Day 23: Dream Machine (Part 1)

By far our most significant investment would be in our frozen custard machine. With the success of the business resting entirely on our ability to serve quality and consistent product, it was essential to get this step right.⁣⠀
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Our mentors encouraged us to find a Taylor or Carpigiani – the best-known brands in the game. “Don’t take risks with your machine, just spend the money.” To get a brand new model would be £5-6k, outside of our budget, so we would need to track down a decent one second hand.⁣⠀
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We found one on Gumtree that looked just the ticket – great pictures, reasonably priced (£2k) and little use. The issue was that it was being sold by an independent vendor (not a business) and it sounded too good to be true. To find out more, we sent through this list of questions:⁣⠀
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1. What is the history of ownership?⁣⠀
2. Under what conditions has it been stored?⁣
3. Do you have experience using the machine?⁣⠀
4. Have you ever noticed any functionality issues?⁣⠀
5. Are there any visible signs of wear on any parts?⁣⠀
6. Could you send a video of the machine working?⁣⠀
7. Do you have a record of service?⁣⠀
8. If not, would you be willing to arrange a service?⁣⠀
9. If not, would you be willing to offer warranty?⁣⠀
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One thing we were able to read into the answers was their willingness to engage and be helpful. Though it was still difficult to take the answers at face value, at least we got a sense of transparency.⁣⠀
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Since the answers to questions 7, 8, 9 were negative, we had gained some room to negotiate. The lack of maintenance meant that we were taking on more risk, and we would immediately incur a cost to service. In the end they agreed to knock 20% off and we pencilled in a date for collection.

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