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How & Where to Find Cheap Vending Machines


Vending machines are a great addition to small and large businesses, and they can become quite lucrative when they are placed in the right location and are well-stocked with desirable snacks and drink options. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of capital to buy vending machines - especially if they're new - and they aren’t accessible to everybody. Below, we’ll investigate how and where to find a cheap vending machine and discuss some financing options to make it even easier to get started with a successful vending business.

How Much Does A Standard Vending Machine Cost?

Although new vending machines can run into the thousands of dollars, many people entering the market find that such large initial investments are just unaffordable. Fortunately, less expensive choices exist.

Older vending machines that have been used extensively can be purchased for as little as $200 on some markets. Of course, these used machines will likely require some updating and repairs, but the lower purchase price can certainly make them more accessible to the average purchaser. 

If you’d like to avoid the hassle of repairing a used machine, there are a number of places to find refurbished machines. These refurbished vending machines run closer to $1800-$3000 in price, but refurbished vending equipment will be functional right away and ready to earn a profit. Typically the best types of refurbished machines are commonly sold by large vending companies catering specifically to operators looking to save money, and can offer additional tech support for new smart machines and technical support for any equipment issues.

In addition to the purchase price and the right place, you should also consider the repairs and maintenance that these cheaper machines will require going forward. Monthly maintenance costs will run between $50 and $100, and you’ll have to pay taxes on your earnings and ensure your licensing stays up to date. The exact costs will depend on where you live and how many machines you have. High demand machines in dense foot traffic locations can also increase maintenance costs per month, as vending mechanisms can commonly break down due to high amounts of consistent use.

While initial costs can be high, if you acquire a good condition vending machine that is in high demand with an audience,

Where Can I Find The Cheapest Vending Machines?

toy money in a box signaling buying cheap vending machines

If you’re interested in finding vending machines for sale that don’t break the bank, we have a couple of suggestions. There are a number of reputable vendors out there that you can purchase new and used machines from, refurbish them, and then resell them. You can find anything, from combination machines to a specific model of a snack vending machine you've been after. Some vendors will also act as a middleman to connect you with suppliers of cheap vending machines. eBay is also an excellent resource to buy machines from individuals or companies. 

Directly From Vendors

Refurbished vending machines from vendors are a very safe option for scouting out a cheap machine. They have a wide variety of brand names and machine types out there with great features, including drink machines, snack machines, and even combo vending machines that offer both candy, miscellaneous items like gum, food items, and beverages such as water and soda. Some of the largest vending operators you can buy a cheap refurbished machine from are

Customer satisfaction is very important to these companies as they wish to encourage repeat business, so you can trust they will go the extra mile to help you find the exact type of machine you want—even specialty vending machines that serve tea and coffee—for a price you can afford. 

Auction & Marketplace Sites

Auction websites such as eBay and public marketplace websites such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are great resources for vendors looking to expand their convenience. Both individuals and companies will sell and ship snack machines and combo vending machines right to your location. Most of the machines on eBay will already be refurbished, so you can start earning cash from them right away. The variety ensures you’ll be able to find the right style of machine for your business location and preference of your customers. 

Find Local Vending Machines

The main benefit of shopping for cheap machines on Facebook Marketplace is the ability to find vending machines in the right place. You’ll want to ensure that your search range isn’t too broad, as you’ll have to invest in travel time or delivery fees. Plus, if you can’t feasibly acquire snack machines, say, because of its distance, you’ve just set yourself up for disappointment. 

Buying local typically is the best option for saving on time and money when acquiring a new soda vending machines or snack vending machines, as local vendors tend to prefer a quick and easy sale vs dealing with the hassle of logistics when shipping a large item across long distances.

Search for Exact Brand Names

Although this will be dependent mostly on your region, it is possible that the platform will be saturated with all kinds of vending machines. Customer satisfaction is not something you should strive for here. In order to use Facebook Marketplace effectively, we suggest searching for the exact brand name or style of machine you’d like to add to your vending business, as it will save you time and minimize the amount of scrolling you need to do to find your perfect machine. 

Tips For Acquiring Cheap Machines

Shopping for cheap drink vending machines or other devices dispensing automatic products carries the same risks as buying anything else second hand. Machines can be faulty or have expensive issues, access may be restricted due to prior damage, and even have issues with service or quality that may hinder your future plans for such a purchase. Here are some tips to help you on your search for the perfect vending machine on a budget.

Avoid Very Old Vending Machines

Since most of the vending machines on Facebook Marketplace will be listed for sale by an individual, you’ll have to do your due diligence before committing to a purchase. People may be listing extremely old snack vending machines or combo vending machines in an effort to get rid of them quickly, but they may not be in working order or may cost too much to repair. It is best to avoid this type of sale as the machine will likely cost more money than it will earn. You will also want to avoid any type of vending machines that appear to have been left outside in the elements for extended periods of time without proper maintenance, as these machines tend to have a higher likelihood of being worth more in scrap than in sales.

Try to Bargain

It is always a great idea to bargain for vending machines with Facebook Marketplace sellers. This platform is known for a quick turnaround, and if someone is keen on getting rid of older snack vending machines quickly, they may be willing to lower the price or even offer free delivery in order to get the vending machine off their hands. You won’t know unless you ask, though. 

Avoid Vending Equipment with Compressor Issues

There is no guarantee that the vending machines listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace will be refurbished and functional right away. While some issues can be quickly and inexpensively taken care of, you should avoid machines that have any problems with their compressor. This is an expensive fix and not something you want to commit to. 

Find Vending Machine Financing Options for An Easier Start

a glass jar with coins inside saying "house fund"

Whether you’ve decided on a vending machine that costs a few hundred dollars or a few thousand, it never hurts to look into financing options to lighten the financial burden while you start up your vending business. Costs of inventory and the amount of sales needed to make a return on your investment will eat heavily into your expenses, so its important to see where its possible for you to save on money early on, as this will be a great advantage for your business in the future. There are more options than you’d expect. 

Family, Friends, And Potential Investors

An entrepreneur’s first resource for funding is usually their family members, close friends, and acquaintances. These people can be helpful when starting up a vending business as they already have trust in you, they have a personal investment in your success due to your long-standing relationship, and the terms of any loans will be a lot more manageable than ones from a bank or other provider. 

Vending Machine Leasing

For a more traditional financing approach, you should consider leasing. Vending machines can be leased just like vehicles and real estate properties; the length of the contract and the monthly payments will vary depending on who you’re dealing with and the type of vending machine you want, but you’ll have the option at the end of the contract to keep the machine for a few or return it. 

Vending Machine Grants

Believe it or not, vending machines can actually be purchased essentially for free thanks to machine grants. Grants will require an application process, though, and approval is not a guarantee. However, these grants can cover both the purchase price of a machine and all of the additional startup costs, so they are a great resource for people with financial difficulties that are excited about opportunities in the vending industry. 

Starting on a Loan (Bank or Vending Retailer)

Loans for vending machines can be acquired from the machine wholesaler you purchase your machine from or from a bank. These loans will come with a set of restrictions such as a minimum credit score and a revenue threshold, and you’ll have to pay interest on the loan. However, this is a very flexible option for funding whether you are buying a single machine or multiple to supply a large establishment with vending options. 

Finance with a Third Party

If you don’t meet the strict requirements for traditional loans, financing through a third-party provider such as Klarna is a great idea. They have a lower set of requirements for funding approval and have flexible repayment terms: pay within 30 days, set up installments, and more. 

In Conclusion

If we’ve learned anything at all, it is this: anyone can start a vending machine business if they know where to look for cheap vending machines and how to finance the endeavor. Whether you’re an established vending machine business owner looking to expand your stock, or you are just getting started with your first machine, there are plenty of places to find affordable vending machines and help with financing.

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