Business Overview

A vending machine business places vending machines in locations where people are likely to want the items these machines sell. According to IBISWorld, the vending machine industry is a $7 billion industry. It’s a large industry that’s not dominated by any one or two companies, which provides a great opportunity for new businesses.

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who enjoys working on their own and is mechanically inclined may like running a vending machine business. Business owners are frequently by themselves when filling and servicing machines, so self-motivation is important. A mechanical inclination is helpful when machines need repairs.

What happens during a typical day at a vending machine business?

A typical day at a vending machine business involves four primary activities:

  • ordering supplies
  • receiving supplies
  • filling machines with supplies
  • servicing broken-down machines

The cash in machines is collected when the machines are filled.

What is the target market?

Vending machines appeal to a wide swath of people. Everyone gets hungry and thirsty (or wants a toy) at some time.

How does a vending machine business make money?

A vending machine business makes money by selling items in the business’ vending machines to customers. Vending machines may sell snacks, soft drinks, hot drinks, sandwiches, hygiene products, candles, toys, and other products.

What is the growth potential for a vending machine business?

The volume of a vending machine business can be high. It’s not uncommon for a business to operate 25 to 50 machines, and some businesses have many more. Evan Carmichael, for instance, operated a vending machine business that had 200 machines.

As vending machine businesses grow, they usually remain within a single city or region. Businesses that operate high-profit machines might have machines placed throughout a 50-mile radius. Those that operate lower-profit machines often operate within smaller radii. The distance between machines is kept short to minimize drive time and fuel costs when going between machines.