There are many elements to consider in the vending machine business so that you can be successful. One area of controversy has to do with the look of the vending machine and the relationship it has on price. I have been curious about it and from my own observations I didn't see that it was the main indicator that people were looking for. Of course I didn't do any real research but I am a people watcher.
That got me to thinking about the attractiveness of a vending machine. It seems like it really does influence sales, especially when there are many of them in the same area. People tend to gravitate towards those that are colorful and even that dispense products in a way that you can see the process through the front of the machine.
This newer machine was definitely appealing to those walking into the store, especially children. It features a design on the front of it that changes from one picture to the next. Some people stopped to look at it and I did see some people buying from it just to do so. Yet many people were counting their change and then reviewing the prices on the vending machines. It wasn't surprising that this newer machine sold products at twenty cents more than most of the others.
You will find many manufacturers of vending machines and sellers of them will take this angle. They want to sale the newer vending machines so they explain to potential buyers that they can attract more customers by having a colorful vending machine or one that shows the item being carried down to the dispenser.
The perception you have of this can be further fueled though by the vending machine industry. They are going to try to sale you the most expensive models they have in order to line their own pockets. They sale you on the idea that you will make more money with a pretty vending machine. They are very good at their job too so they will be able to smooth talk many individuals into buying one.
Since you must have your vending machine locations secured before you go shopping for the vending machine you can evaluate what your competition looks like. Hopefully you are finding great places to display your vending machines where there aren't so many to choose from already. Then the attractiveness of the vending machine doesn't become such an issue.
You definitely want to have vending machines that look nice. However, you need to balance that with the cost of them, how well the operate, and what consumers are interested in. To be honest with you most consumers don't really care what a vending machine looks like. They just want to be able to grab a cold drink or a snack and move on to the next thing in their day.
You need to focus more on the reliability of the vending machines you have than anything else. This is what will keep your customers happy and coming back again. Wash the outside of the vending machines on occasion to remove dirt and debris. Make sure you replace anything that is broken even if it is only cosmetic in nature. If the lights are burned out it can give customers the impression that your vending machine isn't working.
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Will you be able to make money with a seasonal vending machine location? That really depends on how profitable it is going to be during the busy season. In order to determine this, you are going to have to crunch numbers on paper and see how it all turns out. Initially, it may seem like the seasonal vending machine location is going to make you enough money to cover the slow periods too, but that isn't always the case.
If the location where you have the seasonal vending machine gets extraordinary amounts of traffic for more than half of the year, it may well be worth it. You have to be able to calculate what it is earning in those months of activity though versus what an average vending machine with a steady flow of traffic to it all year long is bringing in.
You really need to figure your profits for the period of time that the vending machine is gong to make money. To break even with the same rate as one that gets steady traffic all year, it is going to have to make two or three times the amount of money each month. This depends on how many months the season of activity is going to be. For example if it will be six months than it needs to make twice as much. If the season will be nine months then it needs to make one and a half times the amount each month.
On the other hand, your seasonal vending machine is only doing one and a half times the business as your other vending machine locations, then that you make in the course of a year isn't going to be sufficient to deem that seasonal location as one that is profitable. It all comes down to what your bottom line is after all of your expenses.
Moving vending machines is tricky business as there is always the risk of damage. You may consider having the vending machine in the seasonal location and then moving it to another location for the rest of the year. Make sure you have a solid contract in place with the owner of the seasonal vending machine location so that you are guaranteed to be able to move it back later.
In most cases, for them to hold this vending machine location for you, they will continue to charge you a monthly fee. Make sure you calculate that expense into the evaluation for the seasonal vending machine location. You may find it is still extremely profitable or you may find it isn't going to make you any profits in the long run.
Too many people see nothing but initial dollar signs with a seasonal vending machine location. As a result, they end up losing money instead of making it. Use realistic information and figures to really decide if a seasonal vending machine location is going to be able to work well for you or not.
During the times of the year when a seasonal vending machine location does make you a great deal of money, you need to budget it wisely. Don't get swept away by the fact that you have additional money on hand. A large percentage of it needs to be put aside in order to compensate your business during the slower times of the year.
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