Being a property manager can be very demanding. Whether it's a tenant, maintenance issues, or an owner, there's always someone or something that unexpectedly needs your attention. Vending machines are no different. And, if you're like most people, you've never given much thought to them (unless one stole your money).
As a vending management company, we work with property managers everyday on everything related to the vending machines at their properties. The information below addresses common questions and concerns we get from customers on a regular basis.
12 Things to Understand About Vending Machine Services
1. Where the machine is placed is most important for sales. It does no good having a vending machine if it's tucked away from where residents and guests can't see it.
2. The vending machine will need repair at some point. It's true. Even a brand new machine will encounter minor service problems from time to time. That's why it's essential to choose a vending service that has exceptional customer service to help deal with the issue.
3. Refill and service problems can't always be handled right away. Vending companies operate on strict route schedules to service their many (often hundreds) of accounts. To drop everything for an issue could put them far behind schedule.
4. Lack of sales is always a cause for removal. We sometimes get calls from customers that a supplier removed their machine. While we prefer some notice so we can inform the property, the reason is almost always due to low sales.
5. Vending machines are big. Really big, and heavy. Fully stocked vending machines weigh about 600lbs., sometimes more. If you need equipment moved, it's best to have your vending company move it.
6. Vending companies can't always get any type of machine. Like mentioned earlier, sales volume plays a big role in the type of machine your location can get. The newer, glass-front machines are expensive, and suppliers usually reserve those for locations that will sell a lot of product.
7. Not all flavors are available in every market. Most people see companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi as one, cohesive operation. Both organizations, however, are broken up among different bottling operations and even different ownership. As a result, some market areas don't produce the same flavors as others.
8. Pricing for sodas and snacks are dependent upon many factors. Nobody likes to feel cheated. Pricing for vending machine items can sometimes make you feel that way. But the reality is that there are elements (not including profits) that cause suppliers to set a certain price on items.
9. You can't use an extension cord to power the vending machine. It's a fire hazard.
10. Credit card readers can be expensive for the vendor. Most suppliers won't place credit card readers on vending machines unless the sales are high enough. There are a lot of fees associated with having the devices on equipment.
11. Beverage items always sell more than snacks. In our 20+ years of managing national vending programs, this has always been the case. It's why most suppliers won't install just a snack machine at a location.
12. Vending machines are expensive, but vending services are free. The prices for vending machines vary, but you can always sign up for a full-service program for free.