Vending World Blog

Bulk machines versus ‘Real Commercial Grade’ Vending Machines.

I have been asked on many occasions about all the ‘hype’ on ‘bulk’ vending machines that people see all over the internet. The ‘bulk’ machine sellers will tell you that their machines are the best, have the highest profit and empty rate. The ‘bulk’ machine sellers like to sell these machines because most of them are manufactured in other countries like China, for very low prices and their sales markup is huge. These sellers pay incredible amounts of money every month in pay per click fees to be in the top pay spots on the most popular search engines. They will tell you how their machines empty at about $300, believe me, it is not that easy. The machines might do quite well if they are located in a bowling alley, a bus station or a shopping mall, but in the real world many people locate these machines in small, out of the way places. Unless you are operating ‘capsules’ the food or gum in the machines will probably get ‘stale’ before it is sold. The sellers of these machines tell you about the ‘vast amount’ of locations available, but in fact, many commercial or industrial locations do not like these type of machines because they cause a mess, or vend gum that people drop or discard when they are done chewing it. We have been selling vending machines for over thirty years. Years ago we used to sell ‘bulk machines’ as well as ‘mechanical full size units’. We no longer sell either of those items due to the fact that when our customers would buy them, they would become unhappy with operating them very quickly. Usually within about 90 days from their purchase, most customers would ask to ‘trade’ these machines back to us towards full size commercial grade machines. By being around for over 30 years we have learned from these lessons, and that is why we now only sell refurbished commercial grade machines. We still get customers to this day that buy these ‘bulk’ machines from online sellers and find they are not making enough money to earn a living. Many of our customers have small routes with 50 to 100 machines and are able to make a nice living, and we have part time customers with as little as a few machines that earn enough to supplement their paychecks from their full time jobs. How many machines you need to earn a living depends on how good your locations are, but that is also true of bulk machines as well. A full size can soda and snack machine has the potential to empty out at $800 to $1,000 for the pair, and a lot more people drink soda, eat snacks and candy every day than chew gum or buy capsule toys for their children. According to a survey in a vending industry related magazine, sales of vending products in a recent year were over 20 billion dollars for soft drinks, almost 9 billion dollars for snacks, and confections, but less than 1/2 billion dollars for all bulk vending combined. The ‘bulk’ sellers tell you that it is hard to compete with the national soda makers, such as, Coke, Pepsi, etc. This is not quite true, since these large companies do not operate snack machines, and they only carry their own brands. By owning your own machines you can ‘cross brand’ and operate multiple brands in your machines as well as providing snack machines that these soda makers do not operate. These huge soda companies also have huge overhead due to the high wages they pay their route drivers etc. I have seen small vendors take over some of the locations that the bottlers basically didn’t want and make them into good locations for a small vendor without the large overhead.


HERE’S THE FACTS

These ‘bulk’ machines ‘Do Not’ make change for dollar bills like commercial machines.

These ‘bulk’ machines and lightweight combos can be easily stolen from a location due to their light weight versus commercial grade machines that weigh from 700 to 895 pounds each.

When people are hungry they want more than a ‘gumball’ or a few nuts. They want a ‘full size’ candy bar or bag of chips, etc.

Coke Vending Machine

 

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