When you’re thirsty for a Coke, you go to the nearby vending machine and get your drink. Today, you can get much more than just the usual carbonated drink from the vending machine.
Entrepreneurs are selling mobile phones, umbrellas and whatnots through the ubiquitous vending machine:
- Motorola has positioned InstantMOTO vending machines that will sell RAZRs and other cellphone accessories at highly-trafficked locations across the U.S. such as malls and airports. It’s anyone’s guess whether Motorola’s bet on anytime convenience to draw travelers and off-hours shoppers will pay off.
- We can’t leave home without our iPods and PDAs, and so Chargebox must have figured out that we really can’t survive with the gadget’s battery near-empty. The ChargeBox vending machine offers a solution: users simply plug in to the charger that corresponds to their device, make payment with a coin or via SMS, lock their box and return when charging is complete.
- Perfect for rainy days, UK-based Umbrolly (pictured above) gives the same idea a twist with vending machines that sell umbrellas. Their machines, located in and around London, sell approximately 50 umbrellas per machine per rainfall day. International expansion is also on the horizon.
- Here’s one for the healthy dieter. YoZone by YoNaturals is a vending machine that stocks organic products instead of the usual junk food. YoNaturals offers a wide range of items, from fresh fruit to products by regarded brands such as Tazo (tea), Clif Bar (energy bars), and Horizon Organic (dairy).
- In case the strong wind ruins your carefully done-up hairstyle en-route to a party, fret not. Beautiful Vending, a UK company, has released a hair straightener vending machine, conveniently available in clubs, bars and gyms. A pound coin allows you to use a set of heated flat iron tongs to adjust your hair for 1.5 minutes.
What else can you sell with a vending machine?
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This New Business Ideas Report is compiled specially for Small Business Trends from the editors of CoolBusinessIdeas.com.