Posts Tagged vending machine business

How to Start a Small Coin Vending Machine Business

Saturday, July 27th, 2013 | Permalink

by Sarah Dray |

A vending machine business is great for people looking to earn some extra cash without having to invest a lot of time to get it started. Depending on what budget you have available, it’s possible to start small and grow with time, or go at it full-force.


1. Decide how much you’re ready to invest. If you have a small budget, you may only be able to afford small vending machines, like the ones that dispense gum or pocket toys. If you’re looking to invest more, you can always look into drink and snack machines. Financing is available from certain retailers, so don’t be afraid to inquire about it.

2. Map a route. It will be much easier to refill the machines if they’re distributed in a logical pattern. When planning the route and choosing locations, do keep in mind the best stops to place your machines. Hotel lobbies, storefronts and fast food restaurants are ideal because of the constant traffic in and out.

3. Look online for companies offering vending machines for rent and sale. Compare not only prices but the advantages of each one, the warranties offered and whether they have additional services available., the largest vending machine website in the country, offers second-hand machines, a great deal if you’re looking for large equipment.

4. Get coin vending machines made of metal. Plastic ones may look cuter but unless you’re placing them indoors, they are more likely to get vandalized. New vending machines may come with a partial warranty, but used ones (and certain new models) may not qualify.

5. Pay attention at how your machines are doing. If you see that a specific one that is still full about a month or two after placement, you will need to either move it or replace the contents with something more popular. Don’t stop by to check on the machine only with the intention of collecting money. Instead, treat the machines as a sound investment and do as much as possible to increase sales.

Tips & warnings

Don’t stick only to the classics. Lots of innovative products are available to be sold via vending machines, including toothpaste/toothbrush sets, miniature toys and even small electronics.


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How to Get Started Owning Vending Machines

Saturday, July 21st, 2012 | Permalink

by Leslie McClintock |

The vending machine business is a proven model for hard-working small-business owners with relatively limited capital. You purchase or lease vending machines and inventory and scout out your area for locations where you believe a vending machine would be profitable. Then you regularly drive around to your locations, collecting money from your machines and restocking the inventory.

Here are five easy steps for starting a vending machine business:

Step 1

Identify a location that needs a vending machine. Ideally, this should be a high-traffic area full of thirsty or hungry people with change in their pockets and limited competition. Contact the site owner or manager and ask him if he would like a vending machine. He may agree to put one in free to you, or you may need to strike a revenue share agreement, whereby you split the revenue the vending machine provides.

Step 2

Form a business entity, such as a limited liability company or a corporation. Fill out articles of organization or incorporation. Contact your state division of corporations for how to do this. Forming a business entity is important, because it can help protect your personal assets if your business gets sued. Since you or an employee will be driving your route regularly to restock machines and collect cash, you should consider protecting your personal assets against a lawsuit arising from a car accident. You may also want to consider putting liability insurance in place. If you don’t do this, an employee or partner who injures someone on the job could cost you your business and your home, and you don’t even need to be involved in the accident.

Step 3

Purchase vending machines. Consider the desires of the client, or site owner or manager before selecting the type of machine. You can purchase the machine outright for cash, or you can lease a vending machine. If you lease the machine, you should be reasonably confident that your revenue from the cash collection will more than pay for the lease cost of the machine.

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Step 4

Purchase inventory. This will likely be a significant cost center for you. Strive to purchase nonperishable inventory in bulk, where possible. You may wish to get a membership at a wholesale food retailer or discount grocer, such as Sam’s Club or Costco, depending on your volume. The more machines you have and the more food you sell, the better your discounts will be and the greater your profit margins.

Step 5

Keep records. As a business owner, you must keep a set of books in accordance with Internal Revenue Service rules. Keep track of your business expenses — expecially equipment costs, inventory costs, storage costs and mileage. As of 2011, you can deduct up to 55.5 cents per mile driven for business purposes. This can be significant for vending machine businesses because of the frequent restocking trips.


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About the Vending Machine Business

Thursday, July 5th, 2012 | Permalink

by Sherrie Scott |

Consumers head to vending machines for a variety of reasons. Most machines exist to satisfy public cravings for snacks and beverages. Vending machines offer consumers a quick convenient fix for hunger pangs or sluggish activity by offering energy-boosting refreshments. The scope of the use and demand for vending machines is widening as advancements in machine technology improves. The vending machine business offers an entrepreneurial opportunity that can be quite lucrative to operators willing to put in the time and effort to be profitable.


Vending machines are coin-operated devices that dispense goods to consumers. Consumers use vending machines by paying for the goods within the machine and utilizing the items dispensed. Machine operators earn money by placing machines in private businesses or public areas to compel customers to make a purchase. Operators have established routes in which their machines are located and it is their job to service the machines to ensure they are stocked with the appropriate goods.

Business Opportunities

Many business opportunities exist for vending machine operators. Entrepreneurs can opt to purchase an existing vending business, which usually includes the necessary licenses, machines and routes that have already been established. Business owners can also invest in a franchise, or start a new business from scratch. Purchasing an existing business requires that the operator maintains current accounts by services and stocking the machines with inventory. Entrepreneurs that choose to open a new business must purchase or lease their machines, purchase inventory, and obtain licenses and accounts for placing the machines.


Common machines are snack and soda machines. Smaller devices dispense individual candies or assorted nuts. Many machines are popular in establishments that cater to families and children. These types of machines have prizes and goods that appeal to a younger crowd. Vending machines that dispense films available for rent are increasing in popularity. Vending machines that are appropriate for a certain niche are also available. For instance, machines that distribute disposable towels and individual auto detailing products are provided at self-serve car washes.

Payment Conveniences

Several developments have been made in the technology of vending machines, allowing operators to offer more conveniences to consumers. In the past, vending machines were limited to accepting coins or small forms of currency, such as $1 or $5 bills. As vending machine technology improves, the forms of payments accepted have also improved. Some vending machines now have the option of accepting credit and debit cards as an added convenience to customers.


Vending machines are now offering a wider variety of goods. For example, an extravagant vending machine at the Mondrian Hotel in Miami allows consumers to purchase items as far-fetched as expensive jewelry, cars and real estate. There is a new demand for vending services that have not been available before. Entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to determine a vending niche that has not yet been established in the marketplace capitalize on the initiative.


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Vending Machine Business Pros & Cons

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 | Permalink

by Rick Suttle |

Vending machine businesses can include single-item purchases like drinks, candy and salty snacks or bulk machines that dispense a handful of candy or nuts. Many with vending routes use a variety of machines. The basic duties of a vending route include stocking the machines and collecting the money. However, just like any business, there are certain pros and cons to running a vending machine business.

Steady income

Some businesses can take several years to become profitable, but a vending machine business is often profitable within several months, according to Once you select locations and establish your route, you can begin earning a steady income. Of course, the number of machines you own will largely determine how much.

Easy to operate

Once you establish your routine, the business is relatively easy to operate. Locate a wholesale food supplier to buy your products. Many vending machine owners purchase the products they will need for the day, then head out on their routes. Next, determine how often to visit your locations. Hopefully, your products will sell quickly and you will have to restock once or twice per week. It is important to keep the food fresh and replace anything expired.

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One truth about vending machines is both a pro and con: They can be expensive, but the cost of starting a vending business is substantially less a storefront business. Mechanical vending machines can cost several thousand dollars. Larger electronic units can cost more, unless you buy them wholesale. If you have 10 mechanical machines to start, your initial investment for machines and products can be $20,000 to $30,000. Bulk machines are considerably less expensive at several hundred dollars each. However, you will need dozens and even hundreds of these machines to make a significant income.

Getting good locations

One of the cons of owning a vending machine business is the challenge of finding the right locations. If you are located in stores without much foot traffic, it will have a negative impact on your earnings. You may need to hire a professional locator; however, hiring one can be expensive. One reason to hire a locator is that some stores may want a percentage of your profits. Experienced locators can negotiate the best deal for you. However, before deciding upon a locator, make sure you check the Better Business Bureau in the locator’s area. Many scam artists operate in the vending industry.


The larger electronic vending machines, which typically yield the most profit, have many workable parts. It is not uncommon for these machines to have occasional breakdowns–another problem with owning a vending machine business. If you have many machines, repairs can get expensive. In the long run, you will be better off learning how to do your own repairs.


Another problem with vending machines is theft. Thieves will find any way possible to get freebies. Some have used coat hangers to pry candy or chips from machine coils. Other thieves make their own slugs or mock coins. This can be a real problem with mechanical combo machines that do not distinguish between real and counterfeit coins.


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