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Consider this Before you Choose equipment and product for Bulk Vending

Updated on August 23, 2013

Consider this Before you Choose equipment and product for Bulk Vending

Consider this Before you Choose equipment and product for Bulk Vending

Choosing Equipment

There are many types of equipment to choose from. All have their own pros and cons. The trick is to choose what works best for you.

You have many different brand names: Northwestern, 1-800 vending, Superpro, and Ultra vend just to mention a few. Then there are sub-categories. Like the 60 series, 80 series, sticker machines and triple play.

You will find also specialized machines like sports challenge, sticker machines, and pro bowls. You have single heads, double heads, triple heads, and u-turns. U-turns have the capability to hold 4 to 8 types of candy.

Some machines are all plastic. These are not of good quality. Some are all metal. These are stronger but you have to be careful that it's not painted in the inside where you put the candy. There is a chance that the paint may chip and contaminate your candy. Others have a combination of metal and plastic bodies with a removable canister. These are convenient for servicing.

Some just buy whatever they can get cheap on eBay. This is good cost-wise. Personally, I picked triple head 1-800 vending machines with removable canisters. They are easier to service, the mechanism is metal and the candy doesn't come in contact with paint. After researching how much to pay for a new one, I decided to buy them from eBay and craigslist for 1/3 of the cost of a new machine. I stick with the same model. I like to be uniform. In case I need to repair one, I can do it myself because I'm familiar with the machine and it is more likely that I can get spare parts from another machine.

You can choose what best fits your need. Be sure to research all your options. This way you can make a informed decision

Consider this Before you Choose equipment and product for Bulk Vending

Consider this Before you Choose equipment and product for Bulk Vending

Consider this Before you Choose equipment and product for Bulk Vending

Consider this Before you Choose equipment and product for Bulk Vending

Consider this Before you Choose equipment and product for Bulk Vending

Consider this Before you Choose equipment and product for Bulk Vending

Choosing Product

It is important to choose the right products to sell in a bulk vending business. Some have higher profit margins while others have longer shelf-life. Also, finding the preferences of each location's customers can make a large difference.

Shelf life. In general candy has a one year shelf life. Yet, you should have in mind that you don't know how long it has been on the store shelf. So, I recommend changing candy every 6 months. Have in mind also that hard candy will have a longer shelf life than chocolate, soft candy, and nuts.

General popularity. At first it may be best to fill your machine half way and test how a particular candy sells. Try different kinds of candy each month for a few months and keep track of how much you collect for each. You will then have a better idea of how popular a particular candy is. When you find the right combination keep it at this location as long as it is popular.

Location's preferences. You may come across a location where the owner or employees ask for a particular candy. Meeting their requests may help you get and keep the location, and having the favorite candy of a few people with a sweet tooth can be profitable as well. However, do not be afraid to change candy if it is not selling. You can let them know why and they usually will not mind.

Vend amount. There is no hard rule, but most machines are adjustable so this may give you an idea where to start. Experiment and decide what works best for your locations and what is profitable to you.

Peanut M&M’s: 8-10 pieces
Plain M&M’s: 12-14 pieces
Runts: 10-12 pieces
Skittles: 12-14 pieces
Reese’s Pieces: 12-14 pieces
Mike & Ikes: 6-8 pieces
Hot Tamales: 6-8 pieces
Chiclets and Gum Tabs: 10-12 pieces
Cashews: 10-12 pieces
Pistachios: 10-12 pieces

Have in mind that smaller portions may save on candy costs but can cut down on repeat customers.

Try placing small cups (such as 3 oz paper cups) on the machines at locations where customers may want to take the candy with them or may not want to hold it in their hands, such as an office or hair salon. This can also encourage them to get more candy at a time. A simple way to keep the cups in place is to put them in a larger plastic cup stuck to the machine's top with double-sided foam-backed tape (sticky squares).

Placing candy labels on your machines may increase sales. This shows people what kind of candy it is, and that it is a brand name. Colorful labels also attract attention. Some bulk candy comes with labels, but you can make your own by cutting out parts of the package. Some candy manufacturers sell labels, and they can be bought on eBay. Vending websites like may also have labels available for download.


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