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Why Are Vending Machines So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)


student paying for the drinks from the vending machine


Vending machines can often be found in your city, i.e., in buildings, airports, hospitals, and even in random public places.

Have you ever wondered how much these vending machines cost?


Why Are Vending Machines So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)

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Vending machines are expensive because of the rising material cost.

The machines are made from highly durable materials which also contribute to the cost.

The total cost of the vending machine will depend on its condition, size, and features.

You can find both new and refurbished vending machines in the market.

Brand new vending machines can range from $3,000 to $10,000 or more.

The refurbished or used vending machines can be found in the $1,000 to $3,000 range.


1. Secure Payment Mechanism

Student using the contactless payment method in a vending machine.


There are different types of vending machines out there, each with its own unique features.

For example, some vending machines only take cash.

These are very basic vending machines and are usually cheaper than other versions of vending machines.

This is why it is easier for thieves to break into these vending machines.

The relatively modern version of vending machines has strong security features.

This is why they are comparatively more expensive.

Most of these machines allow you to choose from different payment methods, which include cash and card.

Therefore, not only are these vending machines physically secure, but they also have a strong mechanism in place to keep your financial information safe as well.


2. High Portability

tourist choosing a snack or drink at vending machine at night


Vending machines are like small stores with high portability.

Imagine opening a store but then realizing that your location isn’t that good.

What can you do in such a scenario?

First, you will have to relocate, which can be a big hassle.

This is not to mention the time and business you will lose while relocating.

The case is different with vending machines.

If after a few days, you think the machine isn’t getting you enough profit, you can easily change its location within a few hours.

The high portability factor adds to the cost of vending machines.


3. High Durability Of The Vending Machines

Vending machines of various company in TAIPEI.


Vending machines can be placed both indoors and outdoors.

The vending machines that are placed indoors are generally protected, but the ones that are placed outdoors have to take the brunt of extreme weather conditions and other environmental aspects like heavy traffic and even vandalism.

This means that the vending machine has to be strong enough to stand against all these external factors.

Fortunately, there are vending machines out there that are made with high-quality and durable materials that can stand the test of time even in tough conditions.

However, due to the high quality of durable materials used in these vending machines, they tend to be more expensive than other vending machines that are made with low-quality materials.

High durability can be one of the most important factors in determining the price of the vending machine.


4. Rising Material Costs

Cost control speedometer. Cost management


The cost of raw materials massively affects the price of the end product, and the same is true for vending machines.

There has been a rise in material costs due to several different reasons, including financial instability and the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been many other events that have occurred as a result.

For example, in 2021, there was a global supply chain crisis that disrupted the global financial system.

The effects were widespread, especially in countries like the United States of America.

As a result, the cost of everything that was imported into the US went up.

In addition to this, there have been many micro and macro-level events that have resulted in rising material costs.

As the material cost rises, so does the end price of the product.

This means vending machines are getting too costly because the raw materials that are used to make these vending machines are very expensive.


5. The Pandemic

Coronavirus Covid-19


The Covid-19 pandemic was one of the most devastating events of the 21st century.

Not only did millions of people lose their lives, but it also resulted in the destruction of thousands of businesses all over the world.

It also increased inflation and caused the global supply chain crisis.

There was a clear imbalance between the supply and demand of different products in the country.

Along with everything else, vending machine prices were also affected by it.

The pandemic also resulted in labor shortages which increased the production cost of vending machines.

Another aspect of the labor shortage was that vending machines became more popular, and their demand increased, which resulted in vending machines becoming more costly.


6. Additional Features

Man uses a loyalty card while online shopping


Not all vending machines are the same, as some have more features than others.

The basic vending machine model is where you put in the cash and get the product you want.

These days, you can find a lot of different vending machines where you can use other payment options in addition to cash.

You can also get loyalty points if you purchase anything from the vending machine.

These loyalty points can then be redeemed for a reward.

These days, vending machines have become much more advanced.

You can even get pizzas, burritos, raw milk, champagne, and even over-the-counter medicines at vending machines.

Such unique vending machines aren’t without their costs.


7. They Are Convenient

Vending machine selling snacks and drinks in a hostel in Vienna


Have you ever wondered why people pay extra to fly first class?

They want to enjoy the comfort, luxury, and convenience they get with that experience.

This shows that if you are looking for convenience, then you might have to pay extra for it.

Another reason that vending machines cost so much is that they are a convenient way to earn passive income, and manufacturers know it.

They know that if the vending machine is placed strategically, then the owner can break even on their investment within the first year.

Therefore, it allows for people to have a great passive income stream.

In this fast-moving world, convenience is something we all need, and that is what vending machines provide to both the owner and the customers, i.e., its level of comfort and convenience.


8. Increasing Inflation



Global inflation is at a record high.

An increase in inflation results in a price hike for almost everything in the market.

The war in Ukraine, the pandemic, and political instability have resulted in increased inflation which has driven higher prices throughout the supply chain.

The materials used in the vending machines, the logistics to transport the machines, and everything associated with vending machines have become costly.

Naturally, this factor has increased the price of vending machines.


9. In Some Regions, You Have To Get A License To Install Vending Machines

Permits binder blue color with calculator and pen in the office


In many states, you have to get a special business license to buy and install vending machines in different locations.

Depending on the location, you may also need to get a permit for the location you want to place the vending machine.

These licenses and permits cost money which eventually ends up increasing the total cost of the vending machine business.

It may not be a direct cost associated with the vending machine itself, but to legally install the vending machine and earn profit from it, you need to pay for the license.


10. The Popularity Of The Vending Machine Company

Drinks vending machine on subway platform.


There are hundreds of different vending machine companies out there.

Mars Incorporated is considered one of the largest vending machines companies.

This is the same company that brought the delicious Mars chocolate to us.

Spain-based Azkoyen Group is another big name in the vending machine business.

Japan also has several big vending machine companies, including Fuji Electric.

The vending machine market is dominated by American and Japanese companies.

Each of these companies has its own vending machines with a range of unique features.

What you may find in one vending machine may not be available in other vending machines.

There are always certain aspects that make a vending machine more popular than others.

For example, if you want to buy a Mars Incorporated vending machine, it will cost you more than any other generic vending machine due to its high popularity.


Things To Consider When Buying Vending Machines

woman choosing a snack or drink at vending machine in airport


If you are looking to purchase a vending machine, then there are certain things that you need to consider.

Let’s take a look at some of those factors.


1. The Size Of The Vending Machine

Vending machines are available in different shapes and sizes.

When purchasing a vending machine, you have to think about the size you want.

If you are looking for a less costly option, it is better to go with one of the smaller vending machines.

If you can afford to pay for a larger vending machine, that can be a great option as large-sized vending machines can be more profitable.


2. The Location

The next factor to consider is the location of your vending machine.

It is very important to place your vending machine at a strategic location.

When it comes to the vending machine, location is everything.

The location you choose can make or break your business.

If you place your vending machine in a place with low foot traffic, the chances are that it will not be as profitable as you would want it to be.

This is why it is important to choose a location that is crowded with potential customers.


3. Consider The Inventory

When you are considering buying a vending machine, one significant thing to consider is the type of items you want to stock in your vending machine.

Try to get a vending machine that allows you to stock different types of items, including snacks and beverages.

Vending machines with multiple food and beverage options usually tend to be more profitable.

This is because the large variety of items stocked in the vending machine gives consumers the options to choose from.


4. The Payment System

A major thing to consider when buying vending machines is the payment system.

First, you have to see whether you want a vending machine that allows cash payment or you prefer a more modernized version of the vending machine that allows payment through debit or credit card.

If you want your investment to be secure, then it is better to get the more modernized version of the vending machine.

The vending machines that allow card payments may seem riskier, but they are the safer option.

Cash payment vending machines are usually more vulnerable to break-ins.

These days, people tend to use plastic money more than cash, so it is best to get a vending machine that allows payments through plastic money.


5. The Brand Of The Vending Machine

As already mentioned, several vending machine companies earn millions of dollars through their vending machine business model.

Mars Incorporated vending machines is one such company.

When you are looking for a vending machine, try to look for one from a well-established brand.

Even if you find a used or refurbished vending machine from a good brand, you should give it more importance than a generic vending machine in new condition.


Are Vending Machines Worth The Investment?

thinking man


Yes, vending machines are totally worth it.

Vending machine owners can break even in their capital investment in the first month, given that they place the vending at a good and strategic location.

It is an investment that will generate a long-term passive income stream for you.

The best part about all this is that it requires very little maintenance, and if it is placed inside someone else’s store, then you can be assured that the store owner will take good care of it while you will reap most of the financial benefits from the vending machine.

If you care for your vending machine properly and you fill it up regularly, then you can easily earn up to $10,000 every year.


Which Type Of Vending Machine Should You Get?

Group of red vending machines stands by the wall


There are many different types of vending machines out there.

Some sell sodas, while others are designed for chips and a range of other snacks.

There are also vending machines that cook hot pizza in minutes.

It is very important to note that all vending machines may work on a similar principle, but they do have different concepts.

Depending on your expertise and your business ideas, you should choose a vending machine that you think will get you the most profit.

For example, for a bus stop, a soda vending machine would be better than a pizza vending machine.

A vending machine that sells raw milk would be ideally placed indoors at a grocery store.

Based on your business idea and location, you can choose any vending machine that you want.


Can You Build A Business Out Of Vending Machines?

Happy white-haired mature woman using vending machine while drinking coffee indoors


You might have seen vending machines at your office and other public locations.

In most cases, the vending machine isn’t owned by the office they are in, but by a vending machine company that has signed an agreement with the respective office.

The vending machine company pays the building owner a certain amount of money in order to install their vending machine in the building.

In turn, the vending machine owner earns money when people use their vending machines.

We have already established that vending machines can be very lucrative if they are installed at the right location.

Can you build a business out of them, though?

The short answer is, “Yes.”

A single vending machine may not be as profitable, but if you have several machines installed at different locations all over the city, that could cover your costs and generate a decent profit.

The best part about having a vending machine is that it will all be passive income.

Yes, you will have to check the machines every few days and restock them, but overall, very little maintenance is required.

Yes, you can build a business out of vending machines.

If you can afford to buy several vending machines at once, then you should do that.

You might be able to get a really good deal if you buy in bulk.

However, your overall initial cost will be higher if you buy individual vending machines, so you can save money by buying several vending machines at once.


How To Keep Your Vending Machines Safe From Theft And Vandalism

hooligan with a hidden face paints graffiti


Did you know that the first vending machine ever was introduced to the world in 1883?

Since then, the design and functionality of vending machines have increased by a great margin.

This also means improved security.

Outdoor vending machines are susceptible to vandalism and theft.

Sometimes there is nothing one can do about it.

This is a negative part of this market that you have to be careful about.

In order to keep your vending machines safe from theft or vandalism, try to install them indoors at grocery stores, marts, hotels, or even hospitals.

Another thing you can do is to install a camera on top of the vending machine.

It would be better to install the camera on a nearby wall that is directed towards the vending machine so you can see the face of the customer.

This way, if they try anything fishy, you can contact the police and share the video with them.



We have covered 10 reasons vending machines are so expensive.

There are different factors like the type and size of the vending machines that affect the total cost of vending machines.

High durability and rising material costs have also contributed to the costs of vending machines.

If you are looking for ways to generate a reasonable amount of healthy passive income, then vending machines are the way to go.

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