Dec. 26, 2012 by Downey Beat
I saw something really interesting while Christmas shopping with my wife at the Stonewood Mall. People were buying high-end electronics from a vending machine. I thought this was quite odd. I also thought it was odd how many were lining up to purchase from a machine. There were high end cameras, tablets, iPods, video cameras and all sorts of electronic goodies. The machine works just like the vending machines that we are all used to. You select your item, swipe your credit card and out pops your choice.
Vending machines are nothing new to Americans. The first “Automat” in the U.S. was opened June 12, 1902. They became the first fast food establishments in the country and were very popular places to grab a quick bite to eat. Then in the early 1970s they were threatened by, and put out of business by the type of fast food restaurants that we are all used to now.
Buying an expensive item like a tablet from a machine means that you can’t ask any questions about the item or get a hands on demonstration. But maybe in a day and age when you can look up all you need to know about an item on your cell phone, as well as read current reviews, a salesperson is not all that necessary. And when it can be almost impossible to get a salesperson’s attention at a store like Best Buy, maybe a machine is a bit more appealing.
The items are all used and refurbished and all come with a ninety day guarantee and a fourteen day money back guarantee, according to the info printed on the machine itself. And the prices do seem like there are some pretty good deals. I don’t know if I would buy from a machine myself. I really prefer something like that to be new and have the full guarantee, but never say never.