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Vending Machines as a side hustle?

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  • Vending Machines as a side hustle?

    Anyone own and operate vending machines? Seems like once you had them up and running things wouldn't be too difficult, but I'm sure there are barriers to entry for this. Where would be the ideal place to place these machines?

  • #2
    Originally posted by FunkDoc83 View Post
    Where would be the ideal place to place these machines?
    Dietician and nutritionist waiting rooms.

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    • #3
      I’m not sure I even see these anymore. The ones they have in the middle schools around here sell bottled water (except every kid nowadays carries a water bottle just about anywhere they go) or sports drinks and granola bars, and the machines don’t work, by design, during school hours. I have no idea how much money they make. They also all have the signs saying that they aren’t responsible for lost money.

      My friend in junior high and high school had one of those three compartment vending machines with the tray where you could put in a quarter and get M&Ms or Mike and Ikes by the handful. I think he had it in a little deli. He would go in once every couple of weeks and pull the quarters out and restock it, then we’d go to the arcade and he’d spend a lot of it there. But for several years he was reliant on his parents to drive him to the store to buy new candy, then to the deli to collect the money and fill it back up.

      My only other vending machine story was in medical school. During third year in my surgery rotation I remember getting into the hospital at something like 4:45 in the morning after parking at the student parking lot way far away and walking in and thinking how miserable my life was. I rounded the corner by the cafeteria and there was a lady stocking the vending machines at 4:45 in the morning. From that point on I realized I didn’t have it so bad.

      In other words, I’m not sure the juice is worth the squeeze, unless you are in PP and can put one in your waiting room. Might be a conflict of interest though, unless it sells apples or healthy snacks.

      Oh, I recently saw something on Reddit where a butcher had a vending machine for when his store was closed, so people could still come by and buy stuff. Not sure how expensive that would be to have a refrigerated vending machine but that was pretty cool. I wonder how much money and business it really brings in though.

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      • #4
        When I was in high school I had a job filling vending machines for a summer at a resort. I ate so many Twix and drank so much Snapple. I am surprised that I am still alive.

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        • #5
          I’ll bet you can make $10s-$100s a month. You’ll be FI in no time at all

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          • #6
            Tried quarter candy machines 15 years ago. Left them in a restaurant and a bar. It was a hassle. So happy when someone took them off my hands via craigslist.

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            • #7
              Don't get disillusioned by that guy on youtube with vending machines, laundry mats and car washes where he pulls at fat stacks and claims its like that everyday.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pierre View Post
                I’ll bet you can make $10s-$100s a month. You’ll be FI in no time at all
                This was my first reaction as well. Unless you own thousands of them, it seems like you’d be better served at your day job.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MaxPower View Post
                  Might be a conflict of interest though, unless it sells apples or healthy snacks.
                  No worries. My hospital installed a McDonald’s during my residency. Nothing like having an Egg McMuffin before your surgery.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MaxPower View Post
                    My only other vending machine story was in medical school. During third year in my surgery rotation I remember getting into the hospital at something like 4:45 in the morning after parking at the student parking lot way far away and walking in and thinking how miserable my life was. I rounded the corner by the cafeteria and there was a lady stocking the vending machines at 4:45 in the morning. From that point on I realized I didn’t have it so bad.
                    I doubt there's any legitimate reason why this vending machine had to be restocked at 4:45am.

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                    • #11
                      I remember when I was 10 years old and always checked to see if people left quarters in the change dispenser in the vending machines. Last time I did that at the airport I found a Sacagawea dollar.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GasFIRE View Post
                        No worries. My hospital installed a McDonald’s during my residency. Nothing like having an Egg McMuffin before your surgery.
                        Man, I hadn’t had McDonalds in about 10 years until I was on a road trip recently and had to feed the kids breakfast. It hit the spot.

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                        • #13
                          In college my roommates would spend like hours scamming our apartment vending machine. It had a glitch where you put in a nickel and could get a quarter back or something. It bought a lot of McDonald's for them. Probably not a surprise they didn't graduate when I did 😆

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post

                            I doubt there's any legitimate reason why this vending machine had to be restocked at 4:45am.
                            Probably had 2 other jobs to get to..

                            I'm really struggling to recall the last time I bought anything out of a vending machine

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wideopenspaces View Post
                              In college my roommates would spend like hours scamming our apartment vending machine. It had a glitch where you put in a nickel and could get a quarter back or something. It bought a lot of McDonald's for them. Probably not a surprise they didn't graduate when I did 😆
                              I feel like I saw them on the news doing that at the car washes.

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