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The Best Vending Machines To Buy [Guide]

Learn about the importance of researching and being consistent when buying vending machines. Discover the best vending machines to purchase for your business in our comprehensive guide.


The number one question for new people entering the vending business space is what are the best vending machines to purchase? And by best they mean profitable vending machines. The second one - which we won't cover in this piece - is how to find vending machine locations. If you jump on the internet forums you will see a lot of specific opinions. We've gather a ton of data and compiled a list of the best machines.

That said, the most important thing to note is that, you will want to always test the vending machine before purchasing. Understand how each machine works, the card readers too - regardless if they're snack or healthy vending machines - and make sure you have a manual before buying.

If you're not looking for specialtiy vending machines, like large item vending machines, cigarette machines, u-turn machines, or gym vending machines - then these models are something you should take a close look at. Because, well - it's best to pick something that is already working for large number of people.

Top 3 Most Reliable Snack Vending Machines

These are the top three most reliable snack machines for any vending machine owner we've come across.

Rank Machine Name Picture Description
1 Crane Nation 167 Crane Nation 167 National 167 refurbished snack vending machines are known for their durability and dependability. They have additional features such as the ability to sell snacks and candy on the same shelf, and motors that couple easily and dividers that slide out to convert to either candy or snack. They have a capacity of 1800 items of candy, 450 items of snack/pastry, with option of 120 items of gum and mint. They also have multiple pricing options, data recall, self-diagnostics, time and date capabilities, winner mode, discount mode, inhibit mode and programmable scrolling message display.
2 Automatic Products 113 Automatic Products 113 The Automatic Products 113 Snack vending Machine is known for being one of the best-selling and functioning snack machines ever built. It is made from heavy gauge steel and can withstand the volume demands of any vending account. It has 40 total product selections with 6 product shelves. The machine has 610 item capacity. A&M will look sharp and operate as a new machine. It comes with 90 day parts warranty and has optional upgrades such as new UCB Control Board, Credit Card Reader Kit, and Conlux Package Changer and Bill Validator with 2 year warranty.
3 Automatic Products LCM Automatic Products LCM The Automatic Products LCM Snack Machines come in three different sizes and have a sleek modern appearance. They come equipped with new MDB electronics, allowing for the option to install a credit card reader, and MDB changers and bill acceptors. The polycarbonate panels on the front, back, and sides enhance the durability of the vending machine and make cleaning easier. The LCM1 has 6 shallow shelves with 32 selections, a capacity of 302 items, and dimensions of 72" x 33 1/2" x 27 5/8. The LCM2 has 6 deep shelves with 32 selections, a capacity of 454 items, and dimensions of 72" x 33 1/2" x 35". The LCM3 has 6 shelves with 40 selections, a capacity of 510 items, dimensions of 72" x 39" x 35" and come with a MEI MDB changer and bill validator. All models have the option for new Conlux changer and bill validator for $450 and new USA credit card reader for $299. They have a 90 days parts warranty and are not include shipping.

Check out this article if you want to see what popular snacks make the best bucks for your vending machines.

Top 3 Most Reliable Drink Machines

These are the top three most reliable drinks or soda machines for your vending machine business we've come across.

Rank Machine Name Picture Description
1 Dixie Narco BevMax-4 Dixie Narco BevMax-4 The BevMax 4 is a vending machine that offers a dual gate system that prevents products from falling and allows for multiple shaped packages to be vended without adjusting the setup. It has a raised cup that allows for gentle handling of the product, minimizing foaming. The machine has a glass door that opens flush, allowing it to be placed in a bank or against a wall. It has a capacity of 45 product selections, 5 trays, and 9 selections per tray, 360 16-20oz. bottles, and 405 12oz. cans.
2 Dixie Narco BevMax-3 Dixie Narco BevMax-3 The BevMax 3 is a vending machine that offers a wide variety of drinks, with a capacity of 45 selections and 360 bottles. It has a dual gate system that prevents products from falling if the machine is rocked, and a raised cup that minimizes foaming. The machine is versatile in terms of placement, with a glass door that opens flush, allowing it to be placed in tight spaces. Additionally, it has features such as a credit card reader, $1 & $5 bill acceptor, and an energy efficient refrigeration system. It also comes with a 60-day limited warranty.
3 Royal Vendors 804 Royal Vendors 804 The Royal Vendors 804 is a high-capacity vending machine that is compatible with credit card readers, offers 8 selections, and has 12 columns which allows for more productive and less frequent service. This machine is perfect for high-volume locations, holding around 800-12oz beverages when fully stocked. The machine can vend a variety of drink types and sizes without the need for additional parts. It is also energy efficient and made in the USA by Royal Vendors.

Do Your Research & Be Consistent

a man pointing a finger on a sticky note

When purchasing a vending machine - regardless if it's a candy vending machine or perhaps a pizza vending machine - it is important to conduct thorough research in order to fully understand the capabilities and limitations of the machine. Especially whether they accept credit cards or even EBT cards. This knowledge will allow you to effectively operate and maintain the vending machine business, as well as make informed decisions when getting free vending machines or purchasing additional cheap vending machines. Consistency is also key when buying multiple vending machines, as it allows for ease of management and a streamlined vending experience for customers. Familiarizing yourself with one type of vending machine before branching out to others can also be beneficial. In short, research and consistency are key when buying vending machines.

Why Is It Important to Go for Tried and True Vending Machine Models?

Vending machines are costly. When shopping for one, vending machine operators may face a dilemma. Do you buy a cheaper one from a less-known vending machine brand or fork out significantly more for a well-reviewed, popular brand that’s tried and tested? It is my opinion that there’s no question at all. You must buy proven models when it comes to expensive equipment such as vending machines. Below are the reasons why.

  • Fewer breakdowns. The top-class vending machine models have reliable components and are generally sturdier. They break down less often, thus ensuring you spend less on repair and maintenance.
  • Parts are a lot easier to find. The faster you can find parts when your vending machine breaks down, the less time your vending machine will spend out of service. Every hour you are out of service means lost sales, and it can add up to a lot of money over the lifetime of a vending machine.
  • Customers like the familiar. Customers have likely encountered several dozens of the most popular vending machine brands. Because people like what’s familiar, they will gravitate towards popular vending machine brands because they recognize the design and know how to use them.
  • They are functional and efficient. The best vending machine brands also happen to have the most advanced energy-saving features, smart features, vending slots, and general cost efficiency.

Buying equipment from brands that have built a reliability culture is one of the wisest choices you can make. They have the best operational and engineering practices and will generally build best-in-class vending machines.

What Vending Machine Brands are Best in Class?

The following are the best vending machine brands in the United States.

Whichever vending machine brand you choose, ensure the vending machine has all the essential features needed to keep your vending machine business profitable in the digital era. You need remote management capability, cashless payment systems, and energy-saving components. More importantly, ensure the vending machine suits your prospective customers and vending location.

What Is the Best Vending Machine to Buy for Your Location?

vending machine at a sunny beach vending drinks

Finding great locations is one of the highest-leverage things you can do for your vending machine business. Location plays an outsized role in the success of a vending machine business, and it is one of the factors mostly under your control. Also, it isn't enough to find a great location; you must match vending machines to the location. Consider the following factors When deciding which vending machine to put in a given location.

Where Will the Vending Machine Be Placed?

A vending machine business allows you to target consumers at a granular level based on location. For instance, if you sell healthy drinks and snacks with vending machines, you will do well to put your vending machine next to fitness studios and health clubs, as the people in those locations fit the profile of the demographic most likely to care about healthy products. Bulk vending machines on the other hand may do well placed close to kindergartens or schools.

The point is to imagine how people at your target location will use your vending machines. A vending machine company needs to find a machine that is fit for purpose in both product selection and mechanical design. Notably, if the vending machine will be outside, ensure it is sturdy enough to withstand weather elements and attempts of vandalism. This is where vending machine cage and built-in security cameras come in handy.

What Will the Foot Traffic Be for This Location?

You can evaluate how good a vending location is by its level of foot traffic per day. 25 to 50 per day is workable, but your vending machine business will do great if you have more than 75 per day. Naturally, the more sales you make, the more restocking runs you must do. It is, therefore, wise not to have a combo machine at a high-traffic location as it carries fewer drinks and snacks than separate snack and drink vending machines. For an even greater selection at a busy location, you can have two or more of each type of vending machine (two snacks and two drink vending machines).

What Type of Payments Are You Expecting for This Location?

You want your vending machine business to account for the payment method your target customers use frequently. Even so, you want your vending machines to accept cash and credit cards. If you buy an old vending machine without a card reader, consider installing one. A study by Parlevel revealed that simply installing a card reader can increase vending machine sales by as much as 42%. Further, digital wallets are growing in popularity, and you should consider tweaking your vending machines to accept Apple Pay, Cash App, and Google Pay.

Who Will Service and Fill the Vending Machines at This Location?

Servicing and filling costs are a function of the size of the vending machine, how far the location is from your warehouse/home, and the level of traffic at the said location. You can estimate this by determining:

  • Average cost of gas per mile covered
  • Total miles covered per restocking run
  • Total estimated restocking trips per week

You can reduce the number of restocking runs to busy locations by getting bigger vending machines or multiple vending machines.

Closing Thoughts

Vending machines are a significant investment. You should get a reliable brand that guarantees nearly 100% uptime and makes it possible for you to recoup your investment without and run profitable vending machines. You likely also now recognize the importance of finding good locations for your vending business. If you need help finding locations, use our vending locator service to get a list of potential vending locations in your area.

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