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Vending Business

adamcadamc subscriber Posts: 11
edited October 2008 in Selecting a Business
Anyone have experience in the vending machine business? I just got home from the store when I noticed two kids freaking out at mom until she handed them 50 cents each so they could get a cheap toy. I am doing some hunting online right now but if anyone has any experience let me know!


  • minimegeologyminimegeology subscriber Posts: 26
    I have not had a vending business but I know a friend who did.  He hired a firm to help him place the machines at great locations and had a miserable time.  I`m sure he`d like to sell the machines, they were in his garage last I knew.
    If you do move forward, try odd locations like doctor`s offices.  Our kid`s dentist gives them a tolken if they are good for the checkup and they can get a toy from the machine.  You`d just have to basically sell the toys to the doctors and maybe they can help make sure it is stocked.
  • WebJunkyWebJunky subscriber Posts: 8 Member
    this is a volume based business...much like a gas station. you don`t make much on a per gallon sale...or a per vending machine sale...but collectively you make a respectable living.  that said there is a lot of headache you must be willing to deal with.  someone has to maintain those (customer service)...stock them up, etc. its not as simple as buying it and parking it and collecting cash from it. there is a lot of work that goes into it.
    if you are determined to get into this, consider buying used machines.  better yet, look for existing vending businesses being sold. this way you will have some numbers to work with. make sure they are audited statements...or do your best due diligence to validate the numbers.
    overall it is a saturated business. as greenchip said if you have a distinct product you may be able to set yourself apart. but you still have to deal with the product management, maintenance and other issues. for something like this it would make most sense to talk to someone already in the business. read online on forums and discussion boards about people`s experiences in this business.
    ideally, a good way to run your business would be to own several of these and hire a full time "manager" to conduct the management and maintenance. you will have to do a cost benefit analysis to see if this can put $$$ in your pocket at the end of the month since you have to pay someone regularly.
    it`s a tough one you`ve picked...but i am sure it can be worked..
  • Tabor88Tabor88 subscriber Posts: 3
    I did have a good friend that started a vending business years ago when we graduated high school.  It took him about five years of hard work and lots of spoiled candy to finally pay for the machines and by then he was done with it...I`m sure if he could do it all over he would have chose a different path.  
    But scope out your local market and determine if there is a real need before making your final decision.  Chances are there is already a vending machine at every decent location.
    Best of Luck
  • RetiredMember5RetiredMember5 subscriber Posts: 0
    I have known several individuals who started a vending machine business and who were quite successful with the correct geographical area and market defined.  They did a lot of research, but more importantly, had GREAT employees.  After all, you need people you can depend on, delegate and trust.  Especially if those folks are working in the field all the time, which of course, they would be.
  • WebJunkyWebJunky subscriber Posts: 8 Member
    please update us with your progress? my father is interested in this and i am doing my diligence in helping him out.  i remembered your question just last week as i was ready the USA today (archives available online if you want to check it out).  on the cover there was a story about teaching kids entrepreneurship through children TV shows like sesame street. the article featured a young girl (probably 10 -12 yrs old at most) who owns her own candy ball vending machine!!!  she was banking indeed!
    do update us?
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