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From blcothran@ttinational.net Mon, 15 Oct 2001 16:49:47 -0700
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Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 18:49:25 -0500
Subject: Antares machines
From: Bryan Cothran 
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I began my vending business approximately 5 years ago with 14 of the Antares Refreshment Centers. The potential income claims by Antares are not false. However, they rarely occur in the first 6 to 12 months of this type of business.

I don't believe that it is good business sense for any company to make any kind of claims as to the amount of money that one can or will make. The amount of money you make in any business depends on what you are willing to put into it.

In my case, it took about 2 years of blood, sweat and tears to build my business to a level where I was not only paying my note on the machines, but was actually making an income. One cannot expect to buy a vending machine, have someone else do the work to place it in an account and then sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

If one is willing to do what it takes, then this business will work. I hope that you will put this on your website so that people can have another side of the Antares story. I am living proof that you can build a successful vending business with these machines! If any of your readers have any questions that relate to the Antares machines please contact me at mail to: user bcothran at domain midsouth.rr.com

Lynn


I responded to Lynn with the following series of questions:

Thanks for writing. I hope you can provide me with a few more details of your experience.

Are these the same kind of machines that Natural Choice USA offers for about $18,000 for a set of 4 to attendees to their presentations?

I'd like to know the area you're located in, whether you obtained your initial machines through Natural Choice USA, and what your total investment in them was for the equipment and how much additional you paid for the placement of the machines?

Finally (and most importantly) can you tell me what your gross profit (sales less cost of product and commissions) has been from those initial 14 machines for the first 3 years of operation? help!


Here's Lynn's response:

I ran the vending business for the previous 5 years. I have recently sold this business. To be honest, in the first 2 years of this business I did not have any profit at all but did manage to pay for the loan on my equipment, which cost me approximately 4700.00/each. When I purchased my machines in 1996 there were several options, the first package being 3 machines and the biggest package being 14 machines. I bought the 14 machine deal for the purpose of being able to purchase more at a later date of 3300.00/each.

I sold all of my equipment including established locations on 10/19/01. At this time this business was producing approximately 2500.00/month profit. I hope this is of help to you. Thank you for putting my comments on your site. If you need any further info that I might be able to provide, please let me know.


Although you seem to have a positive perspective on your vending machine experience, people who are promised wheelbarrow-fuls of money ("more money than you've ever dreamed of") might be less than thrilled with the results you achieved.

Do you have any comments on the people who are disappointed with the locator service that Natural Choice provides? People have said that if you weren't satisfied with the placements, they would send out brochures for you at a buck a piece or so, and that they considered a location that sold just a few dollars a week to be good. Did you find a better approach to placing machines, or do you think you were just fortunate to get good locations?


I did have a very good experience with my vending machines but honestly at this point I would not do it again. In 96' when I first got involved with Antares, I was told that they would send me a mailing list and the four color fold out postcard brochures to help with placement. That is exactly what happened. I mailed out the brochures and then any prospective customer who was interested in a vending machine for their business would mail the postcard back to Antares. I had a distributor number that was stamped on each of the brochures that I mailed out.

After Antares got the postcards they would make the initial call to the prospective customer and get pertinent information such as: number of employees, hours of business, amount of walk-through customers and if they currently had any other type of vending service. They would then call me and give me this info and the number and contact person. They also mailed me the postcards back from these prospective customers. I placed several machines this way and the rest I placed on my own with the help of my husband. I did find out after several years in the business that the minimum amount of employees you need in an account needs to be at least 50. I think Antares says 15 to 20 employees but this number is way too low. Each of these people would have to spend a dollar a day every day for you to make money on an account this small. You and I know that this probably is not going to happen.

I have never heard of Antares charging a dollar a piece for these mail outs. This was part of the marketing program with the purchase of the vending machines. Antares has always been very helpful to me. To this date if I called Antares with a question, my business builder would be willing to help me in any way that she could (after 5 years).

The only comments I would have for people who are disappointed with the Antares locator service is that you bought and paid a pretty penny for these machines. If you want your business to work then you are going to have to be the one to make up your mind and make it work. There are all kinds of ways to make this business work. Be creative and go out there and find to accounts you want. Give your customers the service that you would like to have from a vending company and keep your equipment clean and in proper working order.

If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know!!

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