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Selling dry ice is different from selling most other goods because the unsold amount disappears by sublimation at the minimum rate of 10% every day. It must be stored in a high quality insulated storage container to reduce sublimation to this minimum level. It is usually sold by the pound, so a good quality scale and good insulating gloves are needed to handle it.

Very few people sell only dry ice. Careful marketing research must be done to establish the demand and  determine the return on investment for manufacturing equipment. Start up costs are a minimum of $50,000 for manufacturing dry ice pellets and $120,000 for manufacturing solid block dry ice. Distributing for another manufacturer is often the best way to begin.

Dry ice is usually added to other items sold at a store, service station, or supply outfitter. The most widespread are grocery stores and markets that have chosen to sell Airgas "Penguin" dry ice or other manufacturers dry ice. Next comes compressed gas suppliers and ice companies. Finally some companies use dry ice to market or ship their products and will offer to sell extra dry ice to the public.

My experience was at ABC Ice House for 24 years. They are a distributor selling about 100 tons a year. They have many walk in customers for shipping frozen goods and they supply shipping containers too. They also supply frozen gel packs for those who don’t want their goods frozen but want to keep their product cool. Our customers use dry ice for camping and traveling - to keep items frozen. Ice cream vendors and event planners purchase dry ice to keep ice cream frozen. Many fisherman stop by for dry ice to keep their catch from spoiling. They often sell dry ice to customers with power outages, and broken refrigeration equipment. They deliver dry ice to many laboratories in the area and compete by offering weekly delivery or immediate delivery at a higher rate. Finally they sell dry ice for theatrical special effects. They sell to “Mad Science,” a company that does parties and school assemblies. They also rent fog machines for special theatrical productions. They cover dance floors with fog, and have covered the whole audience floor with fog and strobe lights for a corporation breakout of a new product. They used dry ice to feature a new truck docking apparatus during a manufactures convention.

Other customers that use dry ice are airline companies, shippers, medical institutions, bio-medical suppliers, pharmaceuticals,  food processors and suppliers, and various other types of manufacturers.

It took over six months of selling dry ice before they made a profit because the sublimation rate was over 70%. Even now it is close to 40%. The key for selling dry ice is a constant supply either from manufacturing as needed, or two to three times a week delivery from another manufacturer.

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R.N.C. Industries, Inc.
Control Temp Packaging
Shipping Solutions for Food and Medical Products
3105 Sweetwater Rd . Suite 220
 Lawrenceville, GA 30044
FAX 770-368-8490

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