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Vending machines in the USA.

Monday, November 26, 2012

On this last trip to the USA, I came across a couple of vending machines that I have never seen before anywhere else.

Guess what this one was selling?
Scratch and win cards! US$3.00 each.
What about this one?
Electronics! Amazing, isn't it?

In a situation where there is a shortage of space and labour, vending machines could be the answer for products which might not really need salespeople.

In Singapore, we see machines selling drinks, snacks and even Gardenia bread. However, we have not even touched the tip of the iceberg. They could be one of the answers to Singapore's problem with high rentals and a shortage of labour.

Related post:
Distinctly Japanese.


B said...


What do you think can be the downside of it? Usually when I purchase electronic, I have tons of questions to ask the seller... Not sure how accretive it is to buy from the vending machine. I mean, people would rather buy that way from E-bay perhaps?


AK71 said...

Hi B,

I asked a friend there if anyone would actually buy a digital camera from a vending machine. He said that the vending machines are a common sight and are perfect for people who know what they want. The lower running costs also result in savings which are passed on to consumers. Sounds like something that would appeal to me.

I haven't bought anything from ebay before but I guess the nice thing about the vending machine is instant gratification. We pay on the spot, we get the goods on the spot.

I guess if we are not sure about what to buy or if we have questions about what we want to buy, the vending machines would be poor choices unless they incorporated a virtual salesperson in the machine. ;)

SnOOpy168 said...

Perhaps not in our ever easy access culture. Remembered visiting the US long time ago, need something, it's a 30-60mins drive to the supermarket. In this case, the VM are utmost helpful.

I don't mind the VM in SG, if they can accept payment via my translink card (a la HK style). Ultimately, the price must be reasonable, otherwise, I rather skip and walk a few steps to the mom & pa shop to get what I need.

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

It is about pricing and convenience. If it is cheaper and more convenient, then, VMs win hands down. :)

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