Spring Time Double Time

When spring time is around sales increase.

You need to double time when doing your vending business.

According to my experience pop and drinks normally increase twice.

Understandably the drinks hardly moves during the winter time except for locations in hotel where everyone has a constant need for water.

For most people with family they take a quick getaway. Spring break for a day or two from the norm.

Back home in the Philippines when it is summer break. Everyone goes abroad. Everything is affordable on the southern hemisphere of the globe. I have observed that even non Filipinos, especially Asians enjoy summer breaks.


Everything is cheap and affordable.

The southern part of the globe are so lucky that their currency is small but goes a long way.

Here living in Canada or the northern part of the world is very restrictive. You have to save up for a year just to get a vacation. I agree that the currency is very strong and stable but the affordability is sky-high.

Even if you are a millionaire it’s hard to move around. Going away for a week is too much and small businesses will be loosing a substantial amount of income to cover expenses.

If your currency is small like in the Philippines you have so much and the places you go have different prices ranges.

There is always a place in Asia to go depending upon your budget.

Gigs and business is scarce here and small businesses work extra hard since it their only chance to make more profits during the spring and summer months.

I previously owned a convenience store and I even lose money during the winter months and just barely surviving.

However, when spring and summer comes, people go out more often and all businesses picks up.

For the vending business it is also the same scenario.

The pop machines work extra hard in dispensing drinks.

Vending machine business owners works so much that they have to postpone vacation till the winter months when business is slow.

I’m always looking forward when it transitions into spring and especially summer months.

So my advice is to get ready and be prepared for the coming spring and summer months and double up inventory on pop and drinks.

During spring and summer months, it also good that the days seems to be longer.

You are more productive when the day is longer.

Everything is always better when the weather is warmer.

I have been doing the vending business for quite a while.

And it will also be a good time to have some extra time set aside for gaining new locations.

Try to go out and prepare some proposal letters to prospective locations. Hopefully you will be able to add another 1 or 2 locations to your existing route since they always say it’s a competitive business.

For me I never felt that vending machine business is competitive.

I honesty was able to go with the flow and see improvements.

It is also honing your skills on your journey of vending machine business.

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Snack Machine Empty

I headed towards to one of my strong location. I was surprised that the snack machine is empty.

Towards the end of the week is the happiest for me.

I don’t know what to feel either to be happy or suspect something. I have a strong gut feel that maybe someone was fiddling my machine or have a duplicate and opened the snack machine. To my surprise the snack vending machine was totally empty.

In my years of doing this location i never had an incident that it was totally empty.

Normally there are still a few pieces of chocolate bars and chips.

I instinctively pressed the selections and to my surprise all the selections are priced 0.50 cents ! Deep inside i was raging and feeling that i got ripped off.

The location is a sort of community center where people gather every day for games and food. This is the first time that happened to me when a machine reset itself to default value of 0.50 cents for all selections!

The crowd inside the community center didn’t even tell me that everything was 0.50.

Whenever there is a problem with money being eaten they complain a lot and wanted money back. Now with the machine having a glitch and never bothered to call me and have it looked immediately to have it remedied.

I called my trusty technician and he told me that the building is old and there must be a power surge.

My technician suggested to me to buy a power surge bar immediately so that this will not happen again.

He suggested buying at Home Depot with the highest rating type of power surge protector.

I wish this incident will not happen anymore since i pay a substantial commission on this location. This location is creme de la creme in terms of sales and revenue.

This location has a regular type of snack and pop machines and the sales is equivalent even to my other 4 to 5 locations located elsewhere.

If this incident happens again, i have to find a replacement machine. Maybe its time to bid farewell to the older snack machine.

For now i will just consider buying an inexpensive power surge protector.

To be truly making money on vending machine business, it would be ideal to visit the location when it is 1/4 empty. But the problem is if the locations are far apart, you will be loosing time, money and gasoline. Customers don’t understand this, they always expect you to be there even if 2 rows are empty.
That’s why it is important in grouping all locations together when visiting. Some small locations can be done with the bigger locations in one single scheduled visit in the same area.


In this vending machine business it is not all the time that when you visit your location you will be expecting profit all the time. At times there are a lot of expired products. Sometimes your very happy to have at least half of the machine is empty.

Rarely that it will be empty !

 

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Is Your Vending Location Truly Stable ?

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

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

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

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


So today was a real shocker.

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

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

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

timer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going back to the story here in Canada.

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

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

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

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

Update :

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

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Getting Stuck On A Problematic Vending Location

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

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

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

factory type location
factory type location

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

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

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

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

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

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

lucky cat
lucky cat

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

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

Would you be happy to have such a location ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

take a break and ponder
take a break and ponder

 

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

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

"<yoastmark

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this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
this the only way for the machines to move
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
machine too big to pass thru the smaller doors
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Bus Ticket Inside My Vending Machine

It is amazing on what people tend to imagine to put inside the vending machine.

I have a location that called me on the weekend and taken down some notes to fix the snack machine.  I always encounter simple problems which I know that all the vendors tend to fix by themselves which is relatively easy even for a newbie in this business.

I just turned the power off and remove the coin mechanism assembly and remove the jammed coins

I included some pictures on the coin jam.

This is a classic problem that everyone in the business is always facing

and it is imperative that you should know how to fix it yourself or else you get charged by a taxi meter if you opt it to be fixed by a service technician which you don’t ever need one.

To my surprise after having many years in servicing vending machines for a full time living as a self-employed person.  It is my first time that I found a bus ticket inside my vending machine.

Keeping Composure at all times is the key.

People wanted to get free stuff.

Location on the east side of the town likes free stuff with the exception of schools and universities.

Young customers likes to cheat and try to get their hand on how to get free stuff by trying all sorts.   Keypad random sequence to dispense free stuff.

I just hope that they think about the situation of vendors on making an honest living and trying to keep up.  Always putting up a show for everyone to provide a mutual and beneficial relationship.

Some customers that think maybe the machines are crappy and need to be changed.  Actually it is the customer’s fault not knowing on how to use the vending machine properly.

It just needs a simple cleaning with water and tissue paper on the coin path.

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Essential Things Needed In Vending Machine Business

When you have been doing this vending machine business for quite a while

,sometimes when you are timing the locations from moving to the next will have some minor setbacks and you would tend to spend more time allotment than the usual calculated time according to your expectations and estimated schedule.

I will enumerate the possible problems that happens when you are doing you’re vending locations.

A. There are occasions when the coin return button doesn’t go back

to its default or original position when you depress it, or when one of your customers depressed it super hard and it got stuck.

I will take a picture on my next visit and update this post. The solution is to get a small piece of cardboard probably from the snack boxes that are plentiful inside your service van, wrap it up and make it into a roll and just place it underneath the L shape metal inside the vending machine that is secured to the spring.

Materials needed : small rolled piece of cardboard, duck tape or scotch tape to full secure the rolled cardboard.

( Picture soon to be uploaded )

B. When you are loading and unloading products for a living on a daily basis sometimes you can hurt yourself,

as i have mentioned this on my previous post. I was hurrying up to get things done when i was in downtown and tripped myself in the loading dock, at that time i didn’t have any first aid kit. Most of the injuries that i have encountered are : pop and snacks cardboard like paper cuts, dolly injuries, hand sprains.

Materials needed : First Aid Kit

C. I never wear gloves whenever i started out the vending business.

My finger gets so dirty after the end of the day and during winter when weather is cold when you are always out on the street doing the loading and unloading, you will eventually get blisters and finger tip cracks and of course if you are servicing vending machines you never know what kind of germs that you might some into contact with, so it would be appropriate that you must mandatory wear latex gloves and will also serve you a good grip on all your products.

Materials needed : Disposable Latex Gloves

D. As i have mentioned on my previous posts

that when you are servicing and fixing some simple misalignment of coin mechanism and some misplaced screws and nuts that have fallen from the normal usage of the vending machine or when some of the trays need some minor adjustments then a multi philips metric set and an adjustable wrench would be imperative.

Materials needed : Multi Philips Metric Set and Adjustable Wrench

Note : It is a plus factor if your multi philips set is magnetic so that it can pick up screws and nuts fallen beyond reach

 

E. It would be nice to have a small magnetic flashlight

when you are doing some minor repairs that it can be fixed in certain position inside the vending machine so that you can clearly see what you are working on. By all means you can also use the torch feature on your mobile phone.

Materials needed : Magnetic flashlight

F. Right now it is definitely a need to make sure that your mobile phone is absolutely charged

all the time to take pictures for my blog, to take pictures for the problem on my vending machines, to take pictures for immediate sms to technician on how to get minor programming procedures done while you are still on location. So it is wise to invest a fast car charger or a backup mobile phone fast charger on your work van.

Materials needed : Fast car charger for your mobile phone or a Fast Charger Battery for your mobile phone

G. Fluorescent bulbs inside you’re vending machine has a lifespan and will eventually burn out,

i know that the newer combo vending machines comes with LED lightning that doesn’t need maintenance, but a majority of the vending machines that most vendors have are still the ones that uses the conventional fluorescent light bulbs. I learned my lesson that machines that do have proper lighting, customers might think that you’re vending machine is not working or out of order. But there are other locations that you can do away without changing fluorescent light bulbs since they are always the same customers.

It will is a time saver if you equip yourself with the most common fluorescent light bulb and starter. The most commonly configuration is the : 24″ T8 Fluorescent type bulb and 12″ F8 T5 Fluorescent type bulb.

Materials needed : 2 pieces of 24″ T8 and 1 piece of 12″ F8 T5 ( for c series vending machines )

Note : i always have around 4 to 8 pieces of 24″ T8 because im maintaining around hundreds of machines but if you have newer machines, you don’t need to bring that much and also you can do away without the F8 T5

F. Most of the cases on my daily routine, you will be encountering problems that the machine is having

problems with payouts

, problems with some minor electrical issues like prompts on : “select another item for all the selections”, intermittent power outrages on snack machines. I thought maybe the snack motherboard might be the culprit on most occasions but after isolating the problem i found it out to be the coin mechanism to be the problem in most cases.

Since the coin mechanism is fairly expensive, and it doesnt break as often as light bulbs then maybe just 1 coin mechanism as a backup.

Materials needed : 1 piece Coin Mechanism

 

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Vending Machine Maintenance Routine

Anytime a large purchase is made, such as a vending machine, there is a definite amount of care and maintenance that goes along with it. Just like purchasing a home or a vehicle, vending machines are an investment and should be treated as such. Improper usage and neglect will cause a decline in the productivity of a machine and will fundamentally lead to a loss of revenue.

There are number of things a vending machine business owner should regard as when developing a vending maintenance schedule in order to keep their machine running successfully. Our own special technician here at the Discount Vending Store has taken the time to list some of the most important habits for machine conservation.

 

Refrigeration Deck

Clean the refrigeration air intake coils every 2-4 months. The condenser is normally located at the very bottom of the machine and accessed from the front, however some models it is accessed from the back of the machine. First, you will need to take out the protective metal kick-plate that is easily identified by the air intake slits or holes. This plate usually just lifts off but may be attached to the unit with screws. Second, you can use a brush to remove any heavy accumulation of lint. Afterwards, it may be necessary to use compressed air to clear fine dirt/dust particles from the condenser itself. After cleaning is complete, you can remount the kick-plate to the vending machine.

 

Bill Validator

The Bill Validator should be cleaned every 30 to 60 days, depending on use. Always remove power to the vending machine before cleaning. Start by removing the cash tray on the back of the unit. Clean the tray with a clean dry cloth. Next, remove the sensor tray, located above or below the cash box. This will normally pull out by depressing the two tabs on the sides of the tray. Clean the sensor tray with a clean dry cloth. If it is extremely dirty, you can dip the cloth into soapy water, wring out completely until damp and clean the tray. Always dry the tray when complete.

 

Surge Protector

Always plug your machine into a surge protector and not just a power strip!!! Most surge protectors will have a resettable test button or switch. Test the protector every so often to make sure it is working properly. If your protector has a test button, press it to make sure it trips. If it has a switch, turn the switch off to make sure it cuts power to the vending machine. When testing either of these two cases, if power to the vending machine is not cut, replace the surge protector.

 

Coin Units

The Coin unit tubes should normally be filled 2/3 full for best operation. The Coin units should be cleaned every 30 to 60 days, depending on use. Always remove power to the vending machine before cleaning.  Clean the coin inlet with a clean dry cloth. If it is extremely dirty, you can dip the cloth into soapy water, wring out completely until damp and clean the tray. Always dry the tray when complete. Clean the coin run on mechanism side and door side. Always check for broken or missing parts while cleaning.

 

Snack Vending Mechanism

Check for proper drink/snack vending operation every time you load a new product or every 60 to 90 days. Enter the machines service mode and perform a motor test to vend your product to ensure there are no issues. Normally there are little to no issues with vending snacks. Drinks may have vending problems due to bottle/can size and the total weight associated with the drinks when fully loaded. Always test vend with 1 to 3 bottles/cans before fully loading the machine to ensure no issues. If drinks don’t vend properly, check the delivery mechanism for binding, use of proper shim, product loaded properly, sold out sensors, or motor issues such as failure or stripped gears.

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How to Set Up Your Vending Machine

If you purchase a vending machine from a reputable company, it should come with the manufacturer’s User Manual/Operation Manual.  In some cases, these can be very user friendly and walk you step-by-step through the most common questions/issues you’re going to have with your machine. In other cases they can be very scientific and difficult to understand.  Make sure to read over your manual for the set-up instructions.  If your machine didn’t come with a manual, you can usually find these online by searching by the make and model.

 

Once you have your machine unpackaged, you’re going to want to move it with a pallet jack or utility dolly to the exact spot you’re going to place it in your location.

You will need a power strip with a surge protector to get the machine powered up at your location.  Once plugged in, most machines will start correctly up to automatically.  If your vending machine is refrigerated, you may need to adjust the thermostat.  Reference your Owner’s Manual for instructions on how to adjust the temperature.

Next, you’re going to want to choose your products and determine your prices. You’re going to want to enter the “Programming Mode” for your machine.  Follow the instructions on your user manual to do so.  The programming mode is where you program the prices for each product selection on your machine.  Set a price for each selection and then load your products into your machine. If you’ve purchased a credit card reader for your vending machine, you’ll need to call or email the manufacturer of the device to set up an account and get your unit ready to accept credit/debit card purchases.

 

Finally, you should conduct several test vends to make sure that everything is working properly on your machines. This will ensure proper functioning of the unit and prevent the machine from rejecting payment due to inability to produce change.  If everything checks out, then your machine is ready to start making money!

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How are The Discount Vending Store prices so low?

Being in business for many years has awarded us time to develop associations and set up business practices that actually work.

The most important area of savings begins with our purchasing. Creating relationships with vending machinist who are exiting the vending business allows us to avoid in most cases purchasing straight from manufacturers. Also, taking the time to research shipping carriers and finding the best deal contributes to savings, which we can then pass on to our client.

 

Occasionally, when circumstance do require us to buy from a manufacturer, we more often than not avoid purchasing any unnecessary embellishments.

When buying straight from a manufacturer, you will be tempted with extended warranties, training, technical support, etc. While we buy our machines already discounted, we are able to offer similar options to our customers, but at a significantly lower cost.

 

 

Most often when a purchase is being made, buying in bulk will ensure the biggest bargain. Such is the same for buying vending machines. The “new” healthy vending machines we buy are typically 1-2 years old, have never been used before. They have been stored in a facility and are still in the unique packaging.   The preowned vending machines we buy are quality preowned machines that still have plenty of life in them and are warily examined by our technical department. All of the machines we buy are sold in full working situation.

 

In summary, there are many factors that are involved with how well we price our machines. All these aspects combine and give us the ability to offer great, affordable vending machines with warranties to our customers all at a discounted price.

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Should I Purchase a Warranty For My Vending Machine?

Purchasing a vending machine can be a stressful and costly ordeal and when doing so you must consider the potential for injure or defects over the life of your machine. That’s where a warranty comes in but how do you choose which warranty option is the best for your needs? What exactly does the warranty cover and for how long? Are there any services NOT covered under the warranty? Is all of this even worth the extra money?

 

When it comes down to it, a warranty is only as well as the company holding it. Many vending companies are only in business for 3-5 years, so carefully consider this when deciding on a warranty option. If the company is offering a 1 year warranty then chances are you won’t encounter any serious issues. However, if the company is proudly proclaiming that they offer an un-beatable full 7 years warranty, then this should raise a red flag. Keep in mind that if you buy a machine brand new, any manufacturer defects will usually be noticed within the first year of operation.

So what exactly is covered under a common warranty? Well, by and large a warranty means parts. If you need a replacement vending motor, coin unit, or controller board, then the warranty is your friend. However, when it comes to the installation, this will be entirely up to you and while most machines are fairly easy to operate and come with detailed owner’s manuals, you may still end up having to call the actual manufacturer for troubleshooting steps. Whether you purchase a warranty or not, chances are that unless you have a local vending technician in your area, you will be making your own machine repairs. Vending machines are not difficult to repair and a warranty can save you a lot of money on the replacement parts, especially if you bought your machine pre-owned, as these machines will need repairs more often.

 

At The Discount Vending Store every vending machine we sell, whether it be brand new or refurbished, comes with a warranty at no extra cost! Not only that, but we also provide free technical support for the life of the machine, so if you ever run into a situation where you need to make repairs that you’re uncomfortable doing on your own, just call us and we’ll walk you through the repairs step by step and help with any replacement parts you may need. Take a look at our product listings to find the hottest new machines and find refurbished machines that are in like-new condition and check out our blog for more tips and inside vending secrets.

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