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gumball guy last won the day on July 22

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  1. I love this update! You ran into problems right out of the gate, dealt with them effectively and learned alot. It is great to hear someone take a challenging situation and turn it into a positive. That attitude will open alot of doors for you in the vending business or any other endeavor you pursue. Here's to your continued success and thanks for sharing your experience. Hope to hear more from you (challenges and triumphs) in the future!!!
  2. I've worked on alot of chinese cranes over the years but never a Toy Soldier. I'm not sure if you have a manual or not I found this older copy for a Toy Soldier 30 (17D5) from 05/14/04 and it explains how to adjust the claw strength: https://manualzz.com/doc/9009580/toy-soldier-30-operator-manual I figured you can double check and make sure you are following the correct steps to adjust the voltage to VR1 & VR2. If that is not the problem then I would make sure the board is the correct version for that machine. I have seen some (on other chinese crane models) using replacement boards that are not able to be hooked up to the remote potentiometers thus must be adjusted at the board. If the board is right and everything is hooked up correctly then I would shift my attention to the power supply or the claw coil. You can double check the voltage with a multi meter at the coil to make sure the readings you are getting from the voltmeter are accurate as well.
  3. I don't have any Rhinos so I am not sure. If you look at GumballMachines.com they carry these and say they fit in several import machines (doesn't mention Rhino): https://gumballmachinefactory.com/1319.html You could also: 1. Call the 2 for .25 people and ask them. 2. Call Rhino and ask them 3. Order a 2 for 1 wheel for 3 bucks plus shipping and try it. If you find out post it on here for future reference.
  4. You need to replace the gumball wheel with a double gumball wheel. I have bought these for years for my Oak machines and they work great. They sell one for Super 60s/PN 95s but they had a tendency to mis-vend. He is a link to where I buy them. http://2for25cents.com/2for25wheel.htm They are slow filling orders at times but they seem to be good folks and I have always received my orders. They charge $3.00 a piece which is a great price. The Gumball Machine factory sells them but they are like 12 bucks a piece which is way too high.
  5. You are right about people having change in hand plus there are generally a lot of bored kids waiting with their parents. Most are good if they have decent customer traffic. Laundromats are like any other business. If they are dirty or have junky equipment they generally will not do as well as a clean, well managed location so not all of them are going to be A+ earners. A couple of other caveats...... I never put equipment in laundromats unless they have an attendant. If there is no attendant your chances of vandalism or theft rise exponentially. A single like what you are using can be hard to secure, is easy to tear up and can walk away easily in an unsupervised environment. Many times if you are able to get your foot in the door there will be other vending equipment to compete with and that can affect sales but I would still try it. Many will want commission as well so be prepared for that if they ask. I am primarily charity but will offer 30% commission if they want a piece of the action. If I feel the place has a lot of potential (like an insanely busy laundromat) I would go as high as 50% on gumballs only.
  6. My best locations are all across the board. A few examples ..... I have a car repair place that 1 guy eats $50 worth of gumballs a month and has for years. I have a car dealership where 1 gal eats $30 a month. I have a CPA office where a 75 year old woman eats $15 a month in gumballs. My point is most places are unique and there is no consistent "home run" location any more. Sure if you could get in a Chuck E Cheese or Walmart it would be great but corporate & chain locations (like Snip It's) rarely allow bulk vending machines so even if you get a manager to allow it odds are you will be pulling it as soon as a district manager comes in. Many Jiffy Lubes will not allow vending machines anymore but it sounds like you are in one so hopefully it does well and it lasts. Independent restaurants can be solid but most already have equipment. Look for newly opened independent retail places & restaurants as they have the family traffic you seem to be looking for. Keep this in mind…….bulk vending locations are fluid. Novice operators often think they will place a machine and it will be there producing income for years. While this happens occasionally it is the exception not the rule. Locations close, ownership changes, management changes, remodels, theft, slow sales, fires, floods, car running into the building …….all of these are examples of why you lose locations and I've experienced them all plus many other reasons. One of the keys to success in bulk vending is getting those machines right back out as soon as they get displaced.
  7. You name it....I'm in it. Don't be afraid to try any location and understand that adults eat gumballs as much or more than kids do. I have them in liquor stores, bars, adult bookstores, manufacturing plants, warehouses, breakrooms, etc... . All it takes is one person who loves gumballs to drive your sales. If after 6 -12 months you aren't happy with the sales pick it up and move it somewhere else. People tend to over think locating. One thing I can tell you for sure is that the machine wont make you a single quarter if it is sitting in the garage while you lament over where to attempt to locate it. Hit the streets and make it happen. Good luck.
  8. I have gumball machines in alot of nail salons. Like any other location some are great, some not so great.
  9. If you want to sell the route based on sales be prepared to provide tax returns and/or bank statements to verify your income. You will also want to include charity payment documentation or commission info if either of those are relevant to your business. Anymore I never buy routes based on sales because locations are so transient these days and there is no guarantee they will be around long enough to get a sales based ROI. So I only buy based on the machine (asset) value. As far as an asset price Northwestern doubles go for $75.00 to $150.00. If the equipment is as immaculate as you state you can price it high ($200.00) and be prepared to come down as needed. UTurns are a different story. If you look them up (4 selection) on Craigslist, Ebay or Usedvending.com the prices are all over the place from $50.00 to $300.00 plus. Usually the higher priced ones are from people who purchased directly from UTurn and paid through the nose for them. Again if the machine condition is excellent you can always ask more. UTurns are hard to sell to seasoned vending people. I know you like them but their overall reputation of low quality and difficultly to service will drive the price down with that crowd. Your best chance to get top dollar will be finding a vending novice who is interested in getting into the business. This is a small candy (I'm assuming it's candy) route that should be easy to manage and is tightly grouped geographically so it is a great opportunity for someone new. Finally, you need to ask yourself "how much do I have to have to let this go?" I assume you paid all of this equipment off long ago so you are operating in the black. If so, your vending business endeavor has been successful and anything you make by selling the equipment/locations is all icing on the cake. Keeping that in mind try to price it realistically and competitively or you may struggle to get it sold in a reasonable amount of time. I would price it at 8k and be prepared to negotiate down significantly to get it sold. If you are still in the red then add that amount to the sale price. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  10. My short answer is don't buy it right now. You are new to this business so you may decide in short order it isn't for you and you don't want to be stuck with a truck load of vending equipment that will be hard to sell. I am assuming you are working full or part time at the moment so you really need to try to build your business in measured steps or you could become overwhelmed and frustrated. This guy is telling you that he is no hurry to sell it so it will probably be there down the road if you decide you want to make a go at it. Some other points...... Never buy a route or equipment sight unseen for obvious reasons. This guy is wanting 20k upfront (ridiculously high price) but not willing to give you any info is a huge red flag. If he is not willing to share sales or location information how in the world does he expect you to buy it? Even if you were buying for asset value only you would still need to see the condition of the equipment on location and if he is selling it based on sales then he needs to back up his numbers with tax returns or bank records. There are non disclosure agreements and other contracts that he can use to protect himself if he was afraid you were going to share info or steal his accounts. He needs to disclose how much he is paying in commission to each location. Sticker, 2" capsules and racks are tough to place and it sounds like he wants to unload a bunch on you for an exorbitant price. He said he is willing to help you locate equipment but why hasn't he located it for himself? 1.1 inch capsules and gumballs are much easier to locate. Personally I would encourage you to stick to gumballs and candy (singles, doubles & triples) to start then down the road possibly add toys/stickers/tats. This guy sounds like he has too many irons in the fire and my next concern would be if he has serviced the locations consistently. What happens if you walk in and the location goes "I have been trying to get a hold of that guy for months and he never came out to service the machine......get it out pf here!" Another one for the garage. Start small with good equipment (Eagle, Oak, Beaver or Northwestern). I encourage you to buy used but Eagle does selling new machines at reasonable prices. Teach yourself how to locate and put your own equipment out because in this business you are always pulling and moving equipment. This will give you a taste of the business and if you decide you hate it it's easier to sell small 1-3 head candy machines then racks. Good luck.
  11. Make sure your wheel is timed correctly. Every time you put a quarter in and turn the handle one full turn one of the three holes in the gumball wheel should be directly over the chute. If it has a regular gumball wheel 850 count (1 inch) is what you need to use.
  12. Does the brush off plate (with the single spring) look like this: or does it look like this: If it is the single spring version like the one in the first picture it will cause mis vends. I believe it is for capsules but I just use the two spring for everything. The gumballs will get pinched against the plastic piece causing a binding effect so sometimes you get two gumballs and sometimes you get none. A few years ago I bought a pallet of Eagles and they all had the single spring brush off. Nightmare. They sent me the two spring brush offs to replace all of them for free. As long as everything else is in place and tight that's my best guess.
  13. I've had this happen to me as well. It is perplexing. Sometimes I wonder if the person (many times it is only one or two people driving the high sales) buying the product has some epiphany that they are eating too much when they see that second canister thus causing them to lay off. I do know that both canisters need to give out the EXACT same amount of product or the one that gives that extra piece will be used exclusively until empty and the other one just never seems to sell as fast. It sure is a bummer when you go in expecting big money and it's a bust.
  14. The machines in the ads above are Chinese imports and $168.00 is still way too expensive. Sure they look nice in the picture, especially to a novice in this business, but they are low quality. A sure way to fail in the vending business is to waste your time and money on inferior equipment that generates constant complaints from locations. The smart play is to look for quality used equipment (Northwestern, Oak, Eagle, Beaver) on places like Craigslist. If your bent on buying new then Eagle and Beaver still sell new equipment. Take some time a research this site before you run off and spend a bunch of money on anything. In regards to toy vending I would encourage you to try gumballs or candy first as they are much easier to place than toy machines. You can always sell 1" capsules or bouncy balls out of the gumball machines down the road if you choose to. People still vend 1' capsules for .25 cents but many are trending to .50 cents now. Here is a link for A & A Global's 1.1 inch capsules to give you and idea of the cost of capsuled toys. https://www.aaglobal.com/topc-toys-games/1-1-capsuled-toys.asp
  15. I'm assuming that the gantry is working fine and the claw drops but just isn't closing. I agree with you to get the meter out and check for continuity throughout and you should be able to narrow down where the problem area is. Check the coil and connection to the crane head as that is where alot of failures/shorts occur. I know this is elementary but make sure all of the fuses are good and the potentiometer is cranked up as well. If you run through it all and it appears to be isolated to the board here is smarts website: https://www.smartind.com/parts.html#
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