Wanting to make some extra cash, ostensibly to offset wedding expenses, a young woman and her fiance bought a used vending machine for just $250 and were amazed at how profitable their new small business was.
Jade Davis (@jadedavis0802) garnered nearly 3 million views on TikTok when she shared a video of the process of setting up and filling her vending machine with treats, which can cost thousands of dollars to buy in official markets.
Davis said her fiance bought it at a bargain price from a colleague who no longer needed it. The machine was installed right in the warehouse where their partner works, for which they explained that the location does not charge them space rent.
Membership in Sam’s Club for starters
The next step was to ensure that the vending machine was kept where employees and visitors use it the most: in the hallway and on the way to the restroom. Then they ran to Sam’s Club, operated by Walmart, and opened a membership that allows them to save on bulk purchases of snacks and candy.
After spending $315 on snacks, plus the membership fee ($45), the couple said they made about $150 in just three weeks. They are now adding new items after receiving dozens of requests from other TikTok users and evaluating what hasn’t sold in that time.
Davis’ video was so popular that other users said they would consider buying their own vending machine. “I could put one on my porch for all the Amazon and FedEx delivery guys,” one man joked.
In another clip, viewers pointed out the low prices of the snacks in the machine, some of which were as low as 50 cents. Davis argued that because they “took [la máquina] from someone who has operated it for years,” will raise prices “slowly” to keep repeat customers happy.
“This is the best slot machine I’ve ever seen. What a variety!” commented one snack lover. “All prices should be a dollar or more,” added another.
Vending machines have proven to be a lucrative business for someincluding Marcus Gram, 31, who says he rarely works and makes more than $300,000 a year thanks to the 25 machines he started buying in 2018.
After spending about $5,000 on two refurbished computers, Gram began to see the money “moving.” “It’s a semi-passive income business,” he told Time magazine.
“Selling products is passive, but making sure those sales are consistent and customers are satisfied takes effort,” he added.
As of late September, Gram had vending machines in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington, D.C., and said it was on track to hit $500,000 in sales by the end of 2022.
Finance site GOBankingRates called it the “perfect” business for those looking for an alternative source of income: “While you probably won’t become a millionaire, you may be able to grow the business to the point where you can replace the income from his full-time job.”
How much money can be earned on slot machines?
Earnings depend on several factors, such as the type of product each machine offers and traffic at each location, GOBankingRates explains.
For example, a vending machine in one location might bring in just $5 a week, while the same machine offering the same products in another location might bring in $100 (or much more).
It also depends on how many machines the entrepreneur works with at the same time. To scale $1,000 or more a day, you’d need at least 75-100 vending machines at any given time, according to industry software developer VendSoft.