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The Sticker Vending Machines: What You Need to Know

Discover the Hidden Universe of Sticker Vending Machines – Unveil a World of Collectibles, Fun, and Nostalgia!

November 28, 2023


Sticker vending machines, also known as tattoo vending machines, fall under the bulk vending machine category. A bulk vending machine business is a lot easier to start and maintain than snacks and drinks vending machines, which have become the face of the vending industry given their ubiquity. In this post, I will take you through the world of temporary tattoos that you see sticking from a metal construction and sticker machines and whether or not they are profitable.

Are Sticker Vending Machines Profitable?

Sticker machines, aka tattoo vending machines, generally have higher profit margins than drinks and snacks machines. Nonetheless, since snack machines (and temporary tattoo vending machines) move fewer units per month per vending machine than snacks/drinks vending machines, you will need significantly more locations to earn a livable income from a tattoo vending machine. (Check our profit calculator)

The profit margins of a tattoo vending machine (in percentage terms) is higher because of the following reasons:

  • Easy to transport products. Temporary tattoos take up very little space. As such, transporting them from the store, home, or warehouse to the tattoo machine is easy. The cost of logistics is, therefore, minimal. Also moving machine around places will be much easier in comparison with heavier bulk or soda vending machines.
  • Minimal maintenance costs. Tattoo vending machines have few moving parts and generally don’t have electric components. Therefore, vending machine maintenance is much easier and cheaper.
  • The cost of goods sold is small. Vendors source stickers in bulk and sell them at a significant markup per piece. A pack of 300 stickers can cost as little as $9.99. Each sticker in the pack will cost you about $0.03, but you can sell them in a sticker vending machine for as much as $1 apiece. That is $0.97 in profit - a gross profit margin of 97%. You will likely see similar results when running a temporary tattoo vending machine and other bulk vending machines, such as gumball machines.

How Do You Load a Tattoo Machine?

Bunch of stickers pasted on the wall

A tattoo vending machine includes a key, the actual machine cabin head, a coin tray, and dispensers (three in number for a three-column sticker vending machine). To load the tattoo machine, open the cabin with the provided key. Once the key is in the unlock position, pull the front panel out to reveal the interior components/mechanisms. 

Tattoo vending machine features columns in which you are supposed to put the sticker tattoo. When loading the stickers, ensure the hinged sides of the cards/stickers are facing the front of the machine so that they can be ejected easily. Otherwise, they may get stuck. Sticker vending machines come with a gravity pin for every column to lock the mechanism when a column runs out of stickers so customers don’t put any more coins in the said column. Put the gravity pin on top of the stickers.

See the video below for reference:

How Many Stickers Does a Tattoo Machine Hold?

Each column in a tattoo machine can typically carry 300 stickers. In a three-column tattoo machine, you will have a capacity of 900 stickers (300 X 3). You can buy stickers in packs of 300 (or more) for efficiency and to reduce the cost per unit of sticker sold.

Find More Unusual Machines!

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