We are in due diligence right now for the sale of a vending business in the Bay Area. These businesses can generate comfortable, steady, sustainable profits.
A few additional considerations:
1. Be sure to determine which machines are owned, which are leased, and which are on loan from the particular vendor (often the case for soft drink vending machines).
2. Determine how secure the locations are and how long they have been in place. Contracts for locations are no longer the trend--locations can be canceled with little or no notice.
3. Obtain maintenance and service records for the machines.
4. Determine how much of the business is traditional vending (cash sales by the consumer) and how much is "free vend" or "pantry" service (where the owner of the location pays for the food and drinks).
5. Examine the logistics of the route. Is it designed for the maximum efficiency with locations clustered together rather than being strung out over distances. The more compact the route, the more efficient and economical the business is.
6. Check on having redundant and alternative suppliers so that you aren't at the mercy of any one vendor.