Archive for January, 2013

Should You Buy a New or Used Vending Machine for Your Business?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 | Permalink

by Sue Barrett |

Are you getting started in the vending machine business? If you are looking for equipment to buy, it can be worth your while to look into used vending machines or refurbished models. You can sometimes save thousands of dollars.

Even though you can save money by cutting your costs, you want to be smart and do your research. Since this is an income opportunity, the most important factor in your purchasing decision is your bottom line. Just as much as you do not want to overspend on your equipment, you do not want to have vending machines that constantly break and are out of operation – not producing any income for you.

If you are starting your company on a tight budget, keep in mind that used equipment may cost less, but newer or refurbished options may offer great financing on equipment. Run the numbers and see if you can qualify for financing. Depending on your situation, sometimes newer models can end up costing you less money in the long run.

Refurbished Vending Machines

You can often get refurbished vending machines from the same shop that sells new models. They can include warranties and the equally fast shipping and easy delivery that you would expect when buying brand new. This applies whether you are purchasing a snack vending machine, soda or even frozen food machine.

When comparing refurbished items, look at (1) warranty coverage, (2) what type of inspection is done on the machines prior to sale and (3) the repair service available. Warranties generally run from one to three years. You sometimes can get extending warranties, adding years on to the standard protection package.

It is nearly impossible to know exactly how long a particular refurbished model will last and how well it will run. However, you can get references and customer testimonials from the vending company to better predict what to expect before your purchase.

Used Vending Machines

You can find used equipment offered in the classified ad section of publications or on websites. Generally cheaper than a newer, refurbished model, used equipment may require you to pick up. If delivery is offered, it may not be as fast or convenient as it would with a large retailer – and you should not expect a warranty.

When buying used without a warranty or service plan, you either want to be knowledgeable in vending machine maintenance and repairs or know someone who is. This will take a large amount of the risk and hassle out of buying equipment that is not new and is likely to need more care.

If you find a used vending machine for sale that is in close proximity to you, and you have a truck plus manpower available to easily pick up and move the machine, this can be a great opportunity for you. If the owner is anxious to sell, and there are limited buyers in the area, you can often negotiate a great price.

As with most business purchases, you want to comparison shop to find the best deal for your particular needs. Get advice from people who have already operated their own machine businesses. You will gain great insight that can help you save money and increase your profits.


To read more about vending machines, refurbished vending machines, and how to start a vending machine business, visit our website:

Arcade Game Or Pinball Machine – Which is Right For You?

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 | Permalink

by Jon Ferraro |

It’s an age old question: pinball machine or arcade game?

It’s a tough a call! The majority of us are not lucky enough to have the money and/or the space for both. If you do, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

Obviously they are two different kinds of machines that have a very different fan base. Generally, but certainly not all the time, arcade machines tend to have a younger following than their pinball counterparts.

But the most important thing to remember is what goes well with the machines. How does the game fit the decor of your home.

For instance, arcade games tend to go really well with a room that has more of a college atmosphere. You should college banners as well as ping pong table, big screen TV, etc.

Arcade games, like this used mocap boxing arcade game, tend to go really well with a room that has more of a college atmosphere. Get yours at

Pinball machines have a more sophisticated (for a lack of a better word) vibe. They give that impression of a stylish bachelor pad. Perfect for a game room with darts, billiard tables, etc.

Pinball machines can also work perfectly with the decor of the home. For instance if you put an arcade game in the hall or living room they would tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Meanwhile pinball machines can work under the right circumstances.

I don’t care who you are. Seeing an old pinball machine from the 1950s in someone’s house just adds an element of “cool”. Just like an antique that’s hanging on the wall, it really adds a lot of charm to the presentation of a home.


Visit our website:, for further information about arcade games, arcade pinball machines, and vintage pinball machines.

How to Start an Arcade Business

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 | Permalink

by Family Entertainment Center |

If you are looking to start an arcade business, the new amusement entrepreneur must first understand the local market opportunity, the demography of that local market, and just as important, his or her own arcade business goals.

There are many options to consider when looking to start your arcade business, including the arcade games you will need for your target customers, and the type of game play your arcade business will offer. This includes different arcade machines, redemption games (ticket games) and the play value of each of these game types.

Start an Arcade Business

If your goal is to start an arcade, you may very well be looking at starting a fun center business with an arcade game room. The reasons for this are many, check out the article Video Arcade Game – A Business in Decline to see how and why the arcade business is changing.

When starting an arcade business, there are several things to keep in mind. Your arcade game room is a player in the overall family fun center attraction mix. Depending on your fun center business goals and your target market demographics it might be a key player, or it might just be a necessary component to the long term success of your business. Make no mistake, arcade game machines are still in fashion and profitable in the right location, with the right mix and game room design.

The point of this conversation is to open the eyes of the new arcade startup to the bigger picture. Old style, stand-alone video arcade game room just doesn’t have the pull, or the community attraction they once had. However, a successful arcade business has become an integral component of your overall attraction mix and the fun center or indoor party center business itself.

Family fun center businesses are smart to include an arcade game room, if it makes sense for their target aged customer and local demographic. For a younger indoor party center demographic (typically 10 years and under), video arcade games are not as popular as redemption games. Secondly, mothers are the primary buyer for this younger demographic and justified or not, often see the content of these video arcade games as violent and destructive. If on the other hand, your market includes tweens, teenagers and young adults, a video arcade game room is expected and will do well with the right arcade game mix and game room design.

Arcade Business – Design for Profit

Among all the video games and redemption (or ticket) games available for your arcade business, each one has it’s own playability or play value. When combined together into a cohesive arcade game room, the total mix of your video game selection should provide your arcade business customers a well rounded and highly playable guest experience. Depending on your target demographic, a good game room needs to offer your guests an assortment of arcade machines and gaming experiences.

For example, you need quick play games, novelty games, merchandise and redemption games, shooting games, driving games and traditional pinball games. If you are going to be catering to a younger demographic you may also want to include kiddie games.

How to Start an Arcade – Space Planning

Here are some base rules of thumb when looking at designing a successful arcade game room:

  • Use an estimated 50 sqft of floor space per game (100 games = 5,000 sqft).
  • You can bunch games up side by side, or back to back to save space.
  • Video arcade games need approximately 4 feet clearance in the front of the game.
  • Basketball or SureShoot type games require 6 feet of clearance in the front of the game.
  • Redemption games can vary dramatically however, a minimum of 2-3 feet in front and 1-2 feet on each side.
  • If you are using multiples of the same type of games or titles, you can push these games side-by-side to reduce the amount of space required.
  • For larger, multiplayer arcade coin games or redemption games that can be played by 4 to 6 players at a time, this type of cabinet game should be used as an eye-catcher and placed in a visible spot with a minimum of 4-6 feet around the entire game.

Your family fun center, indoor party center and other amusement attractions are a fun place for families, tweens, teenagers and groups of friends to go play and spend some time (and money) together.
 There are a wide assortment of video games, arcade machines and coin operated games that can help make this experience diverse, entertaining and time well spent for your guests.

To develop a successful arcade game room you need to offer your guests a good variety of game-play and play-ability, from a diverse set of arcade machines and redemption games.

 When designing your game room, the game mix and game room layout are the key areas of planning for long term success in your attraction business. As with space planning for your amusement fun center in general, providing your guests with a visually pleasing and traffic friendly layout is the corner stone of arcade game room success. At a glance, your fun center guests should be able to quickly feel enticed to enter the room and select an arcade game to start playing.

Arcade Game Room – Final Thoughts

Once your guests find games to play, how they play those games are just as important as which arcade machines and games they play. Some games are multi-person games and require a lot more space than a single pinball machine would need. Popular games tend to draw a crowd, and having a visible location for such games, with enough surrounding space to accommodate those crowds is also important.

When looking to purchase arcade machines for your business here are a few key things to keep in mind;

  • Your target demographic – who are your customers, and what ages are they? This will help you to determine the ultimate make-up of your game selection, arcade games vs. redemption games.
  • The amount of floor space you can devote to a your game room. As mentioned above, arcade machines and interactive games vary in size and can require a lot of square footage if you intend to offer 60-70 games.
  • Consider good crowd control and space management when placing games. Focus on visibility and popularity – bringing the hot games to the front of your game room will encourage play and guest participation as friends watch friends play.
  • Use lighting to enhance the room and direct guests focus to specific arcade machines that are proven revenue earners.

Spend the time to plan and design a good game room with the right game selection and space planning now, and it will help draw strong repeat visits and revenue opportunities today and over time. If you need help in arcade game selection, click here to find a list of arcade amusement companies at the amusement equipment directory website.


To read more about arcade games, arcade machines, and used amusement center equipment, visit our website: