7 Steps To Start Your OWN Vending Machine BUSINESS Or Vending 

7 Steps To Start Your OWN Vending Machine BUSINESS Or Vending 

We have all bought something from a vending machine at some point in our lives. However, did you know that these machines are an excellent source of passive income? Let’s see how this business works and what to do if you are interested in starting your own vending machine business.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting a Vending Machine Business

Having a vending machine business (also known as a vending machine or vending machine ) has some advantages and disadvantages:


  • The high-profit percentage for each sale (from 100% to 400%)
  • You can earn passive income for life
  • Get to be your own boss
  • The initial investment is not too high
  • You can scale as you increase your earnings
  • It is not a difficult business to manage
  • You free up your time without working in an office or a traditional job


  • It will take about a year to recoup the initial investment per machine.
  • can be competitive
  • Finding the ideal place can be the hardest part

Are you looking to get into the vending machine business? Let’s see the steps you must follow to achieve it.

How much money can you make from a vending machine business? 

One of the great advantages of owning a vending machine business is its high level of profit. It is normal to get between 100% to 400% profit for each product sold.

In our experience, after subtracting expenses and product costs, the average vending machine earns approximately $14,336 annually, earning approximately $1 per sale.

If you sell more expensive products or have a machine in a busy place, you will earn more money.

The amount of money you will make from a vending machine business will depend on:

  1. machine location
  2. Number of potential buyers / Flow of people
  3. Price of the products you will sell

With an achievable average of 25 sales per day, a vending machine stocks between 30 to 40 products, so the average profit for each product is between $300 to $515.

Ideally, you should average 25 to 30 sales per day. Therefore, the product mix, prices, and demand at a given price are going to greatly influence how much money you can make from a vending machine business.

What is a typical day like when running a vending business?

This is a question that many people ask when considering a vending machine business to make money. A typical day as a vending machine owner will go something like this:

You will start your day on your computer checking the inventory of the vending machines. You will be able to see an updated report on machines that are low on product and need to be replenished.

After taking a look at the inventory report, the next task will be to print reports that will tell you the exact number of products you need. This way you can restock these products and get them ready to fill your vending machines with these products.

You will need to restock your machines and inspect, clean, restock, and of course, collect the cash on them!

Depending on the products you decide to sell with your vending machine, you will collect bills, and coins or if your machine is equipped with a credit card reader, you will receive your earnings directly to your bank account.

This is known as “servicing” the vending machines. As your business grows, you can hire a person to take care of this for you and have a 100% passive vending machine business.

How much do you need to start a vending machine business? 

Starting a vending machine business does not require as much startup capital as other alternatives.

Many vending machine owners recommend used or refurbished machines, which can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000. A new machine will cost between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on its size and features.

How to get financing for your business

If you need a loan to buy your vending machine, consider these two options:

1. Interest-free credit card

Another way to get money when starting a vending machine business is by applying for an interest-free credit card. This is probably the cheapest option to obtain financing since you will have the option of not paying interest.

However, getting one of these cards will only be possible if you have a good credit score.

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Many credit cards offer you the facility to use them for several months (generally between 12 to 18 months) without interest.

Two good interest-free credit cards are:

These cards do not require a high level of credit to be approved.

2. Short-term loan

If you have a good credit score and a documented income history, taking out a short-term loan to finance your vending machine business might be the best option.

After reviewing your credit and sources of income, the lender will deposit a sum of cash directly into your bank account, and you’ll pay back the loan, plus interest, over a predetermined period.

As the name implies, short-term loans must be paid off quickly, usually in 18 months or less. Also, the interest rates are a bit higher than long-term loans.

However, short-term loans are generally easier to qualify for than long-term loans.

3. Machine financing

You probably don’t need to have that much capital to start a vending machine business. But if you need a little help, some manufacturers provide loans for machine financing.

These types of loans will depend on the value of your equipment, which also acts as collateral in case you default on payments.

However, this type of loan is usually more complicated. In addition to your own financial information and business plan, you’ll need quotes for the machines you plan to buy, and some manufacturers will ask you to purchase a higher volume of machines.

Steps to Start a vending machine business 

Although it sounds simple, starting a vending machine business can be a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, we’ve broken this process down into easy-to-follow steps.

1. Needs of your area and ideal market

Start by finding an ideal place to have your first vending machine. This is a highly flexible business, so you are only limited by your imagination. Remember that these types of machines exist almost everywhere: from offices to shopping centers and airports.

This would be a perfect place and paradise to start a vending machine business: a place where people are forced to wait or where they regularly feel like having a light bite to eat.

Some of the places with the most profits to place a vending machine are:

  • Medical consultants
  • Mechanic and hospital waiting rooms
  • bus stations
  • schools
  • gas stations
  • gyms
  • Laundromats
  • Factories
  • professional offices
  • restrooms
  • hairdressers

2. Where and how to buy a vending machine

Finding a vending machine can be as simple as an online search. Start by comparing prices at these stores:

  • Amazon (many new machines available)
  • eBay (they have new, used, and refurbished machines with good warranties)
  • Sam’s Club – new machines at wholesale prices
  • Craigslist – it is possible to find used vending machines on this site

To get an idea of ​​the different offers and prices that exist, you should compare your prices with your local suppliers. You should also take into account the cost of inventory when looking at machine prices.

When shopping for a vending machine you will find that they come with a variety of features and capabilities, all at different price points. Some of those special features include:

  • Combination snack and drink machines
  • Credit card functionality
  • Touch or voice accessibility
  • Remote monitoring software and low inventory alerts
  • Custom design for the front of the machine
  • interactive screens

However, try not to be tempted to overspend on an overly advanced machine, as these can be expensive. Choose the machine that best suits your location and the products you will sell, while respecting your budget.

Tip: The size and shapes of the drinks will affect the availability of your machines, so if you plan to sell drinks in cardboard boxes or products with irregular shapes, you will need to find a machine that fits your product.

When buying a vending machine, you should keep these tips in mind:

Large manufacturers are preferable

Manufacturers or suppliers of wholesale vending machines have the widest selection of machines, the latest technology, and the most comprehensive delivery, repair, and training services.

This will be the most expensive option and some manufacturers will even ask you for a minimum order of multiple machines.

Consider starting with used/refurbished machines

You can start a vending machine business with less investment by exploring brands and models of used machines in good condition.

For example, eBay has thousands of vending machines for sale from reputable sellers who offer warranties on their machines. Some of these sellers also offer free shipping.

This may be the best option for vending machine entrepreneurs just starting who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a new machine.

You also consider vending machines in refurbished or renovated condition. These are usually vending machines in good condition that have been repaired by a company.

3. The best vending machine for your business

There are many more options than the snack and soda vending machines we are used to seeing. There are three types of vending machines. Let’s see what they are and choose the vending machine that best suits your business.

Whichever type of vending machine you choose, start with one or two machines with a specific focus on the market. This way, you can gradually learn about popular stock patterns and specific sites, and add new machines accordingly.

Food and beverage vending machines

Food and beverage vending machines 

With food and beverage vending machines, your business will earn income by selling snacks, soft drinks, and sweets. These are usually the most common vending machines.

If you decide to go for the food and drink vending machine, you should be clear that drinks usually represent more than half of your earnings.

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Of course, this is not always the case. Although you can get a machine that offers only drinks, you should also consider a machine for treats and snacks. You can also choose to have different types of machines for the same place. It all depends on the needs of your customers.

Our advice: start with one type of machine and focus on this one. For example, focus on healthy snacks, beverages, or fresh foods, so you can set yourself apart from the competition and have an edge as you get to know this industry.

To achieve maximum sales, offer products geared to the market of your vending machine location. Some examples are:

  • Fitness Center – Vending machine with healthy food and drinks like protein bars and shakes
  • School: vending machine with juices, candy, and granola bars.
  • Waiting room: drinks machine with soft drinks, water, and chips

Another good strategy in 2022 is to offer a vending machine with healthy alternatives since many people associate vending machines with junk food. You could change this concept and earn a lot of money at the same time.

Candy and toy vending machines

Food and beverage vending machines 

This is an excellent option if you are looking for a business that requires very little capital, with low maintenance costs. You can start a vending machine business with machines that store gumballs, stickers, or gumballs.

These machines are low-maintenance and may not be glamorous, but the profits add up.

Also, they offer the lowest investment cost when starting a vending machine business. A refurbished machine can set you back less than $50 and typically yields an average of up to $30 per month.

Products typically sold on these machines are incredibly low cost, and in the right setting (such as a school or amusement park) this modest investment offers the potential for a very reliable and passive source of income.

In addition, the operating costs are very low, since they do not require electricity or batteries to work. That said, you won’t have the advantage of monitoring your inventory digitally, so you’ll have to go through them to restock.

Special vending machines

7 Steps To Start Your OWN Vending Machine BUSINESS Or Vending 

These are the big leagues of vending machines. Vending machine businesses are not just limited to selling food and drinks.

The largest profits (but also the largest investment) are concentrated in vending machines located in large places such as stadiums, airports, and shopping malls. The products are often technological accessories, beauty products, and other special items tailored to the needs of customers.

Some examples are:

  • Hot drink vending machines: The sale of coffee or hot drinks is often more successful in offices, universities, and conference centers.
  • Selling Special Items: Essential travel items like phone chargers, headphones, and neck pillows can be a very lucrative source of income if you can negotiate a contract with a local transit station or even an airport.
  • Laundry products: A machine full of packaged detergent, fabric softener, and dryers are great products for sale if you manage to position yourself in a laundromat, apartment complex, or dorm room.

4. The best location for your vending machine

If you have already identified a place in need of a vending machine, you should contact the owners or managers of this place and propose a commission for letting you place your machine in these places.

Note: it is not necessary to pay them a commission, but it will be much easier to start this way.

Although this step is easier said than done, it is possible to start a vending machine business without having personal connections.

Your mission when talking to the person in charge will be to make a good impression and talk about the advantages of having a vending machine on site.

Start by printing some contact cards (you can print business cards for FREE with this service ) and create a sheet with the benefits of owning a vending machine. This sheet should include your contact information.

Be pleasant, positive, and professional from the first handshake, and keep a smile on your face until the end of the meeting. The meeting must be quick and precise. Start by listing the benefits of properly maintained and stocked vending machines.

Adapt the advantages of your machines to the needs of your contact. For example, if it’s an office, you can start talking about how vending machines contribute to employee satisfaction and better productivity. If it is a waiting room, highlight how customers will be more willing to wait if they have something in their stomach.

Even if the owner or manager decides that they are not interested in your vending machines, always keep a smile, and a firm handshake, and thank them for their time. Leave a business card and benefits sheet. You’ll never know if he’ll change his mind on second thoughts.

You can also try visiting your local chamber of commerce. They can give you information on the top businesses in your area, which might give you some ideas about possible locations. Ideally, try to place your machine in businesses with at least a hundred employees, or with significant foot traffic, such as a multi-office complex.

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How much should you pay the manager?

Depending on the location of your vending machine, you will most likely have to pay a commission to the owner for allowing you to have the machine in this location and the electricity required to run the machine.

We recommend paying the property owner 10-25% of the revenue from their machine.

It is also advisable to draw up a contract with the owner specifying the agreed compensation rate, the duration of the contract, and the agreed terms.

It is important to include provisions for breach of contract, as well as expectations and obligations regarding machine maintenance. You must include what would happen if there was any kind of vandalism or theft of the machines.

As always, have a lawyer review the contract before you sign it.

5. What to sell with a vending machine

Once you have acquired a vending machine, you must stock it with the products that you will sell.

The products you offer will have a big effect on your sales, so plan this step very carefully. Instead of opting to sell common foods and drinks, pay attention to the specific local needs of the place.

Start testing. In many, finding the best products to sell will be a matter of trial and error. When starting, don’t over-order products, and take note of the best-selling products.

If you decide to stock your vending machine with food and beverages, remember that beverages will make up the majority of your profits.

Tip: You can explore more beverage options and offer soda, coffee, flavored water, and even healthier beverages like coconut water. It is worth considering whether the location can support more expensive food and drink specials (which will generate better profits).

6. The best price for your products

One of the advantages of having a vending machine business is its high percentage of profits. By choosing the price of the products that you will sell in your vending machine you will be able to mark them for 100% or more.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you want to sell these granola bars (which you can get for an extra 15% off when you use the Subscribe & Save program ). Ideally, you’ll want to sell it for $2.75, which will make you roughly $1.75 in profit.

A typical vending machine has 32-40 items to choose from, so you’ll have plenty of chances for a nice win.

In general, you should pick items that you think will sell well in your area and experiment with prices, keeping in mind what others are charging.

You should also control the cost of the products you will sell. Lower costs will translate to higher profits, so check prices at business vendors or membership discount stores.

7. Supply and maintenance of machines

After installing your machines and choosing the ideal price for your products, the most important things you can do to boost sales are to maintain the machines:

  1. well supplied
  2. clean
  3. Optimize your operation

Clean, well-lit, and well-stocked vending machines are more attractive and drive sales.

Keep the machines well stocked

An empty vending machine will give the appearance of having old products, which should never be the case when selling food, candy, and drinks. Also, if customers don’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll buy it elsewhere. This means that not stocking your machines on time will cost you a lot of sales.

So do your best to keep your machines full.

Since you’re just starting, your first machine probably doesn’t include a remote monitoring system. So it will be necessary to make frequent trips to check your machines until you have an idea of ​​how quickly they sell products.

keep the machines clean

Keeping your machines clean accomplishes 2 things:

  1. increase sales
  2. Reduce maintenance costs

If your machines are dirty, your users will associate this with poor-quality food. A clean machine will also reduce the number of vending machine failures and reduce the need to repair internal mechanisms.

General machine maintenance

Regardless of how clean your machine is, it will eventually need to be repaired to keep it running.

To give you an idea, a Coinco/Royal Vendors brand vending machine (the largest brand of cold-pack beverage vending machines) may require one or two service calls a year.

These maintenance calls can cost approximately $100 to $150, depending on who provides the service and where the machine is located.

Starting a Vending Machine Business: Summary

The vending machine business moves billions of dollars around the world every year. Fortunately, you can enter this lucrative market with a few thousand dollars and start building a business that can eventually be a good source of passive income.

Owning your vending business involves relatively little startup capital, but you’ll need to spend time and energy storing, maintaining, and collecting money from your machines regularly.

As your business grows, gradually invest in multiple vending machines and you’ll start generating passive income without having to take out a massive loan or go into debt.

If you have questions or doubts about how to start a vending machine business or where to buy vending machines, leave us a comment and we will do our best to help you solve your doubts.


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