The Six Questions asked by people looking at HealthyYOU and N2G:
American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA requirements for vending machines dictate that no operable part of a vending machine may be higher than 48“ from the floor or lower than 15” from the floor as a person in a wheelchair cannot reach them.
The coin change return door is typically the lowest operable part of any vending machine. The lowest operable part of our vending machine is 18” off the ground. Our machine is ADA compliant because no part is lower than 15” from the floor.
The coin change return door of the N2G machine drops to 11 1/2” off the floor. According to this report from a forensic engineer the N2G machine is NOT ADA compliant.
John Leffler, the engineer, is past president of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. and has investigated over 900 forensic cases, with over 400 cases involving product defect issues.
This is the machine pictured on the N2G web site. It shows the coin change return door much higher off the floor – even above the 15” minimum. But this is not the actual machine shipped by the company.
Discriminating against disabled people is not something those starting a new business knowingly want to do and it is the machine owner and not the company selling a non-ADA machine that could be liable for up to a $50,000 fine. It also opens up the machine owner to civil lawsuits for discrimination.
U.S. Made Versus Chinese-made Machines
Our machines are made in the U.S. – in Illinois. N2G’s machines are made in China. They used to acknowledge that fact but given what has happened with Covid-19 and the trade issues between the US and China they no longer do so.
Video of our machine being manufactured in Illinois
Picture of the N2G machine at the facility in China
We believe Naturals2Go when they say they designed their machine. And we believe them when they say they do final quality inspections at their warehouse in Tennessee. But by then it is too late. Vending machines from China are notoriously low quality and once you take them out of the box in the U.S. there is nothing you can do to correct manufacturing errors. If their machines were actually built in Tennessee they would supply a video similar to ours and they would allow factory tours there.
We completely understand why N2G does not proactively say their machines are made in China but they should be truthful when asked about the country of origin.
In addition to the issue of poor quality Chinese-made machines have additional challenges including:
Problems with getting machines and parts to the U.S. in a timely manner. An entire machine can be down for weeks waiting for an inexpensive parts.
Most U.S. vending technicians do not know Chinese-made machines since few are sold in the U.S. It is difficult to find people to work on the machines.
Technical support from the manufacturer is not available.
The machine is one of the least energy efficient in the industry. Their machine cools the snacks along with the drinks.
They do not offer fire, theft and vandalism coverage on their machine.
The machine has an elevator for delivering product. Few U.S. companies make an elevator machine any longer. If one of the two elevator motors goes out the entire machine is out of order.
Average Commission Paid
The vast majority of locations for our operators DO NOT require any commissions be paid to the location. N2G’s materials and income projection mentions commission in multiple places with 15%-20% of net sales as the average (they do say that 25% is unreasonable). That’s 15% of the net (30% of gross sales in most cases) going into someone else’s pocket and not into the operator’s pocket – month after month, year after year. That is also like adding 30% to the cost of their program – only they keep paying that 30% even after the initial investment is paid off.
Our company and N2G have a different philosophy when it comes to support. We believe our approach is better but some may feel otherwise.
Our coaching and support teams all work out of our corporate office in Utah. While our coaches also have their own vending machines they work full time in the office supporting our operators. They meet as a team daily and share questions and best practices. They also meet regularly with sales, location and admin teams to ensure that our whole company is focused on the same goals and objectives.
At N2G they have their operators serve as coaches. We have no doubt that they have good operators serving in this roll but a coach in the field is only able to work from their own experience. Some issues or questions come up only occasionally and they may never have heard that question or seen that issue. We believe that the full time coaches in our office who also run a healthy vending route on the side can provide the best support. Also, our coaches have all been to the manufacturing facility in Illinois where the machines are made so they could see first-hand how they are built.
At our monthly Healthy YOUniversities new operators meet all of our coaching and support team members. I also meet every new operator myself. N2G’s staff is scattered across 14 states. At their trainings new operators mainly hear from one trainer. They are not able to meet the “coach” assigned to help them.
N2G uses generic Nayax vending software. It is a good machine inventory program, but it ONLY tracks what is happening in machines. It does not track inventory on your shelves. It does not track where you bought your product or what you paid so you cannot run net sales numbers. It does not track sales tax or commission. It does not track where you have your machines or details on the location. It is not a vending management system but just a machine inventory system. We designed eManage specifically for our HealthyYOU operators to track their entire business.
All but seven states (DE, MA, MT, NH, NY, OR and WV) require sales tax be paid on vending businesses. We charge sales tax where required. N2G does not. Why do you care if N2G does not collect sales tax? Because it is the consumer who is ultimately responsible if the tax is not paid. N2G will pay a fine for not collecting it and passing it on the state but YOU have to pay penalties and interest back to the day the tax should have been paid. In some states the penalties are ridiculously high and can end up being greater than the tax itself. N2G charges a lot for a Chinese-made machine. They keep the total price down a little by not charging sales tax but that is not a wise business decision for you. If you decide to invest with N2G insist on paying the proper sales tax to them.