Snickers? M&Ms? iPods?


I walked into Macy’s yesterday, and what did I stumble upon? Men’s suits on my left, and hey! It’s an iPod vending machine on my right! In truth I didn’t see the iPods until I was leaving the store, though I can’t imagine how I managed to miss them the first time around. Unfortunately I was running late and didn’t have time to examine the iPod choices carefully, but I did get to snap a few pics with my mobile phone.


Note: This Macy’s is located in one of the largest malls in America, so I can’t guarantee that if you stop in at your local store you’ll get the same treat.

ipod3.jpgWhat does this shiny display make you wonder? Well, will anyone buy an iPod out of a vending machine? A few years ago you couldn’t lay hands on an iPod in November if you visited every retail store in the area. Now, they’re the CE equivalent to Snickers bars. Except they still require plastic and not that spare change in your pocket.

Personally, I’d buy an iPod out of a vending machine. (It’s just so easy!) But Dave Z. disagrees. And I have to admit, I was by far the most interested passerby at Macy’s today.

12 thoughts on “Snickers? M&Ms? iPods?”

  1. For this kind of money, I want some fake personal customer service or at least an email receipt from an online vendor — it seems somewhat anticlimactic to have a vending machine charge my credit card and spit out the iPod. You can’t find too many deals on Apple products, but I’m willing to bet you’ll NEVER find them at a kiosk.

  2. I like the idea. If you know what you want, and with the iPod that is very possible, its a snap to buy. Its an easy way to display and vend small accessories too. Very efficient with no labor costs either. Instant gratification.

    Might devalue the brand image though.

    Worth the experiment.

  3. The company I work for does kiosks as one of our lines of business. We haven’t done any vending machines like this, but because of the business I do read a fair bit of news on the industry and these types of vending machines are considered ‘kiosks’ in the industry. So I’ve seen a number of things like this, and I read about the iPod kiosks back when the project was first announced.

    You’ll be seeing more and more of this as the business model has been successful. Examples are systems that rent DVD players and DVDs in airports, cell phone rental kiosks for travelers who don’t have a ‘world phone’, consumer electronics and CE accessories (chargers, cases, etc).

    People have been willing to spend more and more at a vending machine, so the value of products sold that way has increased. Personally I have no problem with it as long as the price is reasonable. I gut-check threshold is probably around $200. Anything over that I’d feel a bit weird about spending at a vending machine.

  4. When they first put in a RedBox DVD rental kiosk 3 years or so ago near my old subway stop they also included a second machine with a variety of convenience store items: Things like deli sandwiches, aspirin, etc. Over several month period I never saw anyone make a purchase and then the vending machine was removed. Other than DVD rentals, will Americans warm up to kiosks? We shall see…

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