Finding Locations for your Vending Machines – Not Rocket Science!

Vending locators- what, exactly, do they do? If more new vending operators would ask that question, then the vending business would have a much better reputation, and they’d save beaucoup money and time, too! Remember this when buying *anything* ever: Just because they say you need some third party type service, does not mean that you have to buy it, or that it’s even a good idea to have it.  It’s just the equivalent of “Do you want fries with that? How about an apple pie?”  It’s nothing more than an expensive upsell, meant to make them a few extra bucks and make you feel like you somehow have your ducks in a straighter row.

While there are a *FEW* reputable vending machine locators out there, 95% of them are either downright dishonest or just ineffective. Some locators want you to put money right up front- often a per machine amount – with the promise they’ll find locations for the machines. Often there’s a clause that, if they don’t manage to locate them, you don’t get all your money back! But most of the time, what ends up happening is that they do locate some or all of your machines- but the locations are terrible! So they’ve got your money and there’s not a thing you can do about their crappy service because they have technically filled their end of the bargain.

So- what makes a locator more qualified than the average Joe to find locations for vending machines? Is there some sort of “vending machine locator” course they can get certified in? Do locators have access to some sort of industry insider info that the rest of us aren’t privy to? No, no, and no. You can do the same thing a “professional vending machine locator” does, only it won’t cost you an arm & leg. How? Simple: Open your local phone directory to the business section, and pick out a few places that look like they’d have use of a vending machine, and that wold have enough customer traffic and / or employees to keep it in use. Arm yourself with some vending business cards or some flyers you printed up, and hit the door. Visit those places, ask to speak to the owner or manager, and ask if you may put your machine in their business, stating your intention to always keep it clean and  filled with whatever types of food / beverage / candy / nuts their customers like best. That’s it. If they say no, leave the card and that’s still a lead. If they say yes, well, that’s a home run.

If you physically visit 5 locations in one day, you’ve already done 85% more than what a locator does. Most of them don’t even physically visit the prospective locations, they just open a phone book and start calling, not even bothering to find out how much traffic they have. Worst of all, you might show up at one of these locations they’ve gotten for you, and start to put your machine in, and the owner comes walking up demanding to know just what you think you’re doing- because the locator didn’t speak to someone in authority before getting the go-ahead.

So, it’s best to do your own locating. You know the type of people in your area, you know which locations stay busy, you can walk into a business and see if it looks like it’s about to fold.

There is a location lead service you can sign up for, that’s 100% free-
you only pay for the location after you meet with the owner / manager and scope the place out. With this service, they don’t go out soliciting locations- the locations sign up on a list with employee and customer traffic stats and their vending needs, and if you happen to be in their vendor database for that area, then bam- you get an email, and you get to go meet with the location.

 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 at 11:04 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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