How To Make Money From Vending Machines

Starting a vending machine business might not sound alluring to many people. 

However, you would be surprise to know how lucrative a vending machine business can become with very little to be done on your part to jump start a passive income opportunity.

Who Can Start A Vending Machine Business?

If you have some capital and wanted to start a business that does not involve in daily sales or dealing with people, this might be one way of earning extra income for you.

How Do You Earn With Vending Machines?

How much you will earn from it depends on the machines’ locations, sales, number of machines you installed. 

It also depends on the more capital you are willing to invest upfront and the more research you put into before venturing into the business.


How To Make Money With Vending Machine Business

1. Do Your Research

The first and foremost step is, you have to do your Research. Your results will determine your success in this business.

Do your research on things like which locations will give you the most profit, whether you want to buy new vending machines, which types  of vending machines you require, whether you want to become a franchisee or buy an existing business or you want to  purchase and lease them, where to get the business financed.


2. Obtain  A License

Since you will be dealing with food and drinks, you need a permit/license to be able to sell certain edible products.

The rules and regulations for every products are different in every state and country, so it is best to consult legal expert or the authority that deals in this area and the fees involved before you start your vending machine business.


3. Choosing The Right Location

Look for profitable locations like schools, offices, malls, small businesses areas, and other area of high foot traffic like metro stations and the locations should have good electricity. 

After you find the perfect locations, you can come to agreements with the business owners or institutions where you want to place them with commission agreed upon – usually they will take 10-20% commission for providing the location and electricity.


4. Choosing The Right Vending Machines

 There are mainly 3 types of vending machines:

  • Electronic  Machines: These are the modern day vending machines with touch screens and have the systems that accept various different forms of payment options (cash, coins, credit cards).
  • A basic model usually cost a minimum of $3000 per machine. Due to the acceptance of different payment methods, these machines are the most profitable.
  • Mechanical Machines: These machines can dispense multiple products and cost between $2000 – $3000 per machine. 
  • Bulk Machines: These are small in size and can dispense only certain products like choco-bars, gums, biscuits and cost around $50 – $200. The earning potential is also relatively small.

Choose the right machines according to the locations you want to place them.

After you’ve purchased your vending machines, obtain the necessary license, placed them in your desired locations and stocked them, you can restock them whenever require and collect the cash that’s loaded into them on a daily basis.

Once your business started rolling, you can even employ someone to do all the reloading (servicing) for you.

Costs Of Operating Vending Machines

The cost of operating vending machines might not be less. Other than your startup costs, there will be regular costs you will have to bear as long as your vending machines are working.

Like the cost of repairs and maintenance, cost of products for regular refills. And if you are using second-hand ones, you will have to deal with the maintenance and repairs yourself.

Types Of Products To Keep In Vending Machines

The types of products you want to load in the vending machines depends on the locations where you installed your machines. 

If it’s near a school, you would prefer to put biscuits, different kinds of wafers, small juice packs, healthy snacks. 

If in business areas or market places -hot drinks or cold drinks, healthy snacks would do.

TIP: You would be more profitable if you keep eatables that has longer shelf life.

Advantages of Vending Machine Business

  • Low startup costs with the potential to finance more machines.
  • Convenient for everyone.
  • Low maintenance costs.
  • With the right location and products vending machines are like your cash production machines 24×7.
  • With a good rate of return your cash flow can grow rapidly.

Disadvantages of Vending Machine Business

  • Some modern and higher technology based machines are expensive.
  • You have to pay 10% – 20% commissions to location owners.
  • Risk of vandalism to your machines. (To avoid this, select a well-lit place with low-crime areas).


Installing the right vending machines with a mixture of  products that sells well have a great potential to give you huge profits down the road – much more than you could imagine!

You won’t get rich overnight, but with time, it can change your life completely in the long run!

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