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Is Vending Profitable? How to Start a Vending Machine Business

vending machine earnings chart



How Much Does the Average Vending Machine Earn?

The average earnings of a vending machine is $715 AUD per month (gross).

How much can you expect to make from your vending machine business? I have found that the average vending machine makes about $170+ per week in gross sales.

Please remember the figures explained are just averages and represent gross figures.

Vending Machine Earning Statistics

Period:Average Earnings (AUD) (per Machine)
Weekly Earnings$164
Monthly Earnings$715
Yearly Earnings$8,580


Variability in Vending Machine Earnings

Fortunately vending machine earnings are very consistent which makes a vending business enticing to many small start-ups.

Your earnings will vary based on multiple factors. This makes it almost impossible to predict exactly how much your machine will make during the beginning stage.


How to Choose a Profitable Location For a Vending Machine

Just like location matters when buying real estate, the same applies to your vending machine. Demographics, weather, and how accessible other nearby food/drink is, can all dramatically affect your bottom line. 

  1. We recommend choosing a place that has at-least 30+ regular people at the premise on a daily basis. This total of 30 can be a mix of staff members, contractors or customers who walk-in.


  2. vending machine earnings chartSites that have a “blue-collar” working environment should do well with at least 25 regular people (daily). Examples of a blue-collar vending site are factories, warehouses, mining plants and other areas where quality food is difficult to find.

  3. Sites that have a “white-collar” working environment should do well with at least 35 regular people (daily). 
    Examples of a white-collar vending site are office buildings, airports and locations in the CBD.

  4. If the machine is placed in a building that has 2 main areas where most people congregate, always choose the area that tends to have the larger number of people.


Are Vending Machines a Good Investment?

Yes vending machines are a good investment. Depending on where the site is located, many people make back their initial investment after 12-18 months.


Advantages of a Vending Machine Business

Some people feel that the money is in the banks, but we here at Benleigh think a little differently. Instead, we know that “the money is in the vending machine”, literally! 

Aside from being a very cash heavy type of business, there are all kinds of benefits to being involved in the vending industry.

As a vending machine business owner, you’ll enjoy many advantages aside from the extra money you’ll be earning.

  • Make a Really Good Yearly Income – By sticking to our proven formula, it’s extremely likely you’ll end up earning an above average income. 

  • Reach Profitability Fast – Compared to the average business out there, a vending machine business has a very high return of investment.  There are not too many other businesses out there that can say such a thing. Once your machine is paid for (12 to 18 months), it’s all profit from then on! Then you can add 2nd machine to your business if you like and watch your sales double instantly.

  • Low time Commitment – Running a vending machine business doesn’t require all of your time.  1 – 2 days is all that’s required to run your business effectively. This allows you extra time to do more of the things you enjoy doing!


How Vending Machines Make Money

How does a vending machine make money?

Vending machines make money in 5 different payment methods a quality vending machine will take.

  1. Credit Card
  2. Pay Wave / Tap n Go
  3. Notes
  4. Coins
  5. Android/Phone App

Our own data clearly suggests when you offer more payment choices to consumers; the more money you end up earning.     


Are Vending Machines Profitable

Yes vending machines can be a very profitable business. You may earn $8,000 or more each year from having just 1 machine. You may get a 100% ROI within 18 months which is considered an excellent return on investment.

We have been operating our own vending machines for over 20 years. During this time we have experienced rapid growth ourselves and believe that anyone can do well provided they work hard.


Which Vending Machine is Most Profitable

The most profitable vending machine is a machine that takes multiple forms of payment such as the Benleigh BV5 model. In 2017 Benleigh introduced credit card readers into thousands of our machines.  After incorporating credit card readers into hundreds of our own machines, we saw sales on every machine double in many cases!


Profit Margins for Vending Machines

The gross 12 month profit margin for a brand new vending machine is about -5.53%. This amount doesn’t include the cost of buying stock. This works out to be quite a high profit margin once your run the machine into year 2 of your business. The majority of vending operators make their initial investment back well with 24 months.


Vending Machine Profit Per Month

The net profit per month for a vending machine is about $400-500 (AUD). This cost is taking into account gross product sales minus the wholesale cost of buying said products. The average total gross sales is approximately $650-$750 per month.


How to Find a Good Place to Put your Vending Machine In?

How to find the place to put your vending machine in? This is the question all vending machine operators are always asking themselves. Choosing the best location for your machine is the single most important thing that will determine your success or failure. 

Benleigh understands this predicament and will actually help you find profitable locations to place your machine in.  We don’t just give you solid advice, but we will actually give you leads that come to us! 


What Products Sell Best in a Vending Machine

best selling products sold in a vending machine
Despite consumers constant request s for healthy items in their vending machine, the reality is very different. Only 11% of items sold in the average vending machine can be considered healthy.

Below are the best selling snacks and drinks sold in the average vending machine, categories by product type. This data has been calculated over an average of almost 1,000 vending machines.

With such a large sample of data, this chart does represent an accurate picture of the state of vending machine consumer buying habits.

What’s interesting is that during the customer acquisition stage, it’s not uncommon to see the customer making strong requests for healthy items.  We always give the customer what they ask for, so we have no issues with stocking healthy items. In fact we do see this sector growing year over year.

However, a quick look at the numbers shows that unhealthy items are vended out 90% more often than healthier choices. 

  1. Soft Drinks
  2. Chocolates & Lollies
  3. Chips
  4. Energy Drinks (Red Bull, V, Mother)
  5. Healthy Items
  6. Juices & Water

The good news is we are seeing this trend reverse. As Benleigh continues to add more healthy items to our product range, we are seeing profits increase.

Items such as fruit juices, coconut water, tuna, chicken meals, and protein products continue offer consumers an impressive amount of choice.


How to Start a Vending Machine Business

Below you will find the best tips to start your vending machine business. These tips are based on our 20+ years of experience and they certainly work! We can help you get started in your entrepreneurial journey.

  1. First decide if a vending machine business is right for you.
  2. Remember that a vending machine business requires a minimum of 2 hours a week of your time. 
  3. Decide how many machines you want to start with.
  4. Decide on the locations you will be able to service.  
  5. Understand that you could make your money back within 12-18 months
  6. Contact a vending machine supplier like Benleigh Vending, as you will need to buy some vending machines.
  7. Choose which products you will stock your vending machine with.


Vending Machine Business Plan

Before starting your own vending machine business, you should have a plan. This doesn’t need to be a comprehensive business plan, but you need some idea of the direction you want to go in.

The good news is Benleigh Vending Systems is happy to work with you. We can develop a simple – yet solid business strategy that works each and every time. 

Benleigh began with very humble roots, yet  have grown quickly over the last several years. We started off with a handful of machines and today we have a massive 2,000 vending machines in every state of Australia.

We will help find excellent sites to place your vending systems in, and share exactly what has worked well for us.

If you are ready to talk us about beginning your profitable vending machine business, please call us on 1300 629 153 or email us

1) Add a Credit Card Reader

We found sales can increase by at least 90% when adding a credit card reader to a cash/coin only machine.

As the popularity of credit card payments along with pay wave continue, we feel having a card reader built into your machine is a necessity now

2) Respond to Leads Within 24 Hours

Benleigh receives a large portion of our new leads online. Remember that the online consumer behaves slightly different to a lead generated by the telephone and other offline methods.

Tip: You should respond to the person enquiring about your vending business quickly (within 24 hours). We have found by responding to emails quicker that we have better success converting leads. People don’t like to wait days for a company to respond to their enquiry.

3) Fill your Machines Regularly

Although the hours required to invest in a vending machine is quite minimal, we have found it very important to stay on top of things. An empty machines means that you can’t sell any products! 

To ensure that you never miss out on profits, we recommend refilling your machines at least once per week.

One refill per week is what the average vending machine will require. Some larger sites may require two times, but these busier locations are the exception; not the rule.

It will only take about 20 minutes to refill one vending machine. 20 minutes to earn possibly $150 per week is very profitable use of your time. 


4) Work Smarter – Not Harder

Keep in mind that it’s very beneficial to your business to work efficiently as much as possible.  Once you have multiple machines we can provide you with some handy tips work efficiently. For example when it comes to driving from machine to machine, you will want to map your route.



5) Don’t Over Pay For Stock 

The snacks and drinks in your machine are the life blood of your vending business. Overpaying for your stock will quickly eat into your profits and leave you with a poor taste in your mouth. We believe in the beginning of your vending business, the idea is to pay off your first lot of machines as soon as possible. This will give your confidence to continue on, and come to the realisation that vending can be an AWESOME business!

Benleigh Vending Systems will help you find the cheapest sources to buy your stock cheaply, ensuring you maximise your profits from the get go! We believe the vending system business well the “buy low and sell high” business model. It’s important to lock in your earnings as soon as your order your wholesale stock. 

Following our easy and proven vending model, you’ll leave out the guess work. We make it as easy for you as possible, while allowing plenty of time for you to focus on proving a good customer experience; while earning the most profit possible.



Why Choose Benleigh Vending?

benleigh logo

  • We give you access to buying groups. Benleigh will connect you with affordable distributors who will give you the best prices on snacks and drinks.
  • High quality vending systems
  • We send you regular leads
  • Business development (we work with you to grow and develop your business).
  • FREE ongoing support
  • Warranty
  • Bulk pricing for machines
  • Benleigh is not just here to sell you a machine and leave you to fend for yourself.


What Do I Need to Start a Vending Machine Business

The following is what you need to start a vending machine business:

  1. You need an ABN (Australian Business Number)
  2. You will need a reliable vending machine
  3. You will need transport (van, ute, truck, or large car)
  4. Stock to place inside your vending machine
  5. Coin Reader
  6. Note reader
  7. Credit Card Reader

Benleigh can assist you in many of the steps listed above. We can provide you with Australia’s highest quality vending machine which also comes with a coin, note and credit card reader already in built!


Starting a Vending Machine Business FAQ

I have written the most popular questions a new vending machine operator asks. Although it’s extremely easy to start your own vending business, there are a few key things to consider:

benleigh vending machine


Do You Need a License to Start a Vending Business?

No you don’t need a license to start your own vending machine business in Australia.  All that is required is an ABN/ACN number.


How Much is a Vending Machine License?

As you don’t need a license to start your vending machine business, the cost will be $0.00.


How Often Will I need to Refill My Machine?

On average, about 85% of the machines you have will only need to be refilled once per week.


How Long Does It Take to Refill a Vending Machine?

  • Refilling one vending machine only takes about 10-15 minutes. 
  • One person will have time to fill 10 to 15 machines per week.
  • 60 minutes is need for filling, monitoring and travel time
  • 1 day for snack and drink shopping, talking to wholesalers

* Remember as you add more machines to your vending run, your time requirements will reduce (from a time per machine basis).


Where Will I Find My Stock To Fill the Machine?

When working together with Benleigh Vending, we can connect you with wholesalers and distributors where you’ll be able to order stock at discounted prices. 


How Much Do Vending Machines Cost?

The average cost of a brand new vending machine is $7,000 – $10,000 (AUD). 


How to Become a Vending Machine Operator?

How to become a vending machine operator? The first step is to get in contact with a large vending machine company. You will need to choose a reputable vendor like Benleigh Vending Systems. A large vending company will have the correct infrastructure, software and support that you’ll need to become one of the leading earners in this industry. 


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