Candypreneur: Get Started in the Hidden Industry of Bulk Candy Vending

Chapter 1: Introduction


As kids, we all were amazed by those little machines, which for only a quarter would shoot out candy into our hands . Our young minds didn’t understand what the little metal discs called coins were or how we got the candy,
but whenever there was one around, we begged our parents to spare a coin and help us reach the slot . Our palms would be full of sugary goodness and our parents would smile at the radiant grin on our faces as we felt joy for the simple things. You probably already know what I am talking about, in fact, chances are today alone you will probably pass by two or three candy machines and not think much about them. As kids these magical machines grabbed our attention everywhere we went, and if we could, we would use every single one . In adulthood these machines have lost that magic, so we see them as a utility, something we use when we need some quick energy or are having a rough day at work . However that magic is still alive in children today. To a child the turn of the handle is like winning at a slot machine, except with this one you can never lose.

However that same magical feeling still exists for those starting their own vending businesses. The thrill of retrieving your first loot from your machine will remind you of the child like amazement you once felt but this time when you’ll realize, “all I have to do is fill that up and money comes out!” Keep these thoughts in mind because I am about to let you in on the secret, how these little candy machines can become a successful business and earn extra income. Throughout this book, I will teach you everything you need to know about setting up your own bulk candy vending business with an investment as low as $200 . I know there are a lot of questions in your mind and a lot of excitement; I know when I first learned about this business the thought crossed my mind, “why didn’t I think of that sooner?” Let me begin by giving you the facts you need to actually convince you that the business is worth your time and will provide dividends without the waiting period.

Not every business model and idea is a perfect fit for a person’s life style and dreams, so this book will help you make a clear decision if bulk candy vending is for you, without wasting a lot of your time and money by learning it “the hard way.” If you are one of those who decided this business idea is something that you are called to do, then prepare yourself for a fun adventure.

Why Start A Bulk Candy Vending Business?

I BET THIS IS the first question that struck you when you stumbled upon this book or when you first read about the opportunity in this business field. Well you are right, there are so many other business ideas that you can pursue, for instance, you could get in to real estate, or simply build an online business. From the outside looking in, these might seem like far more lucrative businesses. However, before you plunge in to any business you need to first consider if it’s viable by asking – Is there a demand in the market which you can fulfill? Will you
make any money from it at all? How much of your own money would you need to invest to get the idea off the ground? How much time will you need to invest? Is this a good fit for your skills and life style? These and many more questions will swing your decision in favor of, or against, a particular business idea.

If you don’t have any business experience to date then there are a lot of aspects you’ll take for granted . There is usually more that goes on in a business beyond just selling a product or performing a service. A bulk candy vending business is the best sandbox for you to learn and test your new entrepreneurial skills.
The startup cost for a candy vending business is typically low, which can be up to $200 for those trying to be frugal. You can get off the ground with a small investment and test the waters, should you fail, and the risk is minimal. Nobody was born an entrepreneur, you have to get off your ass and learn the trade .

Everybody has to start small, but the rudimental skills you learn will help you reach bigger heights. For instance, everyone knows billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Few know that in 1946 while in high school he had started his own pinball game route. He bought used pinball machines and placed them into local stores and barber shops and then came back and collected the money. While I can’t say “start you own vending route and you will be a billionaire!”, I can say if you spend your entire life working a day job and never take a risk and create your own business, there is very little chance you will become a billionaire.

Many people don’t take action because of fear. You might be thinking about all the things that may go wrong, and how you could fail. It’s good to be critical and fully see the risks involved, but don’t let them hold you back. Setbacks are part of any venture in life; you simply stay flexible, adapt and overcome any setbacks you encounter. There are risks and setbacks with everything we do in life. So why should the thought of setbacks keep you from creating a better future for yourself or family?

Finding the money to start a business may, at first, seem impossible for your tight finances. But if you look around at how you spend your money you can find small savings that can quickly add up to the $200 seed money you will need . Eat out for lunch everyday? Try packing for a while you will save at least $2-5 a day. Do this for a few months and you will be all set . Evaluate your lifestyle and what you spend money on . I’m sure you will find temporary sacrifices that can help you get the money you need to get started .

If you say “I can’t afford to start a business”, it’s really a matter of it not being your top priority. Many people are afraid to take a chance on a business and would rather spend the $200 on purchasing a fancy gadget . You must understand that the value of the gadget will plummet in 6-months, or as soon as a new version is launched. Besides, eventually you will get bored using it and move on . Now, take the $200 amount and invest it in a business that can grow into a full time salary. The business can allow you to make money while you sleep, buy those fancy gadgets, and most importantly use your time on things you want to do, rather than working a 9 to 5 job.

Yes there is risk, but the only risk is your own determination to make things work . Stop and think for a second, will $200 and investing a little time ruin you? If you lose it, oh well, at least you will learn something about running your own business rather than wasting it on something you probably don’t need. However, I can guarantee that once you have had the taste of freedom that you get when you run your own business, you will never want to go back to a job. That first dollar you make in business will probably motivate you to find new ways to make money.

The beauty of a bulk candy vending business besides the low investment is the lucrative profit margin. It is not uncommon for you to receive up to 50% or more in profits per vend. Show me a single mutual fund or any other investment scheme which will give you a 50% return on investment . Unless it is some kind of Ponzi scheme, I don’t think you will get any other deal as good as this .

The liability in this business is very low compared to other opportunities . If you realize that your vending machine is not selling any candy, you do not need to declare bankruptcy or have a liquidation sale and sell the vending machines for a fraction of your investment . All you will need to do is pick up the vending machine and place it at a different location where you feel people would be more interested in what you have to offer . In the worst case scenario, if overnight the world gave up using vending machines forever more, you could still literally eat your investment and mark it down to a learning experience. You could spend far more money on a business degree and get far less out of it then taking a chance on a vending business.

If there is still fear going through your mind right now, take a deep breath and keep the following thought in mind from now until you see success… You are not alone.

This isn’t a break-thru new business or market. Vending machines date back to the first century where they dispensed holy water inside Egyptian temples for a coin . So you know the idea wouldn’t survive this long if there wasn’t money to be made in it . Your journey through the world of vending is one many have traveled before and many travel now. There is a vast community of people out there who are currently seeing the success this business can offer. They are on forums all over the internet or writing books like this one. We want you to see success too.

Real Life Is The Best Business School

In terms of learning a candy vending business can teach you a lot about starting your own small business. For many, vending won’t be your end all be all business. Rather it will be a start and a learning experience . Each machine is like a classroom with something new to teach you . Based on the setting and placement; some will sell very well, while others will serve as a tomb for ancient stale candy. This can teach you about how to conduct a market research and learn about market demographics. If you find that a machine at a particular place is doing well, visit the store frequently, maybe bring some cups of coffee and strike up a conversation with the workers of owner . Start asking yourself why this one machine is doing so well and how can you apply your findings to your other machines.

Do not just increase your number of visits only to pocket the coins. Use your visits to observe the place, its surroundings and the type of people who frequent that place. Find out what candy they buy the most of, about what percentage of the stores and generally how much monthly foot traffic happens around the machine.

Now, with your new insights, all you have to do is replicate this success. Find other places and stores which have similar specs and place your next candy vending machines accordingly. However, as you grow your business you do not have to keep procuring new vending machines. You can just move the machines from the lowest yield spots to new spots until they reach a better income.

A candy vending business will teach you that you do not need venture capitalists and bank loans to start your own business. As mentioned earlier you can setup a bulk candy vending business for as low as $200. You can start with a small investment, and continuously reinvestment profits to create a business that can generate thousands of dollars a month with minimal time invested .

While we are always tempted to go big and take out big loans, and dump a lot of money into the idea of a huge company, let me advise against that. By starting big your chance of failure increases much like if you first learned to drive on the freeway your chance of an accident that will put you in the hospital increases dramatically, compared to starting in a vacant parking lot.

While it may not seem as exciting the parking lot offers you a safe place to learn how to steer your car and what the pedals do . Could you learn to drive on the freeway? Sure . However, chances are you will pick up bad habits or be nervous wreck if you do . So start small and work towards a goal.

Much like the freeway example, you do not need to go crazy and purchase half a dozen machines and have a semi pull up to your house to off load candy. Sure you get better prices per machine or per pound, but let me speak from the heart. Don’t make this mistake I did . It will lead to stale candy and unplaced machines that will de-motivate you .

You must begin with a single candy vending machine and try to learn from the experience . Use it as a prototype in the world of business. If the machine does not sell candy well, change candy or location . Save whatever money does come in . When you have enough money to buy another machine, do so. Looking back I would have done so either from the proceeds of your first machine, or by subsidizing your business from lifestyle cuts . If you can generate at least half of the money for the second machine from the first machine you will have learned many valuable lessons that will guide your business and set off a chain reaction for a self-sustaining business.

Each machine will pay for itself and new machines . Once you have a complete system in place, your machines will pay for growth and bring a little something extra for yourself. You can sit back, harvest the profits and enjoy a passive income. Just don’t sit back too far or you will fall over!

You can purchase these machines, brand new, from manufacturers or look for used machines on eBay or craigslist .
Honestly I don’t recommend new machines unless the only used machine on the market is from the 1800s and only accepts nickels. Your first growth lesson in this business is that you have to first earn enough from the sales from your first machine to pay for the first machine and candy before you can truly earn a profit. So the least you can spend on the first machine, the sooner you will receive a true profit.

So begin with used machines as this will lower your startup and operating costs . While at the same time you will learn a thing or two about how to maintain and repair these machines.

These little vending machines will also teach you how to maintain and run a well-oiled business itself. While I wish I could tell you that it’s going to be an easy ride and you can sit back and relax, I would be doing you a disservice after buying this book to gain my experience. There is no setup business where you can just start, then sit back and relax. I can’t stress that enough. Every business as it is starting needs nurturing, like a child . You have to help guide it towards success, help it overcome adversity and ultimately become self-reliant.

The work that is involved in a vending machine business is minimal in comparison to most other businesses out there. Your responsibilities will include the following:

  • Tracking sales metrics
  • Purchasing product and equipment
  • Repairing machines
  • Refilling machines
  • Selling to new locations
  • And general business administration and accounting

The list may be simplified but it broadly covers the majority of what you will need do in this business. Of course there are many joys to come as well, swimming in pools of quarters and the occasional swift kick of a malfunctioning vending machine

The list may be simplified but it broadly covers the majority of what you will need do in this business. Of course there are many joys to come as well, swimming in pools of quarters and the occasional swift kick of a malfunctioning vending machine education loan or jump right in and learn the skills on the job and make some money at the same time

Will I Need A College Degree Or A Certification?

Heck No! Last I checked ebay and craiglist don’t ask for any qualifications. Keep in mind a formal education is not everything in life. We have all been led to believe that the right and sane thing to do in life is to go to college, find a job and then spend the rest of your life climbing up the corporate ladder. Entrepreneurs like you and me who choose to forge our own path are looked upon as crazy people . I mean why would we want to abandon the safety of a steady job and paycheck that our masters, or in other words our boss, provide in return for our slavery? It might sound harsh but that is a fact. One third of your life will be spent working a job, 1 third sleeping, and surprise you don’t even have half a life when you are done!

Most Business school graduates end up in the same job they thought they could avoid by attending the premier and
expensive business schools. When you work a job, you are trading your time for money . You are selling your time and that’s the hard truth of it . How much would you pay to have an extra few hours with a loved one a week, or doing something you love rather then punch a clock or pushing papers?

The candy vending machine business does not require too much time; your machines work for you and create a passive income. Unlike a job, the wages are not in direct relationship to the time you spend. Let’s say for instance your first machine generates $30 a month and you spend 10 minutes a month servicing it that comes to an hourly rate of $180 per hour of your time . By industry standards that is a very crappy location and you should probably move locations.

You don’t need to be a graduate or have a professional certificate hanging on the wall with your name on it. Anybody and I mean absolutely anybody, can run this business on their own . The only requirement is dedication and perseverance . If you are determined to break free from the shackles of your job, then the candy vending machine business has a way out for you. However don’t quite your job just yet. It will take some time before you can replace your main income with your business income . Like mentioned earlier, test the waters and learn from a single candy machine before you decide to break free.

Bulk Vending Vs Regular Vending Machines

The basic difference between bulk vending and regular vending is the number of products which they vend. A regular vending machine, for instance soda vending machine or a snack machine will have different products from different manufacturers on sale, each prepackaged and purchased individually. However with a bulk vending machine you will receive a handful of items with each vend. For instance, with a bulk candy vending machine when you slip the coin in you will receive a number of gumballs, toy capsules or candies. The produces are bought in bulk packages typically by the pound and are cheaper to vend.

The key difference between these is the way they are operated. Most regular vending machines will run on electricity, while a majority of the bulk vending machines are coin operated. This means a bulk candy machine can be placed anywhere.


Chapter 1: Introduction

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Scott Bonner

I started my journey into bulk candy vending in 2009. After reading a blog post about passive income that opened my eye to the candy vending industry. Without a clear path I started with a single machine. I found there was so much more to the business I had to learn the hard way. In 2010 once my business matured I began to blog about what I had learned so others could follow my path. I grew my business and eventually sold the route and now focus my attention on my passion for building businesses and teaching others how to reach success in their own lives. This book was for me a labor of love for those who feel trapped in their lives and want to find a way out but can't find a clear path to follow. While candy vending may not be the end all be all for everyone it can be the muse they need to take action and get the extra money they need to start something bigger.

Chapter 1: Introduction June 12, 2014