Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-16-2009, 04:56 PM
gytalf2000 gytalf2000 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Posts: 3,173
Making a living owning/servicing vending machines?

Can one make a good living nowadays owning a number of vending machines? Has anybody on the dope ever done this?

(I have no desire to try it myself, I just started wondering about this the other day. I have a vague recollection of one of my fairly-distant relatives doing this as a side-business for a while in the early to mid-1970s, but he did not rely on it as his main income. All the relatives that I could ask, have long since died.)
Old 02-16-2009, 05:41 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 75,248
An uncle of mine is in a related business, though his job is mostly maintaining game machines (video games, pinball, etc.). It's enough for him to support his family, though he's not exactly rolling in the dough.
Old 02-16-2009, 05:45 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,867
I have clients who have tried it. The most successful gets about $2000 in profit each year with minimal time invested. (Note: profit is tax-basis, after calculating depreciation... this person has $12,000 in machines and has not fully recouped the cost).

The more typical scenario is that you spend $500-$2000 on machines and never see a dime in profit.

If you want to get into it, look for used machines.
Old 02-16-2009, 08:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rochester, MI
Posts: 2,192
My father made his living in vending machines. This was from the 1950's through the early 1980's. It is extremely hard work and you appreciate why it is not a "good deal" when someone gets a "free" candy bar. That cost of that candy bar came out of someone's pocket.

You also have the hassles of handling all that cash - in coin - every day. There is the risk of robbery, the cost of the quipment to sort it & count it, and the sheer effort in carrying a couple thousand dollars in rolled coins to the bank.

Still, he did live fairly comfortably and supported a family of 4 pretty much.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017