I spent $150 dollars on 4 Vendstar 3000 candy machines. I already got a contract to put one in operation, with another one in negotiations. I think I'll put the third one in service and use the fourth as a backup. I'm not expecting a lot of profit, between 15 to 30 bucks per machine per month, but if it works out it should bring in a minor profit per month. I made a list of businesses in my area that I'm interested in contacting, if the initial machines are successful I'll pick up more and begin contacting other businesses. I'm sticking to department stores and restaurants to minimize chances of vandalism, so all machines are indoors and locked up when the business is closed. I'm also only going to businesses that have no machines so far, so I don't step on any other vendors toes. I realize I'm still in competition with these guys, I just hope they won't move to crush the new small fry.
The machines (Vendstar 3000s) are a bit different from normal ones. They are made of a combination of plastic and steel instead of all steel, which I'm not too keen on but they can be had cheaply. They run 300 bucks brand new but can be found used for around 50 per machine. I did have some issues trying to put gumballs in though, they keep getting broken after 10 vends or so. Loose candy such as M&Ms and Skittles perform fine however.
I printed labels for the candy (each machine has 3 heads) and mounted them inside each head, and printed up some contact information stickers for each unit as well.
Contract info right now is a 70/30 split, myself getting the 70. I supply the machine and candy, they supply the floorspace. I go once a week on location to refill machine, and me and a member of management empty the cash, count it out, and split it. I keep the keys to the machine.
The only frustration has been what to put in the machines. I originally wanted gumballs, M&Ms, and Skittles, but the gumball crushing problem blew that. For the time being I am using Plain M&Ms, Peanut M&Ms, and Skittles til I figure out the problems with gumballs.