Vending Machine Business, Is It For You?

Are you considering starting a vending machine service as a way to earn more money? Read on to learn if the vending machine business is right for you today.

Vending machines are one-stop snack-and-drink stops for U.S. consumers around the country. People in every state purchase candy, soda, juices, sandwiches and more from one of the seven million nationwide vending machines operational today. Seventy percent of Americans are likely to make at least one vending machine purchase every day. These machines are more than convenient, fun and affordable ways for Americans to grab a drink and a quick bite to eat, however. Vending machines are legitimate, profitable business opportunities.

Are you looking for fast ways to earn more money in 2021? Do you need a new way to increase the profits in your Laundromat? U.S. residents spend an average of $62 per year on vending machine products. Are you ready for a new revenue stream? Read on to learn if the vending machine business is right for you today.


Introduction to Vending Machines

Vending machines have an origin surprisingly connected to religion. Far from chicken salad sandwiches, Mountain Dew drinks and Twix bars of modern times, the first version of a vending machine dispensed holy water in the temples of Egypt. By the mid 1600s vending machines were selling tobacco products. In 1822 vending machines were invented to dispense taboo printed news materials. Full automation was introduced in 1867 for dispensing postage stamps. Coin-operated machines began sprouting up in London rail stations and post offices selling postcards, envelopes and paper for travelers to write on.

Modern-day vending machines dispense an endless variety of possible products. Tobacco products are still some of the most popular items sold in vending machines today. Do you play the state lottery? Automatic vending machines dispense lottery tickets priced from $1-$20. Contraceptives, phone chargers, gum, soups, CBD products, perfumes, prepaid cell phones, coffees and even video games are sold in U.S. vending machines. Yes - arcade games are technically vending machines, which sell the ability to play a digital game for limited amounts of time.

Are you looking for quick new ways to earn additional money in 2021 after COVID-19 created financial issues in 2020? Do you own a Laundromat and need a logical new way to increase its profits? Adding a meal-and-beverage, cigarette or specialty vending machine is one possible solution for you. 

Pros & Cons

Like all businesses, the vending machine industry has its pros and cons. The pros outweigh the cons by a significant margin for most vending machine business owners, however. What are the pros and cons of owning a vending machine business?


The vending machine business has a significant amount of competition. More competition means less available locations to place your machines. Higher profit margins require investing in larger amounts of machines. If you do not have the start-up capital to initially purchase a series of machines it takes longer to earn the money you expect to make. Installing and servicing vending machines takes time and work. If you cannot afford a service staff you initially end up  doing most of the work yourself. Additional unexpected expenses apply. For example, location owners charge rent to place your vending machine(s) in their building. Newer more popular products on the market also costs you more money to purchase. Finally, it is sometimes challenging to keep up with trending products. If your machines are not stocked with the most current popular items, they fail to turn a profit.


The pros of the vending machine business are mightier than the cons for business owners who know how to effectively manage start-ups or increase current business margins while also mitigating risks. The start-up costs for vending machine businesses are low compared to most other business types. Several hundred dollars might buy your first machine. Starting with a small number of machines mitigates the financial risk and physical burnout as you acclimate to the job requirements. Many pros and benefits are possible when naming yourself as your own boss. Schedule flexibility, investment amount, control over all decisions are all benefits to owning a vending machine business.


Why is a Laundromat a prime location for placing one or more vending machines? Customers are already in a Laundromat for extended periods of time. Customers need soaps, fabric softeners and more. Children get hungry. A suite of Laundromat specialty vending machines creates a variety of ways to turn a profit provided your machines are stocked with the most popular and needed items. Similar to arcade games, coin-operated washing machines and dryers are also profitable versions of vending machines. Purchasing a Laundromat is essentially an investment into a fleet of moneymaking vending machines


Restocking your vending machines is a primary responsibility as a vending machine business owner. Why is restocking important? Most customers are turned off by vending machines stocked too low on products. An under stocked vending machine seems dirty or unsafe to many customers. Restocking with trending popular items is also important. Does your vending machine dispense older USB phone chargers but not the most current iPhone chargers? Regularly restocking food and drink items is also essential. If your vending machine has expired items you are certain to lose money fast.

Vending Machine – Drinks and Snacks

Drink and Snacks vending machines, otherwise referred to as Food & Beverage machines, are profitable and popular types of vending machines in 2021. The contents in these types of machines have evolved rapidly over recent years. Technology allows customers to pay with cash and credit/debit cards, which allows you to charge more money for healthier or gourmet food items. Hot and cold items are both available in modern machines. Available items range from soups, salads, meats, cheese, candies, breads, fruits, protein bars and more.