The Economics of Vending Machines

Monday 18 January 2021

There’s a lot out there to invest in. One alternative asset class that has increased in popularity recently is vending machines.

It may seem a little tedious – buying product in bulk, stocking machines and collecting loose change out of the machines. Yet, that tedium can turn into a meaningful passive income stream.

In this article, The Hustle took a look at the size of the market and spoke to 20 individuals that have invested in vending machines. What they found is an extremely fragmented industry (no player owns more than 5% of the market, two-thirds of the operators earn less than $1m revenue) that sells a huge variety of products (everything from household snacks to live crabs).

With incredibly low barriers to entry (a new machine ranges from $3-8k, a second hand from as little as $300) this article is a fascinating look at an industry that boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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