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What Is a Vending Machine?

It may well sound like a silly question but the truth is that there are so very many different kinds of vending machines. If you really think about it, there are heaps of machines which we may not have previously seen as vending machines. So what is a vending machine you ask? In its simplest form, a vending machine is a self-service machine which dispenses merchandise after the insertion of money into the machine.

Dispensing an Item

The most common vending machines dispense fast moving consumer goods. Cold drinks and snacks; all with the advantage of long shelf lives, are able to provide consumers with instant gratification through vending machines. Undoubtedly the biggest perk of vending machines is their ability to provide goods at all hours without needing a human to operate it. Late at night and early in the morning, vending machines are the heroes of the snack world.

Dispensing a service

Stepping into the realm of services, you may struggle to remember what it is a machine can do for you. The most classic example – a parking meter. In exchange for a coin you are given time. While the original parking meters may no longer exist, its newer upgraded version exists in and around paid parking in almost every mall. They sell not only time but also shade and security for your car.

Another service provided by a vending machine of sorts; which has also become a fossil of the modern world, is a phone booth. You may not remember when last you saw one, but they used to be common place.

Dispensing songs – the juke box. Recently revived and spotted in the odd pub or pool hall, the modern juke box has thousands of songs, often anything you can think of. In addition to the touch screen and easy operation, these machines provide atmosphere.

Different, but still the same.

You may have never considered it to be a vending machine, but if you think about it an ATM is likely to be among the most widely utilised vending machines in modern society. Dispensing cash to users, an ATM is far more complicated than the average snack dispenser, but it still automatically dispenses goods (in this, case money) to users.

Vending Culture

Japan is widely seen as a vending society. Almost everything you can think of is available from a vending machine. It makes sense, in densely populated cities where people are always pressed for time, why wouldn’t you want to buy fresh lettuce without even having to greet a cashier?

As time passes vending machines make more and more sense. What the supplier saves in running costs can be passed on to the consumer. Vending machines don’t require full time staff, but they can operate full time. They require little space and they can be placed almost anywhere. If you would like to find out more about getting your own vending machine or even renting one, feel free to contact us for more information!