11 Effortless Machines You Can Buy to Make Money

We could all do with a little extra money.

Well, unless you’re Jess Bezos or Warren Buffet, but even those guys are still in the pursuit of more and more.

For the rest of us, earning even just a few hundred extra dollars goes a long way to making life much easier.

But making money is not always that simple, is it?

I feel like it either requires time you don’t have or skills you don’t have, or both!

That’s why I love machines that make money for you, especially if you can set and forget about them. A plug and play money maker, that’s the dream.

So if you’re thinking about what equipment I can buy to make money then keep reading.

The good news is that there are plenty of machines you can buy to make money without taking up the time of a 2nd job.

In fact, there’s almost too many to go through in one article but let’s give it a go. 

Money making machines offer different benefits and challenges so I’ve put together some in-depth information on each option to help you find what’s right for you.

There’s two real categories to break these machines into – automatic and manual. Automatic machines will earn you money without you needing to operate while manual equipment will require you (or someone else) to operate.

Automatic Machines to Make Money

Automatic machines are hands down one of the best ways to make money. It’s one of the nearest forms of earning money with a set and forget method. Generally speaking, all you need is electricity, commercial premises or passing trade from members of the public.

Vending Machine

Make money with vending machines

Making money with vending machines is pretty self-explanatory, we’ve all used them. It’s essentially an automatic snack shop. Fill it up with irresistible treats and start making some money.

If you already have a commercial premise with members of the public then it’s a really easy way to add more income. Especially if you have a waiting room or captive audience that’s why you see them at travel hubs, offices and gyms.

If you don’t already have somewhere to put a vending machine then consider placing it in another business or piece of land. It should be a pretty easy sell to the right person with some extra space and members of the public. You could offer to pay a monthly rent or revenue share of the earnings. Once you buy the vending machine all you need to do is keep it topped up.

How much does a vending machine cost?

Well, the awesome news is that vending machines are one of the cheapest methods to start up a business. In fact, you can pick up second-hand machines for just a few hundred bucks on eBay.

Or if you are really serious about business you can buy a vending franchise for $2500 dollars. Tubz Vending offers 10 machines and a business bundle for that price.

How much money can a vending machine make?

The overheads for vending machines are super low considering you have no staffing costs and minimal maintenance. Adding to this, stock is relatively cheap and easy to source from wholesalers with a long shelf life. Profits are then simply down to how well the machine performs in its location. A well stocked, high-traffic machine can earn over $400 a month.


  • Easy to run
  • Cheap Stock
  • Low Overheads


  • Need high footfall
  • Can’t make money at home

Cost: Low Monthly Profit: $400+

Pool Table Machine

make money with a pool table

In many ways, pool tables are even better than vending machines as they don’t even require stock. In the right setting, a coin-operated pool machine is a real money-spinner. Local bars, community centers, colleges and sports clubs are the sorts of locations that will make money almost all day. The key for a great location is a place where people spend their leisure time or have time to kill.

I often think there’s so many opportunities missed for making money with pool tables. We’ve all seen them in bars around the world, the pool table is always in use and quite often there’s a queue all evening to get a game.

Thinking outside the box, I can see opportunities for pool tables in places where there’s a lot of waiting such as airport lounges, train station waiting rooms, the mall, coffee houses, staff rooms at work. 

The list goes on.

Similar to a vending machine, if you don’t have access to these types of premises then it’s still possible to present the idea as a free value add to a business at no expense to them. You supply the table and maintenance for free and collect all the rewards.

How much does a pool table cost?

Coin operated pool tables are pretty solid pieces of equipment but you can pick up second hand ones starting at around $1500. It’s more expensive than a vending machine but the future overheads are much less. Most pool tables don’t even require any electricity, the main cost will be from replacing cues and balls if they go missing.

Other than that, as long as it is in a secure location you simply need to collect your earnings. 

It’s simple and easy to manage.

How much money can a pool table earn?

With virtually no ongoing overheads the profits are down to how much business your table is getting. In terms of profit margin, it’s one of the best business opportunities around. In a busy setting you can expect a pool table to earn upwards of $500 a month.


  • Easy to manage
  • No stock
  • No Electricity
  • Low Overheads


  • Need high footfall
  • Can’t make money at home
  • Might get vandalized
  • Cues and balls might get stolen

Cost: Medium Monthly Profit: $500+

Arcade Machines

earning money with an arcade machine

The biggest benefit I see to arcade machines over a coin operated pool machine is the size. The money making concept is very similar, except arcade machines need much less space, with the right machine you can get away with 1 square meter or less. Of course, other arcade machines like flight simulators are enormous so I’d personally stay away from anything too big. Bigger means more expensive and harder to find locations.

I’ve always thought that there’s a big opportunity to place arcade machines in boring locations where people are waiting like train and bus stations. 

It’s super easy to plug a games machine in and let it go to work. 

How much does an arcade machine cost?

A good quality retro game arcade machine (which would be my choice) would set you back more than $2500. While this is quite a lot of money, there are very few overheads from then on. Realistically the only costs are a little bit of electricity and rent/revenue share for your location. 

How much money can an arcade machine earn?

Arcade income varies dramatically based on location, days of the week and even season to season. The latter is particularly important if you have a location with tourism booms. To be honest, arcade machines can be a bit disappointing in profits, especially in the modern world of portable gaming consoles and smartphones. Arcade machine owners report takings of just $10 – $20  a day at busy locations. So monthly profit might be about $300 and that’s for some more expensive games.


  • Easy to manage
  • No stock
  • Low Overheads


  • Need high footfall
  • Can’t make money at home
  • Might get vandalized
  • Needs electricity
  • Expensive

Cost: High Monthly Profit: $300

Cryptomining Machines

Mining cryptocurrency is HUGE business, we’re talking billions of dollars globally. The best thing about it is that cryptocurrency is decentralized meaning anyone can take part in minting it (known as mining). 

In simple terms it’s like mining gold, but digitally. Many people even refer to Bitcoin as digital gold. If you want a plain non-techy explanation then watch this video:

In the early years of cryptocurrency, you could easily mine Bitcoin on your home computer. In fact, those that did and held onto their hundreds of easy to mine coins are now millionaires!

Things have moved on a lot since then. The industry is dominated by huge companies using a ton of power to win crypto rewards from mining new coins. But, you can still do it from home and it is still possible to make money if you live in an area with cheap or renewable energy sources.

Take the time to learn about cryptocurrency mining before you jump in and do some calculations to make sure you won’t lose money. At the very minimum, you’ll need a dedicated cryptocurrency mining machine such as the Antminer.

If you’re running your machine from home then you’ll also need to connect to a pool where you work with other people to get enough network power to start earning rewards.

I’ll be blunt. You can make a lot of money from cryptocurrency mining, but you’ll need to be tech savvy.

How much does cryptocurrency mining equipment cost to buy?

Each unit costs between $1000 to $4000+. These are seriously high powered computers with the latest GPU chips so the cost to entry is high without guaranteed returns. Plus, the cheaper lower spec devices might struggle to compete with the latest technology. 

How much money can a cryptocurrency mining machine earn?

You can earn a lot and lose a lot of money quickly with cryptocurrency mining. It all comes down to how much power you’re consuming to run your miner.  If you have a free electricity source then you’re quids in (unlikely without breaking the law, and someone will notice quickly). Use a calculator to predict potential earnings which come from the total projected revenue minus electricity costs. 

Research suggests you’d do well to profit $100 per miner based on best projections.


  • Can make money from home
  • Make money while you sleep


  • Expensive
  • Could lose you money
  • Need cheap electricity
  • Need to understand the technology

Cost: High Monthly Profit: $100+

Car Wash

earning money from a car wash

If you’re looking for money making equipment that could be built into a full time business then I’m a big fan of the car wash. The appealing thing about a car wash is that they are automatic or customer operated making overheads pretty low due to minimal staffing costs.

I’d start off by finding a piece of unused land near a busy roadside to rent for the car wash which should generate plenty of passing trade. To start with I’d keep things simple and buy a self-service car washing machine which you can pick-up for less than $4000. Depending on the premise, concrete and drainage might need to be added too.

I’m like the car wash idea, firstly because people always need to clean their cars and two because of low overheads. Every time I drive past any local car washes there always seems to be a queue outside. And if there’s a constant queue, there is more demand than can be handled.

How much does car wash cost to buy?

As mentioned above, you can pick up brand new self-service commercial car washing equipment for less than $4000. In the long run, I’d be looking to add more machines and better quality too. For a low end fully automatic car wash (the big ones with spinning brushes) it’s going to cost you at least $25000+.

How much money can a car wash earn?

From 1 small self-serve car wash machine, I wouldn’t expect enough profit to quit your job. From personal experience, it costs around $5 to fully clean a car using these machines. Let’s say you get 20 customers a day that’s around $3000 turnover a month. 

But if you’re willing to grow the business then the sky’s the limit.


  • Low overheads
  • Can be built into big business


  • Expensive to start
  • Could lose you money
  • Difficult to find location

Cost: High Monthly Profit: $2000+

Manually Operated Equipment to Make Money


ways to make money with a drone

Drones are awesome.

I know people who use them for all sorts of things, some to shoot epic ski videos and others who have drones to make money. And actually, it’s a pretty reasonable piece of technology that can earn decent cash. 

How would you make money with a drone?

Well, my partner’s family used a drone to film their house when they wanted to sell it (and it worked). This gave me an idea. To make money I’d get a drone, pass my commercial drone licence and offer services to local real estate agents. It’s a defined customer that would be easy to market too, plus if you do a good job there’s infinite repeat business from each agent. 

Adding to this, there are opportunities for weddings and events which could be a good option if you prefer this as a side hustle on weekends.

How much does a drone cost to buy?

Not that much actually. You can get a DJI drone for between $400 and $1000 depending on what model you go for. I’d probably look at something like the DJI Mavic Air 2 which would do a great job with 4K video and tracking features. Also to fly commercially you’ll need a drone licence which costs around $300-$400 to take a course.

How much money can a drone earn?

Professional drone pilots can earn a full time wage. In fact, you could easily earn $50,000+ a year. If you’re doing drone photography for yourself, then you can charge plenty for your services. You could charge $50-$100 for each 30 seconds of video, 150+ dollars per hour of work or even $1000+ for full day sessions. It’s decent money for equipment and skills you can learn very quickly.


  • Low overheads
  • Can be built into career
  • Not expensive to start
  • Easy to market/find customers


  • Need a commercial licence
  • Requires some skill

Cost: Medium Monthly Profit: $500+

3D Printer

use a 3d printer to make money

3D printing technology continues to develop and is becoming more accessible to the general consumer. Buying a 3D printing machine to make money is one of the best ideas on this list in my opinion.

Once you understand the process and technicalities of 3D printing you can start creating your own designs or simply download some pre-made blueprints. I’d probably pick items that are quite ‘gifty’ to start with and create an Etsy store to start selling.

Stuck for ideas on what you could print? Check out this list of 67 Cool Things to Print in 3D. There’s some pretty neat stuff to print and sell including a dinosaur shaped carabiner, niche planters and phone stands.

One thing to note is the relatively steep learning curve, unfortunately, you can’t just plug a 3D printer and expect it to work. Take time and patience to troubleshoot designs and get used to the software. 

How much does a 3D cost to buy?

Small to medium sized 3D printers cost a minimum of $300, which is surprisingly cheap. For a piece of equipment to make money, it’s a steal! 

How much money can you earn with a 3D printer?

Obviously, this depends on what your printing and what people are willing to pay for your designs. Taking a look at Etsy a Baby Yoda Toothpaste Topper sells for around $5 and this particular Etsy store has made 360 sales in that price range so a total of $1800 income. 


  • Cheap equipment
  • Fun to create new designs
  • Can sell on Etsy and Amazon


  • Sharp learning curve
  • Tough to make a full time wage

Cost: Low Monthly Profit: $100+

Lawn Mower, Leaf Blower or Snow Blower

earn money with a lawn mower

Making money with a lawn mower or snow blower should be one of the easier things on the list.

It requires little skill or creativity, you just need a get-up and go attitude. The concept is simple, use your equipment to cut grass or move snow in exchange for money.

I’d go about this one in a pretty simple old school manner and simply go door to do with flyers around the local neighbourhood. There’s always people who don’t have time to take care of their gardens and will happily pay cash for some help. 

How much does a lawn mower cost?

You can pick up a decent used lawn mower for under $100. In fact, my next-door neighbour gave us one for free a few weeks ago because she had no use for it. In any case, you can get hold of this equipment for next to nothing and start making money instantly.

How much money can you earn with a lawn mower?

Let’s say you just want to make some extra cash and not become a full-time gardener. If you agree to cut 3 peoples grass a week during the summer and you charge $20 each, that’s $60 a week, $240 a month or $1440 each summer. Plenty of cash for a nice vacation at least.


  • No skill needed
  • No creativity needed
  • Plenty of customers
  • Very cheap to buy


  • Seasonal work
  • Time consuming manual labour

Cost: Very low Monthly Profit: $240+


making money with a van

Becoming a man with a van is such a simply brilliant idea. There’s all sorts of need for a van, in fact, in 2021 van sales boomed due to the exponential growth in delivery services.

My SUV already gets plenty of use by family and friends looks to move big items or take rubbish to the dump (I don’t charge them for it). With a van you could take advantage of this need offering services in the local community to help people move furniture.

To let people know about your service contact local 2nd hand furniture stores and promote yourself on local facebook buy and sell groups. I’d also get some eye catching graphics and branding on the van before parking it somewhere prominent in town or on the road side. 

How much does a van cost?

If you just want a cheap second hand van you could probably pick up something to do a decent job for around $4000+. Depending on what your target market is, you don’t need to spend too much money as long as it’s clean, tidy and runs well. Of course, don’t forget running expenses including insurance, gas and maintenance.

How much money can you earn as a man in a van?

You could reasonably charge $20-$30 per hour. Most jobs will probably be short journeys around the local area so a high hourly rate is needed to make a job worth doing. If you did 2 or 3 jobs a week you’d probably looking at $100+ earnings.

For longer haul journeys try more bespoke pricing based on distance and time.


  • Simple idea
  • Easy to find customers
  • Earn as much as you have time for


  • Heavy lifting

Cost: Medium/high Monthly Profit: $400+

Electric Bike or Motorbike

electric bike to earn money

With an electric bike or a motorbike, you can start earning money almost immediately. Food delivery has become the norm in the modern world. Head into any city center during the evening and you’ll be greeted with an army of food delivery drivers on bikes.

Grab yourself a set of wheels, sign up to work for a service like Deliveroo, Ubereats or Doordash and start earning. It a great gig if you want flexibility in when you work which is why it’s so popular with students. Plus now there’s work at all hours of the day including breakfast deliveries.

How much does an electric bike or motorbike cost?

You should be able to buy something for about $700+ Or if you’re struggling start out with a pushbike and save up for something more efficient in the long run. Electric bikes in particular are cheap to run without the need for expensive gas.

How much can you earn with an electric bike?

Ubereats drivers report that they routinely earn $200+ a day if they work hard which works out to $1000 a week. Pretty good money plus you get some exercise in the process.


  • Simple idea
  • Use a delivery app
  • Earn as much as you have time for


  • No fun in bad weather
  • Unsocialble hours

Cost: Medium Monthly Profit: $1000+

Carpet Cleaner or Floor Buffer

rent a carpet cleaner to earn money

Floor cleaning equipment is a neat way to make money. It’s machinery people need but not regularly enough to buy. 

Let’s stick with the carpet cleaner idea. I’d go down the route of renting out the equipment by the day rather than a full carpet cleaning service. Although, I would go to the trouble of delivering and collecting the equipment for the convenience of your customers. Essentially, it would be a rental service which you could advertise to both individuals at home and commercial premises/janitors.

Finding customers might be a little hard but it’s easy to test demand with a simple leaflet drop. Or you could team up with local hardware stores. A creative idea could be to partner with the local wine shop to help people get red wine stains out of their carpets? Might work?

How much does a carpet cleaner cost?

For a decent second hand carpet cleaner, you’ll be paying around $150 to $200. If you want something really top end then be prepared to pay $1000+ (probably not worth it for potential returns) 

How much can you earn with a carpet cleaner?

One carpet cleaning machine isn’t going to be enough to retire on but it could earn you a little side hustle income without much work. You might get $100+ a month from 1 customer a week. Tough to say how much you’ll earn but it’s low risk. Perhaps a good one for students? More potential to earn if you provide full service.


  • Simple idea
  • Rental so you don’t have to do much work
  • Potential repeat business
  • Can add more equipment types


  • People might break equipment
  • Harder to find customers
  • Hard to make a lot of money

Cost: Low Monthly Profit: $100

PA System

making money from a PA system

My business partner rents his PA system to make some extra cash. He already had the equipment from when he was in a band and it holds decent value when rented out. 

Your best bet here is to make connections with bands, bars, event managers, DJ’s and comedians. People who need speaker systems but might not want to buy their own. PA systems are big bulky and expensive so many prefer to rent than buy.

One thing is that you’ll probably need is a van or trailer to deliver the equipment. Plus knowledge of how to set up the sound system for the event is important. So if you know what you’re doing with sound and cables then it’s a nice little earner.

You could also add on lighting and smoke machines to charge more money for little extra work.

How much does a PA System cost?

A professional PA System is going to cost you at least $3000 and probably more as you add on more features – e.g. microphones and additional speakers. It’s not cheap to get started plus you’ll also need a van or trailer to haul the equipment. 

How much can your earn with a PA System?

For small to medium sized events you can charge between $200 – $400 for PA System rental. So if you can get one gig a weekend it could net you around $1000 a month. Beware, you will need to deliver and set up the equipment so there’s plenty of work to do (including heavy lifting) So to pay off your initial investment it will take you at least 15 – 20 events.


  • Rental so you don’t have to do much work
  • Potential repeat business
  • Can add more equipment types
  • Referral business opportunities


  • People might break equipment
  • Might be seasonal work in summer
  • Needs technical knowledge
  • Delivery and heavy lifting
  • Expensive equipment

Cost: High Monthly Profit: Upto $1200

Final thoughts: What equipment can I buy to make money?

Every single day more ways of making money with machines become available. Technology is continually advancing to give everyone the opportunity to earn in different ways.

One thing to remember is that no machine is completely passive income, it will always need at least some sort of checks, maintenance or operation.

There are some great ideas listed above whether you want to get techy and start mining cryptocurrency or keep things simple with a lawn mower.

If you’re keen to find some equipment to make money then grab a pen and get creative. Think about your skills, knowledge and budget to find something that fits. It could be something right in front of you like a smartphone or a larger machine like a JCB.

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