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I only have two locations, everythings 1$ evan the 1oz chips.. People still buy them.. Placing an order for 25 boxs tomorrow..

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i sell 1oz bags for $1 all day long, ever seen the mini bar prices in a vegas hotel, $3 for snickers, same deal

you pay for convenience, nobody is obligated to buy it. dont use odd prices $1.50, etc.. using increments of

$1 keeps things simple for everyone and it reduces the urge of people to "make change" frmo your box.

Hey, thanks for the reply... i've been behind a bit. I am wondering and please, do share your opinions, what if I were to buy higher quality snacks, and sell everything for $2. You see, my main problem is that quality energy shots are $1 at wholesale, at a minimum. Having worked in a few offices, I know that these will definitely be in demand and I want to include them. Maybe a big connamon bun, large chips, energy shots, all for $2??? What do you guys think??

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All you can do is try it out. If it works fine, if it doesn't work then you know too. I would sell everything at $1 and the energy shots at another price. I would only do that one item that way because people would get mixed up on the different prices.

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Hey, thanks for the reply... i've been behind a bit. I am wondering and please, do share your opinions, what if I were to buy higher quality snacks, and sell everything for $2. You see, my main problem is that quality energy shots are $1 at wholesale, at a minimum. Having worked in a few offices, I know that these will definitely be in demand and I want to include them. Maybe a big connamon bun, large chips, energy shots, all for $2??? What do you guys think??

u can tag them a different price with yard sale tags, i did that early on when i tried $0.50 / $1.00

split pricing, however i sell those shots from my snack machine and they do not sell very well.

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i have also bought a consignment of "penny candy" honor boxes for cheap going to see how those work out.

I also hae access to a large supply of penny candy. Where did you get the boxs or where can you get one. Looking at selling for a $ .05

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Dogcow - You said a while ago you bought into some penny candy honor boxes. How have those gone? And on the honor boxes...are you still at about 15 locations?

I have a buddy that asked me if I knew of any part time work. I told him I have been wanting to try these honor boxes. I just don't have the time with a full time job and seven full serve vending locations. So, the plan is to get this going in the next couple of weeks. I appreciate all the info here to get things going.

I may have missed it somewhere but is there anyone on here that has at least 50 of these honor boxes out there?

My plan is to get up to that number and keep everyone here updated on the progress to "pay a little forward"

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$1.00 or some people are at $1.25 per snack. If they buy it then it is a fair price.

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Dogcow - You said a while ago you bought into some penny candy honor boxes. How have those gone? And on the honor boxes...are you still at about 15 locations?

I have a buddy that asked me if I knew of any part time work. I told him I have been wanting to try these honor boxes. I just don't have the time with a full time job and seven full serve vending locations. So, the plan is to get this going in the next couple of weeks. I appreciate all the info here to get things going.

I may have missed it somewhere but is there anyone on here that has at least 50 of these honor boxes out there?

My plan is to get up to that number and keep everyone here updated on the progress to "pay a little forward"

i have 20 boxes out, i am probably going to pull them soon. i have had these accts for about 2yrs

but honestly i am transitioning my business to only amusement machines from full line vending.

it has nothing to do with the honor box business itself, i think the business is great actually , if i was out of

work id make a go at it full time. the problem is i changed day jobs last year, my old job gave me very flexible hours

11am-7pm my new job has a lot of early morning meetings and so on that makes servicing the honor box

route a real pain. also its hard to expand without having some early morning hours free. most of my accts

are only M-F 8a-5p accts. I wish you the best of luck please keep me up to date on what

happens. Sorry about not updating this thread it was becoming really time consuming. I hope

everyone got something out of it.

I have the penny candy boxes I am planning to put them out as soon as i clear my warehouse

of about 15 cranes and video games which is my goal for the next few months.

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I haven't been on here for ages due to me getting a new job. I no longer have the flexibility to do vending as I please so I can totally understand the time thing. I used to work 3-11p and now do 7:30-4:30. Finding time to service routes has been exteremly hard. I want to do honor boxes, however, I have to figure out a way to do it within my time constraints and still be profitable.

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I haven't been on here for ages due to me getting a new job. I no longer have the flexibility to do vending as I please so I can totally understand the time thing. I used to work 3-11p and now do 7:30-4:30. Finding time to service routes has been exteremly hard. I want to do honor boxes, however, I have to figure out a way to do it within my time constraints and still be profitable.

Welcome back joebob! I love seeing the old names for posting again.

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Why do you figure they wanted it removed in such a short time? Doesn't seem like a long enough trial.

I'm thinking about trying H B s but I'm in the middle of nowhere and trying to find boxes to purchase is hard. I don't think I will have problems placing them if I can get them.

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I don't see how anyone can afford to go with $1 candy bars (average cost $.54) and accept 20% shrinkage.  I can see it with a 15 to 25 cent item, but not with a cost factor of over 50%

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Does any one put bulk candy honor boxes next to snack honor boxes or does that take away from sales?

What are best locations? I heard hair salons. But does it need to be available for the customers in order to make a hair salon a good spot?

How many employees do you want in a location? 10-50?

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What a great thread! Just wanted to thank everyone, lots of valuable info here. If anyone does have any wisdom to share about $2 or $3 higher end items vs. candies and also profitability in general, it would be very welcome. 

I'm especially curious whether anyone has tried to sell healthier stuff like fruit?

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I was doing fresh fruit and bagels on the honor system. it ended up not working too well for us so we stopped. but I have spoken to people that make serious money off of bagel honor boxes only. if u want to do fresh fruit you need 75+ employees. u should fill a basket with fruit and change weekly and 1 day per week give them bagels and donuts in a basket. I bought honor jars on displays2go.com. dont atempt to do this with fewer than 75 employees I learned the hard way.

and dont do snack boxes for more than 30 employees

Also micro markets are great as well check out 32market.com. the cheapest around

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On ‎8‎/‎10‎/‎2013 at 11:46 PM, bucko1948 said:

I don't see how anyone can afford to go with $1 candy bars (average cost $.54) and accept 20% shrinkage.  I can see it with a 15 to 25 cent item, but not with a cost factor of over 50%

I know this is an old thread, but since it is a sticky, this mistaken kind of thinking above regarding $1 candy bars being unfeasible needs to be addressed.

...First, full size candy bars (good stuff like Snickers, Twix, M&M peanut, etc) now cost more like 60-65 cents each as I write this in 2019. I still charge $1.00 each. Why? How? Many reasons:

-Competition. Local grocery stores and dollar stores charge $1.00 or a bit less, gas stations usually charge $1.00-1.25, vending machines usually $1.00-1.25 depending on location. No, those are not your direct competitors, but that doesn't matter. Everyone sees these prices every day, though. Those become the prices that a candy bar "should be" sold for in the eyes of the decision maker you talk to about placing your box, the employees considering buying from your box (and paying in full versus shorting or stealing from you), etc. You are limited by people's perception of the market, which is largely a function of what your competition prices the same item for.

-Quality sells. Many vendors may have great locations for a snack box (or other vending types) which they don't even know are great. They don't know since they have low sales due to bad snacks in the box/machine (and they just blame the location for being "slow"). Even worse, they may have zero sales from that great location since they were denied or removed of placement of a box/machine which was viewed by decision maker manager or the employees as low quality candy/snacks or too highly priced. Quality sells. What sells much better: Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout popcorn? Yep.

-Goodwill. If you focus on how much money you can make, it is unlikely that vending (or any biz) will be enjoyable... even if you do make money. If you focus on adding value to customers and people by giving them a service they want and need, it is generally much more enjoyable... and the money usually follows. It's funny how that works. If I was selling the cheapest low quality candy I could find and hyping up a false or barely existent charity affiliation to place and keep the boxes, I don't think I'd enjoy it at all. It would barely matter what the profit margins were if you didn't like the work. I enjoy giving new accounts a free candy or snack item... and the occasional one for continued good business. The smiles and handshakes I am greeted with on my route are the best part of it all. I would rather have 50 quality accounts who like my box and watch out for it versus 100 that felt pressured or bribed into having the box there and have little respect or interest for it. Like any small business, this is a game of personal relationships. You will generally notice a difference in higher box acceptance, lower box removal requests, higher sales, lower theft % if you spend the time to make good relationships and good product... rather than mainly keying in on getting and keeping every nickel and dime you can. This is why the reject rate is so high when you use box locator services: you never made the personal relationship. Business owners talk, and your accounts who like you will even try to get you a few more.

-Loss Leaders. Guys, the Dollar Tree doesn't buy every item on its shelves for under a quarter. Taco Bell or McD doesn't have quadruple markup on all dollar menu items (some are probably sold at 10x food cost and others only 2x). They know that some products will make higher margin than others, but it all builds brand loyalty and gets the customer coming back. It is a game of averages with pricing. Again, quality sells. If there isn't at least some quality on the menu, you will have a very rough go of it. Even if you assume the $1.00 full size candy in a snack box is a break even (60c cost, 20c theft, 20c labor and driving etc), it is still a huge win for you... since it wins you so many accounts - and keeps them happy. That popular candy bar at a good price is the main thing people are looking for as you pitch new locations on having a box, so even if it makes me little or nothing... it gets the rest of the box in there and builds goodwill. You can't ask for more than that in a loss leader!

-Simplicity. With a snack box, you're obviously in the business of exact change. There is often no ability for people to easily get and make change in the break room... or even in the building. Odd price amounts can result in shortage from people just paying a dollar - or worse, people trying to get into cash box to make change. If it is a gas station or a newer vending machine that accepts credit cards and makes change, go ahead and charge $1.15 or $1.25 or even $1.38 if you want. Snack box is a different animal. It has its pros/cons, and pricing ability is one of the cons. I will eventually go to $1.50 on everything (so most people will buy 2 items for $3.00), but I'm holding off on doing that for as long as possible.

-Less Coin. This is not bulk or full machines or large scale lollipop box vending where massive amounts of quarters are part of the game. Don't get me wrong, I like coins and hope I get the occasional pre-1964 silver quarter, lol. However, on the route and during accounting back home, coins are a chore. They waste a lot of time. Part of the appeal of snack boxes is keeping coin change volume manageable and not needing expense of a change counter and rolling machine. For me, coin is a pain. CoinStar machines are expensive unless I need an one of their no-fee gift certificates anyways. Banks usually charge fees also or won't accept coin unless it is in rolls. Going to $1.25 on candy bars (or everything) just invites a lot more coin and/or a lot more shortage since people won't have exact change. As I said, I'm holding off on increasing prices until $1.50 for that reason... hopefully three dollar bills for two snacks at least half the time.

-Spoilage. With full size candy bars, you get your most popular item AND the longest shelf life of all items (tied with maybe nuts or gum). In snack boxes, the candy will be in a climate controlled break room, so temp isn't usually an issue. Good candy bar expiration rate in snack boxes is zero percent in my experience. That is great for everyone... except my friends and family hoping for freebies, lol. 

..."But, but, but I wanna make more money per item! I don't care about coin or simplicity of pricing, and I already have enough boxes located and I'm rural where I don't need to have best quality or price to get and keep accounts." Ok, then do $1.25... or even do $1.50 for your box. That might work in some areas, or people might just walk to 7 Eleven. People might go for full size candy priced over $1 in your box and actually pay that extra quarter or two most of the time (if they have it in their pocket or purse or can make change at a register on site), but I doubt they'd do over a dollar for crackers or chips or most of your other stuff. Go ahead and try; there is no right and wrong.

As I said, I just wanted to debunk the myth that $1 candy bars are not possible. They absolutely are. Even if Snickers cost went to 75c, I would still use at least a few of them due to what they bring to the table in terms of quality and goodwill and overall benefits to my biz. Assuming theft % and box longevity were equal, I personally would rather sell 25 snacks per week for $1.00 than 15 for $1.25 weekly. Other places people see and buy the same candy you have in your box (groc, gas, drug, etc stores) might get their candy cheaper due to big volume buying, but they pay rent and bills and employees and etc etc, and vending machine companies pay for machines/parts and employees and heat damage and etc etc which a small time snack box guy doesn't have to worry about. The "big guys" will have to keep raising prices as product and handling costs go up, but I feel you want to stay a half step behind them for reasons stated above. The main reasons are certainly competition and quality and simplicity. JMO

Edited by FlyGuy

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On 2/3/2019 at 12:36 PM, FlyGuy said:

I know this is an old thread, but since it is a sticky, this mistaken kind of thinking above regarding $1 candy bars being unfeasible needs to be addressed.

...First, full size candy bars (good stuff like Snickers, Twix, M&M peanut, etc) now cost more like 60-65 cents each as I write this in 2019. I still charge $1.00 each. Why? How? Many reasons:

-Competition. Local grocery stores and dollar stores charge $1.00 or a bit less, gas stations usually charge $1.00-1.25, vending machines usually $1.00-1.25 depending on location. No, those are not your direct competitors, but that doesn't matter. Everyone sees these prices every day, though. Those become the prices that a candy bar "should be" sold for in the eyes of the decision maker you talk to about placing your box, the employees considering buying from your box (and paying in full versus shorting or stealing from you), etc. You are limited by people's perception of the market, which is largely a function of what your competition prices the same item for.

-Quality sells. Many vendors may have great locations for a snack box (or other vending types) which they don't even know are great. They don't know since they have low sales due to bad snacks in the box/machine (and they just blame the location for being "slow"). Even worse, they may have zero sales from that great location since they were denied or removed of placement of a box/machine which was viewed by decision maker manager or the employees as low quality candy/snacks or too highly priced. Quality sells. What sells much better: Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout popcorn? Yep.

-Goodwill. If you focus on how much money you can make, it is unlikely that vending (or any biz) will be enjoyable... even if you do make money. If you focus on adding value to customers and people by giving them a service they want and need, it is generally much more enjoyable... and the money usually follows. It's funny how that works. If I was selling the cheapest low quality candy I could find and hyping up a false or barely existent charity affiliation to place and keep the boxes, I don't think I'd enjoy it at all. It would barely matter what the profit margins were if you didn't like the work. I enjoy giving new accounts a free candy or snack item... and the occasional one for continued good business. The smiles and handshakes I am greeted with on my route are the best part of it all. I would rather have 50 quality accounts who like my box and watch out for it versus 100 that felt pressured or bribed into having the box there and have little respect or interest for it. Like any small business, this is a game of personal relationships. You will generally notice a difference in higher box acceptance, lower box removal requests, higher sales, lower theft % if you spend the time to make good relationships and good product... rather than mainly keying in on getting and keeping every nickel and dime you can. This is why the reject rate is so high when you use box locator services: you never made the personal relationship. Business owners talk, and your accounts who like you will even try to get you a few more.

-Loss Leaders. Guys, the Dollar Tree doesn't buy every item on its shelves for under a quarter. Taco Bell or McD doesn't have quadruple markup on all dollar menu items (some are probably sold at 10x food cost and others only 2x). They know that some products will make higher margin than others, but it all builds brand loyalty and gets the customer coming back. It is a game of averages with pricing. Again, quality sells. If there isn't at least some quality on the menu, you will have a very rough go of it. Even if you assume the $1.00 full size candy in a snack box is a break even (60c cost, 20c theft, 20c labor and driving etc), it is still a huge win for you... since it wins you so many accounts - and keeps them happy. That popular candy bar at a good price is the main thing people are looking for as you pitch new locations on having a box, so even if it makes me little or nothing... it gets the rest of the box in there and builds goodwill. You can't ask for more than that in a loss leader!

-Simplicity. With a snack box, you're obviously in the business of exact change. There is often no ability for people to easily get and make change in the break room... or even in the building. Odd price amounts can result in shortage from people just paying a dollar - or worse, people trying to get into cash box to make change. If it is a gas station or a newer vending machine that accepts credit cards and makes change, go ahead and charge $1.15 or $1.25 or even $1.38 if you want. Snack box is a different animal. It has its pros/cons, and pricing ability is one of the cons. I will eventually go to $1.50 on everything (so most people will buy 2 items for $3.00), but I'm holding off on doing that for as long as possible.

-Less Coin. This is not bulk or full machines or large scale lollipop box vending where massive amounts of quarters are part of the game. Don't get me wrong, I like coins and hope I get the occasional pre-1964 silver quarter, lol. However, on the route and during accounting back home, coins are a chore. They waste a lot of time. Part of the appeal of snack boxes is keeping coin change volume manageable and not needing expense of a change counter and rolling machine. For me, coin is a pain. CoinStar machines are expensive unless I need an one of their no-fee gift certificates anyways. Banks usually charge fees also or won't accept coin unless it is in rolls. Going to $1.25 on candy bars (or everything) just invites a lot more coin and/or a lot more shortage since people won't have exact change. As I said, I'm holding off on increasing prices until $1.50 for that reason... hopefully three dollar bills for two snacks at least half the time.

-Spoilage. With full size candy bars, you get your most popular item AND the longest shelf life of all items (tied with maybe nuts or gum). In snack boxes, the candy will be in a climate controlled break room, so temp isn't usually an issue. Good candy bar expiration rate in snack boxes is zero percent in my experience. That is great for everyone... except my friends and family hoping for freebies, lol. 

..."But, but, but I wanna make more money per item! I don't care about coin or simplicity of pricing, and I already have enough boxes located and I'm rural where I don't need to have best quality or price to get and keep accounts." Ok, then do $1.25... or even do $1.50 for your box. That might work in some areas, or people might just walk to 7 Eleven. People might go for full size candy priced over $1 in your box and actually pay that extra quarter or two most of the time (if they have it in their pocket or purse or can make change at a register on site), but I doubt they'd do over a dollar for crackers or chips or most of your other stuff. Go ahead and try; there is no right and wrong.

As I said, I just wanted to debunk the myth that $1 candy bars are not possible. They absolutely are. Even if Snickers cost went to 75c, I would still use at least a few of them due to what they bring to the table in terms of quality and goodwill and overall benefits to my biz. Assuming theft % and box longevity were equal, I personally would rather sell 25 snacks per week for $1.00 than 15 for $1.25 weekly. Other places people see and buy the same candy you have in your box (groc, gas, drug, etc stores) might get their candy cheaper due to big volume buying, but they pay rent and bills and employees and etc etc, and vending machine companies pay for machines/parts and employees and heat damage and etc etc which a small time snack box guy doesn't have to worry about. The "big guys" will have to keep raising prices as product and handling costs go up, but I feel you want to stay a half step behind them for reasons stated above. The main reasons are certainly competition and quality and simplicity. JMO

Interesting take.  I've been in the industry for 25 years, and grown my honor snack business to multiple route drivers.  While trying to hold the $1.00 price point is very convenient (trust me, we held it for 11 years now), I know that $1.25 is rapidly becoming the common price point.  Candy prices are NOT going to hold at this price for long and everyone will need to adjust.  A smart vendor will be proactive and anticipate the change, before they are forced to HAVE to change later on.  With Nestle's candy division being sold to Ferrara, Mars and Hershey will have more incentive and comfort raising their prices.  I've seen it a couple dozen times over my honor snack tenure. Any gross profit margin UNDER 45% in the honor snack business will ultimately result in slow failure.  

Also, I think you are missing a HUGE opportunity and sales potential by NOT running chips.  Yes, they take up room in the box, but we have accounts that we have seperate "Chip Trays" for because chips can out sell candy at many locations, particularly blue collar.  We sell almost as many bags of Bugles as we do Snicker bars.  Your Sales volume would need to be 2.5 times mine to produce the same Gross Profit percentage.  

Next, my experience has shown that multiple price points don't work long term.   Sure folks will abide by it at first, but eventually your customers will pay the LOWER price for everything in your box.  Trust me, it is inevitable.  

When "pulling" an account (removing their box), you should ALWAYS talk to someone and let them know why.  Why burn the bridge.  You may be able to get that customer back some day.  We ALWAYS leave notes to let the customer know what's going on with the box, so there are NO SURPRISES.  People get upset when the box is all of a sudden removed and will more than likely never welcome you back.

I enjoy reading about new folks in honor snacks and WANT to see everyone SUCCEED!  It is good for our industry to have strong vendors.  JUst my 2 cents.  :)  

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I raised mine from $1.00 to $1.25.  At the time I had 145 locations and I lost a total of 3 because of the price increase, but well worth it.  I would suggest starting at $1.25 from the start.  Believe, people will pay this.

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On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 3:53 PM, AZVendor said:

Anyone afraid to raise prices to ensure a sustainable profit is destined to fail even if it takes many years to happen.  Regardless of your location's perception of what your prices should be, your job as the selling vendor is to win them over to your reason for the pricing...

...you have to run it with the bottom line as your primary goal to ensure your survival.  Anything else is a short-sighted slow death.

Yes, I understand all of these points. Good insight by all.

My gross profit potential is roughly 40% on the candy bars and about 70% on everything else.

Assuming 20% theft (mine has never averaged that high), I'm then actually at 20% gross profit margin on candy bars and 50% on everything else.

Since my box is 20% candy bars and 80% other stuff... you get 44% overall gross profit margin (higher if theft were under 20%, which is almost always is... also higher when I find snacks on sale, which I frequently do... above margins were assuming current full prices on snacks). Keep in mind that I'm not giving two crackers or larger chips or other costly things for $1, so that offsets the candy bars somewhat.

I am not afraid of losing locations, and I'm definitely not afraid of going out of business (this is my side hustle for fun and extra bucks, not full time job). As I said, I have many reasons I keep the box at $1.00 with eventual transition to $1.50. The main one is ease of customers purchasing and less coins. Another is perceived quality and simplicity of candy bars and $1 price point; I find this to really help with locating and my sales pitch. I feel that $1.25 is clunky and odd, and honor boxes are in the exact change business. Again, people would be asking for change at the business' register (annoying after awhile, good way to lose a location), paying whatever they have (probably $1 anyways), or trying to open the snack box cash door to "make change." I see no logical way to do it without 50c increments so that it is easy to pay exact price or buy two for a flat dollar amount. Nobody wants to overpay, and most feel guilty about underpaying. It has to be easy and enjoyable for them. This is a major difference between vending machines or store sales versus the honor box. I know that what works for me doesn't work for the world.

As an aside, a nice additional reason for $1.00 snacks is that I have a local competitor who does $1.25 boxes that don't even have candy bars (mostly just chips and crackers), so it is easy to displace their locations which are not very satisfied... but that really had nothing to do with my decision making, that was just a bonus I ran across while locating some boxes last year. Who knows, though, he might take some locations back if I go to $1.50 snacks when he is still at $1.25... but he'd need to get much better quality of snacks.

Edited by FlyGuy

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On 2/9/2019 at 3:53 PM, AZVendor said:

Anyone afraid to raise prices to ensure a sustainable profit is destined to fail even if it takes many years to happen.  Regardless of your location's perception of what your prices should be, your job as the selling vendor is to win them over to your reason for the pricing.  You have overhead that the customer will never understand just as you might not understand their overhead that leads to the way they price their services or products.  Afterall, you are bringing the convenience store/grocery store/dollar store/vending machine/gas station to them and there is value in that.  Business is business and in your business with your high rate of theft you have no choice but to sell at the high end of the scale.  You can't allow your business to become a commodity, you have to run it with the bottom line as your primary goal to ensure your survival.  Anything else is a short-sighted slow death.

AMEN, Brutha, AMEN!!!  :) 

 

4 hours ago, FlyGuy said:

As an aside, a nice additional reason for $1.00 snacks is that I have a local competitor who does $1.25 boxes that don't even have candy bars (mostly just chips and crackers), so it is easy to displace their locations which are not very satisfied... but that really had nothing to do with my decision making, that was just a bonus I ran across while locating some boxes last year. Who knows, though, he might take some locations back if I go to $1.50 snacks when he is still at $1.25... but he'd need to get much better quality of snacks.

Yikes!  I don't know why anyone would sell at the $1.25 price point and NOT include chocolate in their box.  $1.50 may be a tough bit to swallow for the customer at this point.  Be careful with that.  What part of Minnesota are you from?  Got to be a real challenge running routes with the weather you all have been having.  

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On ‎2‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 3:18 PM, flintflash said:

...What part of Minnesota are you from?  Got to be a real challenge running routes with the weather you all have been having.  

I grew up there. I'm in center Detroit metro (Royal Oak) now.

Yeah, tough sledding with the winter weather. I find this to be a real good time to get new locations, though. Yeah, everyone is grumpy with the SAD going around, but most places are slow, less bombarded with salesmen, and more willing to chat (even managers)... not so much when they have a full lobby or waiting room in a few months lol.

Is this one yours? https://www.snacktimeflint.com/

Edited by FlyGuy

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