April 6, 2021
Everest Explains

How To Start an Ice Vending Business

Is there a surefire guaranteed way to ensure success for your ice vending business? The simple answer? No. But the good news is that ice and water vending is one of the easiest businesses to start.

Are you interested in some tips that will definitely give you a better chance at success? Here’s how to start an ice vending business the right way.


There are MANY ice vending machine manufacturers out there. Which one is best for you? Here are some questions you should be asking any manufacturer you’re considering.

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they make one model so they’re very experienced in making that machine, or do they make a lot of different models?
  • Is the ice maker on the roof of the machine where it’s exposed to vandalism, theft, and the elements?
  • How does their dispensing system work? Is it auger driven with multiple moving parts?
  • Do they cut engineering corners like driving their dispenser with a fan belt, requiring two power sources, using plastic sidewalls, or not locking up the ice bags when the machine is not in use?
  • Is the machine delivered to you in pieces where you have to pay someone (or do it yourself) to put it together?
  • Does water vending come standard?
  • Does lighting come standard?
  • Do they charge you an annual maintenance fee? How about a licensing fee? A franchise fee?
  • Does it offer bulk or direct vend ice that’s vended directly into the customer’s cooler?
  • Do they use an expensive reverse osmosis to filter the water that requires a large, robust drain system?
  • Do they innovate? Are there technological advancements incorporated in their machine, or will your machine be obsolete the day you buy it?
  • Does it have a canvas canopy that hides the ice maker on the roof, and that will deteriorate in the sun and wind?
  • Does their machine require a custom concrete pad? Do the utilities come up through the center of the machine, or the rear?

At Everest, we have answered all these questions. And we can answer them for you. Please contact us today to speak with one of our equipment specialists today.


First, you need to get a quote from the manufacturer you select.

Ice vending machine, depending on which manufacturer you’re talking to, can vary in pricing from $35,000 for a vending machine style to $150,000 and up for a large structure type machine. Some companies will quote an initial price, and then add additional costs for “options” like water vending, credit card acceptance, water filtration, bulk/direct vend ice. This is much like buying a car, where the options add up to a large difference in the price you ultimately pay. Make sure that the price you’re quoted in the beginning is the price you pay. These companies usually don’t tell you about these added fees and additional costs until much later in the process.

Men shaking hands

At Everest, we include everything you need and nothing you don’t. When we quote you a price, your Everest machine will come with everything you need to start a successful ice and water vending business already included.

Our Equipment Specialists are available to assist you in getting an official quote. This will allow you to see everything in writing, from exactly what’s included, to how much the total is and when each payment is due. We here at Everest try to be as transparent as possible during the purchasing process.


Some companies have partnered with a financial institution. We here at Everest have partnered with VendLease. They specialize in vending equipment financing/leasing. Please feel free to fill out their credit application or just reach out to them to get your questions answered.


Once you’ve made your decision, secured your financing or if you have the capital to make the purchase with your own money, the next step is to make your initial payment. If you’re using your own bank or Everest’s partner, they will send the payment directly to us. In order for Everest to start building your machine, we require a 50% down payment with the balance due 6 weeks later.


Look for a location where your potential customers are already going. Hunters, fishermen, travelers, blue-collar workers, boaters, campers, or anyone throwing a party – they’re all your potential customers. Where will they easily find your ice vending machine?

Please talk to one of our Equipment Specialists today. We can help you narrow down your choices and help you find that dream location.

As always, we stand ready to assist you in getting this new chapter started. Please call us today and we can make sure you know exactly what you’re doing. 

Everest Ice and Water vending machine
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