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Startup guide for buying used bulk vending machines.


nam
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I wouldn't even think about buying new these days,there is way too much good used equipment on the market today.  Why would you buy used rusty beat up machines anyways? They belong in the trash.

I have sold machines to Joe (Nepavend) on here in great condition some like new for a great price.

Fred

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We have a couple of issues to keep in mind here. The idea with this thread is to tell someone who has almost no money how to get started. This may be someone out of work and they have more time than money. It may be someone working but still has almost no extra money to buy machines. Buying cheap machines, even those needing refurbing may be their only way to get started.

The other thing is the feeling of satisfaction that comes from working to clean or refurb these machines yourself. I haven't had to refurb vending machines but love the feeling I get making something look nicer. Luke must feel great taking those old machines and making them look new again. Just another side of the coin to consider.

nam

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"So I'm starting this thread for the benefit of those that don't have much money and yet want to get into the vending business."

"The problem of course is people out of work, layed off or just plain don't have any money can't afford the best.  So that is the purpose of this guide. "

Kelly,

These are exact quotes from my first post to start this thread.  I'd suggest what people don't want to read are members looking to start a problem.

nam

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This is a great thread on used machines.

There a couple ways to look at it, and I have been there on both sides:

1.  Buying used stuff in like new condition:  I did this with Vendamania Fred primarily and other as well, as Fred stated earlier.  If you wait long enough and hunt through places like Nam's Swap Shop Emporium long enough a great deal on like now stuff will fall into your lap!

2.  Looking for the first cheap really used equipment deal you see for a few bucks a head and refurbing the machine to get ready for locations:  I have done this many times over the last 3 years, even when I got like new stuff I had refurb-type work to do. 

The deal where I landed 70 Oaks and A&A singles like new I had to get a slew of double plates and condense the singles into doubles, that was a ton of work even with no painting.  Other deals my partner landed required painting, part replacements, new coin mechs, etc. 

I will have to say that in summary, it is possible to get started up in the business without having to deal with heavy refurbishing work.  It all depends on the individual.  I myself would rather just get like new stuff, clean them up nice, change wheels as needed and fill er up and go!  But I do like getting dirty and fixing, painting, and replacing parts and building things because I am no good at building anything else I have tried!  :)  LOL  I found a little niche where my limited mechanical skills mesh, so I am not ready to let that go yet!

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I love the refurbishing. I've got a friend I'm trying to get to move out here, if he does, we can refurbish together and it will be even more fun. My last deal netted 23 brand new machines (though moldy, thus needing a significant cleaning), and 25 used machines that varied from "needs some work" to "needs a gopherton of work".

At 500$, with stands, how could I not take that deal? I'll have several located soon, while I'm working on the ones in need of massive repairs. For some people, the time may be overwhelming. For me it is meaningful work. In general, I'd rather do that than, watch tv, go out to dinner, go to a movie, go to an office party, etc. When it's all said and done, I see it as getting the 25 damaged machines as a throw in, that will be placed and making me monthly cash flow for many years.

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Shootin Hoops is another vending machine that can be purhased for less than $100 when you can find one. These are an interactive gumball machine which simply means you can play with it. You can buy Pin Ball machines that use gumballs and any number of different machines that the customer plays to win. The Shootin Hoops machine is a gumball machine that lets you shoot hoops with the gumball. The object is to make as many as you can in a row. It's alot of fun and can be competitive! These do much better than a basic single head gumball machine because the customers,kids or adults like seeing how many baskets they can make. These can be purchased between $50 and $150 per machine.

Any machine that can vend alot of gumballs can't be all bad.  The little gumball is our highest profit item.  These machines use 850 count gumballs that sell at Sams, Costco and other stores for about $15 to $18 a box.  This is for 850 gumballs so you do the math - about 2 cents each and sell for 25 cents.  Alot more profit than PM&M's or Cashews thats for sure.  They can even be placed on Charity if you want to go that route.

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Hey Fred any of those old oaks, nw, or eagles you want to throw in the trash box them up and I will pay the shipping. That does not sound like good business to me throwing machines in the trash. But what do I know with 25 years of experience.

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If I had rusty beat up machines I would be more then happy to give them to you.I am way to busy to deal with junk machines.For me it's better business to spend my time on more important tasks.

Wow after 25 years you have time to deal with machines in horrible condition.You are a better man then me I guess.

Fred

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I paid  $180 for my hoops on ebay,more then the average.it is a brand new machine and came shipped witha stand for that price.

the globe fits a case of 850 count gumballs easily.

unfortunately I had to by them from sams.they were soft and the experation date is 02/11..

Nam:I tested it with my daughter 22 times and no misvend.she likes to put the quarter in all coin mechs(she likes oscar a lot.)she doesn`t have the strength to use it but sure wants the gumball.at first it was just a ball to her but she eventually put it in her mouth and ended up with blue lips and hands so now shes doesn`t get them anymore.I hold her upon the hoops,she cant shoot the hoop yet but would get the gumball to go.it entertained her and will many other kids too.

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Antonio,

How's Oscar doing now? Are you using the 50 cent or 25 cent mech with him?

Must be nice to get a brand new Shootin Hoops! The Canadian company that none of use could get to return phone calls or messages must be out of business. Their web site is down now. Maybe that is why they never returned calls, etc.

Ok, my personal best score with Shootin Hoops is 21 baskets in a row. See if you can beat that one!   :cool:

nam

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I only played it tonite with my daughter and got maybe 5 or 6 in a row.I wont try to beat your record tonite as rainbow six veagas 2 awaits me.maybe in the morning!that is a lot of hoops in a row,how much do you play it?your max hoops in a row always seems to be going up!

get those machines placed:dude:

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Antonio,

I don't play it as much anymore but all my kids and grandkids keep wanting to play it as soon as they walk in the door. It seems to be the favorite machine so I'll probably never locate this one. Too much fun!

So what's your feeling on trying the 50 cent vend on the gumballs? Do you think the higher price is making up for lower volume than if it were 25 cents? Or you don't think it's making any difference?

nam

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too little time has past for me to know for sure.the 50 cent location has had some management probloms and is usually a little slower this time of year.the one at work seems to do a bit better but I am not sure if I am makeing up for it in volumes.I need a bit more time to know.

I am happy to say that the oscar at work is half way paid for!

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I don't believe I made myself quiet clear on my own prefrences.  I myself do not go out and buy old junk machines and fix them up.  All the machines I fix are machines that we have gathered over the years of doing business.  I only purchase brand new equipment, I do not go out looking for old machines to fix up so I hope that helps Fred. 

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  • 4 years later...

Darryl,

You bring up some interesting points and yes I do agree with you but if you set and think about it for a minute you will still be cheaper to refurbish a machine then buy a new one. 

1. Buy NW super 60 from ebay $20.00 (including shipping)

2. NW super 60 needs replacement product wheel and globe $16.00 for both A&A

3. Spray paint 2 cans (1 primer and 1 color your choice) $2.00 plus tax Walmart

After the math you have $38.00 plus product ready to go on location

A brand new super 60 from sams club will cost you $61.02 plus tax and candy

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=111877

That is a savings of what roughly 40 to 41% cheaper right. 

I am not saying you are wrong darryl but we are wanting people to get started as cheaply as possible.  Yes buying brand new equipment does make the best since but you get more bang for your buck with used equipment. 

Also you have a spare gum or toy wheel were you just replaced your product wheel there is always a plus referbishing your machines.

I just checked out the Sam's site and while they may have been cheaper back in 2009, they certainly are not that cheap now.  I think that I might still have to find a used machine, unless a manufacturer has a special going on.  Just food for thought.

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I just checked out the Sam's site and while they may have been cheaper back in 2009, they certainly are not that cheap now. I think that I might still have to find a used machine, unless a manufacturer has a special going on. Just food for thought.

Currently at Sams the Super 60 is $69.98,

Oak manufacturing has Vista cabinet for $55.50 and a few smaller machines a little less.

A price increase of less than $10 in 4 years isn't horrible!

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Currently at Sams the Super 60 is $69.98,

Oak manufacturing has Vista cabinet for $55.50 and a few smaller machines a little less.

A price increase of less than $10 in 4 years isn't horrible!

I didn't see these. You're right, not too bad for singles especially when the used ones on Ebay are not much cheaper.  The biggest problem with Ebay is that most are "local pickup only", so even if you find a cheap used machine (I've seen some triples for under $100.00), they won't ship them to you.  Traveling across the country kind of defeats picking up a cheap used machine.  I've  checked on Craig's list, but they seem to have routes for sale, not really any cheap started bulk machines.  At least not now.  Any other suggestions would be good.  Thanks.

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  • 6 months later...

Northwestern and Oak are my main runners of a fleet of 1,200 machines so I put alot of faith in them.

 

I'm wanting to get into vending and see that to make somewhat of a living I will need about 300 machines.

 

You have 1,200!!! Can these machines be re-keyed so your only carrying around one key instead of 1,200. Nube question I know, but, that was the first thing that came to mind.

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I'm wanting to get into vending and see that to make somewhat of a living I will need about 300 machines.

You have 1,200!!! Can these machines be re-keyed so your only carrying around one key instead of 1,200. Nube question I know, but, that was the first thing that came to mind.

Yes, that's the easy part of running that many machines.

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yes, on many machines, the lock comes out completely when you unlock it, so just get a new one to replace it

others have recommended an unique code so no one else has your key.

If you choose to not get a unique key then with all those machines having factory locks there is a good chance you will at some point have a silent partner.

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  • 3 months later...

jp, I am not ruling them out all together I am just recommending buying a machine that fits the buyers eye. I do know though that Vendstars are all plastic (for the biggest part) and just wear out a lot faster then an all metal machine would.

amen to that. Bought a machine on ebay and because the seller took forever to send it after he received the money...I asked him what the hold up was..He got angry and trashed the globe and sent it to me..(didnt look like that in the picture)and I really doubt the way it was broke if it was damaged in transit. Needless to say had to buy another globe for it...which costed more..way more..

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My input here, for what it may be worth, is that, in the beginning, if you are just concerned about proof of concept (i.e., you want to find out if bulk candy vending is something that you can do and want to do, and that it actually makes money), then it almost doesn't matter what machine you pick as a starter, as long as it functions and will be accepted into your target location.  Pick the best looking machine that you can afford off of eBay and put it on location. If you like the results, save your profits until you can afford a Northwestern or Beaver, then repeat the process.

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