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the wittern group/federal machine


AmJam vends
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Heyyy!! Has anyone ever delt with the wittern group financial services? They are the in house finance group for federal machines? Has anyone ever used them? Federal machine also stated they would help find locations. Is that normal for the manufacturer to help with location? 

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Usually a bit expensive, but I got my first big jump with them.  I did really well with the experience and yes they did find the locations, all in all a good deal for me.  Machines held up for four years then I sold out and tried something else a world away.  If the local guy here was to find something in my area, I would take the jump again.  If the accounts look good, it is worth it for me.

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1 hour ago, AmJam vends said:

Heyyy!! Has anyone ever delt with the wittern group financial services? They are the in house finance group for federal machines? Has anyone ever used them? Federal machine also stated they would help find locations. Is that normal for the manufacturer to help with location? 

I haven't dealt with the Wittern group but ZI can tell you that they make several different branded models and do a lot of private labeling for vending machine companies that don't want to make their own equipment.  My experience with Wittern machines is not good.  I've found them to be flimsy and poorly designed.  I would recommend that you contact A&M Vending regarding an AMS machine.  I believe they also have a financing program.  Companies that offer to find you locations do a poor job of delivering anything you'll need if you're going to be successful.  What you'll get is a location nobody else wants and a monthly bill that will eat all your profits or you may even find yourself in the red.  Remember that it takes a very good location to justify the purchase of a new machine.

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That's what I researched, and wasn't to pleased with the reviews. When I spoke to the guy, by time I finish paying for the machine through the financial services I would have spent 10,080 for one machine. Which is relevant to the price per machine with a franchise. Thank you for your feedback. I will look into A & M! Any other advice? I'm just getting into the business. But, starting with one or two vends until I figure out what it's about. 

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14 minutes ago, Snoopy said:

Usually a bit expensive, but I got my first big jump with them.  I did really well with the experience and yes they did find the locations, all in all a good deal for me.  Machines held up for four years then I sold out and tried something else a world away.  If the local guy here was to find something in my area, I would take the jump again.  If the accounts look good, it is worth it for me.

Not really, the financial services are expensive. One vending machine is 5k paid in full, through their financial services I would end up paying 10k for the same machine by time I finish paying for it. Same price per machine for franchise. That's what clicked my light bulb. 

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Wittern's finance arm uses credit card interest and the rule of 78s for payoffs.  That means you will always owe the majority of the interest plus the principal even when paying a note off early.  They thrive on financing to small vendors that can't afford new machines with cash but still want or need new machines.  Wittern also makes money when they repossess the machines as payments don't get made.  That's why Wittern/USI/Federal et al always has a supply of fairly nice and late model used machines they sell back to their distributors.   Wittern also has a vending management arm that kind of lives in the dark and vendors will sometimes find that an account they land is part of a Wittern management contract to complicate matters between the vendor and the account.  Wittern constantly sends out post cards to drum up business for their distributors.  The premise is that they find locations that the distributor puts machines into on a consignment basis.  They then find a local vendor/customer of theirs who will service the location on a temporary basis while the distributor finds a buyer for the account.  These types of accounts are almost always over-equipped and sold with new machines in them even though most locations don't warrant nor support new machines.  It's a vicious cycle that runs the Wittern machine.  

The only other finance company for vending that I'm aware of (banks are a no-go by the way) is Firestone Finance.  They will require, like Wittern, a minimum of 20% down and a typical term of 36 months.  They both will finance longer which will cost more, of course.

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6 minutes ago, AZVendor said:

Wittern's finance arm uses credit card interest and the rule of 78s for payoffs.  That means you will always owe the majority of the interest plus the principal even when paying a note off early.  They thrive on financing to small vendors that can't afford new machines with cash but still want or need new machines.  Wittern also makes money when they repossess the machines as payments don't get made.  That's why Wittern/USI/Federal et al always has a supply of fairly nice and late model used machines they sell back to their distributors.   Wittern also has a vending management arm that kind of lives in the dark and vendors will sometimes find that an account they land is part of a Wittern management contract to complicate matters between the vendor and the account.  Wittern constantly sends out post cards to drum up business for their distributors.  The premise is that they find locations that the distributor puts machines into on a consignment basis.  They then find a local vendor/customer of theirs who will service the location on a temporary basis while the distributor finds a buyer for the account.  These types of accounts are almost always over-equipped and sold with new machines in them even though most locations don't warrant nor support new machines.  It's a vicious cycle that runs the Wittern machine.  

The only other finance company for vending that I'm aware of (banks are a no-go by the way) is Firestone Finance.  They will require, like Wittern, a minimum of 20% down and a typical term of 36 months.  They both will finance longer which will cost more, of course.

Thank you so much for that! I don't necessarily need to finance it as I am starting off with one or two to get a better understanding of what is needed to know. Kind of testing the water. I just want to make a wise decision. Do you have any other advice that you may like to share? Completely want to learn all about this! 

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When first starting out you should avoid snack machines until you have a need for 5 or more at once that will allow you to control your stale products.  Start with soda machines first so that you can determine if you really want to be in the business.  12 oz cans are always the best to start with as they are easy to purchase and have long shelf life.  You can easily find inexpensive used can soda machines for sale and parts are plentiful.  They sell best in blue collar accounts.  If you try to do bottled soda in the beginning you will find that it has only a 3-6 month shelf life so it is harder to sell through some flavors before they expire.  

Starting with soda machines gives you the experience of finding them, refurbishing them if needed, moving them, repairing them, and of course servicing them, collecting and restocking them.  Once you figure out how all of that works you can decide if this business is for you.

Edited by AZVendor
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  • 2 months later...

Over the years Wittern would contact us and offer us accounts.  I can't think of any that, in my memory,  was a bad deal.  I think Sams financing is done through Wittern too.  If you are new to the business be sure to read through the forums and check out NAMA.  Don't buy machines until you get a location (because each location wants something a little different) some want all bottles, some want all cans and most want a mix of the two.  Get on line and get a free subscription to Automatic Merchandiser magazine.  If you call some of the locating companies they will want some upfront money.  I think there is a list of locating companies available on Vending World site plus check out https://www.vendingconnection.com/.  Karen does a good job posting lots of information.  If you use a locating company that wants a deposit be very careful to use a credit card.  Be sure you send them an email stating something like "if you do not have a location within 30 days the funds will be reversed"

 

Everyone wants big accounts.  Wait til you get a little experience under your belt.  We are working on an account in Santa Monica with 2800 on site employees.  Sounds wonderful doesn't it.  It could be but they have 5 breakrooms that require full banks of equipment. 25 machines. each breakroom will cost on average 11,000.  That is a big investment for anyone.  So there is risk and reward.

We also just closed an account with 88 emp.  Drink and snack are doing on average of $200 a week (the vendor is very happy)   This is a blue collar account.  The norm for this type of account would more in the $50 to $70 a week per machine.  We have no idea what makes this one different from another one.

 

Hope some of this helps.  Good luck.

 

Bev

Blue Moose Vending Management

 

 

 

cranevendingmachines.jpg

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