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Wish we had found this sooner


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Hi everyone.  Thanks for all who contribute to the forum.  It's a wealth of information.  Too bad we didn't find it earlier.  Seems like we may have already made a few mistakes, but we'll see.

We're a single-income (for now) family of five.  We recently took the plunge after searching far and wide for some way for a homeschooling mom of three to make extra money to help pay off student loan debts sometime before retirement!

We got 12 used machines from Ebay for traditional bulk candy.  We tried Vendstar (6), 1-800 (4), and U-Turn (2, well actually 3 but one was damaged in shipping - :().  We probably should have just bought 1 of each type to deterimine which we liked best. 

After getting our hands on them, we liked the 1-800 best.  So ordered 20 machines from Pure Energy (1-800-VENDING) setup to vend the Livewire Energy Chews at $0.50/vend.  They cost $0.159 with shipping costs.  We were sold on the idea that a higher per vend profit was worth a try.

After reading here, we're now a bit worried.  Live and learn. We should be getting them located starting Friday, but the locator we chose (recommended by 800-VENDING) was not well reviewed on the boards here.  Too late though, deposit is gone; gotta follow through.

Hopefully it won't be too much of a disaster, and when we're ready to add more machines we can do it much cheaper per machine.

Anyway, thanks for all the great info on the site.  It's a real service.  My only criticism is that you're too hard to find!

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Thanks!  That's much appreciated.  We're in northern Virginia, just outside Washington, DC.

Our goal is for this combo of new and used machines is to get our money back in 16 months.  If we can manage that and then maintain (or grow?) a second income of $600 to $800 per month, we'll be happy.

Are those unrealistic expectations?

Even though we bit on the Pure Energy/1-800 Biz Op, that doesn't mean we had any illusions that we'd be pulling in $100 to $180/machine monthly.

The biggest fear right now is that three energy flavors just won't sell as well as the candy.  It won't matter if you clear over $0.30 per vend if they don't vend.  We can switch back to candy by changing out coin mechs and installing candy wheels, though that would mean more $.

We are also thinking of mixing and matching in each triple-head machine since we already have parts from the Ebay machines -- some candy / some energy rather than doing all three energy flavors in one machine.  The thought would be to draw them in with name brand candy in one or two canisters and then maybe they'd try the energy chew in the other other canister(s).  What do you think?

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As I have never worked with any of the "energy chew" products I have no Idea how they will do...

That said, I think that if placed well, folks will buy them..not sure how fast, but they will buy them as a curiosity first..then if they taste good, then maybe again..

You may find that different locations will vend different flavors better..this happen in the candy end of this all the time..You may then want to adjust your mix and add in other items in place of thos that do not vend well...You will find that most of the vendors here will use the top three...Peanut M&M(PMM), Gumballs(a wonderful profit margin) and in the right season..Mike & Ikes (M&I)

This could help you to bridge the gap...

I do not know the requirements for ordering the replacement energy chews...so you will need to judge that one on your own...let us know.  There are folks on this forum that are "PRO" energy chew

Brace yourself...There are a few that are not..they will voice thier opinion..AND Rightfully so..They hate to see people get burned by the Biz-ops..of any kind...

This is a good business..keep your nose to the grindstone and your eye's open...you will do fine.

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Yea, what Jay-Son said! :)

If at all possible get them near a college, my young college/university staff go through energy drinks like crazy. They will come in with three or four cans of the stuff for one shift. Seems they like to burn the candle at both ends. Not sure if their desire for the energy drinks would translate to energy chews but who knows. I like your idea of adding a traditional candy in the middle, it gives a choice.

Ignore the nay sayers, they confuse biz-op with business model, energy chews may not be for everyone, but with the right location I'm sure you will do well, in any case good luck with your new adventure.

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@Jay-Son: What do you mean "in the right season"?  No M&I in the summer?  We have all of those you mentioned, plus Dark Choc PMM, Reese's Pieces, Plain M&M, Jelly Beans, Runts, Hot Tamales, and Tab Gum.  Mostly, we loaded up on PMM & Gumballs though.

As for requirements on energy chews, they come 2,000 to a case for $300 (before shipping).  The machines hold 200/canister or 600 total.  So 3 cases fully fills 10 machines.  We only got 3 cases and plan to half-fill our 20x3 energy canisters.  They suggested buying 6 cases to totally fill all the machines, but we stuck w/ just 3.  The chews vend in a capsule through standard gumball wheel.

@Grumpy: Thanks, that helps with the anxiety to know that others think it is workable, and I haven't just made a huge mistake.  Colleges is a good idea.  We were going to try learning center and community colleges too.  We were thinking gyms, but that seems more suited to a drink than a chew.  The problem is, we probably can't do much locating ourselves -- lack of time and proper personality type. ;)

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depending on where you are located...hot, humid and M&I's do not go together well...Hot Tamales are also difficult in this weather...but they seem slightly better than the mikes...There is a thread here somewhere that maybe someone else can copy here(fairly new here myself...have not figured that out yet)

If all of your machines are in airconditioned comfort..no problem...also direct sunlight and heat...will kill your M&M's and PMM's

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