This is a list of tips compiled over the years from our customers. They will be helpful to new people getting into the business. Click on links below to jump to a section.
General Vending Tips
Bulk Vending Tips
Snack & Soda Vending Tips
Jukebox Vending Tips
General Vending Tips
A well maintained machine will be used more often than a neglected one. Service your machine often and it will yield a bigger return. Keep records. Change slow moving products to alternatives.
Spread out your route, it will bring up your sales average. Service your machine yourself and when you're comfortable with it you may want to hire someone to help you. Check their work regularly. The more selections of products you put in a location, the more profit that location will bring in.
A colorful machine will bring in more revenue.
Check with other vendors to compare notes.
Try not to go the same time to, collect your money like every Monday, on the 1st. You never no who is watching you. Try and go different times of the week or month. Its good security
I think I have a great idea how to avoid paying a percentage of your profits. Say you have one machine at Miller Auto and you want to put one at Ace Hardware but he wants a percentage, tell him you will put some kind of advertising of his on your machine at Miller Auto. If it's a franchise it just might work
Always look below the machine people always drop money under i looked and found 5 dollars in one week once
When approaching a new location, take a "gift basket" filled with a good variety of top selling items to distribute to employees. Be sure to include several business cards so that the employees are familiar with your business name.
Bulk Candy, Gumball, Capsule Tips
When filling your bulk vendors for the first time in a new location, only fill each selection about 2/3rds full. Then, check it frequently until you learn how that location will do. This will avoid having too much candy sit in a machine going bad rather than being vended in your busiest locations. The exception is if this location is out of town & not serviced for long periods.
On bulk candy vendors, do not stick candy labels or charity labels on your machines with their adhesive on the backs. It can be difficult to remove & if you use the wrong remover, it can discolor your machine or fade your canisters.
To help prevent Mike & Ikes or Hot Tamales from sticking together, spray them with Non-flavored PAM.
To prevent critters from climbing your stand & getting into your machine, many vendors coat the top of the stand with Vaseline.
Don't assume just because a location already has a machine, you won't be able to locate yours. Especially notice if the current machine has been "out of order" or near empty longer than a month. The business owner may readily accept yours alongside the other.
Peanut M&Ms sell better than regular M&Ms most of the time.
I have 40 3-head machines, and by placing upside down dixie cups on the top of the machine (for customers to fill and eat out of), sales went up 20%.
Keep your bulk vending machines out of direct sunlight. Place the machine where sunlight will never hit it. Sunlight will cause candy to melt and/or loose it's freshness very quickly. This may cause you to loose money and loose your location.
Chocolate almonds are a GOLD MINE!!!!...(note machine will have to have plate cut larger for almonds....)
When seeking a location for a bulk vending machine do not immediately seek the expensive glamorous. First brainstorm; friends, associates relatives anybody who will not charge you as much or at all to locate your machine there. Even if their shop is small, I find often that i get still a large amount of profit and i don't have to shell out to those nasty store owners.
Snack & Soda Tips
On snack & soda accounts, if the location wants a commission, you generally mark your sale price up to cover the commission. So, rather than 50 cents for a coke, to cover a 10% commission, you would sell them for 55 cents. Sometimes when you tell the location this, they will say never mind, just keep the prices low for our employees.
Did you know that 24 oz bottles generally cost you MUCH less than the 20 oz bottles?
If at all possible try to vend your sodas for 50 cents and your chips for the same. The customers will be able (and will usually) to spend the whole dollar in your machine. As opposed to chips for 55 cents and soda for 60 which means they'll need to spend 2 dollars and are less likely to do so.
Mountain Dew is a money-making "sleeper".... kids like that poison! LOL
Make sure to upgrade your dollar bill acceptor with the new chip that reads the new $5. I finally did and now the thing has lots of $5 bills. Now, recouping the $129 chip will take a few weeks to get back. Oh well.
Ginger ale doesn't sell well. I ended up having to drink 30 cans, and found out Mountain Dew should have been there.
Most coffee machines use water valves with a rubber type valve and if the machine does not get a lot of use these valves tend to stick from water scale that builds up over time. It is best that every time you service your coffee machine you do all the bowl rinses. Where you make your route drivers go into programming and actuate the program, all the water valves open and close and all the whipper motors turn and if it is a bean grinder or fresh brewer then also do a brewer rinse.
Use a toy suction cup arrow to pull can drinks out of Antares lanes faster.
Using quarters only in your changer will more likely get the whole dollar fed back into your machine than not. The $.60 candy bars will require a dime but your quarters only change will buy a soda and a chip, cookie, or cracker snack if both are priced right and typically there are more snacks at $.50 than $.60 in my machines.
This vendor submitted tip could be considered gambling - check with your state. "Rubber band a $1.00 bill to a can soda and put it in the machine. When it is purchased, it won't take long before the entire office hears about it and everyone tries to get a drink with a dollar attached. Do it once per month."
I usually load up a credit so the first person gets a freebie, but I make sure to tell somebody....the first time I did it they called to tell me my machine was broke because it kept spitting their money back....Nobody thought to hit a button....
If a machine can't be moved from a hot spot, get Reflextic insulation from Lowe's or Home Depot, and trim to fit from cash door up to top, and half of sides. Use water based glue. It solves 90% of the problem.
After working on or loading pop or candy machine before you leave always take a quarter dime & nickel and put in machine and then push coin return. How many times have you seen someone change flavor ids or something else and get called back after leaving. A distraction can lead to not finishing the job.
Jukebox Vending Tips
Jukebox owners---keep the remote away from old, crusty, grumpy employees. They will almost always lower the volume and sometimes turn the unit completely off during their shift. They are poison, don't help the owners or the music operators, as I have had a few of them on my route.
When filling your jukebox with new titles, don't go by what the TOP 40 says. Ask the bartender or owner what kind of music the patrons like to listen to. Also, buy from a jukebox CD supplier, homemade labels look tacky.