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Tips and tricks on buying vending machines from a private seller?

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Looking to pick up some vending machines to expand my small business ventures, in total there's 5 vending machines, all of them have debit and credit card readers, and I'm paying 1200$/machine. What do I need to know before buying? Do I need to write up a contract? Do I need a special licence? (I'm in Alberta) Am I at risk of a lawsuit if a machine falls on someone? Would appreciate any general tips or tricks you guys know

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If you aren't familiar with the equipment, you might consider taking someone along that is.  You can get anti-tip stickers to put on the equipment and L-brackets to mount it to the wall to protect yourself from that. 

You should also consider checking serial numbers for any of the equipment sporting bottler logos (Pepsi, Coke, DP, Shasta, etc).  Some bottlers lease out equipment under contract that the operator will purchase product directly from them.  Down the road, the operator sells it off with the rest of their business.  You can generally check with the local bottler and they will be able to tell you if any of the equipment belongs to them.

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