Quickstart Guide to the Vending Business
Frequently Asked Questions and Best Practices
Are you considering starting a Vending Business? Are you confused about what company to buy machines from or which company is telling the truth? It can be very overwhelming whenever you want honest, straight forward info, but you get the run around.
Take some time to review the info below and educate yourself in the benefits of using a whole sale company vs a "Business Opportunity" company.
F.A.Q. Click on each for more info...
1. Does Megavending.com offer machine package deals?
2. Does Megavending.com offer vending machine locations?
3. The vending company I talked to told me they would locate my vending machines for me. Will you find vending locations for me?
4. If I do buy machines from Megavending.com, can I hire an outside locator?
5. Should I use a locator?
6. What types of locations are best?
7. Why should I buy machines from Megavending.com instead of a company who says they will sell me a business package?
8. The vending company I talked to told me they will give me a 6-7 year warranty on my vending machines. Do you offer the same warranties?
9. Do I really need theft and vandalism insurance on my machines?
10. Do you have quantity discounts on machine purchases?
11. If something happens to my machine, is it a hassle to get parts?
12. Is there much money to be made in the vending business?
13.I have been told that bulk candy machines will average $100+ per month per machine....is this true?
14. Do you sell to international customers?
15. Why do other companies use an outside answering service to answer their phones?
16. Do you recommend using charities to place small machines?
17. Do you sell to anyone or just to vendors?
18. Where do I buy my products?
19. Which type of vending is more profitable?
Does Megavending.com offer machine package deals? We will work to give you the best price on (1) machine or (100) machines and anything in between! We sell all kinds of machines and are not limited to a specific model or brand. This allows us to be flexible in what we can offer you and help you find that ideal machine for your location. When dealing with a business opportunity company that only offers one type of machine, not only will you overpay for that machine, you will have zero flexibility in equipment should your location require something different.
Does Megavending.com offer vending machine locations? If you are getting into the vending business, we have a location lead list you can become a part of at no cost to you! You will receive FREE notifications on locations in your area, but if you decide not to take the location, you never pay us a dime. If a vendor takes the location after meeting with that account, we have very flexible finder's fees! You can click here to get FREE Location Email Alerts. However, we do not recommend using vending locators to customers.
The vending company I talked to told me they would locate my vending machines for me. Will you find vending locations for me? Most vending companies do not do their own locating. Locating companies that work with these other Vending companies are separate entities However, if you are considering using an actual vending machine locator, please make sure that you do your homework. The following FAQs will give your further information.
If I do buy machines from Megavending.com, can I hire an outside locator? Yes, you can! We do not work with locators nor do we personally refer any locators. As a matter of fact, since most locators are their own entity, they will generally work for anyone regardless of where you buy your machines or what type of machines you chose. However, some locators may have a preference for the type of machines they locate or a minimum of how many they will require the job to consist of.
Should I use a locator? That is up to you. If you do not have success locating them on your own first; then you may have to hire a locator. There are good locators and bad locators; so, take these steps to make sure that you get what you expect.
1) Tell the locator that you want to ride with him to find the locations.
2) Tell the locator what percentage of your commission (if any) you are willing to pay the locations.
3) Actually talk to the person at every location who approved your machine placement to make sure that they did agree. Also make sure that the percentage commission is the same as you told the locator.
4) Do not accept a list of locations on paper from the locator. Go to the location and make sure that they have agreed.
5) Make sure that you are satisfied with the locations before you pay the remaining 50% to the locator. Do not count on them coming back to replace any machines in 30 or 90 days that are not producing enough. You will probably never see them again regardless of any guarantees they give you (even written guarantees).
What types of locations are best? You never know what a location will do until you place a machine in it. But in general, there are a few key factors...
Almost any location with a large number of employees is usually a good location whether you are talking about snack and soda, bulk candy, over-the-counter medicines, etc... This goes for retail stores, manufacturing facilities, office buildings, etc... Blue collar workers are generally much better for you than white collar workers. On locations with only a few employees, you are counting on the customer base to use your machine; so, the more customers the better....the more men and children the better.
Hardware stores and auto parts stores are often great locations depending on the placement of your machine within the store - near the register or door is where you want to be. Locations with many children coming through such as grocery stores and shopping malls are great locations for bulk candy, capsules, etc..., but are also high on the competition scale. So, you may have to pay as much as 40 or 50% commission to acquire them. Speaking of children, schools are great locations as for volume, but can be time consuming and aggravating. Kids will stick just about anything in the machines and result in more service calls than most locations.
On the other hand, nursing homes can be great locations since the tenants are easy on the machines, there are many employees, lots of visitors, and you can service them 24 hrs a day.
Another popular location is restaurants for bulk candy type machines...they make great locations, but it is hard to get in many of the chains. Most vendors end up making a hefty contribution to the District Manager's "Fund" in order to gain access in addition to a nice commission. The mom and pop restaurants generally will accept charity machines or a small commission. Some restaurants will not allow vending machines in the customer areas, but they may allow machines to be placed in the kitchen area where the employees are the only ones who have access. They may have 40 to 60 employees who are sick of tacos and will eat anything else in their path!
Also, keep in mind that you will find many locations who are not satisfied with their current vendor and are just waiting for you to appear! Then with good service, your locations will refer many new locations your way.
Why should I buy machines from Megavending.com instead of a company who says they will sell me a business package? Megavending.com is a wholesale company. This means great prices with no machine minimum on new or refurbished machines. Buy one machine or a thousand; we don't mind! We will offer you the best price and great customer service. We specialize in new, refurbished and pre-owned machines. We can meet the needs of almost all location or vendor needs. Also, when you buy into those "business packages" you will end up paying a lot more per machine and added items that you can actually purchase individually and still save a ton of money. As a vendor, you want one particular vending company that you can go to for all your needs, no matter how large or small the location is. Not every location you find will have the same needs. Some locations may be fine with just a compact combination machine, while others may need larger, full size machines.
The vending company I talked to told me they will give me a 6-7 year warranty on my vending machines. Do you offer the same warranties? Extended warranties offered by Business Opportunity companies (otherwise known as Biz Ops) are rarely honored. Although it does sound nice when a company says you will be receiving a 6-7 year warranty with the purchase of your machines, this is simply untrue. If a company says that they are giving you an extended warranty, the only thing you can normally bank on is the 1-year parts (no labor) warranty offered directly through the machine manufacture themselves and NOT the vending distributor. The thing they do not tell you is that, as a distributor, they get a discount when purchasing parts for a customer. So they can buy your parts, mark them up, sell them to you with a deductible and, because they do get a discount, they can actually profit on your extended warranty.
Do I really need theft and vandalism insurance on my machines? Some companies offer "theft and vandalism" insurance policies with your package, but for the increase in machine cost, you would benefit in buying your machines from a wholesale company like ours, and taking out your own policy through your current insurance provider or asking them to recommend someone to you that can provide you with a policy. They are normally very affordable. Whether or not you purchase this type of insurance is completely up to you.
Do you have quantity discounts on machine purchases? Sure. On most machines we can work with you on the price for quantity purchases. Megavending.com believes in giving you a great price from the start so that your business can make a profit much quicker which will encourage you to grow the business and buy more machines from Megavending.com. We know that if we rip you off once, you will not be back - repeat customers are the substance of any business, and we appreciate ours.
If something happens to my machine, is it a hassle to get parts? Not a hassle at all. First, you call support line. The manufacturer will try to troubleshoot it with you first over the phone. After all, it may be something simple. If a part is needed, they'll send the part immediately (as long as you’re under warranty). If machine is not under warranty, you can purchase directly and they’ll ship it immediately. Turnaround for parts is typically 2-3 days. Once the part arrives, they'll walk you through installing it and even help with a few test vends to ensure the part is working properly and that you're machine is back up and running.
Is there much money to be made in the vending business? There is very good money to be made in vending, but what you can expect to make is impossible to say. If you are not seeing the increase as quickly as you had hoped, you can always move your machines to another location where they can be more profitable. Don't expect to get rich overnight, but you can grow your business into a full income with probably fewer hours invested than with any other business. Below are some industry numbers showing how vending is still a growing industry with GREAT numbers:
Year Vending Sales Volume
I have been told that bulk candy machines will average $100+ per month per machine....is this true? No. Every day, we talk to new vendors who have called 800# ads in the newspapers and have been told by other companies that their bulk candy machines on location will average $100, $200, and even $300 per machine, per month. This may occur for 10% of the machines that you place, but the majority will average approximately $30 to $40 per month. If you really work your locations and continually move the lower producers, you can raise this average, but do not believe these outrageous numbers that are too good to be true.
Do you sell to international customers? We only consider international orders on large quantity purchases. Serious inquires only, please!
Why do other companies use an outside answering service to answer their phones? The reason most companies in the vending industry use such a service is to screen their calls. They do not return the complaint calls. This is a good warning signal. All calls at Mega-Vending.com are answered by an in-house representative or a voicemail system if all lines are busy or if calling after business hours.
Do you recommend using charities to place small machines? Charities can be a huge help in placing small machines (such as bulk candy, gumball, mint, etc). Normally, you pay a small commission to the charity for each machine per month. Some charities such as Child Search have great Vending Outreach programs with all sorts of tools that can be helpful to you such as charity T-Shirts, hats, brochures, color stickers of missing children, flyers, name badges, etc. The charity can coach you on how to use these tools for the greatest effect. Also, the locations who accept a machine based on the charity program usually do not require a commission from your machine.
Do you sell to anyone or just to vendors? Yes, we do sell directly to the stores, manufacturing facilities, vendors, individuals, etc.
Where do I buy my products? When starting a small route, you may find the best prices at Sam's Club or Costco. As your route grows, you can find better pricing through supply houses. For example, call VSA (1-800-444-4017) and ask them for a price list as well as the phone number of the location nearest to you. For items not handled by these companies, let us know via email, and we can forward other suppliers to you.
Which type of vending is more profitable? Vending in general is very profitable, but it is hard to say that one area is better than another because you have trade offs with each. For example, snack and soda machines bring much more turnover and therefore money than do bulk candy/gumball machines; yet snack and soda machines also require much more of your time since they must be serviced 1-3 times per week. Yet, you can create the same income as snack and soda by just adding more bulk candy machines to your route. Bulk candy vendors generally need servicing every 6 or 8 weeks; so, you can still treat it as a part time business even if you have dozens of machines on location bringing the same income as a few snack and soda machines.