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New to Vending .... What's First


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I am thinking about getting started into the business.. What's a good vending machine price and where do you purchase it from?  Also do you guys use location placement people? If so which ones are good? How do they work? All Advice is appreciated !!  Oh I am thinking about doing a combo machine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Sewell932,

 

I am new to this business too and have similar questions. I read on this forum that the majority of combo machines have a poor quality and good ones are quite expensive. It was recommended to start with a drinks or snacks machine. 

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Their are only a few machine manufactures I would use. For snacks that would be Crane National, USI (Wittern), AMS and maybe AP. The reason I say maybe on AP is they are no longer made and you could have parts problems in the future. For drinks I would use Dixie Narco, Vendo, and Royal. A few other are decent but those are the main ones. 

 

Stay away from combo machines all together unless it is going into an account that needs a satellite location that does not have room for a full size machine. 

 

As far as locators, yes they can produce accounts but very rarely get good accounts. In order to get good accounts in vending it requires face to face sales time. Keep in mind "good accounts" can be somewhat subjective because some people consider accounts that do $100 a week in drinks and snacks a good account. If an account does not do $200 a week in drink and snack I don't consider them good accounts.  You surely are not going to get an account through a locating service that does $north of $1000 a week in revenue because those are going to take face to face time to get them. Nothing wrong with using a reputable locator but they usually dont produce strong accounts. This is not because of their ability it is because that is just the nature of the beast in vending. 

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As far as what first is a solid business plan and a real understanding of the vending business before you buy your first machine. Then find a location, then buy equipment based on their needs and requirements. This is about as short and sweet I can make it for you without getting into a loooong discussion that is to complex and detailed. 

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Hi RJT,

 

Thank you for your answer!

 

I am also inclined to the above mentioned models of vending machines. Are there any particular models of Crane/USI/AMS that we should avoid? 

 

What do you think about machines with conveyer belt technology vs spiral one? I am thinking of selling not standard size products like yogurt or maybe fresh fruits that shouldn't be damaged while being dropped from shelves.

 

What do you think about the machines with a refrigerator section or it is better to go with Food Machines (http://www.cranems.com/NV/prodListing.cfm) in this case?

 

Thank you for the information about the locator, I decided I will try my best to secure a location without locators. It is too expensive since I am starting with just one machine and often they give you not that good locations anyway. 

 

I think it could be challenging to go ahead with the location first and buying equipment later. For example if an account expects you to set up machine in a week and it could be shipped only in 3 weeks or it could be a falty one.

 

Thank you in advance.

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combos don't hold much.

so you would have to restock it all the time, if busy location.

also, stay away for most combos,

most that are around you cant find parts for or get service.

if you insist on combos, make sure the us dealer stocks parts.

like a witten or usi or whatever other brands they sell.

stay away from most anteres, I think they left the us now,

so no parts or support in the us anymore.

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Hi RJT,

 

Thank you for your answer!

 

I am also inclined to the above mentioned models of vending machines. Are there any particular models of Crane/USI/AMS that we should avoid? 

 

What do you think about machines with conveyer belt technology vs spiral one? I am thinking of selling not standard size products like yogurt or maybe fresh fruits that shouldn't be damaged while being dropped from shelves.

 

What do you think about the machines with a refrigerator section or it is better to go with Food Machines (http://www.cranems.com/NV/prodListing.cfm) in this case?

 

Thank you for the information about the locator, I decided I will try my best to secure a location without locators. It is too expensive since I am starting with just one machine and often they give you not that good locations anyway. 

 

I think it could be challenging to go ahead with the location first and buying equipment later. For example if an account expects you to set up machine in a week and it could be shipped only in 3 weeks or it could be a falty one.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Most any of the Crane, USI, AMS made in the last 5 or so years are fine. Like others have said the AP are fine and plenty around you are just dealing with older technology with something like the 7600 with single coils, no Surevend, no LED lights etc. Some of which can be updated but you are still dealing with single coils. Nothing wrong with them but in my area it is getting harder to place them because the competition is offering much newer equipment with more bells and whistles to entice customers to do business with them.  

 

I would stick with spiral machines.

 

It depends on the account if you will need a refrigerated model or not. It will depend on their needs. 

 

Limiting yourself to just one machine will reduce the number of accounts you can even call on from the start. What happens if they need a snack, drink, coffee machine and justify the equipment. 

 

Its not as challenging as you may think. You coordinate with the current vendor on a switch out date. I can have machines (if they are in stock) delivered direct to the location within 3 days most times. 

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Don't take this the wrong way but concentrate on what accounts much more so than what machines to buy. A bad account with a top notch machine is worthless. If your next question is what accounts to target that is a complex one and no easy answer. Are you doing this part time or full time? What is your schedule to be able to work the account? What can you invest in equipment for the account? The reason all this matters is if you say I work full time 8-5 M thru F then that can limit what accounts you could get. If you say I can only invest $1000.00 for one machine that will limit you. Some accounts can be worked once a week all the way to needing servicing everyday of the week. Some of the once a week accounts may only be open when you are at work. Some might not allow you to work them late at night. I had a hotel one time that said he ONLY wants me to work the account when he was there on Friday during the day around 1:00. I pulled out of the account because in the end it had better be a very strong account for me to only be able to work around their schedule.  

 

Like I said no quick answer on many fronts. 

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If you are new get an old single price can machine from Dixie Narco and place it in a mechanics shop.

As for what RJT said, most white collar places want brand new stuff, but most small vendors like blue collar places, welding, fabricators, machine shops, etc.

For those older equipment is fine, and most small vendors here prefer older machines due to their better build quality compared to newer stuff.

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If you are new get an old single price can machine from Dixie Narco and place it in a mechanics shop.

As for what RJT said, most white collar places want brand new stuff, but most small vendors like blue collar places, welding, fabricators, machine shops, etc.

For those older equipment is fine, and most small vendors here prefer older machines due to their better build quality compared to newer stuff.

 

This is not always the case. It really depends on what your competition is offering at the time. In my area many vending operators are offering up new or like new equipment. Not sure what you are comparing from the new stuff to the older as far as build quality but the new stuff I am getting is nice quality. 

 

Why would he want to get a single price can machine? It limits where he can put it and what he can put in it. What happens when they request juice, gatorade, etc and you cant sell it at soft drink prices?

 

Chasing your tail with small welding shops and the like will kill a new guy placing one or two machines. Most never do enough volume to deal with the stales. These can be decent if you already have a route established and just doing some filling in an area you already service but even with that most times not worth messing with.

 

I am of a mind set of ONLY getting quality accounts that make enough money to deal with the headaches of vending and owning your own business. Most white collar and small blue collar just don't produce enough volume to make it worth the time to do. 

 

Vending has rapidly changed (so has business in general) and we need to work smarter not harder. 

 

People on here and other forums scream doing only healthy vending is crazy (and I agree) but why is that any different than doing small blue collar accounts as your main source of revenue? I would take my chances with all healthy at a YMCA, private school, hospital over small blue collar any day. Their are key factors and metrics to deciding what accounts to do and not do no matter the size or type. If any account cant hit the $100 to $200 mark with a drink snack I will not do them. If it is a drink, snack, cold food it better be close to the $500 to $600 (or more) a week mark. Long ago I did them and found I was not getting anywhere fast and if I didn't change I was not going to be in business long.  

 

People say well people have to start somewhere. I agree with that but the process is about the same getting the slow accounts to getting the good accounts. You have to knock on a door, get with the decision maker, get them to accept a proposal, and then decide to do business with you. Yes the better accounts are more competitive that is the nature of any business. You have to set yourself up to compete with the larger operators from the start. The quick lubes, hair salons, mechanic shops are easy to get for a reason. It is because most operators don't want them. They don't want them for a reason and that is they don't do enough volume to make it profitable to to begin with.  

 

I hear people talk about creating a "niche" market out of accounts that no large operators really want. I have only seen one guy actually make a living off of that but he is a one man show doing over 200 accounts. He makes a nice living for himself but does not make enough to hire anyone and is stuck if he gets sick or otherwise. Good thing for him no real competition for his accounts so he can afford the occasional down time for being sick. Just as an FYI many of his accounts are in the hood at apartment complexes where they don't drive. He constantly has to watch his six and in fear of being robbed. Sorry but not any way I want to make a living. 

 

My point is for every successful vending operator I will show you 200 that didnt make it for various reasons. Most times it was people putting machines in the wrong accounts not making hardly any money if any and just gave up. 

 

I will never forget what a guy used to say I was a sales manager for used to say. "Do you want to eat hamburger or steak?" Nothing wrong with hamburger but I prefer steak. He was always telling us to get "impact accounts". Meaning those that impacted the company the most in revenue. 

 

People in this industry gets so hung up on how many machines, how many accounts, etc. How much money are you making is the ONLY thing that matters. Why do you think companies like Kripsy Cream , Starbucks , etc close down stores? Because they are not making the money to justify being their. Vending is not different and needs to be ran just like a large company with the exception of the personal touch we can give them with our customer service. We have to watch our revenues, cost of goods, labor cost, etc, etc and had better run a pretty tight ship or it will eventually sink. 

 

Each person is different as far as their expectations with the vending operation. Maybe someone loves their current job but looking at it for some extra income and will never be in it as a living. I think 95% have the expectation of getting large enough to tell their boos to go pound sand and make a living at it. however 98% of the 95% never make it that far. 

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This is not always the case. It really depends on what your competition is offering at the time. In my area many vending operators are offering up new or like new equipment. Not sure what you are comparing from the new stuff to the older as far as build quality but the new stuff I am getting is nice quality. 

 

Why would he want to get a single price can machine? It limits where he can put it and what he can put in it. What happens when they request juice, gatorade, etc and you cant sell it at soft drink prices?

 

Chasing your tail with small welding shops and the like will kill a new guy placing one or two machines. Most never do enough volume to deal with the stales. These can be decent if you already have a route established and just doing some filling in an area you already service but even with that most times not worth messing with.

 

I am of a mind set of ONLY getting quality accounts that make enough money to deal with the headaches of vending and owning your own business. Most white collar and small blue collar just don't produce enough volume to make it worth the time to do. 

 

Vending has rapidly changed (so has business in general) and we need to work smarter not harder. 

 

People on here and other forums scream doing only healthy vending is crazy (and I agree) but why is that any different than doing small blue collar accounts as your main source of revenue? I would take my chances with all healthy at a YMCA, private school, hospital over small blue collar any day. Their are key factors and metrics to deciding what accounts to do and not do no matter the size or type. If any account cant hit the $100 to $200 mark with a drink snack I will not do them. If it is a drink, snack, cold food it better be close to the $500 to $600 (or more) a week mark. Long ago I did them and found I was not getting anywhere fast and if I didn't change I was not going to be in business long.  

 

People say well people have to start somewhere. I agree with that but the process is about the same getting the slow accounts to getting the good accounts. You have to knock on a door, get with the decision maker, get them to accept a proposal, and then decide to do business with you. Yes the better accounts are more competitive that is the nature of any business. You have to set yourself up to compete with the larger operators from the start. The quick lubes, hair salons, mechanic shops are easy to get for a reason. It is because most operators don't want them. They don't want them for a reason and that is they don't do enough volume to make it profitable to to begin with.  

 

I hear people talk about creating a "niche" market out of accounts that no large operators really want. I have only seen one guy actually make a living off of that but he is a one man show doing over 200 accounts. He makes a nice living for himself but does not make enough to hire anyone and is stuck if he gets sick or otherwise. Good thing for him no real competition for his accounts so he can afford the occasional down time for being sick. Just as an FYI many of his accounts are in the hood at apartment complexes where they don't drive. He constantly has to watch his six and in fear of being robbed. Sorry but not any way I want to make a living. 

 

My point is for every successful vending operator I will show you 200 that didnt make it for various reasons. Most times it was people putting machines in the wrong accounts not making hardly any money if any and just gave up. 

 

I will never forget what a guy used to say I was a sales manager for used to say. "Do you want to eat hamburger or steak?" Nothing wrong with hamburger but I prefer steak. He was always telling us to get "impact accounts". Meaning those that impacted the company the most in revenue. 

 

People in this industry gets so hung up on how many machines, how many accounts, etc. How much money are you making is the ONLY thing that matters. Why do you think companies like Kripsy Cream , Starbucks , etc close down stores? Because they are not making the money to justify being their. Vending is not different and needs to be ran just like a large company with the exception of the personal touch we can give them with our customer service. We have to watch our revenues, cost of goods, labor cost, etc, etc and had better run a pretty tight ship or it will eventually sink. 

 

Each person is different as far as their expectations with the vending operation. Maybe someone loves their current job but looking at it for some extra income and will never be in it as a living. I think 95% have the expectation of getting large enough to tell their boos to go pound sand and make a living at it. however 98% of the 95% never make it that far. 

I'm sure everyone want the big accounts that makes a $1000 a week, but the truth is not everyone can get 'em.

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I'm sure everyone want the big accounts that makes a $1000 a week, but the truth is not everyone can get 'em.

 

Why is that? Plenty of them to go around and even more drink snacks that do $150 to $200 a week. BTW, I never said only the 1k a week accounts are worthy of doing. Plenty of quality accounts that don't do 1k a week. However, I have seen those screwed up by putting to much or the wrong equipment in. Show me an account that is a solid drink snack account and then throw in a cold food and coffee and now it turns into a bad account.  

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Why is that? Plenty of them to go around and even more drink snacks that do $150 to $200 a week. 

 

I been talking to some locators and none has told me how much an account can make, i also, was told that $100 a week account in drinks and snack is pretty decent account.. Personally i suck in sales, I rather chew glass than do sales, so i wont be able to land a big account by myself, i guess I let you guys get the big fish, I'd be happy with the $100 a week accounts.

 

Sorry OP- didn't mean to hijack your post.

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I been talking to some locators and none has told me how much an account can make, i also, was told that $100 a week account in drinks and snack is pretty decent account.. Personally i suck in sales, I rather chew glass than do sales, so i wont be able to land a big account by myself, i guess I let you guys get the big fish, I'd be happy with the $100 a week accounts.

 

Sorry OP- didn't mean to hijack your post.

 

Locators usually never tell you how much an account will do. One, is because they probably don't know. Second, they don't want to get in a situation where it does not do the numbers they said it will do. 

 

How did you get your current accounts that do $100 a week in drink snack? How do you plan on getting more? Locators? I am not saying an account doing $100 a week in drink snack is not a decent account. You just cant depend on these only. If it is beside an account or you go buy it on the way to one of your other stops then sure it might make sense to do it. Here is the BIG problem with having only accounts that do $100 a week in revenue. How many will it take for you to make a decent living at?

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Thank you for the advice on the machines models. It has helped me to look at the business from the client’s perspective, a simple demand and supply law that we often forget.

 

I am not based in the USA so it is a bit more complicated than a quick delivery and set up of Crane/USI machines in New Zealand. A local manufacturer sells used Necta Snakky machines for NZD 5462 (USD 3984.12) including BV20 Note Reader and added a DPS SCR200 Credit / Debit / Tap N Go Reader. I have just started my research but it looks like I will have to import a machine from Australia through an official distributor, under the condition that parts will be available and could be shipped here. I will also have to check available technical assistance on the market if I can’t fix it myself. I had a look around and could see lots of Dixie Narcos and some Crane machines. It looks positive.

 

I had an idea of establishing a TV screen with adverts on the machine to cut operational cost. However, electricity bills might be too expensive, not all accounts will be happy about this and vandalism could be an issue (depends on the location). Do you think that these disadvantages outweigh advantages?

 

I do understand and agree with the advantages of operating multiple accounts and managing different machines including coffee machines but I could only afford one machine now. The thing is that I will have to add other set up and operational costs. My max budget for the machine is around USD 3600. I work full time but I have a flexible timetable and I don’t think it will be a problem to leave my workplace during the day or in the morning.

 

 

Thank you everyone for the insights on weekly marks for the accounts, I am going to think about it in further details.  

 

BTW sorry for my late replies, my messages are still under moderator’s approval.

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1. There are a lot of electronics in the newer stuff, expensive modules, plastic, etc. For example the newer Crane composite candy shelves like to bend, metal is cheaper, etc. After Crane bought out AP and the others their build quality went straight to hell.

This is not always the case. It really depends on what your competition is offering at the time. In my area many vending operators are offering up new or like new equipment. Not sure what you are comparing from the new stuff to the older as far as build quality but the new stuff I am getting is nice quality. 

 

Why would he want to get a single price can machine? It limits where he can put it and what he can put in it. What happens when they request juice, gatorade, etc and you cant sell it at soft drink prices?

 

Chasing your tail with small welding shops and the like will kill a new guy placing one or two machines. Most never do enough volume to deal with the stales. These can be decent if you already have a route established and just doing some filling in an area you already service but even with that most times not worth messing with.

 

I am of a mind set of ONLY getting quality accounts that make enough money to deal with the headaches of vending and owning your own business. Most white collar and small blue collar just don't produce enough volume to make it worth the time to do. 

 

Vending has rapidly changed (so has business in general) and we need to work smarter not harder. 

 

People on here and other forums scream doing only healthy vending is crazy (and I agree) but why is that any different than doing small blue collar accounts as your main source of revenue? I would take my chances with all healthy at a YMCA, private school, hospital over small blue collar any day. Their are key factors and metrics to deciding what accounts to do and not do no matter the size or type. If any account cant hit the $100 to $200 mark with a drink snack I will not do them. Long ago I did them and found I was not getting anywhere fast. 

 

People say well people have to start somewhere. I agree with that but the process is about the same getting the slow accounts to getting the good accounts. You have to knock on a door, get with the decision maker, get them to accept a proposal, and then decide to do business with you. Yes the better accounts are more competitive that is the nature of any business. You have to set yourself up to compete with the larger operators from the start. The quick lubes, hair salons, mechanic shops are easy to get for a reason. It is because most operators don't want them. They don't want them for a reason and that is they don't do enough volume to make it profitable to to begin with.  

 

I hear people talk about creating a "niche" market out of accounts that no large operators really want. I have only seen one guy actually make a living off of that but he is a one man show doing over 200 accounts. He makes a nice living for himself but does not make enough to hire anyone and is stuck if he gets sick or otherwise. Good thing for him no real competition for his accounts so he can afford the occasional down time for being sick. Just as an FYI many of his accounts are in the hood at apartment complexes where they don't drive. He constantly has to watch his six and in fear of being robbed. Sorry but not any way I want to make a living. 

 

My point is for every successful vending operator I will show you 200 that dint make it for various reasons. Most times it was people putting machines in the wrong accounts not making hardly any money if any and just gave up. 

 

I will never forget what a guy used to say I was a sales manager for used to say. "Do you want to eat hamburger or steak?" Nothing wrong with hamburger but I prefer steak. He was always telling us to get "impact accounts". Meaning those that impacted the company the most in revenue. 

2. Sometimes you just gotta say no, especially in the case of specialty crap like juice and fancy teas. However they are cheap, durable, and simple as hell to work on, no programming for a newbie to do.

3. Cans have a 10 month shelf life, 10 selections have one 12 pack each = 120 if you don't sell that much in 10 months its time for a new location, hell it was time for a new location 7 months ago, so no problem with stales.

4. Big accounts are nice but no always practical for a newbie leaning the ropes. Needs more equipment, more risk, etc.

5. See, white collar folks like to bring in crap to share, and there go your sales. Blue collar on the other hand you can make work with less people in an account because they buy more- they've been busting golpher all day and all they want is coke. Btw this business model has served well for at least three vendors on this forum, all of which do it full time.

6. Impact accounts can fusk up you revenue big time when they close down, move, etc.

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1. There are a lot of electronics in the newer stuff, expensive modules, plastic, etc. For example the newer Crane composite candy shelves like to bend, metal is cheaper, etc. After Crane bought out AP and the others their build quality went straight to hell.


I have not had any problems out of the new machines I have bought and they have a warranty to take care of any issues. Crane, USI, AMS have a reputation of taking care of any issues. 


 


2. Sometimes you just gotta say no, especially in the case of specialty crap like juice and fancy teas. However they are cheap, durable, and simple as hell to work on, no programming for a newbie to do.


Yes, you can say no (I do often) but many times no is not an option when it is requested enough or requested by the decision makers. They will find someone that will say yes.  


 


3. Cans have a 10 month shelf life, 10 selections have one 12 pack each = 120 if you don't sell that much in 10 months its time for a new location, hell it was time for a new location 7 months ago, so no problem with stales.


You are correct but if you are getting quality accounts stales will not play a part (for the most part). 


 


4. Big accounts are nice but no always practical for a newbie leaning the ropes. Needs more equipment, more risk, etc.


Why are they not practical? Not necessarily means more equipment. You can still have a good once a week drink/snack account over having a bad account.


 


5. See, white collar folks like to bring in crap to share, and there go your sales. Blue collar on the other hand you can make work with less people in an account because they buy more- they've been busting golpher all day and all they want is coke. Btw this business model has served well for at least three vendors on this forum, all of which do it full time.


 


Yes it is common that blue collar is MUCH better over white collar. However, each account needs to be assessed on its individual merits based on metrics that are fairly commonly used in the vending industry. Even then a few accounts can fool you both good and bad.  Yes, I am sure their are successful vendors here just like I named one in my post. By the way success can be subjective. For some working 40 to 50 hours a week clearing $40k a year is success to others it is not. 


 


6. Impact accounts can fusk up you revenue big time when they close down, move, etc.


 


Yes, loosing any account can do that and the larger ones will impact you more. That is why you have to have a plan to gain that revenue back as soon as possible. In the vending industry you constantly need to grow or be able to maintain because if not your business will die.This means the ability to sale.  Depending on the situation that death could come faster than expected. You also need to pick your accounts wisely. I have turned down more business than I have gotten over the years for various reasons. One reason is the risk of them closing. I would not turn down an account that has years of history in business. I recently turned down an account that is a huge manufacture that has around 600 people. Why? because they have shut down all USA plants but that one and moved the rest over seas and they had a ton of equipment needs. If I had the equipment sitting and paid for then I would have taken the risk. However the risk was not worth me financing that much equipment with their history of closing their USA based plants. 


 


The large accounts are the ones that helps jump your business to the next level quickly. That could be from starting up or just needing a new large account to help make up the 5 little ones you lost over the past couple months. The guy that told me to get "impact accounts" was in a position because of the crash had hurt his business and he was needing to fix that as quick as possible. Every situation is different but bottom line quality accounts are key no matter what size of operation you run. 

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1. There are a lot of electronics in the newer stuff, expensive modules, plastic, etc. For example the newer Crane composite candy shelves like to bend, metal is cheaper, etc. After Crane bought out AP and the others their build quality went straight to hell.

I have not had any problems out of the new machines I have bought and they have a warranty to take care of any issues. Crane, USI, AMS have a reputation of taking care of any issues. 

 

2. Sometimes you just gotta say no, especially in the case of specialty crap like juice and fancy teas. However they are cheap, durable, and simple as hell to work on, no programming for a newbie to do.

Yes, you can say no (I do often) but many times no is not an option when it is requested enough or requested by the decision makers. They will find someone that will say yes.  

 

3. Cans have a 10 month shelf life, 10 selections have one 12 pack each = 120 if you don't sell that much in 10 months its time for a new location, hell it was time for a new location 7 months ago, so no problem with stales.

You are correct but if you are getting quality accounts stales will not play a part (for the most part). 

 

4. Big accounts are nice but no always practical for a newbie leaning the ropes. Needs more equipment, more risk, etc.

Why are they not practical? Not necessarily means more equipment. You can still have a good once a week drink/snack account over having a bad account.

 

5. See, white collar folks like to bring in crap to share, and there go your sales. Blue collar on the other hand you can make work with less people in an account because they buy more- they've been busting golpher all day and all they want is coke. Btw this business model has served well for at least three vendors on this forum, all of which do it full time.

 

Yes it is common that blue collar is MUCH better over white collar. However, each account needs to be assessed on its individual merits based on metrics that are fairly commonly used in the vending industry. Even then a few accounts can fool you both good and bad.  Yes, I am sure their are successful vendors here just like I named one in my post. By the way success can be subjective. For some working 40 to 50 hours a week clearing $40k a year is success to others it is not. 

 

6. Impact accounts can fusk up you revenue big time when they close down, move, etc.

 

Yes, loosing any account can do that and the larger ones will impact you more. That is why you have to have a plan to gain that revenue back as soon as possible. In the vending industry you constantly need to grow or be able to maintain because if not your business will die.This means the ability to sale.  Depending on the situation that death could come faster than expected. You also need to pick your accounts wisely. I have turned down more business than I have gotten over the years for various reasons. One reason is the risk of them closing. I would not turn down an account that has years of history in business. I recently turned down an account that is a huge manufacture that has around 600 people. Why? because they have shut down all USA plants but that one and moved the rest over seas and they had a ton of equipment needs. If I had the equipment sitting and paid for then I would have taken the risk. However the risk was not worth me financing that much equipment with their history of closing their USA based plants. 

 

The large accounts are the ones that helps jump your business to the next level quickly. That could be from starting up or just needing a new large account to help make up the 5 little ones you lost over the past couple months. The guy that told me to get "impact accounts" was in a position because of the crash had hurt his business and he was needing to fix that as quick as possible. Every situation is different but bottom line quality accounts are key no matter what size of operation you run. 

 

Nothing wrong with your business model but it is geared around growth while new guys should really take it easy and learn the ropes.

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Nothing wrong with your business model but it is geared around growth while new guys should really take it easy and learn the ropes.

 

That is the major problem with most that start out in vending. They hardly ever last because of "learning the ropes". They never really saw any real profit and ended up getting out of vending about as fast as they got in. Unless the new guys are just wanting some "spare" income they had better learn from the start it is always about growth and smart growth. If not you can get yourself in a heap of trouble fairly quick. Even for the guys wanting "spare" income that are happy with their regular job no need to "learn the ropes" by doing it the wrong way with bad accounts, bad equipment, etc, etc. Get it right no matter what your long term goals are. 

 

Really I don't have a "business model" It is just sound business principles and practices that apply to about any business. Where it differs is it is applied to vending and what works and what does not. 

 

Lets take the hot dog cart business as the example. Would you be better off off on a dirt road in some back country town or a busy street in a busy down town district? Is the location in town harder to get? Maybe, but it is worth the effort and the dirt road locations should be avoided from the start. Same goes for any (name your business) the "learning the ropes" can lead you to failure if you do not operate at a certain level from the start. Never understood that for some reason in vending it is ok to have the attitude of "learning the ropes" "people have to start somewhere" "they can always move the machines", etc. Would we give the same advice to someone wanting to open a retail store, restaurant, etc? Just open up anywhere and "learn the ropes" then you can move to a busy, higher rent location. No, we would probably advise them to wait and save up till they had enough money, time, etc to do it right from the start. 

 

You know the deal, look on CL at all the machines for sale, the "routes" for sale that many on here would call dogs. Plenty of great advice on this forum but the problem is it is so segmented and hard to get the big picture for the new guys. Heck even when sound advice is given (do not buy the route, location, machine, etc) and they do it any way.

 

Don't get me wrong, some have started out doing it the wrong way and pushed passed it but those are few and far between. That is because many do not have the resources, know how, and sheer fortitude to get past it and get to a successful and profitable level.  

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Yes, I agree that the doctors offices and what not (your back roads carts in your analogy) should be avoided but there is always more than one way to skin a cat... you could go for healthy in a school, like a gourmet food cart in a upscale area, or do a cart at construction sites with simple food, like a decent mid sized blue collar location- both can be profitable.

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Yes, I agree that the doctors offices and what not (your back roads carts in your analogy) should be avoided but there is always more than one way to skin a cat... you could go for healthy in a school, like a gourmet food cart in a upscale area, or do a cart at construction sites with simple food, like a decent mid sized blue collar location- both can be profitable.

 

Of course a mid size blue collar account can be profitable. Heck clearing $10.00 a week (after all expenses) could be considered "profit". Wouldn't it make better sense to have that same drink snack account in an account that generates $50 a week in profit? I think maybe you are missing my point. What I am saying is everyone needs to maximize their profits that their equipment will generate. Why settle for a account that does not maximize (or close to)  the potential your equipment will generate. What I am saying is you could have one account that you work the same amount of days (once a week) with the same amount of equipment (drink/snack) and they be worlds apart on the amount of profit.

 

I am just saying I see way to many people settle for sub par accounts because they think they cant get the better accounts because they don't go after them, don't know how to get them, or simply don't know how to determine what an account should do in revenue in the first place and end up with sub par accounts.

 

Like I said each account has to be analyzed and that includes doctors offices. Notice I said analyzed and not "give them a shot" and see what happens. Even some of them may fool you. We had a kidney center one time (similar to a doctors office) that did over $200 a week in revenue.    

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That is the major problem with most that start out in vending. They hardly ever last because of "learning the ropes". They never really saw any real profit and ended up getting out of vending about as fast as they got in. Unless the new guys are just wanting some "spare" income they had better learn from the start it is always about growth and smart growth. If not you can get yourself in a heap of trouble fairly quick. Even for the guys wanting "spare" income that are happy with their regular job no need to "learn the ropes" by doing it the wrong way with bad accounts, bad equipment, etc, etc. Get it right no matter what your long term goals are. 

 

Really I don't have a "business model" It is just sound business principles and practices that apply to about any business. Where it differs is it is applied to vending and what works and what does not. 

 

Lets take the hot dog cart business as the example. Would you be better off off on a dirt road in some back country town or a busy street in a busy down town district? Is the location in town harder to get? Maybe, but it is worth the effort and the dirt road locations should be avoided from the start. Same goes for any (name your business) the "learning the ropes" can lead you to failure if you do not operate at a certain level from the start. Never understood that for some reason in vending it is ok to have the attitude of "learning the ropes" "people have to start somewhere" "they can always move the machines", etc. Would we give the same advice to someone wanting to open a retail store, restaurant, etc? Just open up anywhere and "learn the ropes" then you can move to a busy, higher rent location. No, we would probably advise them to wait and save up till they had enough money, time, etc to do it right from the start. 

 

You know the deal, look on CL at all the machines for sale, the "routes" for sale that many on here would call dogs. Plenty of great advice on this forum but the problem is it is so segmented and hard to get the big picture for the new guys. Heck even when sound advice is given (do not buy the route, location, machine, etc) and they do it any way.

 

Don't get me wrong, some have started out doing it the wrong way and pushed passed it but those are few and far between. That is because many do not have the resources, know how, and sheer fortitude to get past it and get to a successful and profitable level.  

Everyone here agrees that its better to get good locations right from the get go, the question is that good locations are hard to get, and a lot harder for people for people starting new.. The million dollar question is how to get them ? Good locations are mostly gone by bigger companies before you even there, so what's the secret without buying your $2.99 ebook on Amazon ? :mellow: :mellow: :mellow:

 

I would be more than happy to pay a locator based on the account performance, if the account makes 3 times the minimum I would pay 3 times for that location and so on..

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Everyone here agrees that its better to get good locations right from the get go, the question is that good locations are hard to get, and a lot harder for people for people starting new.. The million dollar question is how to get them ? Good locations are mostly gone by bigger companies before you even there, so what's the secret without buying your $2.99 ebook on Amazon ? :mellow: :mellow: :mellow:

 

I would be more than happy to pay a locator based on the account performance, if the account makes 3 times the minimum I would pay 3 times for that location and so on..

 

 

 

 

 

I don't mind helping as much as possible with my time (for free) but no offense if you are not willing to spend $2.99 on your vending business you are domed from the start. 

 

Their is no real "secret" other than hard work and dedication to getting these accounts. It is almost impossible to get the good accounts using locators. You can get some accounts but getting the good ones is going to take going and knocking on their door and getting past the decision makers.  ALL vending worth having will have a current vendor you will have to beat out to get the business. You might get lucky and find a new business coming into town that has not picked a vending company yet but if they are of any decent size you will still have other vending companies trying to earn their business. 

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