A&A Global: The Toy Company for Toy Capsule Vending

A&A Global A&A Global is the toy company for toy capsule vending in the areas of price, selection, and safety testing of toys.  I have used them as my lead supplier of toy capsules for over four years.
While no company is perfect (i have had a few small issues with them), they are consistently performing the best for me in providing my bulk capsule toy needs.  What does A&A Global do?  They are bulk toy importers bringing in China toys to be capsulated in the U.S.  Being an importer of China Toys carries with it a responsibility to provide testing and

Vending Times Vending Magazine for Bulk Vending Info

vending times "Vending Times” vending magazine is a must for Bulk vending information.  It is an industry standard.  Besides bulk vending, the magazine also covers full line vending.  Full line vending is usually defined as selling snacks and drinks through vending machines.  Bulk vending is usually refers to selling gumballs, candy and toys from smaller vending machines or racks.
Whichever form of Vending you do or are interested in, Vending Times does a good job covering vital information.  Some of the areas include:

Coin Pushers, Quarter Pushers: Are they Profitable and Legal?

Coin pushers, also known as Quarter pushers, seem to carry a real fascination with people.  Lately, I have run into several people who have been putting them into places where I do bulk vending.  From reports from store owners, they seem to do really well. Store owners tell me of commissions that are quite good.

Japanese Vending Machines

kidsatvendingmachine I hate to admit it, but Japanese vending machines beats American machines hands down in one area: CREATIVITY!  From other fellow vendors, I have heard that American made machines perform much better than Japanese vending machines in actual use on the field. 
The better performance of American vending machines really come to the forefront in:

Sprinter Van / Sprinter Diesel – My Perfect Vending Vehicle

red backgrndIf I could have any vehicle I wanted for the Vending business, it would be the Dodge Sprinter Diesel Van.   A Sprinter diesel is great on fuel mileage, especially compared to other vehicles in its class.  You may have noticed several freight companies and delivery companies moving to this type of vehicle in the last few years.  I believe a big reason for this is the fuel mileage of the Sprinter diesel.

Vending International – It’s not Just a “USA Thing”

littleboyvendkingVending is an international business, which may come as a surprise to some.  My first  experience with discovering international vending was when I saw some of the strange and cool bulk vending machines coming out of Japan.  Japan is not the only international vending source, but certainly a country that has contributed to the many types of vending machines.
I don’t know much about the full service side of international

1 Inch Gumballs - The Most Popular for Bulk Vending Gumball Routes

gumballs2-1 1 inch gumballs are the industry standard in bulk vending.  Beginning vendors might be confused by the different sizes, but 1 inch gumballs are the most popular. 

Be aware though, you can buy smaller gumballs (and larger too.)  Most vendors  buy smaller gumballs to save a little money on their cost per vends.  1 inch gumballs have a good all around profit margin and are fine for most gumball routes. 

Toy Claw Machines, Crane Machines, Toy Plush Information

Dollars Toy claw machines (also known as “cranes” or “crane machines”) are extremely popular with kids and many adults.  I’m sure you’ve seen these machines in grocery stores, restaurants, and even many Wal-Mart stores.
Toy claw machines are often classified with the bulk vending machine category as they really are a super-sized bulk vending machine selling toy plush articles.  There are some great advantages and disadvantages to this area.  Let me say I do NOT

Vending Tips – For Bulk Candy and Gumball Vending in the Summer

red backgrnd I thought some vending tips might be in order related to the summer season.  Warm temperatures bring a special set of circumstances to vending operators.  These will help you be effective and save money in the process.
Vending Tips on Candy Vending In Summer
Prepare for high temperatures by keeping your bulk candies temperature controlled.  This is especially a problem in the south where the temperatures are warmer year around.  You can put M&M candies and Reese’s pieces in ice chests if your vehicle doesn’t stay cool enough in summer.

What About Vending Jelly Beans?

mikeike Vending Jelly Beans may sound like a good idea, but the problem I have found with it is buying the product at a low enough price.  Sam’s Club is the place I have found that consistently sells bulk candy the cheapest.  They sell Jelly Beans which I have used in a couple of machines.
The Jelly Beans sold fair, not great, but the cost to vend them was very high – about 6 cents a vend at the smallest setting I could use in my machines.  If you can find a blowout location you may be able to make enough to justify using them.

Peanut M & M’s: Vending Tips for Best Results

Peanut M & M’s are very popular with people who use vending machines.  It can make money for you as a bulk vendor, but it is one of the top 3 hardest items to vend for several reasons.
First of all, the M & M Peanuts have a short shelf life.  In other words, they go bad quickly if your sales are not high enough.  Therefore, to effectively sell this type of candy you must use it in a place where the sales are high enough that your product can cycle through.

Vending Machine Placement: Locating Your New Vending Machine

vending machine placement Vending Machine Placement is one of the great skills of a good bulk vending company (and full-line vending for that matter).  If you are new, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of the placement of your vending machines.
I have found many places and types of businesses can be good provided:
1) The business has at least minimal traffic
2) Several Employees
3) Seems a reasonably secure place for the machine

Depreciating Assets and Your Bulk Vending Machine Company

littleboyvendking What does depreciating assets have to do with your bulk vending machines?  Plenty, but it’s not all bad!  Depreciating assets can really help you at tax time, as my accountant has often discussed with me.

I am NOT an accountant and am not giving financial advice in this article, but since I have written in places about your vending machines being income-producing assets, I wanted to mention the depreciating assets side of it too.

Its not that your bulk vending machines are depreciating necessarily to you, but as with any equipment, the equipment wears out (depreciates) with time.  Thus, the term “depreciating asset”.  If you think about it, you are replacing globes, mechanisms, chute doors, or other parts as they get broken on your vending route.  Over time, it stands to reason that effectively a bulk vending machine can be completely written off because its effective age has reached the point of no more use in the business or to the individual.  This may or may not be the actual case in use in the business, but for tax purposes, the asset has reached its end and you have a systematic yearly deduction for the expense. 

This is the benefit of a depreciating asset for you the business owner.  Contact your accountant and have them explain the tax benefit depreciating assets can be to you.  Even though I have talked about depreciating assets in the context of bulk vending, it applies in many other businesses.  I encourage you to really understand this area as a business owner.  Depreciating assets carry several important rules to be utilized properly, so please seek professional help to fully utilities their use.

© Christmark Enterprises, LLC

Toy Capsules, Tattoo, and Bouncy Ball Bulk Vending: How to Use These Bulk Vending Products to Diversify Your Vending Business

photo_1055_20060210 Lately I have been changing my bulk vending strategy a little to sell more toy capsules, tattoos, and bouncy balls.  Even though my profit margin is lower, better sales overall have been higher. 

Don't get me wrong, I still sell a lot of candy and gum, but I am slowly  doing more and more with toy capsules, tattoo and sticker vending and bouncy rubber balls to diversify a little more away from candy and gum.  Diversifying keeps me from relying too much on one product area for my source of income.  Sometimes selling the new products gives me competitive advantage against other vendors.  Some vendors care nothing about these toy products.  I didn’t either for a long time,  but after a few changes here and there, I am tweaking my product offerings.

The other area I am diversifying in is with rack locations vs. single/double head locations.  Some of the new rack locations I have been getting have been extremely good.  The advantage of a good rack location is that you typically have a longer account lifespan than with a single or double headed charity machine.

Just a few things for you to think about as you build your bulk vending business.  Hope this helps you!!!

Bulk Candy Vending: What is the Best Candy to Vend?

dreamstimefree_8036579 Bulk candy vending can be one of the biggest money losing areas in bulk vending.  And, it can be profitable as well.  What is the best candy to vend?  There is not one product that will work the best in EVERY location.  The best candy is the one which you find will sell the best and still has a good profit margin for you.

What are the factors to be successful at bulk candy vending?
  1. The cost of your product.  You must find the cheapest place to regularly buy product.  For me, that place is Sam’s Club.  You may also try Costco or BJ’s Wholesale.
  2. The amount of candy you dispense per vend.  This is absolutely critical and you must control this to make much money at all in bulk candy vending.  I have written a helpful article on how to figure your cost per vend at my vendingarticles.net site.  I highly recommend you read this article.
  3. Finding bulk candy which customers like. It’s amazing how a product change can take your collection from $3 to $30 in one collection!  If customers aren’t buying, it’s time to change product and keep trying until you get acceptable sales.
  4. Bulk candy labels.  Having classy looking bulk candy labels invite the customers to check out your product.
  5. Fresh product.  This is important to keep sales high.  If product is going stale in your bins or bulk candy heads, it’s probably time to change products or at least put in fresh product and throw away the old.
These tips will help you get started in the bulk candy vending business.  Best of success to you!
Mark Evants
© Christmark Enterprises, LLC

Vending Business Cards-Do I need Them?

vending business card Vending business cards are extremely helpful to the vending machine business.  Besides being a quick way to give your basic contact information, you have an opportunity to make a classy statement about the vending service you provide.
Vending Business cards can help you in 5 areas of your business:
  1. To provide your basic contact information
  2. To clearly and quickly communicate what vending services you provide
  3. To market your slogan and quality service guarantees
  4. To facilitate quick communication to you or your route personnel in the event of a needed service call
  5. For  marketing / locating your vending machines

Vendstar 3000 – Quick Fixes to Common Problems and How to Quickly Service Venstars on Your Route

569644_43897103There are some quick fixes to several common problems on Vendstar 3000 Machines.  Being able to QUICKLY fix a damaged Vendstar while servicing your vending machine route saves your valuable time and enables you to collect more money each day.  Here are some of my favorite ways to service to fix Vendstar problems:
  1. Carry an extra complete Vendstar with you.  Many of you will have the space to do this in your service vehicle.  This can be one of the quickest fixes especially if major parts of your Vendstar machine on location is broken.  Just fill and replace, and you’re on your way! 
  2. Carry extra chute doors and mini-springs with you.  Broken chute doors are the number one Vendstar complaint and problem you will run into frequently.  Several times I have found 2 of the 3 doors broken on the same machine.

Bouncy Balls – How to Use Rubber Balls as A Money Making Product

bouncy super ball photo Bouncy balls, also known as “hi-bounce” balls or rubber balls, are a great money-maker for your bulk vending machine.  Most quality vending machines will easily dispense the bouncy balls.  One exception to that rule is Vendstar 3000 vending machines.
There are seven advantages to selling bouncy balls in your vending machines:
  1. They are extremely popular with kids. 
  2. They are inexpensive to purchase in bulk (usually 4-6 cents each).
  3. They have a high profit margin.
  4. They have an infinite shelf life (will not spoil or go stale like gum and candy).

Vending Machine Insurance, Part 2

vending machine insurance photo Vending Machine owners may want to consider other forms of insurance besides vending liability insurance mentioned in my last blog post.  Here are more forms of insurance that you as a vending machine owner might consider:
  1. Car Insurance.  This is an important priority especially if you use your own vehicle to service your vending route.
  2. Disability Insurance.  This insurance covers you in case you are hurt or disabled for some reason and cannot work for a period of time.

Vending Machine Insurance – a MUST For Your Vending Business

vending machine insurance photo2Vending machine Insurance is extremely important for your vending business regardless of what type of vending you want to operate.  Why?  It only take one accident to put you into a million dollar lawsuit.
Vending insurance is not always a priority to people who have a small vending business.  The size of the business is not the main concern – it’s the liability potential that exists for you the business owner with your name on the asset.
No, I’m not trying to scare you, but if you are going to do business, make the investment to protect your assets.  Your vending assets (vending machines) are not the only assets at risk if someone is injured from one of your machines.  People can sue you to recover losses and go after any asset you own (cars, house, bank accounts, etc).  That’s why its wise to start doing business right in the first place – with vending machine liability insurance.
I am not a lawyer or insurance professional and I encourage you to see professional advice when you set up your vending machine business.  It’s worth starting out on the right foot!
Companies who offer Vending Machine Insurance:

Gumball Vending as an Income-Producing Asset

gumball vending
Gumball vending can be a very profitable business if your startup phase is conducted right.  In other articles I have written about not overpaying for machines, buying the right machines, and choosing the right products.  Gumball vending is normally the highest profit margin area of Bulk Vending.
Many vendors buy their gumballs at Sam’s Club or Costco stores for  around 2 to 2.5 cents  apiece and sell them for 25 cents.  It seems like a huge profit margin.  The profit margin is large, but there are many expenses which have to come out of that quarter if you run your gumball vending route as an income-producing asset:
  • Product cost (minimal)

Vending Route Management – How to Structure a Better Route

dreamstimefree_323051A vending route can be structured for profit with a little careful planning.  The number one mistake most operators make it trying to go too far too fast.
Take time and evaluate your route structure.  This is even more important as you increase your number of machines.  Are you running yourself ragged for a few extra dollars?  You may want to consider expanding your route closest to you and dropping your "stragglers" the farthest out.
High gas prices in 2008 and 2009 caused me to re-evaluate all my routes.  I not only dropped some stragglers but extended my service cycle times.  By doing this, I saved on my expenses:

Vending Opportunity or Vending Disaster – You Decide

gum-on-shoeMy vending opportunity came out of nowhere – almost literally!  One day while at the office I received a letter in the company mailbox asking if I could recommend a trustworthy person from my circle of friends to service a local bulk vending route.  Little did I know the vending opportunity that awaited me and my family!

My wife and I talked it over and decided she would take the job to help put our kids in private school.  She was hired on the spot.  And so began my introduction to bulk vending and eventually the ownership of over 3,000 vending machines.

For each person considering a home business like this, there awaits either a vending opportunity or a vending disaster.  In my opinion, to avoid a vending disaster, you must launch the business in the right way.

To take advantage of a real vending opportunity and produce good cash flow, I recommend considering these steps.

  1. Start with quality machines.  This is priority one.  Cheap malfunctioning machines cost you money and quality accounts.  In fact, you may end up replacing your money-making asset quickly because of the poor quality.
  2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Start with a few machines and see if you even like this business.  I have heard of several people buying dozens and dozens of machines at a cost of thousands of dollars and discovering they hate bulk vending.  For them, the vending opportunity became a vending disaster.
  3. Don’t try to sell 25 products in your bulk vending machine.  Concentrate on a half dozen or so of the best sellers and expand after you get the basics down.  I still recommend staying with as few as possible.
  4. Saturate the market around you before expanding.  Don’t try to go 100 miles away from home until you have thoroughly covered the 10 mile radius around your home.
  5. Heavily concentrate on learning the skill of locating bulk vending machines.  This will save you tremendous amounts of money and help you develop business skills as well.

I cannot guarantee your vending opportunity will be a success.  Only you have that power. You will have to work and it will not be get-rich-quick endeavor.  Decide you will investigate all the angles of the business and get expert advice both from vending operators like myself and legal and accounting professionals as well.  The more you explore any business the better prepared you will be.

Here are some other articles I have written which will help you:

Profitable Bulk Vending from the Start

Using the Power of the Gumball to Produce Profits

Power Tips I Used to Locate 100 Vending Machines in the Last Year

Mark Evants

© Christmark Enterprises, LLC