View Full Version : Putting Machines in Locations Where Another Vendor Exists

08-17-2006, 06:55 PM
Personally, I see nothing wrong with this as long as the "secondary vendor" is doing something different and not directly interfering with the "primary vendor".

The way I see it, if the primary vendor is not covering all bases and leaves an opportunity for me with his account, I'm going to take advantage of it.

Likewise, I'm willing to wear that shoe if I don't do everything I can do get all of my account's business. I'm smart enough to know that if I leave money on the table, someone else will gladly take it.

The reason I bring this up is because in another online vending community I belong to, there is a thread that talks about how some "primary vendors" see themselves as "exclusive vendors" and threaten secondary vendors who happen to locate a machine on their "turf".

I've had one primary vendor (that I know of) complain to the customer after I set up an energy drink / fruit juice machine in the truckers lounge, but nothing ever came of it. The customer is glad I'm in there.

Has anyone here had any experiences with this they could share?

[ 08-17-2006, 05:56 PM: Message edited by: bullman ]

08-17-2006, 08:05 PM
Some companies do sign exclusive contracts with customers, preventing competing machines. When you have full-line vendors, or big red/blue with a full line of drinks, you will get some resistance.

Also, keep in mind that when you have a captive audience, if they aren't buying from the other guy, they are buying from you. So that means lost business for the other guy. So naturally he'd be unhappy.

But if the other guy is resisting placing secondary equipment, or broadening their product selection, and no exclusive contracts exist, I'd say the account is ripe for the picking.

08-18-2006, 08:36 AM
That's exactly it.

If an account has an exclusive contract with their primary vendor and it's not just a figment of the primary vendor's imagination, then fine. I probably won't get any of my machines in there anyway.

Let's just say there are at least a couple of good niches that most full-line vendors are ignoring that create good opportunities for an additional beverage machine for accounts between 50 - 100 employees.

These accounts are small enough to where there probably is no "contract" at all, yet large enough where you can be a secondary vendor and do quite well. Obviously, if the account says you can bring in your machine, then by all means, oblige them.

[ 08-18-2006, 07:37 AM: Message edited by: bullman ]

08-18-2006, 08:41 AM
I've heard horror stories of small vendors who have gone after Canteen accounts. Like they discover that machines from their best locations have been removed and never to be seen again - things like that. Has anyone here had any experience going head to head with Canteen or Aramark, or maybe a large regional company in your area?

I just find it hard to believe things like that would happen in my neck of the woods (Kentucky). New York or Jersey maybe, but not Kentucky.

08-21-2006, 03:13 PM
Well don't believe anyone when they tell you they have an exclusive contract wtih a company, 99% of the time its not and in a lot of states they can't be exclusive due to laws... Now the contract might say, as long as you don't allow this or my business represents this amount you will get this bonus or profit margins...

I just find it rare that a manager of the department will put his foot down and say your contract isn't exclusive and if you want my business you'll change your contract to these terms or you may happily pick them up... cause that always gets a quick change and response and they usually just cave in to keep the machines there... but its rare to find someone who will demand more from them because coke/pepsi/whoever has dealt with responses for those very questions for decades and have gotten good at the bull**** game.

08-21-2006, 08:53 PM
Having been in the vending business for 20 years I can tell you that exclusive contracts are the norm and are inforced in most cases. We used to allow small vendors to place their "gumball machines" along side our full size machines as we didn't want to get into bulk vending. But not once in 20 years can I think of a time that we allowed any other company (no matter the size) to place a full size machine in our locations. If one did "appear" our contact was notified and the other company was notified to remove their machine ASAP.

08-22-2006, 12:49 AM
It may have more to do with where you happen to be doing business. I have run into a few exclusive contracts, but they have been the exception - not the norm in the south. People around here tend to do business more on a handshake than on a piece of paper.

I mean, let's not kid ourselves. Contract or not, if you're not servicing your account properly, your account will have you out of there regardless of what any piece of paper says. On the flip side, loyalty around here runs deep, and if you do a great job and treat your accounts right, they'll stay with you until Jesus comes back.

I have found that if the primary vendor has a great relationship with the account, they won't let me in. Contracts seldom have anything to do with it. Most of the time, there is no formal contract anyway.

However, if the primary only comes through the back door to when they service machines and does not build that rapport, that gives me an inroad to that account, since the account feels less loyalty to the primary - especially if I can build rapport quickly, my chances of getting my machine in there go up exponentially.

Mr Zabe
08-22-2006, 03:20 AM
When I was an assistant office manger for a large company (100 +/- employees), I counted on service and friendly rapport from my coffee and soda pop vendor. Your above post is exactly why I was loyal to my vendors.

Very well said,Bullman. smile.gif

08-22-2006, 10:10 PM
One of the things we instilled in our drivers was the saying "it's hard to fire a friend". We have always incouraged our drivers to be friendly with all our customers from the mail room person right up to the CEO.

Mr Zabe
08-22-2006, 10:33 PM
I agree. A good well mannered driver is your account ambassador that will count more than a good sales man. I know this to be a fact. smile.gif

PS. I always treated all delivery people with the utmost respect. So the Golden Rule IMO works both ways. I always felt my service people were doing me the Big favor. smile.gif

[ 08-22-2006, 09:40 PM: Message edited by: Mr Zabe ]

Red Bull Vendor
09-06-2006, 03:19 PM
bullman, I like reading vending info, do you care to mention where the other vending forum is?


Red Bull Vendor
09-06-2006, 03:33 PM
Also a quick question for any of you that have vending machines. What is the average yearly electrical cost to run a machine. I had an account ask me yesterday, and to be honest, I have not got a clue.

09-06-2006, 03:43 PM
About $380, according to this:


Though newer machines are more efficient.

09-06-2006, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by Red Bull Vendor:
bullman, I like reading vending info, do you care to mention where the other vending forum is?

Thanks Here it is: VendingTalk.com (http://www.vendingtalk.com)

[ 09-06-2006, 06:04 PM: Message edited by: bullman ]