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Hello from Charleston

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Hello Ev1,


I am considering getting into the vending business as finding a "regular job" as one gets older is difficult.  I have been lurking on this site for a few days before I decided to join.  There seems to be a wealth of information on here that would be very useful for a newbie such as myself.  I have decided to focus on healthy vending to start and will see how that goes.  Any advice, suggestions or warnings are welcome.  


Glad to be a part of the community of vending and I look forward to interacting with you.

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Welcome to the forum.  I commend you for taking a new look at your next direction in life.  I will tell you that unless you have money you are willing to lose in a gamble, that finding a job would be the better tact for you.  First off, any kind of vending that will replace a paying job takes quite an investment of time and money.  A route such as that cannot be built quickly but rather over many years, unless you purchase a going business with dependable and verifiable cash flow.  Vending is not a highly profitable venture unless you have many, many machines out, regardless of the type of machine.  This is a business of pennies due to the poor margins we work under and so it takes high sales to equate to any appreciable profit after all expenses are paid.


My main concerns for you are these:


Do you have significant cash to invest to get instant cashflow?

Are you prepared to never get your investment back?

Do you think the profits from this investment would exceed the profits from other forms of investment?

Healthy vending is not a proven direction to take to profitability.

Traditional vending fare is far more profitable and still in more demand than healthy vending that is being forced down workers mouths by the government and busy-body employers.

Don't fall for flashy healthy vending seminars or websites.

Avoid any imported machines or machines from manufacturers that import all the parts and only assemble the machines here.


I'm not telling you that you can't make a profit in vending or even in healthy vending, but it isn't done on the cheap and isn't done quickly.  Just speaking about healthy vending, it has always been around in one form or another.  Traditional vendors (read that as the ones that have had success over many years and continue to do so) have always faced competition from various forms of healthy vending over the last 30 years.  I will say that the trend is now here to stay but that doesn't mean it's what the public wants to eat.  In fact, if a healthy machine is placed next to any normal fare machine, the normal fare wins out every time.  If the two machines are left to exist together, the healthy machine will not do more than 1/2 the volume that the normal machine does - and this is even with extremely high prices in the healthy machine.  That brings me to the prices of healthy products.  If you haven't yet done your homework on healthy products you'll find that there are many fewer items to sell compared to normal snacks and the healthy options are very expensive to buy due to their lack of market share and higher development and distribution costs of smaller snack manufacturers.  You'll also find that some of the healthy franchises require you to purchase your products from their suppliers which in itself is more expensive than products you could source yourself. 


I just ask you to take a step back from any glitzy presentations you've seen and treat this as a purely business decision before taking any further steps.  There is a lot more to consider than taking any high pressure sales pitch's word as gospel.  Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


If you're still game to get into vending, then read through the various forums here and liberally use the search boxes.  There are volumes of posts to read that will shed a lot of light onto the industry for you.  There are also many experienced vendors, as well as newbies, that share their experiences here and you can learn a lot just by reading the normal flow of posts over the next few weeks.


Let us know how you progress through this, if you would please.

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Welcome to the TVF! If you're looking at breaking into the tiny "healthy" market, do your research, and know exactly what you are getting into. Most of the people I've encountered who set off to make their fortune selling healthy snacks didn't know much about it going into it, and they learned their lesson the hard (and expensive) way of how not to do it.


Read up, and ask questions. We're here to help you, however we can. Good luck on your vending enterprise!

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Is Anybody else on forum trying Healthy Vending?


Not anyone currently, though many have dabbled. Definitely check out the back posts with the search bar- a lot of good info out there from past members.


The only advice I recall offhand was to avoid products with very short shelf lives, and avoid any "Biz-Op" style "Buy your business now" deals on healthy vending, as the machines are almost as bad as the nonexistent support you'll get after the sale. We're here to help to the best of our knowledge if you have questions- good luck!

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Don't forget, healthy products work fine in the normal machines too. I think it's better to give people the choice, and let them choose. I admit I would buy more from vending machines if they had "healthier" products. (is that good for me to say when I am the one running a forum on vending?)


But if you are dead set on healthy vending, remember this is a niche market. It would work best if you focus on locations that are receptive to this. Gyms, and schools come to mind.


Also I must mention just because something is called healthy, or is perceived as such does not make it true. There is a whole market for unhealthy "healthy" products out there. Going off topic a great example is canola oil. (It's actually rapeseed oil, but canola sounds better.) Pushed as healthy, but far from the truth.

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