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Everything posted by AngryChris

  1. I ordered maybe 8 adapters plates from Vendo. I only needed about 4 but they were on back-order so I ordered more than I needed since they were so cheap. The downside was that there minimum charge was something between $50 and $75, so you need to order something else to make the minimum just to get the adapter plates. It's a little off topic but just a gripe I have.
  2. It's a very good machine to bring to a scrap pile.
  3. Thanks. I guess I'll wait a bit on the shelf harness kit. I may have the machine off location for a while when I upgrade machines.
  4. Thanks. The door is clearly bent but, rather than fool around with it, I'll just order all of the parts I need to make this open smoothly. The 157's seem like very solid machines to me aside from some of them not having having wired shelves. Are the shelf kits difficult or time consuming to install?
  5. I need to order the rear delivery door but, before I do, I need to know the proper steps to do so. Based off of the manual, it appears that there's a "canoe clip" that I need to take out. Do those come off with pliers? Might the clips break if I remove them? It looks like I just take the cilps out and there must be a rod or something in there. I'm also assuming that i just need to temporarily disconnect the linkage or whatever it is called so I can play with the rear door. Does this all sound right? It's the door on the back of the delivery bucket with the gum and mint labels on it. Any tips? Thanks.
  6. It's hard to answer your question as it pertains to what *you* should do because every situation is different. I don't know your market in relation to the availability of used/refurbished/new machines and what they sell for or how good you are at getting decent accounts. If you live in one of those small towns where you have trouble even just finding someone to move machines for you, or you have trouble finding vending machines in general, then it might be worth your time and money to just troubleshoot them, fix them, and send them back out. As AZVendor pointed out, you could have a few problems going on that can cause everything you described and many of those problems can be fixed pretty cheap most of the time. If you wanted to try to save the machines, then your best bet (in my opinion) would be to wash all of the motor brakes so nothing sticks and replace all of the motor switches as well. That would cost you a very small amount so even if it doesn't solve the problem of the machine vending the wrong selection, you aren't out much money. From there, you need to verify that your coin mechs and bill acceptors work. You COULD just get them refurbished and pay maybe $50/piece + shipping for that or you could just run dozens of quarters, nickels, dimes, and dollar bills into all of them and see what happens. It's difficult to say if the problem lies with your bill acceptors/coin mechs or if it's just bad switches/motors causing all of the problems unless you physically test it yourself. If it's a bad motor, then they can be costly. You might even consider taking all of the good motors out of the worst machine, switching out any bad motors in the "good" machine, and scrap the worst machine. You could also do this for the coin mechs and validators. Just make sure motors are compatible. It sounds like moving machines isn't a problem for you, which leads me to believe that the best overall course of action would be to do what I would do... which is to get rid of those single price machines by whatever methods you choose. You could sell them dirt cheap (ie. $150-$300) and let the buyer know what the problems are and be done with them, or just scrap them as they are. I take the decks out of 501's because I can use them in practically any 3-deep dixie anyway. I also take the validator and coin mech out and any good motors IF I know I can use them. It might be worth keeping a vend relay too. Other than that, I can't think of anything worth keeping. The thing is, a validator, a cooling deck, and a couple motors might save you more money than just selling the machine cheap, which is why I get the valuable parts out and scrap the rest. So, do what you think is the best move for you but it may not be as complicated as you think to fix the dixie. If your tech can't fix it and neither can you though, you should just get rid of it. They are usually pretty easy to diagnose but it just takes some time and know-how. The only times I had ever struggled with diagnosing a dixie was when I was still very inexperienced and one time when I had a bad motor on a 501T with an SIID board with a bad motor. Apparently an actual bad motor can make the whole machine say "sold-out" when it's not. I still don't know why that happened but the machine was poor looking and had other problems anyway so I just took the deck out and scrapped it.
  7. I wouldn't pay anything personally, but if I had to put a price on it, I would say $400 because of the compressor.
  8. I have never seen anyone offer any kind of upgrade for those boards, so if you know where to find a new eprom, let us know.
  9. Sounds like I need to invest right now.
  10. Excellent. That's what I was looking for. Sounds like a 15-20% boost would be pretty modest.
  11. Oh it's going bye bye as soon as I find a nice 5 wide!
  12. I recently bought several accounts which included a nursing college. I don't know exactly how many students they have, but I believe it is somewhere between 100 and 200. Apparently, this college is increasing in numbers as a few local nursing colleges closed within the last couple years. They were showing about $2700/year when I acquired them but they are projected to do closer to $3,800 since I acquired them, including when classes are not in session. They currently have a stock National 145 with a MAKA validator and a leased 501E. What do you guys think the sales figures would be if I replaced the snack machine and added card readers? I am thinking I would see at least a 20% increase overall and I am trying to figure out what snack machine to put there. I don't have any snack machines available without canceling an account. Edit: I have a slow account with an AP 113, but it sounds like the transformer buzzes loudly and it really needs cleaned up. I think that would be a good one to upgrade though.
  13. Around here, Canteen didn't have a presence until they bought a couple large local vending companies. One company had mostly late-model stuff as they only went after large accounts, but the second company they bought had a pretty big mixture of account sizes and machines. It seems as though their only goal was to break into the market by purchasing enough locations that they could operate effectively and use their name/marketing as well as their sister-company (Best Vendors) to land them contracts with large accounts. I don't think they would be interested in my business, and it's profitable!!
  14. What you are asking for does not exist. There is no one-size-fits-all guide to buying vending machines. Just like with cars, it depends on the make, model, condition, local demand, and certain accessories such as if it already has a card reader, newer validator/coin mech, etc.... If there is a vending blue book, I have never seen it. I agree with the previous two posts as well. Look for a 501E if you can find it, not to be confused with a 501T or some other model. A 501E almost always has 9 selections. A 501E is a lot easier to learn with and very versatile. You can pretty much do anything with it and most of them have MANY years of life left on them with parts being pretty readily available. The same is mostly true for Royals as well, but Dixies are just easier for newbies to learn with and work on. I have about 21 "E" models in my fleet. I understand you are looking for a deal, but the best we can do is to tell you what to look for. What you ideally want is a machine that looks clean enough to put on a location (or can be cleaned up) unless it's going to a dirty location where appearance doesn't matter much. You also want the seller to have a little change in the machine and to let you try buying product out of the machine to test all of the motors. As long as it takes change, counts it correctly, gives correct change, and vends, you are usually good to go. You can trick the machine into thinking it has product in the column simply by holding out the sold-out paddle of the selection you want to vend. Just don't stick your hand below the paddle.
  15. As already stated, the original board will not report cash sales. A replacement board without drop sensor is about $315.
  16. Just like practically any business, it can he profitable but there are many factors. I'm doing well as a one man army, but LACanteen has a large operation.
  17. Either VE UCB or InOne. Both are about $315 without drop sensor and $415 for the VE w/ drop sensor and I think $470 for InOne with drop sensor.
  18. If you are getting 0000 no matter what selection you choose, that's because your converter kit does not transmit the data you need for column mapping. You may be able to add MDB components and take cards, but you probably won't be able to know which selections were chosen. I don't think those kits can do that, which is why the majority of us recommend just getting a new board to do all of that.
  19. To me, that's a greater incentive to install the readers. I only have a few contracts and my only real concern is getting a 30 day notice of cancellation so I can coordinate with movers. If this were a larger account where you have invested a lot or will be investing a lot (such as several brand new machines or more) then a contract is important. For smaller accounts, let your service keep you in locations. If you lose an account because another vendor underbid you with an unprofitable deal, just walk. If it's because your service was poor, then learn from your mistakes. If they just got bored with you, leave on good terms and make it a point that you'd be happy to reinstall your equipment if things don't work out with the new vendor. Now might be a bad time to try to get them to sign an agreement. But to invest a little might give a good impression.
  20. The old Chevy F-150.
  21. Those older Dixie chicks might be heavier and not look as nice as the the newer models but she'll still give you the goods if she's working and you have money.
  22. Over 5 years ago, while working for a part time job, I talked to a guy who heard I was also a vendor. He told me he was interested in a better deal for the vending. His only requirement was that he wanted his employees to be able to buy a can of soda and a candy bar for a dollar COMBINED. I was really curious because I was at 90 cents for candy alone. I went during second shift and there I saw a can machine (50 cents), a snack (50 cents everything except the expired pastries at $1), a bottle ($1), AND a cold food machine. I talked to the guys on second shift, both of them. This turd had less than 25 employees and this was a known vendor in the area who had low pricing but not THAT low lol. But the kicker... Is that this guy STRESSED that he had no contract and could switch tomorrow for a better deal. Unfortunately, I never landed this great account *sarcasm*.
  23. Of it's purely a pricing issue with the current vendor, then the account could turn out to be a bad deal IF the pricing isn't incredibly high without reason.
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