.  Any experienced feedback?  Also, where would I find cheap candy like that?

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jaharra,

It seems to me that the cost for these is going to be way to high. For this kind of investment you could place real machines. Alot cheaper! You can get honor boxes for next to nothing. Here is an ad for 50 that are free! Just tell them you'll send them some money for shipping and a bonus for their trouble.   This are the ones that you place with candy bars, chips, crackers, etc..  You may end up with some not paid for but that is the cost of doing business with honor boxes.  So many of your customers will not steal anyway.  It's Utah!

nam

http://capecod.craigslist.org/zip/1136500501.html

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Here are some vending magazine articles related to the VISTAVend Honest Honor box mentioned above that gives you an idea on it's profitablity and pros & cons.

Article related to this “pre-loaded shelf system†and 2 competitors: the Multi-max® Distributed Vending® Systems and the Revolution.   Reports avg. profits of $20 every 2 weeks

http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/publication/article.jsp?pubId=1&id=15687.

Similar VistaVend reports here:

http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/online/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=9938&pageNum=4

This article reports VistaVend as being more profitable than other articles

http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/online/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=10459

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Thanks so much nam,

I sure appreciate you sharing the Craigslist ad with me and I've responded with your suggestion! Regarading the Vistavend, I thought the article was helpful too, it didn't sound like a good ROI.

Jaharra

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