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How Much Do Vending Machines Cost?

Startup costs associated with the vending-machine business can differ substantially, depending on the type of machine, its location, and the products sold. In addition, business owners also bear additional expenses like restocking costs, commissions paid to property owners or businesses, and repair expenses. Find the best healthy vending machines for sale.

Entrepreneurs with low startup minimize startup costs can purchase used machines for under $1,000 or new devices capable of dispensing microwavable foods for around $3,000 or more.

Size and Capacity

The size determines how many products a vending machine can fit, with smaller devices holding 48 cans or less and medium-sized ones dispensing up to 250 cans. Furthermore, price depends on size; smaller devices are less costly, while bigger ones will cost more.

Other upfront and ongoing expenses related to vending machine ownership include electricity costs, inventory needs, and location royalties. Electricity expenses depend on your area’s electricity rates and how much power your vending machine uses; refrigerator models require more power than non-refrigerated models.

Other expenses depend on factors like how many snacks and beverages a machine can dispense, whether or not it requires refrigeration, payment type accepted (cash or cards) as well as card reader compatibility; card readers add extra costs, so expect to pay more if your machine accepts debit and credit payments; manufacturer brand can also impact pricing.


Vending machines have become ubiquitous in workplaces, schools, and public spaces. While some might consider owning and operating vending machines a lucrative side hustle business model, there are costs involved with this business model that should not be ignored.

Electricity costs can add up over time, depending on your local electricity rates and the type of vending machine chosen; bulk vending machines that dispense gum, candy, or snacks tend to have lower operating expenses than electronic and mechanical machines.

Your location of the machine(s) could also require paying an annual lease fee or percentage of sales as a flat or percentage-based charge, while transaction fees incurred when accepting credit and debit card sales could incur transaction fees ranging from 0.1-2% of total sales made. Additional ongoing costs might include maintenance, restocking, inventory, and gasoline when driving to inspect machines; these other expenses could considerably reduce profitability.


New vending business owners frequently underestimate the money necessary to keep a machine operating smoothly, including electricity costs, repairs, maintenance fees, and any essential specialized equipment or parts that might be required.

Additionally, when considering machine maintenance and restocking inventory expenses, evaluating potential restocking and inventory costs is essential if your machine is in an active high-traffic environment.

Attributable expenses include monthly location royalties and transaction fees associated with credit card-enabled machines, investment in security cameras or other equipment if multiple devices are purchased, driving to check on them can cost both gas and vehicle maintenance expenses, especially if using services that require you to visit various locations regularly for maintenance and restocking purposes.


Vending machines must contain attractive and profitable products for potential customers. For example, while many vendors sell inexpensive gumballs and candy, others provide more upscale offerings like coffee or snack foods that cost more. Making sure your machine always contains these appropriate items will ensure sales.

One recurring expense to consider is location royalties (a percentage of sales paid directly to business owners where your machines are situated) and transaction fees; as more consumers switch from cash payments to cards, transaction fees will become an increasing expense. In addition, you should include one-time costs like maintenance, fuel, and vehicle insurance policies when setting up your machine business.

Finally, another effective strategy to increase profits is placing vending machines in high-traffic areas. For example, a gumball or candy vending machine might not do as well at a strip mall with many restaurants nearby but could become quite popular at an airport.

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