One of the services we offer is renting vending machines. This is a good option for those who want to generate extra revenue and for those who want to test the vending machine market without making a big investment. When renting machines from us, you can purchase the products from any supplier (such as Costco), fill them with whatever you want, and keep all the profits. In other words, it will be as if you were the owner of the machine(s). Two big benefits of renting is that repairs are included as part of the lease agreement and that you don’t have to make a $1,000 – $4,000 investment upfront to buy a machine. If something malfunctions, we will fix or repair for no extra cost. You will be responsible for basic maintenance, such as cleaning the bill acceptor, and we will be responsible for major maintenance and repairs. In order for us to rent you a machine, you must sign a six-month contract (month-to-month after that) and the machine must be placed within our service area, which includes San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Watsonville, Santa Cruz, Gilroy, Monterey, Salinas, and all surrounding areas. We rent one machine for $100 a month or two for $150. If you are interested in renting a vending machine, tell us the type of machine you need and we will email you pictures, details, and a copy of the contract.
The easy answer is as needed. The frequency of service depends on the demand. In some places we go three times a week and in others once every two weeks. We plan to service them when they are around 20%-25% empty. How empty is empty? The answer is different for us than it is for our customers. Sometimes we get requests for service when the snack machine has one empty line (1 out of 32+). I understand that as a customer I want to see all options available, and for that reason we always strive to have all lines filled at all the time. However, servicing the machines when only one or two lines are empty is not a good way for us to maximize profitability. Since not all lines are used at the same pace, the best time to service them is when they are at least 20%-25% empty, which is roughly the same as 2-4 empty lines. If a line sales super fast compared to the other, we add a second line of the same product to make sure the product is always available. For example, in one of our accounts, the cynamon rolls were gone in two days while the rest of the items were almost at the same level. Servicing the account just to add more cynamon rolls was not efficient for us, so we added a second line of cynamon rolls and now all the items sell at the same pace.
I recently read an article in a magazine for the vending industry in which the author encouraged vending machine operators to use cashless methods of payment. I am sure this will be the way to go in the near future, but at this point cash is still king. We have hundreds of machines in the Silicon Valley, the capital of technology, and our customers still prefer cash. Most of our products cost between $1-$2, and the majority of our customers do not use their credit card or smart phone to pay for them. Plus, in order for us to accept credit card payments, we need to invest in more equipment and we need to pay bank fees, and this forces us to increase our prices. Based on our experience, only 5%-10% of the people use credit cards. Increasing the prices to benefit 5%-10% seems unfair to the other 90%-95%, plus our sales decrease when we raise the prices. One thing we do to make it easier for those who do not have coins or $1’s, is to make our machines accept $5’s and even $10’s. Some of our machines also work as bill changers, which means that you do not have to buy something to break a bill.
We are happy to announce that we now service Mountain View, California. In 2005 we started offering our vending machine services in Watsonville, Santa Cruz, and Salinas, and we now service all areas from Mountain View to Carmel, including San Jose, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and Monterey areas, including Alviso, Aptos, Campbell, Capitola, Carmel, Castroville, Cupertino, Felton, Gilroy, Gonzalez, Hollister, Los Gatos, Marina, Morgan Hill, Moss Landing, Pacific Grove, Prunedale, Salinas, Scotts Valley, Seaside, Soquel, Soledad, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and all other suburbs in the Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey, and San Benito Counties.
When talking to prospective customer I always get asked if we require a contract, and the answer is always the same; no. We have been in business for nearly 10 years and we have never asked our customers to sign a contract for traditional vending machine services. I do not see the need for them. Our agreements are at will and either party can terminate it at any point with a courtesy 30-day notice. Many of these prospective customers want a new vendor, but they cannot make the change because of the contract. My advise is not to sign a contract. I believe that you should do business with a vending machine company because you are happy with the services and not because a contract forces you to do business with them.
In traditional vending services we place the machines at no cost to our customers. They only pay when they buy a product from the machines (ex. $0.85 for a can of soda). In addition to this service, we also offer subsidized vending services, in which we price the products in the machines lower than normal and our customer (the employer) pays for the difference. This service is becoming more popular as the economy improves. It is a good way to reward employees. For example, a few days ago we installed one snack machine with everything priced at $0.50 and a beverage machine with everything priced at $0.25. Employees can buy anything at these prices regardless of the size or real price of the product. We invoice our customer every month for the difference. Our machines can be prices at any price. They can also be programed to dispense everything for free. Whatever price you want to give to your employees, we can help you make it happen.
When new customers accept our services we ask for two weeks to test and deliver our vending machines, but we always tell them that we can make special arrangements if they need the machines sooner. This week we proved that we can move fast when needed. Last Thursday our new customer contacted us, and we met on Friday morning to talk about our services. In that afternoon they emailed us accepting our services. On Monday we installed the snack machine and on Tuesday we installed the beverage machine. It only took two business days for us to deliver them! Customer satisfaction is our priority, and if they need them sooner, we deliver them sooner.
A company from Moss Landing, CA recently contacted us to inquire about our vending machine services. They were not happy with the vending services provided by their vendor, and wanted to consider other options. They were also interested in learning if our machines took tokens because they wanted to give tokens to the employees as rewards. We told them that we could add a special changer to our machines to allow them to take tokens. A few days later we installed the two machines that you see in the picture. Adding token capabilities to our vending machines requires a bigger investment from our part, but providing what our customers want is something we strive to do everyday.
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