Get Info on the Vending Machine Business Australia

BusinessSales / Service

  • Author Dave Barnes
  • Published November 24, 2022
  • Word count 2,289

Get Info on the Vending Machine Business Australia

If your thinking of getting into the Vending machine business here in Australia there may be a lot of things you need to know.

Get info about the Vending machine business in Australia by Vending Machines Australia... as we have over 100 years of combined experience thru ourselves, our technicians and vending machine manufacturers.

The fastest way to Get In Business is to look at a vending machine business for sale.

If you have been looking for a new business opportunity that requires no special skills or training, can be done part-time and / or as a home-based business, and can get your whole family involved, you may have just found it. Vending Machines has been in the vending business for over 12 years.

So... How about starting a vending machine business?

Get info on the Vending Machine Business Australia.

We hope the information here is helpful.

According to AU & U.S. statistics -

Vending machines average over $7 billion a year in sales.

The snack and vending machine industry generates over $64 million a year in profits.

The vending machine business is mostly cash-based — three out of every four vending machine transactions are in cash.

There are an estimated 4.6 million vending machines in the U.S.

There are an estimated 1.2 million vending machines in the Australia.

56 percent of vending machine sales were for cold drinks, including soft drinks, juices, water, etc.

Just in case you are thinking of vending machines as mere dispensers of chocolate bars and soda,energy drinks, think again:

Healthier snacks outsell traditional snack foods by 10%. In fact, some locales such as hospitals have legislation in place to mandate healthier choices in food/drink vending machines.

The newest pizza vending machines can deliver a pizza cooked to perfection in under three minutes, with a choice of three toppings.

Vending machines in Beverly Hills malls dispense gourmet delights such as caviar, escargot, and bottarga.

Other advantages of a vending machine business include:


You can start with a few machines and expand your business as time and finances permit.

Low Start up Costs:

Aside from purchasing the machines (which can be financed), your capital costs are relatively low (you don't need building or office space—some space in a garage, utility room or basement is sufficient). Other than a vehicle to service your vending machine route, no other equipment or machinery is required.


Once the machines are in place your only duties are to maintain and restock the machines as needed and collect the money.

All Cash-Based Transactions:

There are no "accounts receivable" as in most businesses.

Credit Card payments go into your bank account.


The vending machine business is ideal for families. Your spouse and / or children can easily be trained to assist with purchasing, stocking, bank deposits, accounting, etc.

Aside from a little start up capital or financing, the only other requirement is a reasonable degree of physical fitness on the part of whoever is servicing the machines, as it involves a fair amount of walking and hauling of products (especially heavier ones such as drink cases).

If you're thinking that this is the right business opportunity for you, here are the steps to follow to start your own vending machine business.

Do Your Homework!

Water Bottles in Vending Machines

As with starting any type of business, market research and planning is the key to success. There are a number of ways to start a vending machine business — each has advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Start from the very beginning

Start from scratch by purchasing machines and sourcing locations yourself. This scenario gives you the most flexibility—you can start with a few machines and expand as opportunities arise and finances permit. It also requires the most legwork—you will need to source and purchase machines, and find and negotiate locations to place them (unless you deal with a machine distributor who both sells machines and provides locations).

  1. Buying an existing vending machine business or find a vending business for sale

The advantage of having immediate cash flow from the existing business.

However, it is essential to determine why the owner wishes to sell. Thorough background research into the business is a must, including scrutiny of the accounts, inspection of the machines, examination of existing contracts, and research on the existing locations for possible problems.

  1. Buying a Franchise

This the easiest way to get into the vending machine business. A franchise gives you the advantage of having an established business model based on vending a particular product or products. Typically, in addition to the startup franchise fee, the franchisor takes a percentage of the profits or a monthly fee. As a franchisee, you are typically restricted to purchasing or renting machines and product from the franchising company. However they are there to GUIDE you...Assist you...provide vital training and show you the Ropes of Vending

Whichever way you decide the next step should be to write a business plan. If you don't need financing you can probably get by with a simpler plan—there are different business plans for different purposes. However, if you're looking for investors, you'll want to use an Investor-Ready Business Plan.

An integral part of the business plan is market research to test the feasibility of your business idea. For example, by checking existing vending machine locations and speaking with business owners you may discover that the market for vending machines in your area is already saturated.

  1. Finding Machine Locations and Signing Contracts

Location Is the Key

As in retail and real estate, the most important contributor to success in the vending machine business is location, location, location. Ideally, you want your vending machines in places that have plenty of foot traffic, such as malls, large office complexes, factories,schools, airports, in front of stores, etc.

In the best case scenario, you want good locations that don't already have vending machines. You will probably find, though, that most of the ideal locations in your area are already taken, and in some cases, the existing vendors will have exclusive contracts with the property owner.

Keep in mind that even with the right location, you need to be vending the right products to be successful. In an obvious example, a candy vending machine outside of a health food store is unlikely to be successful! If you are franchising particular products they may not sell even in a high traffic location if the target market is not suitable.

  1. Theft and Vandalism

When scouting locations be sure to research crime statistics and avoid areas that have high incidents of theft and vandalism. Damage to or theft from your machines will quickly eat up your profits. Preferred locations should be highly visible, patrolled and / or in view of security cameras.

  1. Contracts

You may have to compensate business or property owners for installing machine(s) on their premises and using their electricity. This is typically done in the form of a negotiated percentage of your gross sales. We call it a COMMISSION but NOT all sites want that they want a good reliable vending business to service them

10% to 15% is the normal range for commissions, depending on the number and size of the machines.

As the owner of the machines, you may be obligated by contract to provide a statement of sales and commissions to the business/property owner at regular intervals.

Your contract with the business/property owner should also specify:

The machine types and optionally the products sold;

The length of the contract;

The Site supplies the electricity always to your machine for the life of the Contract

Termination clauses for breach of contract or un profitability;

Exclusivity if applicable;

Rights to replace, increase or decrease the number of machines.

As always, it is wise to have the contract drawn up or reviewed by a lawyer.

  1. Purchasing/Leasing Equipment

If you are not franchising or purchasing an existing business you will need to acquire one or more machines to get started. Before doing so you will need to decide on what products you intend to sell and what type of vending machines you want:

Bulk machines are small and dispense handful quantities of (typically) bulk snack products such as gumballs, peanuts, M&M's, etc. Costs range from $50—$200 but the profit margins are slim—according to statistics from Vending Times the average revenue from a gumball machine is less than $10 per month.

Obviously, a significant number of bulk machines would be needed to generate a reasonable amount of revenue. However, the machines do not require refilling as often and are simple to service and repair.

Combination Vending Machines are best as they can dispense multiple products. Prices range from used $2,000—$5,000 per machine but the profit margins are much higher than bulk machines.

Electronic machines utilize modern touch screens and can accept other forms of payment such as notes and credit cards. Electronic machines have the highest upfront cost but are more reliable than mechanical machines.

A new basic electronic drink dispensing machine will cost at least $5,000 per machine. More sophisticated machines that have a larger capacity, vend different products and accept multiple forms of payment can easily double or triple the cost.

  1. Buying Used Vending Machines

Used vending machines can be steeply discounted and acquiring less expensive machine will increase your profits. Sources for used vending machines include:

Ebay and Gumtree can be a good source for locally available machines. is a great resource for searching for used vending equipment. You can conduct comprehensive searches for equipment based on type, price, and location. or are excellent sources of new and used vending machines. The reviews are especially useful for information on product reliability.

Vending machine dealers are plentiful, so search the internet and local/regional business publications to find dealers in your area.

Contact Us as we know everyone here in Australia

Whether you decide to buy new or used, choose the machines that best meet your needs and your startup budget.

  1. Vending Machine Repairs

New vending machines typically come with at least a one year parts warranty. Used/remanufactured equipment may come with a warranty of one to three months.

If you are mechanically minded you can learn how to repair the machines yourself. Otherwise, you may need to contract the services of a repair technician. We can help with that.

  1. Maximizing Profits With the Right Products

Talk to the business/property owners about what products they want. (In some cases the type of products will be written into the contract). As previously mentioned, legislation in your jurisdiction may mandate healthy eating choices.

Some products sell well in most public areas whereas others are more location dependent:

Hot drinks such as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate sell well in most locations, including office buildings, universities, malls, etc.

Snack machines vending products such as sodas, water, candy, chips, chocolate bars, etc. also do well in most environments.

Hot food and sandwich machines do well in business environments, schools, and universities.

Candy and toy machines are suitable for malls, supermarkets, play parks, and other locations that are frequented by families.

Personal items such as feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, over the counter medications, etc. are suitable for restrooms in public transit facilities, malls, and service stations.

Healthy Vending Products

If you are looking for healthy choices there are plenty of options:

Fresh sandwiches and salads

Water or fruit juices instead of sodas (or offer diet sodas)

Granola bars instead of candy

Baked chips

Sugar-free gum

Fruit cups

Nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc.)

Sourcing Products

Maximize your vending machine business profits by paying the lowest possible per-unit price on the items you intend to stock your machines with. Search out wholesale food and drink suppliers in your area (such as Costco) and compare the prices. Negotiate bulk discounts if possible.

  1. Maintenance and Customer Service

As with any enterprise, success in the vending machine business means providing good customer service:

Schedule weekly ,fortnightly visits to your locations as needed to keep the machines fully stocked.

Keep your machines clean and in good repair. Dirty, poorly maintained machines are a turn-off for customers. Respond promptly when repairs are required. Usually 24hrs but NO Later

Provide contact information such as an email address on the machines so customers can report any issues.

If applicable, rotate products by "sell by" dates so that the oldest product sells first.

Analyse sales and regularly consult with the business/property owners on which types of products are most desirable to customers. Stock the machines accordingly.

Maintain good relations with the contact person at the machine locations, as he/she might be on the receiving end of complaints or demands for refunds.

Conduct yourself in a professional fashion at all times.

Providing top-notch customer service is one of the best ways to increase sales and improve your business reputation, which is essential if you hope to expand your business by soliciting new locations to place equipment.

  1. Starting a Vending Machine Business Is Like Any Other

A vending machine business has few barriers to entry—you don't need a lot of start up capital or a degree or diploma. Mostly what you need is what every startup business requires—hard work and a desire to succeed.

Keep in mind that like most small businesses you are not likely to get rich from running a vending machine business. As with most small business owners, being your own boss and calling the shots makes starting a vending business rewarding in itself. And vending machines have the potential to generate steady income even in uncertain economic times.

If you've decided to take the plunge and start your own business, vending machines can be an attractive opportunity.

David Barnes is a 18 years + veteran of the " Vending Machine Business" in Australia. Many long close affiliations with all the major vending machine importers of all types of vending machines and repair technicians. 10 years in Custom Vending Machines-Australia's First compliant Alcohol Vending Machine, Cashless Payments Credit card readers remote monitoring/telemetry in vending machines of ALL types.

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