Like many businesses, you may be looking for a way to easily earn some extra money or provide a way for your employees and customers to get a quick caffeine or sugar fix. Purchasing a soda vending machine can be a good way to accomplish either goal. When it comes to soda vending machines, there are several options available.

Purchase and Operate Yourself

To make sure your business is always fully stocked with soda, you don’t need to hire a vending machine company or pay someone to maintain it. Many retailers like Sam’s Club, Costco and Amazon offer vending machines for sale – including those for snacks, sodas or a combination of the two. However, if you want to purchase a vending machine yourself, you will also need to arrange to keep it stocked and in working order. This is a low-cost alternative to a vending machine company, but can give you some extra work – like buying the soda, collecting money and hiring repair services when needed.

Hire a Vending Machine Company

Another option is to solicit the help of a vending machine company. These businesses generally do not charge anything to install, stock and service the machine. That said, the company will set the prices on products and collect all profits. If you simply want to provide a way for your employees or customers to conveniently purchase a beverage while at your business, this is a good hands-off approach.

Choosing the Location

Regardless of how you decide to purchase and install your soda vending machine, you’ll want to pick an ideal location for it. The best locations will see a lot of foot traffic throughout the day. If the machine is primarily for employee use, employee break rooms or cafeterias are great locations. If you’re looking to provide your customers and employees with soda vending options, you may want to try an area like a lobby or reception area. Keep in mind that the machine will need to be stocked and serviced frequently, so you may want to choose a location where this won’t be a business disruption.

Setting Prices

If you decide to purchase, stock and service the soda vending machine yourself, you’ll be able to set your own prices. Many newer soda vending machines allow for digitally setting prices of different products. For instance, you can offer a $1 soda and a $1.50 juice in the same vending machine. How you price your products will depend on your overall goals; if you’re looking to make a profit, whether for charity, employee activities or your own bottom line, you’ll want to price the beverages at around retail value. If you’re looking to provide employees with a low-cost way to conveniently grab a drink, you may want to price your products closer to what you pay for them wholesale.