Review of FreeLaundromat.com – Danny D’Angelo “The King of Laundromats”
Owning a laundromat is something that I have thought long and hard about for a long time. Why? There are very few businesses that are recession proof but laundromats fit the bill. People wear clothes, need to wash and dry their clothes and many people don’t have a washing machine or a dryer.
However, if you would like to build a laundromat from the ground up the costs, in my opinion, are astronomical! How astronomical? For an average laundromat, approximately 2,000 square feet, you can expect to be somewhere in the ballpark of $200,000 to $500,000!
Laundromat equipment is not cheap by any means. Top loading machines, you’re normal home washing machine, can cost between $500 to $700. Front loading washing machines, depending on the capacity, can cost from $3,000 to as high as $30,000. Of course you also need dryers so throw in another $5,000 to $6,000 per machine. Through my research I’ve found that a smart laundromat will have more dryers than washing machines.
Let’s say you would like a laundromat on the smaller side of things. For this example, we’ll go with 20 front loading washing machines and 25 dryers. 20 washing machines at $3,000 per machine (low end) and 25 dryers at $5,000 (again, low end) and we’re left with a grand total of $185,000 in equipment costs. Add in renovation costs, the cost to install a boiler, sewer hookups or if no sewer system a filtration system, carts, flat screen television, security system, coin machines and we’ve already blown past that above $200,000 figure.
Building a laundromat from scratch isn’t feasible for me so what would be the next best thing? I figured if I can’t afford to build a laundromat why not buy a laundromat? Seemed very logical to me. My next step was to find laundromats for sale which was not the hardest thing to do. There seems to be no shortage of laundromats for sale so I began to reach out to a few that seemed promising. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I surely wasn’t expecting what was to come.
Purchasing an existing business is not rocket science. You need to see the profit and loss, look at the tax returns and find out the net profit of the business. The size of the business will dictate the multiple of the net income being asked. A laundromat is a business much like any other brick and mortar business with one exception, they are cash businesses. Many laundromat owners aren’t quite so honest with the tax authorities.
I came across a laundromat that I thought may be a good opportunity. The supposed cash flow was $45,000 per year and was being operated, full time by a husband and wife team. The asking price was a little over $90,000. I was excited at the possibility. I signed a non disclosure agreement with the broker and was provided with the address. I jumped into my car and did a drive by the business on a Saturday. The location was good and there was plenty of parking. I called the broker back later that afternoon to discuss the laundromat further.
Broker – “Do you want to meet the owners?”
Me – “Not quite yet. I need some further information before I take that next step.”
Broker – “What do you need to know?”
Me – “Do they have financials?”
Broker – “No, it’s a cash business.”
Me – “I understand that but I’m not asking for their tax returns. I need to see their books?”
Broker – “What books. Like I said, it’s a cash business.”
Me – “So they don’t have any books at all?”
Broker – “Of course not.”
Me – “Hmmm. How about I spend a Sunday there from open to close. At the end of the day, I’d like to count the machines out.”
Broker – “Sorry, they won’t allow that. We had someone else who was interested and asked the same thing but they wouldn’t go for it. However, you can spend a couple of weeks with them and see the kind of traffic they get to the store.”
Me – “You’re joking, right?”
Broker – “No, they’d be fine with that.”
Me – “So no financials, no books and I can’t count out the machines. What is the asking price of the business being based on?”
Broker – “2x the yearly net income of $45,000 which they take as a salary.”
Me – “You mean the $45,000 in cash flow they say they earn?”
Broker – “Exactly.”
Me – “I’m no longer interested.”
I was completely dumbfounded and figured that this was just one bad encounter. I kept pushing forward and looked at laundromat for sale after another. I came across a broker who had multiple laundromat listings for sale. I again signed a non-disclosure agreement and was provided with five listings of laundromats for sale, 4 of which allegedly had financials, which he provided. The issue? The financials didn’t add up, neither did the reasons for selling. Reasons such as, “Too much work,” “First time laundromat owner,” and “Owner has other business interests.”
None of these reasons made sense to me so I put my search on hold for a bit. I felt that I wanted to own a laundromat but I couldn’t afford to build one from scratch and purchasing an existing laundromat was like fighting a losing battle.
One night after work I was enjoying an adult beverage. I went to google and typed in “how to buy a laundromat.” I was instantly drawn to three YouTube video description. “NEVER BUY A LAUNDROMAT – This couple saved $175,000,” Laundromats for sale – Laundrymats FREE – how to own a cash,” and “How to buy a Laundrymat Business plan earn cash “from Day ONE.”
I curiously clicked on the first video with the title of “NEVER BUY A LAUNDORMAT – This couple saved $175,000.” I watched the video and ultimately made my way to a YouTube channel belonging to a man named Danny D’Angelo.
I spent well over n hour watching every single video on Danny D’Angelo’s YouTube channel, most of which had testimonials from people who now owned laundromats utilizing his system.
The first step to uncovering Danny’s system is to purchase his 3 hour DVD titled “Cleaning Up in Laundromats.” The DVD sells for $189.99 on his website, FreeLuandromat.com. I did some digging and found an eBay store, owned by him, where the DVD could be purchased for $169.99 so I decided to make the purchase. Why did I have to lose? $169.99? Seemed reasonable enough considering I couldn’t afford to purchase a laundromat and I knew I wasn’t going to buy a laundromat.
I went about my normal routine and a after a couple of days the video arrived. I waited until my next day off to watch the DVD on my laptop. My first impression was that it was similar to an infomercial . There was a woman “reporter” interviewing Danny about his system. There were of course more testimonials, but what stuck out to me was how passionate he seemed to be about the laundromat business. I took notes as I watched and it all made sense. However, being the New Yorker that I am I was skeptical.
I started to do my usual scam online research digging and what I found was beyond shocking! What did I find? Nothing, not a darn thing. I couldn’t find one instance online about how Danny D’Angelo’s system was a scam. I couldn’t find anything that said that Danny D’Angelo, “The King of Laundromats” had scammed them or that his system didn’t work.
I fired off an email to him not expecting a reply but I did. He answered my question and within the email he stated that I may want to consider a personal consultation with him. The funny thing is that I had already made a request through his personal assistant. I happily paid the $285 for a 3 hour one on one consultation with Danny.
My first impression of Danny was that he’s an A type personality or in other words an alpha. He spoke to me with the same passion present in his DVD. I told him all about what I had been considering and he told me why both would have been the worst decisions of my life. He’s not the type of person to blow sunshine up your you know what. I spent close to an hour and a half speaking to Danny on that initial call. I remember looking at my wife after ending the call and saying, “I think I’m going to get into the laundromat business after all.”
I began to scout existing laundromats looking for the signs of failure that Danny said to look out for in his training and during our consultation. It didn’t take me long to find a couple that fit the bill. I only looked at five laundromats in the course of a week and had already found two potential laundromats, one of which that had just gone out of business. The location was already built out and there were no machines but all the hookups were there. I would have to do is to install my own equipment.
I texted Danny stating I needed to talk to him and he could me back at our agreed upon time. What I was looking for was assurance. I needed for him to tell me that I was making the right decision. That the decision I was about to make would be the best decision of my life. What he told me was the complete opposite. I had already made the decision to have Danny negotiate my lease. All I had to was scout locations, send Danny the information and he would take care of the rest. The fee for his lease negotiating service is a total of $3,330. That’s $1,665 up front and $1,665 once the lease is signed and completed. It wouldn’t matter how many locations I fed to him. That $1,665 would be good until the day I signed the lease agreement.
Instead of giving me the assurance I was seeking he instead said, “Only you know if this is what you want. If you’re looking for me to talk you into this, sorry I just won’t do it.” I feel bad that I told him I was going to move forward but I ultimately decided not to move forward. After my last conversation with Danny D’Angelo I sat down and talked to my wife at length.
“If you really want to do this you know you have my full support,” she told me that night. I know I had her support but it was nice to hear those words. She went on to say, “If you really want to own a laundromat then go for it. Pay the man the money and go for it.” However, the words, “If you really want to own a laundromat” played over and again in my head. After sleeping on it for a few days I decided that I really didn’t want to own a laundromat.
I of course want to be self-employed once again but whatever business I ultimately decide to open and operate is something that I need to be passionate about. Something that will get me out of bed in the morning with an ear to ear smile and excitement flowing through my veins. I now know that a laundromat business will not provide any of those things for me. I know that opening a business with the only factor being how much money I can make will be a recipe for disaster.
If you reading this review and think that Danny D’Angelo’s system may be nothing but a cash grab you would be mistaken. If it were indeed a cash grab he would have easily “talked” me into moving forward or gave me the assurance that I was seeking so he could put an additional $1,665 into his pocket.
So you now know I decided not to use Danny D’Angelo’s services but how do I know for a fact that it works? Me being the skeptic that I am I had to know if the people in the testimonial videos were indeed in the laundromat business. After watching one of the videos I decided to dig deeper. Using the name of the person in the video I conducted an online search which brought me to a customer review for a laundromat point of sale system. That customer review provided me with the name of the laundromat which I also searched to find that this person’s laundromat was within 15 minutes of my home. I went to Yelp and Google and found that this person was in business for close to a year and he also had 5 star reviews for his laundromat. I of course did this research prior to paying the $285 3-hour consultation fee.
The million dollar question – Can you really obtain a laundromat for free? The words Free Laundromat” sound much better than “Obtain a Laundromat With as Little Out of Pocket Expense as Possible” so it depends on if you can wrap your head around the word “Free” in a business sense. What do I mean?
Possible Free Laundromat Scenario
You know you want to own a laundromat. You scout location after location and come across your unicorn. The store has just what you’re looking for and it’s time to move forward. The laundromat has newer equipment but all you really need to do is repaint the store, refurbish some broken equipment and purchase a few new machines. You decided to do the lease negotiation without Danny’s services and are able to negotiate 8 months free rent with 4 months of half rent. You hire a company to fix the broken equipment and cut a deal with a distributor where you purchase new equipment but are able to defer payments for 3-6 months. You open your doors for business and are now generating revenue from day 1. You don’t have to worry about paying rent for 8 months and easily recoup your initial investment of paint and fixing the machines that needed repair. How much did it really cost you to open and own your own laundromat?
The above scenario is one of many that are possible but the end sum game is to get into the laundromat business with as little out of pocket expense as possible. As you already know that building a laundromat from scratch can cost between $200,000 to $500,000 and needing solely to fill an average size, 2,000 square foot store, can cost as high as $185,000 is coming out of pocket a few thousand dollars to start with a much better proposition?
One thing that always concerns with about “consultants” and those “online sales gurus” is are they simply talking the talk or walking the walk? To expand, is the person a consultant because he or she was once successful or is this consultant doing as the preach. In the case of Danny D’Angelo he’s been in the laundromat business for 15 years and owns his own laundromats in Arizona, where he resides.
Summary of Danny D’Angelo’s Free Laundromat System
“Cleaning Up in Laundromats” DVD – Cost $169.99
3-Hour Consultation Service – $285
Lease Negotiation Service – $1,665 deposit
Lease Negotiation Service – $1,665 upon lease signing
Total Investment – $3,784.99
However, if you are proficient at lease negotiation with landlords and have the ability to ask for and receive tenant incentives you could bypass the lease negotiation service and only decide on the DVD and consultation. Since I’m not skilled in that area I would have used Danny’s lease negotiation service.
In closing, if you are serious about getting into the laundromat business and know for a fact that owning a laundromat is what you want you should consider utilizing Danny D’Angelo’s Free Laundromat System as well as his consultation and lease negotiation services.
DISCLAIMER – I am an ebay affiliate and may be compensated for this review through ebay should you purchase a DVD through my link. The above review was provided as an informational resource for those who are serious about entering into the laundromat business and may be considering utilizing the Free Laundromat System.