Traditional candy machines dole out loose candy like gumballs, jawbreakers and little hard candy items like Skittles and Runts. These machines are normally fully mechanical in nature, meaning they use moving parts which turn from the power of a human hand. They are typically not run on electricity. When a coin in inserted and the dial is turned, a mechanism inside opens the valve to release some bulk candy.
If the items are completely unsorted, the buyer may not know exactly which product he'll get. Will he get the blue gumball or the red one? Other times, the result if fixed and expected. The unexpected results is something of a matter of debate. Some venders like to keep buyers guessing so they'll keep feeding money to get the color gumball they want. Others believe the uncertainty will deter buyers from purchasing in the first place. We tend to think that the color of gumball you get probably isn't the biggest decision in your life. But if it is, you better get the one you want!
The margins on vending bulk candy can be pretty good as well. Gumballs and jawbreakers have a relatively long shelf life too. Plus these machines are usually a lot less expensive to buy than the souped-up electronic vending machines. Soda vending machines, for example, require refrigeration! So, getting into the bulk candy vending business might not be a bad gig.
To entice small business owners to put their candy vending machines in their stores, vendors will even donate a percentage of the profits to charity as well. Many of these small businesses are open late and on weekends too, which can allow vendors to hold a separate full-time job while they operate their candy machine business on the side.