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Startup Costs

You can expect to encounter a number of basic startup costs to get into the laundry business. Depending on whether you build a new laundry in a leased space or buy an existing one, your costs may include:Market research (literature/subscriptions/association fees)The cost of an existing laundry business

  • Construction or remodeling (if you are building a new laundromat)
  • Washer hook-up fees (sewer connection)
  • Licenses/permits
  • Equipment

Keep in mind that if you buy a laundry, you don’t pay for licenses or sewer connection fees (unless you decide to have additional washers installed). But you will have to pay for renovation and any new equipment you decide to install if you want to update the laundry.

What’s Inside

In addition to these basic startup costs, you may also have a number of ongoing expenses. These include: 

  • Lease/rental costs
  • Utilities (gas, sewer, water and electric)
  • Insurance (fire, theft and liability)
  • Employee payroll/benefits
  • Miscellaneous supplies (cleaning supplies, soap, invoices for wash-and-fold, bathroom supplies, etc.)

Research and DevelopmentOnce you’ve completed your initial research on the laundry business, you will need to figure out how much it will cost to build your store-to remodel a space and fill it with laundry equipment-or to buy an existing laundry. Whether you decide to buy or build, you can expect to pay between $200,000 and $500,000 for an average-size laundromat (about 2,000 square feet).

If you’re buying an existing laundry, figuring out your major startup costs is simple-just determine the value of the business. If you plan to renovate the existing store by painting the interior or putting in new flooring, be sure to add these costs to your startup expenses.

Figuring out your startup costs involves a little more work if you decide to build. Since you’ll be leasing a space that was something other than a laundry in a previous life, the cost of the construction is going to depend on how much remodeling you have to do. If the space you’ve chosen was formerly a beauty salon, for example, you’re going to have to add enough water, sewer and gas pipes for the conversion to a laundry. You’ll also have to provide enough electrical outlets, possibly move a few walls, and completely redecorate before it will look like a laundromat. You should hire a contractor to help you do all this remodeling.

In general, you can expect to pay about $200,000 for the construction costs to remodel an average-size space (2,000 square feet). This includes the cost of installing your equipment and putting in folding tables and seating. The remainder of your major startup costs will be buying the equipment itself.

Licenses and Hidden FeesThe licenses and permits you will need depend entirely on your location. Check with your municipality regarding:

  • Business license
  • Health department license (if you are serving food)
  • Fire department permit
  • Air and water pollution control permit
  • Sign permit
  • Public improvement fees
  • Impact fees

You should also be aware of a few lesser-known fees that will affect you as a laundry owner. In many areas around the country, municipal water districts charge sewer connection fees. These can cost you anywhere from $200 to $8,000 per washer. If the fees are $8,000 per washer, the owner of a laundry with 30 washers must pay $240,000 in hook-up fees-almost what he’ll pay for construction! Brian Wallace of the Coin Laundry Association tells us that high hook-up fees are one of the biggest problems facing the coin laundry industry today. “Before you get too far down the road, make sure you understand what if any impact fees, tap-on fees, wastewater fees-they call them lots of things-there are,” says Wallace. These fees are a major challenge to laundry developers. And in areas where operators are forced to pay these fees, the price of laundromats has also risen dramatically. If the fees are high in your chosen area, you may need to reconsider your entire plan.

In addition to sewer connection fees, you may find that you have to pay sewer and waste water fees, too-check with the local municipality. Don’t neglect to check on these charges when you’re researching a laundry business. After all, you will be using these utilities heavily, so you’ll want to know if the monthly charges will be manageable from the get-go.

The GoodsIf you decide to buy a laundry, you will already have a full complement of equipment-unless you want to replace a few of the older machines or add a few more machines to meet customer demand. However, if you decide to build a laundry, buying equipment will eat up virtually all the rest of your startup costs. You can expect to pay between $150,000 and $300,000 to fill an average-size laundromat with washers and dryers.

Top-load washers cost between $500 and $700 each, and front-load washers cost between $3,500 and $20,000 each, depending on their size. One stacked dryer (which means two dryers arranged one on top of the other in a joined cabinet casing) costs between $5,000 and $6,000.

If you want to add a card system, it will cost you in the neighborhood of $40,000 to $80,000, including readers on the machines, a card dispenser and cards, and the software to compute equipment usage and let you change prices. It’s pricey, but take heart: With a card system, you don’t have to buy a change machine, which runs in the ballpark of $1,000 to $3,000.

A water heating system will run you between $15,000 and $40,000, and a soap vending machine will cost between $500 and $1,500. Those laundry carts that let customers transport their clothes from washer to dryer cost $50 to $75 each. Supplies such as soap, cleaning equipment, signs, clocks, and trash cans should run another $750 to $1,000.

4. Try a gas station or pharmacy

If your local gas station or pharmacy doesn’t have a long line, you can also ask someone behind the counter to exchange your dollar bills for a few quarters. Additionally, some gas stations may have an ATM where you can withdraw cash from your bank account. Then, you can use your withdrawn cash to ask for quarters.

Traditional Payment Systems: The Pros and Cons of Coin

1. Coin Operated Payment Systems

Many prospective laundromat owners enter the laundromat business assuming that customers will pay for their machines with quarters. And while there are more advanced systems available, for some, coin is still a viable option.

2. The Pros of Quarters

A great thing about coin is its availability. Just about everyone has access to coins — something to consider if your laundromat is in a neighborhood where not everyone has a credit card. Coin systems are also suitable in areas with a lot of temporary residents like tourists or seasonal workers who may only want to use your store a few times and are not interested in loyalty programs.

3. The Cons Of Cash

Security, vandalism, and maintenance are the downsides of choosing coin as your main payment method. For owners of fully-staffed laundromats, these may not be major concerns. But if you plan to open a self-service coin store, you’ll need to plan for regular visits to your premises to empty coin boxes.

Remember! With LaundryPay, customers can use cash to top up their accounts. Simply add a LaundryPay kiosk to your store.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Where can I buy washing machine quarters?

  • Stop By The Bank
  • Fast Food Establishments
  • Grocery Stores
  • Car Washes and Laundromats
  • Gas Stations and Pharmacies

Where can I buy laundry coins?

  • Visit your bank
  • Get change after grocery shopping
  • Find an arcade (or laundromat) near you
  • Gas station or pharmacy
  • Buy things with cash

Can I get a roll of quarters at Walmart?

Yes. Customer service desks will transform your bill into quarters in many big shops, such as Target, Walmart, Walgreens, groceries, and pharmacies.

Can you get quarters at an ATM?

You may simply obtain quarters in business hours and ask the distributor whether he can withdraw money from your account in a quarter. If you require changes in bills, go to any shop in the cashier and ask if they can make changes to your bills.

How many quarters does a change machine hold?

With four standard-sized hoppers, the MC840-DA will hold up to 12,800 quarters ($3,200 capacity), the MC840-DA can dispense coins, tokens, or a combination of up to four coins and tokens. SHIP WEIGHT: 365 lbs.

How many quarters does it take to do a load of laundry?

On average, you will have to wash one load for $2,25 to $3,50 (9 to 14 quarters), and around 25 cents are washed for 8 to 15 minutes.

Do I bring my detergent to the laundromat?

Most washing machines supply detergent for vending machines. Some people even provide you with complimentary detergent. However, owing to preferences or allergies, you may want to bring your own.

Should I stay at the laundromat?

Do not leave your items in a washing machine. When they leave the washing machine for a bit and maybe make a coffee shop or catch a cup, it’s okay for employers to leave their clothing in a washing machine or dryer.

Where can I get a roll of quarters for laundry?

  • Grocery Store or Convenience Stores.
  • Fast Food Establishment.
  • Arcades.
  • Gas Stations and Pharmacies.
  • Car Washes & Laundromats.
  • Soda Machines.

How do I get 2021 laundry quarters?

  • Every several months, purchase quarters rolls from your bank. Depending on your washing demands, you may need $40 or more.
  • Visit your laundromat and bring this change back to the washing room.
  • Save each quarter you ever own and keep it somewhere till you are necessary.

Can I still get quarters from the bank?

Banks will have fourth rolls that are 40-quarter rolls that amount to $10. Therefore, you will need 10 $ in cash to swap cash for a quarter of a roll.

Can you get coins from an ATM?

ATMs give out money instead of coins. It is preferable to visit the money services counter in your local Kroger family of shops if you have to withdraw odd money or a little amount of money.

Where can I get a change for $100?

  • Banks and Credit Unions. Your bank or credit union will be able to change your $100 bill without a problem.
  • Grocery Stores.
  • Walmart.
  • Target.
  • Restaurants and Bars.
  • Cash-Only Businesses.
  • Spas and Salons.
  • Tattoo and Piercing Shops.

Are we still in a coin shortage?

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic is yet to occur, but it won’t endure forever. The #GetCoinMoving hashtag has returned.

Why is there a coin shortage?

Yes, the COVID 19 pandemic still is, but it will never last. It’s always the case. This is the Great American Coin Shortage 2.0, and the culprit is the COVID-19 epidemic, you guessed.

2. Get change after grocery shopping

You can always get some quarters at the grocery store so you have enough coins to pay for your apartment’s coin-operated washer and dryer. After you checkout, you can ask the cashier for some quarters, and if you pay in cash, you’ll automatically get change. Unfortunately, the cash register may be limited on quarters, so you may do best to ask for just a small number of quarters. To avoid any hassle, get quarters when there isn’t a long line of people behind you.

Related Resources

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Blog Article How to Do Laundry Safely and Operate a Laundromat During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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