In the United States, vending machines are a $30 billion dollar a year industry. You can buy practically anything you can imagine from the convenience of a vending machine. In addition to vending the normal snacks and beverages, you can rent DVDs, buy electronic devices, e-cigarettes, over-the-counter medications, and much much more. The opportunities are truly endless.
Vending machine operators are sailing fast on the success stream for many reasons. The first reason is they are earning money as long as their vending machine is selling. They do not even have to be around to be making sales unlike importers, distributors or manufacturers. In addition, operators have more options to earn income because of the various product selections for the vending machine and the products can be purchased at wholesale prices.
The fact that you can make money from your vending machines while you are sleeping or hard at work at your full-time job almost sounds too good to be true. As with all lucrative business opportunities, a vending machine business requires that you carefully handle a few important details that we will go over in this guide.
Benefits To Starting A Vending Machine Business
There are many benefits to starting a vending business that you simply cannot find in any other business opportunity. Some of these benefits include:
- You will start making money the first day
- Your machine will be making money for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- You can work part-time or full-time
- You are the boss
- Low overhead costs
How To Find The Best Vending Machine Supplier For Your Business
One of the most crucial steps to a successful vending machine business for the long-term is to find a reliable vending machine supplier or manufacture. A little research goes a long way.
You should visit some established operators with machines in your area and find out the following:
- Where did they purchase their machine?
- How did they pay for the machine?
- Have they experienced any problems with it?
- How did the problem get solved?
Speaking with local operators can help you decide who you should purchase your vending machine from and the types of products that sell well in your area. You want to make sure that you buy a machine from a good source.
Call And Email Suppliers And Manufacturers
Send an email to suppliers and manufactures explaining your business and specific requirements. You want to find a company that does not take too long to respond to your email. If they take more than a day or two, you can call the company to make sure that they received your email. You want to deal with a company that is extremely responsive and helpful. That way, if you have an issue later on down the line, you know that they will be available to assist you. You also want to deal with a company that understands your requirements and is willing to work with you.
Beware Of Optional Accessories
You need to watch out for vending machine companies selling crucial vending machine accessories and features as “optional” purchases. These items should be included in the sale price of the vending machine. Unfortunately, some rip-off companies offer a “bare bones” machine at a reasonable cost but by the time you add in all of the necessary “optionals”, the price of the machine is astronomical.
Some “optional” accessories you need to beware of include:
- Infrared sensors to ensure vending product delivery
- Anti-vandalism accessories
Buy Direct From The Factory
When you buy directly from the manufacturing factory, you will save on the price of the vending machine and avoid paying the distributor’s commission.
The Location Of Manufacturing Facility Is Important
When you are deciding which manufacturer to purchase your vending machine from, the location of the manufacturing facility is important. Local companies will be able to get the machine and replacement parts out to you quickly. Also, if you are planning on importing the equipment, you will need to check the regulations and custom rules of the country the manufacturing facility is in.
Consider visiting the manufacturing facility in person. You will be able to judge their capabilities for yourself to determine if they can meet your business requirements.
Find Out If The Vending Machine Can Be Customized To Meet Your Needs
Some manufacturers offer vending machines that are fully customizable to meet all of your needs. The options range from various machine colors to the choice of payment system.
Buying a used vending machine might save you money at first, but it can cost you more in repairs and lost sales in the long run.
Location Location Location!
Once you have your vending machine, you need to place it in a location that is going to make money for you. The location you choose can make or break your vending machine business. The right location will have you making money quickly at all hours of the day. Depending on your resources, there are three main ways of finding a location for your machine:
- Pay A Vendor Locator. This can be expensive but a professional vendor locator can find you a vending machine location is the least amount of time.
- Contact Busy Locations. Calling busy locations such as malls or schools get you the perfect location. You will also be able to compare the current vending space prices.
- Pound The Pavement. You can go out and physically search for a location for your vending machine. You will be able to meet business owners in person and start building business relationships from day one. This will also help you get a good idea of the types of products that are selling best in the area.
Things To Keep In Mind
As with all new business ventures, you need to take some precautions when you are getting started. When you are starting your vending machine business, keep the following in mind:
Carefully Plan Your Route
When you are managing multiple vending machines in various locations, plan your route carefully to save both time and costs when you are restocking or servicing the machines.
Keep Your Vending Machines Stocked And Clean
If you do not keep your machines stocked and clean, you could lose sales and have issues retaining prime locations.
Before You Sign, Read The Location Agreement Carefully
When you are reading the location agreement, consider multiple factors such as the ending of the contract, the ownership of the machine in times of conflict, poor market conditions and liabilities in the case of damage.