• Report: #354737

Complaint Review: U Turn Vending

  • Submitted: Wed, July 23, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, March 04, 2010

  • Reported By:Helendale California
U Turn Vending
1460 Commerce Way Idaho Falls, Idaho U.S.A.

U Turn Vending, U Turn Vending-A colossal rip off of an overpriced,over hyped business! Idaho Falls Idaho

*General Comment: Marketing. Location. Charity. Advertisement. Knowledge.

*Consumer Suggestion: Suggestions for getting into the vending business.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: All true stay far far away

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Where do I begin as there's so much to say about this company and there so called "Money Machine." Money machine alright, but for U Turn, not the vendors! We were even told this business is "recession proof." NOT!!!
Right from the start my wife & I were leary of the high cost of the machines, but we were reassured by our sales rep, don't worry, you'll make your investment back within 6 months to a year. Were we stupid. We fell for every line we were told, and actually believed the hype about how simple yet profitable this bulk candy vending business is.

After laying out over $17000 just for 36 machines & shipping, they then sat in a storage unit for 3 months waiting for the company locator to become available to place our machines. That's another $80 per machine to have them located. What a joke that was! This guy didn't spend any more than 3 minutes at a place to try and put a machine there. I know, I was with him on one occasion. I kept questioning the location, and he would tell me to trust him, he knew what he was doing. He sure did. He made a lot of money off of us, and left us with some absolutely terrible locations.

Within the first month we had a machine stolen, and 2 more were emptied of candy without a nickel to show for it. Within about 4 months we had to remove almost half of our machines because the owners no longer wanted them in their place of business.

The reason we paid to have them "professionally" located was because we felt we didn't know how to do that. Well, neither did the locator, who by the way was considered the best U Turn had to offer.

We paid $450 per machine. ( list price is $799) These things are no way near worth that. They are by far the most expensive bulk candy machines on the market, with virtually no re-sale value. I know, I've been trying to sell them for over half a year with only pathetic offers of $100 per machine. I recently found out that now U Turn is undercutting their own sales reps by selling them directly to customers for $399. Isn't that great for all of us who paid $450, or even $500 each? Another indication of how these people operate.

Now for the parts of the machines themselves:
The cannisters crack a lot. They are very expensive to replace. If you don't replace them, the candy inside will go stale quickly.
The coin mechanisms break or jam frequently.
The so called "freshness seal" basically starts to disintegrate within six months, which again ,makes the machine look bad.
The paint on the machines chips very easily, which of course makes the machine look terrible.
Just look at ebay to find these U Turn vending machines, specifically the Eliminators, and Terminators and you'll find how little value they have.

On the company's website is a little automatic calculator that shows how much money is to be made with each vend. What the little calculator doesn't show is how much the product to put in the machine costs. Candy, and especially peanuts, cashews, almonds, are very, very expensive. When considering the cost of getting into this business, they never really fully explain how much money it costs to buy the candy. Believe me, it's a lot more than you could imagine.

After a year and a half in this business, it would seem to me that one would have to have a very large number of machines to make any "serious" money in bulk candy vending. Any small number just isn't worth the cost of product, the cost of gas servicing the accounts, and the cost of possible breakage associated with any vending machine

If a person wanted to get into this business, I highly recommend a much less expensive machine to do it, as there are many, many such machines on the market that won't take your life savings away trying to make it in the vending business!!!

Helendale, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/23/2008 12:23 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/U-Turn-Vending/Idaho-Falls-Idaho-83401/U-Turn-Vending-U-Turn-Vending-A-colossal-rip-off-of-an-overpricedover-hyped-business-I-354737. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

Marketing. Location. Charity. Advertisement. Knowledge.

AUTHOR: Estimated Prophet - (United States of America)

Bulk candy machines have been and will continue to attract children at locations where their parents are busy--perhaps a laundry mat.  

Professionally located in " " within this report is precisely the first bullet point to examine within an outline of a marketing strategy--hence my decision to reference this first rather than in the body of a rant on fiscal implications directly related to said business/machine owners'  lax decision making.  

(For the record, I'm not getting paid to provide this content, I just enjoy retrospective complaints that are ostensibly inconsistent with the providers history and years of service, yet dead-on when it comes to lack of initiative and perseverance to understand the value in providing charitable advertisement to promote your service.)

I write these words out of complete empathy for your downward spinning depiction.  I write these words with indelible experience in business decisions gone stale, but I never blamed it on the products or the people and places I offered my services.  I merely changed my business plan by consulting with someone that had experience with selling a particular brand and doing some research. Getting to know the owner of a store is important, especially if you arrive twice a month for money. 

The reasons why vending machine campaigns are successful, ones that are fully functioning and properly maintained, are defined by the hours it could take to place them in locations that you perceive prime.  Then the time to shuffle them and use variations in selection or locations takes more than a few months to dial in a consistent profit and marketing strategy or history to base a strategy on.  This is a passive income generator for your business but when it comes to logistics and marketing, being passive about what sells and what needs replaced (probably under warranty) is the exact opposite of how a CEO conducts business.  Your business state of mind should not be any different.   

In closing, cashews from Sam's are rather inexpensive and if one is so eager to express such hot tempered and condensed dollar amounts reportedly wasted, the claims of this ripoff ratio report bundled within content (concluded with getting ripped off on gas prices) undermines all the pitfalls in this story.  
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Suggestions for getting into the vending business.

AUTHOR: Gil - (U.S.A.)

I understand your comments quite well. I am truly sorry that this is happening to you. However, I would like to commnet that the Locators that I have used in my vending business have not been referred to by U-Turn Vending. I sought these locators myself. They supplied me with more than I asked for. At the moment I had 7 machines, mostly from 1800 Vending, and the locators supplied with with a very long list of potential locations. I still have the list, by the way. I wound up with 10 locations with 7 machines available. I evidently was able to turn down the locations that I deemed were "unproductive". Out of the 7 locations I still have 4 machines still in business with 3 that I purposely removed. All 4 locations are doing well. My highest paid location makes approximately $150.00 per month. The big problem with this location is the high commission that I agreed to pay the location manager - 50%. I found out later that how you present your package to a potential location will determine whether you will pay a commission or not. If you look too professional and fail to mention that you have partnered with a charitable organization your commision will tend to be extravagantly high. Well, I learned my lesson. This locatin is in an "eatery" where various restaurants are located. It is also next to a movie theater where kids and adolescents gather. I have managed to place 2 other machines in this location with very little effort, and yes, no commision. The entire "eatery" makes approximately $200.00 per month.

Please understand that the vending business is not a get-rich-quick-scheme by any means. Like any business, you must make it happen. There is a learninjg curve that everyone must go through. One mistake that I made with another location was to place candy that I personally liked. instead of what the client wanted. This evidently back-fired at me - another part of the learning curve.

One problem that I have with my U-Turn machines is in reference to the time that it takes to service each one. I can spend approximately 20-30 minutes to service each machine. However, I have noticed that the greatest time is spent on "counting " the money that each machine generates. I count the money on each machine at each location where I also give a commission. This counting process takes approximately 10-13 minutes of unproductive time. In order to solve this lost time, I am going to purchase an electronic counting machine that can do the same work in just a few seconds.

I am not dissatisfied wiht U-Turn or any other candy machine manufacturer. I have learned that every single type of machine has good and bad qualities - no single type of machine is free of imperfections. What one lacks the other type has. U-Turn machines have plastic parts, however, they can generate higher incomes because of its selection capabilities, than any other type of machines. 1800 Vending, or "Pure Energy Vending", has one of the strongest coin mechanisms in the market and they are almost jam-proof, but lack in selection capabilities. Mentos vending lacks in selection capabilities but offers a high traffic flow when you supply the potential customer with different types of the "New Filled Center" gum. Altoids machines basically offer the same and lack the same.

Please contact me if you or any other U-Turn customer would like to sell me various of your machines, at AlienCapsule@yahoo.com Thank you.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

All true stay far far away

AUTHOR: Former Salesman - (U.S.A.)

U-turn used to be a good company with people who cared. However as times got tougher things changed . The locaters they use suck and wont stand behind their locations, most of the salesman have left the company. The vending business can be a great one for years I had my own route and did well. But times change. The cost of these machines is way out of whack and be careful if you meet one these people on the road. Like Pam and nimer . There motivation for selling you is commission. Thy get 30% for each sale plus a monthly bounces and a yearly one. So on a basic package they get 3000. also they will always sell you the machines cheaper, there is a bottom and they don't care if you buy 1 or 100 also don't believe the games , like when they tell you to come up for training there goal Is to sell you more machines and if you are dumb enough you will believe all the crap they do like they will tell u that there is some scratch and dent machines or the ever popular some one backed out a sell all crap, they will lie to get your money and there sales meetings teaches them how and also all scummy tricks they can find,, good luck you will need it.
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