So you are new to the vending industry? Or maybe you are new completely to owning your own business! Or even working in the business world! No matter what, you may need to take some time to learn the common words used in the industry so that you can keep up while communicating with vendors, other business owners, and customers. Here are some of the most important ones along with quick definitions.


Vend: The delivery of a single unit of merchandise.

OOO: Out of Order.

Snack Machine: Machine specializing in individual portions of chips, pretzels, etc.

Down Time: Time during which operation of machinery is stopped.

Delivery Tray: Area of the machine where customer receives the vended product.

Volume (Sales): Total quantity of things sold.

Volume (Dollars): Total unit of currency.

Retail/Selling Price: Price per item charge to the consumer at the vend machine.

Purchase Price: Price per item/good paid by reseller (VPD or VO) for item to be resold.

Par: The normal or standard fill level when restocking inventory. Restocking only replenishes inventory sold since the last restocking visit.

Financials: Financials can include several aspects of accounting information, but usually focuses on cash receivables, cost of goods, inventory movement, and profit and loss.

Merchandising: In order to maximize sales at a location, merchandising is very important. For a vending machine, this may be choosing the best mix of products for the target audience or placing these products in an attractive way in the machine.

Turnover: Indicates the percentage of services where this product was replaced in the plan-o-gram with another product. If every 5 services a product is replaced with another item, turnover % will be 20 %. This percentage will not be weighted.

Turns: Measures the average units sold per machine per period (a.k.a. sales velocity).

Accounting Period: Intervals on which accounting reports are based. Usually monthly or every four calendar weeks if a 13-week accounting period is used.

Accounts Payable: Amounts due to a vendor for the delivery of inventory products.

Accounts Receivable: Amounts due and charged for the delivery product to non-vending locations.

Contract Vending: The installation and operation of vending machines by a private contractor, who retains title to his vending equipment while performing his services.

FIFO: First in First Out. Invitation to Bid: A request to various companies to submit proposals to provide food and vending services.

Location-Owned Operations: Services similar to the contractor’s but owned and operated by a college or factory on its own premises by its own staff. Includes location-owned cafeteria, dining and vending operations.

NAMA: National Automatic Merchandising Association is the national associate of vending and food service management industry founded in 1936.

Shelf Life: The length of time a product will keep without deterioration that makes it unusable.

Now that you have brushed up on your lingo, and you are feeling more confident about starting your own vending machine business, check out this free ebook on jumping in!

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