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When Locations ask you to Leave

Every vendor at some point gets a call from a location, where they want you to come get your machines and remove them. This can be for a lot of different reasons; Maybe they make too much mess, the location owner doesn’t feel like it’s worth his time, a competitor has come in and made him a better offer, etc…

Whatever the locations reasons, as the owner of the vending machines you have two options, you can go get them and lose revenue, or you can ask a few questions, figure out what the location is unhappy about and hopefully fix the issue and keep your location. I will tell give you a few scenarios I have faced, how I handled them and the outcome, hopefully these will help you in refining your strategy on how to handle these types of situations.

Scenario #1

Laundromat with 4 gum and candy machines, 4 column tattoo machine and 6 toy machines, this was an excellent location and made me about $150 every 3 weeks. Got the call and the owner told me she was selling the business and the new owner asked her to continue collecting the commission and she would pass it on to him. I immediately became suspicious, my first thoughts were she sold the business, didn’t tell the new owner about the deal we had and was going to let my machines keep working for her as long as possible. So I started to do some investigating to find the new owner.

After a couple of months I got another call from her asking me to remove my machines, she said the new owner didn’t want them any longer, too much mess. Well I knew what was going on, I had tracked down the new owner, and I hadn’t given her a commission check since she sold it, so of course the new owner didn’t like the occasion loose skittle or M&M on the floor for what he thought a free service.

So before I took them out I went out to introduce myself to the new owner when I knew he opened the location in the morning. I explained who I was, asked if he knew about his commission check for last couple of months, and had it in hand to show him, and asked if he still wanted me to take my machines out. You guessed it; he took the check, shook my hand and said he would be agreeable to keeping my machines on location.

Scenario #2

Tattoo shop with gumballs and candy double, charity machine, good location averaging $40 every 30 days. Got a call from the manager said the machines just seemed to get in the way; they kept moving them but couldn’t find a good location.

First I knew they liked having the machine, it had been on location for almost a year, and that they had indeed moved it several times until they eventually found a great place for it, where it had been for the last 7 months. I felt that there was something else driving this, either a competitor has moved in or some other objection.

I personally went and talked to the manager, I had a good relationship with him, why it kind of shocked me, and after asking a few questions it came out that he had more than a few customers complain about the M&M’s. I apologized profusely, said I would reimburse him whatever it took, and would replace them immediately if he would give me another chance. He agreed, I gave him $5 for his compensation and changed out the product.

While examining the M&M’s, I noticed that quite a few had a strange discoloration, many had the hard shell faded and missing in places and they just looked old and dusty.  I was shocked since I knew I had bought them from Sam’s less than 2 months earlier, to this day I have no idea what did that to them, but they almost cost me a good location but I was able to salvage it thank god.

Scenario #3

Oil Express, gum and candy double, had 3 other bulk vendors on location, crappy location that averaged $5 every 30 days. Went in to service and they told me they were remodeling and the owner had requested that all of the bulk machines be removed. They had also graciously placed my machine and the others back in their stock room, so I grabbed it and left.

So what lesson is to be learned here, well first this was a poor performing location and one I had intended to pull and relocate as soon as all my other machines were on location, so the lesson is this, consider whether it’s worth trying to keep the location or is it better to pull it and look for a new one. In this case it made more sense to leave gracefully, thank them for the opportunity, and find it a new home that was more profitable for me.

Bottom line is always look to do what’s in the best interest of your company, be a problem solver by asking a few questions and keeping  those good locations is just one more thing you can do to grow your business.

Comments

  1. PerformaVending says:

    It’s a lesson that I’ve learned, but a good one to repeat- never give up! This is the way to roll, keep up the good work sir!

  2. What is a normal commission for placing a snack/soda machine? So far, I have only asked to place machines for the value to the employees and customers. No one has asked for commission. I know coke and Pepsi vendors offer you a choice as a business: it cost you nothing to sell for decent price or if they raise the price you get a few cents per can.

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