Chocolate bars prices going up

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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.

Not to worry, better days lies ahead.


20 thoughts on “Chocolate bars prices going up

  1. This is cool piece. You really spared your time to in touring all these place and you’ve come up with wonderful article like this. This is really educating.But don’t blame your self next time you couldn’t fix a chocolate machine like or blaming yourself to be proactive for unable to unlock a lock. Anyway Vancouver, Canada is an amazing place to live with conducive environment for business to thrive

    1. Hello Kehinde,

      I have to go to at least 6 to 10 places everyday including saturday on doing my vending machine business.  Here in Vancouver everything is expensive.  I need to be a robot to work everyday just to survive.

  2. I am intrigued by the idea of starting a small business installing and servicing vending machines.I gather from your article that you must do this business in a busy city where you can have more than a 100 machines installed in a small radius so that your travel between machines is minimized.I was not aware ,however,of the problems you described.Vandalizing machines,program changes to accept new coins , changing prices and dealing with location managers are some of the problems I was not aware of. I am still intrigued so I would like to read your other posts on this business potential.Thank you for a very informative article. 

    1. Hello Carlos,

      Yes in the beginning i thought vending machine business was easy, all i have to do is refill take money and relax.  But it is not the case, i did not know that you have to deal with the top honco who decides to keep you or not.  I have been doing this business long enough that it is up to the management whims if you are allowed to conduct your business.

      But if you perform accordingly to everyone’s liking and knows how to put a smile on their faces all the time then they will keep you forever.

      Commissions also play an important role on some locations, they just want to get their 10% commissions all the time.

      But most locations are very nice and friendly towards small business owners trying to make a buck.

      After all you are dealing with humans, so you always have to put your best foot forward and project a great persona.

      Maybe online business is the way to go. Amazon FBA business model or selling products online perhaps ?

  3. Hi! Yeah, I have noted that chocolate bar prices have been going up!

    Thank you very much for sharing you r experiences doing vending machine business as a full time business. One would think, as you have said, that you have loads of cash and profits! But I enjoy reading about your down to earth experiences and difficulties.

    I have considered to eventually try the vending machine business. And your site has helped me a lot! I’m not in Canada, just in case you may think I’ll be a competitor! LOL 🙂

    1. Hello Henry,

      Competitors are welcome.  I have been surviving for a long time already as a self employed business person.  I was always doing the things i like in my own way since i graduated from University.  I never used the things i learned in school.  It was always opportunities that i grasp and just go with the flow.

      Vending business is quite good if you like to be always on the run.

  4. Hey, thanks for coming up with this post, you must have put a lot of energy into this, fixing vending machine Is kind of easy and direct, I have done it once. How is your Vancouver experience, Have you finally adapted to the city and I hope things are not that expensive now? 

    1. Hello Clement,

      Yes i have to get up everyday super early.  I got robbed so i have extra work like unloading all the products to the garage and loading it up early morning before i head out on the streets.  I guess fixing the snack machines are straightforward but the problem are the pop machines which are a bit tricky.

      I have adapted to the city, but of course i always have fall back options like going back home since i got a quite of connections already built up and very easy to get into business again in Asia.

      It is not that i going to do vending forever.

      You know how it is on the mindset of business people.  You have to be flexible and able to move on if there are other opportunities.  Im trying to save up for my side hustle in online business which is still in its infancy baby steps and i need to norture it slowly and make sure that everything is done right before moving on.

      We all like to idea of location freedom right ?

  5. I would not have thought of starting a small business with vending machines. This was a very interesting read and I love that you shared so much information on the “journey.” The bike looks to be in great condition and I’m glad that it was an easy fix changing the power cord! Do you think that prices will drop again for chocolate or that they have risen temporarily?

    1. Hello Veronica,

      It seems the chocolate prices have been going up yearly.  There is no stopping on inflation.  It seems that most of my locations would have a difficult time in understanding why chip, chocolate bars goes up all the time.

      Im thinking now when should i increase my prices on all my vending machines ?

      Fortunate for me that it was an easy fix or else i have to pay someone $85 an hour to fix my machine.

  6. Wow lots of interesting information, very thorough. Have you had cases where chocolate was more expensive in your machine than at the location your machine was at? Have you had any luck with alternative brands not rising? Gosh vending machines must be expensive just to get them plus repairs and stocking. Are you really seeing much of a profit from doing  this little hustle? Does the place that has the vending machine pay for some of it and/or receive some of the profits?

    1. Hello Neuromind,

      Yes, it is actually very difficult in doing this business in the beginning and has to deal with managers. Chocolate and chips increase from suppliers doesn’t warrant increase prices on your vending machine as well.  Some locations are very sensitive to the price increase.

      There are locations that I have to pay 10% commission on a monthly basis.  But most of them are happy without but needs constant good servicing on refills and maintenance.

      Im surviving in spite of losing occasionally some locations but overall it can pay for my mortgage and bills for the time being.  Most of my locations which are with me are still performing and happy with me.

  7. Hi Admin! You are absolutely right about growing up in big cities being lots of distractions when compared to people raised in sparsely populated regions. Often times the city people are sophisticated, flexible but to me that doesn’t mean that they are more intelligent than their counterparts. To be frank with you, not all people enjoy the bubbling and noise that comes with urban locations. Some prefer staying away from such noise.  Vending machine business is a profitable business when managed well, so I guess those people that think you have loads of cash and profits may not be blamed. As for chocolate bars getting costlier, lots of things might be the cause, like the cost of ingredients for the production, high demand etc.

    1. Hello Gracen,

      Yes, you are absolutely right.  Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.  It’s so good that you pointed out several aspects of the difference of city people and rural folks.

      Eventually, everything goes up due to inflation, i totally agree with you.

      Thank you so much for your insight

  8. Hi, this is some interesting writing you share here.

    Your life as a vending machine maintainer certainly not easy as I see. With prices of chocolate bars going up and coins changing and after all this adjusting the troopers loving to write nice tickets.

    Life in big cities has pros but cons as well, people sabotaging your life support like the van and the vending machines is not nice and probably causes some headaches in times.

    I wish you all the best now 🙂

    1. Hello Stefan,

      Yes, I encounter these problems occasionally and write it on my blog.  This is a helpful resource of information from an actual vendor who does it for a full time living.

  9. Vending machine business can be tiresome most times, especially if you have in overly populated cities. It’s one task to monitor the stocks within and it’s another to take care of the money.It also requires creativity. In the case of malfunctions, only creative persons like you would easily get a clue as to how to fix and restore the Vending machine to normalcy. I must commend you for the hardwork. More power to your elbow, Francis

  10. Thanks for putting out your experience. It’s good that with articles like yours, people will learn about possible challenges in running businesses like yours, even myself have learnt. Furthermore, others like space managers will now know some of the pains people in your shoes go through and may become nicer. All together, you have put up a great fight and article. 

    1. Hello Richard,

      Yes, this is a blog on running a vending machine business aimed at all prospective folks who wanted to get into the business know what is really happening from an actual vending guy who does it full time. I cannot find a vending machine business blog that expresses it in writing.  Most vending machine website is more on sales, parts, and repairs.

      I guess this might be an eye-opener to some managers who like to throw their weight around on small self-employed honest livelihood business folks.

      Thank you for your comment

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