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What I learned About Soda Vending Machines

Soda vending machines come in all shapes and sizes but the most common style are the stand-alone full sized machines. Soda vending machines have lots of capacity. Even my old one that I paid too much for had a capacity of over 500 cans with 7 total selections. That's a lot of soda which also means that it could be possible that you don't have to visit a location too often if you are looking to vending as a part-time business.

The large capacity of these machines coupled with reasonable product costs and retail price can produce a decent business with healthy margins. I was paying an average of $.40 for a can of soda (tax and deposit included) and retailing that same can for $1.00. So with a $.60 margin multiplied by 5 machines each selling 200 cans of soda a month = a pretty nice little monthly return that doesn't require a lot of work because the machines have lots of capacity!

In theory at least. Here is what else I learned about soda vending machines...

All soda machines plug into a wall because that's how the compressor works to keep the soda cold.

Older machines may not be multi-price! They may have a coin mechanism inside the machine but that doesn't mean that you can change the price of your product easily. If you insist on starting your vending business by dealing with Rip-off Bizop Vending Company because they give you the location with your machine, ask the salesguy to show you how to change the price of your soda machine.

Newer soda vending machines can sell bottled product that is either glass bottles or plastic. The glass bottles don't break.

Soda vending machines that allow you to change the price of any selection is the way to go. A can of pop where I live sells for $1.25 and bottle of juice will sell for $1.65 and up and both can be sold side by side out of a vending machine.

Lots of capacity and lots of selection is the way to go. If you are looking at a bubble front soda vending machine that has 12 selections and 500 can capacity (not including bottles in this example) you don't have to fill up the machine until it's totally full.

You might be able to get free soda vending machines if you know where to look. This was too late to save my business but I knew of a bottled water company that gave away free soda vending machines (that were good ones too!) with very reasonable restrictions on the operator.

You can get 27 cases of 24 cans of soda into a 1994 Pontiac sunbird. I don't recommend this at all. A car is not a good vehicle to use for transporting soda and I would expect that a van is likely the best vehicle to use even though I never used a van when I had my business.

I needed better storage space. Apparently cans of soda will "pop" the seal in warm conditions like a top floor storage room that get really hot in the summer.

But the number one thing I learned about soda vending machines was that having a relationship with a company that was an authorized distributor for several machine manufacturers was a reliable way to avoid vending scams. Although this lesson was to late for me having a relationship with a local authorized distributor is the best way to educate yourself about all types of vending machines.

Mike Corbin's website www.no-vending-secrets.com challenges would be entrepreneur's to think differently about vending and avoid the vending business opportunity scams entirely!

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