Vending machines have become an increasingly popular business opportunity in Singapore. With their low overhead costs, multiple types of vending machine to work with, and a high potential for profitability, they are a great option for entrepreneurs looking to start a business at a low cost. A simple drink vending machine can cost you $2,000 ~ $8,000 and may take 6~12 months to breakeven.
I remember when I first started the vending machine business in Singapore, it was a goldmine not discovered by people. There is a demand for such business but not many people know how to research and supply these machines. That’s why in this article, we will discuss the various types of vending machine businesses you can start in Singapore, including their pros and cons, target markets, and potential profitability.
Why Vending machine business is great!
Vending machines have been around for decades, but in recent years they have undergone a transformation. Gone are the days when vending machines were limited to selling soda and candy bars. Nowadays, vending machines can dispense everything from fresh sandwiches and salads to beauty products and electronics. Heck, during the Covid-19 pandemic, having an ART (Antigen Rapid Test) vending machine was a popular business back in those days.
Pros of starting a vending machine business
Singapore is a great market for vending machines due to its highly developed infrastructure and tech-savvy population. People here are always looking for the most convenient way of getting things done without having much interaction.
Starting a vending machine business has many advantages. First and foremost, vending machines are a low-cost business to start. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, vending machines do not require expensive real estate, storefronts, or large inventories.
Additionally, vending machines operate 24/7, allowing you to generate income even when you are not actively working. This works great, especially in places that don’t have many convenience stores but have high traffic around the area.
Finally, vending machines offer a flexible schedule, allowing you to work on your own time and at your own pace. I remember I pick a date to go down to my vending machine weekly in order to top-up the supply. All the work could be done within an hour per machine.
Types of Vending Machines in Singapore
There are three different types of vending machines you can be working with. Each of them has their own target audience. Therefore, before you decide to take up the challenge to start your own vending machine business, do make sure to do the proper research beforehand.
Food and Beverage vending machines
Food and beverage vending machines are the most common type of vending machines in Singapore. They are perfect for locations with high foot traffic, such as shopping malls, office buildings, and transit hubs.
Some popular items sold in food and beverage vending machines include canned drinks, coffee, sandwiches, and snacks.
Advantages and Disadvantages
One advantage of food and beverage vending machines is that they have a high-profit margin. Additionally, the demand for food and drinks is constant, ensuring a steady stream of customers. However, food and beverage vending machines require frequent restocking and maintenance, which can be time-consuming and costly.
|Easy to Sell||Need extensive location research|
|High demand||High competition|
|Little need for product research||Low-profit margin|
|Easy to start||Need to restock frequently|
|Low cost||Restocking takes a lot of time|
|Simple and easy to repair automation||High maintenance|
The target market for food and beverage vending machines includes office workers, students, and commuters. When I first started my own vending machine business, I would research timing and what types of communicators are likely to walk past. Even understanding the age group matters a lot!
A primary school student, a secondary school student, and a Poly/ JC student have various needs or types of drinks they are accustomed to drinking. Sweet drinks are targeted at a younger audience, hydration drinks work well with secondary school students, and Poly/JC student loves coffee and tea the most.
Apart from understanding the community’s age demography, you need to learn about picking the right location. You want to put it in places such as the neighborhood, sports stadium or work offices which aren’t near any convenient stores.
The profitability of food and beverage vending machines varies depending on the location and the products sold. On average, a well-placed vending machine can generate between $50 to $100 per day and your profit margins are about 20~30% of each drink/food sold.
If you are interested to learn more about starting a food and beverage vending machine, I highly recommend you to check out my complete guide to running a profitable coffee vending machine business.
Personal Care vending machines
Personal care vending machines are a newer type of vending machine business in Singapore but have been gaining traction ever since the pandemic happened.
Vending machines that sell outdoor products on hiking trails, schools selling stationaries, or as mentioned; health services selling face masks.
These machines can sell various types of items as long as they have a long shelf life, can withstand certain temperatures, and are able to work well in various conditions.
These vending machines could sell various tools or personal care such as toothbrushes, sunscreen, and feminine hygiene products.
Advantages and Disadvantages
One advantage of personal care vending machines is that they cater to a specific need. Customers are often willing to pay a premium for the convenience of purchasing personal care items on the go. However, these machines require a high level of maintenance and don’t actually have a high demand for their product.
|High Profit Margin||Low Demand|
|Low Maintenace||Need to constantly find the right product to sell|
|Low Cost for Machinery and Repair|
The target market for personal care vending machines includes travelers, busy professionals, and people in need of emergency supplies.
The profitability of personal care vending machines depends on the location and the products sold. The great thing about selling each product is that their profit margin can easily be over 80% up to three times the retail cost. That’s why on average, a well-placed vending machine can generate between $50 to $100 per day.
Retail vending machines
Retail vending machines sell a variety of consumer goods, such as electronics, beauty products, and toys. They are typically found in high-traffic areas such as airports, train stations, and shopping malls.
Advantages and Disadvantages
One advantage of retail vending machines is that they offer a wide variety of products. This makes them appealing to a broad range of customers. Additionally, retail vending machines often sell higher-priced items, which can lead to higher profits. However, these machines require frequent maintenance and restocking, which can be costly.
|High ROI||High competition|
|High Demand||Damages and maintenance may be needed more frequently|
|Can sell almost anything once you have found the right location (Seriously!)|
|Simple and easy to repair automation|
The target market for retail vending machines includes travelers, tech enthusiasts, and people looking for unique gift items.
The profitability of retail vending machines depends on the location, the products sold, and the pricing strategy. On average, a well-placed vending machine can generate between $100 to $200 per day.
Factors to consider when starting a vending machine business
Before starting a vending machine business, there are several factors to consider:
Location is key when it comes to vending machines. The best locations are those with high foot traffic, such as shopping malls, train stations, and airports. Additionally, it is important to consider the competition in the area and the types of products that are in demand.
Choosing the right products for your vending machine is critical. You should consider the needs and preferences of your target market, as well as the profitability of the products. It is also important to ensure that the products are fresh and of high quality.
Maintenance and stocking
Vending machines require frequent maintenance and restocking. You should consider the time and cost involved in maintaining and stocking your machines when selecting a location and choosing products.
Regulations and permits
There are several regulations and permits that you will need to comply with when starting a vending machine business in Singapore. These may include permits from the National Environment Agency, the Building and Construction Authority, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Do I need a permit to start a vending machine business in Singapore?
Yes, you will need to obtain permits from several government agencies, including the National Environment Agency and the Urban Redevelopment
How much does it cost to start a vending machine business in Singapore?
The cost of starting a vending machine business varies depending on the type of machine and the products sold. On average, you can expect to spend between $5,000 to $10,000 on your initial investment.
What types of products sell best in vending machines?
The best-selling products in vending machines are those that are in high demand and have a long shelf life. Some popular items include snacks, beverages, and personal care products.
How much can I expect to make from a vending machine business in Singapore?
The profitability of vending machines depends on several factors, including the location, the products sold, and the pricing strategy. On average, a well-placed vending machine can generate between $50 to $200 per day.
Is starting a vending machine business a good investment in Singapore?
Starting a vending machine business can be a good investment in Singapore, as long as you carefully consider the factors involved and make informed decisions. With low overhead costs and the potential for high profits, a vending machine business can be a great option for entrepreneurs who are looking for a low-risk, high-reward opportunity.
What Products to Check Out!
Here are some of the most popular vending machines for you to try out that have been gaining popularity.
IshiShengwei Intelligent coffee machine
This state-of-the-art OCS coffee machine boasts a sleek and modern design with a convenient touchscreen interface, making it easy and intuitive to use. Whether you’re in a hurry or simply looking for a quick pick-me-up, the coffee machine has got you covered.
The machine is designed to offer a wide variety of coffee options, including espresso, cappuccino, latte, and more. With its intelligent technology, you can customize your drink to your exact liking, including the amount of sugar, milk, and cream you prefer.
The self-service feature allows for quick and easy access to your favorite coffee beverages, making it perfect for busy offices, hotels, and other high-traffic areas. With its stand-alone design, it can be placed anywhere and requires minimal maintenance.
YiNong Commercial Hot Coffee/tea
With its cutting-edge technology and sleek design, our vending machine is perfect for high-traffic areas such as offices, hospitals, and universities. The machine is equipped with three flavors of coffee/tea, ensuring that there is something for everyone.
The vending machine is easy to operate, allowing customers to enjoy their favorite beverages quickly and efficiently. The machine also comes with a variety of payment options, including cashless payment, making transactions a breeze.
At YiNong, they pride themselves on providing high-quality vending machines that are easy to maintain and operate. Our vending machine requires minimal maintenance and is built to last, ensuring that you get the most out of your investment.
Starting a vending machine business can be a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs in Singapore. By choosing the right type of vending machine, location, and products, you can create a profitable business with low overhead costs. However, it is important to consider the factors mentioned in this article before starting your venture.
If you still have any question, feel free to ask in the comment section below!