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First location worth the extra drive?


m2736185

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So,

 

I have someone that wants a drink/snack combo machine at the garden center of 15 employees....this place is a good 45 min away from where I live. I told them I couldn't do a combo, but I can start with a soda machine. This is definitely a location I would not want to service more than once a month. Owner insist on Gatorade and water.

 

What do you guys think as far as the location? Worth a shot? There doesn't seem to be any stores relatively close.

 

What machine can I use that would do Gatorade and soda? I was thinking a bottle/can machine. How about the DN 501e? 

 

Also can any one identify this machine it says Can-Bottle vending using 1 & 4 price coin changer Dixie Narco 525

 

 

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I don't think there is a truly right or wrong answer, but it all just depends on your own personal factors. If it was me I would say probably not. Probably want to stick closer to home at least at first. After you have a base of accounts, then branch out (at least my thinking). I just think its a long way to go for 1 unproven account, and you will really be frustrated when the location calls and you have to drive multiple times over some little irritating problem such as a jammed soda or something. And yes a dixie 501e will definitely do gatorade and sodas.

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The distance doesn't bother me nearly as much as only 15 employees.  There's no way I would stick a combo there, but then there are very few places I would place one.  Before taking this on, I'd go check it out on a Saturday and just see how much foot traffic we're talking about.  If this place caters to all the gardeners and lawn maintenance people it could be a gold mine.  On the other hand if it's 15 employees and a few Grandma's you'd be wise to pass.  Start with a big soda machine so you can hit it once a month.  If you find that once a month doesn't cut it, it's not a bad problem to have as the increased volume only means more money for you.

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My bad. When I think garden center, I was thinking like a landscape company or something, where it's only employees. Will there be retail customers? Are the workers hispanic? Also, do u live in a cold winter state, or in the south? 

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I stopped by to see the location and I think I am going to give it a try. It is under a tent. Will I have anything to worry about with the machines being outdoors and exposed to dust and dirt? I have heard of validators going bad that way.  Any recommendations for a type of machine. It needs to vend water, Gatorade and I guess I would prefer cans, but I can go with bottles. Any suggestions for the snack machine?

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I stopped by to see the location and I think I am going to give it a try. It is under a tent. Will I have anything to worry about with the machines being outdoors and exposed to dust and dirt? I have heard of validators going bad that way.  Any recommendations for a type of machine. It needs to vend water, Gatorade and I guess I would prefer cans, but I can go with bottles. Any suggestions for the snack machine?

You technically can't use this snack machine under a tent as it's not outdoor rated - soda machine will be no problem.  The Mei validators work well in dusty environments, Coinco not too well.  If you were to install a snack machine. the AMS Outsider is the only one I can think of that's rated for exterior use - it's a great and very pricey machine unless you can find a used one.

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Do you know what soda machine is in the picture above? There is a picture of the ID tag.

 

hmm so snack machines don't do well in outdoor areas? Is there anything I can do to make it more outdoor ready?

I can't tell you about the soda machine, but I did find the "shimless design" tag interesting as I wasn't aware of a Dixie like this, all the ones I'm familiar with require shims.  There's no way you can get that snack machine listed for outdoor operation.  Even if you figured a way to seal it you still wouldn't have the UL listing.  The is more of a liability issue as the machine itself will work outside.

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The UL listing is simply the Underwriters Laboratory giving their approval of the safety of the machine.  While it's true the snack in your photo (a USI 3014) is not outdoor rated, that simply means it can't withstand moisture.  If it's protected from the elements it will work outdoors.

 

The soda machine in your photo is a DN 368, so you won't be able to do Gatorade in it.  You'll need a DN501T at a minimum and one that is multi-price.

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Thanks AZ...I guess I will be looking for a new soda machine. Any recommendations on a multi price machine other than the DN501T that will vend water bottles and Gatorade?  I guess it wouldn't be smart to stick the snack machine under a tent with sprinklers all around or heavy rain fall. Perhaps one of those old Antares will work for snacks...the ones that are no electronic?

 

Also, What about those M&Ms vending machines? I have seen those ouside. I believe Vendo and DN makes them. They would survive outdoors right? Can they only vend candy bars?

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Any machine from DN, Vendo or Royal will be outdoor rated.  You can fit Gatorade and water into a 501T if you find one.  I can give you the setup if you go that way.  Otherwise a DN501E, Vendo V511, Royal G3 will work.  You can also use a snack machine if it won't get rained on.  The Vendo refrigerated candy machine is outdoor rated but is candy bars only.  The DN version has some snack size spirals but they are very thin as they were designed to vend Mars bite size candy bags only.  You can still fit Cheezits and other thin product in those spirals.

 

The problem with a mechanical candy machine is it will get stolen as there is no weight to it.

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Well, there wont be any direct rain, but the area is very moist as they have sprinklers on daily. There might also be the occasional heavy rain with wind. If moisture is a problem for those machines I am sure I will run into issues with it so I rather avoid that at all cost. How about these candy machines....I imagine they must run constantly to keep the candy from melting. Does this shorten the life of the cooling system?

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In that case I think the m&m machine and the 501E will be my best bet. I have someone in my area selling an AMS 39 VCF. They claim is was designed for selling milk and is an outdoor machine, but it looks like a regular machine to me.

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The AMS is a great machine.  The VCF is their "cold food" version so you would need to see how it's set up and if it's the Outsider model.  It would be worthwhile to see it because that would allow your snacks to be refrigerated.  If it's set up for milk only then it will be beverage-only, but since they say it is set up for milk that means there will be at least two shelves for beverages. 

 

The typical VCF is two can/bottle shelves and three snack shelves, but I've see other configurations.  It's definitely worth checking out and when you do check for the sizes of the snack/candy spirals to see if you'd need to replace them to actually fit your snacks and candy.  One thing to remember is that this has a huge 1/2 HP compressor in it so it is expensive to replace whenever it decides to fail.  Don't be scared off by that but make sure you keep the vent screen clean on the bottom of the machine and keep the machine away from a wall for good airflow.

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The double pane glass is common on all AMS machines as the glass was insulated for even their chilled snacks.  The extra plexi you see on it is for security and doesn't mean it's outdoor rated.  You will have to look at the machine.  Look for a seperate compartment on the right side with a tall narrow sealed door over the right side of the cabinet where the shelf connectors are.  I can't tell with the reflections how many selections this machine has.

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I would say no. 15 employee aint golpher, and 45 minutes a way is far. Even with 15 employees all buying one product each a day, that's $450 gross, and probably $300 net. 

I'm a noob, but 300 net a month from one machine seems pretty good to me.  Are my sights to low?

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I'm a noob, but 300 net a month from one machine seems pretty good to me.  Are my sights to low?

With $300 you'd need to factor in the drive, and the gas. Its 45 minutes one way. I'm a noob too, but I wouldn't waste the gas on $300 a month. Good accounts are hard to find, but bad ones are a plenty. 

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If you're growing your business and can pick up some additional accounts along the way then this makes good sense.  If in the future, that 45 minute drive is too much or is spent going to only that one account then you can move the machine somewhere else or sell it as a location to someone else and get your money back.  Keep in mind you can probably service that machine no more than 2 times per month, or even better, every 3 or 4 weeks and make each service of the machine worth at least $100 each time.

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