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Anyone Up For Ice Vending?


gdbutler
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Has anyone taken a look at the ice vending things? Not cheap at all, and I don't understand how you will ever turn a profit.  They cost something like 100 grand. There are a few of them here in Louisville, and I have never seen anyone actually buying ice at one. Here's a link to a biz op ad for one of them http://louisville.craigslist.org/bfs/719408419.html . I think i would rather buy 1000 bulk vending machines

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  • 2 weeks later...

How about some math for the ice machine?

$100,000 investment, with 20% down = a loan of $80,000 at 12% interest at payments of about $1200.00 per month. (assuming such a loan is available in this market).

Lot rent=$300.00

Electricity=$500.00 (could be a lot more or even some less, very local issue).

Water=$200.00

Supplies = $50.00

Misc=$250.00

Total =$2500.00

These numbers assume a whole lot, but if even sort of close, would require selling 1925 bags a month (at $1.30 stated gross profit) or about 64 bags a day just to pay for the machine, before making a dime in net profit.

If this was a Wittern machine, there would be a 6 foot sign on the side saying:

Only 64 vends per day pays for this machine!

LOL

Steve

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  • 1 year later...

How often do people run out just to buy ONLY ice?

Maybe half of the time you need ice will you need ONLY ice.

"Half the time" is being generous too.

When going out for ice you usually also need snacks, drinks, smokes, or SOMETHING other than ice.

Why make multiple stops by going to the ice vendor?

You could get all you need AND ice at the supermarket, pharmacy, or corner store.

Around here, even fast food joints like McDonalds sell reasonably priced bags of ice right through their drive-thru.

This sounds like a terrible investment.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 8 months later...

You have to consider the market and type of area where such a machine would be placed. In many cases, they are to be used in tourist towns where people need to fill coolers or need ice for specific reasons, BUT bring the other things with them. I see a HUGE market for these by busy boat docks, beaches, etc. One plus these machines have is that they are there for just ice. This means they larger amounts of ice for less than the local convince stores. People are always looking for a deal. If they can get "Twice the ice" for the same amount as somewhere else, its worth the extra stop if it saves you $2. Plus, these machines are just plain FUN to use. I know operators who have great success with ice vending. You just have to know what you're doing!

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around here, almost every liquor store, gas station, grocery store has coolers/freezers that have bags of ice in them, even at the local lake has 5 of these coolers/freezers full of bagged ice. So there would be no place to put one of these machines in my area.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yesterday I received a email from a company trying to get me to buy a ice machine for 65k. I don't have 65k and even if I did the return would take to long...

They are trying to give me all types of deals and I really just couldn't see myself doing it.

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  • 2 months later...

I love this thread. I actually worked with an ice vending company and they made a killing! They did have one small advantage though, they made the ice themselves, serviced the account themselves and targetted only seasonal locations (islands, beach locations, and a mix of seasonal locations). Last I knew they were doing somewhere around 50M per year. All of which came in basically 5-6 months worth of work for the most part. There is a market for it but most territories can only support 1-2 vendors.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love this thread. I actually worked with an ice vending company and they made a killing! They did have one small advantage though, they made the ice themselves, serviced the account themselves and targetted only seasonal locations (islands, beach locations, and a mix of seasonal locations). Last I knew they were doing somewhere around 50M per year. All of which came in basically 5-6 months worth of work for the most part. There is a market for it but most territories can only support 1-2 vendors.

The only advantage to this would be that it would cut down the theft of bagged ice.

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Not sure what that quote was trying to say, the way most of the route work is managed is that they bill at delivery. The theft would normally fall on store owners. Not sure if I missed anything.

I do believe however, this is an industry where you need to enter by acquisition only. Buying out a competitor is the only way to get started.

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  • 8 months later...

They can be valuable in the right location and demographic, just like any vending unit. I have seen the actual numbers from the owners of some of the equipment. Some were good, and honestly, many were not. I have tested out one of the manufacturers smaller units (around 30k), and it did well. The advantage of the smaller units are much, much, lower install costs, and, well, if the location doesn't work out, you can move it much easier. The larger units require a huge investment, but can do well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Actually there are ice vending machines out there that cost 40K or less and many people use them especially at convenience stores or marinas. Check these guys out: www.bagofice.com

Has anyone taken a look at the ice vending things? Not cheap at all, and I don't understand how you will ever turn a profit. They cost something like 100 grand. There are a few of them here in Louisville, and I have never seen anyone actually buying ice at one. Here's a link to a biz op ad for one of them http://louisville.cr.../719408419.html . I think i would rather buy 1000 bulk vending machines

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  • 3 months later...

I am from Northen New York. Family friend bought an ice vending company already owned a marina. They thought they would make a killing having both. The ice vending business went belly up in 18 months. They were out 120k. It always was in the red. Most are owned by big national companies. I buy ice only at Christmas time other wise i just dump it out of my freezer that makes ice. I am in Arizona too.

It is huge overhead with very little profites.

Ian

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I live in the deep south, on the coast and yes it is covered with tourists during the Spring and Summer, these are all over the place down here yet here we are going into season and there are no less than 3 of them up for sale on Craigslist for the area, These might have been good back in the day but everyone sells ice down here now, as pointed out every gas station, convenience store and grocery has ice and almost every restaurant and fast food joint sells bagged ice down here now, through the drive through for a buck. They have the ice machines for drinks, why not use em. I just don't see how anyone makes a ROI on these.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The best ice vending machines I have seen for the money and I so happen to own 3 of them are Bag of Ice XL1900, you can see them here and they pay for themselves but you need a good location. I paid mine off in less than 1 year. http:// you can also see them here: http://

Edited by mission vending
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  • 3 months later...

there was a medium sized ice vending machine located in back of a busy liquor store at a busy intersection took up a little more than 1 parking space was always busy and was the only one in the city i think.

it sold bagged and 2 different sizes of block ice every time before we headed out of town for camping we would stop and get supplies at the store then get ice from the vending machine in back!

the ice vending machine was there over 30 years,i wonder how much profit it made over 30 years?

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the guy that mentioned he "worked for ice vending company" was not even talking about what this thread is about..He was talking about where you put a freezer on curb of c-store and a route truck comes by every week and fills the freezer with bags of ice,,the c-store pays for the ice and they provide freezer for free,just like coke and pepsi do the glass door coolers in the stores..

that is very profitable,,as the c-stores sells the ice for you and there is not theft as the c-store is responsible and pays for the ice bags when they are delivered..

this vending machine we are talking about on this thread is a competing biz that is totally self service and bags etc automatically... the are a real biz op thing and i don't think they will ever turn a profit.. a local guy here in my town has one and he cries all winter about his dumb mistake of sinking 100k in this biz op/blue sky business...

all the machine is really is a restaurant ice machine,most make over a 1000 lbs a day and dumps in bin beneath so waitress etc. can just scoop out for glasses... now you get you a "grain elevator" like is used on a farm to elevate corn etc, basically a belt with ridges on it to elevate the material, in this case ice. like this

now you get a coin/dollar operator timer mechanism (like on car wash,air compressor etc) and figure out how long it takes for that belt to fill a bag of ice and set timer for that...there you have a ice vending machine,,get a fabricator to make you a nice stainless steel box, and insulate it really really good.. total costs,,less than 5K id guess and you can make it smaller so it could fit on steps on c-store so you wouldn't have electric bill etc. just plug into their water/electric.. forget the auto bagging etc. just make it so its like walmart with bags on a roll in produce section..make it cheaper than anybody else sells bagged ice..

I think you can make money with them but with that big of investment they are just fishing for someones retirement savings by promising the "pie in the sky" which like they say a "fool and his money are easily parted."

you can normally spot the biz ops when you see them for sale on ebay and craigslist in location for half of what they sell for new,,normally they will say "Selling due to health." and just point potential buyers to the original snake-oil salesmen's marketing material....

ron

ron

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