Buying small businesses, the vending route.

If you surf Craigslist, then sometimes you will stumble over things that are very interesting. One of my favorite categories on Craigslist is the business for sale. Most of it  is scams these days, but from time to time, I will find really interesting small businesses for sale. I think you will be surprised at what you might find for a few hundred bucks. If you are looking to get a good deal, this is the place! One thing I found from searching businesses for sale, the sellers are very motivated. I am referring to tangible businesses like hot dog-carts, vending routes, clearance merchandise, and so forth.

I am far from being an expert on the vending business, but I thought I would share what I know with you. You know, from day one I was really excited about this, I am not sure why. However, having a vending route is like having all this money and no one knows you have it. Its like a deal with the keys, a very untraceable income.  So one day I am on Craigslist reading and see a candy vending route for sale. The vending business I about was 15 quarter candy vending machines placed in the Mesquite, Nevada area. He was asking $1100.00, and he said the route is waiting to be cleaned out and that I would recover some of my investment. The deal we came to was all the placed machines and 2 back up machines for 400.00 bucks. Not a bad deal… In my mind!

Interesting facts about the vending business:
– Placement of machines only sounds simple, there are even placement services that will try to charge $50.00-$100.00 per location. Vending success comes from many small variables, sometimes an employee will quit, and a $25.00 dollar a week machine will do nothing. But your real success is in, placing as many candy machines as possible.
– I found the placement of the machines are pretty simple for the quarter machines, however, machines that require electricity might be a different story.
– Buying quarter machines is fairly cheap. Don’t go over board, if you are going to do this. Buy one machine, and place it, then buy another. This way if you quit, you are out about 50 bucks, no big deal.
– Then other times, business owners will ask for a cut of the money. Sometimes I will give them a kick back.

How to buy, and how much do I pay for the vending machine?
– This is a very difficult question to answer. The number one reason people fail in the vending business, is from paying to much. Machines placed at locations are worth much more than just the machines alone. You will find people with all these machines advertising, because they made a purchase into the vending business.

One thing I hated about the vending business
– All the candy around the house. I mean I had tons!
– We had a biblical proportions of quarters, it was annoying.

Expected ROI:
More info coming soon.