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Full time bulk venders


lbizzell78
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How many machines do you own .How did you get to where you are?How long did it take you ? How do you work your schedule and run your business and keep account with everthing?Just a few question i know many want reply but i cant hurt to ask anyway .Please shed some knowledge here.

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Here is the makeup of our business...

-  Around nine hundred 3 and 4 select, bulk vending machines. These are the best of the best machines that we have seen.

- 43 coke machines

- 20 snack machines, and 2 more on the way

- 4 employees including myself

It took a couple years to do the business fulltime.

When it comes to bulk vending, the more headsyou have on location the more money you make. E.G. If you had a Coke machine that only sold Coke Classic, your sales would suffer. But if you sold Diet Coke, Sprite, and other selections you'd do much better. Make sense?

Take a look at the REALLY big guys. They do coke & snack machines (I know a guy who has a $15 million /year coke & snack machine business). Also they do racks & cranes in bulk vending --- specifically they have alot of heads at one location. Take a look at any rack. Also they sell candy, gumballs AND toys. We sell all 3 of those in our 3 & 4 head bulk vending machines...while most people sell just candy & gum. And we make a killing. Remember toys never go bad and they sell fast. Also PMMs sell great too!

Good luck!

John

 

 

 

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Way to go John, 900 Locations! That IS impressive and I tip my hat to you. Yea, I agree 100% on the toys, those toys have been the key to my going full time. Without toys, I would still be working my old software consulting job and still dealing with insane projects.  Anyhow, candy alone just doesn't cut it in most places (and the bizops don't want you to know that). There still is a place for candy and gum (but no nuts here - low margin, short shelf life, bug hatching's and a big hassle to clean up). Merchandising and mixing those three product types (candy, gum, toys) at each location is the key. Commission racks can also really rock but there is still a place for charity as well. I look at the route as a mutual fund and try to keep as much diversity as possible and not have any of my gumball eggs in any one type of basket. So if I am asked if I do candy, gum, toys, doubles, triples, quads, racks, shootin hoops, gas pumps, one inch, two inch, charity, commission, industrial plants, restaurants, business break rooms, hotels, automotive, etc. - I reply all of the above (but never, never nuts!) We all start as charity candy vendors, but we need to diversify in order to grow and survive IMO and .02.

Jax

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John,

Sounds like you have enough to keep yourself busy. You indicate you have 4 employees, are they family, friends or hired hands? Being a cash business do you have any problems with theft from the "inside"? We have a similar number of 3-head bulk that I and my son operate.

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My 3 employees (1 full-time, 2 part-time) are not related, no. Theft has not been an issue. This has been a concern for all vending companies, forever. The 2nd trick below has worked really well for us.

The keys to avoid theft are:

- Compare the amount of replacement product put inside machines vs the amount of money removed from the machines; this will never be 100% accurate but will be relatively close

- Spot check a few machines, a day in advance of the employee going there. Be sure you tell your employees that you do this (just don't tell them when you do it) --- and if there is any discrepancy they will be fired or disciplined immediately.

- Most larger machines have meters (cranes, coke & snack machines)

- Though we do not use these personally, you can use the EZ Count meter on most bulk vending machines (see http://www.ezcount.com/ )

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Great info here.  You folks are true role models for me.  Having the ability to work my business full time now, I need to diversify as I expand.  I have no toys and I have yet to try full line.  I have alot of ambivalence with full line.  I feel I can do it.  And then I feel I can not do it.  ( meaning I am an older guy 58yo and I do not have the strength, endurance and flexibility like I had 15 years ago so cases of soda and water have me thinking it may be too much for me on a regular basis.  Not trying to make excuses here just tryin' to be realistic ).  Anyway I will not know until I try.  I am thinking 5 locations each with a combo machine that has 6 drink and 15 snack choices.  Smaller and manageable.  I know the other side of that is smaller machines tend to need product more often etc. And I need to work with my locator around acquiring locations that would welcome toys etc. I am just thinking that perhaps I should just go and purchase my first rack ( 5 NW machines ) from Sam's and go for it.
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Johnny:

Seems to me you should stick to what's working for you. Going from 44 to 100 bulk machines should keep you busy. I added some combo and pop machines but my son (age 21) runs them, so i don't do the heavy lifting or servicing. Racks can be great (I have 2) but I don't like paying out commission. Perhaps once you have 100 locations it will be easier to decide how to proceed.

Regards,

Philo

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Johnny,

I am 58 also and I know where your coming from on the "heavy stuff". I have 1 large snack and pop machine at a single "slow" location and it is on the first floor with an outside door going directly to it, so it's not bad getting product to it, but still a job hauling 8 cases of pop in. The other day on my bulk route I was servicing a location that was upstairs and the fella that does the pop machines was there at the same time. He had to manhandle all that pop up a long and skinny flight of stairs and let me tell you, it was a struggle for him. I would guess he was in late 20'S to early 30's. So if you do go that route, make sure you have easy access.

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WOOOW IVE MISSED A LOT!

hey guys its benjie just stoping in and saying whats up, ive been good i still got 9 machien son location and i am trying with all my effert to not forget about vending.

id say this was my first real business. at one point i was in full swing of things, but i got a few new hobbies that are takin gover unfourtunatly

but im just saying hey and woundering how everyones doing

tty soon!

-benjie

CCV

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey bizzell............how's that for some useful information buddy?  ( Markvend's post ).  Thanks for the wisdom and information Mark.  I need to hear what you wrote as I move forward with my business.

I truly hope you will continue to be an active member here.

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One of the most important pieces of the business is getting GOOD locations. If you do not want to do it get a great locator (many are recommended on this forum). There is nothing like obtaining a good location yourself. Not only does it save you $ but it will keep you motivated to go out and get more. We have 85 locations right now, I do it all myself, and it is managable. I would like to get to 150-200 locations which I think I can handle alone but it is a LOT of work. All good things do require massive amounts of work but it will pay off.

Start with 5-10 machines; hire a good locator; try locating yourself and see if you like it. We got to where we are with hard work and good advise from this forum.

Jim

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Thanks, Gary. We were on the ropes for a long time and I still have 10-12 crummy locations to replace. I have no desire to keep a non-producing location anymore. Nothing good can happen; the location has proven they will not use the machine. I would rather have it in my possession than watching the product go stale, somebody steal it or whack it with a baseball bat.:shock:

Jim

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