Vending Vernacular: Quick Guide


Every industry has its own special language, made up of a combination of acronyms, slang, and esoteric terms that can seem like gibberish to a novice or outsider. Some terms, as soon as they’re explained, are so obvious you wonder how you didn’t realize what they meant while other terms are extremely obscure or counterintuitive. U-Select-It wants all industry professionals, both experienced and newcomers, to have access to this type of knowledge. Here are the top acronyms and terms every vendor needs to know.

  • NAMA. NAMA stands for the National Automatic Merchandising Association. U-Select-It is a vendor at their yearly show, and our former President and CEO Art Wittern was honored as their Member of the Year in 2016.
  • OOO. “Out of Order,” is the phrase no vendor ever wants to hear. Whether the machine is simply offline or actually malfunctioning, the lack of income is a disappointment. The quality machines from U-Select-It allow you to diagnose and troubleshoot via the internet.
  • FIFO. This is an essential concept for any merchandising setup, “First in, First out” encourages vendors to move older stock to the front of any sales display rather than the newest product in order to avoid any losses due to stale items.
  • Par. We’re not talking golf here. “Par” refers to the baseline number of items of each type the machine is intended to hold. When refilling a machine, items are only added until par is reached.
  • Turns. A ‘turn’ is a value representing the average units sold by each machine in a given period. This information allows the owner to better estimate sales volume, restocking periods, and profits.

There are a great many other terms you need to know as a vending machine distributor or retailer, just as in any other specialized industry, but these are the most commonly misunderstood pieces of vocabulary any new vending machine client needs to be familiar with. For further educational information from U-Select-It to help grow your vending business, visit our blog!