Vending as a business
4 mins read

Vending as a business

Vending machines present an ideal opportunity for those interested in launching an independent business with minimal effort. Startup costs can be negotiated, operational expenses are low, and profit margins are attractive. Starting this vending as a business, a side hustle with just one machine and scale based on demand is feasible.

How to start a vending business

For a thriving vending machine enterprise, two critical pieces of knowledge are crucial:

  1. The selection of products you intend to offer.
  2. The optimal locations for placing your machines.

Select Your Products

The first rule of vending machine entrepreneurship is to choose products that match your locations. What’s the second rule, you might wonder? It’s all about relevance. After all, who needs ice in Alaska? Let’s explore the most popular category:

Food and Beverage Vending

The variety has expanded beyond sodas, snacks, and unappetizing sandwiches thanks to recent innovations. Nowadays, you can offer gourmet items like vacuum-sealed wasabi beef, Norwegian salmon, flavored milk, fries, and even pizza slices. However, the primary drawback of food and beverage vending is its cost. Positioned at the higher end of the market, these machines can range from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the model.

Specialty Vending

Catering to distinct consumer interests, specialty vending machines offer an extensive selection of high-quality products. This includes electronics, ice cream, tech gadgets, false eyelashes, perfumes, and essential pharmacy items. In California, vending machines now provide medically prescribed marijuana, a convenience that aligns with practices already established in Europe.

Choosing the Ideal Location

Aim for locations with high foot traffic, lacking in inconvenient product options, and with accessibility after hours.

Explore these sought-after vending machine locations to spark your selection process:

  1. Airports and shopping centers
  2. Educational organizations such as schools, universities, and community colleges
  3. Fitness centers
  4. Hospitality venues like hotels and motels
  5. Residential buildings, including apartment complexes

Securing a Vending Machine Agreement

Once you’ve identified potential locations for your vending machines, the next step involves contacting business owners and building managers, primarily through cold calls. While the thought of cold-calling may seem daunting, engaging in face-to-face discussions is often the most effective strategy for securing a deal.

To make a strong impression, it’s crucial to present yourself professionally. This includes wearing a branded uniform and being prepared with your business cards and details of your website, business email, and contact number.

Vending Machine
Vending machine

Purchasing Your Vending Machine

You have three main avenues to acquire vending machines: direct from manufacturers and wholesalers, through secondhand resellers, or by leasing.

  • manufacturers and Wholesale Vending Suppliers: These professional entities offer the latest vending technology, providing comprehensive services that include delivery, repair, and training for optimal machine operation.
  • pre-owned Vending Machines: Opt for a more budget-friendly route by purchasing secondhand machines from platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, or specialized used vending machine dealers that offer financing options.
  • you are leasing a Vending Machine: A cost-effective alternative that allows you to use the necessary equipment without a hefty initial investment, making starting or expanding your vending machine venture easier.

Fill Your Vending Machine with Products

By now, you should clearly understand the products that best match your machine and location, addressing the specific needs and desires of the local population.

The following action is to purchase these products at a cost-effective price. You have several avenues to explore: Membership clubs, Cash-and-carry outlets, and Wholesale suppliers are all viable options.

Benefits of owning a vending machine business

Vending machines represent a compelling business model for those aspiring to launch their ventures with minimal effort. This model offers unique advantages, making it ideal for entrepreneurs seeking independence.

The benefits of launching into the vending machine business are numerous and enticing:

  • Low initial investment costs
  • Reduced overhead expenses
  • A diverse array of product options
  • The flexibility to tailor your work schedule
  • The ease of altering product offerings
  • Straightforward scalability