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new to vending- how to price items

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Hi everyone, I am new to the vending world. Can you please tell me what prices I should have for soda cans, bottles, candy bars, chips, crackers, etc? If possible, it would be helpful to include location as well for reference. I am in southern NH. I bought a route but the prices are so low that I am barely profiting. Help is appreciated.

thanks 

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I shoot for 40% cost. Max acceptable cost is 60%.

Typically this means .75 -1.00 cans, 1-1.50 candy, pastries, Large chips, 1.50-2 bottles depending on cost.

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orsd is pretty on target.  I know some operators are still at 1.00 for candy and .60 for small chips, I have no idea how they stay in business.  Check prices at local c-stores for a comparison point, and remember the shelf price at those stores will not include sales tax, which your price will need to include.  I try to be near the average c-store price, maybe a few cents lower.  Expect some push back from customers with any price increase, a few will complain directly and sales will be slightly off for a few weeks, but if your prices are reasonable in comparison to other sources you will be fine.  Better to sell 5 items at a profit than 10 at a loss.... operators stay cheap especially when selling the route because they fear losing locations.  If you provide good service and reasonable prices, anyone you lose will not be an account you want anyway.

Also think about your changers when pricing, if you drinks are .75 or 1.00 for example, you change banks will usually be OK.  If you go to .85 then change from 1.00 will take a nickle and dime each time, and you will find your changers running out of small coins (been there done that).  Go to .90 if you don't want to do 1.00.  Quarter increments work best, .15 over the quarter is OK; 10 or 20 over the quarter should be avoided. 

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On 9/18/2020 at 9:36 PM, Southeast Treats said:

orsd is pretty on target.  I know some operators are still at 1.00 for candy and .60 for small chips, I have no idea how they stay in business.  Check prices at local c-stores for a comparison point, and remember the shelf price at those stores will not include sales tax, which your price will need to include.  I try to be near the average c-store price, maybe a few cents lower.  Expect some push back from customers with any price increase, a few will complain directly and sales will be slightly off for a few weeks, but if your prices are reasonable in comparison to other sources you will be fine.  Better to sell 5 items at a profit than 10 at a loss.... operators stay cheap especially when selling the route because they fear losing locations.  If you provide good service and reasonable prices, anyone you lose will not be an account you want anyway.

Also think about your changers when pricing, if you drinks are .75 or 1.00 for example, you change banks will usually be OK.  If you go to .85 then change from 1.00 will take a nickle and dime each time, and you will find your changers running out of small coins (been there done that).  Go to .90 if you don't want to do 1.00.  Quarter increments work best, .15 over the quarter is OK; 10 or 20 over the quarter should be avoided. 

Thank you! I purchased a route and it is barely making any money. Previous owner has chips set at 60 cents, cheezits at 55 cents, utz chips at 50 cents. I’m barely making any money. I’m thinking 75 cents for all chips is a good place to start. Then eventually raise drink prices, etc

Edited by OVend

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  I’m always looking at prices in convenience stores and competitors prices and use that as a guide and of course knowing my cost . Every vendors cost will be slightly different because some buy products directly from the bottler . 
  I like to increase prices every January and that way if they boycott me for awhile, they are usually over it by the time spring comes around but since you bought the route , I’d talk to management of the location and explain your situation and that you’ll have to increase prices , personally I try not to increase prices so much that it’s a shock to your customers. 
 I also like to type up a note and tape it to the machines explaining the need for an increase. While it’s your right to increase prices , I like to inform the customer ahead of time so the increase won’t be a surprise. 
The prices that you stated above are low but I didn’t see what size bag your vending . I like to vend the Big Grab bags for $1.00 and candy , cookies for $1.25-$1.50 depending on the location. 
  If your paying a commission you also have to calculate this into the prices. 

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2 hours ago, OVend said:

I purchased a route and it is barely making any money. Previous owner has chips set at 60 cents, cheezits at 55 cents, utz chips at 50 cents. I’m barely making any money. I’m thinking 75 cents for all chips is a good place to start. Then eventually raise drink prices, etc

I don't put anything in the machine for less than .75.  I have been at that level for years on small snack items (1 oz or less size) and will probably hold that for a while longer since costs on those are still low, but I am phasing out some of those for large snack size (LSS) at $1, which will probably go to 1.15 - 1.25 sometime next year.   As I put more card readers out and move average prices higher, there seems to be fewer people buying the bargain basement sizes in favor of getting a decent portion for their money... you purchased a customer base that will have to be trained to accept normal prices over time, but it can be done..

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I'm not disagreeing with anyone here, I'd just like to add another strategy you might want to use:  Incorporate new items.  For example, Southeast mentioned the LSS bags.  You're not currently selling those, so when you do there is no precedent for your price.   (And people actually prefer the larger size in my experience).  Also, do you sell Poptarts?  If not, try those.  They cost about 38 cents, price them at at least a dollar.  Look into other 'new' items as well.  Little by little, try to be perpetually raising your prices, but as inconspicuously as possible.  Candy is the most difficult.  Our cost for candy always increases faster than the other items.  Look for other things to put in the candy shelf, like Oreos, nuts, Nature Valley etc.  Better yet, try to have at most only one candy shelf in your machines.  But you probably need to have Snickers and an M&Ms in there at least.

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5 hours ago, Apple Leisure said:

I'm not disagreeing with anyone here, I'd just like to add another strategy you might want to use:  Incorporate new items.  For example, Southeast mentioned the LSS bags.  You're not currently selling those, so when you do there is no precedent for your price.   (And people actually prefer the larger size in my experience).  Also, do you sell Poptarts?  If not, try those.  They cost about 38 cents, price them at at least a dollar.  Look into other 'new' items as well.  Little by little, try to be perpetually raising your prices, but as inconspicuously as possible.  Candy is the most difficult.  Our cost for candy always increases faster than the other items.  Look for other things to put in the candy shelf, like Oreos, nuts, Nature Valley etc.  Better yet, try to have at most only one candy shelf in your machines.  But you probably need to have Snickers and an M&Ms in there at least.

Yep, this is exactly what I started doing this week. Adding 2 new items this week and I figure that if I add new items, I can price them at .75 and no one can really complain about it. I already have pop tarts, Oreos, LSS, granola bars. I’m adding takis and nutty buddy this week. Hopefully veggie straws next week. Also thinking of Jack links beef jerky, but not sure how to price it.

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Good luck with those veggie straws.  I had to buy a box a while back because my contact requested it.  Even with that I'm not sure I sold any of them.  What makes it even worse is they come in a variety pack.  Does anyone else those?

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7 hours ago, Apple Leisure said:

Also, do you sell Poptarts?  If not, try those.  They cost about 38 cents, price them at at least a dollar. 

An interesting point is that you shouldn't look at something like poptarts (which are way more expensive from a distributor) and think that $1.00 is too high of a price but, rather, compare all of your products to distributor prices because you may one day be ordering from them and the LAST thing you want to do is watch your profits shrink up real quick because your prices are too low and the distributor's prices are much higher than you're used to.  I base all of my prices off of distributor prices and I consider the deals I get on cheaper items as extra profit in my pocket.

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