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bullman
04-17-2006, 08:00 PM
Just curious... I started my energy drink vending business for the express purpose of going full time within a relatively short period of time, and then growing to the point where my wife could quit her job and stay home and also to bring my son into the business full-time. As many know, I am not only vending Red Bull, but also other energy drinks in order to facilitate rapid growth.

Many on this board have started their Red Bull / energy drink vending companies for the same reason... to make it a full-time career. Some have been doing this now for several months.

My question is, has anyone been able to turn their business into a full-time career beginning with vending energy drinks? Is it really just a matter of how many machines you can buy and place in good locations over time and investing back into your company? Do energy drinks in and of themselves have enough popularity in spite of their higher price to drive enough sales to produce full-time incomes? Is anyone actually making this happen yet?

I'm just now off to my official start and I'm not discouraged by any means, just curious to see how many out there are actually living the dream.

[ 04-17-2006, 08:28 PM: Message edited by: bullman ]

Lepke
04-18-2006, 06:48 AM
Good luck… vending is a hard business. And getting people to put $2.00 or more into a vending machine is not going to be easy. It’s not like 75¢ for a can of coke. Or 50¢ for a bag of chips.

It’s new and viability still remains to be seen.

But again good luck you will need it.

Red Bull Vendor
04-18-2006, 10:36 AM
I have about 10 red bull machines and 190 or so bulk candy machnes, I would have to say that teh bulk machines, only taking in a quarter at a time, are by far exceeding the redbull machines income, but I am not giving up, the locations will come. I am working as a 3rd party vendor with my local distributor so this are starting to get much better, and the bills are easier to count than the quarters. Hoping to be full time within a year

greg
04-18-2006, 10:49 AM
Whats the difference between someone payin 2 bucks at the counter to someone paying 2 bucks at the vending machine?
Placement is what vending is all about. Keep working hard and hopefully your labor will pay off.
Even the mightiest oak tree in the forest began as a simple acorn.

Lepke
04-18-2006, 11:17 AM
There is a difference. People are not used to putting 2 bucks or more in a vending machine. Buying from a vending machine is still not the first choice for most people. People like to go to a store and will walk the block to get there. But like any other business location location location. A captive audience is what you would be looking for. People locked in an office building or factory on the overnight shift. Places where people had to pay to get into and have no food concession. Hotels/motels. Ect.

No business is easy and I’m sure most of these vending start-ups have been sold a bill of goods of how much money they will earn.
And at this point it’s really hard to say what these machines will do numbers wise. It’s new and winter just ended. In many parts of the country it’s still damn cold.

And yes contrary to what you may believe Greg, given a choice people would prefer to pay at the counter. Human contact still counts for something.

bullman
04-18-2006, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by Lepke:
Good luck… vending is a hard business. And getting people to put $2.00 or more into a vending machine is not going to be easy. It’s not like 75¢ for a can of coke. Or 50¢ for a bag of chips.Thanks Lepke. I realize some people won't put $2.00 into any kind of vending machine, but at the same time, I think it would be much harder to locate pop machines because it's hard to find locations that don't already have them. You'd really have to find someplace where the current vendor is doing a poor job, get the kicked out, then pray that you found a good location. My experiece so far is that energy drink machines are fairly easy to locate... but driving sales upwards is where the challenge is for me.

Lepke
04-18-2006, 11:44 AM
You are offering something new that no one else has to offer. That has to help somewhat.
But I’m sure your mother never told you life was going to be easy.
No risk no gain.
In time people may get used to feeding the machine.
Tough business I don’t envy the work you have in front of you.
It could pay off.

As they say in the theater, “break a leg”.

greg
04-18-2006, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by Lepke:


And yes contrary to what you may believe Greg, given a choice people would prefer to pay at the counter. Human contact still counts for something. When did I say that I believe people would rather have face to face interaction with someone to purchase a drink over having to face an inanimate object for the same drink? All I said was "what is the difference?" I then went on to give anecdotal support to this thesis by explaining that Coke and Pepsi used to only sell their drinks at the fountain and then went to Vending machines which has proved quite successful.
Machine take the place of someoone who can not be there whether for economic reasons, logistic resons, or for convenience reasons.

Why are you so closed minded about RB having a stab at the vending business? You seem to really have it out for them because you have rarely ever said anything positive about anyone that has had anything to do with CC or its aftermath.

As far as people wanting to have face to face contact can you explain to me the success rate of ATM's....maybe it's the convenience factor!

Lepke
04-18-2006, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by greg:
Whats the difference between someone payin 2 bucks at the counter to someone paying 2 bucks at the vending machine?
Placement is what vending is all about. Keep working hard and hopefully your labor will pay off.
Even the mightiest oak tree in the forest began as a simple acorn. You asked what the difference was as if there was no difference. At least that’s how I perceived it.

Sorry if I freaked you out.

I don’t know about all the other stuff you say you went onto.
The post is above.

[ 04-18-2006, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: Lepke ]

-VV-
04-18-2006, 12:30 PM
I guess someone should tell the vendors vending iPods at airports, etc that their business model is doomed to failure, if we can't expect someone to pay $2 for a can of RedBull through a vending machine. But, utlimately, the sales speak for themselves. They said the same thing about RedBull in general when it hit the market. Finding someone with anything positive to say about RedBull's future when they hit US shores was not an easy task.

As for "living the dream", in our particular case, the goal was never to get the business to a point where we could trade my job for running a vending business full-time. I happen to really love my "day job". The vending business was a supplement to our existing income, and we hope to have it running as a full-time venture with staff in 4-5 years.

I guess I wasn't really looking to trade one full time job with another. We're looking more at working hard towards early retirement.

And I guess the short answer to that is...no. We're not "living the dream". ;)

Yet...

[ 04-18-2006, 12:48 PM: Message edited by: Veruca Vending ]

-VV-
04-18-2006, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by bullman:
I realize some people won't put $2.00 into any kind of vending machine, but at the same time, I think it would be much harder to locate pop machines because it's hard to find locations that don't already have them. I believe you hit the nail squarely on the head with that one. I said once before, if I'm going to have to start off in vending, let it be with a proven product with virtually no vending presence, rather than trying to find a unique way to sell pop and candy out of machines - no disrespect intended to anyone who does. Even more so now, that CC's affiliation with RBNA has been brought to a halt.

Something interesting I have observed. Whenever our business comes up with people in conversations and we mention that we are in Red Bull vending, people outside our target age demographic (over 35), generally respond with, "Oh, well that's interesting.", or "So, what is Red Bull now?". Anytime it is mentioned to people squarely in our target age demographic (18-35), the response is generally more along the lines, "Oh my God! What a great idea.", or "Wow, wish I had one of those at my office." There is a HUGE difference in the perception of those in our target age group and those out of it. That's why I have stressed and advocated to think VERY carefully about the target demographic. The product is proven, the sales potential is there. That's not something, I suspect, that has as much weight in vending soda and pop, since people of all ages enjoy them.

[ 04-18-2006, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: Veruca Vending ]

bullman
04-18-2006, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Veruca Vending:
Whenever our business comes up with people in conversations and we mention that we are in Red Bull vending, people outside our target age demographic (over 35), generally respond with, "Oh, well that's interesting.", or "So, what is Red Bull now?". Anytime it is mentioned to people squarely in our target age demographic (18-35), the response is generally more along the lines, "Oh my God! What a great idea.", I have seen this several times in the short time we have been vending energy drinks.

Unfortunately, it has prompted people to ask me about how they can get into the business - right here in the town where I live - and since I don't want to create our own competition, I have learned to be selective with whom I engage conversations about our business.

But I do get much of the same resonse from the younger crowd, and that makes me feel better so long as they're willing to put dollars into vending machines.

I do enjoy every aspect of the vending business and hate my current job, and even though the money is okay, it is not going to take me where I want to go financially and is very time consuming and stressful. I would love to turn our vending business into a full time venture.

[ 04-18-2006, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: bullman ]

-VV-
04-18-2006, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by bullman:
Unfortunately, it has prompted people to ask me about how they can get into the business - right here in the town where I live - and since I don't want to create our own competition, I have learned to be selective with whom I engage conversations about our business.
Well, I suppose the good news is that those seeking to get in now, will have a much more difficult time of it. With CC out of the game, there really isn't a one stop shop to get a foot in the door. And I believe that most people without an easy way to start, will quickly lose interest when they see what's involved.

Even with the ease of getting in through the CC concept, there were still alot of people who wrongly expected, and CC didn't help with the misperception, that you just pick a place and collect money. Starting from scratch, I just don't see many people sticking it out.

That is, until CC comes up with their next vending quick money maker. Someone mentioned a multi-vend concept a few threads back, it'll be interesting to see.

I notice, however, that they've been taking their time getting their site up to date. Something tells me they're not turning people away when they come to them interested in the Red Bull vending concept.

-VV-
04-18-2006, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by bullman:
I would love to turn our vending business into a full time venture. And I wish you all the best in your venture. I think the mere fact that you're constantly trying to learn more about how to grow your business says a lot. There were alot of potential vendors who came on for a few threads and asked "How much will I make?" "How many cans will I sell", etc. But you can tell a real difference between those who were looking to be talked into vending, and those who are interested in picking up any new information they can to help grow their business. I'm sure you'll do great, my friend. All the best to you.

[ 04-18-2006, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: Veruca Vending ]

bullman
04-18-2006, 01:35 PM
Thank you, Veruca, and I know your business will be successful as well as you have obviously done a lot of research and planning and seem to be on track. I know you will reach your goals. Best of luck to you also!

Spartan Dan
04-19-2006, 11:28 AM
How do you start a vending business? I may think about it with all the time i have.