Ultimate Guide On How To Start A Vending Machine Business

Vending machines are a great way to make a little extra money on the side or even a full-time income. You can find vending machines in a variety of locations, including gas stations, grocery stores, and office buildings. They are usually stocked with a variety of items, including snacks, drinks, and even some health and beauty products.

Starting a vending machine side hustle is a great way to make some extra money. You can start with just a few machines and gradually add more as you get more customers.

In this guide, we will look at the ins & out of starting your own Vending Machine. We will also talk with Marcus Gram, who owns hundreds of vending machines around the US.

Vending Machine Side-Hustle

Finding The Location

The key to success with a vending machine side hustle is finding the right locations. You want to find places with high foot traffic and a captive audience. These places could be gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, college campuses & office buildings.

To find locations, you will need to reach out to these businesses, Marcus recommends that you cold call them and ask if they are interested and then go by to visit them. Whenever you call them up, you should aks to speak with he Owner and be direct at what you want and not waste time because the more people you contact, the more you will have to place your vending machines at.

You should not buy a vending machine unless you have a location secured when you are starting out or just buy 1 and then go from there. You don’t want to end up with machines that are collecting dust.

How Much Do You Pay The Location?

Marcus says, that not to offer any compensation if they do not ask and if they do ask, it should be based on a tiered plan. For example, Maybe 5% on machines that make $500 and go up as they make more.

Getting A Vending Machine

The vending machine you will buy will depend on the purpose, the type of items you will stock, and sometimes the location. Data says that Pepsi vending machines are the most popular was based JUST on the volume but not by the amount of revenue they generate.

Types Of Vending Machines

Where Do You Buy Your Vending Machines?

You can buy vending machines from Vending Machine warehouses locally, but they will more than likely cost you the full amount of the vending machine. Instead, we recommend you find used ( make sure they work) ones from sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

Get Machine Installed

Once you have a location and you guys agree on a compensation plan & you have a vending machine. If this is your first time, you should get someone to help you transport and install it.

Installing the machine is not hard, it just might not be possible to do it alone. You will typically plugin and make sure there are no obstacles, you will also need to connect to to ca card reader, which these days run from a sim card and phone-like antenna that doesn’t require wifi.

What to put on the Vending Machine?

If you use a Pepsi or Coke machine, most of the time, you will put drinks but if you are putting up a snacks machine, you will need to put popular snacks that will sell.

For example Chips, Pretzels, Nuts, M&Ms and Candy Bars.

Where to buy the items for Vending Machine?

Marcus says that he buys his items from Costo or Sames where he gets a discount for buying in bulk and he makes .70 cents to $2 on an item depending on the margin.


After the vending machine has been installed, you will need to come by weekly to restock or whenever the location owner lets you know that it’s running empty. A lot of new vending machines have a stock tracker so you can see whenever the items are running low.

On top of that, you will need to clean the machine and have a vending machine handy man handy in case something goes wrong. Some location owners will even require you to buy insurance for placing your vending machine at their location.


Overall starting a Vending Machine business is a lucrative side hustle because as you add more machines, you start to make more money. It does require the initial investment which should be recovered in a few months if sales are ok. This side hustle is not for someone who wants easy work because you will be shopping, going to locations and you will need to do some labor if you are just starting out. Once you have more machines, you can hire people to restock and take care of the machines.

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