Reduce Vending Machine Vandalism and Theft

At some point every owner of a vending machine business finds that one or more of his machines have been vandalized or broken into. Inventory is either missing or destroyed and you may need to spend quite a bit of money to repair or replace the damaged property.There are steps to take to reduce the possibility of vending machine vandalism and theft.

Reduce Trouble by Building Relationships

If all you do when you go to a location to service or restock a vending machine is get in and out as quickly as possible, the people who work or visit their may be more prone to stealing items or doing damage. People are less likely to do bad things to people they feel a connection or have a rapport with. If you take the time to greet people, chat or joke around a bit or ask what people’s favorite products are, they will be more likely to protect the vending machine man of destroy it.

Placing vending machines inside helps prevent a lot of damage and destruction as well. If an outside machine makes you a lot of money, you probably won’t want to move it, but it may be more prone to thieves and troublemakers. The extra layer of protection that a wall and adore provide means a thief would have to break into the building and the vending machine to get at the products and money within. Since this increases their risk quite a bit, it is much less likely to happen.

Install an Alarm System

Vending machine alarm systems are quite costly, which could make some owners shy away from considering this effective vandalism and theft deterrent. As technology improves, the prices come down and it is possible to find a system that is less expensive than years ago. An average alarm system what cost anywhere from $80 to $100 and can be installed with a moderate amount of know-how.

Warning Stickers and Signs

Even if you do not have an alarm system on a particular vending machine, a bright and prominent sticker that says you do may deter thieves and vandals. A large yellow or orange rectangle with bold print works the best. Two options for sticker text include:

  • Warning: Alarm System Active on this Vending Machine. Any Movement Will Set Off Alarm!
  • All Cash and Coins Removed Daily!

Signs such as these two will help convince criminals to stay away from your vending machines.

Install a Vending Machine Cage

Although these enclosures may deter theft and vandalism, they can negatively impact sales as well. A cage does not make people feel welcome to making purchases and should only be used in locations that are accessible to the public but inactive for part of the time during the day. For example, a rest area with heavy daytime traffic but none at night may benefit from a cage. These are quite expensive, so be sure the profits from any vending machines sales outweigh the cost.

Security Camera Installation

If you have a very good reason why your vending machine needs extra protection from troublemakers and thieves, you could install a simple security camera in the area. You would probably need the property owner’s permission to do so as they need to be hooked into the electrical system and have a powerful transmitter installed. If a particular location is this fraught with danger, you might want to reconsider putting your vending machine there at all. There are probably other places a vending machine can be profitable for you.

Business Insurance Can Help

If a vending machine you own has been vandalized or broken into, having a third-party insurance policy on it can help you recover the expenses in order to repair or replace it. Total coverage for machines does not have to be expensive and is available in all parts of the country. All legal business entities usually need company insurance anyway, so adding in coverage for these assets is not complicated. Of course, insurance policies do nothing to stop theft or vandalism in the first place. Also, if these things occur frequently to a particular machine and you file multiple claims in a certain period of time, the insurance company may refuse to pay, greatly increase your premiums or drop your policy altogether.

Get New Vending Machine Locks and Keys

Buy a new vending machine direct from a manufacturer or wholesaler means you have the only set of keys to access the inside. However, if you buy preowned machines, you will want to change the locks and keys as soon as you take possession. This could help prevent a competing company from sabotaging your efforts. Another good reason to change all the locks and keys on your vending machines is if an employee was recently fired or let go. If this person is mad enough, he could use his keys to visit the vending machines and steal products, money or vandalize or damage them. Since changing the locks is relatively inexpensive and quick to do, it is a great preventative measure to take.

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