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Making Money With a Vending Machine Business In 2022

Written by: Tyler Morris
Last Updated by Ailén Faiad: June 23, 2022
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Vending machines are a fantastic way to earn passive income! They are low maintenance and earn capital simply from their location. To make a profitable vending business, there is a standard operating procedure you should follow when getting started. From Vetted Biz, we will review the costs and how to start a vending machine business.

You can expect a vending machine to cost anywhere from a few hundred to over ten thousand dollars. It all depends on its size, functionality, and services. It is important to understand all the operating costs associated with a vending business. 

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vending machine

You need to structure a budget to ensure that the revenue outweighs your costs. This way you can be profitable! Furthermore, whenever installing a vending machine you are going to need to test different price points. Never change more than one price at a time so you can experiment with what prices work best collectively. Smart vending machines today can do a lot of this work for you.

Location, Location…Location!

It is also important to scout various locations before installing a vending machine. You need to analyze both the costs of each location against expected revenue. This way you can evaluate the best location for your machine. Some vending companies that sell or franchise machines will even do this for you! Below find an infographic of the most common types of locations for vending machines.

vending machine

Finally, you will need to register as an LLC as well as collect a vending license. See an itemized list of start-up and operating costs below.

Start-up CostsOperating Costs
  1. Vending Machines
  2. Licenses
  3. Insurance
  4. Leasing
  5. Inventory
  6. Transportation
  1. Vending Machines
  2. Licenses
  3. Insurance
  4. Leasing
  5. Inventory
  6. Transportation
  7. Payroll for employees/contractors

Three Vending Machine Business Opportunities:

1) Healthy You Vending

Healthy You Vending provides healthy alternatives to traditional vending.

All operators can choose from over 2,500 different products at wholesale prices. When opening your first vending location all potential owners are required to attend a two-day education seminar to learn how to operate their machines. The brand also offers life coaching support to assist all operators.

There is only a one-time initial cost without any ongoing fees. That means there are no royalty or marketing fees associated with opening a Healthy You vending machine!  Furthermore, owners are able to operate the locations firsthand or have a hands-off approach. Healthy You Vending has been incredibly successful and in 2018 there were almost 760,000 machines across the U.S. 

vending machine healthy you

2) Naturals2Go

Naturals2GO is similar to Healthy You as it also provides Healthy Vending alternatives. Health2GO does not require that you purchase items from them directly, but has conducted extensive research to offer what they view are the 10,000 best items to choose from.

Healthy 2GO helps all new operators find the best locations in their local area and provides extensive training and coaching to operate these machines. Naturals2Go offers help securing financing to be able to overcome any barrier when first getting started. Healthy2Go also includes software to help optimize your vending machines to be able to maximize profits.

They recognize that just because you are able to purchase a machine does not necessarily mean you will be successful on your own. They aim to help all entrepreneurs and have even built a community for all owners to help each other. Naturals2Go also does not charge a royalty or any ongoing fee but offers all the benefits of a franchise business.

vending machine healthy you

3) Clothes Bin

Clothes Bin is a textile recycling company that allows entrepreneurs to collect throw-away materials and be able to earn a profit from this free resource. Bins are strategically placed in high-traffic areas such as schools, shopping centers, gas stations, and even business parking lots.

All the materials you are able to collect are sold in bulk. These customers vary between regional, national, and international wholesalers or even small local businesses. When initially starting up you are required to open a minimum of 20 locations in a territory that is able to handle up to 60 bins.

To become a franchisee you can expect to pay between $129,270 to $186,295. All candidates must have a minimum net worth of at least $300,000. Clothes Bin also includes smart technology known as Blip which alerts you anytime a bin is close to being full. Clothes Bin charges a low royalty fee of $120 per week, which is a bargain compared to industry norms of 5% of gross margin.

vending machine clothes & shoes

Three Vending Machine Franchise Opportunities:

Ice House America

Ice House America is a major vending provider of ice and water. In fact, the company represents over 90% of all global ice vending sales. Each machine filters water and has smart technology to manage any maintenance or replacement costs. Ice House America helps all franchisees find the proper location for their machine and offers advice on how to maximize profits. They offer four different machine sizes as ice and water needs vary. The cost of an Ice House America machine can range from $60,000 for their smallest merchant machine to $135,000+ for the Ice House.

Aqua Box:

Aqua Box is a vending machine franchise that offers purified and alkaline water. The machine can fill from 0.5 – 19  liters. The company also offers filters that can be sold to both residential and commercial customers. Aqua Box has two vending machines to choose from and provides smart technology to help effectively manage the product. Franchises are available throughout the U.S. and Aqua Box helps train and support all franchisees.

Fresh Healthy Vending:

Fresh Healthy Vending is a major provider of healthy vending alternatives. Offers over 6,000 different products for franchisees to choose from. As of 2015, the company had over 220 franchisees that manage over 2,750 machines across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and other markets.

Fresh Healthy Vending even provides 24/7 support to ensure that all franchisees have the resources they need to be successful. Franchisees are required to invest in a minimum of 10 machines when starting. Franchisees are also capped at operating a total of 50 machines. Finally, similar to competitors’ smart technology to manage inventory and operations as easily as possible.

Vending Machine Business For Sale?

You can visit business for sale websites like BizBuySell or our business for sale section of Vetted Biz to find your ideal vending machine business for sale. There are many vending machine businesses for sale across the country!

Valuations are across the board and generally you have to pay 3-6X cash flow for a vending machine business.

Prefer to buy a Vending Machine franchise? Click here for all the available vending machine franchise opportunities.

Profits in the Vending Business

Vending machines widely vary in revenue they collect. A used vending machine often earns at least $400 per month.

Average monthly and per-machine revenue of 23 operators

Respondent#machinesMonthly rev.Per machine/mo
Vendor #112$3,960$330
Vendor #24$960$240
Vendor #38$1,760$220
Vendor #46$450$75
Vendor #514$3,920$280
Vendor #622$7,700$350
Vendor #73$360$120
Vendor #828$14,000$500
Vendor #913$4,940$380
Vendor #1011$4,895$445
Vendor #1127$12,150$450
Vendor #129$2,160$240
Vendor #1310$4,800$480
Vendor #146$2,400$400
Vendor #154$340$85
Vendor #1635$9,975$285
Vendor #1712$3,360$280
Vendor #1815$3,990$266
Vendor #196$1,050$175
Vendor #2018$7,200$400
Vendor #2111$2,460$240
Vendor #228$5,200$650
Vendor #2317$3,740$220
Key Insights

Profits and revenue vary depending on the type of machine as well as location. Furthermore, vending machines cover a wide variety of industries. Profits in the food and beverage vending industry will greatly vary from other types such as cell phones and electronic supplies. Moreover, higher-end vending machines will typically have higher profit margins.

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Investment

Looking at Ice Born vending, which franchises ice vending machines. A total initial investment can cost $138,000 to $398,500. They operate a total of 138 franchised machines. They earned $625,707 between their 6% royalty and 1% marketing fee. This means that the 138 machines collectively earned $1.2 million. This means that the average machine collects $8,751 annually.

While this may appear like a great investment, most vending machines do not perform nearly this well. Most vending operators expect to earn a few hundred dollars per month. Additionally, the industry norm is to spend 50% of revenue on operating the machines themselves. That means if you purchase a lower-scale machine and earn $300 per month in revenue, you only profit $150 per month and $1,800 annually.


This indicates that the vending business is dependent on growing the number of machines.


Used or New Vending Machines?

When starting in the vending industry it is important to decide what type of market you are attempting to enter. First, how much are you willing to invest? A new high-end machine can run anywhere from $3,000 – $8,000. Meanwhile, a used machine can cost as little as $300 online. Ultimately, the vending machine business can be highly profitable whether you franchise or not. All it takes to be successful in evaluating your needs as an operator and evaluating how you can be most successful in the industry.

Conclusion

The vending business may appear attractive due to limited upkeep. However, there are more profitable business and franchise opportunities. While earning passive income is great it is important to recognize how many vending machines you may need to earn a large enough profit. Moreover, it is important to evaluate the time you will need to commit to operating each of these machines.

The industry is highly competitive and there is often a lack of transparency. Most vending companies do not disclose what you can expect revenue and profits to be due to such wide performance discrepancies. Many vending operators say it is purely a numbers game as some perform well and others are major failures.

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