Friday, January 26, 2007


There are many types of machines available. One type is the combo machine that sells both soda and snacks. These combo machines have the disadvantage of not holding much of any product, and therefore requiring frequent servicing. Most separate use snack and soda machines.

Finding a good location can be difficult, since many locations already have vending machines, do not want one, or are too tiny to get enough business. An operator may end up paying the store owner a 10% commission, which requires separate accounting for that machine. If the locations are too far apart, the operator may spend so much time driving between locations when filling them that the same amount of time could more profitably be spent working for someone else.

Soda and snack machines are relatively, unless they are obtained through a third party vending program. Compared to bulk vending machines, full line vending machines take a long time to service. It may take up to an hour to service a soda or snack that is low in inventory. The product also tends to take up more space. Breakdowns are difficult to repair, due to the complexity of the machines; do it yourself repairs may void the warranty. The machines are difficult to move; this task may require the help of professional movers. Some locations expect a large commission. Most locations, such as corporate offices, need to be serviced during traditional business hours, making it hard for a person to service the machines while also holding down a full time job.

For operators, soda/snack machines have the advantage that many locations recognize their need for such machines. Many locations will, in fact, take the initiative to contact a vending company to request installation of a machine. Companies recognize the difficulty in moving these machines are less likely to request removal, unless the operator does a poor job of servicing the machine. Almost all soda and snack machines have vend counters that track how many items are sold, making it difficult for an employee to steal money. The machines themselves, being large and heavy, are difficult to steal without drawing attention, compared to most bulk vending machines.

In the late 1990's and early 2000s, there was a trend in the United States for large national retailers to make contracts with national companies to provide full line vending services to all their branches' break rooms. In many cases, managers and staff of individual stores objected to this, because the national vendors were not necessarily responsive to their product preferences. for instance, they might not be willing to provide Cherry Coke, and vinegar chips or any other niche products. This trend began to reverse. Most full line vendors are small, independent operations. Often, lower prices, stock the machine with the manager's favorite candies, or provide better service.

Full line vending is the business of operating vending machines that sell cans or bottles of soft drink and or small packages of snacks. A common volume for soda is 12 fl. oz. (354ml) or 20 oz. (590ml) in North America, or 330 ml or 500ml in Europe; for snacks, bags of chips and similar edibles are usually in the range of 1-3 oz. In any given day, 7 out of 10 people buy something from a vending machine. Operators of snack machines often to choose to operate soda machines as well, so they can sell both services to a particular location and place the two machines side by side for efficient servicing.

Stands mostly come in two colors black and chrome. Chrome has a tendency to rust when exposed to moisture from mopped floors, humidity, etc. black stands suffer the same problems, but can be repainted with inexpensive black gloss spray paint more cheaply than chrome stands can be rechromed.

Sticker adhesive can be removed from machines by applying lighter fluid and then rinsing with dish soap. It may be a good idea to keep a machine in the house, so you know which cleaners work on which machines.

The best choice of machine depends on the location. For most locations, a simple single or double head stand is sufficient. In some high traffic locations, a four selection machine is the best but can cause product to go stale in a location with less sales.

Machines with separate heads are the ones most commonly encountered. grocery stores, malls, and laundromats may have stands with a half dozen or more separate head machines. Most of them have a large presentation area and allow the product to be seen from all angles, and therefore are more eye catching than triple machines. gumballs and toys sell well from these machines.

Triple selection machines have had some success in office settings, where the target customers are adults. An advantage of triple selection machines over stands with separate heads is that they are quicker to service because one key opens the whole machine. Most triple selection machines have a spill tray, which can help prevent store owners from becoming annoyed at having to sweep up spilled candy. A disadvantage is that the presentation area is smaller than with a globe or panel head, and customers can not see all products from all angles. In addition, three choices of candy are not always necessary, and may result in spoilage if one product moves slowly.


A bulk candy vendor must be willing to act as a salesman in order to persuade businesses to allow locations of machines. Since managers are busy, he must be able to state his case concisely and close the sale effectively. Even experienced vendors often report a high rejection rate, on the order of 9 out of 10. Many operators donate a percentage of the profits to charity so that locations will allow them to place the machines for free; others pay the location a commission.

A bulk candy vendor is constantly having to seek new locations as accounts turn over. A company's regional manager may visit a branch, for instance, and decide he doesn't like the bulk candy machine. Or a competing operator may offer the owner a better commission. The prime locations are fiercely fought over, and operators may need to pay as much as 50% to the store owner in order to keep a high volume location. It usually takes about 300 locations for an operator to live solely on bulk cand profits.

The best bulk vending machine locations that are usually profitable include the following:

long hours of operation businesses especially diners

large numbers of customers who will pass by a busy retail store

people waiting for a business to complete something like an oil change place

lots of children in a recreation center

hungry people in a restaurant

people in a laudromat usually have extra coins for vending machines

no other bulk machines at the location

people working at a job, who may not be able to leave to get food


Many vendors began operating a small route as a sideline to a full time professional job, and found it profitable enough that they went into vending full time. Vendors often say that they enjoy the flexibility afforded by not needing to work 9-5. The majority of bulk vending companies are small, one person operations, but some have expanded, hired additional employees, and become sizeable businesses.
Vendors generally report that about 1-4% of their machines disappear annually, a problem exacerbated by the fact that machines are usually located close to store entrances, where they are easy to steal. Locations inside existing businesses can be in peril if the business goes bankrupt or evicted from rented premises. machines have been known to be seized or liquidated by the host businesses' creditors, before the rightful owner has a chance to retrieve them.


Many of the business opportunities still in existence operate on the margins of legality, escaping liability through carefully worded contracts that make it difficult for customers to cash in on money back guaranties. State and federal government agencies have issued statements warning of business opportunity scams in the bulk vending industry.

The FTC website lists complaints filed by the U.S. government against scores of vending business opportunities. many of them, remain in business and have huge advertising budgets. The high profit margins these companies earn from selling overpriced equipment enables them to pay the fines and continue operating.


Vendors have a wide variety of machines to choose from. The selection of a machine is important because it can impact sale, time spent servicing the machine, willingness of locations to allow placement of the machine, and a variety of other factors affecting overall profits. Just like a car, once a vending machine is placed in service, its resale value drops dramatically. This is especially true for machines that were overpriced to begin with.

Ligeri Vending ( is generally regarded in the vending community as a company that sells high quality bulk vending machines. Lou Ligeri, owner of Ligeri Vending helps people decide for themselves if the vending business is the right business for them. Mr. Ligeri feels that it is important to give his customers a FREE CONSULTATION about the pros and cons of the vending industry before just trying to sell the customer a blue sky story about how much money they are going to make with little or no effort. is available for all your vending needs. Ligeri Vending sells all types of vending machines worldwide, locates machines anywhere in the USA , Canada, and parts of Europe, provides a vending consulting service, and gives ongoing support to their customers.