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gumball guy last won the day on May 11

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  1. I can appreciate what you are trying to do but I'm not sure how well received it would be with the customers or if there is really a demand for it in most vending businesses. I operate a large bulk route and a small full line route. I try to personally answer my phone as much as possible. If I can't answer I explain on my outgoing message to leave the business name, street address, city, phone and I will call back asap. Pretty simple and effective with no added cost and has served me well over the years. Three issues I see with your system: 1. Customers want to talk to a human being whenever possible and I want to talk to them. Customers appreciate it. 2. Many customers/locations don't have time or just don't want to fool around with multiple steps when reporting an issue especially if they are frustrated about losing money in the machine. 3. I just don't see the demand for something like this because I don't get a ton of service calls.....maybe 5 - 6 per month if that. If your phone is ringing off the hook with service calls then you are not running your business correctly. I could see this possibly working with very large regional or national business where you have alot of employees spread over a large geographic area but not as practical for small to mid sized operations in my opinion. Again this is just my two cents and according to my wife I am wrong alot so that could easily be the case here. Regardless I wish you luck with it and welcome to the forum.
  2. It has been years since I operated any Uturns and I only ran 850 (1") gumballs in them. The 1080s may mis-vend with the regular gumball wheel. The Uturn candy wheels open wide enough to fit a 1080 gumball but I'm just not sure how smoothly they will vend. I think you will definitely need to use a spring agitator if you try that option. Hopefully one of the guys on here can provide better guidance on the gumball wheel question. I have never tried this product. It looks interesting and appears to be marketed as a bulk vending product. My concern would be how thick and durable the shell is. You want to be sure that the the shell can hold up to the rigors of bulk vending and doesn't end up chipping and falling apart making a mess of the canister and ultimately not selling. Tootsie Rolls are a stout candy in mild temperatures but melt pretty easily when it gets warm. I think of Sixlets candy which is a chocolate center surrounded by a hard but fragile shell. Great candy but terrible for bulk vending especially in warm weather. If you call A & A they can give you some insight as to the viability of this for bulk vending. It would be nice if you could find a smaller quantity to try before having to buy a 25lb box. I'd look around for smaller quantity to test it out. Keep us posted if you try it.
  3. If you are just starting out in bulk vending you really don't need to use service agreements especially if you are doing charity bulk vending. Bulk vending locations can be pretty transient so losing and gaining accounts is just part of the game. If you are running a bunch of racks in a chain of stores or doing full line vending that is when you need to consider service agreements. Good luck and welcome to the forum!
  4. Years ago I had a bar location that asked me if I could do big Lifesavers through my bulk equipment. I used 2" capsules and put 4 big Lifesavers in each for 50 cents. Sold ok for a while and fizzled out within 6 month and I never tried anything like that again. I feel the price point was probably too high and the customers perceived it as a poor value. I have also run the Candy Shop mix (2in capsules @50 cents) from A & A and had success in high traffic locations with kids. The Tootsie Rolls that fit in the 1.1 in caps are very small so the perception even at a 25 cent price point may be they are not getting their money's worth. Your cost would be fine at probably less than 6 cents each when all is said and done. Putting the candy into the capsules is labor intensive but wouldn't be prohibitive unless you wanted to do it on a large scale. Some people may also like the added hygienic quality of wrapped/capsuled bulk candy but I'm not sure it will be a huge driver for sales. I think the result, like any other candy fare in bulk vending, will be mixed. Good luck with it.
  5. Temperature variations (cold to hot, hot to cold) will often cause cracking. Consistently warm temperatures caused by direct sunlight or no air conditioners will cause the shell to deteriorate in short order as will high humidity. Product age also plays a role but if the product is stored at a consistent temperature (60-75 degrees) they can last 2 years. Make sure you are not filling the machine all the way to the top with product unless sales warrant it. The extra weight will accelerate the cracking towards the bottom of the globe especially if it is warm. One thing I have noticed is that since Sam's has moved from the 62oz bags to the 62oz jar the product seems to be scuffed up and more pieces appear cracked. I assume they don't settle as well in the jar as they do in the bag and get bounced around more. Once you start to notice cracks in the Peanut M & Ms you need to get them out of the machine pretty soon especially if it is warm. They stale much quicker, look unsavory to the customer and will fall victim to Indian Meal Moths before you know it and that turns into a real mess.
  6. Classic sales pitch for a route that is priced ridiculously high. Words like "easy" or statements like "the hardest part of the job is counting and rolling the quarters" are tip offs that this guy is fishing for a vending novice to unload these boast anchors on. $209.00 each for a bunch of biz op machines that are almost 15 years old is not a good opportunity to pursue. If you search them on this site there was a guy that bought a bunch of them in 2008 for less than 30 bucks a piece. Even back then people stated that you couldn't get a hold of the manufacturer and replacement parts for these machines were expensive so another red flag. I highly doubt this guy is averaging $17.50 per month per machine especially when he says he has "20 or so locations". If you have that small of a route I think you should know EXACTLY how many locations you have. Realize that this guy may have some good accounts but alot of them are probably dogs. One of his big selling points is that these locations are long standing and that he is now friends with alot of his customers. That means that once he hands these accounts off to you the customers who didn't want to hurt his feelings will now tell you to pick up your machine and hit the bricks. So much for that great location that you over paid for. I would never buy anything like this based on sales figures but if you are determined to go down this road ask for proof of his stated income from the route (bank or tax records) but good chance he doesn't have them. I know an opportunity like this is tempting because as a new vendor you see it as a springboard to growing your business quickly but you would be far better off buying quality used equipment and placing the equipment yourself. If you have to use a locator then use fellow member Rodney at Vendinglocator4U. I could go on but I won't. I will close by saying that even if everything he stated is true the business is still way overpriced and the equipment is substandard. Good luck and welcome to the forum!
  7. I think showing business deposits would satisfy most people wanting sales figure verification. Your location average is high and it shows what staying on top of relocating equipment can do to help sales. Pricing the route is always subjective so I can't throw out a figure that is the right price for you to list it at. If you are wanting to incorporate sales into your asking price determine what your equipment is worth then add on whatever percentage you feel is fair compensation for the consistently strong sales volume you created. Things that help move your price up would be: equipment brand & condition, geographic location grouping (is the route grouped tightly or is spread out over a large area?), and type of locations (long standing businesses, restaurants, etc...). These are selling points that you want to be able to provide answers to with confidence if asked or be able to bring up to bolster your asking price. I would encourage you to reach out to competitors in your area to see if they are interested in buying the route. Existing operators may be willing to pay a little more because your locations may fit into their established routes. Put the route on Craigslist and other local sales boards as well but I bet you have already done that. At the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is the lowest amount you can accept to sell the business at this time, then what you would realistically like to get out of the business and then be willing to negotiate with people. It seems like time is of the essence for you so lowering the price will obviously help sell it quicker. If you are not getting much interest at the current asking price don't be afraid to lower it incrementally until you do. Finally (I don't see this happening with you) don't just let the route deteriorate because you are not getting the asking price you are looking for. I have seen this happen a lot especially with older Fordway charity routes. It hurts the bulk vending industry, is a disservice to your locations and their customers and ultimately never helps the value of the route. I know a lot of this is vague but selling a charity bulk vending route is not an exact science. Good luck.
  8. You will find alot of varying opinions on this topic so here’s my 2 cents. I have bought lots of routes over the years some big, some small. I value charity bulk vending routes based on "asset only" meaning I could care less whether it's on location or not because I am paying only what the machines are worth in my opinion. The reason I don't entertain the annual gross sales concept when buying a charity bulk route is because locations are fluid so you are always losing some and gaining some (hopefully). Every route has some heavy hitters that account for a large percentage of the route's overall gross sales, then you have a lot of industry standard earners and finally a fair share of dogs that probably need to be relocated. I could, by no fault of my own (ownership change, remodel, closure, etc...) lose 5 of the heavy hitting locations within a couple months of purchasing the route. That would be a real killer to my ROI and possibly prolong it for years because replacing those types of stops just isn't easy. So if I purchase based on the route’s gross income I put my investment at a substantial risk in contrast to when I buy just the asset. I try to give a competitive price for the equipment and explain to the seller how I arrived at that price. I don’t want to waste someone else’s time or my own so I don’t low ball and I pay cash. Some sellers don’t agree with this concept especially if they haven’t gotten their full ROI yet and I understand that. I’ve had people tell me no way initially only to come back later and agree to my terms because they realized my offer was the best cash offer they would ever get, So many people, generally all vending novices, don't have thousands of dollars available to buy a vending route so they want to buy on contract. If you are good with a contract sale I say go for it but my experiences have shown many sellers don't want to hassle with maintaining a payment plan or the risk of non-payment down the road. Most people would chose a one time cash payment so they can move on with life. If your operation is in the black and have paid everything off anything you make off the sale is profit and overall it was a successful investment. If you are in the red maybe a contract sale is your only option to recoup. One final note. If you do want to sell a route based on sales then be prepared to show your taxes to prospective buyers to prove the route income. If you aren’t willing to do that or you didn’t report the income people will be hard pressed just to take your word for it. Whatever way you go good luck with the sale.
  9. I am no cotton candy aficionado but that looks like a standard cotton candy machine. I googled "cotton candy machines" and got a ton of results. Here is one: https://www.webstaurantstore.com/carnival-king-ccm21e-cotton-candy-machine-with-21-stainless-steel-bowl-110v/382CCME21.html?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=GoogleShopping&gclid=CjwKCAjwwZrmBRA7EiwA4iMzBCFXUK_KZP4j5S3lgwWDf6Ah0XYozOXbUKSX5ObT6IURyDpQoN7fORoC8tcQAvD_BwE
  10. I agree this may cause some problems. The tape will likely fail in a matter of time and may cause mis-vends or a jam. I don't use a baffle in my Eagles or Oak machines and have never had a problem. If you need to use a baffle for them I would just stick with your original design and when you service the machine take the lid off and pull out the baffle assembly before you take the head off the machine. If the location is so strong that you need to fill the machine to the top with balls then it should be fairly low (at or below the baffle) when you return on the next service cycle. You should be able to replace the head then put the baffle back in place by just pushing the balls out of the way as you slide it down the center post then refill the head. If you still have alot of product left when you go to service then there is no need to fill it so full. If it is too full just take a big bag (like the bag Dubble Bubble gumballs are in inside of the case), dump the balls into it, service, replace the head, put the baffle back on and dump the balls back in. It may add 30 seconds to the whole process.
  11. The following is a review that was given by a member March 30, 2018: I've used Kickstart Locations and Kickstart 360. Kickstart Locations was actually pretty good they located most of my machines (44) and I was being pretty hard on them while they were doing it. Kickstart 360 In short it's garbage. For 2900 dollars here's the run down. They located no machines at all. They gave us 8 faulty leads. The website they gave me is janky and fabricated at best. They state they give you copies of the phone calls. They didn't give me 1 copy at all. They really pitch their online school for vending. It's got no information that can't be found anywhere else online. Nothing unique or specifically helpful at all. Their communication is poor they only person who seems to know what he's talking about is Robert Paterson, but no one ever answers the phone at all and it takes forever for Robert specificly to call you back. He even seemed to get into a pissing match via email when asked for him to call me. It seemed as is he had some type of power struggle. Either way no one seems eager to help you and definitely not worth the money!  I am actually quite sad to be writing this review as I had really high hopes for Kickstart 360 and would have been a regular customer if things would have gone well. I really liked their kickstart locations services it's just kickstart 360 is bogus.
  12. I walk right past them. I have landed tons of accounts with those signs on the door/window and have yet to have someone say "Didn't you see that sign on the door?" If someone ever brings it up I'll say "sorry to bother you" and move on to the next business. By the way, nice job on the 17 new accounts!!!
  13. Looks great. Smart move putting in the second baffle on that tall globe. It will absolutely help avoid misvends.
  14. Don't get discouraged as these things happen. It's all a part of the learning curve. I really don't think 1 missed vend out of 100 will cause any issues.
  15. You always want the machine to vend correctly every time but I would say 1 failure to vend out of 100 is fine. If it gives two out once in a while that is far better than none at all. Bouncy balls are a little tacky and occasionally bind up even with the diffuser/baffle in place and riser removed so the occasional misvend will happen. Make sure the wheel is timed correctly (meaning the opening in the wheel is directly over the chute every time after each vend) and I would leave it as is and just monitor it over the next cycle.
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