vending machine

Best Vending Machine Financing for 2021

Running a vending machine company might not be glamorous, but it can pay off. In sales terms, however, you're chasing a large number of small-paying clients. This means you need many vending machines to achieve growth. This is one reason why a loan could come in handy.

Financially reviewed by Gordon Scott

At A Glance —Vending machines are on every corner: schools, malls, office buildings, and hospitals. What’s more, every year the vending machine industry makes billions of dollars in revenue. You may be thinking of getting in on this profitable niche market. All you need is a solid strategy, a bit of background knowledge and reliable financing. In this article, our experts outline the top financing options available for your vending machine business. 

Introduction

Many business funding methods are accessible for new and established vending companies who need capital to launch or grow. The information on this page will help you decide how much money you require and how to obtain it to ensure business success. 

The minimum amount of money required to start your own vending machine business is roughly $1,500 - $2,500. This investment will likely be used to buy:

  • 5 to 10 new machines for a bulk vending style business 
  • 1 or 2 refurbished machines for snacks and sodas  
  • Products to stock your vending machines
  • Cash on hand to cover extra and unexpected expenses

If you have a greater amount of money you can buy more machines and products. This may bring with it more risk, but it also gives you a greater chance for larger profits. 

Best Vending Machine Business Loans

To cover the starting capital or operating expenses, you'll likely need a helping hand. We've got a few top options you can use to start and grow your vending machine business.

Financing Need

Best Loan Type

Loan Features

Recommended Lender

Buy the vending machines

Equipment financing

  • Amount: Depending on the leased equipment and business credibility
  • Term: Varies
  • Interest: 10% to 20%
  • Time to get the loan: Varies

National Funding

Inventory, equipment purchase

Personal loans for business

  • Amount: Depends on personal credit 
  • Term: Varies depending on the amount
  • Interest: Varies depending on the loan type
  • Time to get the loan: Varies depending on the loan type

LendingClub

Current spendings, salaries

Business line of credit

  • Amount: Up to $100,000 (depending on the lender)
  • Term: Short (up to 1 year)
  • Interest: Varies
  • Time to get the loan: Varies

OnDeck

 

Vending Machine Business Loans Explained

Here you can read the descriptions and terms of the loans featured in the table above and also get acquainted with a few recommended lenders.

1. Equipment Financing

Buying equipment is probably the most crucial part of the vending machine business. If there's no vending machine, there's no business. Buying the devices upfront might be pricey, so loaning money to buy the equipment or leasing it could be more manageable.

If you're planning to update your business equipment once in a few years, leasing is the way to go. This loan type will help you adapt to the market initially as you expand. Then, you'll be able to use the income to reinvest.

With small business funding of up to $150,000, National Funding is one of the best equipment financing lenders on the market. It boasts an easy application process and short funding times.

2. Personal Loans for Business

Usually, for a business to be eligible for a small business loan, the business must have been active in the market for at least six months. If you can cover the initial costs for your vending machine business - out of your pocket - and use a short-term personal loan, then this may be a good way to start. 

If your business is still new and has no credit score, personal loans can help you kickstart your business. 

While our recommended lender, the LendingClub, has a few small business funding offers, its personal loans also provide great financing solutions. LendingClub’s innovative peer-to-peer model gives it an edge over other lending alternatives.

3. Business Line of Credit

Purchasing inventory is essential for any vending machine business. A business line of credit may be just what you need to amass the inventory you require to get your business off and running. With a business line of credit you don't have to wait long to get approved before using the funds.  

The best way to use a business line of credit is to keep it on the account unless you absolutely need it. If you suddenly have to refill a few of your vending machines and don't have funds, this loan type may come in handy.

OnDeck is a credit company that has been helping small businesses with short-term loans since 2007. One of this lender's highlights is its strong customer support. Although its credit and borrower requirements are softer than other lenders, the rates are slightly higher than you might be used to.

How to Choose the Best Vending Machine Business Loans

Establishing a vending machine business may not demand as much startup capital as many other small businesses need. For instance, many small businesses require hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get started. 

Nevertheless, we don’t all have a few thousand dollars lying around. That’s why most vending machine business owners look to financial lenders to help them establish their vending machine business or to keep their existing business afloat. 

How Can Statistics Help Your Vending Machine Business

Successful vending machine business owners know that statistics are essential. You should be able to present your vending machine business in numbers. Some questions to consider are: 

  • Which of my vending machines are performing the best?
  • What factors are influencing their top performance?
  • How can I replicate the success of these machines in other locations?

In addition, let's say that the machines you have located next to schools perform better than the ones you have placed next to bus stops. It would be logical to dig deeper so that you can replicate the success of your school-based vending machines. 

You may also wish to consider:

  • Your best-seller product for each location?
  • Why is it selling better than others?
  • Better selling options for another location?

These and other questions will help you keep track of your inventory and help you recognize new business development opportunities in the future.  

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Vending Machine Business?

A used machine can cost above $1,200, but a new one will be about 10 times as much.

Some other expenses to consider are as follows:

  • Restocking vehicle: If you have the machines in a very crowded area, daily refills should be necessary. Sure, you can rent a car to do the rounds and stock the machines, but buying a vehicle should be a top priority.
  • An employee: When you start out you may only have a few machines. You may thus be able to manage driving around and restocking your machines yourself. However, once you expand your business, you'll have to hire a few trustworthy employees.
  • Technical maintenance: Vending machines, especially high-tech ones, are prone to technical issues. Periodic maintenance is important and often costly. 
  • Inventory: You will likely spend a lot of money on inventory. Having vendor agreements will ease you into the business, and you'll be able to arrange periodic deliveries and could even get special prices. 
  • Permits and taxes: Each city has its own laws regarding vending machines and the permits you need to have. This bureaucratic layer will probably cost you around a few hundred dollars a year, depending on your location and the number of vending machines you have. You should also consider the taxes your business will need to pay.
  • Insurance: Vending machines are easy to break - that's why we believe that having insurance on all items is a must. Depending on how many machines you own, this expense might cost you up to a few thousand dollars.

As you can see, a vending machine business may incur many expenses and is only profitable if managed correctly.

The Bottom Line

The vending machine business is a multi-billion dollar industry. Yet, if you are looking to break into this market you may need a vending machine loan to get you started. You will also need target market research, a great business strategy and fierce entrepreneurial skills. Our experts have provided you with an overview of the best loan types and recommended lenders in the industry. 

No matter what the state of your personal finances may be, the vending machine industry provides an opportunity for you to own your own business. A vending machine loan may be all you need to get your vending machine business vision off the ground.