Searching for the best locations for ice vending machines can be one of the biggest obstacles in starting your new business. Everest has some common sense suggestions that can help you make the search for finding the perfect ice vending location an easy and productive one.
With over 700 machines within the USA and internationally, Everest has put together some information for you to assist you in your search for that home-run ice vending location!
The beauty of ice & water vending is that there’s a need for your product nearly everywhere. Ice vending simply steals market share from an existing ice market by offering a better product, at a lower price, with a unique delivery that customers have loved for nearly 20 years.
Have you found your location yet? Our customers share that this is typically the most “daunting” part of starting your new ice and water business. We have customers that have found their location on their first try, and others have taken up to 30 days. The important thing is not to give up. We’ve sold hundreds of machines and we’ve never shipped to a customer that didn’t have a location.
If you’re closing in on the perfect spot for your new ice vending machine, or just starting your search, here are some things to consider during your hunt for the best spots for vending machines.
GO WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE
Your customers are already going to car washes, convenience and grocery stores, and shopping centers. Blue-collar employees will ice down their coolers on their way to work. Apartment complex residents will appreciate the convenience of a nearby ice vending machine when they have parties. Boaters and campers use LOTS of ice. These machines are a “Business in a Box”, and it doesn’t really matter what business it’s in front of. Visibility and accessibility are the two most important factors. Don’t drive by a great location because it’s not a convenience or grocery store. In fact, most of our customers’ machines are not installed at locations that already sell ice.
THE PERFECT ICE VENDING LOCATION
When thinking of the best location for your ice vending machine, use common sense questions to help narrow it down. Will your machine be visible from the road? Can your customer pull right up to the machine? Generally speaking, these questions and others will help you narrow down your list of potential locations. Some typical locations to consider are:
- Storage Facilities
- Gas Stations
- Car Washes
- Strip Malls
- Retail Stores
- Grocery Stores
- RV Parks
- Camping Areas
- Near Local, County, or State Parks
- Sport Complexes
- Pawn Shop
- Fishing Piers
- Town Centers
- Dollar Stores
- Paved or Unpaved Empty Lots
- Bulk Stores
- Liquor Stores
- Hardware Stores
- Title Loan or Paycheck Loan Centers
- Near Apartment Buildings or Homes
- Along Well-Traveled Roads
- Near or on the way to the Beach
PAYING FOR YOUR ICE VENDING LOCATION
Once you’ve found that perfect location, how will you compensate your new landlord? There are two common ways.
Firstly, offer a flat-rate monthly lease. This is the most common. A flat-rate agreement allows you to know exactly what you’ll be paying every month and budget for it. Our machines take up only 20 square feet, unlike most of our competitor’s oversized machines. That’s only about 1/2 a parking space! You should expect to pay $200-$300 / month for a flat-rate monthly agreement. Sometimes paying a little more for a great location can be worth it!
Comparatively, another option is to offer to split the profits. This is an option, but it can add some complications. This method requires you to do a monthly reconciliation with your landlord. Moreover, this can be time-consuming, but it allows your expenses to go up as sales increase and go down in colder months. A typical profit-sharing arrangement would be 20-25% of your net profits.
Whichever way you decide to go, make sure to let the property owner know that you are looking to lease, and compensate him for the use of his land. Explain it clearly so he knows what’s in it for him. In addition, don’t forget that your machines will potentially draw THOUSANDS of people a year onto their property! These are ice customers that will also visit and spend money at their business. These are customers that he doesn’t have to advertise or market to. This is a HUGE value that you bring to the table! Therefore, you are another step closer to finding the perfect ice vending location!
Found your dream spot? If your potential landlord is not eager to close the deal, some customers have offered a small cash “signing bonus” incentive. A cash signing bonus can speed things up sometimes. If you are leasing land from an established business, you can offer coupons for free vends that they can give to their customers. In conclusion, these vends cost you pennies but the value to the landlord’s customers is much greater.
HOW TO HANDLE UTILITIES AT VARIOUS ICE VENDING LOCATIONS
Where is the power and water located on the property? Is it near or far from where you want to place your machine? Answers to these questions can help you narrow down or decide between two equal locations for instance.
For instance, utilities on a VX series machine will on average run between $75-$100/month. This is the cost of electricity and water; based on the national averages for those utilities.
Utilities can be handled in a variety of ways. Machine owners may install their own separate utilities and handle payments themselves directly. This requires you to contact the local utility and have them bring in a water and power meter. You can also sub-meter from an existing line of service, measure the usage of your machine, and reimburse the landlord for your usage at the end of every month. Another option is to roll in the average cost of utilities on the machine into your rent payment upfront.
Everest machines are the most energy-efficient offerings on the market and only require a 30AMP electrical service. Our next nearest competitor requires 60 amps, and they can go up to 200 amps! To put it another way, Everest saves you money.
With all this in mind, as soon as you have a shortlist of the best spots for your vending machine, please reach out to your Everest Equipment Specialist to review them and help you narrow down your choices and be prepared to secure the best location for your new business. We have helped hundreds of people just like you get in the ice & water vending business, and we can help you too. We have lease example and leave-behinds and can help pull demographics and information to ensure you are successful. In conclusion, finding a good ice vending location is the single most important determination you will make in setting up your ice vending business.
STILL NOT SURE HOW TO FIND ICE VENDING MACHINE LOCATIONS?
Call us today and set up an appointment with one of our Equipment Specialists to get the answers to ALL of your questions about ice vending and learn about equipment and get ALL your questions answered. We’re here to help you start your ice and water vending business right. Just fill out the fields below!