I was getting hungry and was determined to finish off one more location before heading to about three more to call it a day.
This location has been cooperating with me for the longest time already.
I was on my 5th year with this location and i never missed a rental payment on this location and this costs me around $75 per month just to keep both machines inside the building.
It is imperative that i service this location at least once a week
since it is one of the good ever green performers on my vending machine business route.
I immediately entered the premises and took noticed that both machine needed my refilling services.
I was surprised why the tubular lock on my vending machine was vandalized.
This location has been with me for the longest time and the occupants are very honest and don’t dare do such things.
Most of the occupants are partly subsidized from the government on their rental and it is relatively easy for them to pay rent to the government and just have to work minimally to gather other income for personal expenses.
Sometimes when i was even thinking how fortunate they are since everything is provided and being pampered by the government. In comparison to the Philippines, if you are disabled there will be absolutely minimal help from the government and forget about pension, welfare and pay checks.
Filipinos have to work their ass off in order to have a secured old age security.
It is mostly the business class or high status working careers that are able to save up substantial savings in order to continue the lifestyle which can be enjoyed till old age.
Forget about the Philippine government since there is not much financial support. The indigenous tribes in the Philippines also is ignored and left out to themselves unlike here in Canada or the United States where they are pampered, taken care of and offered with a lot of free resources which sometimes i envy.
I simply cannot open the snack vending machine because someone tried to pick and forcibly wanted to open the tubular lock.
The lock is supposed to look aligned so that the key can freely move. But the lock was turned about 1/4, i just don’t know why the perpetrator took so much time just to steal maybe the most is $50 dollars on the snack machine in case the person is successful in opening it.
Here is a picture on how the tubular lock looks like when the perpetrator tried to try to forcibly open the tubular lock but without success and leaving me frustrated.
Noticed that the picture above shows that it is almost impossible to open the tubular lock using the regular vending machine keys.
In order for the tubular lock to be open, the two grooves has to be aligned so that the key can fit.
The have tried to out the key forcibly into the lock but it doesn’t work. The solution to successfully open the tubular lock is to shave off the protruding notch or metal on the tubular shape key.
It took me around almost 10 minutes! and i hammered the key on the tiles and floor in order to shape to remove the protruding notch.
I hammered the key into the tubular lock and was able to open the snack machine and did my refilling service.
I immediately notified the manager in charge and told me that will try to advise the tenants. I hope they listen and have empathy towards small self-employed businessman.
I did not have enough time to change locks to eliminate this problem. But on my next duty im planning to install both machines with special tubular locks like the ones on my other vending machine picture below.
It is a usual busy day again for vending machine business.
When it is towards the end of the month a lot of self-employed small business owners work exhaustively in securing collection from locations for mortgage or rental bills.
I got call previously from the management on a public location that one of my combo vending machine at the ground floor or lobby has been turning off by itself.
I was alarmed that if this persists it may mean a bad compressor that is tripping the internal breaker of the combo vending machine.
This was the problem before when the location called me, i actually disconnected the compressor from the combo vending machine and this did not happen which is about two months ago.
When i was away for a vacation, i got some temporary help and had the combo vending machine’s compressor reconnected and he told me that the combo vending machine’s internal breaker did not trip and was working without any problems for more than 30 minutes.
I was happy that i do not have to buy a new or used compressor and will be able to save $650 for repairs.
Going back to the call which was about two days ago.
I immediately went to inspect the machine at the ground floor or lobby.
The combo vending machine was indeed off and i was surprised that a heavy-duty power cord was on the same electrical outlet sharing with the combo vending machine.
The combo vending machine actually needed around 20 amps to have a stable operating power.
If the power was interrupted and shared by another appliance then the combo vending machine’s internal breaker will trip thereby turn off power automatically to protect the vending machine.
I disconnected the compressor again on the combo vending machine so that the power outlet can be shared with an appliance.
The location is under major renovation and opt to keep my vending machines running to serve its customer which im happy to have mutual relationship.
When i disconnected the cables connected to the compressor, the combo vending machine doesn’t trip the internal breaker anymore even with a major appliance sharing the power outlet.
The sales of this combo vending machine is the same even thou if the compressor is disconnected, so i guess i will just leave it this way so that i don’t have to keep going back and forth on service calls.
I rebooted the combo vending machine and it seems to be working very well.
I was servicing a location in the east side of town. The people there seems to be very familiar with diversity and just talks just about anyone.
There seems to be no superficial looks and none of the populace are judgmental.
It reminds back when I was still living in the Philippines where I grew up in Makati City which is very similar to Downtown Vancouver or I would dare say a mini Hong Kong or Singapore.
All the concrete establishments are there. You can be as cosmopolitan as you can be in a filipino way.
In Makati City where I grew up my neighborhood are all super friendly because everyone knows each other and whenever you go out to hotels it seems that you always end up rubbing elbows with someone who is familiar.
It seems that when you are an outsider, no ones likes to talk to you and normally the people have this snobbish attitude. The expats there in makati city seems to have a hard time rubbing elbows with the neighborhood and they are always at ease with their own groups. Except for expats who opened up their own shops in the makati city neighborhood.
I have acquaintances with a lot of expats coming from Australia and united states who opened brick and mortar businesses in the Philippines.
Most of them who are flexible and have this friendly attitude have become very successful in their business endeavors.
Of course a westerner who ventures to a country that is homogeneous like the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, China or Japan can be turned only in two ways either assimilate or xenophobic.
As I have mentioned before that self-employed people in whatever background that they came from are naturally flexible and willing to assimilate simply because this is survival.
If you always have a blank face when servicing your locations and running your business then your days will be numbered. Customers knows what kind of mood you are projecting.
If you are too stuck up with whatever thoughts then you will get nowhere in business because you will be too judgmental and it is likely that you won’t capture the heart of the masses.
While I was servicing the location in the east side Vancouver, a person came up to me and mentioned : “Wish that you can keep the location for a hundred years”.
I instantly replied to him : “It will take me about 20 years to pay off my mortgage and another 10 years to buy my dream cars and the remaining years to travel and see the world!. Maybe another 10 years for my blogs and websites to rank in Google 1st page” he heh heh
There was call again from a location wanting me to go and service immediately.
Seems that this location is engrossed with water. I drove by and checked the machines and I silently just left the place after servicing the location. The machines are about 3/4 full and there are still water inside the machines. It was an absolute waste of time when I got there.
Next time I will just go to that location on my projected schedule while is every month. I know that the machines are still OK but as not to piss off the customer, you just have to go and service it even you know that it is still full. The location seems to be in love with water.
Or maybe the location missed me so much that I need to show my face all the time.
This getting to be a fatal attraction in the making. he he he
On my way home I visited a location which is on schedule and needed to be tended asap since it was already about a month’s time.
This location used to be on a bi weekly ( every two weeks ) visits because it is a factory located in Delta and there are always thirsty and workers that are always wanting snacks.
I was running this location for almost three to four years already, I lost count in my mind.
About one year ago while im servicing this location there was a healthy max combo machine suddenly that appeared with our snack and pop machines. It has all the bells and whistles and comes with a debit credit card reader for convenience.
During that time I was contemplating that I wish that the manager won’t side track and get too eager on depending on this new machine since it caters all forms of payments.
And might opt to do away with our aging machines in favor to the new vendor.
Our snack and pop machines are more than ten years old and the coin mechanism are non mdb which means that you cannot upgrade and adopt a bill validator and credit debit reader since the motherboard is the old school style. Our snack and pop machines are still using windows xp if you are comparing an analogy to the age and capability of the laptop.
Our snack and pop machines cannot run windows 10. In order to do this, the pop machine has to go and probably the snack machine can still be upgraded with a new motherboard which will cost around $1,000+ and debit credit readers and bill validators can work.
The sales on that location even thou without the new flashy combo machine prior to that is only around $120 gross sales every month and this translates to only $60 take home profit after deducting gasoline, cost of goods with my sweat and energy included.
Upgrading the motherboard to mdb complaint is not feasible with the $120 gross sales collection every month, so if the manager decided to keep the new vendor then it is fine with me.
I was surprised today when I was servicing the snack and pop machines that the new flashy combo machine is not in the lunch room anymore.
This comes to mind that maybe the new vendor retreated and found some new locations that are more promising and moving his machine with do him better in sales rather than sticking out with the existing snack and pop vending machines.
Or maybe the management have decided just to keep one vendor ?
I myself did not ask the management on my way out of the location, I do not want to raise eyebrows or changing their minds to getting back the new vendor’s machine.
If you wanted to stay in the vending machine business for a long time then sometimes you have to stick it up. The bottom line is the vendors’ performance and service.
If you go to your location faithfully and service it all the time without any lapses and problems, there is no reason for any right-minded manager to relieve your services.
Did I mention to you that there are also locations that the managers can instantly press the email send button and kick you out without consulting or give a valid reason why you and your machines are to be thrown out ?
I have a story to tell you. I got a call from one of my location that just have a pop machine.
It is in a located that is out of my usual vending machine business route. It is located in North Vancouver, BC.
The person at the other end of the phone says that the machine is constantly giving out wrong pop and they have to mop the floor on several occasion.
Customer is always right if you are in business.
They are requesting for the pop machine to go to avoid leaking problems and always need to mop the floor on leaky pop machine.
I asked specifically that is the problem and the customer told me that : ‘The coke diet on several occasions came out of the machine empty”
I told them that i will immediately go to the location and take a quick look and rectify the problem immediately.
I arrived at the location and tried to do the usual Vend Motors Test on each column of the pop machine.
The pop came out and there was no problem on the regular pop.
I tested a few times just to be certain so that i won’t be receiving anymore calls.
Indeed, out came a coke die that is half empty.
I inspected the Coke Diet and there was no physical holes, i was in panic mode and i figure that i will dispense all the coke diet and coke zero inside the pop machine one by one.
I was astounded that 70% of the coke diet and coke zero products are actually empty even thou there are no physical holes on the aluminum can.
I decided to remove all Coke Diet related products to stop from happening again.
Thus, i saved this location from my pop machine being removed and will be continuing its service.
I have also checked that all the coke diet products inside the pop machine is already around more than 2 years shelf life and have expired. So this comes to mind that diet products that are more than 1 year should be taken out from pop machines to avoid leaking and empty cans.
I made some research and found some Q & A on some forums and it mentioned from a former Pop Manufacturing employee that :
Pop products undergo a process that they spray a chemical coating to avoid the phosphoric acid to dissolve and eat away the aluminum.
The said chemical coating has a shell life. When the coating wears away the acid inside the pop will eventually evaporate or have some micro holes wherein the contents of the pop will leak
Here is the link to one of the numerous forum that i have researched, link.
I have decided to remove all the slow moving pop inside the pop machine.
I also found out that there are people selling perfectly empty pop cans without any sign of leak or evaporation for $250,000$ at eBay ! I wonder what makes it a novelty.
After solving the problem with the case of the empty unopened pop cans, i went to visit my other locations.
I went to my evergreen locations that is constantly hungry for chips and chocolate bars and end up disgusted with problems again.
You know that last week was the transition of summer to fall and everyone was back to work after spending a deserving vacation from all types of work.
I myself was still in a limbo caught in the old world. It glad that i was back here in Vancouver, BC and was hungry for work simply because that i have to pay this vicious cycle of unending bills to pay and credit card debt being piled up.
Self employed folks here in Vancouver, BC are not immune to debts. Most of the self-employed businesses here in Vancouver, BC plays according to seasonality patterns.
During summer some businesses are super strong and if you take a vacation then the opportunity is lost.
Some businesses are unaffected the whole year round. Vending machine business in essence functions 365 days in a year, that only applies in the case if you are diversified just like the landscape here in Vancouver, BC.
My reason for being diversified is that all your locations cannot be concentrated in lets say : school or hotels. It has to be evenly distributed to all sectors of demographics in order for a successful vending machine business. That’s why i was contemplating that you need to have a balance in locations as indicated on my previous article.
I had a slight surge in out of service calls on my vending machine business locations this summer. I guess every summer there are a lot of visitors and tourists visiting Vancouver.
The users simply do not know what will happen to a vending machine if other than a US or Canadian coin is inserted inside the snack and pop machine.
I was even inside a hotel when a tourist came out from their room and was snickering behind my back when i was servicing a combo machine that had an out-of-order sign.
I immediately look back behind and suddenly showed the coin to him before he closed his room. Guess what, it was an over sized south Asian coin that will surely jam the coin mechanism.
Summer is always good for the vending machine business, it’s just that you will encountering problems on visitors, locals that came back from holidays and trying to get rid of their foreign coins.
With this kind of problem it will surely hurt my sales projection and if it occurs a lot then there will be delay on my bills that will not understand what really happened to my coin collection because of a PESO, Rupee, Token, Pence or other coins that would have caused it.
Here are the pictures that i took on my bounty from my jammed snack and pop vending machines.
I’m still in a quest in finding the elixir to acquire boundless energy in servicing vending machines. Maybe on my next holiday trip. He Lol.
Vending machine business is a risk to partake as with any other self-employed business.
This is the only way to experience adrenaline in one’s system and eventually enjoy some benefits like continued destinations and maybe accelerate one’s exposure to the great diversity experience that Vancouver, BC has to offer.
When you are doing your vending machine business, most of the time you cannot immediately answer your calls.
Most people do not understand the small business operating procedures.
Customers think that when you call the phone on the vending machine on location and expecting a pick up immediately to solve problems like chips or snacks getting stuck on the machine.
If im a customer I will certainly think that it is necessary that to have a great vending machine business service the vendor should answer the call immediately.
The vending operators here in lower mainland BC is mostly operated by a single person and sometimes if other family members are cooperating then a tango team is the most in running a vending machine business.
As vendors’, it is absolutely important to return calls as soon as you received them on your voicemail.
Since most of the time the vendors’ will be driving around town busy refilling the machines, parking, loading and unloading.
Unnecessary calls are very annoying for the vending operators.
In my vending machine business I was surprised I got call on my voicemail and its explicitly says Fxxk You and hanged up.
In this kind of business it is best just to ignore such calls.
These kinds of calls stems from people who do not understand the vendors’ situation.
The vending machine problem by a large proportion is coin jam.
A Brand new top of the line machine or a used machine has the same coin mechanism inside.
It is normally the coin mechanism that will first have the problems.
It is always the same people who doesn’t know how to use a vending machine properly by inserting coins too fast will result annoying phone calls and coin jams.
I recently came back from a well-deserved vacation and as a regular self-employed person have to quickly service all the locations since in an absence of even just a week will entail a lot of problems.
Mind you as a self-employed person, if you take a week break vendors’ do not get paid.
The vending machine business operator is actually loosing money every day whenever you slack.
A week without sales can mean delayed bill payments or even a rental or mortgage behind payment.
It is true that if you own 100+ of vending machines it is a lot better than owing an extra townhouse and have it rented out, you will be making more money than buying a property for rentals.
Problem is just that your body’s energy and time is limited and whenever you are using it excessively and abusing it, it will eventually wear and tear as you may make an analogy to a commercial vehicle.
But if you are enjoying the vending machine business and think if it as a stress reliever then it is good for your body since at the start of unloading your dolly on the vehicle will start activating and increase your metabolism and bodily movement which is beneficial for your health.
It is only a matter of time that continuous manual work and mindless refilling of vending machines that will lead you to search what kind of small business that you can get into earning passively with minimum amount of work.
Online business is the only answer if you want to have a genuinely passive form of income.
It requires a lot of work too since you need to connect with your prospective customer and a lot of SEO work in able to reach potential clients organically.
As a successful vending machine operator, do you need to continually expand into more locations ?
Yes, in this business all vending machine operator needs to continually accept new locations as they come along, as I have mentioned in many numerous articles that I wrote previously, sometimes without any reason for many many months there will be one or two locations that work against you.
As an insurance it is best to keep on accepting locations that are offered to you.
If you have some free time then there is no harm in soliciting a location which is in your area of vicinity of service.
Most of my locations are in downtown west side east side, which im most comfortable.
I mentioned before that I grow up in a very densely populated city and naturally im very used to the hustle and bustle of a big city.
To me there is more color in life when im in a big city and I grow with it and not run away when it is congested.
I thrive on congested cities.
What im driving at is that if you have locations are majority in Langley and surrey area then you have to expand in that location.
Because even if you hands are full house with maintaining lets say one hundred machines or even one hundred fifty machines then even one extra location within the vicinity will not hurt.
If you lose one or two locations every year then it will even out on your added locations every year.
Eventually when running your vending machine business for the longest time then most of it will be in your area of interest.
The more locations you have the more problems that you will be encountering so you have to expect the nastiest that can happen to you.
A F**ck You message on voicemail don’t mean a thing anymore with countless locations that you are servicing.
There will be always bad eggs.
In this vending machine business even if you want it to have it your way all the time, it is not possible.
Being flexible is the key to be successful as a small business self-employed person.
As a vending machine operator here in Vancouver, BC, it is imperative that everything is secured properly in the public places.
Before i left for vacation i was talking to a coffee guy here in downtown Vancouver, BC, he told me that he was also servicing some coffee locations in the university and there are lots of vending machines at the campus.
I was thinking that it must be a very lucrative business is your vending machines are located in a university campus.
The demographic population is catered to the young and according to some of my locations there is a never ending desires of chips, chocolate bars and pop. Sometimes you need the caffeine and sugar content to boost you up when you are studying.
When you are concentrating hard to finish your thesis or mathematical problems it will lead you mentally exhausted and normally students go grab a chocolate or chips to make you happy from the sugar rush.
There is no conclusive evidence that you are loosing weight by using your mental functions in extreme levels when learning or studying according to studies.
I was wishing that i have machines located in universities before but right now im very reluctant since the coffee guy told me that in the lunch room, someone would come in with a hoodie and breaks the whole lock in one of the vending machines and come back after 30 minutes.
When the guy comes back after 30 minutes he then has a duplicate that will open all the vending machines located in the lunch room.
I used to have a location in a hotel with 5 or 6 machines, i just have 1 key for all the machines. This is the make your job faster since too many keys sometimes slows you down when servicing locations.
I myself was a victim with my machines in a hotel which i previously owned.
I used to have 6 machines in a hotel but everything has a different lock and secured with an additional puck lock. The last news i heard that the new owner which i sold to was broken into.
A year have elapsed with the new owner and the latest news was the hotel was getting rid of him because the management signed an agreement with another vendor.
You know in this business nothing actually is guaranteed permanent placement on your machine. You have to be on the constant lookout of new locations.
If your hands are full then maybe it is best to has a couple of new locations every year just to maintain the income level that you are comfortable with. Sometimes even veteran vendors which has around 20 to 50 locations loose around 1 or 2 every year, which is the nature of the business.
Your new location is an infatuation, marriage and sometimes end up in divorce as an analogy.
Several factors which i have mentioned why you loose locations.
opting for your vendors
storage space needed
management got pretty tired of your face
majority consumers got into 50s and needed change
new manager wanted changes
You just have to has a happy disposition whenever you are servicing your locations and never get into trouble with anyone inside the facility that you are servicing.
I was visiting London and Scotland and i was surprised that all their vending machines located in the airport or hotel do not have any added security locks.
If these machines were in united states or Canada im 100% that in due time the machines will be vandalized.
I was surprised also that in every hotel in London and Scotland, they only has a vending machine which is situation in front entrance of the hotel.
The machine is directly facing the hotel reception.
I had machines also here in Vancouver, BC in some locations in a hotel in east side Vancouver,BC and it is also in front of the manager or reception office but it was vandalized many times.
Sometimes i was thinking that when living in the established old world of London doing vending machines would even be safer than compared to lower mainland in Vancouver, BC.
I was thinking probably it is safer because in London or Scotland the streets are very narrow and there is no way to get around when breaking into a vending machine.
Your getaway vehicle can be immediately chased and run over by the police authorities in London streets.
Maybe the vending machine are protected by the medieval knights. ( joking )
Do you think chivalry and honesty is still practiced in England ?
But in stark contrast whenever im inside a small shop in London seems that the owner will instantly approach you and ask you if you need any help ? And seems like they do not like people staying too long and observing around and inspecting the products.
All the Sainsbury in London even if it is a very small satellite branch always has a security guard lookout. Sainsbury can be compared to shoppers drug mart here in Vancouver.
While here in Canada there are no security guards in all shopping malls inspecting on the exits.
It is only in Costco that there are assigned staff that inspects the receipt upon exiting.
Here in Canada when you are inside a store big or small, nobody cares if you are staring a product for the longest time. No one cares. You can take your sweet time to decide if the product is meant for you no pressure, akuna matata.
There is a real sense of being righteous there in England and seems that everywhere i go people have this akuna matata mental attitude.
My break was short and im afraid that if i spend some more time in medieval times there in Scotland then i will be out of momentum on my vending machines business and customers will be complaining.
Back into the new world here in Vancouver with renewed vigor and energy to work.
I like it here since it is easy to get around and virtually traffic is non-existent as compared to the streets in London.
Its just too bad i don’t have great European food lunch breaks here.
I guess Tim Horton deserves its respect here in the new world.
I noticed that when i was doing my vending business about two weeks ago. The sales were not that promising or constant as compared to the prior weeks.
Actually to my surprise that all locations parking lot were about 50% empty.
I don’t need to ask the caretaker or the receptionist if it was in the office were the vast majority of the people went ?
As compared to last year when i was doing my route the sales were constant and everybody seems to stay put in town and never even have the thought of vacation time. Is it because every time during this time of the year i always say my usual hello and ask the people if they just came back from the holidays ?
So it’s me and my mouth and mindset perhaps that would trigger the holiday mood my a small factor perhaps ? This sounded absurd and silly.
I have this location which i have been servicing for the longest time and was at the east side. The east side always lives up to it’s promise, summer or winter the sales has been cooperating tremendously with me.
Its just depends if you are willing to go and service the location more often to produce more sales.
In some locations if you go twice a week there will be about 25% more sales at the end of the month. I have this already computed through the various years that i have been running this vending machine business.
The location that i mentioned has not been nice to me. For two weeks in a row the snack machine is always jammed with coins. I’m still amazed till this time why locations in the east side of town, always have the same problem.
Understandably locations with a lot of children have more often than not problems with coin jams since they put coins in manner that it is too fast and will cause some coin jams inside the coin mechanism. Sometimes the solution is just by depressing the coin return button repeatedly which will release the jam coins.
Going back to the location that i was mentioning. For two weeks that i have visited the snack machine is always jammed and if there are people inside the lunch room they always curse the snack machine. I cannot just tell them how to use a vending machine properly.
Its so basic that there are no words needed in explaining to usage of a vending machine.
Actually this spark an idea, to reduce the downtime for me to visit locations that have coin jams, i was thinking of making an info graphic leaflet and just paste it on all the vending machines that i have.
I was very happy towards the weekend because normally it’s a big haul right before Sunday on my evergreen locations.
Right after i had it serviced the location called me and mentioned that both vending machines was out of order. I couldn’t sleep last night and i was even thinking maybe there was this person who loves to sabotage vending machines and very happy doing it. Like a fetish kind of thing. Ha ha-ha i must be joking.
I woke up very early on the weekend and raced the see what would have happened and imagining that there would be coin jams inside the machines.
To my surprise both machines doesn’t have power and it was a matter of turning on the breaker.
The machines are located inside a heritage building and sometimes the machines trips the breaker.
I went around the corner to service another location in the east side of town. To my surprise beside the machines was an air conditioner and the pop machine was unplugged again.
The last time i went there it was both machines that were unplugged and Out-of-Order sign was hanged and assistant manager came out and told me the air conditioner trips the breaker so both machines needed to be unplugged.
The sales of course were almost nothing when i was servicing the location.
I already mentioned that i was paying $75 per month for this particular space. Anyway since the sales is affected by unplugging my pop machine then i presumed the next check payment will be 50% off since i hardly have any sales at all for this location.
I headed down to a public place today and there was this fellow countryman which grew up in the Philippines but from a remote province.
I always show respect and speak the same tongue which is Tagalog ( Tagalog is not my native language, i speak several, English is also not my native tongue ).
For some reason whenever i was doing my vending service in this location they repeatedly ask the same questions that im making so much money and was a lot better off than cleaning laundry and preparing beds.
Some other people think that my business is my exhausting and physically draining. But i tell you, once you get used to vending, it’s quite enjoyable to an extent that you always move around and don’t have to stay in one place.
So while i was on the 2nd floor of the public place, the fellow countryman just stared at my bin and took a chip without my permission and he assumes that im going to recycle the chips or throw it away.
I jokingly told him that the chips are dated Sept 08 and im going to take it to another location and i normally rotate the products on different locations.
He told me it’s only one chip that he will be taking and it doesn’t make a difference.
I told him that do you do that to when you walk into 7 11 ? I also was about to get disgusted with a fellow countryman mindset.
Just because i speak the same language that does entitled you to take away i free chip? I told him that i have planned for scheduled visits, spend money on the most expensive gasoline in BC, unload the dolly and make a few cents per bag of chips.
I even jokingly told him that what if im not Filipino or speak the same language like you do, will you grab a chip on my bin and say thank you? Eventually i just say that im better than that and have to be understanding and flexible and let 1 chip not ruin my day today.
I try my best to speak the same tongue to everyone i met to please the person since im in the service industry and always have a constant smile in this line of business.
That’s why i mentioned that it is better to sometimes pretend that you do not know how to speak Filipino and keep a distance and step away from fellow countryman here in Vancouver, BC. For some reason if they know you are from the same country, there will always be freebies on your visits.
Don’t get me wrong, i admire some fellow countryman who has the same wavelength like me. Business, straight and no running around the bush. Plain and simple. Yes or no.
In this vending machine business sometimes you have to acquire a certain sense of emotional intelligence which i have mentioned before on my previous articles if you have been following me.
Sometimes it’s the emotional intelligence that makes or breaks a business. If you are a businessman you absolutely need a calm mindset.
Aside from these unfortunate incidents everything is always as expected.
But of course if you have locations that is related to school then some of your sales will be affected too. Don’t put your eggs into the same basket, like you just prefers schools or community centers type of thinking.
Everything has to be diversified. As with your stock portfolio.
Recently i acquired two new locations. I thought everything will be very smooth and no problems.
I even installed all machines with updated bill acceptors, new coin mechanisms.
The machines from two locations was sourced out from my suppliers.
There was this supplier that i always buy new equipment which costs an arm and a leg but the cool thing is that i have a two-year term which costs below two hundred dollars every month. If a location is performing very well then two hundred dollars is nothing since your gross sales will always outweigh to cover the cost of the equipment.
I have another supplier which gives very good terms and conditions because all the machines are used.
Problem with buying the used machines is that sometimes it is a ticking time bomb. Like one of the snack machines motors suddenly malfunctions after one month of use.
Worst is that sometimes the snack machine doesn’t recognize any kind of coins. The machine just freezes just like a laptop or computer if it is way too used, it freezes and you need to reset it.
I’m saying that buying used machines is great but sometimes it is a lingering disease because the symptoms just pops up all the time.
The new locations i got which consists of a pop machine and two snack machines was constantly nagging me. I went to the location on several occasions when customers complained.
But when i reached there, i inspected everything and it was all working perfectly.
Sometimes when i acquire a new location, the people there are like the ones in the east side of town that doesn’t know how to properly use a vending machine. There are constant coin jams.
Actually i simulated this by having a bag of assorted coins to see if i can cause a vending machine to jam.
I insert about 60 dollars worth of assorted coins : nickels, dimes, loonies and twoonies. I inserted slowly in a way that i have to wait for the display on the vending machine to register. After doing this there was no coin jam.
Somehow im afraid to insert two coins at the same time, knowingly that it will surely jam the internal coin mechanism. I’m not a child in a community center that will cause it so it never happens to me while im simulating it with 60 dollars assorted various coins.
Seems like a burn out on me is on it’s way. Should i say that i need a vacation myself. I mentioned that it will just be around the corner.
My vending machine business will be in good hands if im away.
Here in Canada it’s very difficult to find someone that can be trusted and extremely expensive to have someone run it for you. Living in this world-class place needs to have a world-class pay as well. But there are always ways.
If you have been in business for the longest time. You know what to do and finding ways and there is always a strategy in all forms of business, it is just the manner on how to execute it properly and efficiently.
I started of last week Monday to be very well. Everything is scheduled as planned.
The week has been very hot here in Vancouver, BC. The record temperatures were hitting around 40 degrees Celsius.
It reminds me of Philippines and Singapore where i was most comfortable walking with shorts and mostly T Shirts. It is the preferred outfit since the weather is there is mostly sunny and was normally at 40 to 50 degrees Celsius most of the time.
The streets in the Philippines was a common sight on people without clothes and was happily carrying out daily activities. Whereas in Singapore the street was laden with people eating at hawker centers and the people are mostly shopaholic since there are so many street vendors and shopping centers around.
The food is excellent there in Singapore since it is a mixture of Malay, Chinese and Indian food. For me it is my preferred food since it is very rich in culinary recipes.
You cannot find a 100% Chinese restaurant in Singapore, it is normally a fusion and your will experience a heavenly palate experience.
I have lived in Hong Kong, Singapore and mostly Philippines.
I have stayed in these countries primarily because during that time when your have to visit those countries in other to check firsthand the products.
I have been to countless factory visits which is a common practice when i was nurturing my small business back home in the Philippines which is very exciting experience.
Inspecting the products is of out most important before introducing it to my turf which is in the Philippines where entrepreneurship is very scalable.
You can start of with a meager business of low budget and work your way up.
Or go big time by renting space is the likes of : Sm Mega Mall, Robinson, Ayala or Rockwell upscale shopping malls where they can pull in 200,000 to 300,000 thousand people from all walks of life with the buying power.
Philippines which is a developing country till now is the epitome of business playground.
Labor is relatively inexpensive and everything is surprisingly affordable. The solution right now is just the infrastructure on traffic conditions and the snail internet pace which needs to be significantly improved.
I guess if the country is revamped. All ethnic Filipinos and former residents will flock back to Philippines.
Enough of this comparison.
There a lot of people who does not want to be compared. Well the good thing about comparison is that sometimes without it there will be no encouragement or instilling someone’s mind to improve for the better.
Without comparison then there will be no improvement. Its good to compare people and situations so that there could be a spark for progress.
Such as getting a second job for others. Maybe it would be an inspirational thought to get more productive activities to be set in motion than laying stagnant.
Stagnation is the enemy. Even your body needs to move to ensure that your are healthy there be a personal trainer to push your.
I was surprised why both vending machines in a government facility was unplugged ?
The assistant manager came out and told me that they have to plug an air conditioner and it keeps on tripping the breaker so they plugged out the plug on both vending machines.
I’m supposed to keep a cool head always but at that very instant i was on a state of debate mindset and my face was not the friendliest at that moment in time.
I was explaining that im paying $75 rental monthly for the space here.
The assistant manager was also trying to keep his composure and was excusing himself and said that he will discuss this with the manager which was still on vacation.
I was not happy at all visiting this location since everything was still full and there was no take home income for me, it is a good thing it did not coincide on the last week since we all have to come up with rental money or mortgage money.
I took of to the next location which is considered my evergreen location where the people there voraciously take on pop, chips and chocolate bars like there is no tomorrow.
I had around 3 machines which was used heavily in that location and got frustration again with an out-of-order sign on the snack machine.
Normally this location calls me when there is a problem but this time no one seems to bother calling me.
Most problems on the machines is simply turning of and turning back on for it to work again. This happens when the coins just goes through the machine and never registers.
The vending machine from time to time freezes and your need to restart it. It happens with all electrical devices such as phones, laptops and tablets that runs a program.
I happened to go to a public location for my last visit on that day and i totally already forgot the problem that i encountered on the previous locations.
There are some locations that wanted the vendor to give out commission on every visit that your make.
These kinds of locations mean business and when your go in as a contractor doing refilling services your have to pay up every time your set foot into their turf.
I prepared the commission on the envelope as usual and gave to the personnel at the reception.
I mentioned that it was not an exciting visit this time because the chips, pop and chocolate bars are not being consumed in a jokingly manner.
You see when your are serving this location like for 2 to 3 years now and your tone is very friendly and greeting the receptionist very casually all the time.
I said again in a tone that what i meant was that the chips, pop and chocolates bars didn’t see much movement this time so it is not an exciting visit for me this time.
I really didnt know what happened in that instant.
When i was going back to my van the person chased me and was shouting. You come here and mentioned loudly that they do not accept US$1 bill and needed it to have it changed back to a Loonie.
I was jokingly saying that most people or all the people i know of will gladly take the US Dollar $1 Bill since it is more valuable than the Canadian loonie.
I was retorted back that their public place is not a foreign exchange and absolutely need to be all local currency.
Eventually i got to their reception and had it changed to Canadian loonie in replacement of the USD$1 bill.
In Philippines everyone is very casual and always in a jokingly mindset when your are dealing with customers and suppliers. I always even mention when at times it is lunchtime.
I invite them to lunch even thou it is not my intention.
In Philippines, it is absolutely easy to get along with anyone when your are in business.
In a stark contrast, i was just surprised that this kind of behaviors may not work here in Vancouver, BC.
The people here seems to take all the details seriously.
There also instances when your are dealing with your own countryman here in Vancouver, BC, that their mindset is totally different from a person that your are talking when your are in the Philippines soil.
Some countryman here in Vancouver, BC would scrutinize your in depth that according to me, your just have to keep a distance. Because somehow the person who is in Vancouver, BC is actually very sensitive as compared when the person who was still in the Philippines.
By the way the receptionist i dealt with was not from the Philippines.
She was from another culture which comes to mind the diversity here in Canada.
As a vendor your have to keep in mind always that the diversity here is just too much that what you think is casual and in a jokingly manner state of mind might not have the same wavelength as to the other person that your are talking to.
I cannot blame the US $1 Bill today for my series of events that happened on that day.
Vending business i think it also a process that teach your how to act properly on which situation that your are in.
Act appropriately on every situation uniquely since your don’t know the level of sensitivity the person next to you.
As usual tremendous energy is needed when you are operating your vending machine business. I try my best to visit all my locations’ and service them as usual.
There was this particular location that i visit on a monthly basis since the products hardly ever moves. When it was time to visit the location i was saying to my mind, is it worth the gasoline, parking, energy expend on loading and unloading your dolly to that monthly location?
I did not visit that monthly location since as i previously mentioned that this location is not in the usual vicinity and i have to have it coincides when im going to do my rounds in greater coquitlam.
The location eventually called me and incidentally i was going to coquitlam and visited the place and apologize and made amends to follow my schedule. I have made a conclusion that the place will be visited every 6 weeks instead of a monthly affair thing.
If you have some locations’ that are low performing. You can make an arrangement with the location for a certain duration so that the location will still keep you as a vendor and also not to waste time, gasoline and energy.
Thus, i have concluded the problem on visits on the location which i have mentioned above.
I got this second tremendously slow turtle paced location.
You know the feeling that there is always 1 or 2 locations’ that you really wanted to sell but nobody is willing to take it ? The location is actually factory but mostly are all 50 years old + and for some reason the people in that location doesn’t like to consume chips and chocolate bars.
You inherently know that there was always this particular person who absolutely abhor you the moment you step your foot in their turf. The one that is always complaining of expired product. The one who writes WTF on your products and your machines with sticky posts.
I always go to this location once a month and there is hardly any sales. Since this location is in one area, so my visits is arranged with other locations’ nearby. They are a bunch in Richmond.
I wasn’t surprised when this location suddenly emailed me that they no longer needed my services. For the first time i felt very relieved since the whole time i was actually disgusted inside me to visit this location every time i go there. Most of the products just gets bad and expired.
In the early days when servicing this location i always have calls from the same person that the products are bad. I always get threatening calls that i will be replaced by another vendor.
You see as a vending machine business operator.
Sometimes your machine and your visits is a ticking time bomb.
Unlike my other locations’ which i treat them as my love affairs with strong affinity.
During the early days servicing this location i of course tried as a vendor to please everyone and always hand out freebies in their lunch room and chips that have gone bad for a few days.
This place was a consolation with a bunch of locations’ that was sold to me in the early days of my vending. This location had to be included with the sale of the Goliath locations’ which was bundled in Richmond.
As a vending machine business operator, it comes to mind that locations’ comes and goes.
Most of the locations’ will stay and have a bond with you as their vendor.
Just keep in mind that when you are expanding your vending machine business do not put all your eggs in one basket. What im driving at is that you have to have different locations’ in different cities.
Do you sometimes feel that you do not belong when you are in a certain city when you are servicing the locations’ ?
I have noticed that this especially this week, most of my locations’ are quiet. There are a lot of customers that are on the well-deserved break from work.
But of course, there will be locations’ that are always evergreen and always busy no matter which month, week or day.
Vending business is always well as long as you serve your customers. Sometimes it will be a very hard decision to shell out commission to locations’ that doesn’t need it.
But if you really wanted to keep all your location no matter how small they are, it would be beneficial for a vendor to contribute even as low as 5 to 10 dollars per month for very small locations’ in order to keep some rapport with the management.
In this vending machine business it is just up to your energy really if you want to make it consistent and profitable. No movement no income.
Vending Machine business is always on the move to make it profitable. The longer the service time frame the less is your take home food on the table and will sometimes end up frustrated weekends that you cannot afford.
Stagnation will be your enemy in business, family and everyone around you. If you have too much movement on your vending machine business it will also be a disaster for burned out of energy and relationship problems when all your energy is exhausted.
Living in a world-class city sometimes comes to my mind and everyone is it is really worth doing the daily tasks as if it was your last day at work ethic ?
Is it worth to keep up with the great diversity all around Vancouver ?
I observed a lot of businesses goes bust in an average span of 3 years.
There was this manager that was working like 15 to 20 years in the wholesale company in burnaby that passed away serving customers for the longest time that i can remember.
His passing was very regretful since he was only serving all vendors and very good work ethnic. So my previous question comes to my mind if it is worth doing this repetitive tasks as if it was your last day at work ?
For me my priorities is still being served, all is well for the time being.
It was a very good day yesterday Saturday when running some of my vending machine business locations.
I got a call several calls from my vending locations and there were some concerns. The customers mentioned that the vending machine doesn’t take the shiny loonies.
I immediately went to the location and while i was trying to fill up the machine and making some diagnostics. Indeed, some the loonies just goes through the vending machine. I was wondering that this is maybe just one of the odd lot.
I told the manager that i will be coming back to check on this matter. So i just shoved the matter that it is not relevant.
I headed on to the next location and there was a big note that the machine is out-of-order.
Of course i have to test it out why it’s not working. I inserted all kinds of coins i have on my pocket and again the 2018 shiny Loonies did not work.
So this is a confirmation that the 2018 new shiny Loonies will be rejected on all vending machines, parking meters, laundry coin mechanism and the like.
I immediately called my technician and he replied that he was also getting some calls and also wondering why there seems to have so much 2018 shiny loonies all of a sudden.
I was jokingly saying that maybe the guy at the royal Canadian mint wanted to keep his job by making new coins and bills all the time. He told me it is not the case but the mint facility really needs to keep on producing coins.
My technician who also has lot of vending machines under his belt was disgusted because there was no news or word that they new 2018 loonie has a different metal composition.
In my mind what will be the reaction of Thanos with his infinity gauntlet be? ( big time vending machine operators )
Oh my there will be a flood of customer complaints and out-of-order signs everywhere. So the solution is to wait for the coin mechanism manufacturer : MEI, Coinco, ICT to have a program to update the coin mechanism. That will be about 2 months down the road.
Sometimes i wish the Canadian royal mint consult everyone first beforehand so that everyone is prepared to the onset unleashing a massive campaign of expenditures for Thanos and the avengers ( other vending machine business operators )
I have a lot of bill acceptors too that are not yet updated for the new $10 Canadian dollar bill. I also heard news that there will be another $10 Canadian dollar bill that will be releasing i think 2 months from now.
So my October and November everybody will be in chaos. Vendors will all be wanting to have their coin mechanism and bill validators upgraded.
The city of Vancouver will also be kept busy in upgrading all the parking meters. The laundry mats, video game operators are also affected. It will be bloody i suppose.
The vending machine business needs to exciting.
I was also servicing one location and when i parked my van, a guy came and said that you must be the guy with the balloons.
I was i had a more exciting personality and looks that can be a movie star. Does looks matter a lot when you wanted to be a movie star? Maybe i can be the guy who provides sinful cookies, chocolate bars and chips in all the movie sets.
Is it a coincidence that i always meet movie personality and extras all the time when i was doing my vending machine routine? Is there a calling ? ( jokingly saying to myself )
Some streets are impossible to get through even on the weekends and this is getting worse on the west side part of town. I guess its better to have it fixed before the rains will be greeting us again.
When i was doing my runs yesterday in west side part of town in downtown. I was very careful all the time, but there was this old beat up Honda behind me and was trying to stick to my tail.
I was looking at my side mirror and when the lights turned green, in a split-second there was this elegant lady crossing the street was cursing me. It was my fault not to be alert. Good thing i applied the brakes but not the sudden screeching you know what i meant.
Probably it was the thoughts racing in my mind and the exciting months that is arriving for the coins and bill mechanisms upgrade. Maybe i had some thoughts that its would be better just the change everything to debit credit reader system just to avoid these future problems.
But of course as vending machine business operators you wanted to capture all forms of payments methods to maximize the revenue on your small business.
This Loonie started it all and was thinking it had a domino effect on me already.