Home The Role of Location Scouting in Finding Profitable Vending Machine Spots

The Role of Location Scouting in Finding Profitable Vending Machine Spots

The Role of Location Scouting in Finding Profitable Vending Machine Spots

Location is more than simply a detail in the vending machine industry; it’s the foundation of your success. You could have the most modern, state-of-the-art vending machines stocked with a variety of popular products, but if they’re not in the right spots, you’re missing out on potential profits. While it may seem obvious, finding the ideal location requires a strategy beyond intuition or guesswork. Enter the science and art of location scouting.

Location scouting is about identifying such places, researching them, and potentially securing them as sites for your vending machines. Let’s take a look at what factors you should consider and how to maximize your profitability through effective placement.

Factors to Consider

There are several factors to consider while scouting locations for your vending machines. Below are some of the key aspects you should be looking at.

Foot Traffic

The more people pass by your vending machine, the greater the chance of sales. Areas with high foot traffic include schools, offices, transit stations, shopping malls, and gyms. However, it’s also essential to understand the type of foot traffic. What product does the person who is passing need? How likely is he to stop and purchase?


While high foot traffic areas are generally great, they also tend to be competitive. You’ll need to assess the competition in your chosen area to understand if the market is saturated or if there’s room for your vending machine to capture a market share. Vending Machines work best when you can offer something no other alternative can, such as a 24/7 service or a faster checkout.


How accessible is your vending machine? Can people easily approach it? Are there any barriers, such as doors or stairways, that might deter potential customers? Accessibility can also mean 24/7 availability or visibility from a distance. If the location is too crowded or blocks traffic flow, it could influence the customer’s decision to stop and purchase.

Target Audience

Your target audience should also influence your choice of location. Who are the primary consumers of your product? Are they students, office workers, or shoppers? Demographic factors could heavily influence the types of products that will sell well. For instance, in the departure lounge of an airport, where travelers are preparing for a journey, items like earphones and battery packs are likely to be in high demand. And at the arrivals area, where people are just landing in a new city or country, SIM cards could be a hot seller.


Locations secure from theft and vandalism protect your investment and are generally more attractive to customers. Security might mean well-lit areas, locations with security cameras, or places with a general reputation for safety.

Methods for Location Scouting

While intuition and gut feelings have their place, systematic methods tend to give better results. Here are some ways to apply:

  1. Data Analysis: Use available data to identify areas with high foot traffic, consumer demographics, and other factors that align with your target market.
  2. Field Visits: There’s no substitute for actually going to potential locations and observing. Field visits can provide invaluable insights you can’t get through data alone. Take your time and observe.
  3. Consult with Property Managers: Building managers and property owners can provide insights into the types of people who frequent an area and any potential restrictions or guidelines you may need to follow.
  4. Engage Directly with Potential Customers: Often overlooked, direct engagement with your potential customers can give invaluable insights. While property managers offer valuable perspectives, the end-users of your vending machines know best what they need and where they want it.

Final Thoughts

Effective location scouting is both an art and a science, requiring a mix of data analysis, fieldwork, and human judgment. The time and effort invested in finding the right spots for your vending machines can significantly impact their profitability and, by extension, the success of your vending machine business. While it can be tempting to place a machine at the first available spot, taking the time to assess different locations based on the above factors can make all the difference.

We’d love to hear from you! Do you have any location-scouting tips or stories you’d like to share? Have you encountered any challenges finding the right spot for your vending machine? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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