Ice vending machines have been around for years, but during that time they have received some very innovative attributes. Most machines are still operated by coins, but there is a trend of newer machines that are capable of receiving credit card payments. Let's take a closer look.
In this day in age where customers are more conscious of the purity of their water, the modern day ice machines offer 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 very popular machine in this category is appropriately called the Ice Cube. It is a state-of-the-art in ice vending machines with characteristics such as fewer moving components and offsite observation capabilities. However, the most incredible feature is the machine fault alerts 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 send out phone alerts when an error occurs. This clever characteristic is a particularly strong selling point for owners of these types of machines because it reduces the need to make frequent trips out to the machine to check on its performance. As if the phone were not convenient enough, owners can actually track the machine's status with a wireless device such as a Palm or Blackberry.
Other capabilities exist as well. Like traditional ice vending machines, the Ice Cube produces ice in bulk. But traditional versions lacked the ability of accurately dispensing the same amount of ice consistently. Today, once the customer pays, the ice can be weighed and bagged. An additional feature that reduces maintenance costs is that these machines do not need to be cleaned as frequently as their predecessors due to their design and use of purified water.
All these bells and whistles have a hefty price tag though. An individual machine costs approximately $126,000. The installation and utilities are an additional cost of $4,500. Yearly 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 much for the first-time investor.
There are a few ice vending equipment companies worth considering for those interested in buying such a machine. For example, Aqua Polar and Iceberg Vending are reputable companies that should be considered. Each company offers attractive deals and advanced machines. For instance, Iceberg offers machines that are virtually theft-proof with the machine made of monolithic concrete. Aqua Polar, on the other hand, provides smaller more affordable units.
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It is important to stay current with the ever changing trends in the vending business to stay profitable. Right now, a DVD vending machine is where it's at. Mark Sierra invites you to visit Vending Equipment Online to find out more.
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