I was always driving in Vancouver around town especially in west side and east side downtown which im very accustomed.
I went to a location which is 24 hours a day and some people are asking if I can install a debit credit reader. There are no spaces that can accommodate the debit credit card reader on the machine. The picture is shown below. I was planning just to remove the bill accept or and swap it out with the debit credit card reader instead since this location uses a lot of coins than bills.
You may have noticed that this machine was vandalize before and the glass is replaced with wire screen mesh.
I mentioned on my last blog that the chocolate prices has increased significantly since last year. The vending operators cost per piece has gone up to around $0.85 to $0.92 per pieces plus tax.
There was one location on the east side part of town that lights are out and need some change. Of course, I have some spare and it was an easy fix for me.
I took a lunch break in another part of town at New Westminster. I was contemplating to secure a location and the owner was very kind to offer space at the side of the restaurant and agreed to place a caged pop machine since the bus stop was just across their establishment.
Pictures show the location which was supposed to place the pop machine which is located on the side of the restaurant.
This visit was my second time around and the owner suddenly changed their minds and opt not to put a pop vending machine for the moment.
I’m used getting rejections since its part of business. I was thinking that I’ll try again on the next prospect which I would offer on my daily driving and soliciting at times when I feel like it or if it along the way.
It is a numbers game in sales.
Also within the vicinity of new Westminster, one of the snack machines was installed with a water proofing type of roof and keypad was wrapped properly so that there will be no moisture setting in which might damage the motherboard inside the snack vending machine. You probably know that if there is constant water and moisture, it might get into the machine and short the board.
Before heading to Richmond I had to stop by at west end Vancouver. I noticed that there is a Dollar Store. Just wondering if it was on the right neighborhood.
Traveled to Richmond and boy I was so hungry and wanted to eat some BBQ and needed to line up. I’m trying to be a vegan but at times I’m lulled to the smell of BBQ.
THE HOME INVASION
So far I was very happy with the things that I go for me lately. There is no more attempted vandalism on my work van. The little problem I have so to unload all the stuff to my garage every day when I get home.
It’s one of those days that I woke up and headed out for work and noticed that one of my box of chips was laden with micro holes and 50% of them are empty.
So I have to hunt down the new villain. I thought I’d leave the box for the mouse to munch and eat so that the other products will not get affected.
What I did was I placed a big of Cheetos beside the box which the mouse like to eat. I can never imagine that the mouse prefer to eat baked good-natured chips than the unhealthy Cheetos!
Below is the picture that the Cheetos is left untouched after placing it overnight to see if the mouse would eat it.
So far all the products are untouched and there is no problem with mouse. Now it will be problem solving again for me how to get rid of the new problem that I’m facing.
Sales have been improving but of course the pop is not a big seller since it is winter. January and February is traditionally slow for the vending machine business.
So far I’m still able to pay my rent or mortgage. Sometimes a little extra, sometimes struggling to catch up on deadline. So going out for collection is a must for me.
It is also tax time, so I have to submit all my receipts to my accountant. I was surprised to receive a deductible tax receipt from Compassion Canada. I was never expecting any deductible on my taxes since I freely donate some profit to compassion if I have some extra.
If you give something, do not count or think that there must be something in return. Just do it to your own free will and expect nothing in return. I can consider myself fortunate and a small token or change means a lot to someone who do not have anything or living in a subsistence level or born in dire straits.
It is fortunate that I grew up in a unselfish environment and was nurtured into my personality and way of thinking. The fact is as a businessman we still have to acquire the acumen and tenacy to be creative in pursuing wealth with risks.
I still have a few more machines that i need to change the locks on them.
The reason for the changing of locks is that my work van which i have mentioned on the previous posts that it was vandalized and all my vending keys were stolen.
The week after the new year was getting some momentum already on the sales and it’s revving up to it’s normal sales.
The only constant expense will be the rent or the mortgage which does not shows it’s mercy on it’s drawn against your bank account every month.
While i was driving my work van for the usual visits on the locations. I was tuned in to a radio station, i think it was 104.9 FM and the DJ was mentioning that the most unaffordable place in the world which is just second to Hong Kong is Vancouver, BC.
I totally agree to this since most businesses just stay afloat and always in survival mode, any uncertain uneventful scenarios will have disastrous havoc in the small potatoes, small businesses.
I heard it again on the radio that St John’s, Halifax, Greater Moncton ( see the link ) and most other regions in Canada offer more affordable housing and slightly higher salary than Vancouver, BC.
I really have not looked up the population of these places but i guess where can you put 100 to 200 vending machines for instance in Halifax ?
I grew up in Makati City a city that never sleeps which is comparable to Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok or Jakarta.
If i was transplanted to places which are sparsely populated then maybe it will be extremely difficult for me to survive. City people brains are wired differently since they are mostly exposed to a lot of information overload when growing up and extremely flexible and mobile.
In growing up in a big city means lots of distractions and observations on the revolving multitude of businesses and people who are trying to survive.
Whereas if i grew up in the Philippine countryside which i find here in Vancouver, BC where most Filipinos are originally from then Vancouver or anywhere in Canada is heaven sent. I guess you see the picture now ?
Perhaps a Londoner who migrated to Halifax or NewFoundland will be a good idea ? Maybe for him Vancouver, BC is boring compared to Downtown London what will it be if he settles in rural Canada ? Never.
I just wanted you to see what my thoughts on how i feel like living here in Vancouver, BC Canada. In business you need to be flexible and also if you relocated.
But in the long term which is still far away i will keep on moving since it is my nature and maybe most city person’s perspective. You know that in business you have to be alert on opportunities right? It is like looking for a better job with better pay where you should grasp it and move on! Vending business for now suits me.
Nonetheless, lets talk about Vending.
As usual i need to take some break on vending lunchtime, it is the first time that i saw a Rubber Band Ra men.
I’m a small self-employed businessman. I understand that it is not the fault of the establishment. I did not think of calling a lawyer for this matter. You have to give fighting chance to a small business to prove it’s services that sometimes you think does not up to your standard. I can be understanding but what about the other finger totting happy sending emails manager’s out there who suddenly for no reason at all does not want your machine anymore ? Statistically most managers are easy and flexible to talk to, so do not get me wrong or think it im ranting.
Aside from vending too much i recently went to a motorshow in Abbotsford which took like 45 minutes driving from Vancouver, BC and i was reminiscing my Yamaha V max which i sorely missed so much back in the days when i was still in Makati City.
My previous Yamaha V Max was 1994 model, so the picture below is the recent one.
I proceeded to a location near the airport and have not been there since December, it was about 2 months since the people there did not care and not too fanatical on an empty snack machine.
I went there trying to destroy and replace the lock but i took off without servicing the bottom portion the combo machine since i could not remove the lock even thou i drilled and removed most of the lock.
I have to be creative when i go back there on my next visit and find a hook to remove the notch that was left on the lock.
How to fix a vending machine without power ?
I went to one of my locations in downtown which i go every month. The machine was empty of chips but there was no powder. It is an old reliable machine located in a heritage building. I thought it was the breaker or the power transformer. I was about to leave the location because i do not have the time to remove the transformer.
Alas my inner voice told me to inspect the power cord
and viola i was able to fix it by removing the burnt extension cord and directly plug the snack machine cord to the power outlet and it worked like a charm.
It is not only me that is not updating my coin mechanism to accept the new shiny loonies but the parking meters as well as you can see that i took my new shiny loonie without any credit on the parking meter. I got some vending locations and people complaining why my coin mech not accepting the new shiny loonies, but at least you have the option to use townies or debit credit card and my vending machines split out the new shiny loonies if it does not accept them yet.
I guess not so many people complain against the parking authority, but they are throwing their weight around on small business operators. I guess im just overthinking on this, but this is my feelings and my thoughts.
Waiting for the new program to update the coin mechanism. Which will cost me around $30 again per machine to upgrade.
Chocolate bars prices are going up again.
Wholesale club where i normally visit obviously is where i always go to buy products beside vending products of Canada. The chocolate price per piece seems to be hovering around $1 already.
I also went to 7 Eleven and just casually checking the chocolate bars and the prices are retailing for $1.75 plus tax. When people see me doing vending machine business as a full time business they constantly think that i got loads of cash and profits.
You see the got a lot of locations in the east side which sells chocolate bars for just $1.50 and a large percentage for $1.75 and maybe a handful for $2 a piece. Honestly i do not know how to approach the manager again have to wear a big smile and say that prices have gone up again. And needed to change it to $2 a piece.
Did i mention before that i have several locations that im still selling chocolate bars for $1.25 a piece a midst that i have trouble finding a parking space or sometimes i get a ticket for some uneventful events by some pen totting enforcer who likes to write all the time.
I remember when i was doing my vending business during the early days, i make sure that all my vending keys and collections for the day is secured when i get home.
It was a standard procedure for me and i even have a small bag that contains all the vending keys. I was very careful during the early days and even have the cash locked up inside the van when going from one place to another.
I have a security safe inside my van and its is very hard to break in.
As time goes by and very confident in my business thinking that here in Canada everything is very safe and secure. I just have to lock the van each time to hop on to another location and it was very worry free for me.
I soon upgraded my van to a slightly new model so that it will not keep on breaking down and problems with downtime on my visits.
I woke up on a day getting ready for work sometime on the second week of December were i was planning to leave Vancouver, BC for a short break.
My driver’s side glass window was smashed and all my vending keys, collections for a couple of days, chocolates, old English cookies, Dan d pak peanuts boxes were also gone missing! Just because i was too complacent not securing my things and leave everything in my work van.
This happened just beside the street were i usually park at my townhouse. Leaving all things inside my van has been going on forever and was thinking that my place is secure but it is definitely not!
Before i went for a break in the Philippines i asked around people here in Vancouver, BC what are their personal experiences on car break ins.
USB phone connector in jack
empty bottles and plastic for recycle
gift wrapped item
couple of loonies on car dash
I was very astounded and surprised that i made a list of points that will make you think twice when leaving your car.
I was not able to update my blog on the vending business for quite a while. The reason behind this is that i was in panic mode. It is the time that i needed to do the following things before i leave for a short break.
I wanted to make a short visit to Philippines since it is were i grew up and i somehow miss my buddies and family. You cannot go wrong with the people that you grew up with you, it is 100% transparent even thou there are some disagreements. Friends and family without any pretensions and real were my heart is most comfortable.
My time is very cramped because i have to wait for Ford dealer to have it arrived for a special order on my driver side glass since my van is still not mainstream.
How many locks shall i destroy to replace the locks on the vending machine?
The time that destroying the lock on the vending machines takes about it least 15 to 20 minutes which includes the replacement of a new lock. There are stubborn locks that took me up to close an hour to destroy.
Imagine instead of visiting 10 locations, i was doing only 5 to 6 and not getting collections to pay my bills because of downtime. A meager $60 to $100 collection per collection slows down.
There are some vending machines that i have installed a high security lock and i have to use up to 2-3 drill bits just to successfully destroy a lock. What i did was not to service the vending machines with high security locks and ordered duplicates from the manufacturer and have to wait for a week to arrive.
In case, you wanted to change your regular locks to this high tech high security lock then here is the company information.
I have set aside everything that i have been doing regularly. I set aside my part-time online training course that i was extremely engrossed and got everything out of momentum.
I have stopped all other things and have to work 7 days a week rain or shine just to destroy locks and change them. Some locations that have high security access cards were also stolen and i cannot go to those locations and service my machines. I have to choose a day were the manager is around for me to get a spare key again.
In short my vending machine business is in turmoil. There are locations that i just did not service anymore before i left Philippines for a break.
Sometimes maybe this is a blessing is disguise that vending operators must be also on the lookout and very cautious. I had some vending professional which i regularly talked too. And he told me his work van was robbed 3 times. Twice in front of his townhouse and another time in the parking lot of Costco.
I strongly suggest doing the following precautionary measures after working even thou it takes a little of your time just to make sure that everything pans out and never happens again.
Preventive Measures After Work
Leave nothing near the dashboard, not even a couple of loonies
Do not leave any form of GPS device
Do not leave your USB phone charger inside your vehicle
Remove all products from the front till the mid section of your work van
Open the glove compartment so that thief will see nothing when flashing lights by
Also, opens the middle compartment between the driver and passenger seat if any so that thief can see that nothing is left inside not even a single dime
Remove all kinds of shiny objects
For added security measures on your vending work van.
Always bring the cash with you per location strapped beside your body no matter how small or big the collections
Install 2 Way car alarm with shock sensor
Install DVR Car Dash Cam
Security Clear 8mil tint for all the side windows ( if robber tried to hit glass again then glass will not break and security tint will hold the glass and will trigger the car alarm )
Even if your collection is minuscule, always bring the coins to the bank coin counter after doing your rounds.
There was even a story that a regular customer goes to Costco to buy a whole load of cigarettes for his convenience store and was followed to Safeway for a quick drink of soup. When he returned his work van and window was smashed and all cigarettes missing.
Did i mention earlier that a jacket left inside the car was stolen with glass smashed ?
Living dangerously in the Philippines
I guess we are not living in dangerous times were people are held at gunpoint or stab while waiting for a public ride. This is very common in the Philippines were regular folks get robbed when riding inside a jeepney. The robber pulls out a gun and announcing a hold up and everyone surrenders watches, phones, wallets and bags.
Taxi drivers in the Philippines have a dangerous livelihood too were they are constantly robbed at gunpoint or shot. It’s the powerful and rich that is left untouched by petty crimes.
Needless to say for me there is absolutely more fun in the Philippines than anywhere during the Christmas season.
which i always go every xmas if given the opportunity to my friend’s house which he gives charity to the poor and needy. Even a small token from your heart can make the world a big difference.
Vending Machine Business in Philippines is not lucrative. I noticed that even if there are hundreds of driver’s in the waiting room which can readily access a coke glass front vending machine is not doing good.
Lots of vending machines in the Philippines are out of order from people trying to break in. I have yet to see when the vending machine business will take off here in my hometown.
December is good time to have a short trip since business is slow here in Vancouver, BC. Make sure that you go to a place that is warm. I guess anywhere in Asia is a good choice.
I also need to regularly travel to Philippines because it is the only time that i also go for dental repairs and checkups. Medical blood test, CT scans, x rays, stress tests and bone chiropractic adjustments needed to run this vending machine business.
If you know how to maintain your vending machines then the priority is also maintaining yourself in peak shape for performance.
Do you have existing vending machine locations that you need to boost sales ?
How do you determine which locations that is deserving to have a debit credit card reader?
Is your vending machine a contender that needs to be upgraded to the debit credit card reader? Here are the rundown on my opinion as a real vendor that runs and maintains vending machine on a daily basis.
It would be wise to listen an advise to a real vendor who do this for a living and not from someone who just speaks from news or scraping information from sources in the internet which I sincerely think what is happening presently on most flashy websites earning from affiliates and commissions that tries to dry you hard-earned $$$.
Do not be so naive to listen to any credit debit card supplier or seller that pushes you to buy a lot of debits credit card readers.
I understand that everyone has to make a living.
It would be best to get advise from a vendor that applies it to his business and real facts on how beneficial it would bring to added increase on sales on the vending machines.
I’m in no way endorsing a product or earning affiliate on writing this article.
It is thru this article that I wanted all the vending operators out there to know if this debit credit card do really increase in sales
Here are the rundown on several factors to be considered when installing the debit credit card into existing machines.
Here are my experiences on the sales of my other locations with debit credit card readers.
Public locations such as hotels
are a must installing on debit credit cards, my observations is that the sales of coins and credit/debit is around 50%. Common sense tells us at tourists who visits Vancouver, BC are naturally equipped with credit card but most of them carry cash with them.
So my sales is around 50% cash and 50% credit card with a tolerance variation of 20% on cash / credit ratio
Private locations depending on demographics.
Millennial all carry plastics with them and you can safely assume that you have the option without having the cash handling capability. I have several locations which doesn’t have any cash whenever I visit the location, but needed to visit at least once a week.
Generation X such as myself carry plastics all the time, but since the Generation X is a transition or in between from the traditional old ways to the new changing landscape, I always carry at least 5 dollars in loose change and at least $5 dollar bill inside my wallet.
This reasoning is perhaps some generation x are taught by the old hard-working Baby Boomers to always carry some form of cash in case there is a natural disaster e.g.earthquakes, blackouts or worse case War !
Generation X is torn between the old and the new I would say. Generation X have some form of paranoia and have to be always prepared and alert.
Baby Boomers always carries cash with them and locations need not to be upgraded to credit debit card system. But of course a large proportion also have credit debit cards but hesitate to use them because in believing that it is a rip off and have a notion that these plastic companies steals their hard-earned money if skipped a month’s payment and get charged for 2%.
If your location has all sorts of age brackets and people using the vending machines then it would be best just to install a debit credit card reader on your machine.
Is purchasing a debit credit card reader justified even if the sales is like $30 a month ?
I have these kinds of locations which I still service some very small locations because here in Vancouver, BC is hard to look for a vending location. If the small location is on the way or in a group of other 10 locations within the vicinity then ill just swing by and service the small location even if it is just $30 a month.
The products that are mostly close to expire but is still good can be placed in other strong locations which is fully aware what kind of products are placed in the vending machine and not very finicky and picky.
What are the requirements in the vending machine that can be qualified to equip the debit credit card reader ?
The vending machine has to be MDB capable. Vending machines that are non MDB complaint and super old like 15 years old cannot qualify.
You know that all vending machine operators do not have a majority of brand new machines at their locations so that leaves you maybe only 30% to 40% of the remainder that is worth upgrading to a debit credit card reader capability.
It is will be very ambitious for me to start with a project to buy maybe 1 or 2 debit credit card readers every month until all my MDB complaint vending machines are upgraded.
I noticed that if there is a credit debit card reader on my former machines which I have upgraded have resulted in more frequent visits from me, for instance : my monthly will turn into bi weekly and my bi weekly will turn into weekly visits.
Vending Machine Credit Card Processing Fees ?
Unfortunately doing business again here in Vancouver, BC is at a premium. I get charged for $15 for the older debit credit card readers every month and $7 for the newer 2018 debit credit card readers every month. A debit credit card reader here costs around $500.
In USA the monthly processing fees ranges from $7.5 per month and debit credit card readers are just around $350. guess the used ones will be a lot cheaper in USA since vending machines are in proliferation.
Is it worth it to loosing $7 to $15 on the processing fees ?
If you can increase your overall sales considering and assuming all your MDB capable machine are equipped with debit credit card readers then it is justified.
For a hypothetical computation : Normal sales of $1000 without card reader. After upgrading the sales will be around $1,250 with card reader. According to my experience the sales increase is around 25% conservatively with a tolerance of plus minus variation of 10%. Meaning it may be an actual increase of 20% to 35% variance.
Recommended 3rd party debit credit card reader ?
I was initially very happy with USA Live Technologies in USA. I had several healthy combo machines that came with the USA Technologies readers and the interface is a child’s play and very user-friendly experience.
I even have daily alerts on emails everyday on specified time can be specified for reports. Which makes you not constantly logging in to check daily reports.
Hands down I really like the USA Technologies, problem is that sometimes when I make an email to new orders, they respond the next day but most of the time they never reply.
I even have to email several contacts just to get a response.
Seems that they always change hands on the sales representative.
I’m not saying anything negative about this customer service protocol, it is just that I normally send a simple email stating that I wanted to buy 1 or 2 units but have no reply.
I used to run my own company mentioning back in Makati City. When a customer calls my Computer Trading company during the Asian surge in computer products hey days, you get a quick favorable and friendly reply. Orders jot down and delivery scheduled.
You know during my stint in Asia, I called my customers every day! I sounded like a broken record! Maybe the Asus 4MB memory chips needs replenishment ? Maybe you needed more I/O Graphics card ( that’s what they are called before the era of super graphics ). How many hundreds of mice do you need? ball type or lighted ones ?
I got really good customer service and my business propelled as a small self-employed businessman. My products are niche and I just carry 20 to 30 different products are micro small which everyone was very hungry during that Golden Era.
I also have Nayax debit credit card readers on some of my machines. I don’t have any problem with the debit credit card reader since it is absolutely the exact equivalent of USA Technologies.
I had fewer Nayax debit credit card readers on my vending machines.
Whenever I was generating daily reports on the Nayax debit credit card readers it was very cryptic and it is very hard for me to read and comprehend.
I have to figure out the menus and navigation and always get lost.
Learning is unending and when you utilize and use it, you get new set of wires inside your brain and go through the learning process and pretty soon enough, you will be a master.
It took for a while to get used to the cryptic menu on navigation.
The great thing about the Nayax debit credit card is that the customer support is lightning quick and very easy to access help and advise.
If you are located in Vancouver, BC or the lower mainland then it would be the best option !
You do not have to deal with basketball running around emails and waiting for a reply. There is no need for the waiting time from UPS all the way coming from the USA and get shocked on added $100 tax for one unit.
and easy and locally available with outstanding support.
I advise you not to get too excited in getting your Nayax debit credit card readers immediately. You have to figure out on how to install it first by yourself on a MDB capable vending machine. Perhaps buy 1 device and install it to your best location and observe it for 1 month.
For vending machine operators that works hard for the money, then maybe 1 or 2 nayax debit credit card readers will be sufficient until all your locations are installed.
You have to consider if the Nayax debit credit card reader will justify its cost.
Buy 1 at a time and observe.
Installing a Nayax Debit Credit Card Reader
I guess actions speaks louder than words. Simply have a magnetic screwdriver set with you and a small set of ratchet for the installation of a Nayax debit credit card reader.
Why the Orange Vending machines did not take off here in Vancouver, BC.
During the 2015 introduction it made headlines and was an instant hit.
I’ll take you by the hand to see an in depth story from a vending operator’s point of view.
I visited one of my vending machine supplier not too long ago.
My supplier showed me a USED Orange Vending machine that squeezes fresh oranges for a drink ! It sounds awesome !
I was super excited and immediately offered it to one of my big vending account.
It is a good thing that it was not realized or else i will get into hot water and will be loosing $$$ on lease payments.
Would be wiser to get another vending machine or anything that appreciates.
Imagine getting your Vitamin C every day from your workplace.
I was very excited on the idea and i was pondering in my mind why the Orange vending machines are being sold for a hefty discount ?
I took some pictures of the Orange vending machine and went to the website and the company is located in Italy where the machines are made.
Here is the link on the Oran fresh Orange vending machine company. It is a great machine in concept, design and operation wherein it squeezes around 3 to 4 fresh oranges into a cup.
The machines are formerly installed in university and they are pulled out, the supplier told me that the university wanted a hefty commission which the owner of the Oran fresh didn’t agree and he pulled it out.
I had my mind racing with a lot of ???
I guess this story needs to be analyzed in depth.
I have a question for you : Why would a prestigious university think of $$$ instead of concerns for the students. It is after all a prestigious university. You can read between the lines.
These machines were also installed in Langara College and even the top honcho was drinking from the orange vending machine. Here is a news clip that was big during 2015. I noticed that the orange vending machine was not to be found in Langara College anymore.
I again research and typed the keywords : Problems on Orange vending machine.
Here are some links that is worth reading on the existing orange vending machine operations.
Blogger in China noticed that the orange juice was dark and not the usual color.
Oranges that are about to expire goes into the orange vending machines
Fruit flies on some machines
Cockroach on machines that are located in tropical countries
Again the Orange machines are not mainstream here in Vancouver, BC and if there is an electronic part that gets broken or a mechanical part gone bad then you have to wait for ages get to order one from the supplier in Europe.
There is not enough technical support on this Orange vending machine.
I noticed also that there are also a lot of made in china orange machines for sale in alibaba, i guess this is a knockoff of the original orange vending machine from Italy. The knockoff is around $4,000 USD while the original Oran fresh made in Italy was pegged at $12,000.
It is not a joke if you are serving fresh products to your discerning customers here in Vancouver, BC. I will not assume any responsibility on such unfortunate incidents.
In business, it is not always the monetary concerns in most cases. It will do more detrimental than benefit i would say if you blindly go ahead with such an ambitious project.
In order to successfully run this Orange vending machine business, the operator must be at the location every day and inspect the produce and clean the machine. Economically this is not feasible and not applicable here in Vancouver, BC since the labor is astronomically high.
Perhaps in Asia or other parts of Europe where labor is more inexpensive, the business model will work.
If i was still living in Asia i will not hesitate in ordering the knockoff Orange vending machines made in china since the supplier’s proximity is quite near and if you will be needing parts it is also inexpensive and manageable. Deployment to all the shopping malls will not have second thoughts with me anymore. Since it is just statistics, ratio and proportion that enormous population of people will buy fresh orange from vending machines.
If there are lots of roaches in tropical countries trying to get in the machine then just work it out with the supplier since everything is cheap to retrofit.
You see this business model will work in Asia but not here in Vancouver, BC. Small fine details of problems here in Vancouver, BC will leave you out of business in no time !
Personally when i inspected the Orange vending machine on the moving parts, i will never buy from the machine since i do not know how it is maintained and you can easily get food poisoning in the worst case scenario.
I guess the best bet is for large cafeteria operations where there are at least a couple of full time personnel that will deploy an Orange vending machine on the side as an extra income earner.
The cleaning and inspection of the fresh oranges will be a morning routine once the cafeteria opens shop.
Let me ask you a question :
Are you willing to clean the orange vending machine everyday on location even if just sold around 10 cups a day ?
Is $4.5 x 10 cups = $45 less cost of goods of oranges, gasoline and time worth it ? Profit is about $2 per cup.
Are you ready to loose $12,000 on an Orange Vending Machine ?
I’m not in a way trying to discourage people getting into the orange vending machine business, this is just my opinion, everyone is different.
The orange vending machine is revolutionary and a great concept !
Maybe the business model is not yet mature and bugs have to be iron out.
Yes that’s right i was able to secure a new vending machine location and need to have it serviced after installing a combo vending machine 2 weeks prior.
New Vending machine location contract needs to be checked after a couple of weeks to make sure that everything goes well with the location and the machine placement.
With new vending machine contract locations it is imperative that you initially ask the staff in charge what is the most popular product that they wanted inside the machine.
Presently doing office locations is not that as lucrative as like 10 years ago. People are evolving into healthy snacks and drinks.
That’s why here in Vancouver, BC it would be best to offer healthy options since it is gearing towards into that direction, or perhaps offer a mix and match varieties.
It is on a Monday when the rain was pouring very hard ! In the vending service industry, you have to service no matter what the weather conditions. Vancouver is a great place to move about and there is no problem when getting around.
The vending operators here are very fortunate because even there is a heavy downpour of rain, you can still continue to do business and the city is very forgiving. There are no floods, no problem with transportation system and everything is very well laid out.
Doing business here in comparison when i was in Makati City was a nightmare. I have to trust my hardy motorcycles to do the job in my deliveries including my team members where they have their own motorcycles which i have to provide. If you are dealing with computer hardware parts in Asia, the best delivery system is via motorcycle.
In Makati City, when it rains the roads are almost impassable and unforgiving. You have to cancel all your appointments and flooding of streets are a common occurrence and you have to live with it.
Enjoying the heavy rain downpour in Vancouver, BC while im taking a lunch break.
I thought that towards winter there will a halt in renovations.
Seems that there is no end. I was servicing a location with a vending machine on the 1st floor and the staff mentioned that only the 1st floor will be renovated and there is no need for my machine to be moved.
The duration will take around 3 long months.
I think on my next visit i will try to ask the manager if i can move the machine to the lobby area where there are a lot of guests.
Self employed people always have to be prepared with sudden uneventful situations like this.
So i guess there might be some moving expenses in case it will be moved to the first floor or else there will be no income for 3 months if it stays on the floor that will be renovated.
I also visit a community location where there are some machines which are utilized frequently by kids and parents.
I thought the dreaded out-of-order sign is no more but it seems that this is part of the business.
Coin jams scenarios will never be eliminated especially if most of the consumers are children.
I just cannot picture how the coins gets jammed inside the coin mechanism. It is actually common sense that you have to insert the coin one at a time while observing the price display that registers or acknowledge on the coin and then continue right ? Not everyone is the same i guess.
Problem :How to solve coin jams in the vending machine ?
Solution : Most cases is by flipping the coin flap inside the coin mechanism thereby releasing the accumulated coins.
See the video which i have made to show you exactly how the coin jam was resolved.
I did a lot of work on Monday since it is always a busy start of the week for me. It is always the first day of the week that i need to start the momentum to work.
Statistics of New Canadian Coin On A Cash Collection
I headed down to a coin counter that day since i have some bills to pay. The coins during that day was mostly from a coinco coin mechanism which accepts new loonies. That means all the coins that i have gathered includes a mix of new and old loonies.
I have tried this several times on the coin counter to see if the new loonies is already mainstream.
If the new loonie is mainstream and if a lot of them are around then of course i have to bring my MEI and CON LUX coin mechanisms to Broker House here in Burnaby, BC to have it re calibrated to accept the new loonies or else i will be loosing sales every day.
So what i did was to make a trial sampling computations on the statistics and ratio of cash collection’s on rejected new loonies to the overall collection’s.
Surprisingly the total cash collection’s ratio of finding a new loonies is only 0.41% on every collection’s.
For example : If you have a cash collection’s of various coins of $486 then the new loonie will be only 2 pieces
Computation is $486 cash collection’s 0.41% = 2 pieces
So for instance you have a hypothetical large haul of $1,000 cash collection’s for 2 to 3 days then it will contain only 4 pieces of new loonies.
Conclusion : Following my statistical sampling of cash collection’s and computation, it will still be fine to leave the MEI and CON LUX coin mechanisms at its present state without doing any upgrades.
I went to Brokerhouse located at Burnaby, BC and the technician told me that the cost of re calibration and upgrade to accept the new loonies will cost around $50 a piece.
At the moment in time, i chose not to upgrade my MEI and CON LUX coin mechanisms. I will be observing of the % percentage of new loonies from my total cash collection will increase to at least 2% to 5% then it will be time for me to upgrade and re calibrate all my MEI and CON LUX to comply and accept the NEW Canadian Shiny Loonie.
Sample computation :
This are all hypothetical computations. For $1000 cash coins collection, 2% will be 20 new shiny loonies, 5% will be 50 new shiny loonies.
Earning money from vending machines is tough and every expense needs to be dealt cautiously.
See the video i made on the coin counter for a coin cash collection of $486 which i just got 2 new shiny loonies.
At present im also contemplating to install all my MDB machines equipped with a debit credit card reader.
Most of the populace have debit credit cards and have quite a bit of locations that uses 90% debit credit cards instead of cash. These locations are in the west end where most of the consumers are millennial which makes it better if you just carry a plastic with you than cash.
There will be an article on how i install on existing MDB vending machines with a 3rd party debit credit card device.
I was astounded that one of my machines had an attempted vending machine robbery.
I have a public location which i visit around once a month.
This location was very notorious for vandalism and theft. I have around four machines in that location.
Three of them are cashless debit credit machines only and the odd one is a small Coke soda pop vending machine.
I thought the vending machine robberies have already subsided here in the lower mainland.
I experienced this vending machine robbery around two years ago in practically all of my public locations and have suffered great deal of losses. Normally if a vending machine is vandalized, the thief occasionally steals the bill validator stack and the coin mechanism holder which contains all the coins.
The problem is that all the public locations are temporary visitors in Canada and a portion of them are reluctant to use their credit or debit card in the vending machine and they normally exchange their foreign currency to Canadian cash.
I cannot blame tourists for not fully trusting the credit debit system here in Canada yet because there are cases of reports in other countries that copies credit debit card details and siphon money.
Some people are very private and doesn’t want to be traceable when using credit debit card. So there will always exist people using cash for vending machine.
Here is a video showing my vending machine robbery failed attempt.
This method is employed where the robber drill or destroy the price indicator and insert a bent long L shaped rod with a hook to try to pop the lock.
I pity on the other public locations that was sold to other vendors on the pretense that it will be generate lots of profits, but will be a ticking time bomb for a heavy loss on vandalism.
Here is the basic rundown on expenses that will incur in case there is a vandalism on your vending machine.
Coin mechanism $550
Bill Validator $450
Pucklock Security Installation $350
How long do you think that the vending operator will be able to make the expenses plus the additional downtime that the vending machine is out of service for repairs ?
According to my experience, the average profit of a public vending machine is around $50 per visit and it will take around 34 weeks to recupe the loss for one machine.
Imagine if you have a lot of vending machines located in a public area and all the time are visited on a regular routine by the robber and always breaking and destroying your vending machines then you will have some sleepless nights and some default on credit card payments and maybe rent or mortgage payments.
Here in Vancouver, BC the cost of living for regular people is extremely expensive and it is impossible to stash money here even if you are self-employed, even if you have hundreds of vending machines. It would work only if you have thousands of vending machines. But statistically there is will more break ins and out of service vending machines if you work with thousands.
I guess any form of business that entails manual work and trading your time for money is a dead end street and will be slaving a lifetime of work unless if you enjoy what you are doing.
Nevertheless, i was very happy that the robbery attempt failed.
Did you i tell you the last time my driver’s side mirror was a hit-and-run incident ?
Maybe it was the same person who did it to me again ? Second time around and now it almost smashed my blind spot mirror.
Here is a video when my driver’s side mirror was hit the second time around.
When i was headed to a location that was complaining of money being eaten which i did a quick fix the last time, i thought Halloween was over and i literally surprised while i reached my hand while opening the vending machine lol !
The robbery was enough experience for me already when i parked in downtown for a quick service call. The parking meter seems to have a perennial problem on people trying to play pranks by inserting slugs, foreign coins or robbery attempt on fishing out coins which i have mentioned on my previous article.
By the way when i first got to Vancouver, BC from the Philippines i have a lot of Philippine quarters and they work for public meters in Vancouver, BC. Sorry about this! I was just a curious cat when I am trying out the Philippine coins if they would work on the parking meters here in downtown.
As i was parking on a loading area in the west end of Vancouver.
You never know what is lurking on the garbage bins.
I remember about two or three years ago when i was driving in homer or hornby in downtown i saw a guy on a bicycle and suddenly smashed the rear window of a car parked and took out a backpack. This incident happened broad daylight when there was actually a lot of people walking by and a busy intersection with lots of cars passing by !
I’m just wondering why not make Plexiglas instead of breakable glass on the vehicles ? Or apply a tint from the inside of the vehicle which in Manila where everyone by default applies to all the vehicles.
If you apply a tint from the inside, this is a form of deterrent from the thief that would think twice in smashing your window to lurk and find some goodies inside your vehicle.
When you are in Taiwan, if you attempt to smash a very tinted car, you will be out for surprise by the triad.
When you are in the Philippines or Asia in general.
Do you know that when you are in Manila city or especially when you are stuck in the traffic in the Philippines. Thieves would casually pass by the try to open your doors and make a quick snatch on your phone or bag if this is visible from the outside. In the Philippines it seems that there are constant danger everywhere and you should be on the lookout.
When i was ending my day i proceeded to a bank with coin sorting machine. I noticed that there are a lot of these new loonies already in circulation.
The new loonies will not work on MEI, Coin Lux and old coin co coin mechanisms. Seems that the six tubes coin co coin mech doesn’t have any problems on accepting the new loonies.
Next year will be very busy for everyone to update their coin mechs so that the new loonies can be accepted by the vending machine.
This is another unforeseen problem that most vendors will be encountering. Upgrading coin mech is around $30 and im not sure on the turnaround because i will be bringing in my MEI, Conlux to Brokerhouse located in Burnaby for quote and turn around time for the coin mechs to be upgraded.
I also received some news that another new $10 dollar bill is coming out, all my bill validators was not yet upgraded for the previous new $10 dollar bills and now another $10 dollar bill.
Here is a video taken on how the new shiny loonies looks like.
I have an interesting story to tell you on a recent breakthrough on the vending machine industry offering fresh drinks coming out from a vending machine. It requires a lot of work and i will be writing another blog if this project will be pushing through and what will be arising from it.
What remedy i did was to disable the coin return button so that whenever you press for coin return it will not function anymore and have no other option but to insert more coins to purchase a product.
You see this location is in an extremely busy location where there are lots of children and parents. You will certainly get coin jams in such kind of environment. This is understandable for me because of the demographics.
I always get a surprise call in the middle of the week while im servicing at the far end of another city.
One day I got really tired and just told the person on the phone that just put an out-of-order sign since there is another machine beside to satisfy the needs of the location.
If you got like 10 to 12 locations per day to attend too sometimes you thought that checking the coin mech by merely flipping the coin chute inside the check jams is enough.
I just found out that all these problems and calls to me was caused by a quarter with a gum on one side and it was almost invisible for me to detect on my visits even if i inspect it closely.
I accidentally dislodge the quarter with gum when i flip the coin chute on the side last week.
Since then i didn’t receive any more annoying service calls and all is well.
Here is the Video which i took on the quarter with a gum.
That rainy day started when i was in a location under a tree. Suddenly to my surprise i receive a sign from above from a bird doing its nature call.
I guess it was lucky for me to have found the quarter with a gum after all these calls at lasted for months.
Seems that both machines are churning at full throttle after i accidentally found the culprit.
Was it the lucky gum or the bird ?
I needed to promptly visit a location which i just go every 2 weeks since it is a small location with around 50 occupants in an apartment complex.
At this moment in time, i always prepared the goods ahead of time since i already know what to refill on the machine. When i approached the combo machine, the manager immediately approached me saying that sometimes when people insert coins, the machine doesn’t register.
When i opened the combo machine then there were some coins laying inside the combo machine.
What i did was to figure out a simple solution so that this will happen again.
I noticed also inside the machine there were notes from the previous owner of the machine listings of coins lost with corresponding names on a piece of paper.
So this has concluded that i have to have a quick fix.
Solution on vending coin mechanism not accepting coins
cut appropriate cardboard into the shape of the coin guide
shape and funnel it to the coin mechanism using scotch tape
I took a video on how to cut the cardboard and taped it on the metal funnel in order for the coin to go straight to the coin mechanism.
I tested it with a lot of coins and it seems that the problem is solved.
Please see the video i made and it shows clearly how to do it without needing expensive technician calls or buying expensive parts for a simple quick fix.
This method applies to all kinds of coin mechanism
It would be essential for the vendor to properly check the coin path and coin mechanism since this is the part that has the most usage on the vending machine.
Always check the coin mechanism for foreign materials inserted or small objects that sometimes not easily noticed especially when you are always in a hurry to finish work in a location.
Seems like the rainy days are more frequent now here in Vancouver, BC.
There are so a good deal of news that people are getting sick of flu.
Well yesterday i was in a hurry to get some locations done and when i approached my van the driver’s side mirror is partially destroyed and some debris on the ground which i took some photos.
That day was rainy but of course you have to provide outstanding service as a vending machine service provider to your customers. Rain, Shine or snow is no excuse.
This was the same incident that happened a few years back when i was near west Broadway taking a quick sushi lunch treat break. That time the driver’s side mirror was also hit. I called ICBC during that time and they told me that i have to pay deductible which is $300 three hundred dollars and my monthly insurance will go up.
Since i had excellent driving history since i started during my twenties i hesitate to get a claim and instead will just hold on for a used driver’s side mirror at amazon or eBay when there will be plentiful of surplus in the near future when my van will be more mainstream.
Most of the cases that slows me down is not caused by me but people who simply doesn’t care and just do a hit-and-run.
I guess im more fortunate than an actual uneventful misfortune on the actual streets.
I hurriedly left to downtown where the locations are to be served during that day.
To my surprise there were a lot of contractors in the loading bay at one of my locations and i couldn’t park and made a quick turn on the side street in case there are some available parking space.
There were none so i have to wait at the loading bay when one of cars leave for me to park properly. The car that took off didn’t even have a commercial license.
It was another hurdle when i approached the elevator which i have to go to two ( 2 ) locations on the 25th floor and 19th floor respectively. This location is a 2 in 1 location for me.
Was thinking why is this Monday difficult for me ? I still consider myself fortunate since i was quick enough to use the tenants’ elevator instead of the freight since it was out of order and security was kind enough to allow a heavy dolly filled with lots of products to use the tenants’ lift.
I need to go to a location that is about 45 minutes drive from downtown Vancouver, BC on a location that was complaining that the pop machine is leaking. This was the same problem last year when the pop machine literally flooded the floor in the school !
It is a good thing that the people there seems to be very emphatic towards small self employed vending machine service operators.
I made some remedy on the situation last week and there was the icy buildup near the condenser, it was already leaking with water so i immediately apologized and clean the place. The water retainer inside the pop machine is full of water and the ice is melting and thereby some water is coming out from the pop machine.
The video below was taken last week when the soda pop vending machine was leaking.
I instinctively asked for a small large 2 liter plastic containers from a cleaner which im in very good terms and inserted in the soda pop machine and wanted to see if there are any leaks from my temporary solution.
What i did to temporary stop the soda pop machine leaking was :
Installed a 2 liter plastic container
Turned 1/4 clockwise on the thermostat to make the soda pop machine cooler
This is the video i took when the soda pop vending machine is not leaking.
I was very happy that the plastic container had a partial water buildup and the surrounding was dry. Anyway the machine is already on the period of Jurassic and i needed to have some help from Coke. I hope they will have it replaced as they did with my other locations.
If they don’t replace it then the above method is a simple yet effective temporary solution. I have some soda pop machine with the same setup on partial icy buildup near the condenser and i simply have a large plastic container to hold in case there are some leak. Whenever i visit the locations with the plastic container, i would just simply use the excess water for plants if there are or just dump it in the toilet.
The rain was pouring very hard and it was also that day that i received a call from a public location that both vending machines are located outdoor.
I have some vending machines that are outdoor and had some bad experience with it.
Simple Vending machine solution from rain
This was happening to the machine when there is rain. When you are depressing the keypad on the machine the numbers doesn’t show up what it is supposed to.
For example if i press 1 the display shows up 2, when i press 6 sometimes it shows 1. This happens when there is rain on the snack machine.
This scenario doesn’t happen if it is a soda pop machine since most of them are built to be used for indoor or outdoor.
I was thinking at that moment that maybe a wooden plank on top of the snack vending machine can be the solution, but what if the person’s fingers are wet from the rain and the long term effect will be water damage would have occurred inside the keypad and would cause some short and thereby affecting the main board. After all the keypad is connected to the main board so it is best to avoid water entering the keypad.
I was servicing the location for the longest time and had some form of rapport with the staff. I was initially asking for a wooden plank that they don’t need to be placed on top of the snack machine to avoid the rain traveling down to the exposed keypad which is very vulnerable.
Thanks to the staff that he suggested instead to put a sticky plastic wrap on the keypad and surrounding electronics that maybe exposed to the rain.
So this is the solution which i cannot explain in words but in video.
It is simple solution and yet effective. At first before the installation, when i was depressing the keypad 2 it displays 1. When i cleaned it dry and applied the plastic wrap on the vending machine keypad and the surrounding areas, seems that the problem is solved.
I did not receive any phone calls for the moment from this location.
There are times that in one day there are several problems that need to be addressed. Some people think that vending machine servicing is very easy and everything is laid out as scheduled.
As a vendor you have to be prepared all the time for such uneventful situations.
Lastly, there was another location that just received a permit to renovate. I was serving this location for a long time but they wanted a major renovation done on the lunch room. It was not renovated for more than 15 years. It was also a small uneventful surprise that the management informed us that it has to be removed and never come back.
The location wanted to change everything including the concept of not accommodating anymore vending machines in their premises after the major renovation that will be taking place on December.
I was also a bit fortunate that im constantly connecting with local locators to have standby locations that need vending machine placements. The machine was immediately transferred to another location that considers chips, chocolate bars and soda pop as essential necessities for temporary pick me up fuel.
On some rare occasions i was able to find locations on my own but of course i already have my hands full on running around filling up products on vending locations. My native tongue is distinctively not English and the way i speak English is not coherent and in tandem with Canadian English.
I don’t even sound with a thick Filipino accent. I have lived in Hong Kong, Singapore and traveled extensively in Asia before and lived in a multicultural city in the Philippines where my neighbors are mixed. Makati City which i mentioned many times on my previous blogs. I’m very comfortable with all kinds of people.
I would like to take up some ESL courses in the future meetup and learn how to make a sales pitch when approaching locations.
Seems that vending machine operators still need help from reputable locators and some vending equipment suppliers where they also provide some locations occasionally.
Everyone in the vending machine business industry have to work hand in hand in order to keep the ball rolling. If im not the one who is running the location then another vendor acquaintance will do it and vice versa.
Most locations just change hands and rotate among the vending machine business operators.
Do you think that there will be a day when you will be coming back to a previous location that you were serving before ?
This was around two years ago when im servicing machines in a very crowded and rowdy location.
I learned a lot of lessons that you should only do certain actions like moving or operating other people’s property with the consent. If you try to move, touch or operate things that is not yours you will get into big trouble. Here in Canada there are so many rules and regulations to consider.
Unlike when I was still in the Philippines, sometimes you just move the person’s belongings or lock doors that are unlocked without ask the owner and get a very positive feedback for such an initiative.
Here in Canada if you act accordingly without being told to do might even get into trouble since it is not your property and do not have the right to touch, move or operate. Everything you do needs permission from the owner.
So most of the time, it is better to leave the things the way they are.
I have a location in a public area that has another vendor’s machine besides mine.
Even thou I have a rival vending machine beside me, I instinctively talked to the security to inform the vendor to secure his machine since it is left open. I dare not to lock it on his behalf, because maybe he went down to get his goodies and might be coming back or might accuse me of trying to play pranks on his vending machine.
I hurriedly left this location since I have a homeless vending machine that has found a good refuge in another public place.
This time I went to set up this vending machine at another public place in a secured spot with security fab access. The vending machine was deemed homeless when it was during the spring time towards summer when there are a lot of renovations going all around the lower mainland.
During that time I thought my business is going downhill.
I had a thought why is this situation happening to me back then ? I had around three to five locations which are actually doing major renovations. The location do not have the intention of getting rid of me because of bad service.
It seems that during the spring and early summer it was like everyone was with the wavelength of making changes in their lunch rooms and changing the wallpapers and flooring. Some companies are downsizing to rent out the extra space.
The business here in Vancouver, BC is always on the arena of acquisitions and mergers. Other companies have to inflict some serious downsizing or even run out of business. You will have noticed that a lot of small self-employed businesses capital resources run dry after a couple of years. If they survive the 3rd year then they would be slaving for the most part of their life by working for sustenance of business with minimal vacations.
In a very expensive city, it’s somehow invites new flock of people who just likes to work all the time and wanted cash injections from foreign migrants on establishment of new small businesses.
Going back to the vending service industry.
Sometimes it would be wise to talk to extremely strong locations to add machines since you know that sales will dramatically increase if the machines are updated and especially if it comes with everything : bill validator and debit credit card readers.
I left to a location that is still in the vicinity of downtown and I just wanted to show you that all the public places are vulnerable to theft.
This particular location was vandalized many times with different methods.
Methods used in vandalizing my combo vending machine :
Dollar bill fishing attached with tape
Drilling a hole and using a hook to pop out the lock
Destroying the Lock in front and popping out the lock
What I did was to install a puck lock at the side of the vending machine and access the key through the back of the puck lock.
After this installation I was not vandalized anymore.
There was a time like two years ago during the summer months I had several vending machines located in public locations that was vandalized every week. I don’t know if this is the same person who was caught by the police.
The theft in Ottawa was worst where everything is destroyed, here is a news link.
I guess the more exposure you get in the public locations statistically would have more break ins and problems on your vending machine business.
This is a short and brief article since everything is straightforward and just wanted everyone to see that in the vending machine business, you still have a form of a learning curve in order to be truly professional.