Make passive income with vending machines

How can you make passive income with vending machines?

Make passive income with vending machines by purchasing vending machines online and vending supplies in bulk. Try to put your vending machines in small local businesses, which most will allow for free. Starting a vending machine business takes persistence, but each machine can make between $50 to $150 per month.

Imagine, making your rounds to fill up your vending machines once per month. Most of your customers pay via credit card, so money is automatically transferred to your account.

Vending machines require very little work to maintain.

Luckily for you, I’m going to show you how to make passive income with vending machines. I’ll show you if any machines make good money and where to find the best locations. I’ll even tell you where to find inventory for your vending machines and if this is the business for you.

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Are vending machines passive income?

Vending machines are considered passive income with minimal upkeep. Once per month you will need to stock up on vending machine inventory and stock the machines. Therefore, you can expect to work 1-2 days per month which is considered fairly passive.

You’ll also need to plan for the machines to break down. Typically, broken down machines won’t consume a large portion of your time, but you need to plan for it. Otherwise, vending machines are a passive investment.

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Do vending machines make good money?

Each vending machine should be able to make you between $50-$150 per month in profit. Averaging $100 per machine, you would need 30 machines to make $3,000 per month in passive income.

Check out Jamie Ibanez’s video where he collects one months worth of income from his vending machines. Skip to about 20 minutes in if you just want the income report.

Jamie has three locations. In total, he has three drink machines and two snack machines.

The total amount of money he collected in one month was $1,125.45. He estimates his profit to be between $500-$550 for the month. Therefore, the average profit he receives from each machine is about $100 per month.

Snack and vending machines typically cost between $3,000-$4,000. So it will take you between 30 and 40 months to recoup your investment. 

However, gum ball and candy machines cost between $80-$400 depending on the machine. Therefore, you can get started with candy machines and expand as your business grows.

What are the best locations for vending machines?

The best locations for vending machines are small local businesses who allow you to place a machine for free. Examples include hair salons, tire shops, waiting rooms, and other high-traffic areas.

Can you place a vending machine anywhere?

You cannot place a vending machine anywhere. Instead, you must get permission from the business or building owner. Most business owners are open to the idea of vending machines, so you shouldn’t have any problems.

Where can I negotiate a vending machine?

Small business locations are the best place for your vending machines. Large retailers like Walmart already have contracts in place for vending machine management. Therefore, look to place a vending machine at hair salons, auto repair shops, waiting rooms, strip malls, and other highly trafficked small business areas.

How much does it cost to put a vending machine somewhere?

Most business owners will allow you to place a vending machine for free. Describe the value a vending machine will bring to the location and for the businesses customers. You can increase your chances of success by having a machine on hand and ready to install.

At the end of the day, the cost is whatever you can arrange with the business owner. You shouldn’t have to pay anything to place a vending machine.

Instead, focus on how much value a vending machine brings to customers. Tell the business owners that customers are more patient when there is access to food and drink. Typically, vending machines sell themselves, because everyone loves snacks.

Having a machine on hand is a business hack. The owner is more likely to say yes when they see you’re serious and ready to place the machine today. There’s something about seeing the machine in person that makes it become a reality.

Where do you find inventory for vending machines?

The best place to find vending machine inventory are bulk stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. Prices at bulk stores are inexpensive, which allows you to sell snacks for a higher profit margin. Don’t try to find unique candy, chips or drink, because popular snack choices sell the best.

When you’re buying inventory, try to buy in bulk because you get more product for a better price. Costco and Sam’s Club tend to be the best choices for stocking vending machines.

Try to stick with the popular name brand items for your vending machines. Candy like snickers, M&Ms, and Reese’s Pieces will sell better than random candy that you found for a great deal. The same goes for drinks and chips.

Should I start a vending machine business? 

Vending machines are a fairly passive business, which can make good money for anyone determined enough. The hardest part about a vending machine business is securing the locations. However, once locations are found, you can make between $50-$150 per machine depending on location.

The benefits of starting a vending machine business are easy cash flow, minimal upkeep, and working one day per month. However, you still have to haul heavy machinery, deal with repairs, and keep the machines stocked.

Vending machines require a minimal investment to start. You might want to start with one location containing one snack and one drink machine.

Each machine might cost you $3,500 for a total of $7,000. You will also need initial inventory, which might cost around $300. Don’t forget a dolly and a vehicle to haul your machines. In total, you might need around $10k to get started.

As you can see, the machines are your biggest costs. You can save money by finding used machines.

Ultimately, do you want a business that requires your attention one to two times per day? Are you ok moving machines around if needed? If so, you might want to start a vending machine business.

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Summary: Make passive income with vending machines

As you can see, it is possible to make passive income with vending machines. You’ll need an initial investment around $10,000, but each machine makes an average of $100 per month. Other than stocking and the occasional broken machine, vending machines are passive income.

Vending machines can be placed, with permission, at local small businesses. Large retailers already have vending contracts, so you won’t have much luck getting your machines at Walmart. Think of hair salons, strip malls, and other highly trafficked businesses.

Most business owners are comfortable with you placing a machine for free. The machines provide value to their customers, so it’s a win-win.

The best places to find vending machine inventory are bulk stores. Costco and Sam’s Club are typically the best locations for finding inventory. Just make sure you buy popular snack options.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.