Friday, August 18, 2023

Passive Income: Vending machine business idea

The vending machine business can be either a side or main hustle. Here are some benefits of this business type.

  • IF well set up, a small vending machine business can generate passive income or semi-absentee income. Notice that this is a big 'if' because a business with poorly functioning machines, inadequate locations and your inability to service the machines can translate into a more time consuming job than otherwise.
  • It is recession proof. 
  • It is ideal for involving children and young people as their first exposure to business.
  • It offers various options on which to focus in the vending business; selling products, selling services finding locations for others, basic or advanced machine repairs, selling parts.

The main purpose of this entry is to give steps to profitably start or run a vending business. However, before starting those steps, I will quickly touch on a noteworthy observation that has been echoed by many others in the industry in some way or other. According to Hill Vending, there are 4 predictors of success in the vending machine business, ie: location, machines, service and pricing. However, most have also specifically cited efficiency. On that basis, I will pay special attention to these variables throughout this post.

Vending Location

Many business owners suggest that location is the single most important variable. This is because locations with high foot traffic usually generate more revenue. However, the concept of a vending location is multifaceted. Specifically, as with anything else in marketing, After you consider the demographics and psychographics of this foot traffic, figure out appropriate solutions and all other marketing mix elements required to properly serve the location. In addition to the marketing mix, have a risk management plan for risks inherent in some locations. See a list of location ideas and location-specific risk management considerations (below).


Machines with the latest payment technology are usually better purchases for several reasons. For instance, credit card payment options have been shown to drastically increase sales overall and also allow you to do inventory management on your phone. More reliable and durable machines can improve your service quality. Additionally, replacing parts on modern machines is often very easy and does not even require technical know-how because of a plug-in design that allows entire components to be pulled out of slots and replaced with new ones within seconds, ie without the need for technical skill. Besides, old machines are difficult to deal with because getting new parts can be difficult or impossible and upgrading can be as costly as buying a better model from the start.