Why Different Products Pricing On Vending Machine Business Locations? Updated 2021


When I started out on my vending machine business here in Vancouver, BC Canada in 2012, as I have mentioned before it was a vendor who is about to retire and was going to enjoy the large vending route that he sold in parts. During that time he has vending locations from Fraser Valley to Richmond, BC and I believe he handles around 30 locations with around 60 machines and he split into different buyers. He sold the Vancouver and Richmond locations to me.

Right now the prices of the products on my locations are :

  • Chip = 1.25 ( mostly Frito Lays )
  • Chocolate = 1.50 ( mostly Nestle, Hershey and Cadbury )
  • Pop = 1.25 ( mostly coke and Pepsi products )

the cost during that time for the products right now is around: chips=0.55 to .65, chocolates=.70 to .85, pop=.45 to .55

The prices on the locations needed to be adjusted in order to succeed on the vending machine business since you have to account the following:

  • Time
  • Gasoline
  • Intangible Expenses such as your energy

The current prices of the products on the vending machines should be:

  • Chip = 1.50
  • Chocolate = 1.75 to $2.00
  • Pop = 1.25 to 1.50

Two Scenarios on vending machine location why there are different pricings:

I actually wanted to have uniform pricing on all the products but the former vendor who sold me the locations told me that

  • if you are offering commissions to the location the prices will be on the higher side and
  • if they simply wanted your good service at their location with no commissions then it will be the lower prices.
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My locations since 2012 are still on the old prices and it’s very hard for me to increase the prices because the people in the location tend to react and will get annoyed and say that even if the selling price is $1 for a bag of chips, the vendor’s profit will still be significant.

Yes it true that even if I sell it at $1 for a bag of chips at today’s cost I will still be earning at a decent profit margin, the problem is that the 90% of the other vendors out has already successfully had a new pricing :

  • Chip = 1.50 or 1.75
  • Chocolate = 1.75 or 2.00
  • Pop = 1.25 or 1.50

I have locations currently selling the new prices and both me and my customers are very happy since I make a decent profit and I serve their location with good timing intervals.

The problem right now is that I’m left with a lot of old locations since 2012 which I have not increased prices and felt that my time and gasoline is wasted since my costs are higher now. I did try to increase some locations to 

  • Chips = 1.25
  • Chocolate = 1.50
  • Pop = 1.25

But the sales dropped for about a month and then it will gradually pick up again when the customers get used to the new prices.

In this business, no customer likes to pay price increases when they are used to the old price for a long time already.

When you are doing business, it is but natural that you stay competitive and at the same time not offer a price too low that you don’t have enough money on the table to provide yourself some good quality time and some expenditure for personal passionate activities e.g. online courses, movies or whatever one’s desire.

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Sometimes I was thinking that there should be a uniform price for all the vendors where both the customer and vendor have a mutually beneficial relationship.

The best prices that a vendor can earn is usually in Hotels, Community Centers, Public places where is a lot of foot traffic and where a lot of people congregate like in Malls, Outlet Stores, Movie Centre and Airport where the prices on all the products are at maximum prices :

  • Chips = 1.75 to 2.00
  • Chocolate = 2
  • Pop = 1.50

Well if you are going to be in business for a long time and if it’s worth your time, it would be best to price your products appropriately. With good prices on your vending business machines, it would also be easier to sell your location in case you wanted to get rid of it.

In the business of pop and snack vending machines as compared to the coffee business industry the profit margin is nothing since the coffee business normal margins would be around 200 to 300%

Candy Bars Prices in Vending machines must be double your acquisition cost

A general rule of thumb when it comes to vending machine prices is that you should double the price of vending machine candy bars.

That is why many small business owners will buy candy bars at wholesale prices and then sell them to vending machines in order to make a profit.

There are times when buying candy bars at wholesale prices is a very good idea.

Candy bars that are sold at wholesale prices generally have lower prices than the prices that you would get them at in stores.

Regardless of whether you need to purchase candy bars in vending machines or you just want to buy them wholesale, you should still check with the vending machine vendor in question before you make your purchase.

Ask them about the prices they offer for candy bars.

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If you find that their prices are too high, then you should reconsider purchasing candy from them.

By following these simple rules, you should be able to save yourself money and even make a profit by purchasing candy bars in vending machines.

When you are purchasing candy bars, you should always check with your vending machine vendor in order to make sure that you are getting the best possible price.

The best places to buy lower candy prices are:

  • Costco
  • Sam’s Club
  • Deals Only
  • Dollar Stores
  • Walmart
  • Excess Liquidators

Getting Soda in the Vending Machine – How Much You Can Sell Soda

soda must be sold at double the cost price on vending machine

Soda must be sold at double the price that is on the vending machine.

This would seem to be a no-brainer, but there are times when people try to figure out ways in which they can go about doing this.

Please remember that everything you visit a location, you are spending:

  • Precious Time
  • Gasoline
  • Energy

Chips must be sold at double the price in your vending machine business as well.

Final Thoughts

Why will you be in business if you are selling products that are too low? Are you running a charity?

In the first place if the location agreed on a vending machine then that means there are people who are willing to pay some extra for the convenience and good service that you are providing.

The location should know that you spent $2,000 to $4,500 for a vending machine which is no joke by leasing or parting with your life savings to make a business living.

In this era it would be best to check all the convenience stores around your vending machine location and try to match the prices or even price your vending machine on a slightly higher price as compared to the convenience stores since you are providing a service.

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