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6 Unusual Vending Machine Products

by Kay Lynn

Growing up all our vacations were by car so I got to see a few truck stops a long the way.  It was a toss-up whether the truck stop or hotel had the most interesting vending machines.  Who would buy combs, toothpaste or aspirin from a machine I wondered?

Bait Vending MachineWell as exotic as those products were to a kid, they are pretty boring compared to the things that can be sold in the vending machines today.  Japan is notorious for selling just about anything in a machine but the U.S. is starting to sell more interesting items as listed below.

1. Electronics – Airports seem to be the main place to buy iPods,games and other electronics from a machine.  Sony and Apple are two brands I’ve seen during my travels.  I think it’s a good option to replace a forgotten accessories.  But since the iPod comes uncharged and empty what good is it on the flight?

2. Gold – Next time you are in Las Vegas head over to the Golden Nugget where you’ll find a machine dispensing gold bars and coins.  Not sure why people need this item as I doubt the machines or tables would accept that as currency.

3. Diaper Bag Essentials – Two moms in Minnesota came up with an idea for a machine that stocks diapers, wipes, sippy cups and snacks.  I hope they have a resounding business because one of these machines would be great anywhere you see lots of parents and kids without alternative sources such as malls, airports and even restaurants.

4. Prescription Medications – It’s no fun to be sick and not only drag yourself to the doctor’s office but then have to get to the pharmacy for the prescription.  One company has a solution with a medication dispensing machine.  Your doctor sends the prescription electronically to the machine which processes payment and delivers the medication.

5. Marijuana – This could go in the above category, but it’s only medication in some states.   Why wait until the store opens to get your pot prescription filled? Machines selling medical marijuana are in business in California.  Enough said.

6. Fishing Bait – Early morning fishing fans can now get bait before the storefronts open via a vending machine.  These are more common than you think with several hundred machines out there.  So pick up your worms and other bait from a kiosk and save time.

I predict more products will become available via vending machines.  It’s cheaper than having a storefront with employees and more convenient for customers.

What the most unusual item you have seen sold in a machine?

Attribution Some rights reserved by texas_mustang

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Benjamin April 25, 2011 at 7:07 am

Fishing bait? When I was younger I thought that hamburgers and burritos were going too far! Now you can buy iPods and bait! Who would have ever thought! Thanks for sharing that!

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Dr Dean April 25, 2011 at 7:08 am

Hmmm, what happens if all your night-crawlers are dead. I could see some serious vandalism by a mad fisherperson…

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Romeo April 25, 2011 at 9:38 pm

No way! I have to see the “weed” machines for myself before I believe you, lol. Who is to stop a child from tokin’ up when they wanted to? Nice.

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Barb Friedberg April 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

This was a good one. The pot one would certainly be at risk for break ins :)

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Kay Lynn April 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm

@ Ben, I think bait might make more sense than hamburgers; longer shelf life!

@ Dr. Dean, hopefully the machines are serviced well and the bait is all live when bought.

@ Romeo, I left some details out of the article about the pot machine. You have to be a registered customer of the store to use the machine.

@ Barb, more so than the bait, right?

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LifeAndMyFinances April 27, 2011 at 4:24 am

Marijuana in a machine? Hmm, that seems to have disaster written all over it. I’m sure age is monitored somehow, but I can already see a 6 year old boy cheating the system and getting his hands on some. Yikes!

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Kay Lynn April 28, 2011 at 5:23 am

Yes, they have to be a current patient at the clinic sponsoring the machine. Frankly, the only people I know with medical marijuana cards are baby boomers.

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Dana April 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Love the idea of the diaper/wipes vending machine. Seems like there is always something you need when you have little ones in tow, even if you do pack the diaper bag meticulously.

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Kay Lynn May 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Dana, I still remember the first time I took my baby out as a new mom. I took the baby — and that’s it! Needless to say, it wasn’t very long before I had to go home.

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vending April 30, 2011 at 12:25 am

Thanks for sharing information. I love vending machines. Last week i bought ipod through vending machines. But it was uncharged…

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Bret @ Hope to Prosper April 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Thanks Kay Lynn,

As if the rest of the country didn’t already think we were crazy enough here in Cali, you had to bring up the Marijuana vending machines. To be honest, nobody here has been sure if Marijuana is legal or not for the past decade. And you are right about the baby boomers. They have one thing in common with the 20 somethings.

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Kay Lynn May 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Bret, it’s an interesting state to live in , that’s for sure. California (and other) states have laws that directly conflict with federal law. That’s the reason why legal clinics can be raided!

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