Can vending machines make money? Do you know what the most popular profession in America is? It’s not computer programmer, lawyer, or doctor. Nope, it’s actually vending machine operator!
So if you want to make money fast and easy without much effort at all then this guide will show you how. You can get started today with just a little investment of time and money. But before I tell you about how to start your own profitable business in less than an hour let me first explain why it’s so great for beginners.
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Why vending machines are a great investment
Unlike traditional businesses, a vending machine business usually require very little startup capital (like these other side hustle ideas), they are easy to operate, and there is virtually no overhead . This means that you can start making money immediately. You don’t have to worry about getting a storefront or having employees.
Your only expense will be your initial investment in the machine(s). For some brands of vending machines this initial cost might be as low as $200! Plus after your initial purchase you’ll easily make back this small amount within the first few days if not hours during which it’s being used.
Vending machines also have practically zero competition since most people just ignore them if they’re not hungry or thirsty. Of course you should always keep on top of regular maintenance so that your customers receive a high-quality product and know that your machine(s) are taking credit/debit cards.
Now that we’ve covered why vending machines can be such a great investment for beginners let’s move onto the fun part – how to actually start your vending machine business.
How profitable are vending machines?
In a nutshell, extremely profitable. Just do some quick research and you’ll find that average commercial vending machine owners can make as much as $500 a month. If you want to go the extra mile and pick up a couple of bulk vending machines you could easily double or even triple those vending machine profits!
So, how does it work?
Luckily, it’s very easy to get started. The first thing you’ll need is a location to put your machine(s). You can rent/lease any space that’s convenient for you (even something like the hallway outside your office) though be aware that this will probably increase your monthly expenses.
Then all you have to do is grab one of those machines I mentioned before and choose some high-quality snacks to sell. If you want to go the extra mile pick up an external display so that customers know what kind of goodies they can expect when they walk by!
Once everything has arrived simply plug in your cables, set up the machine so it works, and wait for business to come rolling in.
Different types of vending machines
While some people might use vending machines for their own personal benefit, there are also multiple ways to make money with them. For example, you can rent out space on your machine(s) to local businesses looking to advertise or sell something at a discount rate. Or you can set up one of those bulk vending machines and make more money by selling toy capsules.
Either way your profits will likely increase if you’re willing to be creative! Just remember that the possibilities are virtually endless since you’re not bound by any regulations unnecessarily restricting new business ventures. You simply need to find what works best for your unique business model.
What’s the best kind of vending machine?
Again it’s important that I stress the fact that there’s no “best” kind of vending machine. However, it’s important to note that you should always invest in something that works for your budget and has a big enough capacity for what you plan on selling.
Some people might say that the best vending machines are automatic since they don’t require any effort from the owner but these can be expensive so if you’re just starting out you might want to play it safe with one of those standard models instead.
Coffee vending machines
A coffee vending machine might be a great choice for you if you like to start your day with a fresh cup of joe and enjoy making them yourself. These machines can be installed in small areas and come with soft drinks, hot/cold water, milk, and coffee capsules.
As with most vending machines the only “catch” is that you will most likely need to pay a monthly fee depending on how much space the machine takes up. It’s also worth noting that most models require some initial investment ranging from $299-$500 before they’re ready to use.
These types of vending machines are good to place in locations where people actually want to buy coffee since they don’t offer much in the way of variety (but you can always add this feature later).
Some people like to use them in workplaces because it shows their employees that they care enough about them to provide a fresh cup of joe whenever possible. The same goes for colleges and schools – these types of vending machines will make your students happy and keep them coming back for more.
Electronics vending machines
This type of machine is perfect for those business owners who like to make big bucks and don’t mind spending a little extra.
E-vending machines contain an incredible amount of different items, ranging from phones and tablets to books, consoles, headphones, and accessories.
They come in all shapes and sizes (some can even be mounted on the wall) and there’s no end to what people will spend money on nowadays so it doesn’t hurt to have one of these around!
One small downside is that you’ll most likely have to pay a monthly fee depending on the size of your e-vending machine but given everything you get in return this investment is definitely worth it.
What kind of location works best?
As long as there’s a population of people in the area willing to spend money you can place your vending machine anywhere. However, it’s also worth noting that some locations are more suitable than others so you should take this into consideration too.
For example, placing a vending machine in a college dormitory might be a bad idea since 4-5 persons share a room and only one vending machine would provide them with very little variety compared to what they could get elsewhere.
Soda vending machines
One of the most popular vending machines around is a soda machine, which is perfect for college students who don’t have time to go and get a soda in the school cafeteria.
These types of vending machines can offer an incredible variety but they usually come with a price since you’ll likely have to pay a monthly fee somewhere in the $100-$300 range.
It’s also worth noting that these types of vending machines work best when placed outside or near high traffic areas where people might need something to drink on their way from point A to point B. In other words, try not to place them inside since they won’t be very effective this way!
Snacks vending machines
When it comes to snacks, people can never get enough of them! If you want to make some money (and who doesn’t?) try placing a snack vending machine in your favorite location.
These machines are perfect for office buildings since they work best when placed near the reception area and come with an incredible variety ranging from chocolate bars, chips, nuts, cereal bars… you name it!
Snack machines tend to have a small footprint so they can be placed almost anywhere and you won’t have to pay a monthly fee as long as you own the machine outright. They also don’t require much maintenance so if you’re looking for a low-maintenance investment this might be just what you’re looking for.
Process for getting started
There are a number of steps you should follow if you want to get started with any type of vending machine.
Create a plan
Your first step in starting your vending machine empire is to create a plan. How much money do you want to make? How many items should your vending machine have on it? How much will this cost? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before moving forward with your plan.
By asking yourself these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what type of vending machine you’ll need and how much money is involved.
Once you have a good idea of the costs involved, you should move onto the next step.
Decide on a location
Next up, research your location. Are there areas close to where you live that contain businesses that would be more willing to support a vending machine? For your first vending machine, you likely don’t want it to be very far away from your home and you should research any nearby business (such as a small apartment building) that might be interested in getting a vending machine.
Scout out businesses
Once you’ve decided on an area to focus on, you should do a bit of research and see if there are any small businesses you can approach about getting a vending machine.
Some places, such as schools might have an entire department dedicated to buying the supplies they need so try going straight to them with your idea. You can also try going to local small businesses in the area (such as small shops or pubs) and asking them if they’d be interested in adding a little extra income by supporting your venture.
Some types of businesses that might be interested in vending machines are:
- barber shops
- grocery stores
- small food places
- gas stations
- swim clubs
Talk to business owners
Once you’ve decided on a business that might be interested in buying into your plan, it’s time to talk to them!
If you manage to find someone who likes the idea, try talking about the benefits of having a vending machine in their location. Make sure to emphasize convenience and ease of use when discussing this with them so they can see how much better life will be for both themselves and their customers by getting one.
You’ll likely have to negotiate with them on how much you will pay them for placing the vending machine. Most of the time you’ll pay a percentage of sales but if your machine is a little pricier you might have to pay a small monthly fee for its placement.
Get your machine (buy or lease)
Once you’ve talked to the owner of the building and come up with a good contract for them, it’s time to get your machine. You have two options when purchasing or leasing a vending machine:
Buying – If you have the money, buying is probably your best bet since it will be yours forever. Most vending machines are pretty cheap so if you plan on having this for a long while, buying might be the way to go. Not only that but if you ever need parts of become sick or injured, owning one of these machines can help pay your bills!
Leasing – Although buying is cheaper in the long run, most people don’t have enough money laying around to purchase something like this outright Leasing might be an option that can help you out. You’ll have to pay a small fee every month but you won’t have to worry about any repairs or replacing it if it breaks down.
Once you have your vending machine, make sure to properly set it up and get everything ready for customers.
Keep your machines stocked (and working)
Once you’ve gotten your vending machine set up, it’s time to keep it stocked. This is pretty self-explanatory but you’ll need to keep your products inside the vending machine and that means restocking them every so often. If you don’t, customers will quickly lose interest in buying from your machine if there’s nothing inside of it.
You should also make sure you fix any problems with your machine right away. Customers are more likely to buy something when the vending machine is actually working so make sure everything is running smoothly.
Keep track of sales (and cash)
To help yourself out with this process, be sure to track how much money comes in each week through selling. Keep this number handy and use it to predict future sales and whether or not you should keep stocking more items in your machine.
Keep track of expenses, too. This includes how much money you spend on things like the initial costs to buy or lease your machine and how often you need to restock things so you know how much it will cost.
To save time with this process, be sure to take advantage of online tools! These can help you track all of your sales, expenses and let you check up on whether or not everything is still working as it should.
Price your products accordingly
The last step of making money with a vending machine is obviously selling your products for the correct price! You need to make sure that customers get a good deal out of buying from you so be sure to price things fairly when setting up shop. Even if you’re losing money on each sale, you’ll start making it back if people are buying enough items.
Once everything is all set up, your vending machine business can begin! If done correctly, this could easily bring in somewhere between $500 to $1000 every month in extra cash! It’s definitely worth giving a shot if you have any interest in entrepreneurship or simply want to make some extra money.
That’s all there is to starting a vending machine business! If you follow these steps and get the word out, there’s no reason why you can’t start making money within a month or so.
Things to remember
Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind as you start your vending machine business.
Can vending machines make money?
They can, but remember these tips.
If you don’t have the money to buy or lease a machine, don’t worry! You can always start with something smaller and see how it goes from there. There’s no reason to jump right in if you’re unsure this is going to work out for you.
Also, don’t feel like you have to have 10 machines to start off. Instead, start off with one machine. Once you get the first one up and running properly, see how sales go. If they do well, you can always buy another machine and make more money.
Check local laws
Before getting a vending machine, you’ll want to check with your local laws. Some areas have regulations about where and how often these types of machines can be used so make sure you’re clear on the rules before setting up your vending machine business. The last thing you want is for local authorities to shut down your vending machine before you even get started!
Keep track of your accounting
I mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating! Keeping track of your accounting is the easiest way to make sure you’re actually making money with your vending machine. It can also help you check whether or not things like restocking are costing too much money (or not enough).
If your records show that something isn’t working, consider changing it. This includes the price of each item in your machine, how often items come in and go out and more. All these little changes can add up over time so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find what works for your business. If you decide to set up a business entity, you should also think about a business bank account.
Remember it’s not passive income
Finally, make sure you keep in mind that vending machine earnings are not actually ‘passive’ income. Unlike other methods of making money (such as blogging), vending machines need attention to make sure things run smoothly. While it is an easy way to make some extra cash, this may not be the best option for someone looking for a truly passive income.
As you can see, there are many ways that vending machines can make money for you. All you need is the right machine, the right location and a good product to sell at a fair price. Once all of this falls into place, it’s easy to start earning some cash every month with very little work on your part.
If you have any questions or comments about how to make money with vending machines, please leave them below! You can also check out the book “Passive Income with Vending Machines” on Amazon that can answer more of your questions. Thanks for reading and I hope this article was helpful in showing you how simple it can be to get started.
FAQ – Can vending machines make money?
Is owning a vending machine worth it?
It can be. It all depends on where you put it and what kind of products you’re selling. If done right it can be a very easy way to get some extra cash every month.
What kinds of items do people usually sell in vending machines?
The most common items are snacks (like chips, candy bars and crackers) and drinks (such as bottled water or soda).
Does a vending machine business need insurance?
Yes. A good vending business owner will make sure they get the right kind of insurance to protect themselves in case anything goes wrong. This can even include things like someone getting hurt while they’re getting a snack from your vending machine.
How much money can you make from a vending machine?
This depends on where you put it and what you sell inside. With the right location, good products to sell and a well-maintained vending machine, you can easily make at least $500 a month.
Are vending machines profitable 2021?
If you have the right location, products and business skills, they can have a good profit margin. Again, it all depends on where you put it and what kind of products you sell inside and your startup costs. Sometimes making $50 a month is better than nothing so don’t rule out vending machines just because they might start off slow!
How much does it cost to put a vending machine somewhere?
This depends on the types of vending machine you get as well as how much space they need. You can start off with a small one or two-tier machine if you’re not sure about investing a lot of money into this kind of business.
Can I make money by placing vending machines?
Yes. As long as you have the right products, location and vending machine then it’s very possible to make some extra money with a vending machine franchise.
How much money do vending machines make at schools?
The amount of money a vending machine makes really depends on the location. It can take some time for you to start making a profit from the machine but if you have the right locations then it’s very possible to make at least $500 a month.