The Honor Box and Honor Box Vending Advantages and Disadvantages

Honor Box Vending
Honor box vending has been around for a number of years.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a vending concept which uses (usually) cardboard boxes to hold candy to sell on the "honor" system.  In other words, you have a "box" (the honor box) which you put the money into when you get a candy bar or other item.  There is no coin mechanism to place money into and turn.

The main disadvantage of this system is of course those who don't pay for the product.  This is what makes or breaks this vending concept.  If you end up losing money or making no money because people help themselves without paying, this system will have to be passed over for another vending concept.

The other disadvantage to this system is that people can walk off with the whole honor box (money and candy both.)  To make this system work, you must evaluate how much profit you make on a regular basis.  You will also incur the cost of replacing the boxes after a period of time.

The big advantage to this system is that the honor boxes are much cheaper than standard bulk vending or full line vending machines.  For that reason, you could afford to have a few of the boxes stolen.  It's just something you have to evaluate for yourself as to whether this appeals to you.  I would also think that some parts of the country or bad parts of certain cities would be terrible places for this concept of honor box vending.  You don't have as much money at risk in equipment on locations but the temptations for theft are much higher too.

I have a few vending operators who do this next to my bulk vending machine routes.  They are a very small percentage of the vendors I encounter.  I hear mixed results about the service from the product being stale to complaints from the operators about people not paying.  I think you could make this concept work with a lot of effort and some regular tracking of your results.  You could also put the boxes in small types of businesses that are too small for a full-line snack machine.  I have noticed more of the honor boxes in places where a number of men work like repair shops and the like.

As with any business endeavor, do your homework before placing your money at risk.  Also if you choose this type of vending, be sure you charge enough for your product to cover your loses.  I would advise to charge at least the same price you would pay to get candy out of a full-line vending machine.  Then, if I ran into a problem with theft, I would up the price a dime or more to cover myself.  If my box walked off completely, I would write the location off and go somewhere else (unless it was doing amazingly well and I could afford to take another chance.

\How often would you service these?  I would think at least every 4-6 weeks with a few locations going longer.  Be prepared though to have to throw away product which goes bad.  Candy does have a shelf life you must contend with.  Rotate products out which are not selling and replace with other items like bagged peanuts or snack cakes instead of just candy.  You could also sell stick gum.

Hope this helps you.  As you can tell, Im not much of a fan of this, but I do know it works okay for some people.

Good Luck on all your vending!