looks like a vending machine is $600 locally. if you have a slight markup on things from it it would probably pay off in a year or two. Without the compressor etc running I am sure the electrical cost would be minimal. And if it was not in direct weather that would help.
The shop that has the vending machine around here is right in the center of one of the hotter nightlife areas, so it sees a ton of traffic.
[quote=TimArchyLime]I’ve also seen the vending machine option before. ATMO it seems like way more of a pain to keep it stocked/opperational than any of the tube sales methods mentioned above. Unless it’s outside of a shop that still sees high volume after closing.
I’m pretty sure actual vending machines only stay profitable when what is being sold has a 2-300% markup or something like that. And when they sell a lot of it.[/quote]
I don’t see why any of that would be so. Just buy a vending machine on Craigslist, read the manual and figure out how it works, stick it outside your shop, and check it every other day to see what needs restocking.
We have a vending machine or two around me, but every time I see them they’re fully equipped with an Out of Order sign.
What are all the tube questions?
Presta or Schrader (Or Dunlap, but really?)
Size of Tube
Could be solved with a basic bingo-board shelving system.
Length of valve is probably another important factor.
LTF, my bet is that a large portion of the population does not realize there is more than one kind/size of tube and if they, they have no idea what theirs is.
I bet a large portion of the population doesn’t realize there is a tube inside their bike tire.
Well there aren’t any in mine!
Our shop has gels and stuff under main sales counter, and 4 tubes on the side wall next to it (road presta/schrader, then 29 and 27.5" prestas). This allows us to ask them what size they need and if they know schrader or presta first.
All others on stairs to the basement. Work stands downstairs have bulk tubes for most sizes.
Some number cruncher at the head office for the giant company my bike shop is located within decided to eliminate some SKU’s by getting rid of 700x23-25 48mm tubes, noting the apparent redundancy with 60mm. The decision was reversed in a matter of days.
The 32mm valves could be easily eliminated
I had a tube with a valve so short it barely had enough for the pump head on my Open Pros. What normal rim is much shallower than that?
old timey box rims
Well, I was sick of buying long ass valves on accident, so I just said “gimme the shortest possible valve” so I guess I get what I get.
I’m lucky my pump head screws on, I couldn’t pump them with a push on deal.
Shop i used to work was mainly frequented by commuters, so tons of flats, but not always the most bike savvy customers. Tubes were on the wall right by service (and additionally just inside the back for mechanics to grab without leaving the service area). 75% of people did not know what size they needed, so it was good to have it within eyeshot of sales and service so that we could help, but people could also easily help themselves (and they often did help themselves to the wrong tube sizes).
“What size tube do you need?” was answered with “There are sizes?” pretty frequently…
Lol. I was this person at one time. I think we all were.
Yeah, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked “What size?” and been followed with a long, blank stare and a guttural “uhhhhhhhh…”
Had a guy on a Walmart bike come in with a flat a while back. I almost hated to charge him to fix it because the $20 he spent on labor and a new tube was worth more than the bike…but such is life. I noticed the wheel was particularly heavy when I took it out, but just attributed it to the bike being shit. Unseated the tire and tried to pull the tube out…and my god, what is this? It’s almost solid…
Dude had been filling the tube with goo for 5 years. Five fucking years. The tube itself weighed nearly 2 pounds and was essentially a smaller solid tire inside his actual tire. He said “I wonder if that’s why the bike is so slow”