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Vending Pro’s New Year

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In this vending machine business you always have to keep on top of things.

I just getting back to momentum on having the working mindset. I visited my locations which i have not serviced for more than a month.

I got a call from a very prestigious school and they are closing down after 26 years in business.

The school is already a household name went it comes to refrigeration. I got some machines there for the longest time and do not pay any commissions. The owner called me and told me that the landlord is increasing the rent ridiculously and threatening the teachers.

Was asking if it possible to transfer to another location. But the owner said that they would simply close the school and just wanted to cool off. I do not have to right to ask more questions since it is getting personal.

 

Another call from a location in Richmond saying that they needed space to make shelving for documents and files.

It is a good time that this location is very slow and it would take me a few weeks to find a location for deployment.

Is the vending machine business always smooth sailing ?

Yes if you are always on top of things and always on the opportunity to replace lost locations. If you just let your vending machine business run its course without looking for new locations then i mentioned before that it is comparable to a ticking time bomb.

Every location might be a ticking time bomb.

People change mind all the time. I mentioned that it is : infatuation, courtship and breakups. So far most of my locations are happy to be dealing with me.

I inherently knew that on December there are a lot of people taking some short breaks especially on last week. I got a little help from my friend who also has quite a bit of vending machines so i was able to escape from work.

Somehow while i was servicing my other locations that i have neglected, i suddenly had a very hard time in breaking the locks. I forgot my magic touch and confidence on breaking locks.

So some machines that contains products, i attempted to destroy the lock but was having a hard time so i just excused myself and will be back at a later date.

Too many locks to destroy and not enough time until now.

I have a couple of C series vending machine and it doesn’t need any drill to break the lock but just a regular large screwdriver and just pry it open. Now i have to buy some cam locks at Brokerhouse which is the only supplier of parts here in the lower mainland.

Speed Trap

It was my first time that i encountered a speed trap on granville st towards downtown on a Saturday morning around 730ish am while i was cruising at around 80 kph. Of course i got a ticket and i apologized that it will not happen again.

Do you know that installing and operating a Lazer Jammer is legal here in Vancouver ?

A good one will cost you around $1,000 but all the police laser jammers will render useless and you will never get a speeding ticket again.

If you are always on the road maybe it might be a worthwhile investment since it is not illegal.

Here are some information if you are pondering on getting one for yourself.

As usual i went to van city for coin counter and converted my stash for the day to bills which are to be used to buy products for the next day.

I got a new $10 dollar bill and the saleslady at Wholesale Club in burnaby was mentioning that these new bills are not yet popular and vending machine operators can get by. According to my experience when there is a new bill that comes out, it takes around at least a year that it is mainstream and common.

I think i will take my sweet time to convert all my bill acceptors maybe later part of this year. Personally i have around 20 of them and people can still use $5 $10 ( old ones ) and $20 bills plus coins of course. This updating on your bill acceptor will cost vending operators around $30 a piece.

There are around 3 kinds of Bill acceptors that i know so far : MEI, Coinco and Pyramid. But the most common ones are the MEI and Coinco.

Today i went to a location and talked to the assistant facilities’ manager and she told me that her window was smashed for a mobile phone battery bank in Burnaby.

I went to a public location and i could not believe what had transpired over the new year ?

I guess the guest had too much fun on the hockey games and punched my cashless vending machine.

So far there is no vandalism on my work van for the time being.

I was parked inside the strata townhouse. It is illegal to park in the visitor’s area but it is the only safe spot that my van is truly safe. I got a warning ticket on my van and it says that my van will be towed again if violated.

I tried to appeal to the strata council and maybe i can be added as an exception parking at the visitor’s area because my van is oversize and is always packed with a lot of products. I hope they will give me favorable reply after consulting with the council.

For the moment i have to park again outside the street in front of my townhouse where the break in happened. All i have to do it to unload all the products every day when i get back home.

Imagine the life of the vending machine operators is not as easy what it seems to be. See the products that i have load up and unload every day or else i will have another break in for freeloaders.

Boy i was thinking what goes on the life of a thief ? What do they do in their daily routine ?

Why i am a thief ?

I was so happy that a location that i visit every 2 months is very understanding. I explain before that any form of diet pop that stays in the pop vending machine for a long time explodes.

Seems that the only way to prevent the thief would be is to deploy the following measures to your vending machine work van.

Security Measures

Transparent security 8mil film

got his from Amazon, here is the link if you want to get one for yourself. If someone tries to break your driver side or passenger side windows. The window will not be easily be broken and it will take time for the thief to break in and by that time the alarm would have scared them off.

Compustar Car Alarm and Drone Mobile

This is installed by a professional car security alarm installer and is very good and highly recommended. His contact details as Grease Monkey Tuners.

I like to Drone mobile that he retrofit to my compustar car alarm. It uses your mobile phone to unlock, lock, remote start and even locate your work van in the worst case scenarios. The service is just $2 per month for the Drone Mobile. It also tells you the different stages of the work van alarms when triggered.

Slicklocks Security Lock

This is very cool because there is no need to drill holes on your work van and it uses existing factory default door hinges that you can just retrofit and install it by yourself. No holes and easy. It’s inexpensive and 100% foolproof on thieves trying to pry your side doors and rear doors.

I myself tried to contact the local distributor here but there is no reply from the contact form that i have sent. So i found the information instead at Amazon. Here is the link.

The slick locks commercial van security locks can be purchased with different van variations and you just have to select which one that fits yours.

I myself have to save up $200 US maybe in a week’s time and since it is very straightforward to install this.

Dash Cam

I have a dash cam that i have not yet installed on my van.

In order to choose the right kind of dash cam, you have to get the ones that records when there is motion detect even if the ignition is closed.

I will make proper research and of course will update it on the website as soon as i have some information for everyone who has a work van to install it to catch the intruder and hand it over to RCMP.

Conclusion

I guess when you bought all the essential security products that i have mentioned above then surely you will have a good night’s sleep and worry about your customers complaints and make sure that all facilities’ managers happy.

There is no perfect business. The only thing i can mention is to try your best in accordance to your capability.

There you go, that is my new year’s musings.

Summary

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20 Comments

  1. This is an interesting post! I think you have given some great advice by saying that even when you have secured a location you should be looking for more because people change their mind all the time. It is also quite interesting to me that it is legal to install laser jammers in Vancouver.

    I can see how important it is to have adequate security for your vehicle as well as your machines. I will keep this in mind.

    How does one get started in the vending machine business?

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Great post, thanks for taking your time to share all this with us, I find it really helpful as well, please can you explain more about lasser jammer installation, I think I need that device right know to always avoid the speed trap, The dash Cam too is also a good device .i will share this post With my friends. 

    • Hello Clement,

      I will try to make a review on all the security products for commercial van and also for private cars.  Stay tuned for a comprehensive review on the security devices on the next upcoming articles

  3. Thanks for this review, security in any business is the first thing that must be attended to because without security there isn’t a good business, I do have an ice cream truck I have a friend running it for me I guess I’ll take to your advice and install a web cams to help monitor the surroundings.

    • Hello Suen,

      Yes for sure you have to do that to protect your investment for all the hard work

  4. Hello,Very insightful article! I am inclined to agree with you regarding the smooth sailing of our businesses. We can only pray that everything goes well, but the truth of the matter more times than not things do not go smoothly. As you mentioned we can only do the best we can to protect our interest. There are some very good recommendations on how to protect our businesses and utilizing your security measures. Your site is a one stop shop for everything Vending, I can relate to how hard working it can be and when someone breaks into or vandalizes a machine it is devastating, but you can only do your best to protect your assets.Good article!Dwilli

    • Hello Dwili,

      Its very hard here in this part of world earning a living as a self employed guy.  Everything here costs money and there are people who takes advantage on learning how to steal and preying on small business. thanks for your thoughts

  5. Frances,

    So sorry sounds like you had a bad start to the New Year with your van and machines.  I will say however that your recommended solutions are more that adequate for anyone who wants to keep vandals away from their vehicle be it a personal one or work van with products.  Most people would think that vending machines would be a profitable business venture with what you just described not so true and think I am not going to be interested in getting involved with this type of business in the future.  Once again sorry for the bad start and wishing you all the best the rest of 2019.

    Thank you for the article and how best to protect my vehicle.

    Susan

    • Hello Susan,

      Yes everyone thinks that vending machine business is easy money.  You have to deal with a lot of problems, expired chips, chocolate bars and a lot of people that constantly calling and emailing you for $1 dollar refunds.

      I have to be always on the top of everything so that everyone will be happy.

      Sometimes managers just do not like the way you look or the way you conduct your business and just simply press send button on their laptops to take away your machines without thinking that there is a loss of revenue for small business people like me and expensive moving costs. 

      Machines stay in warehouse and have to pay storage fees

      And small vendors get scammed from locators who is just to get your hard earned money with the locator fees.  Please keep in mind that there are good locators and bad ones. 

      Statistics say that there are more bad locators than good ones.  The bad ones snatch accounts from other vendors and sells them.

  6. There are so many awesome ways to fortify the security of vehicles that you reviewed during this post. This is really helpful. I especially like the car alarm system and the transparent tape. I never knew they made a clear tape that makes your car windows more resistant to break-ins. I will definitely be getting some of this for my truck. 

    • Hello Eric,

      Yes when they are breaking the window, it will take a lot of time just to destroy it and if your truck is coupled with alarm then it would have scared off the thieves and they will never attempt at it again.

      Be sure to order the thickest tape 8mil. It would be great to apply it outside and inside

  7. Hi! Thank you very much for this very interesting read. I like that you share your experience in the vending machine business. I have wanted to buy my first machine. And reading your blog has indisputably prepared me in many ways concerning what to expect in this business. Thank you for putting this article together.

    • Hello Henry,

      You can see my daily life routine as a full time vending business operator.  The ups and downs.  You can browse my blog and see if vending machine business will be suited for you.  Good Luck

  8. Awesome post Francis!

    My friend does a vending machine business and I’m always so curious about whether or not it’s a great and sustainable business because he seems to be doing well and so are you. I wasn’t so surprised to see problems with venues like school closing down, it happens with every business niche but I am surprised about the break-ins. Forgive me for asking but wouldn’t the venue have CCTVs set up to spot those thieves?

    • Hello Riaz,

      Most places with the vending machines installed do not have CCTV except for facilities like government or high security warehouses like : Amazon, Fedex, UPS, DHL, Purolator

      Some hotels have CCTV and most of them do not install it beside the vending machine because it is expensive to maintain it.

      You gave me an idea, i would probably order some inexpensive spy cams or dash cams inside the vending machine that is located in a high risk location.

  9. Interesting. I was planning to do a crane machine business so having some kind of security would be important. Or at least it would be fun to watch what sort of attempts and tantrums people do lol. In the middle of the article, you mention breaking your own locks or locking picking your own vending machines. Why would you do that? Did you forgot your keys? Wouldn’t people find it ever suspicious?

    • Hello Shellykh,

      The previous article i wrote was that i had a break-in on my work van and everything inside was stolen including my vending machine keys.

      I do not have any duplicates, so the only way is to break the locks and have them replaced. thanks

  10. The dash Cam is okay and some other security locks like the one that comes with alarm. But how effective does these car security installation goes in helping us out making sure that our car is completely secured. I ask this because there are a lot of means thieves employ to still people’s cars..

    • Hello Kenechi,

      If there are other security products out there then i could try it out to make sure that there is optimum security in my work van.  But for now those are the only ones that are available in the market.

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