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Commission vs. Charity


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I am sure there has been a round table about this once or twice. This has to be an age old question, but let me give my school of thought, which was passed down to me by a very knowledgeable vendor.

Commission -

Pro's: Businesses love getting something for virtually nothing and could arguably make placing MUCH easier.

Con's: The most obvious answer is, you are giving away a percentage of your gross and making profit becomes more difficult. If you offer 20%, what happens when the guy behind you offers 25%?

Charity -

Pro's: Businesses love support charity and this should make placing much easier. People are less likely to tamper with a machine that says money goes to kids on it.

Con's: Not as easily placed as commission machines

For me, the hands down winner is charity machines. Giving $1 dollar to charity a month vs. giving $5 dollars to the business is much more appealing to me. If I can become familiar with how to pitch the machines, I think that Charity machines are easier than commission machines. That's right I said it...pitching charity machines the correct way are easier to place than commission machines. I say that without having tried to place commission machines. LOL I have done cold calling for a couple different industries before so I have a pretty good idea of what it would be like!

I would love to hear your opinion.

Thank you,

Barry S.


4 - Uturn 8-heads (1 placed)

4 - Uturn 4-heads (3 placed)

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Yes, welcome to the forum.

This topic has been discussed to death. The only real concensus is that if you plan on really growing and doing this as something more than part time, you need to move into commission.

If you do a quick search, you'll find all of the pros and cons you'd like :)


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I think you have a great point.  I've worked with vendors that have 100's of charity machines. 

Beyond what you said, tithing makes everyone feel good and at around $1 per month it is very reasonable. 

Plus, in our experience larger corporate accounts are not going to take a commission candy machine but they may accept one for charity. 



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Yes, this has been beat to death and people come down on both sides of the fence.  I was a charity person who has phased into commission.  The "feel good" of giving to a charity is not all there for me.  If you look at some of these vending charities, they are not the best charities out there.  In many cases there is a small amount that goes to goes to good work.  While I have not done it, I think working with a local charity or two would be worth it. 

As far as commission I have found small businesses become very loyal if you take care of them.  If you say hi to them by name, ask how their family is, buy a pizza from them, give them a small bonus here and there, you will keep them.

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I think you need both and your relationship with the owner and your service will keep your good locations. Let's say you do $100/mo on a triple (way above average); you are paying 20% gross so the owner gets $20/mo. Not much when you are talking thousands or even millions of gross sales the place produces. A good relationship will go much further.

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Thank you all for your reasoned responses. The biggest thing that I took from everyones responses was the relationship that needs to be built. I think a relationship would mean more, and purchasing the products being sold, than a couple bucks a month. Unless a location is doing $100 bucks a month, I don't think the $4.50 check you'd be cutting them is going to mean much. That's my very limited experience so far.

Thank you all,


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