Advice for selling amusement equipment online part 5 food and game concessions

Hello again; I apologize for getting behind on this series of posts. I was knocked off my schedule by some dental work that left me uninterested in work for several days. But now I am back.

My intention was to finish these posts by the middle of November as by then most people that will have equipment for sale have already listed it. That or at least it is too late for them to plan because the rides, games, inflatables, concessions machines, etc will already be in winter time storage. But today I am back to continue with suggestions about selling your food or game concession equipment.

In this pos we will talk about food and game trailers. We will also address the different types of game booths. Most food items are sold from trailers or carts, but there are also some food items sold from booths; and we will talk about them. And then there are the individual concessions machines and game equipment. I’ll have suggestions for all of these.

Food and Game Trailers

When it comes to concessions trailers, you can expect some of the same questions that you would for a mechanical ride. They will want to know the manufacturer’s name, year built, trailer dimensions, weight, electrical demands, number of axles, size of wheels and tires, overall condition, and of course its price. You would need to include the list of food machines or game equipment if included. Some trailers are sold without the equipment. They will need to know the number of awnings and how difficult they are to raise and lower. It would be helpful to know what type of vehicle you have pulled it with or how heavy a truck you believe it requires. Your experience as to the maximum number of workers that can be in a unit at the same time would also be valuable. And if you can give an approximation as to potential capacity or gross that would be very helpful. Lists of suppliers and information on profit margine may help with someone new or relatively new to the concessions field. You should decide if you will include a truck in the sale. And you absolutely need to tell them if the bookings will be included in the price. Potential buyers need to know if they are buying a trailer or a whole business.

opening photo of a soda salloon beverage concession trailer for sale on the midway marketplace

This listing for an old fashioned soda salloon trailer is a good example of a concession trailer listing. The photos are solid and the equipment list is very detailed.

Game Booths

Other than game trailers there are basically two kinds of game booths. They are either aluminum and canvas or wood with canvas. You would start with the type of game it is along with the dimensions of the booth and the weight of the canvas. While it may seem obvious, you need to specify whether it is a center game booth opening on three or four sides or a line up game booth opening on only one side. With aluminum games, the buyer needs to know the name of the manufacturer and the heft of the frame. There is a big difference between an easy up and a professional carnival quality booth. If it is a wooden one, then people need to know who framed it as builders have reputations as to the quality of their work and the ease of use of the booths they have built in the past. Also, age will be more important with a wooden stall than with an aluminum one. And you need to include the name of the company you bought the canvas from in addition to the color and weight. This is because differing canvas makers provide higher or lower levels of quality. So, the canvas company you bought from will definitely effect the perceived value of the unit. Be sure to give the size and dimensions of the signage as well as the number and types of lighting used. Tell people what kind of stock you use in it, the prices you charge, and the average numbers of winners. These are critical to determine the potential earning power for a possible buyer. You need to decide if the game will be sold with or without the game equipment, signage, lighting, or prize stock. And again you should decide if a truck will be included. And if continuing with the same carnival or in the same location is an option, then this too will improve your equipment’s value.

photo of otterbacher bul dozer game trailer for sale on the midway marketplace

I don’t currently have any complete game booths for sale on the website, but this ad for a set of bull dozers or coin pushers will give you a good idea of what you should shoot for.

Food Tents

Like I said, most food is sold from trailers; but there are a fare number of families operating out of tents or canvas booths. I actually sold a Texas corn roasting business this spring that was operated out of a ten by ten aluminum and canvas booth. With one of these stands people will want to know your history with state and local inspections. Were the inspections more difficult to get or did you have to pay additional fees for not having a trailer. Also, are there food items that they cannot sell without upgrading to a trailer. They will also need to know how difficult it will be to get new bookings or keep existing ones using an open food stand. Just like with a game booth they will want to know the dimensions, color, weight, and age of the canvas. Does the unit come with awning canvas or night walls for some semblance of security? Do you have a dolly, hand truck, or other equipment to make the set up and take down easier? Will you be including a truck in the sale, and can you at least assist the new buyer with securing the bookings for the upcoming year?

Food Carts

With food carts the questions will be similar to food trailers, but there are a couple of differences. For starters has the cart been used for mobile food sales or has it been in the same location for years. The difference is important because it will impact the ability of its new owner to move it to a new location. Many carts that have been on one location for a long time no longer have the transport trailer. So, the buyer may have to bring a cube van or large pick-up truck with them to haul the cart home. Carts vary in quality, so does yours have electrical outlets, sinks, holding tanks, gas or propane burners, shelves, marquee, etc? Does it come with a large umbrella or picnic tables?

this is a photo of a like new willy dog hot dog cart for sale on the midway marketplace

In the above ad the owner is selling a very nice cart but she went out of her way to make sure I knew that the large addditional sign and the roof pictured are not included in the sale. This often happens when someone has more than one booth and is wanting to make the one they keep as strong as possible.

game and food equipment

Sometimes, you will want to sell some of your equipment but hang on to the game booth or food trailer. In these cases you need to be very descriptive on the equipment. If they are concessions machines, then people will want to know the names of the manufacturers along with the make, model number, size, capacity, electrical usage, water needs, and the age of the equipment. You should state whether or not supplies for these food machines are available and from where. If it is game equipment, then the buyer needs to know if you purchased it or built it yourself. They will want to know how many of each item is included and the names of companies where they could buy replacements when necessary. Being able to provide a list of prize suppliers as well as a list of vendors to be avoided would be helpful. They will need to know if they meet with any applicable regulations concerning carnival games. And if you know of upcoming regulations that will make the game equipment obsolete, then you should tell this to the buyer. Your experience with the games can really help a potential buyer especially when they are new to the business. You can tell them about problems to avoid with the game. Anything you can tell a prospective buyer that will give them confidence of getting their investment back will be helpful.

Photo Suggestions

When it comes to taking photos of food or game concessions equipment, I believe you need more than when selling a ride. You need to have photos of the booth open and closed in daylight and full dark. Try to take the when open photos with a crowd around the booth. You also need to have pictures of the inside of the trailer. These inside photos should include wide shots as well as close up photos of the major items of equipment. And I will tell you a trick that I have learned from posting trailers and booths on my own website. Start with the outside photos. People are far more likely to click on a link if the first picture is a good wide shot from the outside that shows the whole trailer including marquee and canvas skirting to its best advantage. And since there is a lot of competition for sales, you want people’s attention to be grabbed by that first photo. You want them to keep looking and fall in love with your trailer, booth, cart, or equipment items.

photo of a very nice french fry and corn dog trailer for sale on the midway marketplace

I used this technique in the above listing for a very nice french fry and corn dog trailer.

If you have any amusement, concessions, or confection equipment that you are planning to sell, then I hope you will consider using the midway marketplace. If you would like to get an idea of what kinds of equipment I have for sale, then please visit the equipment listings section on my site. I do work on a commission basis, but I don’t receive anything unless I am responsible for the sale. There is no application or set up fee. And regardless of the number of listings you want to place or the value of the items you have for sale; everyone gets the same high level of care. You will each get the maximum effort to find your equipment a new home. You can either send me an email or use the submission form.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, then please share it with your friends, family, and colleagues. I would love it if you would leave a comment. I have comment love premium on my site, so you can receive up to three back links by leaving a comment. You get a link to your website, twitter profile, and most recent blog post. And at least for now its my policy to visit the sites of people who leave comments. So,, its also an opportunity to pick up another fan and regular visitor to your site or blog.

I love hearing from my readers. Whether you have a question or just want to discuss the amusement industry, I hope you will use the contact me link and drop me a line. I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks and take care, Max

14 thoughts on “Advice for selling amusement equipment online part 5 food and game concessions

    • Hello Jacqueline; Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’m glad I could bring back memories for you. How exactly did you end up working for them, and what made you give it up? Most people working in this industry have a crazy story behind how they got into it. Got any old contacts you could introduce me to? smile Well, I had to ask. I am curious where you saw the post or how you found it. And I’d love any suggestions you have for improvements. Thanks again and take care, Max

  1. Great tips, Max – very detailed and well laid out – I love the friendly way you explain exactly what prospective sellers need to do, giving examples of effective strategies and tactics, without being at all patronizing. Your posts have a lovely conversational tone – you come across as someone who knows his stuff and genuinely wants to be helpful.

    I like the lay-out and pictures, too – makes me want to go to the fair!
    Susan Neal recently posted…15 Beliefs To Supercharge Your Writing CareerMy Profile

    • Hi Sue; Thanks so much for your comments. I’m almost blushing. smile I’m glad to hear that my helpful nature comes through in the post. As I have learned from you and other good friends in the blogging world the best way to promote yourself is to help others. If you do this with an open heart, then you will be rewarded. I am hoping that after reading my suggestions more people will decide to list with me. But i would be happy to know that I helped them regardless of whether or not I receive a listing out of it. And I have worked hard to become an expert in this field. Why should people make some of the same mistakes I have. But I’m happiest to hear that you approve of the layout and like the way i included the photos and other links. I’m going to celebrate with a second cup of coffee. Thanks again my good friend and take care out there, Max

    • Hello Pamela; Thanks for visiting the site and your insightful comment. As a blind computer user and blogger I do my best to provide good information in a format that is easy to read along with relevant photos and links. I’m glad you think my suggestions would be helpful. And since I am looking to someday travel for my business I look forward to more of your advice in this area. Thanks again and take care, max

  2. Hhhmmm….well here in NYC where you see food vendors on almost every corner, I still remember my mom not allowing me to buy a hot dog from the vendors because of a nauseating image she put in my mind. A statement starting with “what happens when the vendor needs to use the bathroom”…that did it for me.
    TheGirl recently posted…Man Sues wife (successfully) for UGLY ChildrenMy Profile

    • Hello; Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your comment. Unfortunately some people get into the food vending business who have no natural aptitude for it or business in general. When this happens the whole industry gets a bad reputation. And this is quite often a reason people want to sell. This is why I mention that prospective sellers should include information about past health inspections and whether or not the unit wil meet with any future regulations they are aware of. I also tell them to make it clear what items can be sold given the existing equipment. As a clean record with health inspections has value i hope I hear from the good guys instead of the ones like you are talking about. Please come back again. Thanks and take care, max

      • Yeah, I’ve never seen anything bad with food vendors (but I’ve seen bad things in restaurants that I worked out), but it was one of the hypothetical my mom posed to me. Most vendors in the city do not have a large truck like the ones in your picture where it seems to have the proper amenities (a sink!). Some sell hot dogs or falafel from their little carts….I’m just happy I got that Hep A shot.
        TheGirl recently posted…Man Sues wife (successfully) for UGLY ChildrenMy Profile

        • Hi; this is getting a bit off of topic, but I thought new york had made strides in having healthier food carts. One of my examples was of a hot dog cart probably what you are used to seeing. and yes there can be health problems in restaurants even major chain operations. feel free to email me at maxwell@midwaymarketplace.com and we can continue the conversation. thanks again and take care, max

    • Hello Sebastian; I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the site. Thanks for taking the time to look around and give me your opinion. I have been told that too many bloggers fail because they don’t pick a niche and stick to it. And its always good to hear people see you as an expert. that’s what we are all striving for. I have enjoyed your posts and look forward to the next one although I haven’t done much exploring on your site. I appreciate the motivational advice in your posts. take care, max

    • Hello Krystle; Thanks for visiting the site and giving me your opinion. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I am trying to help people and at the same time develop into the recognized expert in this field. I find I learn a lot from my blogging friends, so I hope you will stop by often and give me your opinions. Thanks and take care, max

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