Open Forum

new machines

  • 1.  new machines

    Posted 02-09-2019 03:03
    Edited by CC vdW 02-09-2019 03:12
    Good morning to all.

    I am new to this community, thank you for having me. I wonder if anyone would be able to assist me, please.

    At this moment I am researching to open a small laundromat in Panama. The country. It will only be 4 washers and 3 stacked dryers. Nothing compared to some of you.
    Maintenance guys will not be around so quality is very important.
    My preferred brands are Speed Queen and Huebsch. The climate in panama is humid and hot.

    I am fairly certain that this is going to be a good business, however I am at this stage guessing the prices of the machines as there is simply no one out there who is able or willing to provide them to me. And I do not need financing.

    I have tried several "stores" in the us. Shipping from Ft. Lauderdale to Panama is easy and Panama uses USD coins.
    If they even reply, they say it has to go through distributors. Distributors of these brands are not so responsive, they just do not reply or are not willing to give prices away. Why the secrecy?

    Does someone know how I get my hands on the prices of new 3 phase 20lb, 40lb coin washers and Stacked LPG tumble dryers 30lb?

    It would be strange that due to bad service I am not able to buy new machines and have to go for pre owned and therefore compromise on quality?
    Maybe I should go with other brands?



  • 2.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-09-2019 13:43
    How many 20-LB and how many 40-LB? Three 30-LB stack dryers? You want them all set for DCO (dollar coin only)?  Stainless steel fronts on dryers or painted? What is the city you want them to be delivered? Is a lift gate needed, or do you have a loading dock? What is the power used in Panama? 50 or 60?  South American countries may use 50 cycle, in the U.S. we use 60 cycle. Need this information before you can get a quote.

    Maybe you don't know that distributors work in protected areas detailed in their distribution agreements. I am positive that certain brands restrict sales outside the U.S.  I could sell in Baja California, but not mainland Mexico or South Korea.

    Manufacturers don't sell direct to customers, except, I'm told, Wascomat/Electrolux. You might want to get a quote from them, but they might also have an exclusive South/Central American distributor.

    The purpose of controlling distribution outlets is to ensure that repair, parts and customer service can be provided by a local distributor. If the local distributor  doesn't make enough money to properly service the equipment, the reputation of the brand suffers.

    Answer the questions above and I'll get you a quote or recommend to you a source.

    Larry Larsen
    Anaheim, CA
    Distributor - Insurance - Consulting
    Cell: (714) 390-9969

  • 3.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-09-2019 14:47
    Hi Larry,

    Thank you for your message, very much appreciated.

    We have 110v, 60 Hz in Panama. I also have 220V for my a/c units, so that is also possible.
    I was thinking 3x20lb and 1x40lb for the washers and 3 stacked tumble dryers 30lb. Dryers LPG if possible. The 40lb washer may also be a 30lb.
    There are plenty container ships going to Panama City from Ft. Lauderdale, I believe USD600 per pallet. This includes taxes and delivery to the city of David. I have a warehouse address the machine can be sent to in Ft. Lauderdale. Then when the container is full, they ship it to Panama. Happens with almost everything.

    I understand that manufacturers are not selling directly to customers, but then their distribution network should be in order. In this case it is not. In this case the brand suffers for the lack of service they provide. These distributors simply do not respond to my questions at all. I will just have to try and buy them in the US.

    If I really cannot buy new I am forced to buy pre owned. It is a pretty difficult situation. Annoying really.

    Thanks again for your help!



  • 4.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-09-2019 15:06
    ..and yes, all DCO please.


    CC vdW

  • 5.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-11-2019 13:26
    I would buy Dexter.  There is a distributor in Florida that handles Panama. probably/certainly need more machines than you're planning on.  And...they're crazy expensive, I'd simply contact a distributor and get some used machines on pallets.  Shipping is a pain, but freight-forwarders can handle that.

    zFg4GrJQdKmJzuNFzhzA_Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 2.52.52 PM.png


  • 6.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-09-2019 17:33
    You seem to have your heart set on a different manufacturer, which is fine, they're all pretty good. But I've had good luck with the Dexter WCAD models.  There are a couple on Ebay that can get you started, usually sellers can put them on pallets and put them on a freight-forwarder's truck.  You might have to do this one-by-one.

    I looked and there's a 25-pound and a 60-pound for sale right now.

    The good thing about these machines for you is that they operate on 220v single-phase, which you should be able to get from your air conditioning (they only use two wires of the three for three-phase).

    Or, if you're really budget conscious, and utilities are cheap where you are, you can go back even farther.  There are all sorts of WCN models (earlier generation) and they're cheap. can buy some old Wascomats for not much more than the price of shipping and keep some spare parts on hand to see how the business goes.

    I mean, this would be tempting to me (unless your water is really expensive), $2,500 for eight machines?  These things are workhorses.  Plus, they're a pretty blue.   You could get a whole laundromat started with these and see where it takes you.



  • 7.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-10-2019 05:04
    Thank you, Luigi, for your helpful message.

    I have contacted that Dexter distributor that you gave me. Let's see what they will come back with.

    I still do prefer new machines. I cannot mention the name where I want to set up shop online yet, because of other people with the same idea might be quicker. I intend to start buying the machines and redoing the building in October/ November this year. The town where I will start this business has about 5000 permanent residents and 100.000 tourists yearly. There is no competition yet. Just some hotels that do laundry for their guests and some small drop and pick up service from locals. Location is great and I think there will be a lot of demand. There is no way I can have issues with the machines. The building will be completely redone from the inside, including some extras for customers to enjoy, so the machines also have to look good and clean.

    For now I am just going to have to wait for prices and see if I really am able to go with new. I will keep an eye on those ebay listings as well. And I am in contact with Owners Laundry Warehouse for pre owned.

    Thanks for your help again!


  • 8.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-10-2019 17:30
    Head's up: you're going to pass out when you get the quote for new machines.  Without shipping, the smallest are every bit of $5,000US, the bigger ones get closer to $10k.  New machines are very nice, but you can stock a bunch of spare parts and buy more machines (the number of machines you want to buy is too few, even for a tiny store, you will be limited to one customer at a time, machines take about 25 minutes to run, so there's a reason even small stores have 10-20 machines.

    But good luck, it seems like you're on to something.  Another option is to go back in time, we're pretty advanced, but you can buy brand-new Speed Queen toploaders for $1k each, complete with coin drop and everything.   We've all moved on from these, but hotels routinely keep a set of two top loaders and two dryers, vended, for their guests.   Side load machines are great, but like I said, the closest Dexter equivalent is five times as expensive, meaning you could buy five brand-new machines of a style everyone is used to using for the price of one tiny side-loader.  And brand-new Speed Queens will probably run five years without an issue, and I imagine parts would be available.

    Also toploaders don't have to be mounted.  You don't know anything about the business yet, so you aren't familiar with the concrete requirements and the grout and concrete-drilled bolts to fasten the machines to the ground.  This is critical, it has to be concrete, it has to be thick enough and you have to do it right or you'll have a nightmare on your hands.  Trust me on this, it isn't just a "little vibration", the new machines store so much energy they'll pull loose and kill people as they tumble across the store.  Top loaders, nothing of the sort.

    Used, $500, new, about $1,100.


  • 9.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-09-2019 20:15

    Not sure if you qualify ... but I remember when I was involved with mission work in Guatemala ... there were some strings pulled & the State Nat'l Guard did some serious freight delivery ... caravan going to .... rather than from ... if you will.  If labor was not so expensive up here in the USA ... I would have more thoughts about rebuilding some Wascomat Gen4s making them more energy efficient & also accurately more efficient IMHO than some of the new equipment hype.

    Michael Walsh
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND

  • 10.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-10-2019 16:46
    Luigi is on the right track.You are in a place with limited parts accessibility. You should look at new Dexters . Very trouble free and easy to work on. You may not be getting response from some because where your from. We tend to get a lot of scam pitches from other countries.

    Chris Mirisciotta
    Canon Coin Laundry
    Canonsburg PA

  • 11.  RE: new machines

    Posted 02-13-2019 18:11

    You may want to check the per capita income for those 5000 permanent residents you mention since that might have a bearing on the price level you will charge.  Will those residents be OK with spending what you will need to charge or ROI & ROE?  Will you mostly get those 5000 to come in because they do not already have easy access to their home washer?  If they have access to smaller washers ... with there be enough large comforter etc business because they will seek out your extra large machines?  How much can you bank on those 100,000 tourists every year?  What is the average stay for those tourists ... time wise?  Will they be there long enough for their clothes to build up.

    When it comes to visitors to our area ... the business that we can bank on tends to be workers on an area project.  For example we have had a wave of wind turbine related customers ... power plant & refinery construction & scheduled 5yr maintenance episodes & similar influx of temporary customers.

    It baffles me on how the laundromats in town used to get a large wave of business during simple things like when our Class A & Class B high school basketball 4 day tourney is held at our Civic Center ... not as much anymore & it is not because the competition is getting that wave of business either.

    There was two separate years in the past where we got a large wave for about 2 weeks if I remember from the Air Stream RV Association convention goers ... maybe you have enough of those kinds of waves to sustain your planned investment of brand new & only the best etc .... not sure.  I think Luigi makes some good points.

    I don't mean to be too negative but it seems like you might want to factor all costs including the extra good mechanical & electrical & sewer etc layout that you plan & is on your actual layered blueprints.  Hopefully ... the "build it & they will come" axiom will hold true for you & possibly co-investors

    Michael Walsh
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND