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PerformaVending last won the day on July 30

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  1. When the fidget spinner craze was on, I sold out of all the fidget spinners Flatline could sell me for a bit there. Similar story with the fake Lego caps- even at $1 they would vanish in no time. Alas, the trends on both of those faded, and the locations that made those products work were bulldozed years ago now. One of the best that's still available (imho) is A&A's "YOYOC" yo-yo ball product. They've been selling that continuously since before I got into the business!
  2. I'd be curious to see how they've changed since the last iteration, do let us know how it goes!
  3. A Versavend should be able to run 1080 count through the candy drum, though you'll want to adjust it more "open" so it doesn't jam. I don't think you can run 850 count (1") through one of these without it jamming.
  4. U-Turn was/is a "business opportunity" styled enterprise where I feel corners were definitely cut to move units. These machines are notoriously unreliable, difficult to service, and thanks to unusual proprietary parts (doggedly protected by Uturn's lawyers) the used market for parts is wildly more expensive than for other machines of the era. Some key failings on the Uturn machines include the vending mechanism (they are made of plastic, and once broken are very hard to repair), the cannisters (cracks are a common problem), and the coin mechanisms themselves. There are scores of videos on YouTube of people purposefully breaking Uturn mechs so that they freely spin and pour all the candy out. Even without deliberate interference, the Uturn mechanisms can be broken by something like a washer or a stack of coins jammed in and spun hard. Once a mechanism is broken, they are incredibly difficult to repair, and even then they are never quite right again. Now for the subject, the legendary "50 cent mechanism." If you look up past posts (like 2013 or so) this was a hot topic as these mechanisms were already fairly rare back then. Today I don't even know how one might go about getting any- unless Uturn has suddenly made a new crop of them in the last few years, I'd put them next to unicorn tears and Half Life 3 in terms of availability. In short, a vending machine business is a fun, inexpensive business for kids to get into, and I applaud your efforts to make that possible. That said, I would implore you to consider the deeper cost of the machine you are looking at. Many machines are more expensive up front, but cost very little in the long run with reliable components that aren't likely to break, and can be readily and inexpensively swapped if they ever do, while other machines may cost a lot less up front, but then cost exponentially more in the long run in repair costs, your time and effort to maintain them, and finally the lost sales from machinery that doesn't work properly all the time. If you do go forward with the Uturn, we'll be happy to help you however we can- just know what you're potentially getting yourself into. As always, good luck!
  5. Vendesigns were always a "little" better than Uturns in my mind, though that's a low bar to clear. The assembly on the Vendesign machines isn't terrible, capacity is alright, the coin mechs are modified Northwestern in most cases, so they are "technically" upgradable to 50 cents if you wanted to do a toy carousel. The coin trays in them aren't horrible like the U-Turns are, and they don't jam quite as bad. All that said, carousel machines are fundamentally pretty flawed machines- you're better off with a lower capacity double with better sales than constantly have to juggle 4 products across many locations hoping they will sell. That said, these machines are fairly attractive once cleaned up and take a coat of paint pretty well thanks to their modular construction. Flipping these for "man caves" and home use could turn you a bigger profit than actually running the things in the field. Whatever you choose to do, good luck!
  6. As others have said, you'll want a different wheel to vend that properly. I will add that if you intend to use that candy wheel going forward, you would be wise to take care of that corrosion on the metal portion control insert, or it'll continue to spread.
  7. The margin on candy sales is mighty slim already- factoring in the cost of the capsules, and then the time to actually pack those capsules (many hours, I know from experience! 😬) you're looking at making a pittance money at best. On top of that, remember that chocolate has a shelf life a lot shorter than most bulk vend candies, and is prone to melting in the heat. If you have a location that asked for something like this, I would advise getting a 2" capsule machine for this. Packing any sort of candy bar, even the tiniest of fun size, into the narrow diameter of the 1.1" acorn cap is going to be a tight squeeze and an exercise in frustration I wouldn't wish on anyone. As @gumball guy said, A&A sells a candy cap mix, as does Allstar if memory serves- which takes out an immense volume of labor on your part. Whatever you choose to do, good luck!
  8. My deepest condolences, it's difficult to imagine what the Mage is going through right now. 😭
  9. They're still making Keymasters? I haven't heard a peep about those in ages.
  10. In my experience, Zed's is probably the closest thing there is to Ford's, but nothing is exactly like Ford. On the upside, I can't recall a time when Zed's availability was an issue. Hopefully Oak Leaf gets their act together, especially if your locs are expecting it.
  11. I've always wanted to go, but time is never on my side for these things. Ah well, maybe next year!
  12. The screw holes are (generally) universal from manufacturer to manufacturer, either on purpose or because so many machines are derivatives of other machines. It appears to be a triple head mount, of some sort- it'll definitely support 3 smaller machines of most varieties (Northwestern 60, Oak Vista, Beaver RB, etc.) but depending on the length of the bracket and the weight of the base, you might be able to mount a larger 2" machine in the center (Northwestern 80, Big Oak, Northern Beaver, etc.) like one of THESE. As they can be kinda big, you can always remove the bracket on the underside and convert the stand to a single with a flange, or a double with a smaller bracket. I do recommend hanging onto the big brackets though, they are handy things to have.
  13. A single with 27mm bbs was almost always a hit. Due to the weight and the service frequency, I'd usually use a bb single along with a 4-6 head rack so the rack could focus down other products.
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