Around 39% of all Americans have a side hustle on top of their full-time job. For some, these additional revenue streams are crucial to ensuring that they’re able to cover their living expenses; for others, it’s to ensure that they have enough savings for a rainy day.
There’s no shortage of folks uploading some of their favorite side hustle ideas to social media as a source of inspiration for others to get out there and #grindtheirwaytosuccess. One trend that’s been popping up on TikTok quite often is vending machines, with some folks documenting a decent amount of profits they’ve raked in with these set-it-and-forget-it revenue streams.
When it comes to vending machines, the most crucial aspect to one’s bottom line, in addition to stocking products people will actually want, is location. And a TikToker named Louise (@louisebolte) showed off a unique one where she knows a consistent potential consumer base will be near for several hours a day: her office.
What’s more, Louise doesn’t even need to purchase a fancy machine or worry about maintaining it as her vending machine is her desk drawer. She displayed her wares in a viral TikTok that’s accrued over 1 million views and 35,000 likes.
@louisebolte Transformed my work drawers into a vending machine #chocolate #yummy #fyp ♬ I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow
Louise’s video begins with her recording a drawer decorated to give off the appearance of a vending machine. A sticker tag on the front of the drawer reads “$1.00.” She then slides open one of the drawers to reveal a treasure trove of treats: Snickers, Bounty, Mars, Dairy Milk Caramel, KitKat, Toblerone, and a slew of other brands neatly packed into the small space.
“Transformed my work drawers into a vending machine,” she writes in the video’s caption.
In the comments section, one viewer wrote that they used to work with someone who had the same idea, though it didn’t pan out too well for that individual: “One of my ex employers did this and people were stealing candies and not paying,” they shared.
This seems to be an issue more than a few individuals have encountered: “until you work with that schmuck who just steals candy,” another viewer wrote.
However, others said they’d be happy to pay, like one customer who joked that they’d be “broke and fat” from patronizing the business so much.
Others were taken aback by the variety Louise presents in her video: “What country are you in?” one viewer asked. “I haven’t seen many of those in America.”
According to her bio and response to the comment, Louise is based in Australia. However, some of the bars in her “vending machine” may be familiar to U.S. consumers. For instance, Bounty is similar to the Mounds bars found stateside.
While some critiqued the idea out of fear of office thieves, many were ecstatic to see Louise’s wide selection, with many remarking that she carried their favorites or somehow got her hands on a treat they haven’t seen in ages.
Several viewers were even inspired to try the idea out for themselves. For those interested in starting a side hustle at work, various online writings highlight the “soft” guidelines of selling products to co-workers while on the job.
Forbes seems to take a pretty hard stance against the practice, filing it as one of 10 things folks should never do at work as it comes off as unprofessional.
Wolters Kluwer’s business blog takes a different approach, however, stating that there is usually nothing wrong with an employee-to-employee sales operation that has a “minimal” impact on the business. Providing bits of candy for $1 each to co-workers looking for something to nibble on without stepping outside to a convenience store definitely appears to fall under that umbrella.
However, the outlet also notes that it would be time to pull the plug on a side hustle if it became a workplace distraction or employees started being too pushy or intimidating about selling their wares.
The Daily Dot contacted Louise via TikTok comment for further information.