3 most commonly asked Ice Vending Machine Questions & Answers

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Published: 01st December 2010
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Where are the best locations to place Ice Vending Machines?

Locations with the best flow of road and foot traffic, that make ice available to those that use ice on a daily bases such as construction workers, landscape workers, coaches and Soccer Moms.are always the best locations for ice vending machines. Destination Locations or locations where your ice vending machine only serves the purpose of one type of consumer are generally poor choices. For example, if you plan to install an ice vending machine at a location near a body of water such as lake or a swimming pool where a majority of your business will be taking place over the weekend by only those on site. Unless the quantity of ice sold over the weekend during the warm months is so great that it will allow you to not require sales during the week and throughout the cold months, this would be a poor decision. Keeping this in mind a slight alteration such as placing the ice vending machine on the way to the lake off a main road, or near a marina entrance would generally be an better location and will make yourself available to more consumers and not just during the warmest months.



How much Ice or Water will I sell with an Ice Vending Machine?

Every ice vending machine location is different and produces a different quaintly of sales, but on average few locations sell more than 40-60 bags of ice and 20-30 gallons of water per day on average, unless there is a special occasion such as July 4th. There are of course ice vending machines located in places that sell more or less ice and water on a daily basis, but they are the exception not the rule.



What kind and how big of an ice vending machine should I purchase?

Ice & water vending business plans generally offers two schools of thought:

Option 1, is to place one large high production ice vending machine house able to sell a large quantity of ice from one location.

Option 2, is to place smaller, lower production ice vending machines that can be expanded as and if demand requires. The much smaller size allows for the possibility of many different type locations and the affordability allows for multiple locations.



Option 1: Large & Junior sized Ice Houses

Pros:

Production - Capable of producing approximately *8000 lbs of ice and selling 800 bags or more per day, of which 650 10lb bags of ice could be sold in a row, if the occasion arose where there were 650 customers waiting in line, and replenishing ice at a rate of *545lbs per hour.



Cons:

Cost - Approximately $125,000 to $160,000

Size - 10' x 18' - 9 x 15"

Return on Investment: As previously mentioned, every ice vending machine location is different and produces a different quaintly of sales, we have heard delightful stories of machines working to capacity in superb locations; however, most are similar to an owner of 8 large ice vending machines houses in Southern US, whose gross sales average per machine is $35 per year per machine or sells approximately 64 bags per day not 800 equaling a very slow return on your investment. (ask for a retail projection workbook)

Location - If you purchase a large or Junior sized ice vending machine house the locations available for placement are limited due to the size of the ice house. If you choose a poor location, or if road other construction diverts or blocks traffic flow to the ice house or any landlord issues occur it will cost tens of thousands of dollars to relocate your ice house. Rents will be relative to size of property required.

Miscellaneous - Utility Bills, three-phase power



Options 2: Compact Ice Vending Machines

Pros:

Cost - Approximately $34,000 to $66,000

Size - 52" x 35" - 52" x 78" Multiple sizes and production capabilities allow for multiple solutions. Only take up the space, only spend the money and only build the ice that is required by that location.

Return on Investment: (ask for retail projection workbook)

Locations: "use your imagination" Car Washes, RV Parks, Parking Lots, Convenience Store Side Walks..most places a Soda machine can fit.

Rent will be relative to size of property required.



Cons:

Production - Smaller ice vending machines will not produce the tremendous amount of ice at one time as the large ice houses, and are aware of very few instances where it would be prudent to do so. Our smallest ice vending machines can produce *1900 lbs of ice and sell 190 bags or more per day, of which 40 10lb bags of ice could be sold in a row if the occasion arose where there were 40 customers waiting in line, replenishing ice at a rate of *75lbs per hour.



* A good ice maker's production is based upon the ambient air & water temperatures. To learn more about ice vending machine, visit us at: http://www.bagofice.com and http://www.icevendingmachine.org/

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