10 Bizarre Things That You Can Buy In Vending Machines
Vending machines have become part of everyday life for a huge number of people. They provide a quick and easy way to access snacks, drinks and food without the need to travel out of an office or workplace. However, advancing technology and a drive by companies to offer their goods in ever more convenient ways means that there are new types of vending machines popping up all over the world that don’t simply offer cans of soda for sale but bizarre items you would never expect to find. Some are brilliant ideas that make you wonder why it has taken so long to get them in the first place, while other are seemingly crazy and make very little sense.
Live Crab & Lobster
Both Japan and China are home to a number of different vending machines that offer live crabs and lobster for sale. The sea animals are kept cool thanks to a refrigeration unit that makes sure that they stay fresh and don’t die. The fact that there is no need to pay any staff to operate the machine constantly means that the prices are very low too, making the vending machines perfect for those who want some cheap food while on their daily commute.
Giving a dog a bath can be a pretty arduous task, especially when the usually loveable pet detests being washed and puts up a huge struggle. A French entrepreneur, Romain Jarry who has invented a vending machine that will wash your dog for you, might have solved this problem. The Dog-O-Matic offers a shampoo wash, a thorough rinsing and a blow dry for just €25, leaving you to simply place the animal in the cabin and let the machine work its magic.
The AutoWed is a vending machine that will simulate the experience of you getting married. While it isn’t an official ceremony and doesn’t come with any legal responsibilities, it does offer the perfect way to test out whether marriage is really for you. All you have to do is insert your money and then type in your names. The machine will then read out some appropriate messages, ask if you definitely want to go through with the wedding, and provide a pair of rings and certificate.
While it was never a common type of vending machine, Japan did used to host a small number of specialist dispensers that sold women’s used underwear to anyone who was willing to pay the price. It wasn’t just vending machines either, stores would sell them after buying them from often underage girls who were looking to make extra money. A clampdown by the government and police effectively stopped this trade, though some machines continue to advertise selling used panties when in fact they are brand new and sealed.
In places like France and Belgium, fresh bread is considered an essential item of food. A huge number of people shun store bought packaged bread and will instead opt to go to their local bakers to get it straight from the oven. Unfortunately though, not everyone lives close enough to a bakery and so vending machines that are stocked with baguettes and sliced loathes are commonplace in rural areas and are replenished daily so that passersby can get all the fresh bread they want.
It might seem odd to many people to find that pornographic magazines still exist, considering how the internet has largely made home media versions of adult entertainment largely irrelevant. However, some stubborn magazines still exist and in Japan there are even specialist machines that sell them. Presumably, they can only be placed in locations where children can’t get access to them as there is no way for a vending machine to verify the age of the user.
While pizza is definitely one of the most popular types of food in the Western world, it can be inconvenient to acquire. It means either having to order from a takeaway restaurant and waiting for it to be delivered or travelling to a store or fast food place to buy. The Let’s Pizza machine aims to make getting pizza more convenient by offering fresh food quickly and efficiently. It allows you to choose your ingredients and cook the food just the way you like, with all of the preparation done live in front of you.
The beauty of the Swap-O-Matic is that you’ll never quite know what you might find inside whenever you come across it. This is because it sells unwanted goods that other people have brought to it. Anyone can insert an item into the machine and be awarded with a set amount of points depending on the value of the item, which you can then use to buy other things from the machine. The perfect way to get rid of those Christmas and birthday presents that you really didn’t want but couldn’t exchange.
Buying gold can be a tricky thing to do as it requires going to a specialist outlet that stocks the rare material. Knowing that there is a market for those who want to deal with gold though, one company created a vending machine that will give you gold chunks or bars with a simple swipe of your credit card. All the user has to do is enter the monetary value they want to exchange and the Gold To Go machine will then provide the required gold. Gold prices are updated in real-time by an internet connection and the system is protected by a number of security measures to ensure no one can steal the valuable gold.
Known as the Bike Dispenser, these vending machines can be found in a few cities in the Netherlands though they are most prevalent in Eindhoven. In a country that is mad for cycling, the machines offer a way for anyone to rent a bike for a few hours before returning it to another dispenser, allowing people to make short journeys on a bicycle without having to buy one and find somewhere to store it. Each bike has its own unique chip so that it can be tracked and the company can ensure that no one steals them.