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Everything posted by shepherdsflock

  1. I plan on buying one in the next week or so. It comes with owner's manual, which I paged through while I looked at the machine. It had instructions for how to adjust the price.
  2. What material are you making it from? Most of the 3D printers I've seen don't work with high strength plastics. There are some out there that do, but they're pretty expensive.
  3. Wow, this thread has really grown since it started! Lots of great information. Unfortunately, I'm still no closer to getting my first can machine...
  4. If they give out a cash prize, they can be considered a gambling device. If not, then they're just an entertainment machine like a pinball machine or arcade game.
  5. I'm talking $200 per location, so that would include any soda or snack machines you have there. I don't think you'd be hiring somebody at $6-7k per month. Though I still haven't gotten into full line, I would think a single person could handle the locations that would be needed to achieve that level of income. But, you'd definitely be working full time at it. It wouldn't be a part time job at that point. Between servicing the locations, bookkeeping, inventory management, and repairs, you'd be busy every day.
  6. This is good advice. I once spoke with a used equipment salesman and he told me that on average I should expect to gross $200 per location per week, targeting blue collar factory break rooms with snack and soda machines. These are numbers coming from a salesman, so they're probably a little optimistic. Let's say your cost of goods is 40%, in my area you've got 7% sales tax, and let's say 1% for fuel cost, and 5% for spoilage. I'm just guessing on these numbers, but I doubt that I'm too far off from reality. So, assuming my numbers are somewhere close to reality, you're netting 47%. With no commission, you're netting $94/week per location, or $376/month. Let's say you're paying a 20% commission to the location. Now you're netting about $216 per month. To net $7000 per month, you'll 33 locations like this. Servicing 33 locations in 2 weeks might be realistic, that only works out to 3-4 locations per day if you work 5 days per week. Now, I don't take a salesman's word on anything. If he says $200 per week, I realistically expect $100 per week. We change our numbers to reflect that, and now we need 66 locations to net $7000 per month. That takes you to 6-7 locations per day if you're working 10 days per month. That's probably something you could do. However, getting 66 locations will be a challenge for somebody just starting out. It could take many years to accumulate that many locations.
  7. Snack and soda will probably give you the best net income, but will require significantly more money up front to get started. If you decide to get started in bulk, forget about candy. Do 1" capsuled toys and tattoos/stickers and maybe gumballs. Price the toys and stickers at 50 cents and gumballs at 25 cents (I actually have one place where nerds gumballs are selling pretty decent at 50 cents!).
  8. Dogcow, do you have any idea what the connection and processing fees are for this? It looks interesting, but I don't see on their website how much it costs to use after the initial install.
  9. I rarely travel more than 30 or 40 miles, so I never see what other operators in nearby towns are using. I wonder who had them? I know that the operator I purchased mine from operated primarily south of me, so I doubt they were his.
  10. Does A&A have a price list? I really hate having to contact a supplier for every little inquiry when I'm comparing equipment and products. I'd rather have a catalog with prices that I can look at rather than sending an email or making a phone call every time I want to know a price on something.
  11. I had two broken ones that a location gave to me. They belonged to a previous operator in that location; somebody vandalized them. I also have two on my route that I purchased from the same that same operator. I have no idea how rare they are, but they sure look weird.
  12. Fast Food Erasers have been a very low seller for me. I thought they looked pretty cool and that they would sell well, but they've been a dud. Sticky mixes sell pretty well for me. Mustaches do very well. I did have a problem with TNT's Mystery Mustache, though. I think the product display was confusing and made customers think it was a mystery mix rather than mustaches. I switched to Fashion Mustaches (also from TNT) and my sales went up nicely. The product display, in my opinion, made a huge difference. I've had very poor luck getting any of Brand's Squish stuff to sell. I've still got a bunch of it out on my route and a few bags of it in my basement that will probably end up in 25 cent mystery mixes. I have two locations that sell quite a few Acrylic Rings. I'm getting ready to try some Ninja Fighters from A&A and will post an update when I see how they do. I have machine in a Tae Kwon Do place and I'm going to try them there.
  13. They make Boston Baked Beans and those can be purchased in bulk at Sam's Club.
  14. I really need to work on sales, and I'm going to check out the book that Dogcow recommends. So far I've been successful, but it's all been because of my ability to optimize things that comes from my engineering background. Up to this point, I've been able to buy established locations and then fine tune them and make them more profitable. But, in order to grow much over the next couple of years, I really need to develop some sales ability. I have a very hard time locating, and that needs to change.
  15. I used to work for J.E. Adams, a manufacturer of these type of machines. There are some major reasons why you don't see typical vending businesses operating these. First, because they're meant to be outdoors, they're built from stainless steel (expensive). Second, they need a dedicated power supply, which makes it hard to locate something like this. It's more something that a c-store or carwash offers as a convenience to customers. It's not really something buy to make a profit (usually). C-stores and carwashes don't want people parking their cars with flat tires on their properties, taking up parking spaces that could be used by paying customers. So, they offer machines like this to keep broken down clunkers off their properties.
  16. When I was working in supply chain quality management, I had some suppliers that I visited that had vending machines dispensing tools and equipment. It can be tough to find a customer base for this, though. The items have to be the type that can't be reused (things like tooling inserts, gloves, etc.). At my last workplace, we considered such a system, but most of the things we had in our tool crib were tools that are checked out and returned after use. This, of course, doesn't work well with vending machines. If you want to do this, you need to target large manufacturing plants with multiple shifts. Someplace where having a tool crib attendant on multiple shifts would be more costly than having an automated system. If its a small shop with only one shift, forget it.
  17. Are the gumball holes big enough to fit a 1" toy capsule through? I'd love to sell toys out of one of my vendstars. It's in a good location for toys, but I'm too afraid of theft to put a nice machine there (kind of a high crime neighborhood, but lots of kids).
  18. NinnJinn, you make a pretty good argument in favor of the can machine. I'm only planning on buying two, plus two snack machines, and it might be a year or two before I make enough off those machines to invest in more. So, maybe the can machines aren't such a bad idea. If I'm looking at a 10 case minimum order, I probably would have a lot of product expiring.
  19. If you were just starting out and could buy either a can or bottle machine, which would you choose? There's a guy who has two can machines on location and wants to sell them to me, but I'm wondering if it's a good way to start. What are the pros and cons of cans vs. bottles? Obviously the can machines are probably a little cheaper to buy and stock, but do bottled drinks sell better or have a better profit than cans? What should I consider in making my decision?
  20. What all information does their website give you access to? Does it just give you number of sales and total sales in dollars, or does it also allow you to monitor any sensors that the machine might be equipped with (such as temperature, etc.)?
  21. Travis, Do you have to purchase software for your computer to be able to remotely access the machine, or does that come free with the card reader and service?
  22. Uh... no offense, but your username would be a bit of a red flag to me if I were looking for a locator and read your post. A usurper is somebody who takes a postion or place of authority illegally or by force. Doesn't really convey the image of ethical and honest. For the sake of attracting business, you might want to change your username to something a little more inviting.
  23. Hey, dogcow, how are things going this month? I'm trying to build up the courage to try honor boxes myself, and trying to keep track of how you're doing with it since you seem to be one of the few out there that is doing it with any amount of success.
  24. Cool. Glad to hear its been profitable for you. I'm even more encouraged now to get out there and try it. Let us all know how the penny candy boxes turn out for you. I'd like to know more about them. I haven't seen much on here from people who have tried it.
  25. How has this working out for you long term? Any updates? I've been thinking about trying it for about a year now and haven't had the courage to commit to it yet.
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