Well as a self-employed individual since from the start. I was stuck in the vending machine business here in Vancouver, BC, I was trying to evolve into another business but was progressing slowly.
Everyone who are in the working industry is I guess making ends meet all the time, especially me, how small can we get here being felt with the weight being thrown around by people who are making decisions.
All vendors have the same faith more or less.
I have some conversations with other vendors that I encounter when I’m at Costco, Wholesale Club Burnaby or Vending Products of Canada or on the phone. Other vendors sometimes ge4t kicked out on a location without any regards to the investment and other expenses when leasing the machine and moving costs involved.
Vendors should better get used to this kind of scenario here in Vancouver, BC. You have to be very flexible in terms of looking for another location and must be programmed to is a YES man.
Vendor always approach a new location contemplating that their are hundreds of people who wanting to consume your wares : chips, pop and chocolate bars. Showing off new machines that can take all the bells and whistles. This is the business atmosphere here in Vancouver, BC. There is always relentless offers from other new vendors wanting to get a piece on the vending industry.
Normally if you are servicing a private company there are several scenarios that sooner or later that will happen to your business:
- Renovations – real or not
- Change another vendor ( this seldom happens to me )
- Private company goes bust and under
- Private company taken over by another company
- CRA Audit – they think all the money deposits are 100% income and they disregard receipts that are not itemized ( you just have to make an appeal to the chief and everything will be fine ), their are always costs on deposits which I do not need to explain on this short article
Here are the statistics on locations and expected sales and problems:
- Hotels – Vandalism all the time from outside especially on weekends, it is not worth it, their is no permanency since managements always changes their mind. You will lose money big time if you have several machines in their establishment in case they kick you out because of a single empty coil.
( Just by going to location will cost an arm and a leg on gasoline and parking meters and sometimes a violation parking ticket which would have cost you a family get together movie time on weekends )
- Government Establishments – extremely difficult to get in, many levels on decision making
- Community Centers – Some vandalism depending on location, generally good but extremely high in commissions that it is not worth doing.
- Medium Private Offices – Generally good but low sales collecting lose change and not worth the time
( Want super low prices on chips, chocolate bars and pop for a $1,? upset easily when you raise prices and would not know what inflation is. But just agrees the new prices when they are in 7 11, Safeway, Walmart or Canadian Superstore. )
- Large Private Offices – Very good sales but decision makers have frequent meetings and you might be stepping on a landmine anytime if their is the slightest problem with you as a vendor
( Some not all decision makers got charmed by bells and whistles of a new machine from another vendor, How we get easily swayed by beauty skin deep )
- Mega Private Offices – Too much politics but extremely good sales, a contract is essential if you want to stay alive
- Low income Centers – Sales are good. Vandalism attempts. Make sure security is tough. If security is no good then say goodbye to your machines that will get broken into all the time.
Well these are all the statistics and experiences that I have encountered. I cannot tell you what comprises on the percentages on my accounts that left me still standing doing this vending machine business until now so far able to pay my bills.
This is my personal experience on the vending machine business.? Please do not generalized to be the same for every vendor.
Sometimes I’m considering packing my things and going back to where I came from, this is the good thing about the vending business. You can sell the entire vending business to several vendors out their part by part and move to wherever you want to be and do a fresh start.
For now, I’m facing some challenges as a part of a journey of a small self employed person.? There will be challenges in any business whether small or big.
Well everything is very expensive. I got (2) locations recently vandalized and I do not know how to properly function again. I already get very paranoid every time I’m in Vancouver, BC when parked on the streets. Was very happy and relieved when my work van is still around and windows not smashed. That’s why when you are servicing locations in a major city you have to be lightning fast.
This 1st location:
It was location where it is considered to be very safe but their was nut head or a person who is under the influence of drugs was standing and staring the vending machine for a whole 15 minutes. Glass was eventually smashed. Good thing the products was secured by security and I abandoned my other locations to quickly retrieve all the products.
That is why that you have to absolute rapport with the decision maker in case these things happens.
This is a normal occurrence on the broken usually glass 1X every 2 years depending on location.
My Three ( 3) C series vending machines was obliterated including the pop machine was hit by a bulldozer! This location’s security is not very secure even their is a camera on premises. This happened at night and their were a group of drug addicts attacking the pop machine from all sides destroying the bolts, metal strips and a large hole in front of the machine.
I guess the security is afraid of the gang at night on this location.
This is the first time that I have encountered problem on destroying an entire pop machine on all sides and front!
I had the worst locations but the damage being done was left me owe struck and dumbfounded!
This is unnatural occurrence, I think it is a group of young drug addicts which is highly dangerous and have the whole time in the world just thinking everyday on how to steal and how to destroy.
Sometimes I wonder what is the difference between the thieves in the Philippines and here in Canada. In Canada, I don’t understand why they will do that extent? Is welfare and lots of free meals from the city of Vancouver not enough?
Back in the Philippines, gangs steal and also get very violent when under the influence of drugs but it is because it is absolutely no government welfare or they are living under extreme poverty which makes you understand why 3rd world countries steal.
There was a time it was a social experiment or I do not know what term if I said it right. I went to a government establishment and told them that I need welfare because I do not have a job and just backed off in that place since I was surrounded by so many young people who seemed to be under the influence of drugs and talking to themselves all the time. And there were sudden moments of angry bouts of words and swearing all the time. You just have to ran away with these kinds of people.
I got a quote on my technician to install :
- Extended Steel Frame Grill
and was shocked to hear that a quote of $350 ( Materials ) and $125 + $125 ( Labor needed for 2 hours ). This will quickly drain my hard-earned income wiped out.
I decided to take things on my hand, I went to the Home Depot and was searching for poly carbonate replacement of glass and was shocked again to find out that :
I needed the poly carbonate to be around : 42 x 21 inches and around 2mm to 3mm thickness
The closest home depot poly carbonate closest is
OPTIX.118″ x 24″ x 48″ Clear Acrylic Sheet$109.99 /EA
and I needed to cut it and need to buy cutter to do it which will cost money again and the good thing is I found a poly carbonate manufacturer made to order and get the exact dimensions to what I need for just $55 CUT!
The extended steel frame should be ordered CUT also from a Steel Manufacturer and it costs me only $50 CUT!
If you get vandalism you have to absolutely do it yourself, or else your money will be drained all the time.
It was actually a taste of heaven when I obtained the 2nd location
was going their 2X a week. The cash was actually around $300 to $400 every week but this is not worth doing after all the vandalism happend. You will lose more money by :
- Securing the machines – $1000
- Moving the machines – $600
- Damaged done is around $1600 ( all coin mechanism destroyed and it costs around $400 to buy 1 )
Maybe this is the real taste of heaven?
I recently obtained a new location and it was first time in my life that this place is hundreds of people at anytime. This was the location I got after being kicked out of the hotel which I was just collecting $60 cash every month.
The hotel location that I was kicked out was paying $21 commission every month and got vandalized many times as you can observed on the destroyed lock cover on the picture below on my new location today!
The move again costs me $320! Vending machine business is not a Money Tree like what other people think!