machine owner spotlight
“If you buy a machine, you’re going to make money. The location’s a big thing.
My name is Richard Moore. I run a auto parts business here in Covington, Georgia, Newton County, just below Atlanta and I’ve been in business for 34 years.
I first was introduced to ice vending machines, they put a Twice The Ice machine in this town, which was about seven years ago. And I actually went there the night before the fourth and bought ice and I told my wife then, I said, “I’m going to get me one of those machines.” So my son and I checked in to the Twice The Ice and it was very expensive. He got on the internet and we were able to find Kooler Ice, which we looked at some videos, called in and talked to several people about them. And I didn’t even go down to the place, I just told them on the phone, “I want one, when can you make it?” And they said, “We’ll get right on it.” I sent them the money. And by August the 14th of that same year, I was selling ice out in front of my store here.
I purchased my first 810 machine. And of course they told me that, “Well you probably will do 200, 250 bags a week would be about the best you might do in the good months.” Two weeks into it, we were blowing that mark out of the water. And so from there, business got so good with it that I was giving out ice on the weekends. About a year and a half later, I bought another 810. I had both machines out there for about the next five years and did very well with them. Was able to pay them off in about a four, four and a half year period. And then about six months ago, I purchased two of their 2500 machines. I put one of them in front of my store, my parts store here. And I took and put the other one near Jackson Lake, which is about 25, 30 minutes away from here. I took one of the 810s that I had had in front of my store all those years, I put it at another location in a small town about 30 minutes from here called Newbern, Georgia. And all three machines are doing very well.
We started out, on any location I’ve ever had, we always started out with the local shopper magazines in this area. And then we also, there was a small ad that you could put on a television station here in town and we would run ads on that. We usually ran them anywhere from three to six months. After that period of time, normally we had enough word of mouth going on that our business had increased enough that we didn’t really have to worry about advertisement. I would also pick one or two days out of the week where I would go to the machine and I would sit and I would talk to customers as they came up. A lot of times, what I do when they come up, I would talk to them about it. I’d give them free ice. And of course, all that did was just fuel the word of mouth to everybody else in town.
It’s very simple to understand. They can give you any kind of technical advice you need over the phone. They all built these things. They were there from the beginning and they can tell you even what size wrench it takes to work on what you’re working on. I had an 810 machine that I still am running and I had the blower motor go out on it, which it had been running seven years before it went out. And there were four bolts to take loose, one plug in. We bolted it back up, plugged it back in, and had it running within 20 minutes. The people down at Kooler Ice are some of the best people I’ve ever worked with. I have called them on holidays, I’ve called them at nine o’clock at night and they have called me back. They have given me the information I needed.
I guess the most important thing that you want to do if you’re going to buy a machine, because if you buy a machine, you’re going to make money. The location’s a big thing. You want to make certain that you look for an area that the traffic’s not running by there at 65 miles an hour. You don’t have to be on a corner. You can be somewhere that it’s just not right stuck out in their face, but you want it where the traffic is slow enough that they’ll pay attention to it. You want where people can pull in and out very easily. You want to have your area clean. And you want to have your area well lit because I have people at my machines, they buy at two o’clock in the morning and they may buy at four o’clock in the morning. But when you pull up to one of my machines, it is like daylight there anytime during the night. Because let me tell you, if you buy a Kooler Ice machine, you’re going to make money. There’s no doubt about that. I have had no problem showing a profit each year since I’ve been in it.”
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