Trouble Placing Honor Boxes
This is my site Written by The Vending Guy on April 22, 2008 – 8:13 pm

Vending Machine QuestionsI just recently added honor boxes to my business, and as I’m trying to get them out I get a lot of customers tell me that we had one before and it was always short, so they don’t want one. Is their anyway to persuade them otherwise, or am I better off not to put it there. I have only solicited to employee based firms, I do not want to place them out for the public.

Vending Rules Answer:

I would like to first confirm that your placement ratio will be able 1 in 20 the first couple times you try. Once you’ve placed a couple honor boxes you’ll not only gain confidence but you’ll also have spoken with customers and have a better idea of what “sells” them on the idea of letting in an honor box. Plus once you get a few customers word-of-mouth really begins to help. Unfortunately in the beginning you have a little bit of “the chicken and the egg” dilemma.

You are 100% correct NOT to put the boxes out for the general public, you’ll get wiped out.

How do you overcome their concerns? Its not that hard, but you have to project lots of confidence. You and I know that theft is inevitable and expected; that is why we MUST have a mark-up of 100%. Honestly if your locations had a constant loss rate of 20% or less I say you had a successful business. Obviously though I’d never tell a location that. I’d explain to them that you understand their concerns and thank them for looking out for you. Tell them that people only steal if they feel anonymous, and you have several strategies to reduce that. First, you use menus and Talker Cards so people realize you know what’s in the box and give them polite feedback. Second, you stay in contact with the employees and ask what they like and dislike in the box. People will steal from the faceless vendor but not from “Kim” – this is where doing your route with a child once or twice really helps out ;-) The more “human” you are, the less likely they’ll steal from you. Third, I’ve tested “deputizing” someone in the office. You get one person to volunteer to keep an eye on the box and they get a free candy bar for every cycle the box is “even” (anything above 95% is fine – but don’t tell them that).

Then end telling them that this is a test. You’ll return in two weeks and see how it goes. If it doesn’t go well you’ll simply pull the box. You’ll find that many locations do just fine. Especially if you (very nicer) tell employees that they got a 2nd chance, so keep an eye on each other because one week of “free candy” will cost them the box forever.

Be prepared that some locations will smile and act very nice and then empty the box out without leaving a penny – and act like nothing happened. I know it sounds crazy but it happens occasionally so don’t be upset when it happens. That’s the cost of doing business. Just know never to go back and learn to spot potential locations like that in the future.

4 Responses »

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  2. I really liked this post. Can I copy it to my site? Thank you in advance.

  3. If you use WordPress as well you are welcome to do a pingback.

  4. Hi, very nice post. I have been wonder’n bout this issue,so thanks for posting

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