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I need some advice and encouragment


ahha
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I just went and picked up my problem child machine...the xyz..the good year tire is shutting down. I was there for about 4 months..All my machines are professionally located but alas I think my warranty is up for a new replacement. I only had 5 machines out in the field. And that was one of my biggest. My other 3 don't make money at all just a few bucks a month if that.  So needless to say i am VERY disappointed and wondering if i should keep sinking money into this.... hmmmm I have not really made any money...but only been going since April.  With very few machines.  I often wonder if i will ever make a profit at all.:(

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Don't give up!

If I was in your position I would do the following:

1) Read the articles on this board about self-locating. They are very good and give good tips. One important thing to realize is that just about everyplace you go is a potential location.

2) Talk to the people at the Goodyear and see if they know any other mechanic shop you can place it at. Network. If they liked you, and you provided good service, they can probably recommend something. Remember, they will all be getting new jobs. It could turn into multiple locations!

3) Re-locate your other machines. If they are not doing well, move them.

4) I'm not sure who you went with for locating, but we recently went with Midwest. We are placing machines in their locations next week, so I don't know how good they are, but both Midwest and Kickstart get good reviews here. If you have the cash, re-invest in a locator if you don't think you can do it yourself.

5) Look at one of the threads here for self locating tips. I can't remember where it is, but it has things like giving away gift vertificates, samples of candy, etc. It might make it easier for you.

6) Also, look at a charity if you aren't already associated with one.

Anyway, hope this helps. Hang in there!

Kevin

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Can a person make a profit bulk vending? Yes, many people here do it every day. Can YOU make a profit bulk vending? YES, but you need 4 things, 1. commitment, the wherewithall to stick to it in times like this when circumstances are frustrating. 2. Capital, you need some money to get your business started and growing, 3. Willingness to work, building a bulk vending  business in not easy and takes MANY hours of work doing the myriad of things necessary to make it grow. ( this is the reason most failures occur),  4. Patience, unless you start with a lot of capital then its going to take quite a while to replace your 9 to 5 income. So if you look inside your heart and see these attributes, then you WILL be successful.

Here is something you need to know.    SOLVE A PROBLEM ONCE !         Most people go around dealing with little mini-crisises that occur over and over again, when they should deal with the root problem. Right now you need 5 locations, so you can either cough up $250 additional capital for someone else to locate them for you or you can do it yourself, but either way your equipment has to be someplace making what you consider an acceptable ROI.

Every bulk vendor needs locations, either due to attrition or growth. Decide how you're going to deal with that, plan for it, and it wont be a problem next time it happens. 

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Have you tried going to places that you normally frequent--restaurants, banks, stores, etc.? It's easier to approach the owner when you are a regular customer, and it is harder for them to say no, in my opinion. Plus, you will already have a good idea of what the traffic is like and who the customers are--predominantly adults, lots of kids, etc.

I'm a newbie with only 4 machines out and that is what I did. I have a medical clinic (worked there for years and years), bank (business account there), restaurant (eat there regularly), and the local Humane Soiety (the charity my machines support).

It has only been two months but so far, so good. My numbers are posted in the revenue section if you want to check them out.

Also get your friends and family on board--somebody might "know someone" whose business might welcome a machine. It's funny how friends and family will start to notice where the vending machines are and aren't, once they learn you're in the biz.

Another thing I did, and it's only 4 machines, but--once I selected a location to approach, I would visualize my machine aready being there--the exact spot in the location, the exact type of machine and the type of product in the canister. This would put me in the frame of mind of thinking of my machine as already "being there', which would help me in my pitch.

aha, from your posts you sound like an assertive, high-energy person. I'll bet you can do it yourself.

Hope this helps.

Barb

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Tom I had to vote for your post.

Ahha, read Tom's post more than once, read Grump's view first 4 posts. (I know they don't really pertain to vending)

Then decide if you are an entrepreneur or a hobbyist. If an Entrepreneur than you can not fail as you will search for that solution that will be a success. If a hobbyist then quit now and take your lumps.

I have been doing this for better then a year, not including the bank loan payment I still have yet to make a dime. But I knew that from day one, the last vendor was to generous and had not readjusted vend amounts on the route over the years. (some locations are > 20 years) My game plan is to be profitable in year 4, this will be done by design, and planned for since day one. How will I remain unprofitable for four years, by expanding. When I purchased this route I got 65 locations and needed another 77 locations. I now have 100 locations some as low as $1.00 a month others in the several hundreds a month. When all my machines are out I will relocate them to more profitable locations.

I'm a better locator then the locator I hired, why, because I know my area and he does not. The same will be true for you, just get out there and do it.

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Hang in there ahha. When I started last winter my collections were paltry at best. It had ne discouraged. And then? One location at a time the numbers started looking better and better. It takes time. And I am a believer that you have to spend money to make money.

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I also have a machine at a Goodyear Tire. I do average there, but have a really good relationship with the employees and management there. As I have learned in my short time doing vending, there are ups and downs. I was told that I was getting a 4 factory account and I should go ahead and order a machine for one of the locations. The next day...after ordering my machine, I was told I couldn't place the machine. BIG disappointment! The machine I have at one of their factories brings in about $50/mo. I just switched out the Skittles for gumballs there and it is selling like a top seller. A BIG up (was very disappointed with profit margin when I was using all candy).

I would go out and relocate the machine myself. I wouldn't throw in the towel yet. There is nothing like placing a machine to give you the lift you need. Give 'em hell! The profit is there...it just takes a while to see it.

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Thanks everyone for all your suggestions and kind words.

One thing though, for me to have a locator locate is the only way. I have another very successful business for the last 6 yrs and for me to take time away from that? Is just not smart considering i make about 50 bucks an hour. So it's better for me to hire a locator.

Than to take more time and do it myself. This way I can afford to put more money into the vending business without killing myself over it. And dealing with the rejections so much. I have good relationships with all my locations. And very friendly and if i had more time i would probably locate myself. But 2 business and raising 2 children. not to mention my son's incurable disease. I hire a professional to save my sanity and have hope. Not to stress myself out more! LOL

Which, I know me, that will happen. Keep the advice coming! I am all ears.. I really want to be successful with this.

In my other business I  grew it from $35 bucks to $1500 a week.

And it was stressful also, but I knew I could do it.

I am just really concerned with the profit margins. My other business I do not have to buy much of anything for if i don't want to so most of it is profit.

That's my biggest concern. With the rising costs of EVERYTHING!! is this even profitable anymore? hmm

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Oh it's something completely different than this.  Video editing , videography etc etc.  Going to be getting into production soon as well.  Would be nice if i got the vending business off the ground. I find it best to really give something your all and then. Move on to try other things. That's me I guess I like alot of diversity.

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Its hard at first and you may not start making a profit after a year. I personally used firstchoice locating and never had any problem. They are telemarketing but If i go to place a machine and i don't like the place for any reason I let them know that is not acceptable and they get me a different place. My husband and I placed the first 3 machines and they placed the last 45 I just bought a 5 machine route from some one like you. Many things on her plate and hard time getting a good locator gave up after a year . I have a Goodyear and it averages around 8 to 12 a month.  NOt  great yet I have a location at a restaurant that gives 70 to 100 a month. So you can make it in this business. I remember one of my first post I thought I wouldn't make it. I'm glad I kept at it. You can too.

Gwen:D

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Sounds good ... Well I was thinking that the law of averages aren't really on my side since I only have 5 placed so far.  So it's hard for me to make something out of it. But that good year i had was actually placed by first choice and the warranty was up ..they give a 90 day warranty and i had the location for about 4months or so:(

Its hard at first and you may not start making a profit after a year. I personally used firstchoice locating and never had any problem. They are telemarketing but If i go to place a machine and i don't like the place for any reason I let them know that is not acceptable and they get me a different place. My husband and I placed the first 3 machines and they placed the last 45 I just bought a 5 machine route from some one like you. Many things on her plate and hard time getting a good locator gave up after a year . I have a Goodyear and it averages around 8 to 12 a month.  NOt  great yet I have a location at a restaurant that gives 70 to 100 a month. So you can make it in this business. I remember one of my first post I thought I wouldn't make it. I'm glad I kept at it. You can too.

Gwen:D

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