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Start Up a Bulk Route; My best Advice for Newcomers Part 2

{Recap from part one}
Bulk Vending is defined as a method of vending candies, toys, and other trinkets through coin-operated dispensaries. This method of vending is the other side of the more common vending conception of electro-mechanical vending such as Soda and snack machines. A lot of people ask me how they can get started in this interesting, dynamic industry, and I’ll usually tell them it takes a lot of patience and careful research. However, I have some good starter tips for anyone starting a new route from scratch.
{End Recap}

Don’t be afraid to change

A lot of vendors are deathly afraid of change. Price changes, product changes, location changes, and so on. In an industry as unpredictable as vending, one must be ready to adapt and change with the times quickly, or go out of business. Many vendors start with one type of vending setup, and then realize as they expand this setup doesn’t work in some locations. Maybe their product lineup doesn’t work, or the size of the equipment doesn’t work. You have to be ready to adapt to whatever the locations and your customers can throw at you. Don’t hold onto old practices if they stop working- you’ll be better for it in the end.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

I believe, some say rather foolishly, that vendors look out for each other. If one of my competitors came to me for help, I’d help him without hesitation. I’ve found this to be true of others as well. When I first started vending, I made some pretty big mistakes, and I needed help to get back on track. A number of vendors both in my area and through the Internet came to my rescue, and my business stands today because of the help I received. In turn, I help others when they need help. Unlike other businesses, the vending industry doesn’t have very much in the way of meeting other vendors, and learning that way. Locally, competitors are not always inclined to help their direct competitors, or share their secrets. Over the Internet, thanks to various bulk vending forums forums like Vendiscuss.net, bulkvendingforum.com, vendingchat.com and others there are a lot of operators willing to share their tips, tricks, and secrets. If you have problems, or need help, don’t hesitate to seek out help from the experts.

This business is a journey, not a destination

A lot of guys wrongly believe that one day they will peer over their heaps of quarters, lean back in their chair and say “Yup, I am now a successful vendor” and call it a day. In this business, you have to keep expanding, innovating, and changing to remain competitive to keep the money coming. Furthermore, lots of bulk operators use a bulk route, which is cheaper and easier to start, as a springboard for other businesses and projects, most commonly, full-line routes composed of soda and snack machines. A good friend of mine started with candy triple machines, built up some toy locations, and then used the experience and funds from the bulk route to buy the foundations for his soda and snack machine route. The beauty of this, of course, is that there isn’t a set path, or a right or wrong way about it. You can run a little hobby route that pays for your gas if that’s what you want, or you can go all the way to huge soda and snack routes which can make you a decent living if applied correctly. Whatever you choose to do, it’s your choice, and no one can dictate what is right or wrong about your business but you. The freedom to be what you want is yours. Whatever type vending you choose to pursue, good luck!

Alex Macomber is the operator of Performa Vending, and a writer for Reliable-Vendor.com. He can also be found anytime at the Bulk Vending Forum where vendors of every sort are welcome. Drive him nuts by emailing him at PerformaVending@gmail.com.

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