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New to the business but have family doing vending

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Hello everyone. I just wanted to start out by saying that I am so happy that I found this forum, and have years of experience to comb through. I have been debating about going into vending for about a year now, but about a month ago I decided to just pull the trigger and go for it. My uncle and cousin have a business going in Missouri for about 3 years now. And they are doing pretty well. They have 18 full line machines, and are pulling in pretty decent money. I was able to learn from their startup mistakes, aka healthy vending franchise. They spent a lot of money on these machines, although they aren't that bitter about it because it did get them started. And the locators flew out for each machine to get them into locations, which is helpful.

I just hired a locator myself, although I'm not too happy with their service so far. I paid 5 days ago, and filled out all the forms but have yet to receive even a call from the person assigned to me, but we shall see. The company came highly recommended from what I've researched but it seems they've recently changed their pricing structure, and I don't really like it. There old pricing was a certain fee to place each machine, which they backed with a warranty, but now they make you pay the full amount upfront which was about $600 to find you 5 good location leads, but I still have to go in and seal the deal with no possibilities of a refund. I'm regretting this purchase more and more as each day passes, but I guess you live and learn. This option could end up being better than the original structure if I can land 2 or more of the 5 prospects, but I could end up with no locations and be out $600, but only time will tell.

I've been banging my head against a wall on the 20oz soda machines, and starting off I guess I'm just going to be limited to cans and 16.9oz bottles that I can get at Sam's Club. The local bottlers won't even bother with you until you can reach a certain size. And from what I've heard on this forum about Vistar pricing, you won't even turn a profit on the 20oz sodas.

Thanks again for a great forum with great resources.

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