One of the oldest methods of passive income is the use of vending machines.  They even found some example in the ancient Egypt pyramids (no, they did not).  These are perfect passive income devices. They are roughly a salesperson sitting at a specific location and working twenty-fours per day.  Better yet, advances have made these an even better option for those of us interested in generating passive income.

Vending Machines Are Smarter Than Ever

The whole concept of the Internet of Things is made to order for this area.  Think about it.  You can ping your machines via the Internet for all sorts of information including current inventory levels, whether a feed is jammed, and even the cash on hand.  This technology reduces your need for visiting a machine (or machines) and even can provide you incredibly detailed data.  You might even be able to get ahead of a rush on a certain product by looking at past data.  These features may add up to more cost, but maybe that is worth it in the end.

Meeting a Need

The ley to a successful vending business (or any other) is to be there when customers need you most.  Think about a situation where a large need intersects customers with a lot of cash.  This approach is why cigarette machines worked well in a bar.  People wanted a smoke and were already freely spending money.  That is event eh thinking behind the checkout aisle in your local grocery.  People are spending a lot of money so why not spend a little more and get themselves a treat?

There are some challenges to this passive income approach.  You will have to maintain inventory, repair machines at times.  You might even need to do a late-night visit to a machine in order to fix a broken part or replace a popular item.  This can be a headache, but once you can get to a large number of machines you can possibly even corner a market.

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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