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Switching to Full Line with little money


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I am considering going from bulk vending to full line, but I don't have much money. I have enough to do a couple of honor snack boxes or maybe 1 or 2 used mechanical snack machines (told you I didn't have much money).  What is the route you would go in establishing a full line business in my situation. Would you put out a couple of honor snack boxes or put out maybe 1 or 2 used mechanical machines.

Thanks,

Joe

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If I were you in your situation here is what I would do:  Stick with Bulk until I have  a decent amount of income.  Start looking for used machines that are mechanical.  I would start out with mechanical because they are cheaper and don't require as much $ if they break down.  I would grow slowly so that I minimize my debt and maximize my opportunity for finding good deals.  If you're not in a hurry good deals seem to pop up out of nowhere.  Search Ebay for good deals.  Full Line requires more space because of product size/amount, and in turn possibly a Van/truck to transport the goods.  Another thing I would make sure I have are people or companies lined up that could help me fix and move the machines in case of an emergency.  These things can be pretty heavy.  So in summary:

(1) Buy used mechanical machines (2) Have a company or people who can fix and move machines with you (3) Grow slowly (4) Make sure I have the proper equipment needed (dollys, van, storage space, etc).

Good Luck Joe!

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If it was me with those two choices I would go with mechanical over the honour system. I do not believe there is much personal honour anymore, I'm sure some would disagree, but it is my opinion. At least when their is a loss with the mechanical system you know someone truly tried to defeat it and did not just forget to pay.

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You both make a lot of sense. I suppose I should mention that my wife makes sense too. I sometimes like to get other opinions than hers when it comes to vending since she isn't very involved with it. She is supportive though. I think mechanical machines just might be the way to go on this.

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Joe,

Also another thing to consider is this.....make sure you have money set aside to fill your machines. With 1-2 machines (depending on capacity of machines) you will have product that will be sitting in your home or office as most candy and chips contain 40 or more in each package. Just make sure you have good solid locations set up prior to purchase that way you can determine what size machines you need and the costs for products. Good luck and if I can be of any help to you please let me know.

Brian

Summit Vending LLC

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You can find good and very reliable automated full line machines on Craigslist for a few hundred dollars ($200 - $500).  You may also be successful in finding locations if you place a free ad on Craigslist also (http://www.craigslist.com) telling them that you are looking for vending locations.  I have been very successful in growing my full line business, at a fraction of the cost, through Craigslist.  All of my soda and snack machines were purchased used or refurbished and they all work like charms.

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Everyone has really good ideas. This leads me to wonder if I'd be better off with one used soda machine or 3-4 used mechanical snack machines. I know every location is different just like in bulk vending, but I also know that their are some realistic averages out there too.

I am going to be out of the country for 2 months, so I figured I could save up $500 fairly quickly. I like bulk vending, but I want get the best return on my investment.

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     Used/Refurbs are the way to go no doubt about it.  The question is just what you aid "what kind".  Secure some locations first, then follow through on some good deals.  Keep in mind combo machines hold less of both product, so if you are going into a busy location get two separate machines, one pop one snacks.

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I have looked on craigslist and have seen some deals on machines out there. Used and Refurbs really do sound like the way to go. I am going to save up some money for a while so that I am prepared for unexpected expenses. I'd hate to get a used machine and have the bill validator go out on me a week later or something.

As an experienced mechanic, most problems I can deal with on my own. I even have my EPA Universal Certification for CFC's so I can repair and fill my refrigeration units with freon if needed.

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That is a smart business move. If I could do things over again, I would go with 75% coke machines and 25% snack machines. Why? Coke machines are more profitable by far. There are also some REALLY big million-dollar players in full-line vending, so good choice for a 2nd reason!

 

joebob051977 wrote:

I am considering going from bulk vending to full line, but I don't have much money. I have enough to do a couple of honor snack boxes or maybe 1 or 2 used mechanical snack machines (told you I didn't have much money).  What is the route you would go in establishing a full line business in my situation. Would you put out a couple of honor snack boxes or put out maybe 1 or 2 used mechanical machines.

Thanks,

Joe

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     Used/Refurbs are the way to go no doubt about it.  The question is just what you aid "what kind".  Secure some locations first, then follow through on some good deals.  Keep in mind combo machines hold less of both product, so if you are going into a busy location get two separate machines, one pop one snacks.

Yvette wrote:

I totally agree.  Combo machines are not a good choice for very busy locations.  Separate soda and snack machines work best for large and busy locations.  Combos are good for smaller locations such as office break rooms.

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I have run my business for 24 years on second hand equipment which I have repaired/refurbished myself.

Without much money, but the ability to repair the machines, I would look for machines which have faults that I know I can repair cheaply. Because they are faulty they will usually be cheap to buy, or in some cases free.

As most machines are very reliable these days and the operating parts are easy to exchange, look for ones in good cosmetic condition, as the cabinets and trim parts are the most time consuming to repair, and some parts aren't too easy to get hold of. (in the UK anyway).

Try making contact with some larger vending companies who may be wanting to get rid of surplus stock, or older machines which they have upgraded.

Wherever you go, keep your eyes open for machines which appear to be abandoned & not used and try to find out who they belong to.

Put the word about that you are looking for machines, you never know what might turn up. I picked up 2 snack machines and 1 soda machine for just the cost of transport. The soda machine has been badly vandalised and will be stripped for parts. The snack machines both had faults, one of which was repaired for about £2.50 ($5.00), the other will cost a little more.

There are machines out there, it's just a question of finding them.

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That's a good idea, Owen. I see a snack and soda machine everyday on my way to work that look abandoned. It's sitting in front of a Vending company's old warehouse. The company was bought by a bigger competitor about a year ago and the 2 machines have just sat there. It looks like one might need a bill validator and the other just cleaned up. I don't really know what else they may need since I haven't gone much farther than driving past them.

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  • 1 month later...

Coca-cola in my area will let you use there machines for free as long as you buy the product from them. They also had a deal where you could put any product in there machines, including Pepsi, for only 20.00 a month rent. I'm still thinking about adding a couple soda machines and this would probably be my route to go.

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