All new vending machines are not created equal, so spend some time and do your homework now before you have problems later.
Let’s start with a list of a few types of the available vending machines:
- Drink Vending Machines
- Snack Vending Machines
- Soda Vending Machines
- Food Vending Machines
- Healthy Vending Machines
- Combo Vending Machines
As you can see, there are many types of vending machines manufactured for the vending machine business. I will start with the worst. These are machines that are built for the biz op industry. I wish these guys weren’t around, but they are. These are machines built usually in another country that might look good but are made to deceive. The latest ones have been drink-snack combos that have a changer and bill validator built-in that will not interchange with any changers and validators made for the US market.
There are no parts distributed in the USA, and all you can do is go on eBay and buy some kind of used part and hope it works. Mainboards used for the combos sell between $300 – $400 on eBay.
The biz op guys sell you a vending route for an exorbitant price, take your money, and they are never seen again. They are the crooks of our industry. BEWARE!
Rules of Engagement when you are new to the vending machine industry
The number one rule is never to buy a vending machine that is made outside the USA. Any vending machine outside the USA, there is no distribution of parts. You can’t wait on a slow boat from China. You must get that machine up ASAP.
When looking to purchase a vending machine, look into what the vending guys buy — commercial model machines that work flawlessly day in and day out. The vending guys make their living from the proceeds of these machines.
They don’t have time for multiple service calls. Some of the things vending guys look for are the vending machine must be UL or ETL approved. Again, the vending machine is made in the USA and an extended warranty on parts. There must be a parts inventory that they can receive right away.
Another rule is you don’t’ want to buy a machine that has just come out. Usually, there are too many problems, and then they come out with the updates to solve the problem.
When looking at purchasing drink vending machines, you want to buy the same type of vending machine that the bottlers “Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper” purchase. When these bottlers get ready to buy, they have engineering testing laboratories that they put the machine through then place in cold weather, hot weather, sleet, and all different conditions.
They know what is good and bad. When purchasing a vending machine for outdoors, it must be outdoor approved. It will say this on the serial plate. If you place an indoor vending machine outdoors, you are inviting yourself for a lawsuit from one of the TV lawyers that hover around daytime TV.
Buy the right size machine based on the needs of the account. There is no need to purchase a large snack machine when you have 20 employees. With a large snack vending machine, you must have the volume, or everything goes stale.
The shelf life on snacks are usually:
- Chips: 6 weeks
- Fresh Pastries: 7 days – 2 weeks
- Other Pastries: 6 weeks
- Crackers: 3 months
- Candy: 6 months
On a new snack machine, you will want sensit guaranteed delivery, which means to spiral turns until the product drops through a force field at the top of the delivery bin. In that way, the customer always gets their snack with no refunds.
Look at all the vending machines. The simpler, the better. An example is the AMS line of vending machines. Most all the blind vendors across the country use these machines. They are simple, easy, and strong.
To Purchase or not to purchase a credit card reader.
No one has any cash anymore. Everyone is using credit cards. Statistics say that credit card readers add 20% more sales. Credit cards also have telemetry which tells you when you need to service. You also must have the best bill-validator, and changer and validator acceptance are 90% of your service calls readers, your machine, what We sell too different types of credit card readers, USA Technology, and Nayax. Both are great!
Who do you purchase a machine from?
Look for a distributor, someone who does vending machine sales, that has years of experience and is large enough to help you. They must have someone in tech support so that if you have a problem, he can talk you through it. They must also have a parts department so that you can get the parts you need immediately.
Check the distributors’ references. Does the distributor have state contracts? Usually, these guys are well established and very good. Does the distributor answer the phone, or is it an answering machine? You can’t wait to have someone call you back. When you call into technical support, is someone there?
All in all, if you follow these steps, it will make for problem-free vending. If you would like more info about purchasing new vending machines, please call us at 1-800-713-6217 for fast and friendly service. There is never any pressure to buy.