The Amazing Changing Vending Machine

from the not-your-father's-vending-machine dept

You may think you know vending machines, but everything you know might be changing. Start with the ultra large vending machines that replace convenience stores entirely. These machines have been found elsewhere in the world, but have recently started showing up in the US. The 200 square feet machines dispense 200 items, at any time of day without forcing buyers to talk to the surly high school kid with the pink hair and tongue ring (not that there’s anything wrong with pink hair and a tongue ring, but…). The article also discusses how vending machine designers have finally come across the bright idea of (gasp!) adding credit card readers to vending machines. Even more amazing, they’ve discovered that people who use credit cards in vending machines tend to spend more than those who stick with cash. Finally, the article talks about the repeatedly promised payless vending machine that you can just call with your mobile phone – and have the charges added to your phone bill.

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Comments on “The Amazing Changing Vending Machine”

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dorpus says:

Already been done

They had lots of wacky vending machines in Japan in the late 80s/early 90s, that sold everything from insurance policies to underwear. At a biotech trade show in California last year, a Lithuanian company was seriously trying to sell a vending machine, to be placed in hallways of research institutions, that would dispense particular sequences of DNA molecules.

Vending machines have high maintenance costs and are vulnerable to vandalism. They take up too much space; retail makes more money per square foot.

Bishop says:

Re: Already been done

Retail makes more oney per square foot? Yeah, I completely disbelieve you, considering that the highest expense in any retail shop is employee salary. The idea that you attack vending machine sales on such little knowledge suggests that your reasons for disparaging vending machines stems from something else. Would it take away your job, perhaps?

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Already been done

Take away my job??? Hardly. I don’t work in retail.

A typical vending machine sells cheap soft drinks for less than a dollar. Retail shelves are usually loaded with more expensive merchandise.

As for the argument that a vending machine could be loaded with more expensive merchandise, human psychology dictates that people wouldn’t want to take chances on an expensive product they cannot touch. I don’t know about you, but I would want to try on a piece of clothing or play around with a gadget before making a decision. Merely looking at it through the vending machine window is unconvincing.

mhh5 says:

Re: Re: Re: Already been done

um, so as for your argument that “humans” don’t want to buy expensive products they cannot touch….
I’ve bought a Dell PC online without ever touching a Dell.
People seem to buy lots of expensive stuff on eBay.
The only thing I’d be worried about would be that my item wouldn’t fall correctly and get stuck hanging like bags of chips sometimes do in vending machines… 😀

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