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Vending Newbie Needs Advice - 5 Top Things Not To Do When Starting A New Vending Business


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Welcome to the forum.  There are probably more than 5 things not to do but who knows which ones you might try first?  What kind of vending are you considering, as that will make a world of difference? 


........I should probably have noticed which forum you posted this in so you can ignore my last question.  You should be getting some responses soon.

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Excellent question! Though I'm sure it varies from vendor to vendor, here are my top five things to learn/know before you become a vendor! All experience I've gained from my days in the vending wars...


Vending is NOT a get rich quick scheme!

  • Too many guys have the impression that vending is a way for them to score a quick buck, or even make "thousands of dollars" very quickly. This business is a slow game at best. The businesses here that are successful and operating well have built up a lot of experience and expanded gradually to get where they are. There are a few exceptions, but I'd chalk those up to sound investments and superb planning. You can't go from 0-100 in this business, or you are doomed to spectacular disaster of one sort or another, and businesses like mine will be picking you apart on Craigslist when it's all done.

Vending is NOT an EASY job!

  • The common misconception is that I buy a machine, load it up, and collect the money. That I sit around playing "World of Tanks" all day while basking in the glow of my vending riches. This is of course totally false. There is always something to do in vending, and a lot of the work is NOT fun to do. Locating is a major turnoff to most- the notion that they have to go out and "sell" their services in person all the time isn't for them. Likewise, being the cleanup crew on your machines isn't fun either- scraping gum off your gear every time you visit will wear on you if you let it. This is not a sit around and let the money come to you job- this is a "roll up your sleeves and get busy" sort of business. If you've been told it's an easy business, someone was trying to sell you something.

Vending is NOT for everyone!

  • Kinda goes into the last point, but it bears repeating. This industry is NOT for everyone. The time, money, and resources required to start up and maintain a vending business are not always feasible for everyone. This business is entirely unique from pretty much everything else out there, and simply being good at sales, or good at unit management, or good at marketing from another job isn't necessarily going to help you here. You need a unique blend of technical and sales skills that relatively few people posses in the quantities it requires to be successful. Do NOT stick your life savings into this business just to find out it's not what you thought it was, or isn't going to work. Start small, and ease your way in- it is better to find out it's not for you with 5 machines rather than 500.

Buy quality!

  • Look at the Bulk section of the forum here. A good fifth of the threads pertain to "is X machine any good?" or are looking for support on an off-brand machine. There are some off brand machines that are phenomenal, but by and large if it isn't one of the big brands, it's not going to be a good machine. Invest in quality equipment from the onset- no matter how tempting a buy some off-brand doubles on Craigslist may be. Learn the ropes and the business on good machines first, then take those experiences to other machines when/if you get them, not the other way around. I know from experience- I learned a lot of lessons the hard way because my equipment was either substandard, or too different from "traditional" equipment to function as expected. If you start with the right setups for your business model, and machines that won't let you down, you'll be starting off on a foundation you can grow on.

Ask questions, and look for answers!

  • There is no such thing as a dumb question. We've got a thread HERE for beginners that Vendelicious and I cobbled together like forever ago, but all the info is basically unchanged. However, if you've got a question- ask it, or look it up! Your business is counting on you to make it work, and you need to know a lot of things as you move along- so don't be afraid to ask questions, or look for the answers. The site here has a search function (I think it's still only open to members, sorry guests) that's really handy, as are your major search engines, as the TVF is vast, and (thankfully) very well indexed. Odds are good that by sheer volume your question has been asked at least once before. But, don't suffer in silence- we are here to help if we can.

Those are my top 5 for newbies, or those who are still just thinking about getting into the business. As always, upon all your vending endeavors, good luck!


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not a seasoned vet here..but one thing i learned from my own experience is (if you're doing candy) don't get a lot of variety of candies at first. I went in the local vending supply store and went crazy literally like a big kid in a candy store. And though its nice to to have options, its difficult to keep that kind of inventory up...also labels and vend amount settings. Like the guys here say..keep it simple  B)

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