Mr Wells is a poultry farmer who had an honesty box at the end of his farm road. He sold eggs from there 7 days a week just by taking down trays of eggs and leaving some second hand egg boxes so people could pick which eggs they wanted, put them in a box and leave the money in the cash box. There are another 3 people selling eggs along the same stretch of road so Mr Wells thought price would be the key to selling more.
Down side to this was he used to get a varied amount of theft. Some weeks was minimal some weeks there was up to around 20% went missing. It was hard to tell If eggs were being stolen or people were just not putting the correct money in the box but the cash never tallied up, said Mr Wells.
Another down side was that people would lift trays and move eggs around looking for what they thought was the best eggs. This caused some damage and breakages and spoilt some eggs, and also if you were at the hut later in the day all the larger eggs were gone and only the smaller ones were left, this is not ideal.
After seeing the Roesler vending machine display by JSR Services at the pig and poultry fair in 2014 Mr Wells felt this would be the answer to his problems. They purchased a FWA28/16/12 machine. This machine is made up of 16 lockers to take egg boxes and 12 lockers to take trays. Mr Wells stated “As you can fit up to three half dozen egg boxes in the box locker and up to three trays stacked in the bigger locker we felt this would give the customers enough options depending on how many and what sizes of eggs they wanted to purchase.” The machine is situated in a small shed that we were not using next to the farm. Mr Wells was concerned that people may not drive up the drive to buy the eggs when they had been used to just stopping at the farm road end. To combat this they had some signs made up and lit up the shed with some basic lighting so this has not been an issue, infact customers have said they prefer to drive the 100 yards off the road as it’s easier to park.
After almost a year of operating the machine Mr wells has not only kept all his exsisting customers but sales have grown. They have on average 150 visitors to the machine a week some buying more than one locker. Income from the eggs is up (due to no theft or short change) and as people have been talking about the machine this has opened up contacts to supply small amounts of eggs to other places in the area.
Mr Well stated that the younger generation are buying from his machine because they want good well presented local produce at a cheap price. The older generation love the machine because it is so simple to use, they can use it anytime of day and again the eggs are of a quality and price they like. With all types of people and of all ages using the machine Mr Wells is more than happy. So much so he is going to expanding the machine in the near future When we had the comments box situated in the shed for customer feed back Mr Wells stated we had all kinds of requests for what our customers wanted to see in the machine. Everything from fresh fruit to a Sunday breakfast pack has been requested so that is our future plan, give the customers what they want. Mr Wells has just place an order in October for a cooled 30 locker machine to do just this. The machine will be installed and up and running in November, plenty of time to take advantage of the Christmas rush.