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Laundromat general questions

Dan-Ark

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Any laundries set up for using tokens? Seems you would get the same "walk away" benefit, have less cash on hand and be able to centralize your cash intake to one secure facility. Any reason not to take credit cards (phone pay, etc etc) at the token dispenser again to have one (or two) swipers to maintain and secure.
 

MEP001

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I hadn't considered that mainly because I'm not at all familiar with the acceptors laundry equipment uses. I also wouldn't want to dispense only tokens from a changer because people really don't want to have unused tokens left over. I could do the bill breaker/bill-to-token combo a local car wash operator has done, which his customers like because even if they have a $20 they can get just a few tokens and change. It would also certainly be a lot less expensive to have a CC swiper on a token dispenser than have a swiper on every piece of equipment, but I know of a laundromat chain that's cashless except for purchasing a prepaid card. I'd like to be able to offer a bonus amount or some type of loyalty rewards.
 

JGinther

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We set ours up just like Dan-Ark mentioned. We have a changer that dispenses dollar coins and quarter combinations, and we have a Hamilton Credit card to token machine. We value the tokens at 1 dollar. Our changer also has a coin acceptor to break dollar coins down to quarters when people think we are 'stealing from them' by only giving them whole dollars instead of allowing them to use 1 quarter at a time on things like dryers. Imonex is great to work with... We ordered all of our machines 'coin acceptor delete' and ordered Imonex short drop 2 coin/2 token acceptor. They somehow, in only an inch of drop space, can accept dollars coins and tokens the same size valued at a dollar, and quarters along with a token the same size valued at a quarter. Since all the machines use short drop coin acceptors, the options are very limited and many are still mechanical quarter only machines because of this. We have relatively high credit card use due to this setup, and have programmed the vending machines and car wash/vacuums to accept the same tokens which is nice because people get bored waiting on laundry and will wash their car. It would be nice to have card readers on all of the machines, but its just a huge waste of money considering this token method seems to work fine... And walk off tokens more than make up for the fee of processing the card. We have one single card reader running the whole show. The changing needs of the Credit card compliance is easier to swallow in this instance versus over 100 card readers being behind the times...

I tried to order validators on our large machines and everyone looked at me like i had 2 heads. There's not a easy secure way to do it without it sticking out in some direction. The laundry market evolves about as fast as a crocodile. I don't get it. I have also found that the general laundry customer isn't forward thinking about payment methods either. Many don't have a clue what a dollar coin is. Many don't know that you can pay with them. Even after saying to them...'you can pay with them'... they still don't get it... They want 'their money back'. A large percentage (1/3 I would guess?) just think laundry machines can only take quarters and they are happy with that.

I know of laundromats which have used only card acceptance where you prepay on a 'wash card' to pay on every machine. While that would be super awesome from an owner standpoint for a plethora of reasons, I think the market would shrink dramatically - they just don't get it. And on top of that - many believe that 'cards are evil' and they 'don't trust banks' and heard from their cousin that 'they can cheat you by stealing your money if you use their card' and whatever nonsense they believe since they went bankrupt when they had their first credit card with 'free money' on it. Car washes hit a much broader spectrum of population than laundromats do, that's for sure.
 

MEP001

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Many don't have a clue what a dollar coin is.
I've seen the same thing, evidently dollar coins are still getting through my Slugbusters (Done with them, btw) and someone got one from the changer instead of a quarter. He didn't recognize it as US currency and asked me if it would work. He wasn't from my usual demographic, he was a white man whose first language was English.
I know of laundromats which have used only card acceptance where you prepay on a 'wash card' to pay on every machine. While that would be super awesome from an owner standpoint for a plethora of reasons, I think the market would shrink dramatically - they just don't get it. And on top of that - many believe that 'cards are evil' and they 'don't trust banks' and heard from their cousin that 'they can cheat you by stealing your money if you use their card' and whatever nonsense they believe since they went bankrupt when they had their first credit card with 'free money' on it.
That's a good impression of the potential customer base we're looking at. If there's something cheap to install we might consider it, but either way it'll still take quarters. If for some reason we can find a demand for a machine that needs $15 to start, I'll add a bill acceptor box next to it or maybe just put a Cryptopay swiper on it.

Thanks, I really appreciate the info I've gotten so far. Still haven't gotten a reply from the admin of coinwash.com.
 

mjwalsh

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Some more items to show support for laundromat wise: For those who prefer the highest possible denomination coins option for the much larger quantity of individual pieces of laundromat equipment ... it would be helpful if the commercial manufacturers would standardize the openings so a wider variety of coin mechs could be used ... especially the highest quality such as the MicroCoin QLs etc.

Another standardization that would be helpful ... is what has helped the self service car wash industry & that is the ability to not have too many obstacles for the interface wiring for choosing the number of wash & rinse fills etc .... On the dryers it tends to be just "time based" like in our SSCW bays.

BTW .... there is a significant quality difference between commercial ($$$) grade soft mounts & more residential grade soft mounts from what I have gathered. Europe might be ahead of us in that department ... not sure.
 
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