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I Want to Start Small, Liability Risks Have Me Worried


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Hello!  I am looking to start out SMALL, and I mean small.  Honestly more for fun than anything, and a way to get a feel for vending.  If it goes well there is certainly the opportunity and willingness to grow.  I want to set up 1 countertop vending machine, to sell stickers.  If I don't have liability insurance am I screwed if someone twists a finger and sues me?  I am looking to approach local coffee shops about having the machine in their store.  I figure securely sticking the machine to the counter limits the risk of falling as close to zero as it gets.  "I" got sued for a minor fender bender , insurance is/was defending me and is covering it, but that threat of a multiple thousand dollar bull---- lawsuit has me incredibly worried.  And obviously if insurance is needed, I will not start since that overhead destroys any hope of breaking even!  Would a "do not put finger in machine to retrieve item" sign, or something like that, work to limit or remove liability?  Thank you!  I am in CT if that makes a difference, although don't sweat being overly specific.  Just looking for opinions and thoughts on this

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Addition:  I should make sure to buy a plexi glass machine right?  As well, I came up with a better idea to get a card vending machine that people cannot put fingers in.  I think "do not shake" "do not insert anything into slot" along with it being plexi glass, and secure on the counter, chances of an issue are near 0?  Although, while writing this, I did just consider someone falling and smashing their head on it but that could be on the shop?  FML, I am overly paranoid about litigation

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I understand being cautious but have you heard of "paralysis through analysis"?   It takes a lot of guts to start a business and those risks you mentioned are only part of them.  If you think hard enough about the negative of any situation, you can certainly talk yourself out of pretty much every idea you will have.  Without risk, there can be no reward.  If you want to take a trip, you have to get in the car and go.  Go cautiously and think things through, but eventually, put your seatbelt on and go.

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20 hours ago, Newbie94 said:

Hello!  I am looking to start out SMALL, and I mean small.  Honestly more for fun than anything, and a way to get a feel for vending.  If it goes well there is certainly the opportunity and willingness to grow.  I want to set up 1 countertop vending machine, to sell stickers.  If I don't have liability insurance am I screwed if someone twists a finger and sues me?  I am looking to approach local coffee shops about having the machine in their store.  I figure securely sticking the machine to the counter limits the risk of falling as close to zero as it gets.  "I" got sued for a minor fender bender , insurance is/was defending me and is covering it, but that threat of a multiple thousand dollar bull---- lawsuit has me incredibly worried.  And obviously if insurance is needed, I will not start since that overhead destroys any hope of breaking even!  Would a "do not put finger in machine to retrieve item" sign, or something like that, work to limit or remove liability?  Thank you!  I am in CT if that makes a difference, although don't sweat being overly specific.  Just looking for opinions and thoughts on this

What kind of stickers are you wanting to sell and what kind of countertop machine are you talking about? Is this the kind of bulk machine you are talking about (without the stand of course)?

Sticker Vending Machine for sale compared to CraigsList ...or are you talking about a full line countertop snack machine? Either way a counter top will be a hard sell to a coffee shop especially if you want to bolt it down to the counter. Add to that most coffee shops don't have a lot of extra counter space. I'm not trying to rain on your idea but depending on the content of the stickers the vast majority of sticker buyers are kids and preteens and coffee shops generally are not a huge hang out for that age group. The bottom line is if you put a piece of vending equipment in someone's business you are exposing yourself the the possibility of liability regardless of what signage you have on the machine. Liability insurance is just another cost of doing business so if you go without it you could indeed be held personally responsible if someone successfully sues you. 

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I put small parts/choking hazard and peanut warning stickers on some of my equipment... but I don't think that will really stop someone from trying to sue you. I would start with a single head vending machine... those are pretty low risk. You could chain it to an anchor as well so it can't fall over. Stickers are a hard sell, but can be profitable.

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