Vending Machine Business For Sale: The How To Buy Guide
One of the best parts of buying a vending machine business is that you get to skip a lot of the hard work (getting locations and such) and instead make money right away.
Vending Businesses that are for sale are usually referred to as “routes”.
A route is a location or locations with a vending machine(s) already in place, producing a stable income.
When you buy or sell a “route” you are selling the vending machine as well as the rights to the location.
A “vending route” can refer to one single vending machine or many vending machines.
Advantages of Buying a Vending Machine Business
Low risk: The beauty of buying a vending machine business is that you really never lose your investment. In an extreme case scenario were all of your machines stop making money, you can always sell them to recover anywhere from 40% to 80% of your investment.
When you are buying a vending business, you also receive accurate information of how much the business makes, meaning you can figure out exactly when your investment will pay for itself.
Already Established, Profitable Business: Starting a vending machine business from scratch is possible, but buying an already established business is even sweeter.
You get problems such as finding locations, arranging deals, and so on, all taken care of, the only thing you have to do is manage the business and make money.
Simple Management: Vending Machines are very profitable and relatively simple to manage. Just because is simple does not make it easy, in fact if you are new to the business you might find yourself working a lot more than you need to.
But even if you buy a large route (20 or more machines) the vending business is still a lot easier to handle than other businesses; If you plan and schedule, you can find yourself working as little as 6 hours a week.
Best Sites to Find Vending Machine Businesses For Sale
BizBuySell.com – Over 17,000 businesses for sale.
Businessforsale.com – 12,000 businesses for sale as well as franchises.
Bizquest.com–Over 35000 businesses for sale
BusinessBroker.Net– 30,000 business for sale
These are just some of the best choices when it comes to buying a business. Websites such as craiglists and other forums are not recommended for buying businesses as they are known to host most vending machine business scams.
What to Look For In a Vending Machine Business
To determine which business to buy, you should keep in mind some of these aspects:
Location: In the vending industry, location is everything. When you are browsing for a route, make sure to find the most adequate location. Usually, when you are buying multiple vending machines, you are prone to have a few located in an undesired area.
Vending machines that prove to be too far from your area ratio can cost extra fuel as well as time. Depending on how much money these machines report Vs. the time and cost of the trip, you might have to move them to better locations.
Profitability and Price: Most of the time, a route is valued at 2 times the revenue the route makes in a year. (Example: If a route makes $120,000 a year, the buyer will ask for $240,000).
This of course is not always the case. Sellers also value the cost of the machines, the operating costs and many other factors when valuing their business.
It’s important to ask the seller actual profit of the business as well as bank statements to prove these claims.
In the end, your mission as the buyer is to get the best possible deal. When buying into a vending business, think about your long term goals and how long do you plan on running the business.
Seeking help from the Previous Owner
The seller of the business is most of the time the owner him/her self. Generally the owner agrees to give training to the new owner as to how the business is run.
Here is some information you need prior to buying the business:
Working hours: Even if you aren’t buying into a large vending business, you want to know exactly how many hours a week it takes to run it smoothly, after all is your time.
Remember that the beauty of a vending machine business is that it can run on its own. If the business seems too time consuming, you either have to reorganize how you operate it, or disclose it as a business opportunity.
Way of managing the business: A broad questions but an important one. Usually if the owners have had the business for a while, they develop tricks to make it run more efficiently.
How does he or she keep track of the vending machines and their supply?
How do they manage the accounting/finances of the business?
How do they manage and handle the vending machine keys?
Important dates: Restock days, payment days, etc.
These are key questions to ask the owner, who is sure to have developed an efficient ways of managing the business.
The Bottom Line
Although buying a vending machine business is a lot easier to handle than any other business, you should still treat it as a job. Be responsible and organized and you will succeed.
Keep in touch with the ex owner if you successfully bought the vending business from him/her.
Remember to always improve your managing technique to work less.
Don’t be afraid of experimenting, is your business.