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gumball guy last won the day on November 25

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  1. Over the years I have bought routes with Rhino & LYPC machines and they all use very similar Chinese mechs. The old 1-800 triples used these types of mechs as well. My general opinion on these mech are that they are pretty low quality and have the highest failure rate of any coin mech I have ever used including Vendstar mechs. Later versions seem to be even worse. Compared to Beaver/Oak/Eagle/Northwestern mechs they are completely subpar. As far as the sticky coin mech you can disassemble and clean the coin carrier with alcohol but that is a time killer and a hassle. A light lubrication on the coin carrier may help the action on the mech and help it return to the home position between vends. There are alot of opinions on here about what lubricants to use or not use (silicone/teflon spray, Vaseline, Mcglaughlin Oil Petrol-Gel Lubricant, Mcglaughlin Oil Petrol-Gel Lubricant just to name a few) but over the years I have used WD40. The concern is that it attracts dirt and it does but not enough that it causes problems especially if you use it sparingly.
  2. You don't have alot of options ordering in smaller quantities. I am assuming you have tried to find another bulk candy wholesaler in your area...if not then do so. Many cities have smaller businesses that sell name brand confections/candy but they don't sell to the public.....only wholesale to businesses so they are often not advertised. I actually combine my orders with a couple of competitors when buying from Oak Leaf, Ford or Just Born. If you have a friendly relationship with any of your competitors that is also an option. Your best bet is obviously Sam's Club. I use Dubble Bubble as my primary gumball and it sells just fine. The only downside to Dubble Bubble is it really starts to get hard after about 9 months in the machine but you can manage that by not over filling the globe. What was you issue with Dubble Bubble?
  3. Doubles are a good choice. Most locations do not warrant three candy selections. Industry standard is $6 to $8 per head per month but you can't rely on that. Every location is unique and it is hard to say how a location will do until you are in it. You could put a machine in a small business with a handful of employees thinking "I'm gonna be pulling this in about three months" then come to find out you have one or two employees that love the machine and sales take off. High traffic locations are generally solid but those types of locations are tougher to come by and conversely are not always successful. To put it into some perspective If you had 1,000 locations 300 to 400 of those locations would be bringing in the bulk of your overall sales. Some people may disagree with that assessment but that has been my experience over the last 15 years. Socioeconomic factors also play a big part in sales. Lower income areas always seem to perform better than more affluent areas. My point is that you can't accurately project average sales just on the number of people in a city.
  4. There is no way to know how long a location will last. One thing that is generally a shock to bulk vending newcomers is the transient nature of this business. Businesses close, management changes, slow sales, fires, theft, floods, competition........these are just some of the reasons you lose locations. Consistently high performing accounts are few and far between these days so you have to be ready to move equipment when the sales don't warrant staying in that location. You are always locating in bulk vending so if you are uncomfortable knocking on doors or don't have the resources to gamble on a locator then you will be facing an uphill battle. I don't mean to sound negative but this is a challenging business and it will do nothing but get tougher in the years to come. A reduction in brick & mortar locations, less people carrying coins and rising product costs will continue to put the squeeze on this sector of the vending industry so be prepared to put in the time if you want this endeavor to be successful. Good luck.
  5. Vending, like any other business, is a gamble. I will try darn near any location if I feel the machine is not in imminent danger of being stolen because you just don't know how it will do until you try it. The one type of location that I generally balk at is the large corporate chain store because most have policies prohibiting vending machines. I have no idea what Advance Auto Parts vending policy is but the fact that the machine is in the break room and not on the sales floor improves the odds that it will be tolerated going forward. I would suggest that anytime you are using a locator and you receive a corporate location, talk to the store manager (not the assistant manager) and make sure it is allowed by the company. If he says yes you should be good to go and if he says no then get on the phone with the locator and tell him you need a replacement location because it was against corporate policy to set the machine there. Doing it this way helps reduce the chance of getting kicked out in 6 months if the scenario you describe occurs. Keep in mind that unless this place is a real world beater of a location you are probably not going to recoup your locator fees in 60 days so just keep your fingers crossed and provide great service. Finally I know you hear it all of the time but you really need to learn how to locate for yourself......especially if you are working on a limited budget. Good luck with the location.
  6. Don't jump ship on gumballs too quickly.......give it a couple of months before you change it especially if you are moving to an expensive candy like M & Ms. I have alot of auto parts places (in break rooms & on sales floor) and they generally do pretty well with gumballs. If you do move to candy do they have a full line (big machine) candy machine? If they do I will generally try to offer a candy that they do not have in the machine especially if the competitors vend price is at 1.00 or lower. If the prices are at $1.25 or higher you may be able to compete head to head with them on the same products.
  7. If they added a vodka nozzle then I think they would have a winner.
  8. These are A & A PN95 machines. Pretty common. They are a clone of the Northwestern Super 60. The paint job does look nice and would work well in any commercial location or for a man cave. The price range for these are anywhere from $30 to $75 per head. Not sure how much you can add for the paint job. Generally you don't see alot of custom painted equipment out on the streets because it is just too time consuming to do it on a large scale. Either way you go she does nice work.
  9. 1" gumballs in the bottom picture (wheel with the round holes and springs) and pan candy (M & Ms, Skittles, Mike & Ikes etc... ) in the other two.
  10. I haven't run them in a long time but these types of 2" capsules always sold well.
  11. A & A Global PN95. No longer in production but parts are available.
  12. I still give it 9 months. I have been doing this a long time so my equipment is paid for and that gives me a little more latitude when assessing location success. I also know that locations can get off to a slow start and then do well. When you are starting out you're racing for that ROI on equipment so you may need to be a bit more discerning and require locations that generate more sales.
  13. That's the way it goes sometimes. I usually service every 3 months so I give locations 3 service cycles before I will pull.
  14. You may have to be prepared to come down substantially on your price. Most seasoned vending people are not fans of Rhino or any other Chinese import machine especially at a high price. They look nice initially but aren't nearly as dependable or durable as Eagle, Beaver, Oak or Northwestern. Not sure where you bought the equipment but if you paid 10k for what you listed that was way too much. Based on multiple websites 5k including shipping is more realistic for that equipment new today. Gumball Machine Warehouse has these machines for $55.00 each (no stands or shipping included). Heavy duty stand $40.00 a piece. So you are competing with $3205.00 for new equipment plus shipping, double & triple plates, and taxes. I absolutely agree that it is a nice little route to get someone started. I hope you get what you are asking but it may take a couple of reductions to get it sold. Good luck.
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