Starting a vending machine business is a viable opportunity for anyone who has some business sense and a bit of cash on hand for the initial investment. It isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, nor is it simply a hands-off investment. A vending machine business can be fun and provide a flexible schedule, if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort.
Vending machines come in all shapes and sizes and at all different prices. The general rule of thumb is to avoid cheaply made machines and make sure the coin mechanism (the most used and thus, most vulnerable part) is metal, not plastic. You don’t want to see your first month’s profits go toward fixing a broken machine.

Gumballs are the most popular item for vending machines, because the profits are so realistic and easy to see. Most gumballs cost about 3-4 cents apiece if you offer gourmet flavored gumballs, and every single one sells for 25 cents. That’s a huge profit on each one. Bulk candy such as Peanut M&Ms, Plain M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, Skittles or Mike & Ikes are also popular.

Locating is arguably the most important part about maximizing your profits. Many people who jump into the business buy package deals from unscrupulous companies and pay huge amounts for cheap machines and locating services that find poorly-performing locations. Most of these people get out of the business at a loss within a few months. Many locating services are scams or useless, so take care if you decide to have a locater service place machines for you. It can cost upwards of $75 per location, so it might be a good idea to place machines yourself when you first start out. All it requires is a short presentation to give to store managers/owners and a nice outfit. A lot of businesses may say no, in fact, the majority of them probably will, but doing the work yourself will save you money and may help you later. If you and the manager/owner develop a repertoire, you could find yourself with a valuable recommendation source of new locations, not to mention, your machine will be a lot safer in a store where the owner watches out for it.

A vending business can be an exhilarating adventure, but it will be most successful if you follow those guidelines and adjust as you go to what works best for you. Ultimately, if you are diligent, you will know the best techniques for securing the best spots and making the most of your profits.

For more information or choose the perfect vending machines for you, visit or call us at 800-853-3941 or 760-734-1414.