The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

son_of_slim_jim

New Contributor
Mar 11, 2008
25
2
9
26
Ohio
I was thinking about getting into the vending machine business but know nothing about it. I dont have enough money to buy a route, so was wanting to just get a machine or two to start.

I looked around the web and nothing helped(a lot of spam and useless posts, so thumbs up to fastlane).

If any1 has any helpful info about types of machines, where to locate them etc. please tell me.:thankyousign:

SOSJ
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
S

son_of_slim_jim

New Contributor
Mar 11, 2008
25
2
9
26
Ohio
ok, now that I know a place to get them, any1 have any sorta advice on where to place them? or what items are good/bad?
 

Yankees338

Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
1,829
136
81
28
NJ/MD
Check Craigslist for used machines in your area. Makes much more financial sense, and, sometimes, you can take over a route.
 

Knowledge Kick

Contributor
Jan 16, 2009
430
50
30
New Jersey
10 Essential Tips Regarding Your Vending Machine Business Success

How to find the best vending machine locations

If you just use Google you'll be able to find a lot of answers for the questions you're asking. I know nothing about the vending machine business but for your first question I simply typed in "where to buy vending machines" and for your second question I simply typed in "best places to put vending machines". It's okay, I got scolded a few times on here when I was new for not practicing "due dilligence" and just rapid firing off questions I could've easily found the answers to myself. Just do a quick search for yourself first and then if you get stuck there will be plenty of people on here willing to help you out further. Good luck!
 

RealOG

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 20, 2007
451
335
129
Austin, Texas, United States
Search this site, there have been several long threads surrounding vending machines.

My wife is in the vending business, the big time business (she sells over 1.5M in vending business per year). I can tell you that it has held very well through the recession and provides a pretty stable income.

It is very easy for vending to become a JOB. That's not what you want. Your biggest challenge will be to turn it into a fastlane business - a highly scalable and time independant business.

Suggest you spend most of your time focused on scaling your business effectively.
 

rocksolid

Bronze Contributor
Nov 17, 2008
716
182
94
New York
Here is the best forum regarding vending machine and questions about it. Vending Machines Business Chat Room & Bulletin Board Discussion for the Vending Machine Business, Amusements, Locating, etc..

I don't think I would buy any machines until I found a place to put them. If you buy them up front where are you going to store them? It's not like you can put them in the corner of your room. I am not in the biz but did look into it. What type of machines? Bulk candy or snacks. THen you have snack machines or snack and soda combo machines. Try to get a machine that accepts dollar bills and change. Look on ebay for used machines and craig's list. If you are going to buy a route make sure the person you are buying from can back up his/her numbers and what ever they tell you the route or mcahine grosses the net is usually about half the gross.
 

wildambitions

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 29, 2007
813
118
80
Southern NM
I looked into vending machines a few years back and started a very small operation. What type of vending business are you attempting to develop?

Surplus stores are a great place to find cheap used machines. They usually just need some cleaning up. New are always way over priced and don't fall into the scams for purchasing a number of machines with promises of support to help you place them. Keep google searching until you find the answers, they are out there.

I bought my first machine on ebay. I have small 25 cent machines. I like the 3 machines better than just the single dispenser. Think about security for unattended machines, people are ruthless and don't care about your machines when they don't get what they want.

Don't think that vending will be fastlane. It is totally an "S" business. Even with employees. Too many machines will be a full time JOB! But it is a great way to get cash fast if you find some good locations. I am actually in negotiations for a great location for my machines right now.

There are a few good books available out there. I went to Barnes and Noble. I am sure Amazon has some as well. If you are interested, PM me your address, I can send you mine on loan. The Rich Dad Success Stories also has a story of a teenager and how he came up with his plan.

Good Luck
 

humphrey

New Contributor
Aug 15, 2009
21
2
9
Canada
(Non googled question) How do you obtain the rights to place vending machines? I would assume it is a lease system with land owners?
 

wildambitions

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 29, 2007
813
118
80
Southern NM
(Non googled question) How do you obtain the rights to place vending machines? I would assume it is a lease system with land owners?
Owner permission mostly.

I always approach it so there is a passive gain for the owner to allow me to have them there.

Some options to get an owner to agree are:
-A % of the profit to pay the owner for allowing me to place my machines.
-Agreements to frequent their business and buy from them (I had a sandwich shop that allowed my machine for payment of lunch each week. Worked well because I had to go maintain the machine once a week anyway)
-Pay rent for the space.
-Club membership

One nice thing is, you can use whatever avenue that works the best for the situation. I had machines in a hockey rink that I was responsible for, I had a whole routine and went when no one was around - got to be kinda relaxing.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
S

son_of_slim_jim

New Contributor
Mar 11, 2008
25
2
9
26
Ohio
Sorry, been working and haven't had time to use the computer.

I have 1.5k or so that i can spend. I was just looking to have a few to start and go from there. I do realize i would have to go around and refill/collect money. So I do realize it could turn into a job, but not if i have just a few machine. Im just looking for a little income to pay off a $4,000 debt to my father. And instead of giving him the 1,500 i thought i could invest and make more.
 
Last edited:

Deuce

PARKED
Jul 12, 2009
17
0
9
Im glad I found this thread! I have another question as well along the lines of vending machines. Does anyone have any experience/know anyone, that is involved in the atm machine business? I'm talking about owning the actual ATM machines that you see in gas stations, bars, etc...

I've been doing some research on my own, but wanted to get some other input from you guys.

Thanks
 

HappieMoonie

New Contributor
Aug 24, 2009
11
3
9
Memphis, TN (DownTown)
I was thinking about getting into the vending machine business but know nothing about it.
I'm not familiar on this subject, but this is strange because I had an idea to start a line of vending machines called "Penny Machine"...lol. These vedning machines would only take pennies and the prices would be half of normal vending machines.

I had in idea of them being connected with Oprah's Angel network or The Children's Miracle Network or a cause and 1/2 of the profits would go into that, but of course was told that was a stupid idea (hehe). I was a teen when I thought of that idea though.
 

PaulRobert

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 15, 2009
1,024
1,467
449
27
New Jersey
I was recently speaking with a family friend who worked for a company that owned all the vending machines on the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike in the entire state of New Jersey. He told me about how some people stayed in a single room just counting coins for days upon days from single deliveries. This business was solely based on vending machine ownership. The founder of the company had contracts with each rest stop and had to pay rent for them. Some cons of the business though were people smashing in machines and sometimes robbing them. Other than that it seems like a very profitable business. Just a little story to show you that even owning vending machines can be a Fastlane business.
 

Knightsman

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 14, 2009
145
9
24
South Carolina
I just started a vending business the same way that you are talking about.

I started when I bought two snack machines for $1000(500 a piece) and I placed the one snack machine, Started making some cash flow and I was having trouble finding a drink machine. finally found a drink machine, traveled 6 hours round trip to get it.

I bought the Drink machine for $400. I initially invested $2200 with a partner, that paid for the machines, and snacks to fill them.

I placed a snack machine at one location.
I had a friend who said his boss was looking for some machines, so I placed my other snack and soda machine there.

Did good, but stopped working twice within the first two weeks. All from newbie mistakes. I even hired a tech to come look at it, and he couldnt figure out that the last wire on the last motor was disconnected. (it actually was hard to see) The machine stopped taking dollars and coins.

I went ahead and put the coke machine with my already placed snack machine and it seems to be doing good.


Things that I have learned:
Call local equipment rental places and find out who has a dolly with the mini wheels where the machine can rest on the dolly and you just have to roll it around instaead of trying to hold it up. Typically called an applicance dolly.

Make sure you learn about the machines you are going to buy, that way if they break you can fix them.

Find local vending companies and get what they would charge to fill your machines with snacks and drinks. CALL AROUND. I get my snacks from Sams Club and I get my drinks from a local vending place.

GET PEPSI MACHINES! When you get a location you want to be able to mix coke and pepsi, for some reason i havent been able to find a coke machine that can vend pepsi, but I CAN find pepsi machines that vend coke. This is due to the width of the bottle.

Dont pay for a rental place. Most places just want machines for their employees, so they dont typically charge. If you pay them a % you might have them looking over your shoulder to see how much you have made. The problem with that is a lot of the money you made, is to buy more snacks.

UHAUL rents a nice trailer with a ramp that makes it easy to move. But if you can afford it, get a truck with a liftgate, makes it a hell of a lot easier to move!

I think thats it..lol

Hope this helps some!
 

wildambitions

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 29, 2007
813
118
80
Southern NM
I got my machines placed today. A day spa with 12 salon chairs, an oxygen bar, massage center, pedicure, manicure and wax station.

Just one more additional source of income. (Ten unique sources of income is a personal goal I set after the last B&P meet-up.)

Taking the opportunity to teach my son about business and being self employed.

Son-of-Slim-Jim, how is your plan progressing? Read in another post you may not make it to the meet-up. We had a deal buddy. Don't let me down. Looking forward to an update. If you have not taken any action there is no time than the present to change that. Do something, anything. It is the only way to move and the only way to learn.
 

Knightsman

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 14, 2009
145
9
24
South Carolina
Very nice!! Good job on that accomplishment!
 

sparechange?

New Contributor
Jan 11, 2010
71
1
12
I own a breathalyzer vending machine.

It is called the "alco-checkpoint"

Just like estate sales; "location, location, location"

The "novelty" on my device had my sales pretty high for the first week, but most people that go to that bar are repeat customers. I make okay money, but I would recommend insurance on any machine. Why do I say this you ask? On Jan. 1st, a woman jammed her credit card into the bill acceptor and now I have to pay $195 for a new one. *Insert woman joke here*
 

Sparlin

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 23, 2009
1,282
132
48
Wichita, Kansas
I own a breathalyzer vending machine.
I've considered buying a few of those machines also, but I've dealt with too many drunks and suspected vandalism and abuse would be an issue just as you said.

Have you considered posting advertisements for local cab and bus companies on it. If you have a Safe Riders company there, they may be willing to pay monthly fees to have a sticker or card attached to the machine.

If you are subsidized by transport companies, coffee, and waffle houses you might be able to reduce the price which would encourage use (increased useage means you can charge higher advertising rates later).

Either that, or make a deal with the bar staff that if they suspect a person is "bombed", they can issue a token to the person for free use of the machine. This will make them look safety minded (good pr) and other people will be more inclined to use it when others do.

Last Idea.... sell debit cards that patrons could use repeatedly. Market them as "ShitFaced Cards" or "Drunk Debits" or "How Drunk Think You I Am" ... make up a fun name. If possible work out a deal where the patron gets a free drink (could be coffee) after the 10th use. You'll have to work out some kind of arrangement with the bar which might include paying a small percentage of the card costs to them. Perhaps they could give them away with VIP packages (I'm thinking of a club environment).

Back to the other idea... the bar could pass out one credit on the card with the sell of 5 or 10 drinks....

I'm just throwing out some ideas... good luck.
 

sparechange?

New Contributor
Jan 11, 2010
71
1
12
Have you considered posting advertisements for local cab and bus companies on it. If you have a Safe Riders company there, they may be willing to pay monthly fees to have a sticker or card attached to the machine.

If you are subsidized by transport companies, coffee, and waffle houses you might be able to reduce the price which would encourage use (increased useage means you can charge higher advertising rates later).
Actually I have considered selling ad space for a cab company. It only takes dollar bills, though, so I don't think your other ideas would work. Great ideas nonetheless!!!

I think I'll call a few cab companies tmrw :smxG:
 

BeanCounter

New Contributor
Jan 11, 2010
27
2
10
45
Americus GA
If advertised correctly it could become a very good money maker. Has anyone here ever had one of those "drink you under the table" type of nights with a friend? It happens multiple times every night in every bar that has regular clientele.

They feed dollars into your machine repeatedly in their game of one upsmanship. Making it a game is the key I think.
 

awesom-o

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 10, 2011
138
67
55
United Kingdom
Interesting I have never seen or heard of a breathalyzer vending machine before here in the UK. Not sure if they will be a 'fad' and the novelty will wear off after a while.

For those of you in the vending industry what is the normal cut a venue may take for your machine placement?
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.


Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
Damn this is impressive. You got a huge amount of students on there and great reviews. Great work Lex.
Replies
7
Views
661
Top Bottom