Why Entrepreneurs Should Consider the Gumball Machine

Since the early 1900’s, the gumball machine has reigned supreme as an ultra-fun and convenient way to enjoy a sweet, chewy treat. Over one hundred years later, the gumball machine is still a great way to create impressive passive income. Read on to discover this easy way to enhance, or start, your vending business.

Antique Gumball Machines

Antique Gumball Machines are highly collectible – bidding on this one pictured exceeding $1000 on eBay.com !

Gumball Machines are Awesome

It starts with just a simple coin and ends with a burst of highly anticipated happiness. Which color will I get? What flavor? I hope I get that one! With the turn of a handle, a prize drops from a glass globe and plunks against a metal door. Exhilaration flashes across your customer as they retrieve their gumball and walk off, happily chewing away the stress of their day.

The scenario is joyful to imagine. It’s even better if you imagine that every time someone gets a happy experience from your gumball dispenser, you get to collect a whole quarter!

Besides acting as great sources of passive income, these simple vending machines are extremely easy to operate. Once you place and stock your machine, it’s a simple matter of keeping it clean, refilling it and collecting your money. Whether you choose gumball machines to enhance your current business or act as a standalone business, the opportunities for expansion are virtually limitless.

People of all ages enjoy a good vending machine, especially since the machines aren’t just limited to actual balls of gum. The choices of candy and trinket fillers are endless for a savvy entrepreneur, and so are the available locations to house your moneymakers.

Candy Dispenser

An assortment of modern gumball machines located in a Dallas storefront. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumball_machine)

While it takes a great deal of machines to guarantee a substantial income, owning just one serves as wonderful supplemental income. Here are a few common challenges that gumball newbies sometimes face, as well as some helpful tips to overcome them.

  • Machine Maintenance– Some machines are flashy, electrified pieces of treat-dispensing technology. Most are fairly simple gear systems. Either type you choose, it’s important to understand how they work, and have the ability to fix them should the need arise. An abundance of research material is available online from which to learn on your own. Alternatively, you can always find a certified service technician in your area.
  • Choosing Product– The beginning stages of any business venture are often fraught with trial and error. The most common quandary for a gumball machine owner is which filler to choose. Lessen your frustrations by observing these factors:

o   Climate- Excessive heat or freezing cold may damage product.

o   Culture- Some products are better suited for specific groups of people.

o   Price- Ensure that the product you choose has the highest profit margin possible.

  • Few Ways to Market– Other than visibility, there are few ways to successfully market this type of business. One definite strategy is to increase the amount and quality of your vending array to increase traffic.


The challenges of this type of business are few and manageable. If owning a gumball business makes you all bubbly, follow the following steps and get vending!

, do your research. Laws that regulate vending business vary by state and location. Always check with your local government for specific licensing and health permitting. Also, make sure that you have valid tax ids.

, shop for a good machine and good bulk pricing. Try to keep your product cost lower than 20% of what you charge.

, scope out good locations. Approach businesses with a lot of foot traffic. Offer a percentage of your sales in exchange for a cozy spot in their lobby or waiting room.

, purchase, study, understand and set-up your machine.

, place your vending machine at a predetermined location. Machines normally live in highly trafficked areas, so crime is rare. However, if you’re worried about your investment going missing, secure it to a pillar or other permanent structure.

Sixth, continue to keep track of your machines. Refill and clean as necessary, and always test to make sure they are in proper working condition. Also, do not neglect to have an option available for rolling all those coins for a bank deposit.

 “Besides acting as great sources of passive income, gumball machines are extremely easy to operate”

How Many Coins?

That depends on a lot. To simplify it, if each gumball costs you two cents to buy and they each sell for one quarter, then you’ve made $0.23 per gumball. If your machine holds an even 100, you’ve generated $23.00 in revenue. If you pay the host location 15%, you’re rolling up $19.55 in shiny passive income each time you refill. If you already operate a mobile business, such as a food truck, then adding a route of gumball machines is the perfect way to pad your pocket. Purchasing a candy machine – or two, or three, or more –  could start you off on a delicious, new, financial path.

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