Finding Locations for Your Vending Machines

Finding the right location for your vending machine is the hardest part of our business. First you have to accept not all locations are the same, it really is location, location and location that will grow your business. You want to look for high traffic areas to get best results.

There are two standard ways to find locations in the bulk vending industry; do it yourself or have someone do it for you. There are pro’s and con’s to both and we explore both of them below but first let’s talk about ‘your hook’! So what’s your hook? Simply put it’s how you get your foot in the door and sell them on letting you leave one of you bulk vending machines behind. There are two standard practices for doing this; offer them a percentage of sales, normally 15-35% of gross or 30-50% net, on the machine(s) in their location, is standard, OR partner with a non-profit charity, where you usually pay $1-2 dollars per month, per machine that uses the charities vending insert. There are quite a few charity programs out there, I have tried a few and the National Children’s Cancer Network is my favorite and the one I most use. You can find out more about the NCCS vendor program here.

We prefer partnering with a charity for a number of reasons but the biggest reason is the majority of your locations aren’t going to be super producers, and even if let’s say they produce $15 a month and you have made an agreement for 20%, how discouraged is the owner going to be when he gets his measly $3, maybe enough to tell you to “get your machine and get the hell out!”
Scouting vending locations for yourself involves cold calling local businesses and asking if you may place a machine on their premises. This is usually done in person but some do use telemarketing. All I can say about this method, make sure you keep optimistic and expect a lot more “no thanks!” for every “yes!” The pro’s for this method are you save money, meaning you have more to invest in more machines. The con’s are you spend a lot of time doing it this way, and it does discourage a lot of people not used to cold calling.

Using a vending locator service to find you locations can be both easy and tricky. Most of them claim to work very similar but there are shady operations out there. What you need to know about using them; do the research, find a reputable locator, never pay all up-front, the good ones normally only require a small charge up-front or my personal preference are the ones you don’t pay until you have placed your machines. The pro’s of this method; it’s easy to find locations, they do all the leg work, saves you time, perfect for part-time vendors with another full-time job. The con’s are you will spend quite a bit more money doing it this way, the locations are normally not premium locations and the possibility of using a bad locator and getting ripped off.


  1. Jimmy Tymins says:

    Just learning the business and this was very helpful, I haven’t decided how I am going to get locations yet but this gives me something to think about.

  2. Big Pete says:

    Well,the writer/author is on the dot.I can’t disagree in any way. But can I add my suggestion,to wake up in the morning, dress sharp like going to an interview with a suit and tie if you like, smell good and have a smile, then take pictures of your machine a good big page of each shoot you take,maybe 3 pix of your machine different angles, so you don’t have to bring out the entire bulk in person,because it’s heavy and unorthodox to walk into a potential location with the entire…Anyway,look sharp with the pics. On hand and speak to the location managers or owners preferably.. Have your own questions in mind or write them down and repeat it to yourself. Your name, your business and purpose for either them, employees and patrons. Try not to offer commissions until last resort. Also assure them YOU personally going to service the Machine every 2 weeks, they are not responsible for your machine or performance and make SURE YOU LEAVE THEM YOUR PHONE NUMBER OR WAY to GET HOLD OF YOU, ALSO LEAVE YOUR CONTACT INFO. ON your back of your machine, because they do tend to lose your number, even business card.

  3. Big Pete says:

    Sorry I had to cut short from previous paragraph. But the hardest or challenging part was acquiring locations..You need some what of a salesmen skill to succeed,but sometimes just looking sharp could sale for itself..You will be rejected a lot of times, but is not impossible,but for sure my chances were alot better just looking sharp and speaking clearly, giving good eye contact,good introduction with your name and getting their name and every time you mention them, by their name.. Look calm and execute with confidence.. Practice, practice, practice your presentation from greeting, introducing yourself, get the main person thats going to decide your fate their name,introduce your business offer,show them the picture of your machines,where it be great to put it,how long you’ll service it personally,that they’re not responsible for theft, just their presence people don’t regularly just walk out with a bulk machine (that’s why is important to let them know only YOU will service it), assure them thefts don’t really happen, and repeat it again; sir/ma’am you are not responsible for the machine, it’s great to keep an eye on it but please don’t risk your well being or your employees life for,a machine….if they’re hesitant tell them you’re pretty new, if they like we could split some commission.offer a percentage or flat rate of few dollars each time you come visit it,because you dont know how well the machine or foot traffic,going to be at his place, we both could find out 2 weeks from now, if you sir/ma’am permit me to put it pointing at a good spot…. Be prepared to be rejected? But also it will double feel good when they say yes… Just give them your phone number if problem arise or that your contact info. Will be,behind your bulk…

  4. Big Pete says:

    P.s.Good luck to you all,whom ever decides to start a journey of up and downs ,and rewarding adventure too.

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