How Much does it Cost to Fill up a Vending Machine?

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Vending machines can be stocked with just about anything. There are machines in Japan that dispense live crabs and machines in Dubai that sell lingerie. Of course, these are some of the more unusual items for sale. The most common products sold in vending machines are by far beverages and snack foods. These products account for an overwhelming share of the market. This article will provide insight into the actual cost of filling up a vending machine.

Cost to fill up a vending machine

Most machines in operation sell either beverage which accounts for over 30% of all vending machine sales annually, or snack foods which make up a majority of the remaining share. Thus, the cost to fill up a vending machine will be based on these products and not crabs or lingerie. The average cost to fill up an empty vending machine is around $200 per month. However, this price is dependent on what products you are using to fill the machine.

Choosing the right products

A vending machine without anything inside is just a metal box. It has to be stocked with a range of products to function as intended. Therefore, the choice of what products to sell is an important decision in the vending business. The products must be both popular with customers and at the same time profitable for operators. The economics of stocking machines with boutique or niche items is more complex than using common items. Furthermore, the demand for common items is basically universal and the price per item is reliably profitable. This leads to most operators opting to fill their machines with beverages and snack foods. Although, depending on the demographics of where the machine is located, other products can be profitable.

Refilling a vending machine

The task of filling a vending machine does not end after the machine has been initially filled. The ongoing restocking is the bread and butter of the vending business. It is also the most labor-intensive part of the business. It requires a person to go to the machine’s location and stock the missing inventory by hand. This is usually carried out at least once a week to ensure that the machine remains full and does not miss out on any potential profits. Machine operators can either complete the refill themselves or employ someone to do it for them. There is obviously an additional cost for operators that choose to outsource the work. Although the restocking only takes 10-15 minutes, the cost of paying someone is normally quite cheap.


The vending machine business has relatively low expenses and filling the machine is no exception. The selection of the right products with the right profit margins is in this regard. Furthermore, the price of products generally used to fill these machines are stable, so there are no nasty surprises when the invoice arrives.  Call now in order to know how much it costs to fill up a vending machine.

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