The economy is in recession and you’re looking for new ways to make a buck. You’d like to retire some day (or maybe already have). Your answer may be in vending machines. Vending is a multi-billion dollar industry. Gumballs and candy in general are some of the most popular impulse items, and the machines work 24/7 in as little as 15 sq. in. of floor space. You’ve seen those little quarter-eating robots before, but have you considered their profitability? A typical three-head machine will pay  $300 every time the candy sells out. From the classic single-head to the fun interactive style, these machines generate amazing returns with a minimum of investment and effort. One of the best qualities of this business is that you – the operator, are in control. Where else can you start your own business for under $100 and make a good profit. A Single-head machine under $60 and first load of gumballs for $35 will return over $200. After that, you only buy candy or gum to refill. Want to make more? Ten locations selling just 10 gumballs a day each would generate about $25 in gross sales/day, or $750/month, or $9,000/year – now that’s something to put in the bank! How much you make depends on several factors, but none of them require the time of a second job. In fact, with proper guidance, you should expect to tend your machines maybe once a month – to refill and collect your profit!
How do you get started? First, team-up with an industry partner like They know the vending world, offer competitive pricing on vending essentials like machines and refill supplies and are genuinely interested in your success. They are a partner you can trust to help build your business with good advice, discounts, and prompt deliveries. Next, find a location. Remember the three-L’s of real estate, “Location, location, location”. You want high-traffic areas, more traffic = more sales. You may have a business (or friend with one) to place the machines. Profit sharing for placement is common in vending, offer to return a percentage of profits in exchange for placement. Another popular method is to adopt a local charity and donate a percentage of profits. Helping those in need while increasing sales and the securing a location is ‘Win-Win’. Position your machines in the highest traffic areas inside the store – they won’t do well stuck behind the cola machine! Now that you have a location, decide which assortment to offer based on the type of traffic. If there are children, maximize profits with gumballs, jawbreakers, candy, tattoos, stickers and bouncy balls. Adult traffic favors sugar free gumballs and chocolate candy.  Many machines have multiple combinations of ‘heads’, so an assortment of products can be offered. A three-head machine may have jawbreakers, sugar-free gumballs and chocolate candy, so every need is met for any age group. Want to offer bouncy balls too – get a four-head or six-head machine.

Now it’s time to contact your partners at for recommendations. Size, style, number of heads and dispenser types can be customized. Many machines can be re-configured on-site by the operator, but you’ll want the right setup to begin this venture without delays. Themed machines build excitement and sales in the right locations; choose the Meridian, Whirler or even the NASCAR crane for maximized profits once you’re established. Now you have it all together; a partner for advice and supplies, high-traffic locations, the right machines, customer-specific products and the means to grow your business in the future. Just remember to go around every month and collect your pay!