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Building a Single Gumball Route

Nerds GumballsMaking money with a single gumball route is all about locations and profit. In this article I will discuss getting equipment, building your route and increasing profits. Anyone should be able to take the basics laid out here and build a successful single gumball route.

Equipment Needed for a Single Gumball Route

Obviously you are going to need a lot of stands and a lot of single head gumball machines. Finding used machines and vending stands depends entirely where you live and the local supply. Personally I recommend always trying to find used stands locally. Gumball stands are easy to repaint, last forever and cost a small fortune to ship, so save your money and get used when possible.

As for the heads I prefer new for a variety of reasons; each single gumball head is ready to go out of the box without cleaning, checking operation and replacing or fixing any broken parts. You also get new good looking clean globes for perfect display of your gumballs and last but most importantly is locations love to hear they are getting a new beautiful machine that will look good in their store.

My recommendations for getting new single head machines, use one of the cheaper big three: Eagle, Oak or A&A Global. Personally I would choose A&A because I can combine my orders of supplies and machines to save on shipping.

Building a Single Gumball Route

As mentioned earlier it’s all about having a LOT of locations as most will net you $5-$15 per single machine. You really make your money because this method has the absolute highest profit ration and time to service per stop is 2-5 minutes normally.

Getting locations is up to you but here are a few tips to build your route right:

  • Try and group your locations and machines close together so you can service many locations quickly saving you time and money. Saturate an area before moving to another area to locate more.
  • Whenever you have downtime pull your worst performing heads and relocate them to hopefully more profitable locations. I had a personal goal of a minimum $10 per head in a location or I pulled it for relocation.
  • Make sure you use a charity to help you locate, they make it a lot easier to pitch a location than to just go in and ask for some space for you.

Squeezing Profit out of a Single Gumball Route

Realize we are dealing with very small numbers but in a huge amount of transactions. Every gumball you sell your cost will run .02-.06 typically, so with .25 cent price tag you are making .19-.23 profit every time someone turns the handle on one of your machines. Because it’s small, we have to maximize everything.

Get your vending supply of gumballs from Sam’s or Costco’s. They both offer the standard gumballs on location for around $19 per box of 1” 850 gumballs. If you want to order them from an online supplier go with new ZED bubble gum gumballs at A&A Global.

Also if you go with using cases of 1080 gumballs instead of the full 1” ones you will get more sales per case meaning more profit.

Make sure to carry 1-2, I suggest one, alternative to your normal type of gumball. A specialty flavor of gumballs comes in handy when you are competing in the same location with another vendor’s machine or if the location requests some other flavor you have an alternative to give them.

If you want more tips to increasing profits check out 5 easy steps to increase your profits article.

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