Dry Cleaner conveyors are one of those things that until you start thinking about it, you may not realize there are huge entire industries built around these. When you start researching it, it is fascinating and there are great corporate videos about all the minutae and design considerations you probably didn't think about, like if the products need to be able to tilt, go up inclines, make slower turns, and so forth.
Finding a conveyor system within a very small price range can be super tricky though. We considered several options.
Build Your Own
For our artwork we needed about 2, 4 meter conveyors. One way to do this would be to manually build one from scratch. You can find lego-like parts to make your own fully customized conveyor at mcmaster- https://www.mcmaster.com/#overhead-conveyors/=1aqw...
This would have potentially worked for us, but when we ran the numbers, it looks like it was going to be at least $3,000-$4,000 USD to get a minimally sized conveyor we wanted
Two big companies in the US selling new conveyor systems are
This is a great option if you have the money because the people at the companies are super helpful, and can help you find something you precisely need. Unfortunately I don't think we were able to get a quote for anything under $12,000 USD
Ebay and craigslist are decent sources to look into for finding used conveyors. Down side is that shipping is REALLY expensive for something this heavy, so you will want to look locally. Another downside is that you might not be able to be too sure of the condition or quality or if all the parts are there in what you find.
These conveyors really hold their value since they are built to pretty much run for 100 years, so that means they are still kind of expensive used. We saw prices for basic 10 foot conveyor systems ranging from $3,000 USD (for a pile of components from craigslist) to $9,000 USD for quite good looking used systems.
Maddy really worked her magic with the find that led to our conveyors. She saw a dry cleaning business that had been closed for 12 years, peeked inside and noticed they still had conveyors in there. She hunted down the owner, and inquired about them. They tested them, and he offered a price of just $200 per conveyor for us to take them away! We hired some extra handy folks to help us de-install them, clean them up, and transport back to the gallery! Overall buying, de-installing, installing, and transporting the machines cost us $1700. Not bad at all!
What a great find! We called the people at Railex about our model of conveyor to see if we should pre-preemptively order extra parts for these conveyors (which have been around since the 70's I think), and he actively discouraged us, and said they would run forever, just put some 3 in 1 oil on them!