How to Fix AP SnackShop Single Row Stopped Working
I was hurrying up on my locations especially towards the weekend. I mostly work mid week till weekend now especially now when most of my high performing locations are closed!
Here in Vancouver, BC most of the locations are still closed.
I got lucky i have a handful that are open and allows me to service, so i work 3 times a week for now.
Here in Vancouver, the policy makers and authority is going to reopen on the 1st Week of July Tentatively in case there are not much Corona Virus cases anymore.
In Vancouver, the cases seems to be under control due to the people who closely follow the government advisory hence this thing should stop and things go back to normal.
If by July things do not go back to normal then a lot of businesses might go under and some peole might loose their homes since its the businesses that fuel the bills for all expenses.
So for small business owners like me, I am in a very fragile situation.
By not opening community centers, hotels, schools and not allowing these establishments to open, there might be another depression coming on the way.
And im 100% that if these centers are not allowed to re open then investments and a lot of the small business investors will liquidate their assests here in Vancover and go to places that allows community activities since retail services industries relies on lots of foot traffic to generate income. Probably investors might go back to their mother country?
They just have to find ways on how to be safe.
I have observed that a lot of Asian Groceries are filled with a lot of people and allows walk ins : No Mask No Entry Policy and the businesses on these areas are coming out from the grave again and filled with customers here in Richmond.
Taiwan is a prime example where everything is still normal and their local economy is virtually nor affected because of the NO MASK NO Entry Policy.
If community centers, major events centers and large public gatherings will remain close then a lot of small contractors will be running out of funds shortly.
This just how policies need to be made in a way that everyone is safe.
I have noticed that one of my locations AP SnackSHop Second Row is not working and below are the pictures and steps on how to fix this.
Please do not panic if you see on of your machine’s second or thris row is not working, it simply involves a minor repair on the secondary board or some wire that was disconnected.
Here are steps:
Unplug vending machine power
Visually check the row that is not dispensing or not functioning
See the white plastic on the second row of the vending machine?
Take out the tray by unplugging the connector as shown on the picture above
Visually check the connector
upon inspection of the connector, it is borken!
simply reconnect the wire and push down the plastic crimp making sure that the wire is re connected
Test the diagnostics and make sure that everything is working again on the ROW that is in question.
Did you see the large sticker glued on the top right corner?
You simply have to carefully follow the instructions on how to test the selections!
You see a simple 5 minutes repair can save again $125 service trip by a technician. Some techinicians will charge you the initial trip of $125 plus $? ( telling you that a part costs $80 ) but in reality there is no spare part to show you. Some technicians just makes up a story that there is a defective part that is broken but it is not true.
My advise to you is to do all simple electronics repair by yourself to save money.
How to Secure Vending Machine Glass From Vandalism
The vending machine business here in Vancouver has been very stable especially if the locations has been with your for a long time already.
I normally take a vacation during Christmas holidays here in Vancouver and fly back somewhere where the weather is warm, nice and away from the unending bills, rat race and extreme manual work from vending machine business.
This is not the case this time as I have for many years and did not take a break this Christmas season. There were several factors for me to stay put here.
Recently I was able to enter a fortress location which is almost impossible to get my vending machines’. I remember that I wrote letters and even had an appointment but to no avail during the early years when I was stepping my best foot forward on this large organization.
This year was very fortunate for me since the new location I was able to obtain had a great management and they were all working closely and was recommended to another 3 locations.
Vancouver Business Not Doing Good
Service industries always survive since your must go to the shop to acquire the service, while it’s a haircut or restaurant meal. Here in Vancouver the small business is not doing great as compared to its counterparts in Asia.
Everything in this city is overpriced. I mentioned this many times on my previous blog and I myself just do not get it on how a small family can survive it this city.
Let’s say for example, I always observed that small families here landed here in Vancouver and initially is very excited since there is virtually no traffic no problems with the efficient system as compared to other corrupt countries laden with crimes especially in other countries.
It is absolutely safe to walk and enjoy the freedom to whatever fancies you as long as you stay within the confines of the rules and regulations of the city.
But living here is very difficult with ICBC insurance going up each year, gasoline prices, apartments, condos, townhouses nearly doubled in a 5-year period here in Vancouver and the lower mainland.
Even if the house supply now is more than demand it is still not in everyone’s reach.
Families that came here would be forever stuck and work till death do us part scenarios and freedom will only be burst of weekends for the rest of the population here in Vancouver.
Small business self-employed especially the retail sector is very fragile and is hanging on the threads and anytime when rent increase or new tax valuations then the business will surely close down.
The vending machine business is actually a very fortunate small business since I am not tied to rent increases and tax valuations but the main setback is that your have to work 5 to 6 days a week and sometimes your get kicked out of a location since some unscrupulous vending locators steal back your location which was sold to your a couple of years ago.
In the vending machine business here in Vancouver, you have to constantly be alert on several factors:
Making sure your locations are happy
Keeping customers complains at bay
Securing your work van from vandalism
Securing you’re vending machine from vandalism
Lightning fast to find replacement locations in case your get kicked out
Be Prepared to spend $800 in case one of your soda pop machines’ compressor fails
How to Secure Vending Machine Glass From Vandalism Trick
I had a call from 2 locations this year and actually I was very happy with the statistics on the vending machine business. Normally stories from other highly experienced vending machine operators, loosing 1 or 2 locations is a normal occurrence in this business.
I hear even shocking stories from other vendors loosing 3 to 5 locations every year and had to replace it. I guess loosing that much is not worth doing the vending machine business. Better go find a regular job that is more stable!
Always keep your machines’ stocked so your won’t lose sales. The machine practically does most of the job for your! Also, talk to the folks at the establishment where the machines’ can be found or will be located to ascertain how a lot of people will use the machine and what they might love to see in the machines’ together with any complaints or concerns they may have regarding the machines’ already there or machines’ which will be placed there.
You may even offer to allow them to watch your empty the machine and count the money so they can be sure they are receiving their share. When your begin a vending machine business your will see that there’s a comparatively large amount of paperwork involved.
You should understand that if your have involved with the vending machine company, your need to do the maintenance yourself. The vending machine company is about profits as it’s thought to be cost proof.
I lost a location that I held for many many years and they told me as usual to move the machine because they are going to have a renovation on the retail space area. This is the common statement ploy by some locations that do not have much rapport with your as a vendor and a very good excuse to make way for another vendor who stole your location.
I do not have many regrets on this location since I just visit this place every 3 weeks which is actually almost nothing in terms of sales. I moved this combo machine to a location which I visit every week instead.
Loosing and gaining locations for me in my experience makes my business bigger leaner and stronger. But moving and machines’ are always a constant drain on cash and surely a negative lost.
Moving is around $120 for 1 machine here in Vancouver, BC. How long do you think you will recover the $120? By selling 240 pieces of chips!
This new location is known for people who vandalize anything, but sales is extremely good.
I asked for a quotation on the installation of security steel mesh at the back of the vending machine glass and the technician quoted me $400!!!
This is the story on how I just spend $20 Canadian Dollars on installing a steel wore mesh to protect the vending machine glass in case it gets vandalize.
I bought the wire mesh from The Home Depot for $20 Dollars!
Above is the wire mesh bought at The Home Depot for under $20 Canadian dollars
A 24″ x 5 ‘ ( feet ) is normally good enough for 1 vending machine application.
The wire mesh is installed from the back glass
Use Washers to screw the existing screws on top of the Wire Mesh
STEP 3 : Carefully follow the original pattern of the Glass and hold everything together with the existing screws
All for this for only $20 plus 1 hour of my time and I was still able to do about 15 locations on that day!
Vending Machines have a tendency to spawn most in towns and populated locations, and not in the center of the wilderness, but there are a few exceptions. They can provide ease and convenience, especially when your are in a rush. Vending machines’ in school premises are rather helpful for students since they provide a wide selection of snacks and healthier drinks.
When your begin a vending machine business, it does not demand a great deal of effort and your may make money easily. When the machine detects that the cash your have deposited is sufficient to buy the desired beverage, it is going to dispense the beverage of your selection. A soda vending machine is just one of the simplest ways of making money from a vending machine enterprise.
The maintenance if your’d like to begin a vending machine company is set at a minimal cost so anyone can easily start this up. If your get the machines’, then your may choose any supplier your wish for the products, but should your lease the machines’, your might be stuck with the company until the conclusion of the lease. Find someone that your may count on to get machines’ and possibly even parts for them should your need them.
Christmas Vacation from Vending Machine Business
Vending machines’ are a really good method to produce an extremely nice second income.
Owning a vending machine isn’t strictly confined to people who have a little company, but if your don’t, then your’re going to have to locate a location to place it. Whether your’re attempting to begin your own vending machine company, or your’re simply attempting to get rid of the demand for two distinct machines’ at work.
There’s no authentic hard work that’s required when the machine is in place, and everything your truly have to do is make certain that it stays stocked and collect the money.
To me vending machine still is the easiest way in a small business operations. Right now I need to take a few days off from vending machine business!
I have noticed that everyone is itching to get out of holiday here in Vancouver, BC.
It is towards the long holiday workweek and sales had a slight drop.
It seems that whenever I go to some locations I hear people saying and trying to plan visits to Europe when I’m in the west side of town and mostly travels to the United States border for the much-needed R&R. While here in Richmond and Vancouver a lot of Asians was heading back to Hong Kong, Philippines, China, and Japan for a few weeks.
I as a self-employed person for the longest time is constantly avoiding the peak traffic on summer holidays, so I plan it towards the latter part which is close to fall season.
For vending machine operators, summer season is not the time to spend holidays since there are more pop sales and surely you do not want to lose out on sales.
Didi mention to you that my work van was broken into before the Xmas season last year?
The locations were in the vicinity of Surrey. Of course, during the early part of the year in January, it took me about 2 months to completely change all the locks on all the machines that is servicing.
It was physically draining and I can confidently say that I’m very good at breaking in on any kind of vending machine now especially after breaking more than a hundred locks!
I was in Surrey about a couple of weeks ago and visited the large factory in a secured building. It was on a regular weekday that I serviced the location.
The reception was surprised to see me and mentioned that the repair guy was here a few minutes ago to fix the vending machine and mentioned that you are on summer holiday.
I suddenly was astounded and told the reception that please do not let anyone in again because the thieves are trying to use the bunch of keys to try to open the vending machines.
The staff freaked out and they mentioned that who got the nerve to pretend to be you and try to service and vending machines. I really do not know the psychology of how the mind of thieves works.
The thieves even had a car running around Surrey and even bypassed the reception and tried to open both vending machines located in the lunch room full of people!
The picture taken above was taken when I’m servicing the location after lunch break just right after the thieves left the place full of people!
Of course, nothing was taken from the machines since I have changed all the locks on all locations.
Imagine what would happen if I have a duplicate and did not change the locks the vending machines? The thieves would have continued to go to the stolen key tags locations.
Money seems to be very tight here in Vancouver, BC since the thieves will go all the way to visit this location which is full of people and try their luck in opening the vending machine and steal a few bucks. This location is not a strong one and the maximum collection will just be around $60 in coins on my monthly visits. The machine is very old and non-MDB capable and the coin mechanism holds around $40 maximum.
I swing by in Vancouver on one of my locations and I remembered that I upgraded a new coin mechanism to accept the new loonies. The man in charge called me to fix the problem immediately since a lot of tenants are losing money.
Lessoned learned that you need to make sure that after installation of a new coin mechanism be sure to test it before leaving the location.
The picture above shows the new coin mechanism that was not installed properly because it did not give the correct change and I found out one of the quarter columns was jammed which was an easy fix.
So far all my locations are performing accordingly it was that I get some calls again on some jamming problems which I have to have it resolved or else it would result in another location ticking time bomb.
During summer traditionally there are lots of places that are doing their renovations.
I have a downtown location which I was servicing it for the longest time, I think it is close to around 5 years already and the manager called me and said that they are renovating the lunch room and will not be needing the machines back anymore.
This location believes it or not was just around $50 per month and I have a bag full of expired chips after servicing. I just feel bad that I will be spending 2 moves which are about $120 each machine to a warehouse and another $120 X 2 for moving to a new location if I find one in this small city.
To me Vancouver, BC is a very small city because I have mentioned so many times that i originally grew up in Makati City the financial district of the Philippines which has a population is 1.78 million including metro manila.
In this business where locations are scare especially here in the lower mainland Vancouver, BC. Most of the self-employed vendors here rely on the services of a vending machine locator.
These locators are very useful since they can find some spots for you to place your vending machines in case they go homeless for reasons below:
Location changed their mind on vendors
Competition snatching up your location
Manager is unhappy with your looks 🙂
People don’t understand that it needs time some time for you to swing by see reason below
This stems from the reason why sometimes I do not immediately go to the location and fix the problem. Why do I not go and fix the problem as fast as the 911 ambulance?
Most of my locations are like 20 minutes drive. Some locations will say Bill Acceptor cannot accept cash, Machine ate my loonie, Old machine garbage, and the likes.
These things happen all the time and the locations that call me for those minor problems have a backup device attached. Such as a credit debit reader or if it does not work then coins will work too. And normally the location’s sales are very low performing that it does not justify for me as a vendor to go and fix the problem immediately.
It can wait for a few days or a week.
Accounts that you visit once a week, of course, will need immediate attention.
With all the reasons above and you are always busy and on the run then you do not have time to look for a location since you are busy running around servicing.
What happens if you lost a location?
It would be best to request the location to give you time at least 1 month or 2 months to find a replacement location. Because if you cannot find a location immediately then you have to pay $120 moving to storage.
Then another $120 moving to the new location. Aside from the vending machine locator’s fee which ranges from $400 to $2,000 here in Vancouver, BC.
Here in the Lower Mainland Vancouver, BC there a few vending machine locators that you can ask help for finding a location for your homeless vending machines.
I have a story to tell
When I was still new in the vending machine business, I heavily rely on vending machine locators for new locations.
Here in Vancouver, BC not all vending machine locators are honest.
There are locators that constantly sell locations at Craigslist Vancouver, BC. I guess this applies also the Craigslist ( City in the US or another city here in Canada ).
Do you know how to spot a cheating locator that sells you an overinflated price for a lousy and bad location?
After years of doing this vending machine business, I can now know how to read between the lines on the AD at Craigslist on the vending machine locations if the seller is genuine or just out to get and bleed your hard-earned money.
True and real locations sell locations for the prices below:
$250 to 850 Very Good Office Location
That is about it! Nothing higher than $850 should be trusted by the vending machine locator.
How do you spot a bad vending machine placement service locator?
If you go to inspect and check the location with the supposed locator that you just met on Craigslist and he or she agrees then it is a good locator.
Good locators will normally sign a disclosure agreement with you in case you do not buy the locations after showing it to you and will not force you to buy it immediately upon inspection.
Bad locators will be very impatient and will sometimes get furious and mad why you wasted his time after showing you the location? He will unjustly reason out with you that he will threaten to snatch and get all your locations one way or another.
He will let you know that it’s you and against all his henchman in a mockingly way.
I met such a person but since I’m normally calm and have been doing business for the longest time already, I just took some locations from him every time there was an offer.
Sometimes you have to be friends with the enemies
This is a business strategy way back in the Philippines. Since it is wise for everyone doing business to be civil and inside your head you know that you need one another bad or good business contact as long as everyone benefits.
But here is not the case for me here in Vancouver, BC.
A bad locator normally has all the locations and contact details even after selling you the location. Some the locations that he sold you will be snatched back by the same locator.
His tactic is using another pseudo name or assigns someone to go after all the locations that he sold to you before and try to offer it to another naive and gullible newbie vendor.
How to Catch A Bad Locator Red Handed?
First things first is that a bad locator will sell you at a minimum price of at least $800 for a location. I have been buying a couple since I have some machines that needed to be placed immediately.
Sales will be dismally low, meaning about $10 to $50 at most every month. People at such locations do not buy from vending machines.
His prices will be advertising ranges from $800 to $2500 per location with very good sounding words like 100 people, Hundreds of walk-in visitors and all the good words that you wanted to hear will be promised to you.
I mentioned before that a location at most will be $250 to $850 from a reputable vending machine locator only.
I’m into this business so sometimes I talked to other vendors. And they all told me the same story.
Some of their locations suddenly wanted out and go with another vendor.
Will this is very traumatic for us vendors since every dollar counts. Even if the location is just performing say $50 a month because we need to add all the locations in totality.
Loosing will entail you expensive costs:
Moving in and out $240
Finding Location $250 to $850
The worst thing is that if we are booted out of a location and our machines are old machines then what to do with them? Storage fees charge an added headache. $30 per machine for storage.
Catching The Bad Locator
Let you lost location goes by for a couple of months or even 3 to 4 months. Ask one of your friends to visit the old location that you lost and look for the manager.
Of course, you know the manager’s name since it was your previous location. Probably you do not have a good rapport with the manager too when the location was snatched back by your locator.
Ask your friend that you need to contact the new vendor because you are just starting out on your vending machine business and would want to ask help from the vendor.
Once you got the phone and contact info for the vendor on your previous location. Then it would be easy for your friend to call and connect and ask who offered the location.
It is a simple to approach to catch a bad locator who was recycling all his locations that were sold and ripping and bleeding money from some of his customers.
In a very worst case scenario, you can actually to court and ask for a pro bono lawyer and build a case against the bad locator and normally for small claims court, the judge will normally let the bad locator pay back the locator fee that he sold to you before.
For all of us vendors, I guess this is a way to get back to a bad locator.
In doing business you have to protect your investment especially your location.
How To Avoid These Problems?
Stick to a good locator that has a proven track record.
Try to go and do outreach by yourself. Build up enough confidence and just try to approach a location by yourself and see ways to improve your offer when you get rejected.
I myself was able to get locations by myself which are doing extremely well compared to the ones that I bought from locators.
This will also ensure that you have a quite good rapport with managers since you got the locations yourself.
What If I cannot Do it?
Hire a temporary salesperson to do the job for you in going to establishments. Be sure to collect all the information needed and give it to the temporary sales person that you hired.
Be sure that you hire a presentable and approachable person that naturally likes to talk to people or a people person. Most probably a young university student who wanted to earn some gig on the side.
You can do this ad on Craigslist as well and be sure to hire just temporary for a sales gig.
I sincerely you have success to the experience and knowledge I had encountered.
As usual, I was doing my routinely checks on the locations last week. I have a location which I just visit once a month since it is an office building where there are not many customers using the machines.
I was casually entering the location but the doors are locked and there is a security guard in front and was asking questions about my business. The security let me in and I was out in 15 minutes.
Security told me that there was a shooting incident among employees or something.
Sometimes you will be wondering if you need to retain an extremely weak and slow location? Common sense will tell us that if the location is out-of-the-way then better get rid of it and sale it as a discount, but be sure to tell the prospective buyer that the location is slow performing.
You can sell the machines and advertise it as a free location in that way if the buyer is finding location for it then it will act as a free storage and for the meantime generating some revenue.
There was a show in PNE GemShow which I have attended on that Sunday and I bought a singing bowl. The singing bowl comes in different size and shapes and it resonates a certain frequency on a certain size of the bowl.
The singing bowl I got was from Nepal where most of the populace likes to meditate to create a stronger union of the mind and body using ancient sound frequencies. The singing bowl I chose was for aligning and healing the lower chakras. I guess 15 minutes a day will be good to start the day.
I proceeded to a public location which I just visit bi weekly ( every other week ) and I have three ( 3 ) machine in that place and I was wondering how come there was one ( 1 ) machine that there are no sales?
You sometimes know the Healthy Max machines coin return button gets stuck and does bounce back which is a common occurrence with these machines, other than that I have no complaints for the sturdy healthy maxes.
I panicked on that moment and thinking why I do not bring tools with me whenever I go downtown?
This must be essential and compulsory to bring:
Extra Coin Mechanism
Extra Bill Validator
Drill, Drill Bits and Self Tapping Metal Screws
At least the ones mentioned above is the absolute minimum maintenance tools to bring.
I stop bringing these tools after the vandalism incident on my work van. I’m always in panic mode whenever I’m in downtown and generally the vicinity of Vancouver.
I get paranoid if there are a lot of products inside my work van when parked in Vancouver.
Statistically it is where most of the vandalism that takes place even in broad daylight.
I suddenly had a quick fix to the problem so that the coin return button will not stuck again.
Here is the picture that describes by itself.
You just have to insert a roll of cardboard from your chips box and insert it between the coin mechanism and the lever. See the picture below.
I headed to one of the Goliath location.
And I was surprised why the gigantic snack vending machine was almost empty only within a week’s time? The guy inside told me that they have night shift’s now due to high volume shipments.
It is a good thing also that this location did not call me on stuck Noodles since they took care of themselves. Using a clothes’ hanger on stuck noodles on the delivery bin is acceptable for me.
The people there are quite friendly and honest. Most of them are my fellow country men and never complained about work even thou it is very laborious, long, heavy and a sweaty daily job.
I guess doing this kind of work keeps your body healthy in a way. Just have to know the range of motion when loading, unloading and moving. If you do not know the proper range of body movement then you will surely get back injuries and a lot nerve problems with your hands and feet.
There was a location in North Vancouver that called me several times and complaining loud noise coming out from the vending machine.
I already inherently know that there are just three ( 3 ) probable problems on noisy vending machine:
In most cases according to my experience it is the ventilation motor that is usually giving out a loud noise on a combo or snack vending machine. I also know that the machine is about 10 years old and the probability would be the vent motor.
I reached the location since it is across the bridge in Downtown Vancouver and had a quick fix just by unplugging the vent motor power cable.
You do not need a ventilation motor to have a functioning vending machine, you can do away without it.
If you buy the vent motor it will cost you hundreds of dollars on parts, labor and especially the time factor in moving the machine to disassemble the re assemble and bringing the motor back and forth your local vending machine supplier.
Simple fix to remove noisy ventilation motor is by unplugging the molex type power cable. See the picture below.
See the picture above that I simply unplugged the ventilation fan motor?
I went to a huge terminal facility that is off limits to the common folks.
There are lots of security in this government facility and the guy told me that when I left the location 2 weeks ago, the Debit Credit Card reader does not work.
I shrugged it off and said : “Of course it works”. I have to be careful on my tone of voice which sometimes my composure is off because of rushing to one location to another. Sometimes you can be bothered from so many locations especially towards to weekend.
I said inside my head sorry for the statement and I do not mean it and was hoping the person would be not that sensitive and should have said: “OK, sir I will check it out and let you know” instead.
Nowadays the populace seems to be extra sensitive in all aspects of things relating to anything. So I have to remember to keep my composure at all times.
May the people in the locations I go understand the life of a vending machine business operator.
You sometimes know the previous location someone was trying to harass you for freebies and prior to that an inspector almost ticketed you at a loading bay for more than 20 minutes and the location before that you are paranoid when you are parked at a location with people staring at your work van and snooping the minute you walk away from the work van.
There are a lot of things that happens in one ( 1 ) day every day for me when I’m out doing the vending machine business. Probably deep breathing exercises should do the trick!
Okay back the location that the guy told me the debit credit reader is not working. I tried my credit and debit card and indeed that it did not work!
I was thinking maybe the there is some hardware and software conflict issues going inside the machine. This will be the isolated problem solving method that will come into play.
I removed the Payrange attached inside the vending machine and re connected the debit credit reader and tested out and everything is perfectly working.
The Payrange is not compatible to Nayax.
By the way Payrange is a device that uses your phone to buy from a vending machine.
I took it out because some people do not like to install apps on their phone and load money to the app by disclosing the credit card details and opt for a TAP and GO easy device instead.
I highly recommend the Nayax debit credit card reader even thou it costs $400 compared to the Payrange’s $85 since it is easy to use and as I have mentioned TAP and GO! Can even use APPLE pay, Android, Apple watch and phone.
I even had remote emailed from the credit debit reader monitoring software that everything is doing great and sales have more producing for the debit credit Nayax device.
I mentioned to you that I’m going to have another wild week. Which I did. This location was along the way on my other downtown route. I happened to pass by and good tidings was established on first impressions.
When you have a new location there are a lot of involvement in time.
The enemy is the time factor involved.
Putting products into the new machine, changing the prices on programming and asking products that you need to put inside the machine.
Having to coordinate when the mover will drop the machine and you have to go to new place to fill up the machine which disrupts your programmed schedule.
When I acquire on my own location there is always no problem and until now all locations are very stable.
I noticed that when I actually buy locations from a vendor or a seller, sometimes it may become a ticking time bomb. Managers on the location that I got from a previous vendor sometimes do not understand that I have spent a fortune in obtaining a location.
This is how it works here in Vancouver, BC.
I will give you a clear example. Let’s say Mr Vendor A wanted to sell his location and make an ad at Craigslist. Every day there are lots of gullible small self-employed vending machine operators who wanted to expand and saved up for a location searching at Craigslist.
Most of the time Mr Vendor A will inflate the sales for example, sales is doing $600 per month and actually in reality it is only $400. So the prospective buyer will end up paying more for the location. Because the selling price of a location is sales per month X monthly sales PLUS additional cost of the machine is new or fairly updated.
I actually learned to do vending machine business the hard way.
I got ripped off on numerous occasions. I run it for a couple of years and disgruntled managers who is used to the other previous vendor doesn’t like the way the new vendor runs the business and kicks you out.
This were the early years or sometimes when things get sour with the relationship withe the manager or if for some strange reason the people just does not like you anymore. This was the case on location that was sold to me by the previous vendors.
Maybe I do not have the same resonant wavelength frequency with the location that im serving after the took over?
This is a shallow hallow type of reasoning I would say.
I came from a 3rd Third World country and my savings which I painstakingly secured thru my hard work as an entrepreneur and just ripped out here in my new-found home in Canada.
If I lose a location then I lose a big bunch of money which is:
Initial over inflated investment from the previous vendor
Sometimes It is a vicious cycle. Good earnings for 7 months and then suddenly loosing 2 or 3 locations and the savings will be used for obtaining new locations and money gone! This is the reality in doing business here in Vancouver, BC.
You always have to keep up and always have a healthy relationship with the top honchos.
But it seems that lady luck is on my side for the moment.
Indeed last week was busy for me and I decided to stop expanding and stop looking for new locations for the time being.
It was a huge drain on my capital resources with (3) new locations. Two locations were obtained by me and the other One was from the best locator in town.
Mind you when you are buying locations from a locator it is not cheap. It ranges from $400 to $1200 from a locator here in Vancouver, BC.
Many managers on various locations do not know that there is monetary involved when the vendor is changing hands to another vendor. I hope the location will have smooth sailing for the new owner.
Some vendors go as far as to apply for a second mortgage on property to secure a loan in order to obtain good locations. We vendors pray that nothing harmful befall us on new locations.
Actually it is time for me to join the 0.0 ZERO.ZERO Club for the time being, I have to step down from the Jones es for the time being.
Keep myself low level and when spring and summer kicks in then I will have enough ammunition to store and save.
When I was in Richmond, I just don’t get it why peoples are always falling in line for the longest time in Japanese Themed restaurants whether it is owned by real McCoy Japanese or Fake Japanese people running the show.
I really wanted to try my hands someday when there is no line up.
When I’m in Philippines there are no people lining up in restaurants since there are so many!
When I was still in Vancouver Downtown my trusty dolly’s metal suddenly peeled and all the pop dropped to the street.
Did I mentioned numerous times that when a small uneventful situation happens to me I marvelously get a help real quick and things go again on its course.
The good thing that along the way to Burnaby there was a welding shop that I paid for $40 to have a spot weld and dolly works like new again. This is the guy to go to for emergency weld while you wait.
Another unforeseen event that happened along the way towards Richmond.
My van’s engine light came on while I was driving and I passed by Mr Action Jackson and he diagnosed it for under 5 minutes and engine light reset even thou he is extremely busy and did not charge me a single cent.
Normally I still have no time even on a Saturday. This particular day was special that came along for a long time. I spent time securing all the spare keys I have and organize my duplicate vending keys in case some strange uneventful situation happens, you never know.
Last week was a wild week for the vending machine business.
I have to double up my energy levels and quickly setup products for the new locations that I secured.
This seems to be a promising location since there are always people waiting and I think I have connected to the manager the first time that I have met.
There was another location that I needed so much time to set up another new location which was in downtown.
There was also no problems when I was with the manager.
The problem is that this particular new location voltage outlet is connected with two ( 2 ) refrigerators and one ( 1 ) walk in cooler.
The combo vending machine when started and once the compressor kicks in the breaker just shuts down by itself. Good thing the supplier had it fixed and a very efficient manner and sending out his technician in a professional manner.
I’m very happy with my vending machine local suppliers here in the lower mainland aside from hunting down cheap prices in Craigslist when looking for a used vending machine.
Sometimes when you buy a used vending machine at Craigslist for a few hundred dollars cheaper from your local supplier then if the compressor or some internal parts choke then you will have trouble in the long run.
Buying a used vending machine from a reputable local supplier may be a good and wise decision.
I have a slight problem when going to work that week. My work van suddenly will not start and that week was a very busy schedule and need to go to a lot of places. I have to spend another $1205 plus towing charges to have the work van repaired.
The fuel filter pump is busted and car mechanic said that vans which are around 110,000+kms mileage usually needed to have the fuel filter pump replaced especially if using it for extreme loading and unloading heavy load conditions.
Believe it or not my work van was fixed on the same day by Action Jackson.
Sometimes when my phone rings during my working hours, I already get paranoid. There are only several factors that have caused the phone calls.
Problem with machine
Angry customer loosing money on vending machine
Angry manager wanting some changes
So far everything is fine. I have not encountered angry managers wanting changes for the meantime. As long you keep all your customers happy then there will be no problems.
According to my statistics on doing my vending machine business, sometimes on rare occasions that I lose a location every year. So again I’m always cruising around and hunting down prospects for a new vending machine location.
I happened to drop by another location and casually talked to a manager in the east side part of town with about hundreds of employees walking in and out of the building. I was sometimes assuming that this will be a long shot. But at the back of my mind was saying that I used to have 12 brick and mortars shops way back in the Philippines and was very successful in the arena of sales.
I was not a born salesman and finished in Industrial management engineering minor in mechanical actually but wanted to be a software programmer. I have to force some changes and have to learn how to approach and make a pitch. What is there to lose? By gaining another location will be good for me for the meantime as long as all the locations are within the area of my service route.
I actually got another location which is indeed very promising and it will be another wild week for me on setting up and developing rapport with the new manager on a new location.
I suggest that all vending machine vendors out there to practice social skills and making a pitch to prospective locations. Or if you wanted a location then talk to your trusted locator to approach location to make a proper outreach.
Business generally is slower and all self-employed guys out there is hoping for the spring and summer months to set in where the vending business kicks off especially on the beverages.
Whenever I obtain a new location there is a drain on capital resources since you have to come out another vending machine, moving costs, initial setup products costs etc.
I guess this is the way it goes.
Acquiring assets can be a constant drain but a brighter outlook in the long term.
I have a combo vending machine in the vicinity of E Hastings inside a secured apartment complex.
I used to have several during that a time when my cortisol hormone levels are always at its peak! I always sleep in on Sundays because I’m not in a rush for work and it’s the only time that I really get into the mood for taking everything easy.
I got a call at around 10 am something with a muffled voice which I hardly comprehend. I called again thinking that someone might have lost a Loonie or Townie which I will gladly reimburse on my next mission.
“Your machine was broken into and the Police is here checking the video tape surveillance”. I’m already accustomed to this kind of incident. I talked to the Police and he recommended that to press charges against the person who committed the crime. I talked to the manager and he told me that the machine glass was all shattered and is emptied of contents.
I called help immediately to secure the combo vending machine on this location , the broken glass will be replaced by an unbreakable poly carbonate and it should be fine.
When you have a break in normally these things most be taken into consideration:
1. Opportunity Loss on the days the machine is out of service
2. Polycarbonate replacement
3. Time for technician to fix it
4. File charges and get police file number
I used to have break-ins before during the year 2017 which is prevalent and more frequent with a lot of location in the E Hastings vicinity. I made money in that area during 2016 to 2018 even thou those unfortunate things that have happened to me.
At present, I still maintain two locations in this vicinity from the previous five in the time of 2016 to 2018. Some buildings were condemned by the City of Vancouver.
With the onset of moving out of those locations I eventually developed a little sense of my sales protocol which I practiced way in the Philippines when I was doing business. I eventually secured some locations by myself in that area.
I called my technician and he told that he was also a victim of vending machine break in in the area of Surrey. I guess some parts of Surrey can be comparable to E Hastings in my own thoughts. Sometimes when I am cruising down the roads in Surrey there are more security measures such as high fences and steel grill bars in all the retail establishments.
I was also maintaining a pop machine in the vicinity of North Vancouver at a storage facility which I bought the location from a locator about 2 to 3 years ago. I normally do not complain even if sales are low, I just wanted to deploy some of my machines at storage.
If I keep machines at storage, I pay around $30 per month. So it would be better to move it on a location instead. But sometimes the location is just producing say: $10 a month and diet soda are exploding because it expires and no one is buying them.
The storage facility in North Vancouver called and told me to move out the machine. Inside my head I was thinking what is wrong with me? I always give freebies when I’m on that location and still get this treatment to move out my machine immediately. The reason was “We had it with you, pop machine with exploding pop and eating money”.
In my thoughts and gut feel, is that some vending locator was trying to snatch my location and offering the North Vancouver facility a hefty commission. I feel sorry for the new owner who will be serving this facility.
Honestly the sales is just around $10 to $15 every month in this North Vancouver storage facility.
I was making everyone happy even how small the account is. Maybe it is an unforeseen force that swayed the location to call me to have the machine removed to a better location which I was contemplating in one of my school locations in Coquitlam which is performing exceedingly well. The school in Coquitlam has an older machine that leaked and it time to replace it with a newer Pop Machine with a Debit Credit Reader which can translate into higher sales.
I guess not everyone can be satisfied.
Did I mention to you that whenever there was an unfortunate incident it always leads to something better for me in general?
While I was servicing both machines in a public facility in New Westminster. Someone approached me and mentioned:”You can stop paying $80 every three months from now on, since we find that we do not need the funds for the moment”.
This is the first time that happened to me living here in Vancouver, BC. Here is the location that is very understanding to the plight of small self-employed business person.
I was astoundingly happy to get such a very fortunate incident that happened to me on that same day.
It was also that day when someone called me out of the blue.
It was a location that I was soliciting last year which was located in the vicinity of E Vancouver that have rejected my proposal for a placement of a combo vending machine.
If I myself approached a location for a placement of vending machine then I inherently knew that it will be promising and high performing.
The conversation was very quick and swift. I offered a computer printout of sales report every month and he agreed and will have the machine moved immediately in the last week of February which I will be very busy.
For some reason I got another call from my trusty locator.
She found another school location in the vicinity in Downtown which is perfect for me to consolidate with my existing route. This locator is the creme de la creme and I wish she will always have a great relationship with me as a client.
Indeed it is a mutual beneficial relationship since I have been performing my duty as a vending machine vendor and is always a good customer of her.
Sometimes I tell these incidents to my mother who is happy in the Philippines. She told me what the heck Im I doing here in Vancouver, BC??? and getting stuck there for so long with cold weather and life seemingly robotic???
I replied:”I’m trying to succeed here in Vancouver, BC. Trying to do some online stuff and mostly still in the offline manual laborious work that I have to endure for the time being.”
I’m getting envious now with my sisters enjoying the sun there in Boracay, Philippines.
Not to worry I’m still here in Vancouver, BC doing vending machine business!
There are times that I need to recharge myself after a long day work. I have myself portable Gunbanyuko which is in a great health rejuvenating device! You can also get one for yourself if you are serious about your health like I do. Optimum maintenance of health and youthfulness is a must when you are driving, loading, unloading every day.
I went to this hotel location in the east side and I was immediately harassed and was ordered not to leave the location without paying up on my monthly rent.
I normally give around $20 to $45 dollars per month on this location. But somehow the manager looked at me and the cash box every time to go there for servicing and just declared an increase to $65 per month.
This was a location that my vending machine vandalized before many times with a smaller machine which can easily be tilted. If the commission is increased again, I guess I have to vacate the location in the near future.
Everytime I visit this location which is a weekly gig for me, I’m forced to hand out cookies and free pop to the location. There was times that I voluntary gives out freebies but there was one incident that I said I have to go and was in a hurry, he just go took some goodies in my bin and say that this is cheap stuff and it won’t a difference if I he get a couple of these every week.
I mentioned that this place is not my turf. It is not my property and I’m just another vendor who services the machines in this location.
I had so much worst experiences when I used to run my business in the Philippines. People entering and shouting on bad service and intimidating my employees on Ink Refill Leaking and all that stuff.
I used to run this brick and mortar business back In Philipines: Saveinks.com. Last year, I went back to Philippines for a vacation, and I have noticed that all the ink and toner refilling shops and centers went out of business. The reason behind this was: Epson, Canon and Brother printers came out with refillable printers.
I got one as a present from my big brother who is the authorized distributor of Brother printers in the Philippines, see picture below:
It took me a while to hook up this since I have to get hold of a voltage converter from 110v to 220v for my Brother Printer.
How to Calibrate a Royal Vision Bottle Drop Vending Machine
I have an out-of-order Royal Vision bottle drop at a location that has been selling extremely well and I have to clean sensors and calibrate the Royal Vision bottle drop from time to time.
Here is You Tube video on how to properly align and re calibrate the Royal Vision bottle drop vending machine.
I have to visit a nearby location that the Pop machine is having some problems and there is some burnt smell. I have thoroughly checked the pop machine and seems that everything is working. The location called and still smelled something is burning. I left a message saying to unplug the pop machine for the meantime.
I have to visit a recycling location which is not far. My locations are normally set on a route so that everything is easy access for me. Normally all locations are grouped together.
Can you believe it or not, that this location which looks like very chaotic due its nature of business is out performing about Two ( 2 ) Vancouver downtown offices put together. See the Two ( 2 ) machines below that does not need to be fancy with bells and whistles.
I have to head out for my lunch. You see I’m always trying to be a vegan whenever I’m given the chance and opportunity to eat fresh greens.)
A midst the snow, I have to plow my way back to the streets.
As I have been mentioning that I have to go out no matter what each day except for Sundays on occasion to target my collection since there is ending in the bills.
It pays to being persistent, even if you get rejected at times in acquiring new vending locations.
I mentioned on my previous blog that there was a location in Richmond, BC that needed some space for shelving s and I had to remove the machine.
Out of my expectations, I got an email to move the healthy max machine to a public location that is serving hundreds of customers every day
.They require me to wrap the healthy max machine all black since it would be nice to blend in to the location. It took me around 2.5 hours to do the job, on wrapping it and also re stocking the machine on this new location.
This location will indeed be performing a lot better than the Richmond location which I lost early this year or just a month ago. I constantly try to find locations on my own and at the same time looking for deals from locators.
It works out both ways when you are still acquiring locations.
Acquiring locations will always be an insurance policy for me. It will serve as a backup for me in case I loose one or two in which the sales will not be affected.
When I was heading home, I got some orders which was dropped off at the back of my garage. I installed a $1.99 mouse trap and finally my nemesis was caught.
I feel a little empathy towards a small creature trying to survive in the winter cold. Mice do feel pain just as humans do. But I have to take care of bigger things. Securing your business is of out most priority.
Here in Canada some mouse do carry the dreaded Hantavirus. So all pests must be exterminated to ensure healthy and safe environment.
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.