When you are looking to purchase a used vending machine, there are a few very important questions that you need to as yourself. I own vendorsequipment.com which is a used full line vending machine distributor who has been in business buying and selling used machines nationwide for over twenty years. Hopefully some of the knowledge I share with you in this article will help educate you before making your purchase.
A common misconception I come across often is that people are overly concerned with the price of certain vending machine. This can be deceiving because though one machine may be newer, it may be less valuable in the resale market than an older used machine. The better brand names in the vending industry are those that have been in business for a long time, and have established quality products in the market. The difference in purchasing a quality used machine from a major manufacturer means alot. I have found that most often smaller equipment manufacturers machines are very difficult to get parts and service for.
Some of the manufacturers we recommend are: Automatic Products or (AP) as it is commonly known, Crane National Vendors, Dixie Narco, GPL, Rowe International, Royal Vendors, USI, and Vendo. These are a few of the largest equipment manufacturers with the best, and most well proven products in the marketplace. If you are looking to purchase a machine by one of these manufacturers you can rest assured that you are buying a quality machine, and that parts and service for the machine will not be difficult to locate.
Once you have established the type of brand names to look for then you can narrow down your search to the type of machine you are looking to buy. For instance, are you looking for a Snack, Coffee, Cold Food, or a Soda Machine?
Once you determine this, you can ask the following questions to narrow down your search even further:
Snack Machines: Automatic Products, Crane National Vendors, GPL, USI, and Rowe International all make/made quality snack vending machines. First thing to do is to locate one by these manufacturers, then to ask yourself a few simple things such as: Is Size of machine an issue? Do you want a machine that accepts bills and coins? These are two very basic questions that can really narrow down your search alot. Size of the machine is important because many of the full size models are difficult to navigate thru doorways, and they do take up alot of space. Also keep in mind that the average weight of one of these machines is 650 lbs. Whether a machine accepts dollar bills or not also eliminates alot of models from your potential purchase.
Coffee Machines: Automatic Products (RMI formerly), Crane National Vendors & GPL are the coffee machine manufacturers we recommend. Keep in mind that when purchasing a coffee machine, that they are VERY complicated , and expect to spend a few hours getting the machine setup and operational. A coffee machine also requires regular maintenance and cleaning to continue working properly. Keep in mind when looking to buy a used coffee machine that because of all of the internal working parts, and the affect that hard water can have on the machine, that you could possibly end up spending alot of time maintaining this machine. Many newer models are far more convenient by offering many different "Specialty" brews, but along with this, they are more complicated to program. Two cup sizes is also a standard in many machines offered today.
Cold Food Machines: Automatic Products, Crane National Vendors, Rowe International all make/made quality cold food vending machines. The AP model is a glassfront machine that can be used to vend either cold food or frozen food items. Models offered by Crane National & Rowe International are carrousel type machines, which are well proven in vending locations, and easy to get parts for. The Rowe models offer more selections and capacity, yet are more difficult to repair and troubleshoot. Obviously the important factor to check when buying a cold food machine is whether the refrigeration is working properly. Refrigeration repairs are very expensive.
Soda Machines: Dixie Narco, Vendo & Royal all make/made quality machines. Just look at what the big bottlers use for machines and you will see that every Coke or Pepsi machine you see is made by one of these three companies. Most important question to ask yourself here is whether you are looking to vend 12 oz cans or 20 oz bottles. A quick tip is that Newer machines that are designed to handle bottles can also be setup to vend cans, yet the opposite is not true of a 12 oz can vendor being capable of vending 20 oz bottles. Some can soda machines can be adjusted to vend 16.9 oz bottle water, but the bottles will jam from time to time. Again, when looking to purchase a used soda machine, make sure the refrigeration unit is good.
Once you've located a quality machine that your interested in purchasing do research on who is selling the machine to you. Is this an established company, or someone who is just reselling the're own machines. The reason this is important is because of the difficulty of shipping a machine it is purchased from an individual or residence. Used equipment resellers have established shipping companies with discounts in place that could save you alot of money. What you may have saved on a machine by getting it from an individual, you may pay for it on the shipping of the machine. Also keep in mind that if a machine isnt properly packaged it risks being damaged during shipment. It is very important to ask questions like this before making the decision to purchase a used machine. I've been in this business along time, and have seen alot of people make mistakes in purchasing used machines from unqualified resellers, that it has prompted me to write this guide, to hopefully help some of you out.
Feel free to check out my company website for more information on buying used vending machines.
We also provide an industry information section where you can learn about other established used full line vending machine distributors to meet your needs.