Vending machine economics
I'm curious about the science, if any, behind vending maching pricing and stacking. Consider two vending machines next to each other -- one for beverages, the other for snacks. What is the most optimal pricing for both to generate maximum profit? My thinking is that always being able to split a dollar between the two machines would work best.
Example from breakroom nearest me. Cokes/sodas/carbonated beverages are .50 cents. Snack prices range from .45 through .60 cents broken down as:
- .45 cents: 17
- .50 cents: 4
- .55 cents: 7
- .60 cents: 17
Buying the most expensive snack and a drink means having a dollar and change; or break two dollars and getback a pocket full of change. Kind of pricey and whipping out the second dollar reminds how much is being spent on junk.
Until about a year and a half ago, drinks were .35 cents. A bargain price and if you used a dollar then you could use the change to buy anything from the snack machine. I wonder where the markups are highest? Does a .35 cent coke lose money even if sales of .60 cent Ho Hos goes up?
How about selling everything at .50 cents? Seventeen items get raised a nickel, seven items get dropped a nickel, and seventeen items get dropped a dime. Sold evenly, that's a drop of $1.20 in gross sales. Maybe it is worth selling fewer M&Ms at .60 cents sans drinks.
found -- Discussing pricing of the New York Times vending machines: debit cards lead to higher prices? Doesn't really answer my question, but does suggest that prices in my office building might be on the low side.