F. Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions :

Questions and answers below may or may not pertain to a particular style of machine. However, in most cases, the answers can be applied to most RVMs.

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What are some of the business basics including costs and profit for a reverse vending business? Click Here.

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What is the current price for aluminum cans? (larger regular amounts) Click here

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What different ways of payment do you accept other then leasing? (Payment is not complete until all funds are available)
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Domestic check. Domestic checks are checks with accounts within the USA. 

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Foreign checks are not accepted, due to high rate of fraud. Foreign checks are checks with accounts outside of the USA.

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Money Order

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Wire transfer

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Cash

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Credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Credit card payments are taken over the phone and are limited to US dollars.

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Can I lease equipment? - We recommend leasing through: 
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The Granite Leasing Co. www.graniteleasing.com or Chuck Territo at 1-800-246-7997 (US). This company provides excellent flexible financial assistance.

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Do you require down payments ? - In most cases and it is usually 50% of the package price. The machine must be paid in full before F.O.B. (it's loaded for shipping).

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How do reverse vending machines work? Click here.

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Do the machines support the US dollar coin ? - Yes, upon request.

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What are some of the characteristics of the new user friendly international design for reverse vending machines? Click here.

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Do the machines read bar codes (UPC labels) ? - Upon request a bar code system can be installed. However this option raises the purchase price.

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How do counting machines count ? - The RVM machines count cans by means of a metal detector and or an IR beam system. This eliminates weight issues such as moisture or counting other non-Ferris materials such as plastic bottles or pieces of paper. The detector's sensitivity is automatic so that it will not read small pieces of aluminum. High volume counting conveyors use a variety of sensors from lasers to bar code scanners.

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How easy is it to get replacement parts ?  - Very easy and fast. Either through Automated Recycling or a local Industrial electrical distributor. Some parts such as the coin mechanisms or metal detectors can be ordered directly through the manufacturer. The computer is usually a simple a desktop or laptop computer.

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Will the machine support coins from another country ? - 99% of the time - Yes. Additional time may be needed to make the appropriate software and hardware changes, for the first order. 

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Is there support for other languages other then English ? - Yes. However, software translation may take additional time for first time software translation.

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How hard is it to use the software ? -  The software is very user friendly. All that is needed is for the operator to have a basic knowledge of using a computer. No special software\program knowledge is needed.

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Can I make copies of the software ? - Yes, one copy is allowed for backup purposes only. A backup copy comes with the machine.

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What kind of computer is used ? - An IBM compatible computer. Usually a refurbished Panasonic Toughbook laptop.

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Is Microsoft Windows needed ? - No

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How much does a new or refurbished RVM machine cost ? - Click here to be routed to the current prices.

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Do you have any brochures? - We do supply an interactive video downloadable program. Other then that, we primarily use the web site to relay information due to speed and ease.

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How much does insurance cost for a RVM? Click here.

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How much does electricity cost to operate a RVM ? Click here to see how much it cost us to run one of our own RVMs.

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What are the electrical requirements for a GoldCan ? - A minimum 240VAC , 50A, 60Hz, single phase service. The GoldCan can be retrofitted for 50Hz and lower VAC, if needed. 

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How much does a GoldCan weigh? - About 5,000 pounds empty. 

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How does one move a RVM ? -Click here to see Unloading / Loading machines - preferred techniques

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How much does a GoldCan RVM store ? - Depending on how one adjusts the can crusher and the model of machine, it can range from several hundred pounds to around 1,500 pounds.

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What ways can someone sell the cans purchased from the public? - There are a lot of ways to do this and some may be better then others depending on your location and circumstances. Someone may simply sell the cans to a local larger scrap dealer or they might sell to a regional UBC (Used Beverage Containers) dealer by leasing a blower to fill up a semi-trailer which would be replaced by the dealer when it fills up. The lease can be as little as $1 per year. Some people used to use densifiers but any more people lose money going that route.

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How big is a RVM ? - Approximately 10' tall by 7' wide by 14' long for the Golden Goats and 14' tall by 8' in diameter for the GoldCan style.

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Can I request a different shape for a machine ? - Yes. Custom orders are reviewed for acceptance.

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Can I order my own decals ? - Yes. Decals along with the color(s) of the machine are discussed on a machine by machine basis.

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What about customer support ? - Automated Recycling provides customer support to the original purchaser of the machine for the life of the machine.

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What about warrantees ? - Warrantees usually vary with each order and are specified in writing before the purchase takes place.

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How is a machine shipped? - We can assist buyers to find the least expensive shipping methods. 

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Shipping costs for semi-trailer shipping? - I recommend trying the following links to help someone to find the least expensive shipping : movefreight.com  nationaircargo.com  uship.com  . I sometimes can ship a machine myself - Contact me if you need assistance.

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Is this business immune to the global metal market? - Different global trends will cause aluminum prices to go up and down. This is normal and the nature of the aluminum market.

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What is a good surrounding population of people for a RVM? - From personal experience, I would suggest four thousand and over.

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What would be a good location for a RVM? - If the neighborhood treats vending machines well then it should be considered a fine neighborhood for a machine. Consider locating machines in a highly visible and easy to get to location next to a well traveled street.

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How do I ask a store or business for permission to place a RVM? - Sometimes simply asking someone in authority is all that is needed. I have included a program for people/businesses to use as a guideline in promoting the idea of placing a RVM in a parking lot. It is important to remember that sometimes a store does not own the parking lot. So this may necessitate the contacting the true owners of the lot. If you want to see a version, click here. To see an agreement, click here. These are all examples and should be checked by your own legal department for your specific locality. 

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How do I check for required permits to operate a RVM? Check with your local government about what is needed to operate a vending machine in the desired location. Then explain that the machines pay for goods rather then selling goods. A sellers permit should not apply in this case. A scrap dealer permit may be needed or nothing at all. The person who knows the answer to vending permit requirements should be able to help you out or direct you to who can help. Another good place to start is with the City Clerk.

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How about additional information to add to a RVM business plan? - Please call for further information or see the current featured business for sale on the home page.

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Do you have an example RVM business plan? Click here

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How does one depreciate / deduct a RVM business in the US? - The IRS allows some equipment to be fully deducted in the year it is purchased or depreciated over time but because each case is unique, it would be prudent to ask your CPA or other qualified person for your best case scenario. A good place to find general information about this is at  http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=177054,00.html and www.section179.org (for 2009).

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"How do you go about securing a site? When you have a number of them to choose from what rental rates are you looking at generally?"

From experience, try to stick with local businesses. Ask for an appointment to speak to the owner. I have had the most success when speaking with owners. Be presentable and respectable. I personally like to let the owner know that I take full responsibility for the operation, appearance, and maintenance of the machine. I also have liability insurance and pay for all of the electrical costs. I reinforce the fact that they are under no obligation what-so-ever - Of course, you will make your own terms. If it is conducive for their business, I also relate to them how the machine acts as an additional customer draw to the location and it pays the customer cash which in turn is often spent locally.

When it comes down to how much the land owner gets, I know of one location where the store realized the benefit so much that they allowed the machine to use the store's electricity at no cost and they even took care of emptying the trash cans for the machine! In other locations, it is common to pay a royalty of the cash paid out to the customers for a given time period such as a month or two. The royalty can range from 2% to 10%. This is very similar to some regular vending businesses. Some have also purchased land for their machines seeing that they could always get their money back for the land -if not more- and the taxes are minimal because no permanent structures are usually on the land thus their cost for placing a machine on their purchased land was actually a separate long term investment.

Rental / Royalty rates can vary a lot depending on the circumstances.  

 

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