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I was looking around earlier this week in Austin.  All the dinky Mexican, Asian, and BBQ Restaurtants, even small laundromats, are all taken.  In fact, I saw numerous 200 square foot (very small) nail and hair salons with TERMINATORS!! :shock: These were in some of the poorest areas of town, bums on the sidewalks.  This isn't even down town with high traffic.  The market appears SATURATED and I'm a little nervous about getting off the ground.

As some may know, I purchased some very old Northwestern double heads to get started.  I'm going to be washing all internal parts in the dishwasher as was recommended here. 

ALL the coin mechs have a case of Oxidation.  What would be the best way to attack this?  The Home Depot guy recommended paying an Auto Body Shop to plate them after soaking in acid of some sort. :(  I bought some Blue Magic cream that shines and protects car rims, etc and it seemed to "tame" the problem (not completely cure).  Most of the spots were covered up and the shine makes them look very suitable for placement.   Should I ONLY go with the Blue Magic cream?  Should I let a body shop plate them?  Should I do something not previously mentioned?

The bodies are painted a DULL, UGLY YELLOW.  Home Depot suggested I get a body shop to paint and bake them.:(   Is this the best route?  Some other options I've been debating (just ideas of my own):  sand the few scratch marks and repaint red on top of the yellow;  use paint stripper OR naval jelly to stip the paint and repaint red (possibly leaving the tops with a chrome finish).   Any thoughts?

If I repaint, how should I go about baking?  How long?  In my own oven?  Which is better for stripping the paint:  naval jelly or paint stripper?

If I sand, Home Depot recommends a wire brush instead of regular sand paper (?)

Is the chrome top (lid) a good idea?  Will it oxidize or rust?  If a good idea, should I just strip the paint and leave as is or paint or protect in some way?


Somebody's going to get POTD...;)

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First I'd tell you the market is probably saturated with a bunch of machines that are dirty, empty or have stale product in them. These locations are just ripe for the picking. Go on in some of those locations and ask if they are happy with the service?

Next, if your machines are needing all this work go buy some that are ready to be placed without having to clean and paint. Think how much money you are losing by not having machines on location. Get some machines placed and then start cleaning and painting these old ones in your spare time. Don't worry about losing any money buying used machines. If you buy your used machines right and then decide this isn't for you, sell them. Someone else will always be out there just like you that will be happy to buy them and get your money back. The only way you going to get hurt is if you over pay - don't do that. Buy so you can always sell them for more money than you paid. Then you win either way. I wouldn't sell anything I've bought for what I paid for it - really. Not even close! The only money you are going to lose is the money you have sitting in the bank making zip because you haven't put it into machines you can put on location collecting money while you work, watch TV or play with the kids. If you can buy machines right you could actually make alot of money just buying them to resell. How much could I make off those Shootin Hoops? How much could Mountain Man make off those U Turns he just bought? I bought a machine today that was advertised for $475 and I bought it for $175 with enough product thrown in to pay for the machine. Go get some deals - they are out there. You can't lose. You place the machines and make money or you sell the machines and you make money. Go for it!


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Thanks nam!  You are the KING of deals, my friend!  

On a side note, the Blue Magic cream sure does work!!  Better than advertised, actually.  It is supposed to shine and protect chrome, aluminum, and mag wheels.  Well, it NO DOUBT does that.  My mechs sparkle in the light.  Now the surprise:  the Oxidation (rough dots all over mechs) have somewhat disappeared!  This stuff truely is BLUE MAGIC!   EDIT:  I noticed in the fine print:  among other things, BLUE MAGIC ELIMINATES oxidation!

I'm going to keep using Blue Magic and forget about metal plate unless someone knows something I don't.  Will this stuff come back in a hurry and haunt me?

If this Blue Magic does the trick, all I need to do is paint the bodies and wash the inside parts.

And by the way, nam, I was thinking I would ask about the TERMINATORS in the small locations.  They sure didn't seem to have much product in them.  Probably abondanded.   Terminators in these locations just don't make sense.  I'm sure they are good locations, but not that good!  Heck, I may end up with some locations and some cheap Terminators to place elsewhere!!!:D   Looks like another sucker for biz op machines may bite the dust!


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Here is my .02

I Use Brasso to clean the chrome lids and coin mechs. If the chrome lids clean up good, then let them be. Chrome will usually hold up in reasonable environments, but is a bit of a pain in humid environments, industrial locations and Chinese places. I try to avoid chrome as much as possible but do have a few of them and so far so good.

I Use 220 grit sand paper to gentry sand over the original paint and prepare it for painting, but you don't have to completely strip it to the bare metal.

I Use 150 grit sand paper to sand off any rust. I would not use a wire brush except for the hard to get spots inside of the base or body.

No need for paint stripper - it's over kill! Use Navel Jelly only for serious rust in hard to sand places.

I use Krud Cutter to clean the surface for painting.

I personally would use the higher grade Rustoleum and allow it to dry for a day. I prefer red since it holds up better than yellow.

As far as outsourcing goes, it depends on what do you have more of - time or money? If you don't have the time (or desire), then look for someone under yellow page category of metal fabricator, powder coating, body shop, etc. I would then have the chrome lids blasted and repainted if you are going to the trouble of hiring a professional.

As far as saturation goes, all I can say is service, service, service. Most vendors provide lousy service and that is your key to getting in.

Happy restorations!


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Yeah, that is where I'm going next, though, I expect it to be saturated as well.  Round Rock has exploded the past 10 years and is nothing more than an extension of Austin.  It is the Texas version of Silicone Valley.  The only good thing, Round Rock is constantly expanding and new businesses pop up all the time.  I may be able to get some commissioned racks there.  Not sure about charity bulk candy when most of the businesses are franchises.

I've checked Lake Travis, a very rich, small communtiy outside the city, and it's saturated beyond belief.

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Try to get a triple in the FedEx freight terminal breakroom in Round Rock. 2500 Chisholm Trl. Manager: WM MCCULLOUGH Phone:1.800.223.4298 See if there are any others in the area like Conway, Saia, Old Dominion, AAA Cooper or ABF.

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Don't be intimidated by other machines there, that is a prime target!  Go in there and ask if they are happy with their service.  If they are charity, offer them commission.  If you repaint and refurb like you are describing your machine will be better looking and more durable, giving you another advantage.  You have to take what is available/given to you, in this case your area has a lot of overkill (terminators in salons?  you've gotta be kidding) and badly serviced charity machines in there.

In summary, go in there and see if at least one of the following is true:

-Empty machine collecting dust, bad condition

-Charity sticker

-Out of place machine (Terminators in salons)


Then approach and offer to remedy their problem of whatever you found above and offer them a commission and better service and better machines than what they have.  Do it 100 times and see what happens with a little perseverance.  You CAN do this!

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Those Terminators were mostly empty.  I'm going to keep an eye on them for a month or so. If they are still empty I think I will talk to the owner.  Would you offer a little hair salon like this a commission?  If so, how much?  I understand the 30 percent commission for racks, but those are in better locations and have lower COGS.

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I usually give 20% to smaller locations, 30% to bigger locations with more traffic.  Doing toys/gum allow you to do this affordably, the candy vendors can't afford it and won't be able to match so they will end up leaving or being booted by the owner.

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"Are you getting fresh nuts and candy from that empty machine. Nuts are hard to keep fresh and I don't advise you carry them as it could become a insect issue."

"I noticed you have a machine that is in sad shape and looks like an eye sore to your customers. Could I bring in a machine with a fresh paint job and better service to appeal to your cuatomers. I can pay you a 10% commission from my machines".

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Well said Beer!  The Terminators had cashews more than anything else.   I wonder if the owner fills certain cannisters and doesn't worry about the others. This guy is losing money on these machines!  The only way he's making it is if he bought the route for pennies on the dollar.  In that case, I would have moved the Terminators to a better location and put a double head in the salons.  I now remember researching this business briefly a couple of years ago.  I noticed these same Terminators in these same locations with very little candy and some cashews!

That's a very good point in regards to the cashews, Beer.

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