In the world of vending, things are made simple so consumers can easily purchase desired products without the use of an actual human. Machines all over the globe have been placed in strategic locations with best-selling products, so sales can be accomplished, money can be made, and buyers are left happy in the end because they were able to easily make their purchase. But what about new entrepreneurs who are entering the game without any capital? One great option that doesn’t cost a lot of money are “honor boxes.”
Can you really make money with honor boxes? Yes. Although income may not be high per box, the strategy of using multiple boxes in numerous locations can create an environment that generates profit for the business.
Honor box may be a term that’s new to readers. So, to define, an honor box is a vending device used to generate profit through the “honor” system. As the name suggests, an honor box functions by placing a box with a specific product that a customer can take without a cashier or human attendant. Within the box is a place to deposit money to pay for the item(s) a consumer chooses.
Keeping Tabs on your Business
The business of owning honor boxes is straightforward to a point. You pick locations for your boxes, set them up with your products, take note of your stock, and let customers begin using them. The name of the game is location with these vending devices. If a box ends up in a spot where nobody sees it regularly, it can either be a victim of theft or potential customers may not know it’s there to be used.
One of the best strategies to live by is to place your honor boxes in locations that are businesses with an employee base (with permission from the business owner or manager, of course). With this thought in mind, your boxes will then land in a location that can at least have some extra sets of eyes on them to make theft more difficult. Many restaurants and businesses in the medical field have them located at their front counter. Customers see them and can make a quick purchase with ease, whether they’re coming or going.
The best plan of action when owning numerous honor boxes is to keep tabs on your operation. Always determine a number of boxes that can be manageable. The more boxes you have, the more difficult it can become to keep an eye on every location to minimize theft or any sort of vandalism. But with the right number of locations, an owner can make money and keep things running smoothly.
Many honor box owners have mentioned the possibility of having money taken directly from the box itself. And although this is within the realm of possibility, most boxes manufactured in the present have devices such as a lock put into place to hinder any attempts to steal the money. On average, a successful honor box will need to be restocked and checked once every couple of days.
Shrinkage and Marketing Tactics
In the world of honor box vending, there is a common term used called “shrinkage.” Shrinkage is to be expected with honor boxes and, on average, equates to about 20%. So, what is shrinkage? Shrinkage is the amount of product you can expect to lose to theft. Around 20% of every box ends up with stolen product, so these amounts are figured into the numbers for the business as a whole.
The best way to keep an eye on your shrinkage is, as mentioned, keep an easily manageable number of honor boxes available to customers. And if the numbers get too high, simply take that box and find a new location for it that will better suit its purpose. Simply keeping a tally whenever you check your boxes will help to maintain acceptable shrinkage percentages.
Successful honor boxes have been all about location. The best marketing for your boxes has been shown to be employee-based businesses that pay their employees well. Software developers, doctors, nurses, and office personnel have shown to be some of the best customers. Heavy duty truck and trailer dealerships have also been discovered as a profitable location for honor box vending devices.
Another great way to utilize an honor box is by donating part or all of the profits to charity. These honor boxes have been shown to help certain people or causes by attaching pictures and articles explaining the purpose of the box. These will still have a snack or other item in return for your donation.
The Best Use of the Honor Box
Using an honor box system can prove to be profitable if the right system is utilized. But it would take a ton of honor boxes and a whole lot of time to turn it into a full-time, profitable job. So, it’s best-recommended use is that of a side gig. It provides extra cash while requiring little time restocking and collecting the money each box has accumulated.
The best tactic to use is to keep their locations as close to each other as possible to minimize drive time to each location. The less drive time, the more money is earned. Each honor box owner will need to personally determine the right number of boxes for them, but everyone can find the right number to keep the operation simple and stress free.
Honor boxes are still used for many different items. Sometimes they’re called an iron ranger, in certain locations such as campsites where an actual ranger can’t be present at all times. Some of the items you’ll find at these and other locations are:
- Snacks and candy
- Soda and water bottles
- Newspapers & magazines
- Corn and tomatoes
There are still tons of other items you can find with an honor box, but these are the most common items you will see.
A lot of honor box owners get into the business due to the low costs of starting out, but they also may tend to have a slightly philanthropic side. To further instill the notion of boxes that are used for charity, many honor box business owners get into using them for the causes that they are passionate about.
Helping children in need and feeding the hungry are two of the most common causes honor boxes support. Many other causes are helped, too, such as animal shelters, clothing those in need, helping to cure breast cancer and other types of cancer, and supporting the military. A charity of an owner’s choice is completely up to them, and an honor box can be used to support the cause.
Honor boxes are a simple way to utilize a vending device to make some extra cash. With its simplicity of use and little capital required to start, it gives a person a chance to learn how to own a business while making some money on the side. Depending on how many boxes an owner chooses to place for their business, a profitable amount of earnings can be made with a small amount of time.
Although it may seem like honor boxes could be a potential waste of time and money, they have proven to be effective as long as they are strategically placed. Having a location where employees can help keep an eye on your honor boxes has proven to be helpful in limiting the amount of losses and helping increase profits.