Classical Problem On Most Vending Machine

I visited one of my vending locations. I found out that there is an out-of-order sign on the snack machine. I immediately took a look on what is happening to the vending machine.

There is a continual clicking and whirling sound on the coin mechanism. I have to put the defective unit out for retirement.

This is another classical problem on most of the vending machine.

You always have to bring a spare coin mechanism with you. This will avoid time and gasoline to come back and forth to location.

This is relatively a short article since this is very straightforward.

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How to Fix Crane Coffee Model VOCE

I have a location in a public school and normally i service it every 2 weeks. To my surprise the Crane Coffee Model VOCE had a problem on vending the french vanilla selection.

I tried to dispense some french vanilla but the whole machine did a whirling sound and suddenly shut off and shut on unexpectedly.

The problem is the motor inside the machine is not functioning properly anymore. If the motor is broken it will cause a short thereby powering off the coffee machine.

Shown are the pictures and removal of the selection and how the motor looks like.

I just have to black out the french vanilla selection until the motor is replaced.

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Is Your Vending Location Truly Stable ?

As usual i’m getting ready for work this morning and suddenly i got an email on my vending location. The email states that it is restricted to donate to a religious organization since the place is a public school.

I was very shock and this is a first time in my life that schools here in Canada doesn’t allow the vendor to donate to a religious organization.

The organization that i choose was actually the only charity that helps impoverished children from third world countries located in Africa, Latin America and maybe some parts in the Philippines.

I stumbled the organization when i was in Surrey. The organization is Compassion Canada and my real purpose was to help the children in poverty and maybe a few dollars here and there from our vending machines will help some of them.

So today was a real shocker.

The email states that the machines are to be removed immediately and also it states that the partial proceeds should have been donated to the institution instead.

Ever since the acquisition of the public school location the previous vendor never mentioned that i have to pay a monthly commission of some sort. We started servicing the location since July 2015 till present. Nobody in the office mentioned that we have to donate a portion of the sales which is normally 10% of gross sales.

I was caught unaware, so i immediately wanted to have this resolved. We are just small potatoes and it seems that doing business here is somewhat unstable.


It seems that the vending locations here seems to be like a ticking time bomb.

Sometimes you think vending business is truly stable and great. This might not be the case and a lot of other vendors feels the same way. I have empathy towards the fellow vendors.

You are always racing in acquiring more locations just in case a location had a setback.

Small business dies all the time here. I was lucky enough that i still maintain connections in Asia. People in authority doesn’t have empathy towards small people who are making an honest living.

If they don’t like you, out you go. It is indeed very strange here when doing business.

Back home in Philippines, all the businesses are very diplomatic and always make things work out even thou there are some issues. That is the reason i was able to have 12 brick and mortar stores and have survived.

After all the economy back home is emerging and thanks to the attitude towards small business owners.

Going back to the story here in Canada.

I quickly wrote an email and stated that i was unaware of the commissions issue. I hope tomorrow will be another fine day and such a small issue can be resolved.

The commissions will be handed out immediately on our next visit to the location and hopefully everything will be back to normal.

This is the first time i encountered such a peculiar circumstance.

If you are the vending machine operator, what will you do to alleviate this situation ?

Update :

I received an email today Friday March 16, 2018.  It seems that everything is in order.

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Getting Stuck On A Problematic Vending Location

I have an extremely good vending location in surrey which i visit once a month.

It is a 24/7 vending location where there are constant production in a factory.

These types of locations are very desirable since your vending location with pop and snack machines are always used up especially on the night shift.

factory type location
factory type location

On my monthly visits i normally expect everything to be sold out on both machines.

Problem is that sometimes you get frustrated because the machines are perennially vandalized. The pop machine is very heavy but people managed to shake it and they stick a something from the delivery bin to hook free cans.

nice guy who works in the location
nice guy who works in the location

The snack machine is used to be being shaken all the time.

At times when i forget to put the security tabs on the tray, the tray will just stick out all the way touching the front glass.
The location is unique and the previous owner was being told to move out. But the machines cannot be taken out because of the small doors.

The location had the machines moved in at a time when the doors are still wide prior to renovations.

lucky cat
lucky cat

As a vendor you would wonder if you are lucky to be getting stuck with the location forever.

It is very good for me if you have proper security measures from vandalism.

Would you be happy to have such a location ?

This particular location always have coin jams, pop and snack machines being moved and nudged all the time. I guess there is no perfect location when you are in the vending business.

When i took over the location from the previous owner the management had so many requests and complains a lot.

So many requests to a point that i got so many annoying calls on loosing customers money. And wanted an immediate solution.

Of course as a vendor i would provide superb service. It is just that this location is unique where the customers are always the same group of people using the machine.

This is the only location that customers doesn’t respect the machines.

As a vendor, do not assume that everyone knows how to use a vending machine properly. You have to always keep up with the customers qualms and concerns.

This location is highly desirable even thou it is laden with unexpected time loss on repairs and frustration on my monthly visits.

I have a headache today hoping it will go away the next day.

There is nothing to complain about on a location.  Doesn’t require commissions and no requirement on servicing schedule visits even when the machine is empty for weeks.

take a break and ponder
take a break and ponder


Would you keep this kind of location if it was you ?

pop machine have to unplug all the time when servicing, i might get an electric shock
pop machine have to unplug all the time when servicing, i might get an electric shock
the tray moved forward to the front glass because of shaking
the tray moved forward to the front glass because of shaking



this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
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Letting A Good Vending Location Go

I remember during my early days of vending and i have been diligently taking care of a good vending  location here at Richmond.

The good vending location composed of 4 machines in 2 different buildings with around 300 people.

During my early days they require me to serve them at least once a week and sales were pretty decent. It was a time were the cost of the chocolate bars were just around 0.62 cents at dollarama.

I never increased the price at the location since they were nice people. I got decent profits and people were nice to me. They require me to give some monthly commissions which i gladly adhere.

During the year of 2017 there were news that the location is closing.

The company was sold to a multinational corporation located overseas. Equipment and materials are to be shipped by the end of 2018. It’s a very good thing that the location informed me 1 year in advance on their plans.

I advertised the location for sale at craigslist with the keywords on : 4 machines with free location.

I was hoping that some vendor who values machines more than a location would buy it.

There are vendors who have existing storage for vending machines and it is no problem having some extra spares. I’m the type of vendor that likes long term machine placement and if there are some concerns it would be better to sell it or find another location for it.

It is hard for me to let go a good vending location after all the rapport and service that i have been providing. There is always a reason things happen.

If you are a vending business vendor would you be willing to buy a very good location and running it for 1 year ? Of course the cost of ownership on this location will be cheaper with the thought that it is closing.

You can pretend that you are a prospective buyer and do you think you will buy a location at a bargain and think of the problem later on ?

What are your thoughts on this matter ?

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Vending Machine Business Route

There are a lot of reasons why there are vendors that are trying to sell established vending machine business route.

When i was new in the Vending Machine Business i was constantly looking for a good deal at craigslist. Craigslist is the only resource here in Vancouver, BC that you can find business opportunities.  I was constantly looking for Vending Machine Business Route for sale.

searching for vending machine business route at craigslist vancouver
searching for vending machine business route at craigslist vancouver

Craigslist is a resource center that you can find all kinds of business ideas.

There will be a lot of results that will come up when searching : Vending Machine Business Route or Vending Machine Business Location.

Vendor seller planning to sell the vending business machine route
Vendor seller planning to sell the vending business machine route

There are always vendors that are getting out of the business.

There are basically these types of vendors classification.

  • The business has 5 to 10 locations and getting more busy with full time job and decided to sell
  • Vendor has been around for decades and is almost going for retirement
  • Operator has around  20 locations with newer machines and decided to get out of business
  • The route has 10 locations and got a very good opportunity for work and will be moving to another province
  • Wanted to get rid of locations that is far away from most of his present locations
  • Selling due to under performing location
  • Basically a buy and sell locations operator
Agreement on the sale of vending machine business route
Agreement on the sale of vending machine business route

I stumbled several vending business machine route for sale at craigslist and i was very eager to buy them.

Normally a vendor here in Vancouver just discloses a selling price of lets say $20,000 for 10 locations on older vending machines. There is no way to audit the real sales since the some older vending machines doesn’t have any cash counter on the machines.

History sales from business on vending machine business route
History sales from business on vending machine business route

I just used my gut feel and just have to start from somewhere. The sales expected was accurate from the average sales for the year when i got the route.

vintage pop machine

The only setback from buying an established vending machine business route is that the machines are super old.

Operating them for a year and slowly about more than half of them had problems and all my profits was just to cover the expensive replacement parts. The pop machines are very old and most of them have to replace the compressor which is around $800 including labor.

If the machines are very old some of them will eventually malfunction and needed to generate revenue so on some occasions i had to have it replaced with another used machine.

The computation of a location with machine is normally :

  • Approximate Sales per month x 12 months = selling price ( for older machines )
  • Gross Sales per month x 18 months = selling price ( for machines less than 5 years old )

A small discount can be taken into account if the vendor urgently wanted to sell the business.

For example : asking price of $20,000 can be turned into $18,500 to $19,000

Conclusion :

Make a research and don’t jump into buying an established route if the machines are way too old.  Vending machines that constantly are updated and almost new the established route vending machine business price will just a little tad higher.

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Okay Google Saved My Day

ok google lets go to downtown vancouver without traffic
ok google lets go to downtown vancouver without traffic

I have been more than ever relaying on ok google nowadays especially when im lost or when doing some simple task.

Ok Google saved my day which 3 days ago.  As usual i switched on my GPS on my dashboard and getting ready for work. Normally when i go to multiple locations, i program the various addresses on my GPS before i set off.

oh no gps is not working
oh no gps is not working

I was in panic mode when i turned on my GPS because it keeps on looking for signal forever.

I switched off the GPS and connected my backup GPS ( both of them by the way are TOM TOM ) and it was up to no avail. Both of them are forever looking for signal.

i was wondering what happens when service companies, couriers, taxis and on the road mobility can still perform without a GPS ? If there are a lot of companies relaying on GPS then it would be detrimental to their businesses if the GPS didn’t work even for a few hours. Imagine how much money and time will be wasted ?

Luckily i got a very cheap plan on Freedom Mobile with unlimited data plan and OK Google is used for so many times during that day and actually it was OK Google who saved my day.

good thing i have data service lte with my phone
good thing i have data service lte with my phone

It was Google maps with my OK Google that propelled me to have a productive day.

When i got home from work.  I was searching the problem i encountered on looking for signal problem and it was on the triangulation problem sometimes on the satellites. The topic was very technical and i didn’t bothered to pursue the root cause.   After loading and unloading, my brain doesn’t seem to work on that moment.

I was searching for looking for signal problem and stumbled into a very useful free multiple route software.   It is very useful especially if you have like 6 to 10 locations every day.

I try to do the locations in a single area but sometimes there are situations that maybe there are 3 locations in Vancouver for example and another 5 locations in Richmond. So the multi route planner will handily come into play. This will work for everyone when going to multiple route.

Here it is :

the good about this is free for usage up to 20 locations and then you opt to subscribe if you have more than 20 locations.

ok google lets go to ...
ok google lets go to …

Conclusion :

It would be a great addition to have an unlimited data plan.  When you are self-employed going to multiple locations every day. For me a multi route planner is an bonus and great to use at certain times if you need it.

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Moving Out Moving In

When you are doing your vending machine business you need to have great customer service in order to stay afloat.

and never move out since everyone’s likes the idea of stability.

You always wanted to have a stable business especially if you have done all the moving and time consuming placement.  Providing great customer service at all times.

praying that customers are always happy
praying that customers are always happy

In my experience you always have to be a yes-man all the time.

Everyone wanted to stay in business no matter if the location is small or big.  Better treat everyone the same and the importance of servicing when a problem arises that needs attention.

In many years of servicing my customers.  I had some occasions that they are either closing down their business or moving.

I had some early experience that the location simply tells you they are moving out.   Machines needed to be move.

vendor moving to new customer location
vendor moving to new customer location

I had a location that i serviced it very well during the early days of my vending.  The management just tells me to remove the machine since they are moving out.

The said location had another vendor during that time and never consulted me. They have another vendor on the new location.

During this early days of vending i thought that this is a common practice here in North America.

So i had my head programmed not to feel bad if suddenly a location will tell you to move out.

So i’m not expecting anything anymore and what i do it just try my best to service all my locations.

customer likes you as a vendor

After that regrettable incident i myself is very surprised that my locations that im handling have no more problems.

Most of them actually when moving out to a new facility opt me as their vendor.

Today as usual when i was servicing my location, the person in charge told me that they are moving to a new location and i need to removed my machines.

Inside my mind there were adrenalin racing thoughts that maybe this place will be another location to be taken out of my portfolio.

But when he continued to talk i was smiling as usual, he said that they are moving to newer facility and needed me to follow with them moved to new facility.

I guess if you treat your customers very nice and once you have been in the location for a long time and the location sees you that whenever a problem arises and you always take immediate action.

They would have more empathy toward their old vendor and would likely to follow them whenever they relocate.

always keep your composure

I just have a great composure all the time when i’m servicing all my locations and always listen to them if there are any concerns.

Doing the vending business here in Canada is very similar in contrast when i was still in the Philippines.

In the Philippines as the owner of the shop, you have to have great rapport with the management of the building.  Likewise always adhere to customer service since they will reflect to everyone even to the top management.

If there are problems like building renovations for a year and needs to be relocated first then the management will always consider the tenants with good relations as priority.

Conclusion :

In the vending machine business or whatever business you are in, you treat everyone the same small or big.

Resolve problems immediately because people do not want complaints.  Customer service is very important.

If you get a lot of complaints on service and machine problems too much then you will be moving out more often than moving in !

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Can Bad Weather Be A Hindrance To Do Your Vending Business ?

Doing my vending business here in Vancouver is no different when i was still doing my wholesale business in the Philippines.

Typical Mall in the philippines in urban cities
Typical Mall in the philippines in urban cities

When i was still back in my home country in the Philippines during the late 90s

doing my memory chips, computer motherboard, hard drives and software deliveries to my clients, during the months of July, August and September there are always warnings of tropical typhoons as we call it in the Philippines.

jeepneys mode of transportation in the Philipines
jeepneys mode of transportation in the Philipines

Manilans ( Urbanites living in the city ) are used to the flooding,

gridlock and traffic standstill. During the heydays of computer boom where there are about 20 million of people living in a very densely populated city of manila, the demand and hunger for computer parts is insatiable.

typhoon season in the philippines
typhoon season in the philippines

I have floods of orders and it is meant to be delivered even thou there is a tropical storm,

in Manila city the government categorize the storm as signal number 1 for intermittent rains, signal number 2 for heavy rains causing some flash floods and meant that elementary and high school are deemed to be closed for such occurrences and signal number 3 is declared as public emergency meaning that work and schools are closed and everyone has to stay safe with storm passing about 150 to 200 km/ hour.

similar picture on one of my scooters
similar picture on one of my scooters
similar picture on one of my big bikes as they call it in the Philippines
similar picture on one of my big bikes as they call it in the Philippines

It was also a coincidence that during that time frame on my journey in business that i had several trusty scooters and big motorcycles

and they are used for 90 to 120km/hour when using them in the intra city deliveries. In the computer business everyone that i serviced are open even thou it is category signal number 2 storms knowing that there are flash floods up to the knee-deep on some streets.

looks like me during my early days in deliveries
looks like me during my early days in deliveries

You see when you are selling high priced small parts, you can get away with a small speedy scooter in Manila

where traffic is often grid lock or in complete chaos, when there is a blockage you simply make a quick turn and go for a side street and Manila is a maze of small streets interconnected and if a delivery van cannot pass then only a scooter can squeeze through. Actually my kudos to all my scooters and motorcycles that i really was able to succeed in the computer parts business during that time. After all a scooter is easy on gasoline and maintenance.

still not used to the snow here in vancouver
still not used to the snow here in vancouver

Presently here in Vancouver, BC whenever there is a snowfall warning,

i still try to go service my vending locations, i as usual got up early morning and headed downtown where i need to service some locations during the later part of the week and especially towards weekend.

The thing is that i use a huge delivery van a Ford T-150 with cheap products ( chips, pop and chocolate bars ) and im not that nimble and quick as with a motorcycle since you have to stay in your lane and if there is a snowfall warning even thou you are extra careful the vancouverites are not used to snow and get huge delays.

flooded streets everywhere in Philippines
flooded streets everywhere in Philippines

The difference with tropical storms in Manila is that i had several partial flooding

that reach up to my brakes and almost reaching my engine at times when I am drive a car while braving my way to reach the corner that the water is lower than knee-deep and praying that the engine will not die or else, i think you have the picture.

The demand for my chips, pop and chocolate bars i guess is the same here as compared when i was selling computer parts during my days in Manila, it is only that it is harder now because you have to find a big space to park and you need to have your heavy dolly and bin filled with certain specific favorites on every different location that you go to.

I was making the comparison of the 2 different scenarios when doing business in Vancouver, BC and Manila City. In Manila you can get away with quick deliveries since they are ordered in advanced and well packed, unlike here you have to be a psychic to know what the machines need to be filled when in the process of putting the products into your bin and travel time after struggling in finding a parking space.

I have learned my lesson that if there is a snowfall warning,

it would be wise not to push the issue and join the chaos and gridlock. Better be safe than sorry. There are a lot of vehicles today from downtown going back home after the onslaught of snow and there seems to be a standstill of crazy rubber burning wheels turning uphill and not advancing.

I was lucky that i always made a detour even thou the side street is covered with snow and still make it to the next major street with a lesser slope towards an early way back home.

Conclusion :

If you are self-employed and think that because there is a calamity like tropical storm or a snowfall warning,

it might be better just to run alternate route that is on your turf and make time in doing some paperwork and much-needed errands and perhaps go for that long awaited well deserve haircut i would say !

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Loosing Sales On Moldy Vending Machine

I have a particular location that normally calls me at least around once a month on my combo vending machine,

it is prestigious public location and lots of foot traffic and the machines have to be presentable and always cleaned.

I never encountered a machine of mine having molds,

as i could remember i visited this location after receiving a call from the location and i was surprised that there was a coffee bean inside the delivery bin and i also realized that there is a new combo vending machine located on the 5th floor, mine was situated on the 3rd floor of the establishment.

Maybe this was a sabotage that the other vendor did to me ?

Because a coffee bean will really mess up your combo refrigerated vending machine, it will cause some molds and eventually your machine will have lot of mold everywhere that your customers will find it so unsanitary and will lead to the management on reprimanding you to clean it or maybe it is a crappy machine that needs to be replaced.

This location i have kept for years and years without any problem until that particular coffee bean which i don’t know who placed it.

From that time on the manager just keeps on calling me to have the machine cleaned all the time, i used water, Windex and towels to clean it every time i visit the location and i have to remove all the products from the machine and had to clean it one by one, do you know how much time is wasted on cleaning this machine ?

Anyway there is a breaking point where the manager called and told me that the machine needs to be cleaned immediately and was upset why this is happening all the time even thou i cleaned it thoroughly every time is visited the location.

I was thinking that maybe i used the wrong liquid or chemicals when cleaning the machine, i headed out immediately to Walmart and got Lysol wipes and rushed my way to downtown where the vending machine is located. I tried to use the Lysol Wipes and placed it inside the vending machine so that next time it would be more convenient for me clean the combo machine.

After using the Lysol Wipes i never saw the molds inside the vending machine anymore

and until now i never have any more issues and calls from the location. It is a simple solution whenever you have a machine that is farming molds all the time when it started from a single coffee bean.



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