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How to Start a Vending Machine Business Without Franchising

How to Start a Vending Machine Business Without Franchising

nstead of franchising, find vending machines on your own. You can purchase the bulk vending machines, which dispense handfuls of products, mechanical or electronic vending machines. Bulk machines are less expensive, but your per-unit profits will be lower than other machines.

Step 1

Decide what type of vending machines you want. Choose bulk vending machines if you want to pay less than $200 per machine and have fewer mechanical issues. Start with electronic soda machines if you are willing to spend at least $3,000 per machine, according to Vending Solutions' website. Decide on the machines that best meet your needs.

Step 2

Search business opportunity magazines like "Business Opportunities," "Small Business Opportunities," and "Home Business" to find vending machine dealers. Contact large wholesalers in your area and ask if they sell vending machines. Select the vending machine dealer that provides you with the lowest unit price for the machines you want.

Step 3

Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the vending machine seller is legitimate and has no complaints filed against them.

Step 4

Find a wholesale food and soda supplier in your area. Shop around at some of the large food stores and wholesalers. Look for a per-unit price on snacks and drinks that will provide you with a 200 to 300 percent markup. Purchase an annual membership if the wholesaler requires it.

Step 5

Locate your machines in businesses that draw lots of customers, such as beauty salons, car dealerships, auto repair shops and hospital waiting areas. Place machines in large office complexes if they currently have no vending machines. Select a high traffic area, such as the front of a store, at each location.

Step 6

Negotiate a percent-of-sales commission for business owners or managers. Stay in the 10 to 15 percent range if you own bulk machines, according to vending expert and owner Dave Clingman. Offer the business owner 15 to 20 percent of your gross sales if you have larger vending machines.

Step 7

Ask business owners what types of candy, snacks and soda they want.

Step 8

Stock your machines fully. Test the machines to make sure they work.

Step 9

Visit your locations once or twice per week as needed. Place your change in moneybags, which you can obtain at your bank. Rotate your product so the oldest candy, for example, is at the front. Clean your machines each visit as dirty machines are less appetizing and can detract from sales.

Step 10

Repair your machines whenever necessary or hire someone to repair them. Learn over time to make your own repairs, because it will save you money.

Things Needed

1) Vending machines

2) Wholesale supplier

3) Products

4) Revenue and expense ledger

5) Sales sheetsMoneybags


Start your vending machine part-time while keeping your job, if possible. Building a vending machine route takes time and patience. Use your profits to purchase more machines. Simultaneously, replace any locations that are not pulling in the required sales. For example, if two vending machine locations are below your $100 per month profit goal, place those machines in other locations.




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