So You Want a Vending Machine?

The Vending Machine Market:

When to Buy, Sell or Both

Everyone in the vending industry will be in the market at some point for a vending machine either as a buyer or a seller.  Used vending machines are an option for buying and selling.  I have been both.  Let’s look at some scenarios for sellers, buyers, and why you might be both.



New vending machines can offer new options.  The latest trend is electronic payment options.  Various forms of cashless payments are becoming increasingly popular.  Modular systems allow a site to grow, shrink, or change with the demands.  Selling older machines provides capital to reduce the expense of the new purchases.

Product Line Changes:

The vending industry is constantly looking for new and inventive vending options.  When your market wants a new product or an old product comes out in a new package, your machines might not handle the new package.  This might require modernization of some or all of your line of machines.

Surplus Equipment: 

Elimination of business lines is another time to sell equipment.  If a business chain goes out of business and you lose those locations.  Or perhaps your profits no longer support carrying gumball machines.  It could be time to sell surplus equipment. 


Repairs are part of life.  Technicians learn the workings of each machine, including the little peculiarities that each one seems to have.  The part that always seems to jam, malfunction, or break.  Parts must be purchased, stored, and as they accumulate they use up capital and take up space.  Having that odd machine or two that does not match your other machines can reach a point where selling it makes sense for the sake of uniformity.


Side Business:

There is money to be made for the small-time investor looking to have a few vending machines for some extra money.  The lower upfront costs make net profits come sooner.  There are also opportunities to purchase single routes, multiple routes, and entire businesses. 

Problem Location:  

If you have a location where sales are good, but you have other problems there like graffiti or vandalism.  A used vending machine can be swapped out when needed.

Backup Machine: 

It is expensive to have a machine sitting and not earning money.  Repairs are a necessary part of the business.  Temporarily replacing a machine to bring it to the shop for repairs can be an option with a low cost used vending machine purchased for backup.

Market Trials:

If you have a location where a new product looks like a new opportunity or perhaps the product is requested.  Making a smaller investment in a used vending machine to test the market could be a wise investment. 

Let’s say your research may show that a hot pizza machine might do good business near a ballfield.  So, before you buy a new pizza machine, you decide to test the market first with a used machine.  Then someone else’s research prompts them to open a pizza franchise or expand their delivery area to include your location, your market virtually disappears.  If the pizza machine was selling well before the new competition, you might just find a new location for it.  If not, you can become a seller

Buyer and Seller 

Business Changes: 

You might decide to make a change or a client might request a change.  Say you are changing from vending machines to a mini-market setup or vice versa.  Like the modernization option above, selling old equipment reduces the cost of new or used equipment.

Rotating Your Machines: 

Bringing in a new vending machine attracts attention.  Rotating machines and types of vending machines among your locations is a limited option.  This is true for all products.  Games are especially subject to developing customer apathy.  Used games can be a retro option to provide more choices.  By selling and buying at the same time you can upgrade your selection at a minimal cost.

These are just some ideas to ponder. 

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