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So i got a call on saturday. A lady saying she has department stores that need vending machines. She says that they require 500 a year due at the end of every year. She said she needs some in my area and that shes already working with another vendor as well. Then she tells me you have heard of wallmart right? So she says they r incharge of the vendors for them. She said she needs soda machines in 2 new walmarts here locally and may swap vendors for the other 8 currently here. They r in the tire service shop. Says they get 300 customers a day and that the soda machines do about 3,000 a month in the location. She said she could let me also put them at our big lots stores, but that they only have 30 to 40 employees and that those make about 600 a month. I asked her if snacks and soda and she said just soda but if theres enough room i could put both or shed love combos. I asked her if the machines need to be walmart colors etc and she said any generic drink machine is fine. Told me wednsday shed call me and so i can go talk to the managers, and she said theyll tell u were the machine is going, but everything is done by us. So they dont need to know anything else and for me to install on friday. She asked if i could also do the city next door which is 45 min away...

Now is this bs? She got my number off craigslit. She sounded really legit, but im not sure why someone would lie about it? Does this sound right to anyone that may be in these type of stores

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This sounds like someone representing a vending management company is the caller.  Did she identify herself and who she was calling from?  If it was a management company there should be no secrets about who they are as they do sometimes look for new vendors in areas where the management company doesn't have a significant presence or is unhappy with whichever vendor(s) they use.  This could be a great foothold for you to get in good with a management company, if you're so inclined. 

 

The drawbacks to management companies is that they own the locations, not you, they will usually dictate certain details about the equipment you should use such as size, color and whether the location might require a bottler machine (because some retailers have advertising endorsements with Coke or Pepsi), and they will dictate the product pricing and/or the commission rate you will need to pay them.  They might also require you to install remote monitoring equipment in your machines for their use (you would have access to the reports as well).  You will have to keep good records for them so if you're not prepared to do that then you should pass.  This could be an opportunity to add several locations but, as she said, some of them will be small and low volume which could be why she's looking for an additional vendor.  If you do a good job then you should be in line for some large retail breakrooms down the road.

 

As to the Walmart stores, the machines you would do will be in the employee breakroom or in the tire shop like she said, not in front of the store as those machines are supplied by the bottlers and some are stocked by the store with Walmart soda.  The Big Lots locations will be in the employee breakrooms and will be slow accounts as you could imagine.  I would not believe her gross sales predictions until you experience them for yourself, but I would take the chance since it's only two soda machines.

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Yes she said she was calling from a management company....she was really non specific just said to put drinks on there she was just specific about the $500 a year comission. I was wondering how the heck shed know the gross sales on the locations if its a 500 a year comission? Like why would they care to know? I asked her if bottles or cans and she said it didnt matter. Im sure sodas would be ok but snacks? Wouldnt people just buy from walmart? And big lots she said they make 600 a month i just a cold drink machine...id take that in a heartbeat i love those type of accounts.

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It's possible she is basing her projected sales on machines in Walmart tire shops elsewhere, which might not be the same as yours - you won't know until you do it.  I would listen to anything that's soda only since that's what sells best and has your best profits.  I would do bottles or cans depending on your highest margins.  Did she say what your prices need to be?  If not, be prepared for them to tell you to change them, but you can always tell them it's your prices or nothing since they are already dictating the commission of $42 per month.

 

You need to realize that the management company will keep a percentage of the commission before sending the balance on to their client.  The purpose of the management company is to be the middleman in obtaining consistent vending for all of the client's locations.  Their first goal is to get enough commission to make it worth their while to manage the account while only keeping a small part of the commission.  Their second goal is to turn some commission over to the client.  Since she is vague on what products you can sell it sounds more like whoever is doing the other management vending in these locales isn't interested in providing machines to those accounts so she is locating a new vendor in a quick and dirty way just to get it done.

 

Again, I would give it a go with only soda and see how you do.  It might surprise you and then if you do well you could ask for them to feed you more business.  Just make sure your management company business doesn't exceed 10-20% of your gross sales in the event they decide to share your locations with someone else down the road.  You wouldn't be the first one to lose management company accounts to another "business partner" of theirs. 

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Best Venders is the management company for Walmart. They do find small venders to cover some stores with snack machines. However all the soda is done through the bottlers. Nothing is absolute but I would say this is a scam. Nothing she told you is what I know to be true. Make sure you dot your i's and cross your t's before you do anything.

 

Mike 

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Best Venders is the management company for Walmart. They do find small venders to cover some stores with snack machines. However all the soda is done through the bottlers. Nothing is absolute but I would say this is a scam. Nothing she told you is what I know to be true. Make sure you dot your i's and cross your t's before you do anything.

 

Mike 

 

Yeah, I'd be very leery and want further proof from her of what she's saying. Both Walmart and Big Lots are Best Vendors companies. I'll tell you right now that Big Lots are a losing proposition. They have 12-20 employees, total. And being located out of the public eye in the breakroom ( because, they aren't going to want to compete with you ) makes for slow slow machines. The Walmart deal, having machines in the tire department might be worthwhile, but why would they only give you the tire department? They've got machines in the employee breakroom, and out in front of the store, too. My spidey senses are tingling from the sounds of this one.

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Ok i called her up she said shes part of national vendors? She said a guy locally already has most of the accounts in my city but that she can give me one to 3 accounts and she can give me like 6 accounts to the neighbor city because the current vendor doesnt want to go there. She said the figures are what the current vendor tells them it doesnt have to be reported though she said shed call me wednsday to go speak to the managers of the locations, i feel like they mostly want to give them to the current guy and want someone for the other city. I guess i will wait til wedsnday and see what happens.

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Ok i called her up she said shes part of national vendors? She said a guy locally already has most of the accounts in my city but that she can give me one to 3 accounts and she can give me like 6 accounts to the neighbor city because the current vendor doesnt want to go there. She said the figures are what the current vendor tells them it doesnt have to be reported though she said shed call me wednsday to go speak to the managers of the locations, i feel like they mostly want to give them to the current guy and want someone for the other city. I guess i will wait til wedsnday and see what happens.

Ask for a copy of the contract you will have with them to review before you sign. Make sure you understand what you are signing up for and are willing to do it, preferably before you start buying and moving machines.

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National Vendors is out of Des Moines, Iowa. I worked with them for one of my accounts and they are a HUGE p-i-a. Ot would depend on their contract with WM but with my customer (not wm but which I had before they came along) they dictated my pricing and commissions and everything went through them. They priced my out of 1/2 my sakes at the location. $2.00 pastry for a place where employees are making little more than min wage. I could say lots more but I'd just as soon forget them. 

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I got a call from a management company that was the same word for word.  I ended up saying no thank you and the woman seemed like I was somehow out of my mind.

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I got a call from a management company that was the same word for word.  I ended up saying no thank you and the woman seemed like I was somehow out of my mind.

 

She was probably pissed because she couldn't get anyone to agree to the terms.

 

I had an offer from (what I think was called) Vending Management Services.  They wanted 10% of the gross which seems like the industry norm... but the load of crap was that the rest of their terms were crazy.  They wanted all equipment to be no more than 5 years old because everything would have to be installed with software to monitor the sales (which I had to pay for, if I recall), I had to get to a service call within 48 hours (which was reasonable actually), I had to put their marketing on my machine (as if THEY were the vendor and not ME) but I was responsible for all costs.

 

Now... the 10% part is okay if it means getting a good account.  The 5-year-old (or newer) equipment part is okay if it means getting a good account.  The 48-hour service call deal is more than I typically ever make a customer wait.  But to put your marketing on my equipment as if YOU are the one providing this excellent service?  No.  I respectfully told them that I was not willing to give them the 10% they wanted and that they could find another vendor.  They either never found another vendor or the location refused to allow a competitor in these locations.  The location in question was grossing $35/week out of a combo machine.

 

I have actually turned down some nursing homes because I don't want to deal with THAT company.  The management company that I currently deal with (with one single account) is really laid back.  They get 9.3% (10% of gross after 7% sales tax paid) of the gross sales and they just want a check every month.  I might call them up soon and try to get some decent locations.  I don't mind paying the 10% if I can get decent pricing at good locations.

 

Oh.. and the reason why I quoted you... the lady was upset because I opted NOT to take her deal.  I doubt she was too upset about the 10% commission (because I service the location and do a good job... which still makes them look good because of their contract with the entire nursing home chain) but because I basically told her to F-off in a very nice way.  I think your lady is probably upset because her company will look bad (and she will look bad) if she can't find someone to take the deal.  It is very possible that you won't be profitable though.  Keep in mind, the agreement is that they make 10% of the gross whether you make a profit or not.  They never lose, as long as they get their 10%.  That's almost as bad as the IRS.

***PS***

 

I'm not 100% sure but I think Dennis had done some vending with walmart in the past.  I'm not sure if it was him, but one member did say that he did the soda at a few Walmarts.  However, I thought I remember him saying that it wasn't really worth the hassle for one reason or another.

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I had one experience with a management company about nine years ago

They called me up told me that one of my smaller accounts which was a sales office for a national company that had a can machine and a snack had signed a national agreement with them to provide vending to all their offices.

He told me that they would let me keep the machines there but I had to add a bottle machine stay at the same price and pay them 15% commission. 

I Said: Let me see if I got this right, I pay for the equipment take all the risk and pay you for the privilege to gross about $50.00 a week on a twenty person sales office.

He said, Our records show there is over 100 people at that office.

I  Said, Then someone has hoodwinked you guys because you couldnt get 100 people in that office if they stood shoulder to shoulder front to back in the entire space.

He said, Our offer still stands,

I said, No Thanks, I will pick up the equipment at the end of the month

Two weeks later we picked up the equipment and there was no vendor there and the little golpher had the nerve to call me and tell that I owed him two weeks commission and threaten to sue me if I did not pay it.

I told him good luck with that, LOL

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Ok so i know its not bs. A friend is in the walmarts and was in w this lady. She called me and said the front ones do better and that i can put mine in the front....walmart has their own i the front but cans at $1 she said i could price mine at less and make a killing. Or i could also be in the break room next to my buddies as long as i offered dif selections. What do u guys think? Would the break room do best or the oustide??

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After this last conversation with this lady, it's not adding up very well.  I seriously doubt that Walmart will allow you to put any machine at the front of their store to compete with machines that are already there.  I also would question her ethics if she is suggesting that you put another machine in the breakroom next to the current vendor's machines to compete with him.  I would suggest you actually try to speak with the store manager about this because it's sounding more like she's trying to "slam" the account with machines they don't even know will be installed.  If I'm right, she could be hoping for the confusion this will cause and that you might actually pay her a commission before you get booted out.

 

I don't know, but this is getting really weird.  Has she even given you her name and the company she's with?  Have you contacted the company to see if she actually works there?  Have you received any official letter from them with this offer in writing?  When I worked with a management company I always got a letter outlining the parameters of what we would be doing in a new account and that letter came before any machines were installed.

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No not really nothing in writing, shes just like oh i can make u alot of money and says the home depos will be 1k as they do better.....she wants to setup apointments with the managers so i can see them and all. It sounds fishy but the guy i know is already doing them

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No not really nothing in writing, shes just like oh i can make u alot of money and says the home depos will be 1k as they do better.....she wants to setup apointments with the managers so i can see them and all. It sounds fishy but the guy i know is already doing them

I get the feeling that this will not end well if you proceed....,

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