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Questions About Vending Machine Business


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Hello All,

I am looking to get into the vending machine business. I would like to know more about your experiences doing so. How would I get started? Is this something that can be done as a full time operation, or a side thing at best? How much money can I make per year, and what is the annual ROI per machine? How many machines would you recommend owning? How much time do you spend working on the business and working on the machines, and what are your day-to-day tasks? What is the profit split between you and the owner of the retail location where the machine is placed? Which machines do you best recommend? Is it also better to buy machines new or used, and where do you buy your machines from? Also, I know nothing about repairs. Is it easy to find technicians to hire to help repair machines? How often do machines get to the point where they are in need of repair? Thank you!

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I am a side hustle ham n egger - been at it for 15 years.  It's easy to grow too big to keep it side hustle...buy machines/locations off of Craigslist to start, made some mistakes learned pretty quick to stick with newest US made equipment - never bought any chinese stuff but did buy a few ancient machines that were more hassle than they were worth - they looked ok, and were on location but when people tell you not to bother with can only machines or old Rowes you should listen.

Have had as many as 30 machines out on location and that was too many for side hustle - broke them up into routes of 6-10 machines and either sold them off or leased them out to family/friends so they could try vending - not for everyone, one brother took to it and has a half dozen locations, I usually run 12-16 machines now and am pretty picky about location - if we're not netting $150-$200/mo per machine will generally sell or move em.  

Stuff that has been important for us:  Shop space - locations come & go and you need a place to store & work on equipment.  Ability to move the machines - forklift was a big purchase for us but worth every penny - drop deck or platform lift trailers with pallet jacks and room to store them.  Space for inventory to be kept organized, fresh and secure.  Dedicated delivery vehicle - we use older Chevy Astro vans, they work for us and usually can be had in decent shape for under $5k.  Good bank & tax guy.



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