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Identify Yourself! Label Your Machines!

As a new vendor, I was really surprised to see how many other vendors were out there. One thing you may notice is that these machines will sometimes lack proper identifying materials.

First, what is a label? Well, that’s any form of identification you leave on your machine telling others who owns it, and how to contact you. Labels come in lots of varieties, from stickers to tags, to carefully engraved identifications in the machines themselves. Which one you choose is a personal preference.

What should you put on a label? Well, you will want your name, your business name, and some way to get in contact with you. The traditional method is a phone number, though many these days are changing over to include an email address, or are going by email alone.

Why should you use a label? Simple- it’s your machine. This is a simple truth you do not want disputed by the location, the authorities, or another vendor. This has been discussed many times at the VENDiscuss forums, and it is akin to a dinner bell to other competing vendors if you have no identification. It makes it much easier for them to walk in and grab your spots from under you on the basis that the owner may not even know who you are. If something were to happen to your machine, let’s say a mech ate a customer’s quarter. They would be unable to contact you- at best you have an inoperable machine until your next service- at worst they complain to the business owner. If a profitable (fast selling) product jams, the business will get tired of fielding complaints and refunds, and many novice vendors have lost their spots this way. Finally, if worse comes to worst, and the location closes unexpectedly. Your machine is now trapped inside. If you don’t have some proof of ownership, the building’s owner may just opt to sell the machine to whoever wants it. How can they be sure it’s yours? If they can’t you are out a machine.

Of course, all these terrible things are easily avoidable if you get some labels. They cost as little or as much as your want them to cost. My first labels were made with a word processor, printed out, and then carefully attached to the lid of my early machines with clear packing tape. They lasted just fine until they were replaced. My second labels were stickers I printed with my own computer and printer- they were basic in black and white on sticker paper. Again I covered them with shipping tape, and again they held up perfectly. Today, I paid to have a professional label printed onto heavy duty stickers, about the size of business cards. These cost more, but the sharp colors and professional finish means I can put these anywhere and they work wonderfully. An added benefit is that they match my business cards in styling.

In the end, whichever method you opt for, know that you are doing yourself a favor if you encounter trouble down the road. This is just one of the many “small” things that really sets a good vendor apart from the rest.

Good luck out there on the route!

Comments

  1. I think this coin pusher makes a good business. Do you recommend this as a business for starters? How much will be the capital for coin pusher business. I am really interested with this.

  2. PerformaVending says:

    I recommend weighing all your options, and finding out if vending is what you really want to do. If you have questions for me or other industry professionals, we’re over at the Bulk Vending Forum, which can be found HERE. Whatever you choose to do, good luck on your endeavors!

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