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mikejody

Location Finders

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Greetings,

I know there are several threads on here about location finders, but some are older and I'm hoping for any new information.

We are looking for a locator for locations in the Olympia, Washington area for bulk vending machines. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have already contacted vendinglocator4u and received a rude response, and so I figured if he has no customer service skills I don't want him talking to my potential future customers. 

But anyone else I'm open to considering. 

Thank you

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Hopefully we can get some updated reviews on bulk locators.

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locator 4 u was one of the good ones, many of these guys subcontract phone people to do the cold calling, when you show up, you dont know jack... i would rather find my own, better yet, start looking for anyone selling, i havent used locators in years, i find my own, as i travel throughout the route, a new stored pop up here and there, ill stop by and give them a 30 second presentation, give them my card, and unless they say yes, they are then forgotten. funny thing... some time later i pass by the same place, and now they have machines, oooh wow, so i give them my presesntation again, but this time ill add... " if it ever breaks, or you need service, or you just want a real vending machine, give me a call" :) some people are just too greedy to let a vendor run things bc they feel that they are not getting the full profit from the machine. if machine makes $20/mo and theire commission is $6, they fight for 50%... $4! so i tell them, do you really think that i care for the $4? that $4 is what gets me here, its what pays for my time, gas and the service i provide, that the product will always be fresh. next thing to say, and its the only truth hate me if you will. if i am a vending machine operator, then thats what i am, i am not a mechanic, or a broker, or any other specialty job, this is what i know how to do, and what i do best, same goes for other trades, so when these other trades mix into my trade, it becomes a problem

1. they have no clue of what they are doing

2. they go out and buy a machine

3. they have no clue of what they are doing!

4. they see some profit

5. they have no clue of what they are doing! (learning)

6. its not enough profit

7. they have no clue of what they are doing! (realizing theyve made a mistake)

8. eventually machine goes empty, owner doesnt have time to buy the product

9. they have no clue of what they are doing!

10. machine is now left alone, empty!

11. this whole process makes us look bad.

12 they have no clue of what they are doing! (did i mention this before?)

so... find a script online, get in touch with NCCS for some stickers, learn the script, and rock out! 

Good Luck!

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OK so you said numerous times, over and over, "they have no clue what they are doing", and then left the following help for us who want to know what to do:

"so... find a script online, get in touch with NCCS for some stickers, learn the script, and rock out!"

So this is what you suggest we do so that we know what we are doing?

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16 hours ago, mikejody said:

Greetings,

I know there are several threads on here about location finders, but some are older and I'm hoping for any new information.

We are looking for a locator for locations in the Olympia, Washington area for bulk vending machines. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have already contacted vendinglocator4u and received a rude response, and so I figured if he has no customer service skills I don't want him talking to my potential future customers. 

But anyone else I'm open to considering. 

Thank you

     Some very basic advice:

If you are not a people person find another business venture. That may seem abrupt but the huge spectrum of personalities you will face in this business can be overwhelming if you are offended easily or quick to anger. 

Be ready to work hard and overcome frustration. Contrary to the sales pitches you read everywhere this is not the lazy man's business. Like any other business it has a lot of challenges and demands.

Buy good equipment (Eagle, Oak, Northwestern, Beaver). Buy it used when you can and if you MUST buy new then buy Eagle machines. They are well built, attractive, dependable and reasonably priced. Investing in inferior Chinese equipment will cost you alot more in the long run.

Try to build a small route (10-20 machines) in as tight a geographic area as possible. A small route like this will give you a good idea what it is like to operate a bulk vending business without over committing yourself financially. Run it for a while and learn how to deal with service calls, machine repairs, product management, location loss and replacement etc... . After 6 months or a year if you don't want it you can put it up for sale or if you like it then continue to build it.

One of the leading causes of bulk vending business failures is the inability to replace lost locations immediately. Failure to quickly redeploy machines after you lose a location can quickly escalate into garage full of idle machines. Next you're completely dejected because you don't want to drop another wad of money to have them located again and doing so yourself seems daunting so don't let idle machines accumulate. Remember they aren't making you any money in the garage.

The transient state of bulk vending today makes it tough to rely solely on 3rd party locators to get you locations. If you want to be successful for the long term in bulk vending you must be able to locate yourself. Self locating is intimidating for most people but once you get out there and start pounding the pavement it will get easier. Sure it's tough to get 10 NOs in a row but when you get that first yes you feel like Dale Carnegie incarnate! So give it a shot.

3rd party locators are helpful if time is a real issue or if you are targeting controlled access locations like factories, warehouses etc... . I have used them with varying degrees of success over the years. The cost involved with it will also significantly delay your initial ROI. Just remember that they aren't magicians and the ultimate success of any new location is a crap shoot.

Finally take the time to continue reading as much as you can on here. I really believe this website is one of the best resources available anywhere for new and seasoned vending operators.

Hope this helps and good luck.

 

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This is very helpful, thank you! And we also appreciate your ability to write clearly so we can understand. 

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Use rodney69 who is a member here on the forum.

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@gumball guy thats basically the whole business in sugar coating, and those who want to try it should, but they have to have drive for it, the reality comes to life when the cash made with 10 to 20 machines is unrealistic to that one person who wanted to try. on the other hand, it goes back to what i said earlier, and ill prove it to the fullest, i am not arguing or trying to stir anything up, but its just simple proven facts. a few days ago, i received a text from let-go, someone saw one of my machines for sale, and decided to reach out to me, he said he has problems with his machines, i said ok, ill come out, cant hurt, i get there, hes got a seaga hc950, its the healthy vending machine, (personally i think its one of the worst made machines ever) in a barber shop, they bought it a month ago from some lady, she gave them the laptop (have to buy at least 5 units and go to their training in Texas to get that) , anyways, 4 of the 8 lines are shot, cans not vending, shims are wrong and missing, door wont close, hinges broken, cc not working and taped up, dollar bill taped to the machine to show how to insert dollar, but it did have a nice demo screen on it :) , now obviously they paid some big cash for it, all items are at $2.00, next thing i noticed was a 3/4 empty gumball machine, i asked why its not full, he said i dont know where to buy the gumballs, so i asked, where did you get the 1st batch? he said amazon! i was shocked, its probably double or triple the actual price. On top of all this, the person that i met up with was not a barber at all, but a partner of the shop, more of the task guy. Now all this goes back to show, the barber himself doesn't have time to service these machines like i would, bc they are barbers, not vendors, just like i couldn't cut hair, ia am a vendor, not a barber. So if you're going to start something up, and then decide to leave it, thats all nice and all, but at least sell the locations, dont leave customers on a bad note, bc now i come in, and they hate my guts bc you messed up! So if you're going ot do something do it right! dont just do it.

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5 hours ago, NYCandyMan said:

@gumball guy thats basically the whole business in sugar coating, and those who want to try it should, but they have to have drive for it, the reality comes to life when the cash made with 10 to 20 machines is unrealistic to that one person who wanted to try. on the other hand, it goes back to what i said earlier, and ill prove it to the fullest, i am not arguing or trying to stir anything up, but its just simple proven facts. a few days ago, i received a text from let-go, someone saw one of my machines for sale, and decided to reach out to me, he said he has problems with his machines, i said ok, ill come out, cant hurt, i get there, hes got a seaga hc950, its the healthy vending machine, (personally i think its one of the worst made machines ever) in a barber shop, they bought it a month ago from some lady, she gave them the laptop (have to buy at least 5 units and go to their training in Texas to get that) , anyways, 4 of the 8 lines are shot, cans not vending, shims are wrong and missing, door wont close, hinges broken, cc not working and taped up, dollar bill taped to the machine to show how to insert dollar, but it did have a nice demo screen on it :) , now obviously they paid some big cash for it, all items are at $2.00, next thing i noticed was a 3/4 empty gumball machine, i asked why its not full, he said i dont know where to buy the gumballs, so i asked, where did you get the 1st batch? he said amazon! i was shocked, its probably double or triple the actual price. On top of all this, the person that i met up with was not a barber at all, but a partner of the shop, more of the task guy. Now all this goes back to show, the barber himself doesn't have time to service these machines like i would, bc they are barbers, not vendors, just like i couldn't cut hair, ia am a vendor, not a barber. So if you're going to start something up, and then decide to leave it, thats all nice and all, but at least sell the locations, dont leave customers on a bad note, bc now i come in, and they hate my guts bc you messed up! So if you're going ot do something do it right! dont just do it.

I didn't candy coat anything and gave a very simple overview of what the business entails and some of it's challenges. You know there are alot more things to cover for beginners than what I touched on and that's why I encouraged them to research this site.

That said, I completely agree with your earlier post and if you notice I didn't touch on the pitfalls you noted but simply added to it. I ranted about this situation on here not long ago. People start a bulk vending business, put a bunch of equipment out, lose interest and abandon the route leaving derelict machines all over the place. This behavior, to your point, really hurts our industry because alot of prospective locations don't want another bad experience with an abandoned machine. Bottom line is if you decide to quit the business be professional enough to sell your route to a responsible person or pick up the equipment. Don't just leave it there for the location to deal with. 

Your other point is true as well. Locations will buy their own vending equipment because they think we are getting rich off of their location. Years ago this wasn't a widespread problem but once wholesale clubs appeared and the internet took off, vending machines and product became easy for anyone to get. Most legitimate businesses understand that it is not worth their time to fool with managing their own vending. I tend to see it alot more with start ups where owners need every penny they can scrounge up. Regardless if their machine is maintained or not, the result is generally the same....one less available vending spot for you.

No one is going to get rich off of 10-20 machines and if they think they will they are in for a rude awakening. It all boils down to what you want. If you want a manageable side gig bulk vending can be that but even at a part time level success still requires organization, hard work and vigilance. If you are looking to make it a career then be prepared for a large financial and time commitment no different than any other business.

 

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7 hours ago, AZVendor said:

Use rodney69 who is a member here on the forum.

I believe he is the one who responded rudely through email, with no customer service skills whatsoever. I'll pass.

I did find someone else and have contracted with him to locate our 22 machines. He begins next week. 

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Vendinglocator4U does an AWESOME job...I've used Rodney a bunch, and will continue to do so.  A+++++!!!!!!

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I don't know why your experience was so different from mine: he was very rude through email, so I just don't trust that he has any customer service skills. 

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12 hours ago, mikejody said:

I don't know why your experience was so different from mine: he was very rude through email, so I just don't trust that he has any customer service skills. 

Mike, I don't want to dismiss your experience in any way but it is very disappointing Rodney was rude to you.  I have used Rodney in the past and if I need a locator I will gladly use him again.  I honestly locate all of my machines myself now.  Using a locator is nice for me when I expand into a new area but for towns I am established in already, I just do it myself.

I hope (truly) that the person that is locating for you does a good job and you are happy with them.  A bad experience with a locator can be very disheartening and frustrating.  Be careful there are quite a few "fly by night" or rip off locators out there. 

Come back and let us know how your locator does.  I personally would like to hear.

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Mehehe, thanks for your comments. Yes I had read good things about Rodney and so was surprised at his total lack of courtesy and no customer skills whatsoever.

I will indeed keep you informed as to how our locator does. Our 22 machines should be shipped one week from tomorrow and the locations secured shortly thereafter. 

The guy I'm using has 400 bulk machines in 2 states, and does locating as well, he was really good to talk with on the phone.

Thank you.

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On 1/23/2020 at 7:27 AM, mikejody said:

I believe he is the one who responded rudely through email, with no customer service skills whatsoever. I'll pass.

I did find someone else and have contracted with him to locate our 22 machines. He begins next week. 

If rodney was rude, im sure there was a reason. ive used him from the beginning, hes amazing.

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So you believe that businesses can be rude to customers, if there is a valid reason? OK, that's fine, I'm just not from that belief system. I'm old school I guess, "the customer is always right." I personally love being that way, really enjoy making my customers feel special, valued and appreciated. Yes, I take some hits sometimes, when they feel they can abuse me, but to me name and reputation are everything. 

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But I'm glad to hear everybody having a good experience with Rodney, he was probably just having a bad day with me.

By the way, our locator is wonderful! Her name is Jill and she's an excellent communicator and is working hard for us. I'll let you know when all 22 machines are placed.

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