Skip to main content

Vending Machine is a business with high growth possibilities in the future. It is very simple to set up a profitable vending machine business. The First vending machine was invented in 1888 and since then it has grown into an $18 billion industry. With a creative idea and organized planning, you can start a small-scale vending business with low investment.

The vending machine business is no longer a unique business idea. You can find vending machines everywhere around you, especially in the Western world. But in real terms no business is unique, it is the ideology and planning of the entrepreneur that makes it unique. In this article, we are going to explain How to Start a Vending Machine Business in 2024 in 9 simple steps.

How Much Does a Vending Machine Business Make?

A Vending Machine Business started with the correct strategy keeping all factors in mind can make over $1,00,000. A single vending machine placed at a profitable location can earn you $2000 per month on average. You need to have a weekly or monthly check of your vending machines. Apart from earnings you also have around $250 monthly expenses on products and maintenance of your vending machines.

1. Find a Perfect Location First

The initial challenge is securing a prime location for your vending machine. Focus on places with consistent foot traffic. The best locations for vending machines are Private Schools, Parking Areas, Metro Stations, Bus Stands, Stationery, Airports, Cinema Halls, Office Spaces, and many more. You can find vending machine locations on Facebook and Instagram that are already on sale or available for rent.

Where Can I Put a Vending Machine?

You can put your vending in areas with high foot traffic. These areas are Private Schools, Cinema Halls, Bus Stops, and Office spaces. Choose locations with long working hours, seclusion from the market, and low competition.

2. Choose your Vending Items Smartly

Best Product selection is necessary for a successful vending machine business. Vending Machines offers a variety of products like Pizza, Snacks, Coffee, Soda, Drinks, and Books, You will need to choose the right combination of products as per the place’s requirements. For example, you have to place snacks and cold drinks vending machines together. You will place coffee vending machines near office areas.

Providing easiness of services offered by a vending machine will improve customer experience and satisfaction. This includes cashless payments, healthier options, organic labeled machines, and certified food tags.

3. Get the Necessary Licenses for Vending

To start a vending machine business, there are some general licenses and permits that you need to obtain from respective authorities. You will need a business license, Sales and Tax Permit, and Food business establishment permit. Apart from these regular licenses, you will also need some additional licenses and permits which are a Beverage Licence, a Vending Machine Permit, and a location permit. A business that sells a product for less than 15 cents per product doesn’t require any permit.

Business License$200
Sales and Tax PermitN/A
Food business establishment permit$100
Beverage Licence$150( Non Alchohalic)
Vending Machine Permit$1000-$2000
Location Permit$150( Non Alcoholic)
How Much is a Vending Machine Permit?

The fees of vending machines may vary by location. But on average a vending machine costs you around $3000. For the exact price of the vending machine permit at your location, you have to contact the local Small Business Administration Office.

4. Acquire the Right Vending Machine

You have to consider whether you need a new or a used vending machine for a particular place. Used vending machines are a better investment. When buying a vending machine, explore personal sellers on platforms like Facebook and Instagram Marketplace. Ensure all components work—coins, bills, buttons, and coils. Verify that the screen functions properly for snack machines and the condenser is cold for drink machines. These are some common types of vending machines.

  1. Snack Vending Machines
  2. Bevaerage Vending Machines
  3. Combination Snack and Beverage Vending Machines
  4. Fresh Food Vending Machines
  5. Coffee Vending Machines
  6. Icecream Vending Machines
  7. Healthy Vending
  8. Specialized Vending Machines (i.e. DVD, Toys, Betting)
  9. Reverse Vending Machines
  10. Medical Vending Machines

Consider MDB compatibility for future card reader installations. Be cautious with card readers; they can eat into your profits with transaction fees.

How much does a vending machine cost?

A vending machine costs between $500 to $1000. The price of a vending machine depends upon its size and functions.

5. Moving the Vending Machine to Another Place

Moving a vending machine is not an easy task. If you require to move a vending machine from one place to another you have to keep certain things in your mind. Make sure your vending machine is vacant, and choose a stable vehicle for transporting your Machine. Match your machine dimensions with the dimensions of the vehicle.

In the cases where transportation of vending machines is not suitable, you can also opt for renting your vending machine to another vendor in that area and look for another vending machine that is available for rent in your preferred location.

6. Choose Your Wholesale Suppliers Smartly

After securing a location and setting up your vending machine, it’s time to stock up on inventory. Purchase snacks and drinks from wholesalers like Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club. You can also explore Walmart for unique offerings.

Consider your target audience when selecting items and keep in mind that you might need to adjust your product offerings based on the location.

7. Find Profitable Locations

The vending machine business requires the installation of vending machines as per the needs of locations. Location plays the biggest role in the profits of a vending machine business. For example, you can place your book vending machine near private schools.

LocationBest Vending Machine
Private SchoolsSnacks, Books
ParksSnacks, Beverages
Office AreasCoffee, Soda
Bus ShopsSnacks
Cinema HallsPizza, Burger

8. Maintenance and Repair costs

Regular Maintenance Cost

It costs around $250 to maintain and refill your vending machine with new products. This cost includes the cost of snacks, drinks, and cost of minor repairs. The vending machine also requires around $30 annually for repairment of different parts of the vending machine.

Accidental Maintenance Cost

Repair costs may also arise from seldom factors. These factors are mechanical failures, electrical issues, or damage caused by vandalism or accidents. The cost of these factors depends heavily on the intensity of damage caused.

Age-related Costs

There are also some age-related constraints that are associated with vending machines. Everything loses its efficiency as do vending machines. Old vending machines (older than 60 months) require more spending on repair and maintenance.

9. FAQs about Vending Machine Business

How Much is a Vending Machine?

A new vending machine can cost anywhere between $500 to $1000 depending on its products and sizes. On the other hand, a used Vending machine will cost you around $400 to $600.

How to Buy a Vending Machine?

You can buy a new Vending Machine directly from the seller. Used vending machines are available on different marketplaces. You can choose the vending machine as per your requirements.

How Much Do Vending Machines Make?

Depending upon the location and the product they vend, new vending machines can make anywhere between $500 to $5,000 per month.

Where to Buy a Vending Machine?

You can buy a new vending machine from e-commerce stores. For used machines, you can use marketplace platforms like Facebook, vending, Instagram, and many more.

What Item Did the First Vending Machines in the United States Dispense?

Chewing Gum was the first item that was dispensed by a vending machine in 1888, by Adam Thomas. The Chewing gum name was Tuti-fruti which was sold on United States railway stations.

Explore this article for unique business ideas: 12 Unique Startup Ideas That Haven’t Been Done

Final Thoughts

Now we are in 2024, and most of the tasks that required physical effort previously will be done through the use of robots and Artificial Intelligence. It is the right time to step into a machine-dominated business like vending machines because machines are the future. Growth prospects are also very high and in the future, you can expect vending machines at every public spot.

Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)