Starting a Business

How to Start a Candy Vending Machine Business

how to start a candy vending machine business

Most of us remember the joy of inserting a quarter into a candy vending machine, turning the lever, and catching a delicious surprise!

In fact, my very first business when I was ten years old was something quite similar: gumball machines!

What excites me the most about candy vending machines is that you have more options. If one candy isn’t popular, simply insert another! From skittles to m&m’s, you’ll have many options to see what works best for your vending machine.

If you are looking for an idea for a business or a side hustle, this article contains all you need to know about how to start a candy vending machine business.

How Much Does a Candy Vending Machine Cost?

The first question many people may have is the upfront cost. The biggest cost of your candy vending machine business will be purchasing the machine itself.

The reality is you can find many options. For example, this triple dispensing stand machine is only $219. Meanwhile, this singular countertop model retails for only $99.

There are also those massive candy vending machines that you typically see in laundry mats. These machines are big enough for full size candy as well as chips and gum. Those machines will cost you at least $1,000!

In other words, there are many options out there, so feel free to search for what best fits your needs. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost very much to start this business.

4 Easy Steps for Your Candy Vending Machine Business

You may think that starting a business is difficult. However, a candy vending machine business can be relatively easy and straightforward. Here are the four critical steps when it comes to establishing this endeavor.

Step 1: Buy a Machine

As I’ve already noted, there are a variety of different types of machines available. Acquiring one is your first step. Most vendors will ship the machines directly to your home or the location you plan on placing the machine.

Take a look at the different options out there to identify what works best for your needs. There are machines that sit on stands and others suited for countertops.

You can purchase singular machines or several together. When thinking about the best machine, consider factors like the popularity of the location, whether the machine will be indoors, and how often you’ll have time to refill it.

Of course, an added benefit when shopping online is the ability to utilize payment plans. If you don’t want to spend as much money upfront, you can shop around for options to divide your purchase up into multiple payments.

Step 2: Find the Perfect Location for Your Machine

It’s said that location is the most important thing in business. This is certainly true when it comes to candy vending machines. You’ll want to do some due diligence to find the best place possible to put your candy vending machine.

A key factor to think about is foot traffic. You want your machine placed in an area that has a high degree of family foot traffic, meaning young children can convince their parents to let them have some candy.

Of course, not every ideal location will allow you to place your machine there. That being said, many businesses would be thrilled!

 Local, small businesses will likely be more likely to help you out than chains as well. Chains tend to have to go through corporate approvals to get anything done.

Mom-and-pop shops are going to be your best bet as the owners tend to be physically at the store often.

Be sure to chat with the owners or managers to find the best locations in these types of stores:

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream stores
  • Laundromats
  • Grocery stores
  • Community centers
  • Corner stores/Gas stations
  • Local coffee shops

Step 3: Load Your Machine with Candy

Now that you have a machine and a location, you just need to fill it up with candy. Of course, Amazon is always a great place to find various types of bulk candy that can be used in vending machines.

When thinking about what types of candy to choose, consider the cost as well as what is most popular. Having a good balance between these two considerations will help ensure that people are more likely to buy your candy while keeping your costs low as well.

There are two things to keep in mind when choosing the right type of candy for your machine. The most important thing to be remember is that chocolate can easily melt if your candy vending machine is located near a window or in a hot store.

Additionally, some colorful candies are prone to fading when they sit in direct sunlight for too long. Though this doesn’t ruin the candy, it can definitely make your machine lose its appeal and thus sales!

Step 4: Collect Profits & Refill

The final step in this process is simply to visit your machine periodically to collect money and refill it with more candy. It really is that easy! In fact, one of the biggest benefits of a candy vending machine business is that it does not take a lot of labor once you get it going.

Most candy vending machines have a locked money chamber compartment that will hold the coins. There is another locked compartment that contains the candy to be dispensed. You will typically have a different key for each compartment, which you will use to refill the candy and grab your money.

Not all candy vending machines work exactly the same. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions about how to refill candy and collect your revenue.

How Much Can I Make from a Candy Vending Machine Business?

The amount of money you earn from a candy vending machine can vary based on the popularity of the location.

I would tentatively say that with candy machines you can actually make more profit than a gumball machine business.

You will likely be able to earn between $50 and $200 per month in profit. That is because candy vending machines have a higher chance of the same person purchasing more than once. This is particularly true if you have one of the dispensers that allows for up to 3 different types of candy.

In fact, even if you make in the midpoint of this range at around $125 per month, you can pay off the starting costs of your business in only 2-3 months! Many candy vending machine business owners choose to reinvest this money into more machines.

With 10 machines, you could be making almost $1,000 per month relatively passively!

How Long Does it Take to Start a Candy Vending Machine Business?

The good news is that it does not take very long to start this type of business. In fact, it took me less than a month to start my first vending machine business. And I was a kid! It only takes a little effort, motivation, and planning.

You’ll likely want to do a few hours of research regarding the types of machines and types of candy. It will also take some legwork to find the optimal location and get approval. Once that is done, all you have to do is wait for the machine to be shipped to you.

If you follow the steps from this guide, you will be able to have your candy vending machine business up and running in no time. This is a great business idea for a kid’s first entrepreneurial effort or even an easy side hustle.

Have you started a candy vending machine business? What kinds of candy would you like to sell in your area? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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