Inner Tube Vending Machine at Aaron's Bicycle Repair

Installed in 2005, our vending machine sells items like inner tubes, patch kits and energy bars & gel. It is just a regular snack machine with the coils that drop product to a trap door. It is at our front door and is accesable 24/7. It takes bills up to $20 and gives dollar coins for change (the smaller kind: Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea or Presidential). If you have any ideas for items you would like to see vended, please email vendingmachine@RideYourBike.com

If you are thinking of installing your own vending machine, know this: We did it as a customer service more than anything else! We sell only 2 or 3 tubes per week. It is NOT a money maker, but when a customer comes by before or after hours it is usually for a tube and "Vendy" helps them out! Our machine cost $3000 and as of early 2010 it has almost paid for itself. There is no secret to the installation. It is just a regular snack vending machine like you would see at a freeway rest stop. People ask if it has ever been vandalized or broken into. Someone tagged the glass with scratches, but it is not bad. We were going to replace the glass, but it is not really noticable. The lock is not very secure and the door is prone to prying open with a crow bar. The lock mechanism is made out of aluminum. We installed a large hocky puck type lock they use on storage containers. We also bolted the feet to the concrete. We had to make a custom bracket as it is not designed to be bolted down. It is very secure now. One time, when we were doing inventory, and collecting the money, all of the money was gone! It turns out the money release switch is accessable thru the bill slot with a bicycle spoke, or similar. We installed a guard on the inside to make it impossible. We have had very little problem with the operation of Vendy. She seems to work great. A yearly cleaning and a little Boeshield on the moving parts and on the electrical connections helps. The machine needs a chip upgrade whenever new currency comes out. It did not accept the new $10 and $20 bills until we upgraded.

Below is Vendy on a sunny winter morning in 2010

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