The Blog

Have you ever wanted a candy bar really bad, but you didn’t have any money? For a minute there you think, “If only I could pick that lock.” But you can’t, because the lock is a tubular lock, and your picks are for pin and tumbler locks. Also you don’t break the law. Okay so this was a bad example, but the reality of the matter is that tubular locks, like any other lock, need someone like a vending machine locksmith who can open them when the key is lost. This is especially important for those business owners who own their own vending machines, because that’s money they can’t get to. It’s product they can’t replenish.

It’s a bad day, is what it is.

There are cheap lockpicks out there that you can use to open some of these tubular locks, but they are frustrating, difficult to use, and completely useless in some cases. This is a situation where some specific types of tools just absolutely will not work at all. Not that they’ll just frustrate you, but they will never work to open the lock at all. It just so happens that those little tubular bastards are pretty damn secure, right?

Let’s rewind just a little, though.

The Vending Machine Niche: How big is it?

You pass vending machines every single day. Some of them are owned by the business who houses them, but most of them, in fact, are owned by third parties who have been granted permission to post the machine on the property. Entire companies make their money from putting these vending machines up and keeping them stocked up. So what happens when one of those machines can’t be opened?

How much can a vending machine really make?

Well, according to Brandon Gaille, each individual vending machine is worth an average of $76 per week to the owner. That’s $3,952 per year. Couple that with the fact that 3 out of 4 vending machine transactions is done in cash which is collected inside of the machine, these machines are worth $2,964 per year in cash alone, which would be locked away if they were to lose the key. The figure is even worse when you consider they wouldn’t be able to restock, etc.

But the numbers really don’t matter that much. Not to us. What the numbers tell us is that even a single machine being down is worth a boat load of money to the owner. Which means they are going to be willing to pay a vending machine locksmith to get them unlocked. And to cut them a new key (or replace the lock with a new one, if you don’t cut keys.)

Okay, so if vending machine locksmithing tools are garbage, how do I make money?

I said most of the tools are garbage. Not all. Enter: The Peterson PRO-1 Series 2 Tubular Lock Pick. That’s a long name, but basically it’s the master key to your vending machines. Before we talk about the pick, let’s go back to the numbers above. How much time would it take you to open a tubular lock, if you got really good at it? About a minute. Let’s say you make service calls anywhere within 30 minutes of your location. That’s 30 minutes out, 30 minutes back, hour round trip. You charge 2 hours minimum for service calls, and you charge a conservative $50 per hour.

That means just going out there and popping the lock open would net you a solid $100. Let’s say fuel expenses come out to $10 for the trip. That’s a profit of $90 to do the trip yourself. The client is happy because it cost them less than two weeks worth of profits to get you out there, and you’re happy because these are your easiest service calls.

But what does it cost?

Right now, you can get the Pro-1 Series 2 for as little as $465. 5 trips, and you’re a profitable vending machine locksmith. But that’s just the profit from the opening. If they called you out because they couldn’t unlock their vending machine, it wasn’t because they locked their key in the machine, it was because they lost the key. Either they’re going to want a new key cut, or they are going to want a new lock on the machine. Each of these is a value add, which is more profit to you. The new lock is always going to cost more, but it’s also the best option. If they lost the key, they are at a risk if they simply cut a new key. Why? Because the key might be found. If it’s found, someone could unlock their machine without them knowing. If that happens, they could start losing money without even knowing it.

Don’t miss out on this lucrative business model. Pick up your highly cost effective Pro-1 Series 2 today, and get making money!