Meet the Former Teacher Who Built a $242,000 Per Year Vending Machine Company With $650

Crystal Warren was once a school teacher with only $1,000 in her bank account. Warren decided to start a side-hustle, so she purchased a vending machine for $650. This was in 2016.

Today, her company, Vending Factory has profited more than $242,000. 

“I had $1,000 dollars and purchased my first vending machine for $650,” Warren said to Business Insider.

It was an AP, or an automatic-snack machine, and I placed it in a day-care center. When I bought it, I hadn’t realized that the machine was worth about $1,250, so I bought it at a really good price. At that day care, I made $450 in the first three weeks. I was not expecting that. ” 

Warren didn’t quit her job as school as teacher until 2020, four years after purchasing her first vending machine. She didn’t spend any of her profits, either. She put all of her money back into her business. 

“I want people to understand that they don’t have to quit their jobs just to pursue something else. They can have a goal, make good money in that business first, and let that help them decide if they want to quit,” Warren said.

She added: “I made sure to save up all of the money I was making in vending — I did not spend it. I put all of the money back into my business. And I knew that even if something happened with my business, I still had all of that money saved up.” 

After purchasing her fifth machine, and fifth location, Warren taught herself how to find vending machine locations for other people, eventually selling all of her machines and locations for nearly $5,000 each. 

“I would go on Craigslist and ask people if they were looking for vending-machine locations. Then I realized that people were looking for vending machines inside the locations. So, then I would buy a vending machine, place it in the location, and sell the location for $5,000 or more.”