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Vending Business Information, Issue #024 -- High Tech Ice Vending Machines Are Making Cool Profits
July 09, 2011

High Tech Ice Vending Machines Are Making Cool Profits

Ice vending machines have been around for years, but during that time they have received some very creative attributes. Most machines are still operated by coins, but there is a trend of newer machines that accept payment via credit cards. Let's take a closer look.

In this day in age where consumers are more conscious of the purity of their water, the modern day ice machines deliver their ice on the spot with purified water. This can be particularly comforting to travelers who are unable to obtain bottled water or filtered water from their regular routine.

A best seller in this category is the aptly named Ice Cube. It is a state-of-the-art in ice vending machines with traits such as fewer moving components and offsite observation capabilities. However, the most incredible feature is the machine fault notifications that are delivered by phone. The operating system of the machine's diagnostics are controlled by a top-of-the-line industrial grade computer that will deliver phone notifications when something goes wrong with the machine. This clever characteristic is particularly useful for owners of these types of machines because it reduces the number of trips out to the machine to check on its performance. As if the phone were not convenient enough, owners can actually monitor the machine's status with a wireless device such as a Palm or Blackberry.

Other characteristics exist as well. Like traditional ice vending machines, the Ice Cube produces ice in bulk. But traditional versions lacked the capability of accurately dispensing the same amount of ice consistently. Today, once the customer pays, the ice can be weighed and bagged. Yet another feature that reduces maintenance costs is that these machines do not need to be cleaned as frequently as their predecessors thanks to their design and use of purified water.

All these bells and whistles come with a hefty price tag though. An individual machine costs approximately $126,000. The installation and utilities are an additional cost of $4,500. Annual operating costs are estimated to be around $13,150. This includes the utilities, the land lease, insurance, and supplies. Even though financing is available through private institutions, the price may prove to be too high for the first-time investor.

There are a few ice vending equipment companies worth considering for those interested in buying such a machine. For instance, Aqua Polar and Iceberg Vending are reputable companies that should be included for consideration. Each company offers attractive deals and advanced machines. For example, Iceberg offers machines that are essentially theft-proof with the machine constructed from monolithic concrete. Aqua Polar, on the other hand, provides smaller more affordable units.

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PS I enjoyed this article by Mark and hope you did also. You can start large or small in the vending business and grow an income that most people only dream about.

PSS I will be writing this news letter from our motorhome the next two weeks and I hope you will join Marcie and I as we go exploring here in the midwest.

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