How To Get An Apartment At 18 With No Credit (11 expert tips)

Do you need to know how to get an apartment at 18 with no credit?

When you’re looking for an apartment to rent, it can be pretty stressful. It’s even worse when you’re just 18 years old and have no credit to your name. In this post I’ll take you through exactly how you can maximise your chances of getting your first rented place when you’re 18 and a good credit score is just not possible. I will also take a look at how to build good credit at such a young age, and avoid the nightmare of having a low credit score.

So let’s get right into it.

What is my credit score?

That’s a good question. When you’ve just turned 18 and have the world at your feet, you’re going to want to be able to spend some money. Your credit score will tell any lenders how ‘good’ you are for credit. The score is based on a number of factors, including your previous spending. Later, your credit score will be a big part of your life. It will affect any home purchase, buying a car and even simple purchases in stores.

You need a decent credit score to be able to make your way in the world. And one of the first tests of your score is renting an apartment. This is where everything seems to fall apart. How can you have a good credit score when you haven’t been given credit in the past? And how can you prove that you are able to keep up with your rent when you don’t have a good credit score?

What do landlords want?

They need to know that you can be trusted with rent. And for that they need a credit report. They usually rent out their property after having a background check and a credit check carried out. The background check will tell the landlord if you have been evicted from any previous rentals, as well as if you have been convicted of a crime. The credit check reviews your financial history. If you’ve paid on time and borrowed responsibly, you will have a good credit score. This means an individual owner of a property will feel it is safe to rent to you.

When you’re 18 years old and just started out in life, you won’t have a solid ‘financial history’ and there is a very strong chance you won’t have borrowed money from a bank before.

How to get an apartment at 18 with no credit

Follwoing are some simple steps you can take to vastly increase your chances of getting an apartment or rental unit when you have a poor credit score.

Get yourself a co-signer

If you know someone that has good credit, you could identify them as a co-signer. A co-signer is someone who can give landlords peace of mind. If for some reason you fall behind on rent, the landlord will go to the co-signer and ask for the money.

Obviously this can be a little awkward if you don’t pay your rent. But you’re trying to get your apartment, and if you’re serious about it then you need to talk to a family member or friend for this kind of help. They are completely liable for any missing rent if they become co-signer.

Lots of people do this, especially young people (students at college, for example). Have a discussion with someone you know and see what they think. If you can get a co-signer, you can have a chance to get that apartment.

Roomates

Roomates are great to have. They’re even better if you don’t have credit.

Perhaps this particular scenario works best when you’re moving in with close friends. If they have good credit you can base your rental agreement on that. Then, just make sure you pay the rent on time every month. Again, it’s using someone else’s credit to get that rental of your first apartment taken care of, but it makes perfect sense.

How to get an apartment at 18 with no credit with proof of a steady income

If you have a job or source of monthly income that you can demonstrate then this is another way you can get an apartment lease at 18 with no credit. Bank statements can be perfectly adequate evidence of your having a regular income.

Landlords are understandably nervous around the reliability of rent payments, especially with first time renters. But if they can see that your monthly take-home pay is capable of paying for the rent then there is a good chance they will work out some kind of agreement. Most landlords will want to see proof of income (such as pay stubs or evidence from your bank account) for the last 3 months. They will also want to see that your income will confortably cover rent. This means that you should be earning around 3 times as much money as much as your rent will be.

You can also demonstrate your savings too. If you have a few months of rent money saved up and can prove this, most landlords will be reasonable about it.

Move in ASAP

Landlords are forever playing a risky game. They have to mkae sure that their apartments are full at all times, or they don’t receive income. In fact, most landlords are very close to losing money on a regular basis.

This could be a way in for you. If you offer to move in immediately, this can solve the problem of empty apartments for the landlord. They may be sitting on a vacant apartment, and you could be their saviour. You may not have a sound credit history, but you’re available to move in.

This often means that the landlord will discuss a shorter rent term. They may say that you pay for the first three months, for example, and then review the siituation.

Having the ability to move in and start paying rent can mean that your credit history is irrelevant. If this sounds like you, it is a good idea to talk to the landlord with the aim of coming to some kind of agreement.

How to get an apartment at 18 with no credit using references

Perhaps you have previous landlords? Or how about a family doctor who has known you for years? Providing a reference or letters of recommendation from such people can go a long way towards reassuring a landlord about the trustworthiness of potential tenants. They will see this ‘character reference’ as posiitve, as the person wriitng it will vouch for your honesty and good character.

Who to ask? Well, there is the previous landlord and doctor, but you can also ask teachers and people in the local religious community. The best outcome would be a letter of recommendation. This doesn’t have to be a long letter, but it should allow the person writing it to show that they see you as trustworthy and responsible.

Go private

With larger, commercally managed rental properties and apartment complexes ,you will come up against people who are part of a property management company. Choosing to rent with private landlords is a way to avoid the property manager and rental companies that are part of a bigger machine.

A private landlord may not even ask for a credit check. They may want proof of earnings, but could bypass the credit check altogether. Large property rental companies will ask for a credit check as part of their normal processes. A private owner may only be interested in you showing you have enough to cover the monthly rent. As long as those rental payments are coming in, they’re happy.

How to get an apartment at 18 with no credit using a larger security deposit

This one is a little tricky because some states won’t allow landlords to take more than one month of rent as a deposit. It’s worth asking though, and it could mean that you can pay a larger deposit and get that apartment even if you have bad credit or no credit.

This is also dependent on the landlord. If they are happy to do this, negotiate a number and then pay the larger deposit to secure the property.

No credit check apartments

These are becoming more popular these days, and they are exactly what they sound like.

Some landlords (and agencies) offer an apartment to renters without good credit. These will not be high-end properties, but rather properties that need to be filled quickly. And if they need to be filled quickly, their quality may be an issue.

This does not mean that you should avoid this option. Obviously, you could protect yourself by going to see the apartment with someone else. This way you have the opportunity to get someoene elses ‘feel’ for the place. You can also seek references on the property owner and the rental history and make sure that contact details for the prospective landlord are all legit. Ensure you secure a short-term rent first of all, so you can work out if you really want the apartment or not.

How to get an apartment at 18 with no credit by becoming an authorized user

This is not a common method, but more and more young people are using it. If you know someone who has a credit card and a strong credit history, you can ask to be added to their credit card as an authorized user. This will automatically help to build good credit on your credit score.

Take out personal loans

College students could take out student loans, or you could opt for car loans, both of which will help you build good credit. There is a third alternative though, that can save you a lot of stress.

A credit-builder loan is something that a credit union may offer. These allow you to build up credit as you make monthly payments into the loan. You don’t receive payments like you would with a normal loan, but you build credit over time. A credit-builder loan has been designed to help you build credit. This is seen by many young adults as the best way to build credit quickly.

Make a budget

One of the best ways to build credit at 18 (or any age for that matter) is simply to live within your means. If you are able to spend less than you make you will develop responsible habits around money. This means that you are laying the groundwork for a positive future when it comes to credit.

One good tip is to set a budget for a week that you know will save you money. It could only be a few dollars, but once you have achieved this you will feel more confident about budgeting. Then, build a little extra into the process each week until you have got to a stage where you are living well within your means.

What credit score do I need?

Your credit score is just like a kind of financial report card. It tells people like landlords how likely it is that you will be able to pay bills and meet your responsibilities financially. The lower the score, the less likely you will be offered credit or be trusted for significant payments such as rent.

To find out your current score, go to AnnualCreditReport.com

There is no real ‘industry standard’ for the credit report ratings. However, there is a general guide to your current credit score and how it is viewed by people like a potential landlord.

  • Poor: 300 – 579
  • Fair: 580 – 669
  • Good: 670 – 739
  • Very Good: 740 – 799
  • Exceptional: 800 – 850

The minimum credit score to secure a rental property will vary across markets and regions, but it is generally accepted that a score of 650 is the minimum. Individual landlords who ask to see a credit score might ask for more than 650, or less when you make your rental application. You may aso find that some more competitive parts of town may have landlords that ask for a higher credit score.

How do they work out my credit report?

You may have ‘no credit’, but it is useful to know just how the score is worked out. It is usually in the following way:

Payment history: 35%

Total amount of debt owed: 30%

Length of credit history: 15%

Credit mix: 10%

New credit: 10%

If you are 18 and you want to start building a good credit history, make sure you have a good record of making payments. You also need to ensure you have a low debt balance. This covers the 65% of the first two entries on the list above.

You could also open a secured credit card. This is where you open a credit card (not all banks and lenders offer this type of card) and secure it with some money from the outset. The money you lay down becomes your card limit, and you start building up credit from that point onwards.

And pay your bills. If you are late with any bill you may have (even a cellphone bill) the company could alert the credit bureaus, which wil affect your credit score.

How to get an apartment at 18 with no credit

First-time renters without an established credit history can feel like they are unable to make even the first step towards having their own place. However, with the ideas outlined in this post, it is possible to get started even with a lack of credit history.

Please, please remember that it is not a race. The vast majority of people at 18 will not have good credit. This is normal. It’s all about developing budgeting habits, and being a little flexible with how you communicate to landlords.

Find this post helpful? There’s more! Dive into my blog here and see you soon.

How To Become A Lifeline Phone Distributor (expert guide for 2022)

Do you need to know how to become a Lifeline phone distributor? It’s a way to help people in need as well as put more money in your pocket. Read on to find out more about the opportunity and if it is a good fit for you.

What is Lifeline?

The Lifeline program is an affordable connectivity program for low income households. The lifeline government assistance program allows eligible households to have discounted communications, such as phone and internet.

The Lifeline program also provides free cellphones to eligible customers. This free Lifeline service has had a huge impact on low-income families in the United States. It has changed the lives of qualified individuals with these phone offers.

Becoming a Lifeline distributor means that you are going to be handing out those free phones. There are many different providers linked to the program. These providers offer roles as Lifeline Agents or Lifeline Distributors across the US. It is an exciting opportunity. It can also lead to a significant primary income or extra income stream.

What is the Lifeline benefit?

People need to be able to communicate. Eligible consumers cannot afford cellphones. This expense is too much alongside the daily cost of living. Getting in touch with emergency services, contacting support networks and simple day-to-day tasks are part of phone use.

The Lifeline phone service allows people to have that connection. The U.S. government has made it so that pretty much anyone in the US who needs them can access free cell phones.

How it works

Like I said, there are many different service providers. The U.S Government allows providers to offer free phones. These must have internet connectivity and hotspot functionality.

It took a while for me to find a way in to the whole process but I found a company called PayGo. PayGo hires distributors to give away the phones to low-income consumers. It works on behalf of companies like SafetyNet Wireless and Acacia Energy.

For Lifeline distribution, PayGo offers:

  • Training
  • Onboarding
  • Customer service support
  • Training kit

PayGo says that you can earn up to $3,000 per month as a distributor. Payment is twice monthly and they state that there is no limit to your earning potential. This intrigued me a little, because they also said that it was ‘up to’ $3,000 a month. This presumably means that anyone who earns more will have to be running a team. After a little further digging I found out about Master Agents (which you can read about in the next section).

To apply, you fill out a form on the site itself. This is the same on all the sites I found around the Lifeline distributor opportunity.

How to become a Lifeline phone distributor: What is a Master Agent?

PayGo offer Master Agent roles alongside standard distributor roles. This is where ambitious people could boost their income.

A Master Agent will be responsible for recruiting, training and managing a team of distributors. You’ll need to be someone who has previous sales experience, and someone who understands Lifeline and how it works. This means being able to identify areas where Lifeline could be of real impact. PayGo also expects that you understand compliance requirements. You will also need to understand the qualification requirements for distributors.

Any candidate for any position in the Lifeline industry is subject to a criminal background check.

How to become a Lifeline phone distributor and what will I do?

Here is a link to the PayGo application form. The form is pretty much the same wherever you find it online:

https://paygodistributors.com/lifeline-application/

Once accepted as a distribution agent, you train. Then, your job is to set up a tent or sales table. Using a database, you will check the eligibility of people you see as part of daily foot traffic. Anyone who qualifies for a free phone according to the Lifeline criteria can get a free phone on the spot.

When it comes to eligibility requirements, Lifeline distributors are not expected to have any sales experience. But, it would be of great benefit. You are going to be outside approaching people with the Lifeline offer. This means having some understanding of how to sell would help. Full training is provided though.

As an agent you will set up the table and organise all the information leaflets and signage and so on. You take the customer infromtaion and input it into a web app on a tablet. Then you take photos of all the qualifying documentation for the customer. If the customer is eligible, you can give them a phone.

PayGo offers one of the highest commission structure options. The application process is simple and quick and they have years of wireless experience to call on.

There is a ton of providers out there. Try to shop around in your local area and see which has the best commission structure for you.

How to become a Lifeline phone distributor: the free cell phone program

This federal assistance program is one of the more accessible government benefit programs in the US. Let’s take a look at the Lifeline eligibility criteria and see how it has become one of the more impactful federal support programs:

On the Federal Communications Commission website, Lifeline is explained thus:

Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund. The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands.

Although there have been changes to the program over the years since it began, people who meet the following requirements can recieve federal Lifeline benefits:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Tribal-specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Head Start
  • An income of less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

People who are part of Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Programs can also recieve Lifeline support.

Being part of the National School Lunch Program (which provides a reduced-price school lunch) used to mean that you could use Lifeline but that has been removed.

There is a $9.25 monthly Lifeline discount on monthly telephone services for a low-income household, including broadband services. This also includes bundled voice services and broadband services from wireline or wireless providers. This increases to up to a $34.25 monthly discount for users on tribal lands.

California Lifeline and Texas and Oregon Lifeline customers will apply through a state program, rather than through the provider-based program. For household Lifeline services, people will have to use the National Verifier, a site that works via the user location and finds out if they are eligible. For the free cell phones, users can submit information via the distributor and find out if they qualify within minutes.

The verdict

From food stamps to discounted lunches, the US government has provided plenty of assistance to people who need it. A free cell phone is a great idea, and if you can get paid while handing out free stuff, everyone wins.

A couple of caveats though. Firstly, it can be hard work. I’ve tried this myself, and handing out free phones isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. A good piece of advice is to work on your presentation. You don’t want to be sitting there with an old, unattractive table and shout at people about how they can get a free phone. Some time spent on putting together a table or tent that looks professional means that you will likely get more foot traffic and more interested people.

Monthly phone prices are a burden to most families, and low-income families are the worst affected. Helping them out while making money is a great feeling. Personal experience has shown me that there is an average of a few hundred dollars a month if you put in hours at weekends and evenings.

This does require a positive attitude and being comfortable with the idea of ‘selling’ (even though they get the phone for free). But if you have what it takes and are prepared to make the effort, it’s a great earner.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to become a Lifeline phone distributor. For more income opportunities, why not try my post on ice vending machines?

How To Become A Bounty Hunter In California (full expert guide 2022)

Do you need to know how to become a bounty hunter in California? This post takes you through the process.

I’m always on the lookout for new income opportunities that you can take advantage of. Like always, I’ll give you my verdict at the end of the post.

So let’s get right into it.

What is a bounty hunter?

A bounty hunter is an old-fashioned term for a bail enforcement agent. It is also another term for a fugitive recovery agent. Bounty hunters work with bail bond companies and other people in the bail industry to:

  • Arrest fugitives who have ‘skipped’ bail
  • Help out bail bond agencies and bail industry professionals. They can do this by recovering any assets lost due to people skipping bail
  • Help defendants by providing them with incentives to not skip bail

Bounty Hunter Requirements

There are no formal licensing requirements to become a bounty hunter in California. This does mean that anyone can become a California bounty hunter.

Recent lawmaking has helped. The laws guide people who want to become involved in professional fugitive apprehension.

The Bail Fugitive Recovery Persons Act first came into force back in 1999. Since then, an updated version of this law was created in 2013. The Act is also known as Penal Code 1299 (or sometimes ‘PC 1299’). This law gives anyone who wants to be a bounty hunter some guidelines and rules. If you want to become a bail recovery agent, then you need to meet the requirements of PC 1299.

The specific legal requirements for becoming a bail enforcement agent are:

  • You have to be at least 18 years of age and be a documented US citizen
  • You will have to undergo a thorough background check
  • You have to have no felony convictions
  • You must be a current resident of California
  • You have to follow the PC 1299 requirements. These are the rules on required courses and training programs

There are exceptions. If you work as a bounty hunter in another state then you can work in California. However, you have to comply with the California Penal Code and California law. If you are a licensed private investigator, you don’t have to worry about any of the requirements.

The path to a career

Becoming a fugitive recovery officer in California requires training (the PC 1299 requirements mentioned in the last section) and it isn’t exactly a cakewalk. There is a lot of commitment required.

First of all, you have to complete at least 20 hours of bail education. This is via a California Department of Insurance (CDI) training course. There are a few courses involved, namely the Accelerated Bail Agent Pre-licensing and Bail Fugitive Recovery Training Course and the Bounty Hunting and Bail Fugitive Recovery Course. Clock up 20 hours on these courses and you’re through that section of the training required.

Next, we’re talking specific training in powers of arrest. Fugitive recovery agents need to train in this aspect of their job, and this is done by completing at least 40 hours of courses. There is a great Arrest and Firearms Course offered by California state (the PC 832). This covers all you need and you can get your 40 hours achieved through that.

Once you have completed that considerable training, you will gain certification. These documents are incredibly important, and should be carried by you at all times. They are proof of completion documents and all professional bounty hunters need to carry them when doing their job. As a fugitive enforcement agent you will need to be clear on how you are different from private citizens, especially when you are apprehending someone.

Then, it’s all about networking.

Getting known as a bounty hunter

Becoming a bounty hunter in California is mainly about who you know. The basic set up involves you getting work from a bail bondsman or bail bondsmen in an agency. You can’t make progress towards this stage unless you get to know some of them first of all. You need to network, in other words.

Bail bondsmen need to feel like they can trust you. This takes a little time. Once you get your first job you should then be all about building that trust and developing a rapport with the bail bondsmen you meet. You’ve done the training, and now it’s about getting experience with the job.

Once you’ve completed the recommended training, look up fugitive recovery agents in your part of California. Get in touch with them and ask if you can be part of a ride along so you can experience what the job is like. You’ll start to pick up a working knowledge of the role of a bounty hunter. This process could take a little time. Be polite, and contact the bounty hunters by email or phone. Explain what you want to do and discuss your potential career.

Bonus: email template for reaching out to a fugitive recovery agent

Use the following template when you are trying to reach out to a local California bounty hunter:

“My name is _______, and I’m a recent graduate in the criminal justice field. I’m interested in working as a bond enforcement agent, and I’ve started the process for certification. Would you be available in the upcoming weeks to meet to discuss your job and the field in general? You can contact me at _____.”

Preparing to be a California bounty hunter

Studying around the industry is a great way to get yourself prepared for the work. It is not necessary to complete a bachelor’s degree in a related subject but it can help with building your credibiilty. So even if you have ‘just’ a high school diploma this is still a career choice for you.

Many prospective bounty hunters study criminal justice or sociology, sometimes to degree level. Alongside building your credibility, taking courses in these subjects gives you the foundaton in the key skills required in the job. It’s important to know the background to the criminal justice system, and an understanding of criminal behavior can only make you more valuable. And by all means, go for a bachelor’s degree if you can. It only adds more credibility.

Top tip: If you do nothing else when it comes to studying, make sure you understand what critical thinking skills are, and how to develop them. The level of analytic thinking you will need to use as a licensed bail agent is phenomenal.

Some would-be bounty hunters take classes in self-defense and martial arts, just to build confidence and experience of dealing with any situations that may arise. You will also want to secure a permit that allows you to carry firearms in your state. Then you will have to complete a Firearm Ownership Report and submit it.

The gear and the vehicle

As a bounty hunter, I have to dress the part. If I came to the door and looked like Carrot Top, you’d laugh.

Duane Chapman (Dog The Bounty Hunter)

You will want to purchase safety gear too. While you don’t have to walk around in full body-protective gear, there are a number of items that are worth buying. You should at the very least buy some handcuffs, so that when you have apprehended someone you are able to contain them. You should also think about buying some protective gear, such as vests, that will help to keep you safe. Equipment like this can be bought online.

Then you need to think about your vehicle. Your car will have to transport you for long distances at a time. You’ll be carrying out multiple journeys as you work to apprehend bail jumpers. If you don’t have a reliable car that has low mileage, you’ll be in trouble. If you’re in a position to get yourself a new vehicle, choose something inconspicuous and reliable.

At the same time, start to build connections with the local bail bondsmen. These people receive instant notification of court dates and any incoming bails and are very much ‘plugged in’ to the criminal justice system. They will also have up-to-date information on any fugitives and bail bond laws. Getting to know them means that they will think of you the next time they have a job ready.

At this stage, some bounty hunters offer to do their first job for free for bail bondsmen. It is an instant trust-builder. It’s not mandatory of course, but may be worth considering. Bear in mind also that bounty hunters are independent contractors (self-employed) so you will have to manage all of your paperwork and work hard to market and sell your services.

The job

The biggest part of being a bounty hunter is the research and work involved in finding the fugitive. Once a bail bond agent professional has given you a case to work on, it’s time to become a detective.

While bounty hunters are not technically private investigators they do have to work in the same way for much of the time. With your ‘bail piece’ (which shows that the perosn you are tracking is a fugitive) and your copy of the bond, you should start to dig into the wanted person and their life. Access phone records and check address databases thoroughly.

You can also hop on social media to contact friends and family. This will allow you to ask questions about the fugitive and their past. Spend time getting to know the person you are looking for and look out for people who they have wronged in the past. They will be happy to discuss them and may even know where they are.

When you find your first one

When you find your first fugitive it’s important to remember a few guidelines that will help you keep everyone as safe as possible while allowing you to do your job within the laws of the state (i.e. San Diego laws).

You should always try to avoid physical force. Let the fugitive know that going with you is the best option for them. This will both reassure them and encourage them to make the right choice. Always remain calm and focus on negotiation.

If things do go wrong then you have legal authority to use physical force to apprehend the fugitive. Move in when the time is right and formally arrest them. Place them in handcuffs and then take them to a jail in the county where they were first arrested.

Some bounty hunters turn up to a fugitive’s address in the middle of the night as a guarantee of locating them. When you do reach an address, remember to notify local law enforcment officers that you intend to make an arrest. The police department will most likely want advance notice of when an arrest is due to take place.

Working with law enforcement officers

It is important to remember that any successful bounty hunter works closely with local law enforcement as part of their responisbility for public safety. Be aware of the right channels to use to notify local police of what is happening. They will usually accept phone calls to a special number.

When all is over and you have arrested the fugitive, you can then contact the bail bondsman who hired you to discuss payment. You will need to be able to show records of the arrest and any other documents that prove you apprehended the person in question. Keep all reciepts and bills for any expenses on your journey so that you can claim when tax time rolls around.

At all times be aware that you can not misrepresent yourself as law enforcement at local, state or federal laws level at any point.

FAQ

Bounty hunting became a fully-fledged part of the US legal system in 1872, as a consequence of the Taylor vs Taintor case heard in the Supreme Court:

“When the bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties. Their domain is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize him and deliver him up to his discharge; and if it cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or by agent. They may pursue him into another state; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of due process. None is needed. It is likened to the arrest by the sheriff of an escaped prisoner.” – Taylor v. Taintor, 1872, United States Supreme Court.

What is a bounty hunter’s salary?

The amount of money a bounty hunter gets every year is down to how many cases they take on. The more cases you take on, the more you make.

The current average salary is anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 a year. And that is if they take on between 100 to 150 cases a year. This of course depends on the value of the cases the bounty hunter solves.

The payout process can be understood by reviewing what bounty hunters do. An accused may seek the help of a bail bond company when bail is set at, for example, $100,000. For the privilege of bail bonding, the suspect usually pays a 10% fee.

If the accused appears in court as scheduled, the bail bondsman will be refunded the bail they put up for him or her, and they will also keep the 10% fee he or she paid them. However, if the subject skips town and fails to appear in court, a bail bondsman may hire a bounty hunter to find him or her.

Usually, bounty hunters are paid 10-20% for successfully returning fugitives. This means they would earn $10,000-$20,000 by returning if the bail was $100,000.

What is a surety bond agent?

The surety bond agent (another name for bounty hunter basically) will do everything possible to ensure the defendant knows when and where they need to be for court. A surety bond agent will begin the process of tracking down a defendant if he or she fails to appear in court and an absence is recorded as part of the undertakings of bail. It’s basically the responsibility to make sure someone attends court and if not, the bounty hunter tracks them down. All of this is instigated by a surety company (bail bondsman).

How much is Dog The Bounty Hunter worth?

It is estimated that Dog the Bounty Hunter has a net worth of $6 million. Popularity of the first reality show was enormous. As a result, he still receives a portion of his income from his television career and other endeavors.

Extra resources to help you become a bounty hunter in California

Take a look at the following for more information:

The verdict

Well, this is obviously not for everyone.

But if you are happy to travel miles to apprehend people, and you’re pretty organised, it’s as good an income opportunity as you could ask for. Put the work in getting to know bounty hunters first. That way, you’ll know if it’s for you.

It is my aim to help you make more money and to spend it wisely. If this post helped, check out my most popular post on ice vending machine businesses.

19 Tips On How To Keep Carpet Stairs Clean (easy, low-cost methods)

Do you need to know how to keep carpet stairs clean? It’s a tough job, right? I’ve researched the best methods around for keeping carpet stairs clean and saving money at the same time. In this post I’ll give you 19 actionable tips that will make keeping those stairs clean much easier.

It is one of those parts of home life that you can take care of, and then save plenty of money in cleaning bills. You can also reduce wear and tear with regular cleaning, which means your carpets last longer and you save even more money. This post will take you through how to keep carpet stairs clean without too much stress and hard work.

The problem with carpet is that it traps a lot of dirt and germs. This builds up over time until you have an unhealthy area of your home. The only way to deal with this is by giving carpet areas a regular clean. Stairs are no different. These high-traffic areas can become smelly, dirty and eventually unhealthy. Regular vacuuming helps, but sometimes you need to get serious about the dirt and stains on the stairs.

The post covers:

  1. The quickest way to get the job done
  2. How to make your stair carpet last longer
  3. The homemade route

So let’s get straight into it.

How to keep carpet stairs clean: the quickest way to clean them

There are many different methods for cleaning stairs, but the hands-down quickest way to clean carpet stairs is to use a combination of machine cleaning and good preparation. A good vacuum cleaner will go some way towards getting things clean, but a proper carpet cleaning machine will make all the difference on carpeted stairs. It is just one of the most effective ways to get the job done.

There are some stains that a vacuum cleaner will not be able to remove. A steam cleaner may be able to refresh your carpet and make it smell better, but true cleaning will not be possible without solid preparation. 

Step 1

In this first step you need to work hard to make sure the area is prepared for cleaning. You need to remove any dirt that is stuck deep in the carpet. This stubborn dirt and any other dirt lying around the stairs needs to go before you start cleaning. Be extra careful to make sure there are no carpet tacks lying around too.

Find a stiff broom or a clean scrub brush that has stiff bristles. If you don’t have a brush like this in the home you can buy one or use the brush attachment that most vacuum cleaners have. Go right to the top of the staircase and work your way down the stair treads using the brush to get rid of that stubborn dirt. It takes plenty of effort, but if you don’t get rid of it, it will mean your stairs will bever be truly clean. This part of stair carpet cleaning is absolutely vital.

Once you have got the dirt out of the first step at the top of the stairs, work your way down. As you are working your way down, brush the loosened dirt down the stairs. This will mean that most of the dirt will collect at the bottom of the stairs, making it easier to clean up at the end of the process.

Step 2

All of that dirt has now been loosened up and away from the carpet. It’s now time to vacuum it up.

Don’t listen to anyone who says that you have to spend a fortune on the top carpet stairs vacuum. That’s just a waste of money when you vacuum stairs. Instead, find any vacuum that is lightweight and/or a powerful cordless vacuum. This way you won’t have that added nightmare of carrying a heavy vacuum cleaner up the stairs. Basically, the right machine for the job is one that you can carry easily. You may even want to consider a handheld vacuum if you are more comfortable with this.

Standing at the top of the stairs, hoover up the dirt on the top stair, and then work your way down.

Step 3

Shampoo the stairs. Remember that your aim is to not only make stairs clean, but also hygienic and smelling fresh. You can purchase carpet shampoo from your nearest hardware store or supermarket. You can also go down the road of buying a carpet cleaning machine. This will cost a lot however, so it is worth thinking about your options carefully.

It’s also important to note that many carpet cleaners are large and bulky. You can buy a lightweight vacuum with special attachments that makes cleaning the stairs a lot easier. Shop around if you are determined to invest in one of these and find one that is light and powerful, but also not too expensive.

With the shampoo/carpet cleaner, your aim is to carry out a deep clean. This is why many people use a strong scrubbing brush. That method is laborious, but also very thorough. Again, you can choose to operate a carpet cleaner. Whichever way you do it, you have to make sure it is a deep and thorough clean.

Step 4

Now it is time to dry the stairs. If you have used a carpet cleaner, then the stairs will most likely be dried anyway, as part of the carpet cleaner process. Not every carpet cleaner will be able to suck up the moisture, but many do.

If you don’t have a carpet cleaner that dries the carpets, then you need to ensure that the surface is dry as quickly as possible. Absorbent towels or a cloth can be used in this situation. This is a major job though, and if you have the means to buy a carpet cleaner that has a drying mechanism, it is definitely the better option.

What happens if you don’t let it dry? You can expect to encounter mold and bacteria. If you just left the carpet to dry naturally, it could take days. As soon as your carpet stairs have been washed, you should be drying them immediately. This simply stops the bacteria becoming a problem.

Step 5

After having removed a lot of the moisture using your vacuum or towels, the last thing is to leave the carpeted stairs area to dry overnight. Then you will be able to give them a good vacuum. The result will be a cleaner, fresher smelling carpet, and no need to buy new carpet. Best of all, you have the piece of mind that comes with knowing you have clean stairs.

How to keep carpet stairs clean: steam cleaning

Remove any objects that can get in the way

If you want steam cleaning to work, then you need to make sure that you can get to the whole of the stair carpet. It speeds the job up and also makes sure that you can see every nook and cranny.

And besides, if you have a lot of ‘stuff’ on the stairs, it will be harder to ensure your carpet gets a chance to dry naturally.

Vacuum the floor

You will need to vacuum the carpet very carefully next. If you use a carpet steamer on carpet that has dirt and dust in it you could end up damaging the carpet. The vacuum will ensure that there is no loose dirt to cause problems. 

Let it dry naturally

Your carpet may feel dry when you have finished, but there will almost certainly be some moisture left in it. Leave the windows open and then ban access to the stairs for 24 hours. This means individual stairs can dry out naturally after the deep cleaning.

A few tips for steam cleaning

Start gently

Each steam cleaner is different. Start gently and then work up the power levels as you go.

Don’t force it

Thicker carpets tend to resist and make you feel like you need to push harder. Don’t do this. 

Take your time and let the cleaner work its way into things. Soon, you will have a nice and easy glide.

It’s not the ultimate solution

Taking care of your carpet means that you shouldn’t have to carry out steam cleaning more than once every couple of years. You will want to ask people to take their shoes off when they go up the stairs. You may even consider carpet runners or carpet protectors on the stairs. Many homes find that a vinyl carpet runner is very effective.

If you want to go down the route of installing a stair runner, see it in place in showrooms before you decide. They are great for keeping stairs clean, but you will need to get the right runner for your home.

Always have cleaning tools and fluids handy in case a terrible accident happens on the stairs and you have to step in to clean immediately. 

How to keep carpet stairs clean (for longer)

The above is all about getting the area clean. If you want to make sure that the carpets last longer and don’t need replacing then we need to up our game.

Clean your carpets without machines

One option that you can go for is using white vinegar. Before you get started, make sure you have everything on the list below:

  • Warm water
  • Bucket
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • Dry towel or clean cloth (you can use paper towels too)
  • Scrub brush
  • Knee pad

Fill the bucket to about halfway with a mixture of a quarter cup of white vinegar and a gallon of water. Grab the scrub brush and, starting at the top of the stairs, scrub each step carefully and thoroughly after dipping your brush in the solution. The secret here is to be thorough. The best way to do it is make sure that you scrub the brush hard, and in both horizontal and vertical motions. This will ensure the solution really gets into the fabric in the right place.

Use enough solution on your brush to make an impact on the stairs, but not so much that it soaks the brush. If you have too much solution on the brush, you could be encouraging mold on your stairs because of longer drying times. Once you’re done, fill the bucket again with clean water and soak the dry towel in that water. Then wipe the stairs. When it comes to the smell, just open up the windows and it will soon be gone.

Using baking soda

Baking soda is another solution when it comes to cleaning the carpets in high traffic areas. You can even expect to see baking soda brightening up the carpet, bringing out the natural color. Before you get going, make sure you have everything that is on the list below:

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • Knee pad
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle

Fill up the spray bottle (which you can find in any hardware store) with warm water and add a quarter cup of baking soda to it. Make sure you keep that measurement right, or you could find yourself having an extra cleaning job afterwards.

Simply spray the solution onto the stairs from top to bottom. Then, leave it to work its magic over the next 2-3 hours. During this time, the baking soda and water solution will absorb any dirt and any smells that the carpet is carrying. The solution will even make a good job of dealing with tough stains.

Going back to making sure you have used the correct amount of baking soda, you shouldn’t have to vacuum afterwards because the carpet should absorb that baking soda fully. If you have a small stain on the carpeted area, spot cleaning can be done by spaying your solution and then letting that rest for around half an hour. Then, vacuum or wipe the stairs with a wrung-out towel.

Using laundry detergent

This is another great way to clean carpet on stairs. Laundry detergent is designed to clean fibers after all. 

Before you get going, make sure you have everything that is on the list below:

  • ¼ cup liquid detergent
  • Bucket
  • Stiff cleaning brush
  • Dry towel
  • Knee pads

Pour a gallon of water into the bucket then add the quarter cup of detergent. Just like with baking soda, you have to be careful here. Too much detergent will leave a soapy residue on your stairs.

Scrub the stairs after dipping the brush into the solution. Go from top to bottom and use a strong circular motion (I find that the vertical and horizontal motion works better, but that is just me and my stairs). At the bottom of the stairs soak the towel in cold water and then wipe off the detergent with the towel. Don’t use too much water here if you want to avoid the possibility of mold.

If you do happen to use too much detergent then just go back over the stairs repeatedly with a tea towel to wipe off the excess.

Using carpet shampoo

Some argue that carpet shampoo is the best way to attack individual stains. Make sure that you give it a good scrub and that you have plenty of towels handy to wipe up afterwards. If you are going to use carpet shampoo, just remember to leave it for around 12-15 hours so that it has a chance to dry. Any excess water in the carpet can lead to mildew and mold.

The homemade route

Making up your own solutions to deal with dirty stair carpet is a great idea. Obviously, it will save you some money. But it also means that you can find yourself using ingredients that are pure and natural.

Vinegar and baking soda

Mix one cup of vinegar with a cup of water. Then add in a tablespoon of baking soda. Grab a spray bottle and fill it, before spraying carefully around and on the stain you are trying to get rid of. Just leave it for an hour and you can then clean it with a damp cloth or towel.

Baking soda and laundry detergent

Add some detergent to a cup of baking soda mixed in warm water. Spray the carpeted stairs with this solution once you have poured it into a bottle. Let the solution rest for two to three hours once you reach the bottom of the staircase. As the mixture soaks into the carpet, it helps remove dirt and stains as well as deodorizing it. Then rinse the carpet with fresh water and wipe it with a cloth.

Stiff Brushes and Dustpans

Whether they are on your stairs or in your room, all types of carpet accumulate dust over time. It is possible to prevent fading by cleaning them with a stiff brush or broom. You should sweep or brush the dust down the stairs starting at the top and working your way down.

The Sticky Tape Method

You can remove hair from your carpet fibers with a lint roller or sticky tape. Any hair present on the surface will be caught by the sticky side of the tape. This method, however, involves a lot of time and effort on every step, which is its only disadvantage.

How to keep carpet stairs clean: The four benefits of carpet cleaning

You may find that some of the work outlined in this post is a little laborious. To help keep your mind on the right track, take a look at the list below.

  1. Carpet cleaning extends the life of your carpet. All of that floor traffic means that dirt and grime can be ground into the carpet fibers. Unchecked, this means the slow death of your carpet.
  2. Using some of the methods above can remove stains. Stains in carpets can last for a long time, and even mean that you will be forced to buy a new carpet sooner than you would like. Effective carpet cleaning gets stains out (as long as you treat them ASAP). 
  3. If anyone in the home has an allergy or has asthma, the bacteria trapped in carpets can make things worse. Clean carpets contribute to a cleaner atmosphere in the building, leaving everyone healthier.
  4. Good carpet cleaning means that you also get rid of bad odors. This is especially true when you have pets that have accidents. Even if you cleaned it all up, the bacteria will stay in the carpet. Get it cleaned.

Prevention, not cure

How to keep carpet stairs clean: prevention, not cure

The stairs in your home will see a lot of foot traffic over the years. Weekly vacuuming is essential to keep that loose dirt at bay. In fact, frequent vacuuming can help in the battle to keep your stairs in perfect condition.

If problems arise, give them a thorough cleaning with any of the methods outlined above. Then, go back to vacuuming. This is your best option and it means that, even if you have the messiest small children or a mountain of pet hair, you can keep your stairs looking great for years to come.

If you liked this post please take a look at my other posts on making and saving money.

How Much Does Car Advertising Pay? (full guide)

How much does car advertising pay? You’ve seen people driving around town with ads on their cars. But can you make extra money this way? And is it enough extra cash to make it worth your while? In this post we are going to look at how much money you can make. We will also look at whether car owners can use this as a source of passive income.

So let’s jump right in to this latest income idea.

Car wrap companies

Using car wrap companies is the main way people move towards car advertising. These companies pay you a fee for having your car ‘wrapped’ with an advertising message. They tend to pay at the end of the month.

Sometimes you may have a company that pays you when an ad campaign ends. Another payment method involves paying you for the time you spend in your car on a daily commute. The advertising company links your payments to your driving habits.

How much money you get paid may also depend on whether you agree to a full wrap or partial wrap of your car.

How much does car advertising pay?

This will not make you rich. Let’s get that out of the way first. But you can expect a nice passive income. It’s a great way to help with your household bills too. Remember also that the amount of money you make does depend on the car advertising companies. They will have their own earning potential models.

Some car wrapping companies offer commission rates. There is no real industry standard here. But you can expect up to $700 per month on a commission basis if you use your car heavily.

Full wraps cover the front bumper, rear bumper, and headlights of your car. The wrap covers all windows except the front windshield. It’s like a moving billboard.

Full wraps can earn you more money per month depending on your commute. Longer commutes mean more miles driven, more money earned.

The partial wrap only covers part of your car, either one side or the other. Usually, smaller businesses that want to advertise their products use these wraps.

How much does car advertising pay? – Car wrap scams and how to stay clear of them

The best way to ensure you don’t get caught up in a car wrap scam is to complete a thorough check on the company. Start off by checking to see if they have a legitimate website and phone number.

This is part of due diligence,and should ensure you are protected from any nasty events. If you sign up to a car wrapping company without this step, you could be leaving yourself open to trouble. Look for a legitimate company and you can avoid a lot of stress.

If you want to go the extra mile, look the car wrap advertising company up on the Better Business Bureau site here.

Legitimate companies that pay you to advertise

Let’s take a look at some of the legit companies that will help build your monthly income. These companies specialise in car vehicle advertising.

Free Car Media

This is a popular car advertising company with an easy setup and registration. According to the website:

Get paid to drive up to $400 a month depending on the advertiser you are matched up with. You simply self register yourself using our registration form and if you match an advertiser’s criteria, you will start getting paid to drive. It really is that simple.

How it works

They ask you a few questions about yourself in the online application. This will include your driving habits. If you’re selected for an advertising campaign, they’ll contact you via email.

Depending on the advertisement, it might stay on your car for a few months or two years. FreeCarMedia.com will re-wrap your vehicle if it needs it.

Is it a full car wrap?

Right now, most of the advertisement opportunities are for rear window ads. You can apply these yourself (Free Car Media supply a how-to guide).

How much does it pay?

A rear window advertisement usually pays $50+ a month. Wrap your whole car and get $400 a month.

Driver registration: https://www.moneywhileyoudrive.com/

Verdict: Lots of good reviews here, and an easy sign-up process. They are honest about earnings and make it clear that much of the advertising will be on rear windows.

StickerRide

StickerRide offers a fun twist on car sticker advertising:

Our app helps you earn money as you drive! Compensate for your vehicle expenses

such as gas, car washes, and parking by driving with us.

Ready for more? Take part in quests and flash mobs to increase your earnings. With

StickerRide, each trip becomes an opportunity!

Yes, you can actually complete quests (as in taking photos in certain locations) as well as flash mobs. This is a new idea, and involves you being in the same area as other StickerRide users. It’s different, and scores points for that.

How it works

You download the app first. Then you register your car and choose one of the campaigns. The car is then ‘tuned’ by a StickerRide operative. This means they install the stickers. Once your stickers are on, use the app in ‘map’ mode and press ‘start’ when you’re ready to go.

They have a point system?

In StickerRide, a point is a calculated activity ratio. A point equals one mile multiplied by your tariff in StickerRide. Depending on geography, time, car class, and sticker type, the tariff varies. Trips in the city center during peak hours are more expensive than trips in the suburbs at midnight.

How much does it pay?

No real information here on StickerRide for how much money you can make. There are tiers (bronze, silver etc.) that mean you earn more. The more you drive, the more you earn. And the more stickers installed, the more you earn.

Nickelytics

With Nickelytics, you can wrap your vehicle with a brand’s advertising. Then you can help to connect brands with consumers.

Your daily routine involves driving around, errands, and work. Your daily commute or weekly travels can earn you extra money with Nickelytics.

Drivers can earn between $175 and $250. This is dependent on the advertising type and campaign length.

How to create an account

Signing up for Nickelytics is simple. Download the app to your phone. To register, you must provide your name, age, and a valid driver’s license.

How to get started

Make sure the app is activated while you’re driving. The brands and designs they suggest are based on your routes and mileage.

How do I become a Nickelytics driver?

  • A minimum age of 18
  • Driving record must be clean
  • You should not drive an older vehicle than 10 years
  • Drive for no less than 30 miles a day, 150 miles a week, and 450 miles a month
  • The company prefers drivers who rideshare. But daily drivers who meet the requirements are also welcome

Pay Me For Driving

Located in St. Louis, MO, Pay Me for Driving specializes in car wrap advertising.

The company only hires drivers in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, or St. Charles.

Local companies advertise on cars through Pay Me for Driving. This is usually via a small decal on the rear window. The pay scale structure varies by brand and advertiser. As a result, their pay scale is as follows:

  • The company pays commissions
  • There is a flat rate
  • Rates for recurring services

Become a member

Apply online for Pay Me For Driving and provide some information about your car. A background check is performed by Pay Me For Driving, and they need a clean driving record.

Upon approval, you will have to sign a driver agreement. After placing the ads and signing the contract, you can begin earning money.

Wrapify

This is the one company that impressed me the most. The Inc 5000 has featured Wrapify many times. This means it has been highlighted as one of the fastest growing companies.

The first thing you will notice about Wrapify is the transparancy. The website outlines exactly how much you can expect to get paid for a ‘full’, ‘partial’ or ‘lite’ wrap. The entire car is wrapped for the full option, and the light wrap is still a very visible wrap but leaving some of your car untouched.

It’s simple. Download the mobile app and register in just a few minutes. The app is quite polished and easy to use. It took me about 30 seconds to get things pretty much done. Marketing campaigns in your area are then sent to your app so you can choose whether you want to get involved or not.

Driving for Rideshare: How to Get Started

Thanks to Forbes.com

What is a rideshare driver?

Rideshare drivers can supplement their current incomes or work for themselves full-time. Whether you are looking for supplemental income or self-employment, you may have considered becoming one. Besides transporting passengers, drivers of ride share services may also pick up and deliver food orders. Flexibility in work hours and location makes this work appealing.

In North America, Uber and Lyft are the two biggest competitors. Driving is open to anyone as long as they meet the company’s minimum requirements. A valid driver’s license and auto insurance are usually required by ride-sharing companies.

Additionally, you may need to perform a few tasks for safety reasons. Your statement of residency and proof of current insurance are likely to be required, as well as confirming that you own a vehicle. Your driving history and criminal history will also be reviewed by most companies.

If you are interested in obtaining or applying for a job for any other ride-sharing company, please visit the company’s website.

So how much does car advertising pay?

Like I mentioned earlier, it won’t make you rich. Go into the process with the aim of finding an extra source of income and you will be fine. I saw the whole deal as a way to pay some of my more annoying household bills (you know, the kind that you just don’t enjoy paying) and that has worked out well for me.

For example, if you manage to qualify for a small sticker to be placed on your car, then you are looking at the lower end of the income scale. Most of these small sticker jobs give you around $50 a month. That is still extra money though, and if you need $50 extra a month in your bank account, it’s perfect.

If you do need more money though, consider going for the full wrap option. This, alongside plenty of daily driving (remember that companies want you to drive a significant amount to qualify) will mean you can move towards that magic $700 a month figure.

How much does car advertising pay? – The verdict

This is a great way to earn extra money, but it is not for everyone. And it is not ‘easy money’.

If your car is your pride and joy, you may not want to have it covered in advertising by a car wrap company. And if you have any reservations at all about being seen as someone who is out to make money in this way then don’t even bother getting started. Once you’re inside the process, you have to be very visible for a lot of your time.

If that is not an issue for you, test things out by having some minimal work done on your car. Even a small sticker can be a great place to start if you want to test the waters a little. Once you start making money, you can then focus on where you want to go from there.

If you are working for companies like Uber (and especially if you drive in major cities), then this is very much a no-brainer. Maximize your earnings by adding a wrap and you are getting the most out of your car.

How much does car advertising pay? Enough, as long as you are happy with the car being wrapped and have realistic expectations around income.

Pay Per Lead Affiliate Programs and Networks

Pay per lead affiliate programs and networks bring advertisers and affiliates together. There are possibly 100’s of good reasons why both advertisers and affiliates can benefit from signing up to a network, but in this article we will focus solely on the 5 top reasons why affiliates benefit from being part of an affiliate network.

Campaign Selection

An affiliate network gives affiliates access to 100’s of niche merchant’s products and services. The network uses its time and resources to find the clever publishers who have figured out new ways to drive converting traffic. It also provides a greater variety of top performing, reputable campaigns and pay per lead affiliate programs.

In this way, affiliates will easily get exposed to upmarket products such as banner rotations. With a single affiliate network, affiliates can easily work with multiple advertisers, multiple offers and multiple payment style options such as pay per click, pay per lead, pay per impression, etc. all under one umbrella, the affiliate network.

One Single Relationship

The relationship between the advertiser and the affiliate is of utmost importance. These relationships are necessary for structuring increased commissions (if the affiliates volume increases), in advertisers delivering affiliate-specific content, and in the advertiser and affiliate working together to assist the affiliate in maximizing the traffic to his site.

The affiliate only deals with one advertiser, namely the affiliate network, rather than each of the merchants individually. This frees up a lot of space on the affiliates calendar since the affiliate does not have to use any time building relationships with anyone except their affiliate network manager. Affiliate marketing is about relationships, and that is then all taken care of by the affiliate network. The affiliate network will provide top quality support and a great training area for the affiliate to build up their skills, learn and grow.

Real Time Tracking

Testing and comparing each and every change and idea is fundamental for taking an affiliate’s business from strength to strength. The most important tool for testing is real time tracking. This allows the affiliate to know immediately how their new idea is translating and helps to guide the affiliate as to whether it is an idea worth pursuing.

The software to track impressions, clicks, leads and sales for each campaign can be both pricey and require a lot of upkeep. The network will provide this service for free to their affiliates. The network will also provide affiliate with advanced reporting tools for checking their stats, graphs for analyzing trends, and even cookie testing capabilities for monitoring fraud.

Risk of Payment

Every advertiser has an element of risk as to whether you will actually receive the payments from them. As many companies can be virtual or on the opposite side of the world from where the affiliate is based, it is often very difficult to avoid doing business with dishonest advertisers.

This means that no matter how much revenue the affiliate generates, some advertisers will never pay the affiliates. Joining an affiliate network gives the affiliate much stronger protection. The network will have built strong relationships with a number of the advertisers it works with and thus there is minimal chance the affiliate will not get paid.

Monthly, Correct Payments

Affiliate networks ensure all payments are checked and paid monthly (or as alternatively agreed). This means that the affiliate does not have to waste valuable time checking and reconciling the advertisers’ figures.

The role of an affiliate is to maximize the traffic to their site and provide rich and useful content to their site. This keeps an ever growing visitor base arriving at their site, and ensures the visitors look around the site before exiting the site.

An affiliate network encourages the affiliates to concentrate on these vital functions by assisting the affiliate in maximizing the spend of each visitor the affiliate attracts.

Want to become a successful affiliate in just 7 days? Contact me and ask for my free 7 Day Action Plan.

How To Take Action On Social Media Metrics

This post previously appeared on Locowise.com.

With your social media analytics, there is huge potential to make things happen. Some brands just don’t do it, and find that they are swamped in data that they never really use. 

There are some key areas in which you can get real value from your social media analytics however. Developing habits in these areas means that you should be able to act on the numbers and information on a consistent basis. This can only bring you some real ROI, so it is well worth focusing on the following:

SET SOME REAL BENCHMARKS

The best thing about data is being able to set yourself targets and benchmarks. With benchmarks, all you have to do is take a look at the numbers and information that is coming in from your data, and then use this information to create simple areas of focus that will help your social media presence grow.

There is one very easy way to do this with social media posts. All you have to do is use your metrics to gather some data on key variables, like:

  • Number of likes
  • Number of follows
  • Engagement rates
  • Impressions

Once you have gathered this data, you can then work out the averages. Having an idea of the averages means that you know where ‘you are at’. This means that you can then think about how to improve on those averages.

Let’s say that your posts gain, on average, 1000 likes per week. That is your benchmark figure. Create a target that says your average needs to be 10% higher. This does not include spikes or posts that go viral, just your average. 

By focusing on this as a goal you will improve overall performance. By having a higher average, you develop a presence that is simply growing year on year.

Use your metrics to set some real benchmarks that allow for consistent growth. 

TAKE ACTION WITH QUESTIONS

When looking at all of your social media metrics you will find that trends start to appear. All of that information turns into patterns, and you should be able to see how things are for certain posts, times of year and so on. Digging deep into these patterns is important. You can take action in this area by asking yourself the following questions when you are looking at your metrics.

  • Are there any spikes in what I am seeing? Where and when?
  • What am I missing? Is there a reason for the outcome? Or that one?
  • How close are we to the next target (re benchmarks)?
  • Which post format is most consistently engagement-worthy? 

By asking these questions and giving honest, clear answers, you are developing the ability to take action on your metrics. You are reading the signs and acting before problems occur. You’re also setting yourself up for success.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT

Metrics provide you with granular data too. When you’re looking at the posts that are genuinely bringing engagement to your presence online, this is the gold dust that should be at the top of your priorities.

There are too many brands out there that focus on the content that happens to be ‘buzz-worthy’. This means that they jump on the bandwagon of content around a celebrity or even a fleeting news event. This kind of content may even cause a spike or two in traffic and engagement. 

However, ignoring the content that your audience really gets involved with can be costly. By using your metrics to work out exactly what works with your audience, you waste less time and also give yourself a chance of holding on to an audience. This is really intelligent work, and not enough brands do ths.

Take action here by focusing at a granular level on the content that makes a difference, and really speaks to your audience. This approach pays off in the long run, when you have an audience that is showing up on a consistent basis because you are giving them what they want.

HANDLE COMPLAINTS AND ISSUES

Nobody likes complaints. However, social media is a great way to listen to complaints and action them quickly. A company that does not handle complaints quickly will lose audiences and customers in the blink of an eye. 

At the same time, you can keep your finger on the pulse by using metrics to monitor direct messages and support requests. You can even set it up so that you can work out the ‘temperature’ of sentiment from your followers. Doing this allows you to think long-term. You should be able to have an action strategy that preempts complaints more, and therefore makes your social media useful in managing your audiences and retaining customers.

FIND THE RIGHT ‘OTHER CONTENT’

Use your metrics to see which content is resonating with your audience, but on competitor accounts. By seeing which kinds of content appeal to your audience you can capitalise on this by creating similar content for your own feeds.

This is all about actioning what works for other brands in your space. It means you really do have your finger on the pulse of what works in your industry on social media.

SO LET’S RECAP

Perhaps the real beauty of metrics is the ability to benchmark. If you are able to do this on a consistent basis, you can use other metrics to get a handle on what works for your audiences and hit those benchmarks.

Your metrics are useful, but only if you take action in the way outlined above. Benchmark, focus, and use those metrics intelligently for best results.

Gumball Vending Machines (A good business idea?)

Would you like to start a gumball vending machines business? In this complete guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to run your own operation. At the end of the guide I’ll give you my verdict on whether or not this is a good business idea.

Owning a gumball vending machine business looks like a great way to start making some passive income quickly. There will always be a market for the candy machines as long as there are kids (and adults) who like sweet treats and bubble gum.

So let’s get right into it.

The basics

Before you do anything about starting a vending business in the United States, you need to get some basic questions answered. Like any business, there is some risk involved in running a gumball vending machines business. So before you commit to anything when it comes to candy machines, think about the following.

Is a gumball vending machines business for you?

It’s a sensible question. If it isn’t you could be facing years of trouble chasing a business that just won’t work for you. There is a lot of hard work in running an operation like this, so you need to think about:

  • Do you need to earn some extra money? This is not as straightforward as it sounds. You will have to work hard and invest both time and money into the business. If you really need to earn extra money, that’s fine. But your need has to be great enough to make the kind of sacrifices required
  • Do you know where you would place a machine? Have you spoken to local businesses that might like a machine inside or outside their premises? If you haven’t, would you be comfortable and confident enough o approach business people?
  • Have you got the time for basic maintenance of each machine you own?
  • Do you know what the costs are for the business and can you manage these (especially in the early days?)
  • Would your local area benefit from such a machine? Are there many around?

It’s important to take the next few steps very carefully. A well-planned business leads to good execution.

Find a supplier of gumball vending machines

Before you start launching into a huge list of suppliers, know that there may be a few duds in there. It took me some time to find a supplier I would trust with my money.

After looking at the various options online, I found a site called Gumball.com. I’m not an affiliate, so don’t worry. This is a genuine site I found that offers a good range of brand new commercial gumball machines and stock for the machines. It also has a handy set of resources too. 

It also has contact details and a guarantee. These two aspects are what I always look for first when choosing a candy vending machine supplier. The company is in California.

I’ve also taken a snippet from the site’s FAQ section to show how it calculates profit:

How much money will a gumball machine make?

Revenue varies from machine to machine. The success of your machine will be dependent upon one key factor: location. The higher the traffic area & the right kind of clientele for the product you’re vending, the more product you will sell. The products themselves have different rates of return. Gumballs will typically have the highest rate of return.

Example: one case of gumballs will make $220 in profit?

Here’s how…

– Buy one case of gumballs (1080 pieces) = $50 product cost

– Sell one case of gum or 1,080 pieces x 25 cents each = $270 revenue

– $270 revenue – $50 product cost = $220 Profit in your pocket

From Gumball.com

I’m not going to go into suppliers much more in this post, but suffice to say, when sourcing machines, due diligence is important. The best way to make sure you are buying from reputable suppliers is to contact them. 

Supplier list:

Candymachines.com

Gumball Machine Factory

Gumballs.com

Toy Vending Supplier (Europe)

The above suppliers seem to have a wide range of machines, including carousel gumball machines and other candy dispenser units. There are also giant gumball machines as well as classic machines that you will remember from your childhood.

Look at the foot traffic 

Unless you have a clear idea of the foot traffic in the area where you are planning to install your gumball vending machines, as a business owner you could be setting yourself up to fail. 

You could simply just hang around the area for a while and see how many people pass through. But there are other ways to do it.

I’ve pulled together a small list of sites that can help you zero in on the foot traffic and/or general demographics for your local area. Use these to start your search for a good place to set up shop with your machine.

Placer 

This site focuses on existing businesses (like stores etc.) so you can gain a good idea of which places are best for foot traffic.

Area Vibes 

Here you will find demographic data so you can take a look at the lifestyle of a local area. Good for a general view of the people in a place or zip code.

Location One

Plenty of information here. Some has to be paid for though, but probably one of the best and most detailed services.

Tips on finding locations

This is perhaps the most difficult part for some entrepreneurs. But you won’t get the best results unless you take a proactive approach to finding high traffic areas for your candy machines. 

So let’s get into it.

Now that you are committed to building a gumball machine business, it is important that you stay on the lookout for good locations. Foot traffic is key, but if you see a gumball machine somewhere, it may be worth thinking being somewhere near that location or place of business. It’s usually a good bet that people are used to buying candy from machines in that area.

There are some locations that I have found to be particularly effective for gumball machines. For example, you could investigate:

  • Shopping malls
  • Bowling alleys
  • Restaurants
  • Movie theaters 
  • Colleges
  • Coffee shops
  • Office buildings

As you can see, manufacturing is by far the most popular location.

Arranging to install

Tell the owner of any establishment you’re planning to set up in that you’ll completely service the gumball machine, bouncy balls machine or candy machine in their store when you set it up. 

Let them know that the machine doesn’t require electricity, takes up less than two square feet of floor space, and will provide great service to their customers. Plus, they get a cut of your sales (anywhere from 15% to 33%).

Create a written agreement describing your agreement with the location and offer a commission. You could offer the location manager a percentage of what the vending machine makes. It’s hard to tell how much money a machine will make until it’s operational.

iKrave Vending

By offering a percentage, you won’t lose all your earnings if your machine doesn’t work. Your written agreement has to be of high quality and it may be worth seeking some professional service provider to create this.

After setting up the first machine, find another location and repeat the process.

Choose what to vend

After taking care of all of the above, it’s now time to work out what you are going to fill your machines with. Later, you can even branch out into bouncy balls vending (they’re great fun) but focus on the candy first.

The most popular size for a gumball from a machine is one inch. This does mean that you will have to make sure that whatever machine you buy has a dispensing wheel on it for those 1-inch gumballs. Machines will come either with a gumball wheel or a candy dispensing wheel. You can sometimes even have both and change them when you need to.

When it comes to the one-inch gumballs inside the machine, you have a huge variety of choices available to you. A couple of pointers though. Don’t buy chocolate candy if your machine looks like it will be exposed to sunlight. This is a beginner mistake. 

Also, be aware that it may be a little while before you find the candy that sells well in the area you have chosen. Be ready to spend a bit on experimenting and testing your gumball vending machines. You can purchase bulk candy and it won’t be too expensive so you can test as much as you need to. Search around if you’re worried about cost for the lowest possible prices.

You can buy hard shell candies that will do well even in the harshest of sunlight, but just check with the supplier to make sure they can manage the heat just to be sure.

The break-even amount

Once you have the machine and location, as well as your bulk candy, it’s time to work out the costs involved and the break-even amount. 

Here are the numbers you’ll need:

  • A- The total cost of getting the candy to you (price of candy plus shipping).
  • B- Amounts accepted by your coin mechanism (.25, .50, others)
  • C- The number of pounds of candy you are getting 
  • D = The number of pieces of candy in a pound (found by searching Google)

Calculating the result:

  1. Take A and divide it by B. You will get the number of vends needed to break even = E
  2. Multiply C by D. Using this figure, find the total number of pieces in the candy box = F
  3. Take F and divide it by E. That’s the number of pieces per vend that will break even.

Toy capsule machines

As an additional idea, toy capsules are great fun. There are plenty of options out there for toy capsule machines that come in bright colors and really grab the attention of people passing by. It is well worth considering adding to your gumball machines business with some toy capsule machines as your business grows.

Gumball vending operator spotlight

Before I finish up, I thought I’d take a look at a couple of companies that offer machines and replacement parts.

Global Gumball

This company has been operating for a while (since 1993) and has a huge range of machines and replacement parts. I’ll let them introduce themselves:

We are, Global Gumball, inventor of the original Wizard spiral gumball machines. We have been manufacturing the original Wizard spiral machines since 1993 and are known worldwide for our quality and our professionalism. For years our company has lead the bulk vending industry with unique high quality products. Customers and partners have entrusted their businesses to our machines. All Wizards are manufactured and assembled in the USA.  Most of the components are produced in the USA.  Global Gumball obtains some components from only the best suppliers, such as, Beaver Vending and Oak Mfg.

Global Gumball website.

Rhino Supreme Bulk Vending Machines

Rhino has a huge range and plenty of support. They say:

See what makes our bulk vending machines the best in the industry. From metal sheet fabrication to metal alloy casting, from durable powder coating to elegant chrome finishes, we do it all.

Rhino website

So is a gumball vending machines business worth it?

Like all business ideas, good planning and discipline pay off. If you don’t choose a good location for your gumball vending machines, you only have yourself to blame. If the location is good and you look after the machine, it will make money.

It really is all down to location. I could place a $100 machine outside a car dealership and make $2 a week. Or, I could install one in a shopping mall and make $200 a week.

My advice? Test it. Buy one and research your location well. Then install it and wait and see. After a month, even if it’s made just $50 you’re breaking even after two months. Once you’re in profit, buy another.

They don’t go out of style, and they make money all year round.

Just remember. It’s all about location.

Want to know about setting up your own ice vending machine business? Head on over to this post right here.

How much does it cost to franchise a Starbucks (in 2022)?

How much does it cost to franchise a Starbucks? In this post I go into depth on the options available to entrepreneurs.

Contents:

How much does it cost to franchise a Starbucks?

The Starbucks coffee company brand is huge. There are over 32,000 Starbucks stores worldwide at time of writing, making it the biggest and most successful coffee chain in the entire world. Having a piece of that as a franchisee is obviously an attractive prospect. 

There are many benefits to the franchise model. It’s a quick way to build a successful business, and you have plenty of support from the brand. In this post I will take a close look at Starbucks and it’s franchise options. If you’re interested in hospitality franchises, this one’s for you.

How much does it cost to franchise a Starbucks: What is the Starbucks Experience?

The Starbucks Experience is a way of serving coffee essentially. If you remember the last time you were in a Starbucks, it probably all seemed rather effortless. However, employees are expected to promote the ‘experience’ by focusing on the three P’s:

  1. People. This refers to the Baristas and their relationship with customers
  2. Place. This is all about the place, right down to the unique coffee smell
  3. Product. This refers to the coffee (obviously) as well as the merchandise in the store

The concept is all about the Starbucks values. These were established when Howard Shulz, original CEO of Starbucks, set up the company.

How much does it cost to franchise a Starbucks in 2022?

The first thing you need to know is the bad news. If you live in the United States or Canada you can pretty much forget owning a franchise with this company. Starbucks just won’t let it happen. Instead, the company likes to offer licenses to business owners, rather than franchises.

In 2003, Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz, discussed the rationale behind the approach:

“We believed very early on that people’s interaction with the Starbucks experience was going to determine the success of the brand. The culture and values of how we relate to our customers, which is reflected in how the company relates to our [employees], would determine our success. And we thought the best way to have those kinds of universal values was to build around company-owned stores and then to provide stock options to every employee, to give them a financial and psychological stake in the company.”

Entrepreneur.com

You have more of a chance of franchising a Starbucks in the United Kingdom, where there is a different approach.

So where does that leave The United States and Canada?

Starbucks hasn’t abandoned entrepreneurs. It has a number of different ways for people to get their hands on a slice of the business. 

Seattle’s Best Coffee

Starbucks bought this back in 2003, and it is just one of the ways in which you can capitalize on the brand as an entrepreneur.

Seattle’s Best Coffee has stores and machines all across the United States, and the number of locations is rising. While it may not be considered ‘Starbucks coffee’ it has the full backing of the company. It is generally seen as a great way to start a business with lower costs and little risk.

This coffee is served in businesses too, including retail (You’ll find them at KFC, for example) and there are Seattle’s Best Coffee business units on university campuses and public buildings. 

The marketing and training support is phenomenal, with Seattle’s Best Coffee offering:

  • Messaging and marketing tactics.
  • Marketing ideas to drive sales and trial/repeat purchase.
  • Full line of branded cups (hot and cold) to get the “word out” on your offering.
  • SBC van to drive awareness and trial when you need it.
  • Live launch training
  • Online training support
  • Webinar support
  • Video library

(All information taken from Starbucks Branded Solutions)

This is a franchise opportunity, and as regards franchise fees and other costs, you will need:

  • At least $125,000 in liquid capital
  • A minimum net worth of $1 million
  • A full investment of between $180,000-$445,000

This is a more affordable option compared to a licensing agreement.

iKrave Vending

How much does it cost to franchise a Starbucks: Licensed Stores

This is where you get to run a Starbucks coffee house. While you may not be a franchise owner, it at least allows you to run it as a business.

This option is overseen by Starbucks. The company will set you up as a licensed seller of the food and beverages, and do a number of things that will get you started. According to the company website, you will receive:

  • Unrivaled, customizable store design (you will still have to follow the core Starbucks aesthetic to a degree, chosen from their 18 designs)
  • Starbucks menu, equipment, training and support
  • Seasonal promotions
  • Proprietary equipment and fixture package
  • Exclusive Starbucks® food and bakery programme
  • Whole bean packaged coffee and comprehensive merchandise assortment
  • Ongoing expertise, consulting and support including onsite visits

So why do Starbucks only offer licenses?

That’s the way things are in the US and Canada. The general feeling is that Starbucks seems to want to have complete control over the product and the brand image in these two countries. And fair enough, it did all start in Seattle.

A licensed coffee shop is controlled by Starbucks. Entrepreneurs who take on this particular challenge and have their own Starbucks coffee shop will need to understand that the coffee retailer has high standards. Each store is very much held to the exact same high standards and product quality that you would expect from the corporate office.

The company has also been able to grow its store count by offering a diverse selection of products to a diverse group of coffee buyers. Starbucks distinguishes itself from its competitors by not franchising. 

How many Starbucks licensed stores are there in the United States?

According to Statista.com, there were 6,497 Starbucks licensed stores in the US in 2021. That is compared to 8,947 company-owned stores. 

How much does the average Starbucks make per day?

This is obviously down to differences regionally and so on. Bear in mind that Starbucks is very quick to close down under-performing stores, so the average revenue must be consistent across all stores.

On average, Starbucks stores make around $500 per day profit.

When thinking about Starbucks, think location

The coffee shop chain has strict control over many aspects of the Starbucks license agreement. One of the key aspects is an attractive location, or what is often referred as ‘position’. You need to have a prime position before Starbucks will even consider offering you a license.

The main concern is foot traffic. If you don’t have a location that is busy with coffee-loving patrons, then you have a very slim chance of acquiring that license. This is why so many licensed stores are in airports and hotels. 

Want to run your own ice vending machine business?

Find out how by clicking here.

How much does it cost to franchise a Starbucks: The next step

If you think you are the type of person who can make a Starbucks successful, then begin the license application process. Go to the Starbucks Branded Solutions website and fill out the application form. The form is quite detailed, and will ask for:

  • What kind of business you manage
  • Business information such as your name and address 
  • Contact information
  • Products that you will offer

Then, the more detailed part of the process kicks in. Expect to be asked specific questions about you and why you would make a valuable licensed store owner. The company will also look at your vision for competitiveness in the food and beverage industry. It’s quite heavy stuff, but if you want your own Starbucks store badly enough, you should be ready for this.

And the money?

Starbucks usually expects that you have around $700,000 in liquid assets (cash you have to spend) for the funding part of the operation. Add to that the $315,000 for the actual licensing fee (permission to use the name and other branding elements).

What about the store design?

You will know the brand ‘look’ for Starbucks. It’s very much iconic now. As a license owner, you get all of that as part of the deal.

When it comes to store design, there is a little bit of a perk here. While the Design Studio for Starbucks has 18 designs that you will have to use as a starting point, after that you can customize to some degree. Many license holders tailor their stores so they fit in more naturally to the particular location. This gives you an opportunity to create a truly local Starbucks.

Want to know how to start your own vending machine business? Go here to find out.

What does the license actually include?

There is a comprehensive licensing package supplied by Starbucks, which includes:

  • Store design that can be customized 
  • Food and bakery items that are exclusive to Starbucks 
  • Expertise, consulting, and onsite visits to provide ongoing support 
  • Fixtures and equipment proprietary to the company so you know they are the best available 
  • Promotions during the year 
  • Menus, equipment, training, and support for Starbucks 
  • A comprehensive product line of packaged Whole bean coffee and merchandise based on the Starbucks trademark

The verdict

In 2022 there is a real sense that the time is right to start your own business. The pandemic is approaching a different phase, where vaccines are widely available and part of everyday life for many. 

If you live outside the USA and Canada, go for the franchise option. That makes sense (presuming you can work long hours and truly love the brand). If you don’t live in the rest of the world, your only option is licensing the business model in North America and Canada.

And that’s not a bad thing. You get an amazing package of materials and support, and a ready customer base. The only thing that might stop you from taking the opportunity is the cost of the total investment. While investing over $1,000,000 in a licensed operation or franchise is par for the course for big-brand restaurants and fast food places, it is still a cool million plus for a license fee.

To sum up, it’s an amazing opportunity, if you can afford it.

Easy Can Vending Machine Business Guide (2022)

Would you like to run your own business? Or maybe you just need some extra income? Have you considered running a soda can vending machine business? In this post I will take you through exactly what you need to know to get started with this type of business.

The good news is that the soda machines business model isn’t going to break the bank. And like most vending machine businesses, it can be scaled quite quickly. 

Work out profit potential first

If you plan to buy your own cold drink vending machines and scale up from there, you have to develop a business focus. And that means working out your annual revenue and profit potential. Take a quick look at the profit calculator here to gain a rough idea of what you can expect once you are up and running.

Your first machine could cost upwards of $3000 (new) and you need to know that you can expect some profit within the first year. Compared to other industries, there are low startup costs, but don’t buy a new vending machine unless you are happy with the profit potential.

Soda can vending machine business: the location

You will first have to find the best location for your machine. Your biggest worry here is that you install a machine that has competition nearby. Your spot needs to be as far away from other machines as possible. At the same time, it needs to be somewhere that has plenty of potential customers.

This is a huge part of the process. For example, you wouldn’t place a soda machine in a busy cafeteria, where customers will buy their soda from the staff. And it would be ridiculous to install a soda can vending machine in a gym. Soda is not the first thing on a gym user’s mind.

Your best bet is to focus on small businesses first of all. These will have a good number of employees that are a potential customer group for your drink selections. 

Then make some calls. Contact the businesses and ask to speak to the manager or owner. Discuss the prospect of placing a vending machine on their premises. 

Some tips:

  • Dress nice. Professionals expect to work with professionals. Dress smartly and ensure you look like someone they can do business with
  • Take a flyer or brochure of whichever machine you have to show the manager/boss. Again, this brings an air of professionalism to the situation
  • After discussing the proposition, don’t leave without giving them your business card. Don’t have one? Get one. You’re running a business.
  • The business will most likely have a vending machine or two in place already. However, there is a chance that it will be old and still use coins for vending. Your vending machine will be new, and have a number of payment options, including credit card readers

To help you along your way, here is a list of potential locations for your new machine. The list is more than enough for you to get a plan together and start contacting businesses today.

  • Airport
  • Amusement Park
  • Apartment Building
  • Assisted Living Center
  • Auto Brake Shop
  • Auto Dealership
  • Bank
  • Bingo Hall
  • Bookstore
  • Bowling Alley
  • Bus Station
  • Business Office Building
  • Car Wash
  • College/ University
  • Community Center
  • Community Swimming Pool
  • Computer Store
  • Dental Office
  • Department Store
  • Doctor’s Office
  • Dormitory
  • Driver’s License Division
  • Dry Cleaner
  • Fire Station
  • Fraternity/ Sorority
  • Furniture Store
  • Gift Shop
  • Golf Course Lounge
  • Government Office
  • Gym
  • Health Club
  • Hospital
  • Hotel
  • Humane Society
  • Ice Skating Rink
  • Industrial Park
  • Laundromat
  • Library
  • Mall
  • Manufacturing Plant
  • Medical Building
  • Meeting Hall
  • Military Reserve/ Guard Center
  • Military Enlistment Office
  • Military Treatment Facility
  • Miniature Golf
  • Motel
  • Motor Vehicle Division
  • Motorcycle Shop
  • Muffler Shop
  • Night Club
  • Nursing Home/ Retirement Home
  • Oil & Lube Center
  • Office buildings
  • Police Station
  • Private School
  • Public Utility Office
  • Railroad Station
  • Recreation Center
  • Rental Yard
  • Rest Stop Facility (off Highway)
  • Roller Skating Rink
  • School
  • Senior Center
  • Shopping Center
  • Ski Resort
  • Stock Brokerage
  • Telemarketing Office
  • Tire Store
  • Tourist Attraction
  • Truck Stop
  • Trucking Company
  • Veteran’s Affairs Facility
  • Veterinary Office
  • Waiting Room (any kind)
  • Warehouse
  • YMCA
  • Youth Center
  • Zoo

If you are committed to buying a vending machine and organizing the location of it, it’s important to understand that it can be a bit of a challenge at first. You will spend some time on the phone and walking into locations to speak to the manager.

Want to start your very own vending machine business?
Why not learn from the experts at iKrave Vending.

Featured in Business Insider and CNBC.

However, there are ways to make the process a lot quicker and easier.

Think about the places where you visit regularly, like your local gym or sports club. You might also consider your local doctor’s surgery. Because you visit regularly, you will know the people who work there pretty well, or at least be a familiar face. That makes it less awkward when approaching them about the machine. 

Don’t forget to ask family and friends too. They will have workplaces where they know people who want a convenient way to buy a perfect cold drink from time to time. And they can spread the word about the vending machine.

A Chamber of Commerce may also be able to help you. Using their services, you can find out about business owners in your area, giving you some ideas for potential locations for vending machines

You will also have to think about other costs, including those that may come with placing the machine. You must pay commissions to the owner of the vending machine location and fund the energy needed to run the machine before you can pocket the earnings. The property owner usually receives 10% to 25% of the revenue generated by your vending machine.

When choosing a location, make sure it benefits from some crisp lighting. Also bear in mind that machines come in various sizes and styles. For example, many machines have a small footprint, but some don’t. Your location and the placement itself have to take size into account.

Can vending machine business: Buying one

You can find your first can vending machine through one of the following methods:

  1. Vending machine manufacturers and wholesalers provide the largest selection of vending machines, the latest technology, and the most comprehensive services for delivery, repairs, and training. This is generally viewed as a more expensive option. The reason for this is that franchises and companies may ask that you purchase a set number of machines as a minimum. There may also be fees around servicing and so on.
  2. You can browse different vending machine brands and models at secondary market sellers or specialty online retailers, and they often have business owner resources.
  3. There are thousands of vending machines for sale on platforms like Craigslist and eBay. You can also try online marketplaces such as Sam’s Club. It is possible to filter results by merchant and owner location, so you don’t need to worry about large shipping fees. This may be a good option for the first-time entrepreneur. These places also tend to offer a wider range of cold beverage products too for your vending business.

You will find that, as with all established business opportunities, vending machines do offer plenty of ‘bells and whistles’. Just like with phones, there are even smart vending machine options. These extra features and types of machines include:

  • Machines that serve snacks and drinks (some machines offer candy bars for example)
  • Ability to accept credit cards and large bills (and other cashless payments)
  • The latest vending technology, including accessibility via touch or voice
  • Monitor your inventory remotely and receive alerts when it is low
  • You can brand the front of your machine with “wraps”
  • Interactive full-color display (such as a full-color touch screen)
  • Special high capacity machines
  • Low power consumption models
  • Custom vending machines that make a visual impact
  • A large delivery bin option (some customers prefer this)
  • A vending management system (for stock control etc.)

But don’t get sucked into spending too much on these extras, since they can quickly add up. Consider what you can afford at the moment, while also choosing the vending machine that best suits your products. Spending an extra $100 because you like the look of the keypad of the vending machine doesn’t make sense when you are chasing profits.

Some secondary market sellers offer support for people new to the vending machine industry. This will allow you to tap into years of experience before you jump in.

Payment options

Like most people, you will have to find a way to finance your new can machine venture. Your best option may be to secure a short-term loan to finance your vending machine if you’re already a business owner and have a history of business financial success.

You don’t need a lot of money to start a vending machine business that makes money. An equipment financing loan can help if you need it. In addition to being collateral, your equipment is also the factor determining the terms of these loans.

Can vending machine business: some FAQs

Can I make money with this business?

Vendors earn $35 on average each week, but machines placed in safe, high-traffic areas can generate $400 to $500 per month. Like all businesses there are a number of factors that will determine your profit. For example, your soda selections could have a significant impact on revenue. Something as small as offering 12-ounce cans instead of 24oz bottles may make a difference financially.

What about tax?

Sales tax is charged on the revenue generated by beverage machines. The amount depends on your state. The amount of sales tax varies depending on your state.

How much does it cost to stock a soda can vending machine?

Used or refurbished vending machines can be found for between $1,200 and $3,000. Vending machines range in cost from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on their features and size.

When will my machine make it’s money back?

Due to so many factors and issues it’s hard to predict whether payback will be shorter than 6 months (accepted industry average). It usually takes 12 to 14 months for a vending machine to recoup its costs.

Any further tips?

You can begin to generate a passive income from your vending machine business as you learn about its pattern of demand, without the need to take out a massive loan. You can increase the scope of the business gradually depending on whether you will continue to work another job, so you can take on more when you are ready or scale back if needed. 

Next steps

If you want to run your own can vending machine business, here is a quick outline of what to do:

  1. Consider vending machines in locations where you feel motivated to use them.  Ask the owner to work out an agreement.
  2. A vending machine can be purchased from a manufacturer or wholesaler, or a secondary market retailer, or online.
  3. Explore your finance options: The ideal choices are a short-term loan and equipment financing.
  4. Keep it gradual, and scale when you are ready.

Enjoy this post? Why not take a look at my post on investing in ice vending machines?

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Ever wanted to have your own franchise but don’t know where to start? Try my Beginners Guide.