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What to Look for Before Purchasing a Vending Machine

What to Look for Before Purchasing a Vending Machine

Technology has evolved the capabilities of vending machines over the years, and they continue to be an important structure for many businesses, schools, health facilities, and organizations. They provide people with easy access to food and drink, especially in situations where time is short. Owning a vending machine has become a popular way for people to create additional income—they buy the machine up front, keep it stocked, and profit from the item sales. Individuals will buy machines and obtain arrangements with businesses that allow them to place the machines in their break areas, or the business owner will purchase the machines and put them in their own spaces. Purchasing a vending machine is a significant investment. It’s important to perform due diligence before spending the money on something that might not meet your needs. We’ll discuss several things to consider before buying a vending machine of your own.

What to Consider Before You Purchase a Vending Machine

These days, vending machines aren’t just for chips and candy like years past. There are a wide variety of machines that accommodate small and large inventories, cold foods, and hot drinks. If you’re buying one for your business, think about how it will likely be used. Is it going to be in an environment where people are looking for a certain type of food? For example, if you are putting one in a fitness facility, you’d want something you could stock with healthy snacks like protein bars and water. If it’s going into an office space, something capable of storing cold foods like sandwiches would help make lunch convenient for the staff. You want to buy a machine that will meet all the refreshment needs of the people who will use it daily.

This leads into feature consideration. Purchase a vending machine that is capable of taking all forms of payment. You will want to be able to accept coin, cash, debit and credit cars, as well as digital payments such as Apple and Google Pay.  As the prices of refreshments rise end users are more likely to pay with cards or their phones. When purchasing any piece of vending equipment be sure all forms of payment can be accepted.

Size is another aspect to think about—the machine has to fit the space you plan to put it in. If the break room you’re equipping with a vending machine is small, your options will be more limited. Measure the area you plan to put the vending machine and be sure to consider how it needs to be accessed for restocking or maintenance – will there be enough room to handle that? If you are low on space and want to provide both food and drink vending, a combination machine may be the best route. Whichever machine you decide to purchase be sure to measure the space that it will be set into. There’s nothing worse than having a costly and heavy piece of equipment delivered, only to realize it won’t fit.

Buying a vending machine is a significant investment so don’t be afraid to shop around and ask questions before committing. A quality company such as S Vending Solutions will provide you with a detailed quote and also go over delivery, maintenance, and warranty schedules. We will discuss our vending machine servicing options as well as offer you tips and strategies about obtaining locations for vending machines.

Being able to test out a machine before buying it is another great way to make sure you’ll be happy with the purchase. Having an opportunity to inspect the user interface, see how to access the interior for restocking, and witness it in action will help reinforce whether or not you feel it’s the right fit. Things we see online that seem to be a good choice in theory end up falling short in real life; being able to experience the vending machine in action before committing to it can prevent buyer’s remorse. With the significant cost of this purchase, finding a company like SVS where you can see the devices in real life helps ensure you’re happy with your decision. The in-person experience is also important when it comes to buying a used machine so that you can inspect it for concerns such as dents, scratches, and missing parts. This will need to be a factor in the purchase price as it could lead to additional costs for repairs.

As you’re pricing out options and comparing vendors, make notes of your customer service experience during the research process. Is the vendor being pushy, or are they being accommodating? Do they respond quickly when you reach out to them, or are you left hanging for days? Do they have a straightforward buying process with an employee who can handle it all? Your relationship with the vendor should factor into the purchase. A company that takes good care of you during the sales process, whether you’re purchasing one machine or several, is going to continue to care for you long after the transaction is complete. Search online for a local vendor providing vending machine servicing near me and make a list of what benefits each has to offer.

How to Purchase a Vending Machine

Once you’ve received quotes and made your decision on what to buy, the purchasing process should be straightforward. You’ll work with the vendor to sign the appropriate paperwork and secure the vending machine of your choice. You’ll work with the vendor to finalize the order and schedule delivery. The timeframe you receive the vending machine will vary based on whether it’s in stock or has to be shipped from elsewhere. Generally, payment may be required upfront, though with SVS we offer several financing options that are flexible and tailored to the customer. Good financing like ours will allow for a variety of payment terms so that you can preserve your capital and not feel strained.

Is Investing in a Vending Machine Worth It?

Purchasing a vending machine and placing it in a quality location is an exciting accomplishment. The additional source of income is always beneficial and the pride in running your own business is always good for self-esteem. However, running a vending business is not for everyone. More people fail at these ventures than succeed. It’s important that you talk to professionals in the industry.  Ask them about the mistakes they made and more importantly what made them successful.

SVS has 25 years of real-world vending experience.  We can help you with your purchase but also discuss the intricacies of the business. Questions like:

  • Where to buy vending product?
  • How much vending product should you purchase?
  • How will you transport your vending product?
  • Where will you store your vending product
  • How will you fix a coin or bill jam?
  • Who to call when your machine says “out of service”?
  • How to save money on costly service technician fees?
  • And most importantly, is the location where I’m placing this vending machine a good investment?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask. There are many more you need answered before you purchase a vending machine. Chat rooms online and internet advice can be confusing and overwhelming. The bottom line is investing in a vending machine can be well worth your time and money. You just need to make sure you ask the right questions and are very comfortable with those giving you advice.

The alternative to owning a vending machine is to have a vending machine service. Companies like SVS supply vending machines to offices, schools, various businesses, and healthcare facilities. Food and drink are readily available to those in the building, there are no purchase costs or fees for the machine, and no effort required for keeping the machine stocked or running since the vendor handles that. SVS has a profit sharing program for all locations, so there is still the bonus of passive income without the work involved.

When deciding whether to purchase a vending machine or use a vending machine service, do an analysis of each option to see which option has the best ratio of cost to benefit for your situation. You may be surprised that going the route of using a service is more beneficial than owning outright.

If you’re in the Nashville area and looking for vending machine service near me, SVS provides options for both vending services and machine purchases. We’re happy to have you come by so that you can see the equipment in person to help make your decision easier, and we’ll outline a plan for you with no strings attached. Request a commitment-free quote at or submit a request through our website.

Steve Caldwell
Steve Caldwell

Steve Caldwell is the owner and CEO of S Vending Solutions. As a former vending equipment salesman and later the National Sales Manager for PBS Vending Services from 2001-2008, Steve learned the industry inside and out. In 2018, Steve started his own vending company and quickly established routes in Nashville, Knoxville, and West Tennessee, expanding from there. As his personal routes grew he decided to sell his company and help new and existing vending operators market their businesses. Steve currently sells both new and used vending equipment and specializes in helping new operators start and grow their vending companies. He has become a certified Service Entity for the USI/Wittern brand of equipment.

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