Do I need to pay for my vending service provider?

As a rule of thumb, it’s always good to know if you should be paying for your vending service provider. This, like many vending questions, mainly depends on the agreement you have in place with your current vending company. At Bottoms Up Vending, we pride ourselves on providing headache and stress-free vending services. We only offer full-service vending at no cost to your business. This means that having Bottoms Up Vending as your vending service provider costs you – nothing! In order to be able to provide absolutely zero-cost vending services, we only service accounts with a significant amount of foot traffic (generally starting at 65-75 employees). This may come as an inconvenience to smaller companies who are looking for vending services, and perhaps even willing to pay for them. In any case, if you fill out the form on our website we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. Although we generally service companies with at least 65-75 employees, we also service larger vending accounts with thousands of staff working around the clock. If you’re searching for a local reliable vending service you can depend on– look no further, fill out the form and get in touch with Bottoms Up Vending today. We’re happy to help!


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Do I Need To Pay for Vending Service Provider?

Should I have one or two vending machines?

Well, it depends. A sufficient number of vending machines at your business location contributes to the total machine up-time but is generally actually for the benefit of your service provider. To get an idea of how this works, imagine a vending company with a single snack and single drink vending machine stationed in a very densely populated location where staff and guests alike love to make frequent purchases. In such a location, machines may go empty in as little as one day. That, of course, is a good thing for the revenue of that particular machine. But it also means that in order to maintain an uninterrupted machine-generated income, and more importantly keeping the customer, employees, and guests satisfied, a route driver would need to be sent to that location every single day. This generates lots of unnecessary added costs such as reloading time, gasoline, etc. Now, if in the same location, two snack vending machines along with two drink vending machines were placed at that location, the machines can be refilled every other day, saving resources that can be allocated towards servicing other accounts. Although machines do come with a price tag, there is yet another important factor that likely takes the cake! That is, since vending machines are after all just machines, they can at any time become defective, jam up, or run into other errors, so the likelihood of being vendor ready at all times in a specific location is higher if there are at least two of each machine stationed at said location. So the answer to should I have one or two vending machines at my place of business depends on the size of the location and usage of the machine but naturally tends to be a good solution for larger locations.


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Is vending a good business?

The age-old question of: Is vending a good business – needs to really be dissected in order to answer properly. I personally remember when my grandfather taught us “buy low, sell high!” Although I believe he was referring to the stock market rather than snacks and drinks for vending machines, the principle remains the same. Asking if vending is a good business is like asking if any business is a good business. If one can buy low and sell high, sure it can be good. For vendors who are just starting out, there can be obstacles to this. One way to secure lower pricing for items is to purchase in volume. Volume also allows for many other parts of the vending business to be streamlined. Warehouse space for storing items can allow a vendee to stock items and buy larger quantities, as well as have direct delivery to the warehouse/storage location. Of course, the downside to this is that if you can’t move your product quickly enough, you get stuck with outdated, essentially worthless snacks and drinks! For many people reading this, you’re probably really wondering if it’s worth it for you to put vending machines in your office or business location. Again this requires you to really determine your objective. Vending machines are costly and require maintenance, restocking, refilling the coin changer, cleaning, etc. Even collecting the cash and bringing it to the bank, although exciting at times, turns into a routine chore. In order to make this effort worth your while, a vending machine has to sell a reasonable amount of products. As good as that sounds at first, if you’re only operating a few machines or one single machine, where do you store the product? Does it require a trip to Sam’s Club or Costco each time you are getting ready to fill your machine? In short, of course, vending machines can prove profitable when serviced properly, but while these “make money while you sleep” vending channels are informative, they only paint part of the picture. This is why most companies looking to keep their employees or guests satisfied with snack and drink options consistently available, opt for full-line vending service companies to do the work for them!


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Do vending Machines make good money?

Vending machines can make good money if they are placed in the right locations whilst being serviced properly. Vending is a little tricky because sometimes the locations you think are going to do really well and have large turnover, end up being the underperformers, and the “little hole in the wall” locations become your best-selling accounts. This is why it’s important not to rely on one account or base your success on one location. Having machines that are “breaking even” allows you to purchase larger volumes and create stronger relationships with suppliers, and of course with building owners and managers. That’s not to say that if you’re trying to start a vending business you should seek slow-to-grow accounts; rather it’s just that you should give each location a fair chance. At Bottoms Up Vending we believe that allowing 3-6 months for a particular location’s sales to pick up, employees to trust the new equipment, etc. is enough time to justifiably move on if a location cannot produce the expected results.


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Do vending machines make good money?

What problems can I run into with vending machines?

This question is similar to asking a mechanic – What is the problem with cars? A million and one things can go wrong with your car as there are so many moving parts: From the alternator to the engine, to door handles and electric windows. So too with vending machines: Bill, coin changers, head, motor, and if you’re running a cold drink machine there is a refrigerator. What this means is that with all these moving parts, in order to really properly maintain these machines, an expert is required. Vending machines require maintenance, restocking, and other upkeep. Each time you go to restock and refill your machines, there are many moving pieces involved. Machines need to be cleaned properly, and monies brought to the bank. This tedious work is similar whether you’re operating one location or many locations. In fact, bringing more cash to the bank incentivizes the bank to offer discounted rates. Banks don’t like bank runs, so too, in general, they don’t love to change large lump sums of coins all at once. Rather, by bringing in large sums of money consistently, you can predictably build a stronger relationship with your bank, which in turn can help your business at various stages. But what does all this mean to you? This means that while vending machines can be a lucrative business at the right scale, when a business manager, office manager, or even a building manager is able to turn a profit servicing one machine, it’s most likely not worth it. Many of our customers tried to start out on their own, only to waste countless hours and never really manage to get their machines running properly. Having a reliable vending machine service means that you’ll have state-of-the-art vending equipment in vend-ready mode, accepting all forms of payment (perhaps even Bitcoin), and consistently stocked with fresh snacks and drinks. Bottoms Up Vending provides all of this at zero cost to your business. To learn how we provide vending services at no cost to qualifying businesses, read this article.

How much does it cost to restock a vending machine?

The cost of restocking a vending machine is dependent on many variables. How much are you paying for your snack inventory? Are you coming in to fill your vending machines from a faraway location? Are you paying someone else to fill your vending machine with snacks or drinks that you have in fact purchased? Often when considering the cost of restocking your own vending machines, you may forget to calculate your own time value spent doing it! Having said all of that, the true way to find out how much it will cost you to restock a vending machine in your case is to make a list of all your expected expenses and try it out. Then you need to track and log all of the actual expenses in order to really see how much it ends up costing you. Remember, the total cost goes down as you add more vending locations and buy your products in higher volumes.

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Should my vending machine service pay me?

In the vending machine business, It’s the age-old question: Should your vending service pay you a commission for placing a machine in your location? Let’s be honest – we are all a little biased when it comes to this particular issue, as vending companies offer free vending services in the hopes of paying little to no commissions to our partner vending locations. So… let me go ahead and try to be as objective as I can in order to answer this question fairly. The simple answer is if your location does a huge amount of vending sales you should receive a commission.  This all comes down to a simple business principle, namely leverage! Who is getting the better end of the deal, so to speak? Having consistently stocked and maintained vending machines at your location done for you has a proportional value to you personally since you’re not doing the work yourself. On the other hand, owning a large account with many sales obviously adds intrinsic value to a vending service – namely a high revenue account. In addition, vending machines use a small amount of electricity which is typically viewed as insignificant in a location such as a nursing facility, hospital, or logistics factory but does undoubtedly carry some costs.

How much can I get paid from my vending machine service provider?

Typical commissions for high-volume accounts in the vending industry can range between 5%- 15% and sometimes more. However, there is another important factor to consider, which has to do with why Bottoms Up Vending pays commissions that are typically on the lower end of the scale. This factor has all to do with how good the services being provided actually are.

Quality of vending service vs. commissions earned on revenue share deals.

You can have vendors offering 20% and more to place machines at your business location. However, you must consider the service being provided by such vendors. Are the machines being maintained, cleaned, and restocked in a timely, efficient and respectful manner whereby not interrupting the work environment? Do those companies have long-term accounts and satisfied customers? When searching for a reliable vending service, it’s important to consider the “backbone” of the company – not only the commission. You need to decide if it’s more important for you to have new state-of-the-art equipment with card readers that are well maintained (which ultimately will generate more sales), or if a high commission arrangement seems to be worth more to you. Surprisingly, most of the inquiries we receive for vending services have no interest in commissions or revenue share deals at all. Most are simply in search of a headache-free and stress-free vending solution, which we have been successfully providing to qualifying locations for nearly 20 years from the time of publishing this post.

How often can I expect my vending machine service to fill up our machines?

Reliable vending machine service can be depended on to fill vending machines as often as needed to keep them well-stocked. This means that each snack or drink selection should almost always have items available. Of course, it’s impossible to predict 100 percent of the time what snacks and drinks people will choose and how many people will purchase from the vending machine at any specific moment. However, locations do have trends that can be followed by simply taking a basic inventory. At some locations diet coke may be preferred over regular coca-cola and so it may be worthwhile to give diet coke two slots in the machine at that location. Of course, there exists software that gives live updates on inventory in a particular machine. However, changing routes on demand is simply not done, as each driver runs location-based routes and maybe in a completely different location on a day which is not that vending location’s typical vending day. This is why at Bottoms Up Vending we believe that what affords the best possible vending services is to take the initial stage of the first 90 days to learn location preferences (of course products can be chosen beforehand). As an experienced vending company we’ve learned general snack and drink patterns based on geographic location and demographics. After the learning period, we offer more snacks and drinks of your employees’ favorite choices. High-demand locations can get several machines or be serviced, in some cases as often as five days a week.

What if my company doesn’t qualify for free vending services but we are growing?

All vending companies have different limits and vending programs. At Bottoms Up Vending specifically, we provide completely free vending services to a qualifying location that typically has between 65-70 employees at minimum. However, in the case that your company does not meet that number but is growing, or operates a 24/7 location with shifts, we can make an individualized-based assessment. We encourage you to fill out the online form and we’ll get in touch. In some situations, we have serviced locations with less than the recommended 65-75 employee minimum. We often offer a trial period to companies hovering just below 65 employees to see if gross revenues match set expectations for your specific location. Some vending companies may offer paid vending services where they manage your vending needs for a fee or you may be able to find smaller vendors willing to service a quieter location until you reach the 65-75 employee threshold.

Coffee vending machines vs. coffee as a free service for high revenue locations. Which do I choose?

This is a difficult question to answer because it’s extremely case-specific. However, to give you an idea, Bottoms Up Vending services offers free coffee vending machines along with a full-line of vending services for qualifying locations. Generally, locations that qualify for coffee vending machines are airports, hospitals, nursing facilities, and manufacturing and logistic plants. However, we also offer self-service coffee to locations we serve, as long as beans are purchased through Bottoms Up Vending. This usually works well for offices, auto repair shops, car dealerships, and locations that want to offer coffee as a free amenity to employees or guests. A location generating a high revenue may be entitled to completely free self-serve coffee. Essentially this means we’ll provide you with a self-service coffee machine and a reasonable amount of beans!! If you’re looking for a full-line vending service at a high revenue location such as a popular car dealership, Bottoms Up vending likely has a solution for you! 

Turns out this article has become a bit more “Bottoms Up Vending” centered than originally intended. However, we genuinely want to answer all your vending questions and at a minimum point you in the right direction. With close to two decades in the vending industry we have helped dozens of companies, hundreds of locations, and thousands of customers enjoy a better vending experience and we look forward to helping you too.

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    Bottoms Up vending is currently offering full-line vending services in Illinois, Northwest Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin’s Milwaukee, Kenosha, and Racine areas, etc. We serve all of our vending locations personally so you can expect a Bottoms Up Vending employee in a Bottoms Up Vending truck when choosing bottoms up vending as your vending service provider. 

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