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    Self-serve laundry?
    Hello all. I am curious if anyone has set up or bought an existing self-service laundry for side income. It seems like a business that wouldn't command a ton of hours except for maintenance, handling the financial aspect, and of course regulatory oversight.

    Has anyone done this? Would you again? Thanks much.


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    I've never done it, but my grandfather owned a couple of laundromats in Virginia and did quite well with them. I think there is a good profit to be made, but you have to get high-quality equipment and make sure that it's well maintained.


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    Thanks for the info, Lindakay. If you don't mind me asking, where those two locations his only business operations or did they just provide side income?

    Also, agreed on the maintenance factor. No one wants to do their wash in a funky facility. I'm thinking finding an existing business for sale and replacing any machines with newer ones. If its not already in place, maybe adding some vending machines too.


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    Depending on the age of the equipment you will possibly find yourself doing a lot of maintenance. A friend of mine had a self serve laundry business and fortunately he was mechanically skilled so he could do all of the repairs. The machines do take a beating over time so that would be something to really consider before anything else.


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    You can go to your local used appliance store, and get a washer-dryer set for $100. Nobody uses laundry services anymore.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gmac9100 View Post
    Nobody uses laundry services anymore.
    It really depends on the location. For example, this is a college town and a lot of younger folks still use self-service laundromat. In fact, there are several in operation day and night.


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    Yes, I agree with SteakTartare, I think it depends on the location. If you choose a location that's near an area where there are lots of college students or single, working professionals then I think it will be a lucrative business. I live in the Philippines and most of us do our laundry at home. But laundry shops here are still in demand especially in areas where water is expensive or not supplied regularly, but most especially in areas with college students living in dormitories. In fact, I think the self-serve laundry would be a big hit in the Philippines since most of the laundry shops here take about two to three days to deliver laundry.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SteakTartare View Post
    It really depends on the location. For example, this is a college town and a lot of younger folks still use self-service laundromat. In fact, there are several in operation day and night.
    Exactly. In fact, a LOT of places still use laundromats as their main location for laundry. Sometimes apartment complexes will have their own laundry areas, but if they are frequently full or don't work very well, then people tend to go to a laundromat instead. It's also more convenient for some people to drop their clothes at a laundromat in the morning, switch them at lunch time, and pick them up on a break while they're at work instead of trying to do laundry in the evenings.


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    The success of this kind of business largely depend on the demographic of the people where your business operates. If you are starting new, you may find that those machines are not cheap. You have to be able to estimate the most effective number of machines you require to generate a good stream of income. If you are buying an existing ones, remember to check the warranty of the machines and/or if they have been properly maintained. The one thing I am always concerned from buying a second hand stuff is the robustness of the product. You would not want to pay for maintenance every week because your machine is always acting out.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SteakTartare View Post
    It really depends on the location. For example, this is a college town and a lot of younger folks still use self-service laundromat. In fact, there are several in operation day and night.
    This is exactly what I've been thinking about lately. I wonder if there are any untapped college towns right now. If you can get a laundromat within walking distance of college dorms, you can make bank. People hate using the usually few machines that are almost always occupied at the school that generally costs more than a laundromat. Put free wi-fi and you'll have tons of students coming in, staying for a long time, getting tons of loads of laundry done.


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