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  1. Instead of repeating myself by giving the same advice over and over I have decided to make one general post for everyone, and post the link when I am responding to an introduction. Welcome new VENDiscuss members. You have found a great source for learning all about the vending industry. There are plenty of experienced vendors here willing to give their advice. I remember being the new guy, (2009) and was welcomed with open arms. Priority 1. Avoid Biz-Ops. The term Biz-Op is our term for business opportunity. It refers to the companies that push inferior machines at inflated pri
    35 points
  2. Machines and Equipment What machines should I buy? Top machines manufactured Start-up guide for bulk vending machines Machines to avoid at all costs Bulk vending machine and equipment reviews 1800 Vending - http://vendiscuss.net/index.php?/topic/382-1800-machines/ Vendstar - http://vendiscuss.net/index.php?/topic/1845-down-and-dirty-on-vendstar-3000/ http://vendiscuss.ne...c/260-vendstar/ http://vendiscuss.ne...0-ratings-poll/ U-turn - http://vendiscuss.net/index.php?/topic/345-u-turn-48-select/ LYPC - http://vendiscuss.net/index.php?/topic/816-lypc-review/ Vendesign - http://vendis
    33 points
  3. I started this as a separate thread so as not to hijack the thread in which I mentioned it. Here is how I was taught to calculate cost to service. I do this on a monthly basis and it does change from a little from month to month but with nothing else changing in your business it will remain pretty consistent. In short, its the total of all your costs to run your business except for COGS, sales taxes, commissions and debt service. This would include your vehicle expenses, insurance, phone, office expanses, warehouse, repairs, labor and payroll taxes. Then you take that total amount and divide
    32 points
  4. I was going to title this thread: CUSTOMERS SUCK! but too much negativity for hump day. My approach (good or bad) to servicing the vending machines when I am on the route is to try and attain invisibility - time my arrivals to low ebb in the breakroom, casual attire in muted colors - no banging the totes or slamming the machines - smile and hand out famous amous cookies when forced to interact but minimize the chit chat - works for me, the accounts are used to my presence, ignore it and carry on with their business. Makes it easy to just observe, be a fly on the wall so to speak. B
    15 points
  5. Well, the time is nearing for my deployment to Afghanistan and I wanted to stop in to say goodbye for the next 6-8 months. Thanks to everyone who has helped me in setting up my business and the continual support found through the members on this forum. You may see my name from time to time since my wife will be handling things while I am gone and she will have access to this account. Please take it easy on her if some newbie questions pop up! But she should have a pretty good grip on the whole thing. Thanks again, ladies and gents. Until that time.
    15 points
  6. 5 years ago, I noticed that I would say hi to the new members, but I found I kept writing the same thing over and over. With the full intent of being lazy, I decided to make a single post, and simply share the link with the new members. I didn’t expect what happened next. It was pinned, and stayed at the top of the forum all that time. (And mocking me with the misspellings.) I also didn’t have the slightest inkling that I was going to take over this forum 5 years later. So I’ve decided it was time to update this message. Welcome to VENDiscuss. This has been, and still is a great resource
    14 points
  7. Hi everyone, I just wanted to share something with everyone regarding my business. Starting in 2006, I began working for a local company in what became a life-changing occupation. My vending experience had just begun, and I was a fresh, young kid just looking to make a buck. Having nothing going on in my life, I simply saved up money and hoped to buy a house some day so I could start a family. In 2007, I also began to work a part-time job simply because I was bored and had nothing to do on the weekends. Fast forward to 2011, I was going to college full-time, working that "part-time" job
    13 points
  8. Notably A&A Global, Beaver, Northwestern, and Canmax. While your presence here is appreciated, I will no longer tolerate your moles. Each of you have secretly joined this forum with the sole intention of monitoring what is being said about your respective companies. I have no issue with that and find that to be a prudent behavior. However, I will NOT tolerate your continued efforts to bully me, our members, or this site when something negative is posted about your company. This is an open forum. As such, our members are FREE to express their opinions about you. Especially if they found yo
    13 points
  9. I will also add that the only reason we are back online is due to the overwhelming response I received last night via email. I received nearly 100 emails asking that TVF return. I realized that there are far more of you who truly appreciate what we have here than those who do not. It would've been unfair of me to penalize the many for the deeds of the few. I will share some of them in an upcoming blog post as I feel they confirm for me just how much our members care about, and enjoy, this community regardless of what is being said elsewhere on the web. I also received many questions as to why
    12 points
  10. I understand rants, they let off some steam, but posting one on a board full of potential customers doesn't seem like the best of ideas. I mostly use locators since my regular job consumes a large portion of my time, but I can tell you I wouldn't want to work with you with that attitude. Yes, as a locator you have some concerns in dealing with vendors, just as we have concerns in dealing with locators. It's just part of the process. Personally, I find a locator that does well for me and by me, that locator never has to worry about getting paid or me worrying them to death, but until you prove
    12 points
  11. So, in my days of landing rack accounts, I've developed a method that pretty much guarantees a placement for my gear in the 5-7 way range. The process is pretty straightforward, find a loc, and get in touch with the gatekeeper. Then, boom, secret weapon! When I go to talk to the account, I first present what I'm thinking of installing. i have a brochure that has some examples of the equipment I use, so I'll show them that, what I'm thinking would work, and what I think as a guesstimate the commission would be- I don't use this pitch for charity at all. If they're interested, awesome, procee
    11 points
  12. Regardless of what the other chip expiration dates are, if you can't sell a bag of chips in 2 months then you don't have good enough accounts for snacks or it's just a poor choice for that account. Longer shelf lives means more preservatives so you could say that Frito Lay has a higher quality product perhaps. You can't argue with their success and these same dates apply on the retail shelf, too. Keep in mind that in the grand scheme of things, vending chips are slow sellers so there is a longer time from manufacture to distributor to where you buy it for a lot of the time to be used up.
    11 points
  13. I have never done bulk but I have done honor boxes for about 2 years and I have been in the vending industry for about 11 years while being in business for myself for 7 of those 11 years. Honor boxes, bulk vending, and full-line vending all have their advantages and disadvantages. Honor boxes are the absolute CHEAPEST to get into and margins can be decent but you can easily max-out at something like maybe $40/hour and that's completely full-time and does NOT include the cost of a vehicle. Yes, $40/hour is good, but you'll be working pretty hard between servicing boxes and finding replac
    11 points
  14. Everything in life has it's downside, even waking up in the morning. You have to decide if this is something you want to do and also why you are doing it. Personally, I tune out all that negative crap and concentrate on what's going on right in front of me. People are still buying snicker's and drinking cokes just a much as they were 10 years ago. No matter how much you tell someone that they should be eating healthy, they will still eat what they want. My take on the healthy stuff is that if you want healthy, go to a health food store. I'm in California and have been under the healthy vending
    11 points
  15. Safari, Why not tell everyone a little more about WHY you are looking for these vendors? That may help encourage some vendors to share their stories. What you are asking for is VERY personal...most of us don't go around asking other business owners what they make for a living without a very good reason. Tell us about yourself. Your posts indicate you are already in vending. So, tell us why you want the info and how it's to be used. If all you want is "success stories", that should not require a minimum gross of $5k per month. Some may gross $5k per month yet, because of poor b
    11 points
  16. If you read through many of the post you will see statements like. How do you locate? I work too much to locate. Should I use a locator? They are all very valid. I would like to use my experience to shed some light on locating. Locating can be the most fun part of vending if you allow it to be. You get to get out and meet new people and see new cities and towns as you do it. First Should you use a locator? Well that really depends on you and your situation. The hardest part of this business for most people is getting up the nerve to go out and talk to locations about vending. If you are
    10 points
  17. I am officially a businessman. Yesterday I placed my first machines in the break room of my local bank branch. Two single heads on a stand, filled with Skittles and Peanut M&Ms. See my first post about it here:http://vendiscuss.net/index.php?/topic/22544-first-success-permission-to-locate/ A few days elapsed between getting permission and actually placing the machines because I followed the advice (wise, I think) of a loved one, to not risk the extra money of forming a corporation before I knew I had customers, or in this case, people who would allow me to place machines. Well, I got
    10 points
  18. Well guys, I quit my full time job today. Things at work have been going south for a long time and I finally made a decision to just give it up. This is a decision I have been wrestling with for a good while. I will be focusing on my vending business full time and will continue to buy storage units. Hopefully, I will see and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Wish me luck.
    10 points
  19. I would buy Oak Vista Panel machines, or A&A PO89 panel head machines , metal craft stands , sell only 1430 count gum. Use a well respected charity and locate yourself. Service the machines only when they are nearly mt. You could easily do 2000 machines yourself. This scenario gives high profit , ultra simplicity, you can work out of a very cheap gas saver car. Try it out with 10 machines and get a feel for vending and if you like it then dive in. Never forget; your job is not to bring wonderful toys and candy to the people of earth but to maximize your income per unit time. You are
    10 points
  20. This is a collection of many of the accounting and liability related questions that have been asked here on the forum over the years. I’ve tried to combine the important stuff into this post, but if something is missing please let me know. First, a disclaimer – I am not an accountant . My advice to everyone is to call your Secretary of State, Department of Taxation, or the IRS to verify things. Also, when in doubt, Google Second, each state deals with taxes and businesses in a different way. The advice given here is general and your state may impose more regulations/requirements than stat
    10 points
  21. An absolute must for the new vendor, and a good refresher for the rest of us on a lot of good stuff. Christmas came early this year it seems! Thank you Vendelicious, this is terrific!
    10 points
  22. I am amused by this thread. I have been in bulk vending for over 7 years and am making a lot of money off the machines that everyone says are useless junk. Every time my "useless junk" is stolen from a location I just smile and go on my way knowing that I only lost $30. I don't think too many of you guys feel that way when you lose a nice machine. I have a friend that has a route of 700 vendstars and when he collects his $7000 monthly do you think he cares what kind of machines he is using? My point is this, if you are going to be a commercial vendor fine, buy top of the line. But,
    10 points
  23. You need a bigger route. Way to much time on your hands
    9 points
  24. I just got to the end of a mammoth week for me. It started out on Sunday with a call from a site saying my machine was tripping the circuit breaker. Call my fridgy/sparky Monday morning and arranged a time to meet him on site. Site is over an hour drive away and sounded like a problem I couldn't fix myself. Arranged to meet him on Wednesday. Got wife to call site back to let them know we'd be there Wednesday. The guy tells her that they noticed after they had called me that the machine had actually caught fire and there were burn marks at the back of the machine and on the wall. Crikey! N
    9 points
  25. This has been going on for sometime now and pops up on this forum fairly often with people asking about "Healthy Vending". Many that come on here are usually considering one of the franchise or biz-op companies that specialize in all "Healthy Vending". Firs let me say that in general people are more health conscious than ever however that does not mean an all healthy vending business will work. I have always advocated that my clients offer "healthy" selections to their customers. I recommend they have an actual "healthy program". These are sometimes modeled after the Fit Pick program NAMA
    9 points
  26. Hey guys, I am posting this to let you know that effective immediately I have resigned as moderator. As most of you know I sold my business to a friendly competitor, people I have known for over a decade in this business, a while back and stayed on to manage the combined operation. SInce the buyout there have been several other acquistions leading to a business approaching 2M in revenue. It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot about running a multiple route operation. I also learned that the people I sold out to were not the people that I thought they were and struggled fo
    9 points
  27. Let's start with snack machines. Since you probably know next to nothing, I will break it down quite easily for you (at least I think so). For snack machines, here are brands and models: *note: by "series" it means something within that range of numbers. For example, an AP 6600 XL is part of the 6000/7000 series and uses almost the exact same parts as any other AP 6000/7000 model such as a 7600. The differences are in cabinet size, shelf dimensions, and the number of shelves and selections. Automatic Products (aka: AP): 6000/7000 series, 110 series, AP 120 series, AP Studio, LCM (I
    9 points
  28. As the next paragraphs might be overwhelming to you, you should first analyze your accounts and see if you can extend the service schedule on a significant number of locations by increasing the inventory, doubling or tripling up on best sellers, etc. If you can put off the employee hire just a bit longer then you can prepare for it using the following paragraphs. Before you hire any employee you must ensure that you have route accountability of some kind in place. This means that your driver must record inventory adds, stales, pulls and ending counts by category. That he must read the n
    9 points
  29. You know what's better than a new machine? Great service. You know what's better than great service? Nothing! Here's two examples of outfitting two locations, each in the $10,000 per year range, both hotels. Hotel #1 has 4 machines, two snacks and two sodas. Hotel #2 has 4 machines, one snack and three sodas. Hotel #1 has a nice AP123 and a vendo 721 on the 1st floor by the free breakfast area and an AP500 (refaced with upgraded bill val) and a vendo "ancient single price". Cost to outfit: $3,200.00 - $2,000 for the snack, $600 for the 721, $300 each of the 2nd floor relics. H
    9 points
  30. Place an ad trying to sell their business.
    9 points
  31. Right here I am going to reveal the biggest secret to locating. I wont even charge you for it.. the secret to getting vending locations is.... YOU HAVE TO PICK UP THE PHONE. Its that simple. Get a phone book and start dialing. Some places will say no, and some places will say yes. Make appointments, if the decision maker ( DM) isnt there, schedule follow ups. Make an excel with your follow ups.Even if you are the most timid person, you will eventually start closing locations. It is all about practice. What do you say? Well its your business don't you know why people should have a vending m
    9 points
  32. Hey guys. Just thought I'd pop in and say hello and see how my baby is doing. I can't believe she's 11 years old already. Looks like things are going good Mage.
    8 points
  33. 8 points
  34. First deal: Pay 140% of annual sales?- #nope. A food route that nets 45%? Not possible. 17 AMS machines? $34-$42K. Make a living or good income just on food vending? #nope. Second deal: Seaga machines? Not #nope but hail #nope. If you have $140K burning a hole in your pocket and want to get into this business, buy some regular snack and drink machines and do it right.
    8 points
  35. Easy. MEI VN2511 with single price harness. A generous donation to this forum will set you up.
    8 points
  36. There are three ways to get into the business. You can start with a couple machines and grow from there (recommended), you can buy a small existing route with enough machines and revenue to keep you busy for a day or two (only recommended under certain circumstances), or you can buy a complete business with at least one full-time route that is capable of supplementing some income (not including the loan payment). Of the three, the third option (buying a complete business) is the hardest and the least recommended because a newcomer doesn't have the experience to run such an operation. If t
    8 points
  37. I found this quicker than I thought I would. It's a long read but well worth it. No "Likes" on it which is surprising but I think it's because of the long read. Anyway, here you go: "This is a very good question to ask of the professionals here. This subject is often overlooked, especially when vendors believe they can trust the friend or family member they employ. Speaking from experience, the very first thing you need to do is realize that you can trust no one when dealing with cash. As far as service techs go, you will either have to meet them at the location to watch
    8 points
  38. Lowering prices for complainers is not a good strategy. I will pulll any of our machines before I work for cheap for spoiled office workers who don't spend any money.
    8 points
  39. First of all, the answer to the most asked question... IT IS NOT ME! I am not trying to reincarnate myself or this forum elsewhere on the web. I've been getting a lot of PM's recently concerning "Eric Caserri" and his new vending forum that he cleverly named "The Vending Forum" or "TVF". I'm sure most of you reading this are aware of what I'm talking about. If you don't, you soon will even without this post so it's no big secret. I am going to offer this explanation to hopefully clear up some confusion that some of you have. Note that this post is not meant to attack anyone. It is simp
    8 points
  40. This is an interesting discussion...I'm five years into this and I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I've been where Hawksfan is right now. I made the decision to not let the negative thoughts affect my determination to see this thing through. Persevere, my friend. I never wish to work for someone other than myself.
    8 points
  41. All my accounts are just average or below average which is just fine by me. My prices are too low and my equipment is too old. Even so, not many hot-rod salesmen from big-shot corporations are hitting-up my accounts and when they do they get the boot. I service the crap out of all of them and know most of the people at my locations by first name. When I get a call from someone we usually laugh about the situation then I drive out and fix the problem, no matter how small. My area is in a very tight circle so I can effectively service and get to call-outs in a timely manner. I work 4 days per we
    8 points
  42. Got to chatting with the owner of one of my commission locations. Just a toy double. Nothing fancy. Decent money-maker. We were talking about the holiday season and she asked if I still had my mom. I thought it was odd, but answered in the positive. She pulled a box from behind her and she gave me a really attractive winter hat and scarf set for my mother along with a really intricately designed winter beanie for me. This woman had knitted these herself. She went on to tell me the following: She takes the money I give her in commission each service and uses it to buy knittin
    8 points
  43. And we can call it "The Chicken Coop". Sorry, that was too easy to pass up.
    8 points
  44. I think were suffering a Phase shift in the vending industry and there is really no set plans in place to continue so like pinball, arcade games.. and others 1 inch bulk will be phased out eventually. leaving us with novelty vending and 2 inch. video games died, they don't make any real money. I mean that from a operator standpoint example 1: New Dirty Drivin game $7600.00 Say $1.00 per play... 50% commission it would take 16,000 plays before you even see a dime. video games are dead for that alone.. Pinball machines died as well, alive in the home market but does golpher on location. new
    8 points
  45. Hi everyone! I was blown totally away by the generosity shown to me the past two weeks with what you folks donated to help my wife and I recover from this disasterous hurricane that practically destroyed Long Beach, NY. Deb and I have a long way to go but we will recover especially with friends like you! A special thank you to Steve for spear heading what was sent to me! You guys and gals are the best!
    8 points
  46. IMO, it's not that someone can't make a living using a u-turn, it's just a little harder to do so...and here's why: In order to make a living with bulk you have to be able to get into all kinds of different locations. So, you would want to carry the most flexible equipment you can. Some locations can only support a single, others a double or triple, and then, of course, some require a rack with multiple heads on it. With something like a u-turn or a triple like a Vendstar, you don't have much flexibility. The locations you find for those machines MUST support at least a triple because you
    8 points
  47. Just got back- GOT IT! The owner was so-so about most of the pitch, but I got him with Will.Vend's "What can I do to earn your business" bit! That settled it, he explained that I'd have to "work out the details with the manager" but he gave me a date: August 7th. The one stipulation is that I'll have to buy and remove their existing gumball machine, a Victor Junior Giant, but that shouldn't be hard. I've got to get my rack put back together! I cannot thank you all enough, this has been an awesome day! Thank you all so much!
    8 points
  48. I have never heard this said as simply or as well. Class warfare at its best. The folks who are getting the free stuff don't like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff. And, the folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop. And the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting! Now... The people who are forcing the people who pay for the free stuff have told the people w
    8 points
  49. Stop Locating! You don't need any more stupid accounts! It may be a bit self-destructive given the fact that I own a nationwide locating service but, the truth is the truth, and it must be told. "I would like nothing more than to place another 250 accounts for you 'Olivia Operator' but I cannot in good conscience place any more equipment for you. You need to stop locating. You don't need any more stupid accounts!" Here's the story: Olivia Operator told me she wanted to make a sizable investment in to a new vending business. Her goal was to make profits from owning and operating bulk
    8 points
  50. im 15 years old.... i think im the youngest blogger on this site also i bet im the youngest route owner, i have 18 located so far
    8 points


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