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Cans vs. bottles


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If you were just starting out and could buy either a can or bottle machine, which would you choose? There's a guy who has two can machines on location and wants to sell them to me, but I'm wondering if it's a good way to start. What are the pros and cons of cans vs. bottles? Obviously the can machines are probably a little cheaper to buy and stock, but do bottled drinks sell better or have a better profit than cans? What should I consider in making my decision?

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bottle machines are more versitile because you can vend many different shaped packages. for example

you may want to vend cans but also monster energy drink or gatorade. with can machines u can vend

cans and 16.9oz water and it does not vend the water very well.

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Personally I do not have any can machines. I figured since I am just starting I would rather start smarter. While I think can machines have a place in this business (in a small construction company's shop or something like that). The vast majority of people I have talked to have said they like bottles better. They are much more convenient. The bottle machines I purchased can also vend cans (monster's, red bull, standard cans and so on) but I do not think the older can machines can vend bottles. So you have to think about which you want. Would you rather spend more for a machine that can do more? or spend the minimum to get a standard can machine. As I said earlier it all depends on where the machine is going.

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NinnJinn, you make a pretty good argument in favor of the can machine. I'm only planning on buying two, plus two snack machines, and it might be a year or two before I make enough off those machines to invest in more. So, maybe the can machines aren't such a bad idea. If I'm looking at a 10 case minimum order, I probably would have a lot of product expiring.

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I STRONGLY believe in getting bottle machines but putting cans inside of them. The shelf-life of cans are up to 10 months for regular soda and 4 months for diet soda. The shelf-life on bottles are about 3 months regardless. Also, for the prices you can get them for, cans seem to ALWAYS have better margins for me than bottles. I have a few can machines out there (and when I say can machines, I mean they ONLY vend cans) but probably 75% of my machines vend anything up to a 20 oz bottle.

Having the bottle machines will also allow you to pull your equipment in the future if the location is slow, convert it to bottles, and land a larger account that wants bottles. You can find decent working bottle machines for $500 quite often.

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I STRONGLY believe in getting bottle machines but putting cans inside of them. The shelf-life of cans are up to 10 months for regular soda and 4 months for diet soda. The shelf-life on bottles are about 3 months regardless. Also, for the prices you can get them for, cans seem to ALWAYS have better margins for me than bottles. I have a few can machines out there (and when I say can machines, I mean they ONLY vend cans) but probably 75% of my machines vend anything up to a 20 oz bottle.

Having the bottle machines will also allow you to pull your equipment in the future if the location is slow, convert it to bottles, and land a larger account that wants bottles. You can find decent working bottle machines for $500 quite often.

On a percentage basis, yes, but if you look at total $$ then bottles are better.

Example:

Can cost at .28, vend price at .75 = 37.3% COGS, in Texas .06 for sales tax backed out yields net profit of .41 per can

Bottle cost at .68, vend price at 1.35 = 50.3% COGS, sales tax of .10 backed out yields net profit of .57 per bottle.

Some locations will sell more cans than bottles and vice versa, just depends on your customers preferences. If you get multi price machines that can do bottles you can also consider offering can sodas, and a few selections with Gatorade, Water and Monster (also long expiration dates).

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On a percentage basis, yes, but if you look at total $$ then bottles are better.

Example:

Can cost at .28, vend price at .75 = 37.3% COGS, in Texas .06 for sales tax backed out yields net profit of .41 per can

Bottle cost at .68, vend price at 1.35 = 50.3% COGS, sales tax of .10 backed out yields net profit of .57 per bottle.

Some locations will sell more cans than bottles and vice versa, just depends on your customers preferences. If you get multi price machines that can do bottles you can also consider offering can sodas, and a few selections with Gatorade, Water and Monster (also long expiration dates).

Mission just secretly wants the new guys to buy bottles so they have to feel the same pain he feels when he has to pay for those bottles!

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If you are only going to vend cans or only bottles, then you are going to limit ur opportunities. That is why so many people are saying buy bottle machines. Most of them can sell cans too.

That said, I would buy a can machine for the right price

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16.9 Bottles can be bought at Sam's club in a 24 pack. I dont remeber the pricing but it comes out be about 50 cents a bottle. I just learned that on the 13th of Apirl.

16.9 Bottles can be bought at Sam's club in a 24 pack. I dont remeber the pricing but it comes out be about 50 cents a bottle. I just learned that on the 13th of Apirl.

16.9 oz bottles can really help get good accounts that want lower pricing. If they have cans at .75, you can get them to go with bottles at 1.25 and have a great margin.

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16.9 oz bottles can really help get good accounts that want lower pricing. If they have cans at .75, you can get them to go with bottles at 1.25 and have a great margin.

will those vend out of single price can machines? i vend water from the single cols

currently, not sure if it would vend correctly from the doubles

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will those vend out of single price can machines? i vend water from the single cols

currently, not sure if it would vend correctly from the doubles

Yes you can vend 16.9 bottles the same as water.I have an account that has all 16.9 bottles,as long as the machine is not serpentine machine.

John

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Yes you can vend 16.9 bottles the same as water.I have an account that has all 16.9 bottles,as long as the machine is not serpentine machine.

John

Might need to get some shims to get them to vend reliably but other than that should be no problem getting them to vend.

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Take the location over with the cans. Once you place bottles only, you will have to charge more per soda and your customers wont like it. There is a place for can machines and bottle. Since its already a can location , keep it that way for now.

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  • 1 month later...

Yes you can vend 16.9 bottles the same as water.I have an account that has all 16.9 bottles,as long as the machine is not serpentine machine.

John

7up recently changed their 16.9 bottles. The shape changed a bit and the bottle is a bit more sturdy. It's great. They used to jam every now and then and stacking more than about 10-12 got dicey. Now I'll go 16 high or so with no problem

I like cans for the profit margin, but bottles can bring you more overall profit. If a person is going to buy one drink a day and they buy a can vs. a bottle then you make less on that person.

Absolutely choose a machine that can do it all, if you can. Variety is key. Those machines can vend about anything. I have 10 oz orange juice, 16.9 oz water, Monster, 20 oz gatorade, coke can, 24 oz Mountain Dew, 16.9 oz green tea, 16.9 oz 7up among others all in one location. Whole lot better than just the usual. They ask for it - they get it.

Take the location over with the cans. Once you place bottles only, you will have to charge more per soda and your customers wont like it. There is a place for can machines and bottle. Since its already a can location , keep it that way for now.

Agreed - if they have always had cans, they won't adjust too quickly to a bottle for twice the price. But, if you can use a bottle machine. Then use a couple selections to introduce a bottle. Especially in the summer, maybe try a gatorade. Grocery stores usually always have 8 packs for $5 (20oz). That's 62 cents per. You'll easily get $1.25 out of that bottle. See how it goes.

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  • 4 weeks later...

As some other users have said, there isn't a straight dichotomy between bottles and cans. Most can machines (Coke anyway) will also vend bottles. You just need to adjust the spacers inside and make sure the machine knows it's only vending one bottle (as opposed to two cans which take up the same space).

This question is also completely location dependent. Some people only drink out of bottles and some people only out of cans. The key is to ask your customer which they prefer, and then give them their options. In my experience, non diet bottled soda lasts as long as can soda does, and the diets are about equivalent, so it's really based on preference and how the inventory fits with the rest of your business.

Moving forward, however, its good to target locations which have a higher price point per customer and these necessitate the acquisition of speciality bottled sodas like your Fuzes, Snapples, and the like.

Chris

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