This is an excellent business for many people. However, there are many things to deal with and it will take time to make money with it. Unless you have a substantial amount of money to invest you will have to re-plow, re-invest, much of the money you make for a long time to grow the business. Vending machines will cost you over a hundred dollars each for gunball and candy macines and up to several thousand dollars for vending machines that serve soft drinks, coffee, foods and many other items. The annual profits will be less than the cost of a vending machine so it will take time to make money to re-invest in more vending machines to build your route. Some that have money like tens of thousands of dollars can more quickly buy vending machines and build your business but it's not easy to grow even if you have the money to spend on the machines.
Of course you would need a van or mini van to carry the supplies to refill your vending machines and carry machines that need to be fixed or placed in a new location. It's a business that can be run from your home or garage saving you rent expense. But there are costs beyond your vehicle and gas for all the mileage going to your vending machines to refill and collect the money. Vending machines break down, so if you're handy you may be able to fix them but you may be able to find someone that can fix them for a reasonable amount of money, like a handy retired person.
There is the cost of the product that you sell like gun balls and other candy or small toys. The cost comes right off your top line revenue, sales, so you're not making all that you collect in your machines. Picking up $20 may sound good but you can't say you have that money and spend it, so if you are the type to be tempted to spend cash in your hands you may find you're sending beyond your profits. The product such as candy may not be very expensive but it will add up and some may become stale and you will have to throw away. You want fresh product in your machines because if someone buys and find it's not fresh they won't buy again. Many of the people that buy from vending machines are repeat customers even though you will seldom see any of your customers. You need to treat your customers well with fresh product and clean and working machines.
Probably the most difficult part of the vending machine business is to find locations for your machines. You will need to meet with management of stores and businesses to get your vending machines in the location. Some give a part of the revenue to a charity to get approval to be in a location, if the business doesn't care to be paid to place your machines. However, you may also have expense sharing some profit with the business you place your vending machines.
The vending machine business is a business that you will need some money to start and you will need to re-invest in more machines before you can make good money. It is not a business that you sit back and watch the money roll in. You need to service your machines, refill and collect the money and keep the machines clean and make sure they work. You will also need to continue to find new locations as some businesses may close or the location isn't making enough money. Finding good locations is the hardest part of the business. It seems like the vending machine business is a good business but it's not an easy business. For some it's a business that makes sense if you like to be proactive and do a lot of driving back and forth to your vending machine locations.