Author Topic: lets talk coin op  (Read 1546 times)

Offline fernand

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 23
  • Country: us
  • 15 yr service tech mostly coin operated
lets talk coin op
« on: October 26, 2013, 08:04:27 PM »
anything ?

Offline Wedgeman55

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Aug 2008
  • Posts: 932
  • Country: us
  • Man vs Appliance - Never give up, Never surrender
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2013, 04:25:32 AM »
What do you want to know?  --  been doing coin op for 40 years
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

Offline fernand

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 23
  • Country: us
  • 15 yr service tech mostly coin operated
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 10:56:33 AM »
Did you ever go out on youre own and get youre own locations?

Offline RAH52

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Aug 2008
  • Posts: 694
  • Country: ca
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 12:56:35 PM »
I would think the money is made repairing coin ops ,not owning machines and locations .


Offline fernand

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 23
  • Country: us
  • 15 yr service tech mostly coin operated
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2013, 03:02:02 PM »
really i think doing both is profitable
you get a monthly income
you can still run service
plus if youre own machine breaks down no service charge

Offline youthatswhy

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Apr 2012
  • Posts: 42
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2013, 06:30:39 AM »
 Got a GE..coin  op ...digital dryer ..gets down to 1 minute and stays ther..any ideas...thanx

Offline andersenappliance

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Feb 2012
  • Posts: 683
  • Country: us
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 06:55:12 PM »
Coin Op.

Get this book:

Coin Laundries: The Road to Financial Independence - A Complete Guide to Starting and Operating PROFITABLE Self-Service Laundries. by Emerson G. Higdon.  ISBN 0-9623173-9-X

As a matter of fact, I recommend this book for anyone who is starting any kind of business.  It is so thorough that the thought process can be transferred to any other start-up.

It gets nothing but high reviews, but it is pricey and possibly out of print.  But spend $100 bucks on it, 'cause it is worth it.

I intend on having one or two coin laundries as my retirement plan.  If you can make your laundry energy efficient, and handle the repairs (i.e. machines, plumbing, electrical) as well as keeping it clean and vandalism free, you cannot help but to make money.

If, on the other hand, you pay people to do these things for you, yet still expect to be buried beneath a mountain of shiny quarters, you will find that doesn't happen so much.

Offline Wedgeman55

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Aug 2008
  • Posts: 932
  • Country: us
  • Man vs Appliance - Never give up, Never surrender
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 02:38:00 AM »
Having worked in this field for 40 years,   I would say Anderson is correct.    That is a good book to read,  I still have a copy of it somewhere.    I also have gotten Coin-Op - the industry trade magazine.    And other reading material.     What I have seen over the years,   and more recently within last 10 years are most important things to make a laundromat profitable -------
 
Fix as much as possible by yourself.    Preferably Everything!  That is the main point.   To pay someone like myself to fix everything for you,   you will not make alot of money.     Helps to know plumbing, electrical and general maintenance.      This is the main key to making money.   The ones that go out of business usually sub out everything.     Very costly.   

Invest in a card system.    Advantages are many.   First,  saves you the trouble of collecting coins from individual machines.   Instead,  one central place to collect money.    More secure,  less chance of someone tampering or robbing.     Second,   if someone is short of on hand cash,  allows someone to load a smart card or mag-stripe card with money from credit card.    (example - if they show up with blankets and want to use the 125 lb washer that costs 11.00,   they have option to charge it.   With coins,  they may walk without spending with out taking credit cards)   Also,  you can program the machines to take different amounts of money at different times during day or days,  allowing a little discount during off peak times.     Spurs some people to come to laundry in times of day when it is usually slow.     And fourth,  you can increase prices by pennies instead of quarters or other large increments.      Allows quicker increases of cash instead of quarterly or yearly raises of 25 cent or other increments.      You can go from 2.25 to 2.29 and get another 4 cents a load and it wont effect anyone's percetion of a large raise.   Easier to sneak in.    And finally,  a fith advantage.    Did you ever hear of a Casino's Drop figure verses their Advantage figure.     If a casino has a 5% advantage on a table that 1,000,000 dollars passes through,  they should realize a profit of around 50,000 bucks.    However,  the actual drop (of cash at table) may be as high as 20% or 200,000 dollars.     Same thing in laundrys.   When people load up cards,   you only let them load in even amounts of 10 or 20 dollars.    The unused value on the cards may never be used,   as they take card with them.    The owner keeps the unused money value even if they don't use them.   Plus,  you charge for cards and if they loose them,   they loose value and card so you can make profit on them both ways.     

I installed one of the first card systems in the country way back in the 80's.    My old company was one of the first to start using them.    I have retro-fitted several laundries 10 years ago.   Hardest sell is getting them to part with 25,000 bucks or more to install the system on existing products.   It's hard to convince owners to convert to cards.     I am a dealer for these systems still,   although I don't really try to do make any sales anymore.    Anyone installing Brand new equipment has option to have it built in new machines.       

Get latest,  energy saving equipment.     Hot water on demand heaters instead of traditional.     These are great.   Again,  I'm a service entity for Paloma heaters (make rheem among other brands) and these can save you alot of money.   Only heat water you use.   Can bank heaters so you have all the hot water you need.     New washers use less water and energy.    Use inverter motors or 3 phase motors.   Stronger,   more efficient.   
 
If you are able to do above,   you will make money.  And final consideration - you have to have the proper location.    I have seen great looking laundries with all of above,  and they fail.   Why,   no customers.     Often,  the best location for a laundromat is either in the very low income areas where they can't afford their own equipment,   or in the city where people there is alot of rental housing.   
 
One here,  that I used to take care of,  was located in center of area where there was maybe 75% rental properties.    They made it a laundromat- hangout.     Had Tanning,  Free Wi-fi,   televisions,   mini workout area with equipment,   A kids play area and a small,  mini mart by service counter with snacks, coffee, food.   I quit working for them because they had old equipment and frankly I no longer have the time to allot to go in there for 3 to 4 hours a crack and fix their stuff.   But this is the sort of thing you want to consider if you want a laundromat.   
 
Well,  that's all I have for now.   Have to get some sleep.       
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

Offline Wedgeman55

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Aug 2008
  • Posts: 932
  • Country: us
  • Man vs Appliance - Never give up, Never surrender
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 02:55:42 AM »
Oh, one more thought.      Anderson,  I have seen many "old" guys buy laundromats as they retire.   I would be the one servicing their stuff.     Sounds good,   would be perfect for me and you except........................Key fact - getting old.    Older you get,  you won't have energy/ physical dexterity to be handling lots of the day to day repairs.    You have 2 laundries,  your going to be physically and mentally challenged.    Depending how your body feels in retirement,  might not be best option.   Then as you hire people to do repairs,   you will not make the money you need to be profitable. 

One guy here,  owns 2 laundromats.     I did repairs for him up to 9 months ago.    I got him another mechnic.   Difficult to get in behind his Washers,  have to crawl into a "pit" behind machines,  fight a tangle of hoses,   greenfield,   and braces inside housing.    Too old to be acrobat.     His equipment is now 15 years old,   and he has been trying to sell for years.   But,  every year of age on the equipment de-values laundromat.      It doesn't gain value,  it loses with age.   To put in new equipment would cost him 250,000 dollars.     He doesn't want to drop his price,  even though I have explained that the equipment as it sits is almost worthless.   If you put in new equipment,   you can write it off over a period of years.     It is not much more to build new than retrofit old.     Often,  the equipment manufacturers will finance you.     But you have to know,  the minute you build it it starts losing value on the sales market every year as equipment de-values.     

Now,  that being said,  if you laid out the laundry perfect for easier service,  and had best available equipment,   might work.     Cost for new laundry,  depending on size,  could be as much as a half million.    Last thing you want to do is put in old,  used equipment.     You wouldnt' be happy.   
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

Offline andersenappliance

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Feb 2012
  • Posts: 683
  • Country: us
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 01:32:05 PM »
Yeah,

The practical life of equipment is said to be about 7-8 years, coincidentally just about long enough to pay it off on the company's finance plan.  Actual life may reach up to 15 years, but by then the machines are looking pretty beat up. 

If I were doing it, I'd look into scanning the faceplates and having decals or new ones made.  That is where most of the wear shows up.  Most everything else can be painted.  I think you can even re-brush stainless to tone up the scratches, but I don't know. 

The most important thing is getting the maintenance done.  It is hard to have the discipline to do the maintenance, but I'd imagine it'd pay off.

I agree with you about the age thing.  We all will have more and more trouble as we get older.  My thought was to get help on it.  If I know everything about the machines, then I can hire some kid to do what I tell him to do, and he'll get valuable training as we go through everything.  There is no point in hiring some company and paying them big bucks to come out and fix something when you already know what is wrong and can order the parts yourself. 

It'd be ideal to build one from the ground up, and the book shows you how.  But getting the financing would be tough unless you have some money to put in.

I guess one way people get into laundromats is keeping tabs on the existing ones and moving in when the lease expires.  Not much to sell when there is no lease left, and the machines are old.  The leasehold improvements become the property of the owner of the building, so you need to be sure that whatever you do will pay itself off AND turn you a profit within the lease time frame.


Offline Wedgeman55

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Aug 2008
  • Posts: 932
  • Country: us
  • Man vs Appliance - Never give up, Never surrender
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2013, 02:43:00 AM »
You may be right,  Anderson,  about changing faceplates.   You can actually buy new ones from most manufacturers.     Company I was with used to rebuild some commercial washers,  and we always ordered new plates.     We actually after awhile had a company make us faceplate stickers with our name on it also.    Machines looked like new.   However,  you still in te end have old machines.   Old technology.    and alot of maintenence to keep up.     You never did one,   but bearing jobs on old machines are neither fun nor cheap to do,   even if you do work yourselves.    Thats what you can expect with old machines.   

I have seen alot of these laundromats over the years - too many to count.    If you do get an old one,  person who owns might be ready to get out and you get cheap.     Infrastructure is there,   you might have to overhaul / or buy new equipment.     You get the lease,    probably wouldn't be too tough to get a manufacture backed loan.     However,   now you have an equipment payment,   rent,  water,  electric, Gas,  and insurance payments every month.     If the location is not as advertised,  you might be in trouble.    Don't forget - most people wont give up a goldmine so if they are selling,   you have to question why.   

One owner,   who now owns a laundromat,    sat in a parking lot for 3 weeks and monitored any stores he was considering buying.     He did this for several laundromats over the years.     He counted people in,  saw how many clothes they were bringing in,    and logged it.      Several of the stores did not match what the owner was telling him.      The one he bought,   they also exaggerated the amount of business they had weekly.    He got a good deal,   did alot of promotion and advertising,   and now is doing pretty good.    He repairs most stuff himself.    If you are looking to buy an existing store,  this is a must or you might (read probably will)  get screwed.    I know of one owner who was "juicing"  the machines with quarters trying to show a potential buyer how much machines were making.     Ended up getting sued.   

Not trying to discourage you,   but just laying out facts.    I have had many opportunity's to buy laundromats,    but never did or will.     I guess I have seen too many bad things and not enough good things about owning them.     But, that being said,  with the right location,  price and good customer base,   you definatly can make money.     But all the ducks would have to be lined up,  so to speak.   

 
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

Offline andersenappliance

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Feb 2012
  • Posts: 683
  • Country: us
Re: lets talk coin op
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 11:32:48 AM »
That is excellent advice.

The book I mentioned talks about how much money you can make, but he also goes into the details of doing your own market research.  Basically, camping out outside of laundries and doing in-person interviews of your potential customers.  Nowadays, you could get that info by parking your car with a camera & recording the ins & outs.  A bit of investment in technology, but a good way of saving time and getting results.

Estimating pounds of laundry shouldn't be too hard.  And you should be able to see the utility bills and get an idea of how much business goes on from that. 

People never let go fo gold mines, but they do experience cave-ins on occasion, from which they won't dig out.  I think that a certain amount of investment is mandatory, including new machines.  The reason I mentioned make your own face plates is because they'd be way cheaper than getting them from the manufacturer.

I'll probably do it one day, but you can be sure that I will have my ducks in a row before I pull the trigger.

I think if you can do most of the work yourself, you can make money.  But in my area, you'd need coin boxes.  The customer base does not use cards. 

As far as a drop advantage, you could slant the floor in front of the machines so any quarters roll underneath.  Cha-ching!!!   :D

 

lets talk service

Started by plochhead.

Replies: 7
Views: 1535
Last post March 15, 2012, 05:31:19 PM
by plochhead.
Lets repair this: Postmaster General Gets $850,000 a year!

Started by whirlpooltech

Replies: 12
Views: 2961
Last post February 19, 2009, 08:30:25 AM
by apptech
coin opps whirlpool dryer i want to extend the dry time, can't figure out how

Started by jbneedshelp

Replies: 4
Views: 839
Last post October 19, 2013, 05:30:32 PM
by Wedgeman55