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Hello everyone. I just wanted to start out by saying that I am so happy that I found this forum, and have years of experience to comb through. I have been debating about going into vending for about a year now, but about a month ago I decided to just pull the trigger and go for it. My uncle and cousin have a business going in Missouri for about 3 years now. And they are doing pretty well. They have 18 full line machines, and are pulling in pretty decent money. I was able to learn from their startup mistakes, aka healthy vending franchise. They spent a lot of money on these machines, although they aren't that bitter about it because it did get them started. And the locators flew out for each machine to get them into locations, which is helpful. I just hired a locator myself, although I'm not too happy with their service so far. I paid 5 days ago, and filled out all the forms but have yet to receive even a call from the person assigned to me, but we shall see. The company came highly recommended from what I've researched but it seems they've recently changed their pricing structure, and I don't really like it. There old pricing was a certain fee to place each machine, which they backed with a warranty, but now they make you pay the full amount upfront which was about $600 to find you 5 good location leads, but I still have to go in and seal the deal with no possibilities of a refund. I'm regretting this purchase more and more as each day passes, but I guess you live and learn. This option could end up being better than the original structure if I can land 2 or more of the 5 prospects, but I could end up with no locations and be out $600, but only time will tell. I've been banging my head against a wall on the 20oz soda machines, and starting off I guess I'm just going to be limited to cans and 16.9oz bottles that I can get at Sam's Club. The local bottlers won't even bother with you until you can reach a certain size. And from what I've heard on this forum about Vistar pricing, you won't even turn a profit on the 20oz sodas. Thanks again for a great forum with great resources.
Hey all, I've been a lurker reading these forums for a little while, and I wanted to access some of the downloads sections so this post is part due to wanting to access those. But I just wanted to say hi, and see if you guys have any starting tips, or pitfalls that a beginner can avoid getting into the bulk vending business. My background: I'm currently working as an airline pilot, and that gives me a lot of travel freedom and some good chunks of time off in certain spots of the month. So I've decided to start a vending business on the side. I've recently bought 38 vendesign vending machines in bulk in the Phoenix area (none of which are placed because they had to be transported from Tucson). I got a really great deal on the package at a whopping $26.31 per machine cost to buy them all. I'm going to store them for a while at my dad's place so i'm not in any time rush to place them, but I'm very excited and motivated to start. I'm planning to form an LLC to work the business under, and I'm signed up with a charity who just sent 10 stickers and the legal forms for using their name is placing the machines. I plan on making my first trips out to local businesses to locate these machines next week by visiting locations with a flyer of the vending machine and information on the charity that we're supporting through our labels. I've cleaned 5 of the machines so far and they are ready to place and get me going. I'm doing this entire process with my lovely wife as well, who is supporting me and wanting to help locate as well. I'm really excited, and I'm prepared for a lot of rejection as I go out and place these machines especially for the first time, but I'm very motivated and determined to succeed so I'm not worried. Any tips on beginning things that startups have run into along the way would be greatly appreciated.Such as on cleaning the machines, servicing, business related tips, locating tips or any thing that hopefully I've not considered. Thanks for taking the time to read this too, I'm hoping to be a successful vendor just like many of people here are.