Healthy vending and healthy vending machines have been a hot topic in the world of vending machines. Much has been written and advertised on the Internet about how healthy vending foods are changing the world of candy, snack, beverage, and food vending machines. Even more significant are the many vending companies offering to create business opportunities for individuals selling healthy foods through vending machines.
What is the real truth about healthy vending, healthy vending machines, and the companies selling vending machines, locations for the vending machines, and healthy vending products?
Bluntly stated, “healthy vending” is, for the most part, a scam. And, the overwhelming majority of individuals who do business with companies specializing in healthy vending pay unconscionable sums for the exact same vending machines that are available without a proprietary logo for one-third the price. Worse, most of the locations packaged by the sellers of these outrageously priced vending machines are guaranteed to lose money.
Products placed in vending machines that are considered healthy are only healthy by comparison to traditional junk food such as soft drinks, potato chips, and candy bars. Beverages that contain 10% juice and 90% sugar and water, energy bars that are high in saturated fats, and fresh and frozen food that are high in saturated fats, salt, and sugar are often termed healthy for placement in vending machines. However, few if any of these products have any representation on their packaging of being healthy by the companies that make them. Furthermore, healthier products placed in vending machines simply do not sell well in schools or other locations. A Coke or Pepsi will outsell any juice drink in a soda vending machine, And, a traditional candy bar or junk food snack product will outsell any healthier snack in a candy machine, snack vending machine, or food vending machine. Many of these “healthy vending machine” companies will dictate the products you can sell, resulting in far lower sales. A more sensible approach is offering a combination of traditional products, with some healthier options, ensuring there is something for everyone.
The real problem, however, is the extraordinary number of scam artists who defraud newcomers to the vending machine industry into believing there is a significant amount of money to be made by buying vending machines with a healthy vending sign or logo. Even worse, healthy vending companies represent their equipment and services as a turn-key vending machine business that makes tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Indeed, the consumer is almost always duped into believing he or she just visits the vending machines once or twice a week to add products and collect hundreds of dollars. The reality is that most locations sold with the sale of exorbitantly priced vending machines are underperforming locations that were long ago abandoned by long standing vending machine operators that were losing money. Rarely stated is the fact that operating vending machines is a highly labor intensive business that takes a considerable amount of time. Vending machines break down, customers lose their money, and the management at the vending machine location are often unreasonable in demanding that products be changed and machines be repaired.
There are four services typically provided by a healthy vending machine promoter, all of which are outrageously priced which the consumer can do without. The first service a healthy vending machine promoter offers is finding a location through its in-house telemarketers who are usually very young and inexperienced individuals reading from a script. This is a mindless numbers game and almost always yields underperforming locations that no professional and established vending machine operator would touch.
A far better approach to finding a location that desires new vending machines is to spend the time, yourself, to visit places where there is significant foot traffic and/or a large number of students or employees which are stuck with vending machines from a company that provides poor service and/or underreports revenue and commission. And, when you, personally, establish the relationship with the management of a location for vending machines instead of relying on a healthy vending company’s telemarketers, you begin a relationship that is far more likely to be profitable and long term.
The second service provided by a healthy vending machine promoter is the sale of vending machines at two to three times what the exact same vending machine sells for by an authorized factory distributor who sells to existing professional vending machine companies. Almost always, the only difference between the vending machine sold directly by the manufacturer or the manufacturer’s representative is the lack of the healthy vending machine promoter’s advertising logo.
There are only a handful of major vending machine manufacturers in the United States which include: Crane (marketing under trade names such as National, Dixie Narco, Automatic Products, and Mars Electronics) U-Select-It (also known as Wittern Group, USI, and Selectivend), Automated Merchandising Systems (AMS), Vendo, Royal and Seaga. Before you spend two to three times what you should be spending for a vending machine, go to any of these factory’s Web sites to view the exact same vending machine in a generic version. The brand names of vending machines mentioned account for nearly 80% of all vending machines sold in the United States. If the snack vending machine, candy vending machine, soda or beverage vending machine, fresh food vending machine, or frozen food vending machine you are thinking of buying from the healthy vending promoter is not manufactured by one of the named factories, you should consider whether the vending machine you are being offered is a hybrid product that is rarely, if ever, used by major vending companies such as Canteen or Sodexo. Chances are you are being offered a hybrid vending machine of inferior quality at an absurdly high price.
The third service provided by healthy vending machine promoters is identifying the so-called healthy vending foods. Whatever these products are, you can purchase the products at Sam’s Club, Costco, or a major vending machine food wholesaler. And, if you do not know what to sell in the vending machine, visit any high school with vending machines, Sam’s Club, Costco, or your local supermarket.
The fourth service offered by a healthy vending machine promoter is the installation and repair of the vending machines. This service is another overpriced scam. First of all, a vending machine is extremely easy to install. Any vending machine manufacturer or its distributor can arrange for an inside delivery of any vending machine direct to your location. Installing a new vending machines is no more difficult than installing a DVD player or a television. Wittern Group, owner of the brand names U-Select-It, USI, and Selectivend, has a factory based group of technical experts in Des Moines, Iowa whose sole purpose is to provide free telephone assistance to any owner of a Wittern Group vending machine for the installation or repair of a vending machine – as long as you own the vending machine.
It is extremely rare for a commercial grade vending machine to malfunction due to a warranty issue. Most vending machine failures are due to the owner of the machine not loading the machine properly or a consumer who tries to vandalize the machine. However, if an on-site repair of a vending machine is required, Wittern Group and other manufacturers have a nationwide network of skilled technicians who can repair the vending machine. The service charge is between $150.00 and $200.00.
Over 95% of all vending machine repairs can be made by anyone, including you, who may know nothing about a vending machine. If the vending machine manual, often written for first time buyers does not solve a problem, simply call Wittern Group or the appropriate factory, ask for a service technician, and then stand in front of your vending machine with your cell phone while you are precisely guided how to diagnose the cause of any malfunction and repair the vending machine. THIS IS A FREE SERVICE. If a part is needed, the vending machine part can be shipped to you by over- night service. Since almost all part failures are component parts that are easily removed and replaced, you can replace any part yourself.
Don’t be frightened by the healthy vending machine promoter into believing you need the healthy vending machine company for the installation and/or repair of your vending machine. After all, in most cases, when your vending machine malfunctions, the healthy vending machine promoter will simply provide you with the telephone number of the manufacturer’s service department.
Hopefully, anyone who has read this information and is thinking about spending their hard earned money with a healthy vending machine company will think twice before doing so. The healthy vending machine companies charge absurdly high prices for what you can do yourself, if you choose to even enter the vending machine business. Operating snack vending machines, candy vending machines, fresh food vending, frozen food vending machines, coffee espresso vending machines, and ice cream vending machines is a time consuming and demanding business where success is only possible if you have the time and motivation to do everything yourself – without the outrageous expense and very high risk of losing your entire investment by accepting the misrepresentations of healthy vending machine companies, sellers of healthy vending machines, and healthy vending machine location providers.
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For more information, please contact Peter LeVine or any one of his talented colleagues at (800) 223-4101, (650) 493-2258, or contact us through our Info Request form
All vending machines for sale are priced lower than the identical machines from Selectivend, USI, Fawn, or Federal.
Plus we offer:
- Zero Down Financing
- Lower Interest Rates
Questions? (800) 223-4101 or contact us through our Info Request form
*Vencoa is an authorized distributor of USI vending machines and is not an authorized distributor of Selectivend products.