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Jackie Le

New member looking to get into the industry

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Hello everyone,

 

My name is Jackie and I am from Orange County, California. I’m doing research to start a vending business to make some extra money for my family.  I would appreciate any advice or recommendations.  I started my research looking at healthy vending.  Companies such as healthy you, healthier 4u, instahealthy etc.    but the more research I do it seems like I’m better off starting it on my own with used machines.  Thank you in advance edit any tips and recommendations.  Also wondering what kind of permits are required in California to start a vending machine business. 

 

Thank you

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Don't buy new, many used ones, its not as easy as you think, you will not break the bank with what you make, find a good mover, I'd stick to Gumballs, less headaches, and more profit, and you can still take a vacation 😁, soda machines need to be taken care of, if a gumball machine does good at a location, soda will do good as well

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1 hour ago, NYCandyMan said:

Don't buy new, many used ones, its not as easy as you think, you will not break the bank with what you make, find a good mover, I'd stick to Gumballs, less headaches, and more profit, and you can still take a vacation 😁, soda machines need to be taken care of, if a gumball machine does good at a location, soda will do good as well

Thank you NYCandyMan. I will consider looking in to gimballs as well. 

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9 hours ago, EddieMac said:

Here's a good book to read.  How to start your own vending business.

 

I will definitely give the book a read.  Thank you

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you will not get rich over night, it takes time and lots of patience and lots of work and learning!

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12 minutes ago, NYCandyMan said:

you will not get rich over night, it takes time and lots of patience and lots of work and learning!

Yeah I totally understand that.  I am looking to make some extra money on the side to supplement my income now and at the same time I wanted to do something I can call my own rather then just get a second job. If I’m able to grow this into a legitimate business then that would be awesome and at the same time if I can get 10-20 machines and make an extra 1k a month that would help too. 

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With the wrong locations that number of machines is likely to GROSS only $1000 so don't predetermine what you will make from this when you don't even know what you are doing.

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It may be a little difficult to get an additional $1k/month from 10-20 machines if they are all soda. 

On one hand, if these accounts are only generating $50/month, then you'll have some issues with expired soda. It's doable but laborsome.  Repair costs tend to eat away at your profits faster too but it's difficult to really predict that.  It's just much easier to justify repairing a machine doing way more income than repairing a dog that does very little.  People don't see you as professional in the long run in such slow accounts.

On the other hand, a location doing $100+/month may want a snack machine.  You can say no and try not to get kicked out because another vendor offered a snack machine, or you can install one and deal with it.  A snack doing $50/month is very difficult to deal with due to expired products, especially if you don't have very many snack machines on your route.  You'll buy variety packs and possibly throw half of it out.  You can lose money in the end.

If you want to make an extra $1k/month, then you should at LEAST try to land one decent account that breaks $500/month in gross sales.  You can justify a pair of refurbished machines, you can add card readers, and expired products should be manageable.  At least with one of these locations, you can move product around from slower locations. 

You really don't want to have a bunch of slow locations out there. A lot of us have been through that.  I have been through that.  My machines probably only average a little over $100-$125/month, which isn't great, but this is up from probably less than $75/month several years ago.  I arguably did things the wrong way because I stuck with slower accounts first, and my margins were not good.  If it weren't for my job I had at the time, I would not have survived let alone GROW in this business.  If I had started with locations doing no less than $3,000/year, it would have been much easier.  I have probably gotten rid of 20+ machines in the last 12 months because they weren't worth repairing or placing on location.  I got those for slow locations and some of them never even paid for themselves even if I only spent $500 on equipment.

It's fine to want to make an extra $1k/month, but do yourself a favor and go after some decent locations.  Of you can do that with 10 soda machines, good, but if it's going to take 20, you may as well just find a part time job instead.

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30 minutes ago, AZVendor said:

With the wrong locations that number of machines is likely to GROSS only $1000 so don't predetermine what you will make from this when you don't even know what you are doing.

AZ I totally understand that. I was just making a broad statement. My main point of saying that was I don’t mind working hard and learning.   Honestly anything will help.  Also that’s why I am on here.  Just trying to learn from people already seasoned in the business, not trying to predetermine anything

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9 minutes ago, AngryChris said:

It's fine to want to make an extra $1k/month, but do yourself a favor and go after some decent locations.  Of you can do that with 10 soda machines, good, but if it's going to take 20, you may as well just find a part time job instead.

Thanks angry Chris.  I totally understand that I’m taking a risk going into this industry with no knowledge. I was just making a broad statement when I was saying extra 1k a month.  Any amount of extra money is good. I’m interested in this industry also because I can start off small without risking a lot of my money and just see where it takes me.  I’m sure everyone in here felt the same way at some point when trying to start out. 

I do appreciate everyone’s honest and straight forward answer though. It’s very refreshing to see open and honest discussions and I look forward to learning from everyone in here

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On 3/10/2019 at 12:30 PM, Jackie Le said:

Yeah I totally understand that.  I am looking to make some extra money on the side to supplement my income now and at the same time I wanted to do something I can call my own rather then just get a second job. If I’m able to grow this into a legitimate business then that would be awesome and at the same time if I can get 10-20 machines and make an extra 1k a month that would help too. 

20 machines will not get you 1k! sorry to burst the bubble, a double head should produce about $15 to $20/mo now do the math of how many you need to make 1k, a 3 header about 20 to 30$/mo and so on. do the math before you die trying, make sure this is something you want to get into long term, no more vacations! think of service calls for empty machines! service! service! service! btw, did I mention no vacations and lots of service :P

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4 hours ago, NYCandyMan said:

20 machines will not get you 1k! sorry to burst the bubble, a double head should produce about $15 to $20/mo now do the math of how many you need to make 1k, a 3 header about 20 to 30$/mo and so on. do the math before you die trying, make sure this is something you want to get into long term, no more vacations! think of service calls for empty machines! service! service! service! btw, did I mention no vacations and lots of service :P

Perfectly doable with full line.

Not saying it’s easy, but it’s doable.

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On 3/19/2019 at 4:10 AM, orsd said:

Perfectly doable with full line.

Not saying it’s easy, but it’s doable.

10 full line will do it, I estimate for every 1 full line, you need 10 double heads, so 1 to 10, 10 machines do about $200/mo, about the same as 1 full line, the difference is... its a lot harder to place full line than double heads, and a lot more headache with service, weekly vs monthly, repair, weather conditions, and so on.

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32 minutes ago, NYCandyMan said:

10 full line will do it, I estimate for every 1 full line, you need 10 double heads, so 1 to 10, 10 machines do about $200/mo, about the same as 1 full line, the difference is... its a lot harder to place full line than double heads, and a lot more headache with service, weekly vs monthly, repair, weather conditions, and so on.

This is the full line section.

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6 hours ago, AngryChris said:

This is the full line section.

for someone looking to get into the line of business should have pros and cons of every aspect before they commit, its a good knowledge base to have.

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6 hours ago, NYCandyMan said:

for someone looking to get into the line of business should have pros and cons of every aspect before they commit, its a good knowledge base to have.

He wasn't asking about gumball machines.  You literally told him he should stick with gumball machines on the full-line forum when he asked about full-line vending.  How does that make sense?

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Posted (edited)
On 4/3/2019 at 11:04 PM, AngryChris said:

He wasn't asking about gumball machines.  You literally told him he should stick with gumball machines on the full-line forum when he asked about full-line vending.  How does that make sense?

makes plenty sense, if you're buying a car, don't you want to know your options, who cares when and where, the point is you have options and now you know what they are, there is absolutely no harm in having a bit of knowledge regardless of which car you buy from which dealer, eventually you will take all options into account and make an informed decision. the information may or may not have been completely useful or useless in the decision, but knowing that you have a choice is knowing that you can make the best decision for you. (btw I charge by the hour for sessions like this :P)🤣

what you want is not always what you need vs what you can handle 😁

Edited by NYCandyMan

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Hi Jackie, which part of Orange County are you in?  There a couple of machine dealers near you that you could go meet and check out their equipment.  Westway Sales, Ross Vending and of coure the largest with the biggest selection is Vending World in Rancho Cucamonga.  I do not get any commission from any equipment wholesaler.  But these 3 have a good reputation.  

Most vendors in Orange or LA expect to get $50 a week on a full size machine.  Certainly there are many locations that do less than that and I am sure you will have some that do worse or better.  My advice is put the machines out, check their 3 month average.  Those performing under your set amount, move them.

If you decide to work with a locator, do not give them any up front money.  It is fine to sign up with them but do not give them any deposits.  If they have a location for you, visit it and talk to the management.  Be sure you click, feel comfortable with them.  Then buy the machine that works for them.  Before even doing that show them a photo of the equipment you are willing to offer, get a installation agreement signed (I can send you a sample form) then go buy the machine.  Get a mover with liability insurance.  I know if you purchase from any of the 3 companies I listed they will help you set up the equipment.  If you have problems later on, they will respond and help.

When you have your first account (especially if you offer a snack) go to Vistar, Sams or Costco and take a photo the the boxes that offer variety packs.  Try to use as many items from those packs as you can because snacks will stale date on you.  So buying big boxes won't work until you get several machines out.  No so much a problem on drinks but be sure to buy the items with the longest expiration dates.  So check each one.

Good Luck.
Blue Moose

 

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4 hours ago, NYCandyMan said:

makes plenty sense, if you're buying a car, don't you want to know your options, who cares when and where, the point is you have options and now you know what they are, there is absolutely no harm in having a bit of knowledge regardless of which car you buy from which dealer, eventually you will take all options into account and make an informed decision. the information may or may not have been completely useful or useless in the decision, but knowing that you have a choice is knowing that you can make the best decision for you. (btw I charge by the hour for sessions like this :P)🤣

what you want is not always what you need vs what you can handle 😁

Yes except, in this case, the prospective buyer asks other buyers what kind of car to get and you're telling him to ditch the car and get a bicycle instead because cars aren't worth the hassles or price whereas bikes are easier to maintain and cheaper.

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19 hours ago, AngryChris said:

Yes except, in this case, the prospective buyer asks other buyers what kind of car to get and you're telling him to ditch the car and get a bicycle instead because cars aren't worth the hassles or price whereas bikes are easier to maintain and cheaper.

and that's a true fact that needs to be put out there, he may or may not want to deal with a headache, or he might want it, its a piece of knowledge that he didn't know until now, now he knows

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On 4/14/2019 at 12:51 PM, Poplady1 said:

Hi Jackie, which part of Orange County are you in?  There a couple of machine dealers near you that you could go meet and check out their equipment.  Westway Sales, Ross Vending and of coure the largest with the biggest selection is Vending World in Rancho Cucamonga.  I do not get any commission from any equipment wholesaler.  But these 3 have a good reputation.  

Most vendors in Orange or LA expect to get $50 a week on a full size machine.  Certainly there are many locations that do less than that and I am sure you will have some that do worse or better.  My advice is put the machines out, check their 3 month average.  Those performing under your set amount, move them.

If you decide to work with a locator, do not give them any up front money.  It is fine to sign up with them but do not give them any deposits.  If they have a location for you, visit it and talk to the management.  Be sure you click, feel comfortable with them.  Then buy the machine that works for them.  Before even doing that show them a photo of the equipment you are willing to offer, get a installation agreement signed (I can send you a sample form) then go buy the machine.  Get a mover with liability insurance.  I know if you purchase from any of the 3 companies I listed they will help you set up the equipment.  If you have problems later on, they will respond and help.

When you have your first account (especially if you offer a snack) go to Vistar, Sams or Costco and take a photo the the boxes that offer variety packs.  Try to use as many items from those packs as you can because snacks will stale date on you.  So buying big boxes won't work until you get several machines out.  No so much a problem on drinks but be sure to buy the items with the longest expiration dates.  So check each one.

Good Luck.
Blue Moose

 

Hi poplady1,

i am located near Disneyland. Thank you some other people have recommended those companies too, but I will look into those companies as well. Have you heard of the vending machine king?  He is located very close to where I am. 

Thank you for all the tips. I will definitely keep them in mind when I start. 

Thank you again

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On 4/14/2019 at 4:24 PM, AngryChris said:

Yes except, in this case, the prospective buyer asks other buyers what kind of car to get and you're telling him to ditch the car and get a bicycle instead because cars aren't worth the hassles or price whereas bikes are easier to maintain and cheaper.

Thank you to both of you angrychris and NYcandyman. I appreciate any information given I am an absolute newbie to vending.  I’m just trying to soak in as much info and do my due diligence before starting

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