If you haven't watched my video yet and heard how bad off I was when I started in the hot dog business, here's the link: Free Training
If you are in a bad way right now or you can see the writing on the wall and want to get into the hot dog vending business, but you have limited to no funds; here's some help.
First let's say you have limited funds, less than $1000. Start looking on Craigslist or check out Crazedlist for Craigslist searches over a multi-city or even multi-state area at one time. Search in the business listings for "concession", "hotdog", "carts" and "vending". Search separately each keyword, then also search under the general listings also. Note: Beware listings for concession stands at ridiculous low prices that give a gmail address but no phone number, these are usually, ok always, SCAMS!!!
Follow my instructions and tips before purchasing: here (look for the video on used carts)
Also check out Ebay, but look only in your area. You always want to be able to go and see the cart first when dealing with used carts. Ebay is also full of scams operating as real manufacturers of new carts, always check first on Google, Roadfood and even RipOffReport before buying. Don't always rely solely on these resources as anyone with an internet connection can post negative stuff, but if you find similar stories on multiple sites from multiple people, then be-AWARE.
This time of year like no other is the best for finding great deals on used carts.
But you want a new cart, I certainly understand. If you are handy at all and have some tools at your disposal, then maybe building a cart would be your best bet. My friend Steve offers a course with video instructions with complete parts list on how to build a cart for less than $1000. See it here, and by the way, I make not one dime off this, I truly have nothing to gain by sharing this with you other than it warms my heart to help someone else.
I almost forgot, consider placing a free ad on craigslist in the wanted section:
I am looking for a hotdog cart! Please contact me thru craigslist if you have one and are willing to sell or rent. Please send pictures and contact info.
Note: Do not put your email or your phone number on this type of listing, let them contact you thru craigslist first before divulging your contact info.
This by the way, is the best way to start with no money. Advertise for free on craigslist or similar websites that you would like to rent, profit share or help someone run their hot dog cart. It is always harder to get started in business with no money, but it is doable. There are people running carts successfully all over the country who have a couple or even several days a week that they don't operate the cart. This could be your opportunity. Also, many succe
ssful vendors in the northern states don't even run their carts in the winter. Your offer may just be what they needed to hear as they hunker down for winter. Yes, I know, this means you would have to work in the blistering cold, but, it beats going hungry. No, I am not being callous, I would shovel shit and love it if it meant my family has food on the table. For those of you that find a cart to rent or lease or even profit share with someone this winter, you might just be able to buy a new cart this spring.
I know it can be difficult, even demeaning, but where there is a will, there is a way. I wish you well!