The 15 Weird Things You Can Buy at Vending Machines Around the World

One piece of lettuce, please.

Yes, in some countries, vending machines will dispense fresh lettuce leaves for your pocket change. What a time to be alive.

Vending machines have come a long way since their subpar offerings of candies, chips, and canned soda. Instead, they’ve morphed into ingenious low-cost marketplaces packed with products that make you say “why didn’t I think of that?!” Like the ones that sell anything from live bait to ballet flats to passers-by with money to burn.

Vending machines worldwide are becoming their own versions of ATMs and Red Box, spitting out unusual, yet brilliant products in exchange for a little coin. Don’t believe us? Here are 15 weird things you can actually buy at vending machines around the world.

1. Surgical masks

Girl wearing mask

When air quality gets bad in Japan, head for a vending machine. | Koldunov/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: Japan

Air quality issues in Japan are so prevalent that surgical mask vending machines are actually a thing. When people fall ill or a pollution cloud descends upon the city, residents can quickly grab a surgical mask. They were even considered trendy among Japanese teenagers at one point.

Next: This is definitely not your average vending machine item

2. Caviar


Craving caviar? Be prepared to spend $500 a pop at the vending machine. | Lisovskaya/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: Russia and USA

It’s official. The vending machine culinary standards have been raised. You can forgo a stale blueberry muffin In places like Moscow and Los Angeles in exchange for caviar, escargot, and other fine delicacies. But prepare to drop a bit more than loose change into the machine for this food. The Beverly Hills Caviar machine has products that sell for $500 an ounce.

Next: A lifeline for men

3. Neckties

Colorful tie collection

If you’re late for a meeting, visit a Japanese necktie vending machine. | Asikkk/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: Japan

You never know when you’ll be called into an interview with the boss or get asked to play the part of a business executive for extra money. But when that day comes, Japanese necktie vending machines have your back. Personal stylist not included.

Next: Get rich with this type of vending machine

4. Gold

Gold vending machine

Believe it or not, you can get gold from vending machines. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Country: USA, UAE, United Kingdom, and more

Leave it to the citizens of Dubai to causally purchase real bars of gold from a vending machine. The Gold to Go machine is in countless countries around the world — because who doesn’t love gold? Even those who hit it big in Las Vegas can invest their winnings in pure bullion on a whim.

Next: Human products for sale in vending machines

5. Hair extensions

Hair extension

Want to change your ‘do on the go? There’s a vending machine for that. | Licsiren/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: USA, Japan

Why go to a mall or hair salon for hair products when you can get hair extensions from a vending machine, pronto? These buddies are popping up all across America and in other countries as well. Color, style, synthetic, or human, it’s all available for purchase.

Next: A vending machine everyone wants

6. Champagne

Champagne vending machine

Champagne vending machines are catching on in big cities. | Randy Shropshire/Getty Images

  • Country: United Kingdom, USA

There’s always something to toast, so let’s raise a glass to the vending machines that now sell champagne to thirsty patrons. Department stores in London had the savvy business sense to install champagne dispensers that sell bottles for $29 a pop in store. Rowdy U.S. cities like Las Vegas, New York, and New Orleans have also implemented similar machines. Not that anyone is complaining.

Next: For your shopping pleasure

7. T-shirts & lingerie

T shirt

Clothing vending machines are popular in Japan. | Peshkov/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: Japan

Japan seems to be the master of all things vending, to the point where automatic shopping is entwined in their culture. Busy people can find nearly anything inside a machine here. Spill something nasty on your t-shirt? There’s a vending machine for that. Ladies, need a bra? A lingerie store in Japan’s got you covered. Sizing chart and all.

Next: A vending machine that’s pure genius

8. Cupcakes


Cupcake vending machines are starting to catch on across the U.S. | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

  • Country: USA

In what was perhaps the biggest stroke of genius to date, Sprinkles Cupcakes debuted the world’s first cupcake vending machine in major cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York in 2012. Late-night cravings are no match for this touch-screen that dispenses a freshly-baked cupcake of your choice instantaneously. Again, no complaints here. It simply begs the question, what took so long?

Next: An unexpected solution

9. Umbrellas

happy child girl with an umbrella

Caught in the rain? Japanese vending machines have you covered. | Evgenyatamanenko/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: Japan

If you haven’t caught on yet, it’s all about convenient impulse buying in Japan. They’ve created a lucrative low-cost marketplace for goods people often need in a pinch. Case and point? Umbrella vending machines are all over the country as customers pay just $2 to stay dry.

Next: Yes, you can actually buy this next product from a vending machine

10. Raw meat

Raw meat

Believe it or not, there are raw meat vending machines. | Pilipphoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: USA and France

When a butcher is just out of reach, find a vending machine with the same offerings. Places in both Seattle, Washington, and Paris offer raw steaks and chops to those craving a filet after hours. Other companies introduced and tested similar products years ago, but the demand just wasn’t there. Customers are seeming to come around to the idea in 2018, as new raw meat dispensing vending machines are popping up all over America.

Next: Fingers crossed this vending machine item comes to the U.S. soon!

11. French fries

Fries vending machine

This machine makes fries in just 90 seconds. | Georges Gobet/Getty Images

  •  Country: Canada, Australia, Belgium, and more

A Chinese company, Beyondte Technology, created the Robo French fry machine in 2008, which provides customers with hot French fries in just 90 seconds. But other companies have latched on and created their own dispensing version of these golden fried potato sticks. This one may not be too bizarre, considering how many people consider fries its own food group, but it is brilliant none-the-less.

Next: This vending machine is back by popular demand

12. Books


Thi machine spreads literacy. | Bob Levey/Getty Images

  • Country: Worldwide

Book vending machines sound like every book worm’s dream. This automatic print technology has been around for decades in airports and urban neighborhoods but was hit with mixed reviews. Maybe the millennials attempting to bring back libraries will help reinstate these machine’s quest for instantaneous literacy across the nation.

Next: A vending machine changing the food game

13. Burritos

Tow halves of a burrito with rice, beans, and steak on a white plate

Burritobox helps people satisfy their cravings. | Philip Guerette Photography/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: USA

Leave it to millennials to create a thriving business from burrito vending machines. The wildly successful ­– and illusive — Burritobox offers various types of pre-made burritos available for instant purchase. Grab tortilla chips, guac, and sauce on the side for an extra fee. With so many consumers ditching traditional restaurant chains for something more unique, this wonderfully weird vending machine appears at just the right time.

Next: A vending machine we’ve all been waiting for

14. Fresh produce

Mix fruits

Farm-fresh produce has hit vending machines. | ~UserGI15966731/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: USA

Fresh isn’t the adjective we’d normally assign to any vending machine product, but the Farmer’s Fridge vending machine aims to change that. They’re bringing farm-fresh produce to Chicago by way of salads, fruits, and other healthy meals. Other companies have debuted similar products that revamps a traditional vending machine meal into something a bit more nutritious — much to the relief of on-the-go eaters.

Next: Busy parents will love this next one!

15. Diapers

Baby diapers

Mothers everywhere can be thankful for these diaper dispensers. | Laboko/iStock/Getty Images

  • Country: USA

Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company opened automatic airport kiosks equipped with travel essentials in countless terminals nationwide. The machines offer customers a much-needed lifeline in the form of TSA-approved toothpaste, lotion, diapers, wipes, swim trunks, and deodorant for the true flight delay emergency.

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