U-Turn Vending Machines, What You Need to Know Before Buying

U-Turn Vending Machines will pop-up on your radar from time to time; in fact many people get started using these very machines. If you are not one of those who fell for the U-Turns stylish looks, multi product selection feature and slick marketing and sales, well good for you! These are not easy to service machines and will cost you more time and hassle than they are worth in my opinion.

Let’s start with the big picture problems, these machines function fine but when it comes time to service them you have to almost breakdown the entire machine. The coin boxes aren’t locked into place and your quarters are constantly being scattered all over the bottom of the machine, this is one of the main reasons you have to take it all apart, to get your money.  There is also some very cheap plastic guides inside to keep the plastic canisters in the correct position but these are a pain to work with and often fall off and have to be realigned.

Another negative feature is the stand, U-Turn stands are a pain to put on and take off. Using a single rod that goes up the pole to fix the base and body together, it leaves little room for error and is best done with 2 people. It can be done solo, but much easier with two.

Now this is the most important part, as unfriendly as these things are to service they have 2 other models, The Eliminator and The Terminator U-Turns. These beasts not only have the same problems but are multiplied by 200-300%. You couldn’t pay me to put these machines onto my route. They are just way to cumbersome, overkill on product and not cost efficient enough for servicing and running.

It’s not all doom and gloom there are some people who loves these machines. Granted they are usually the same people who bought these to get into bulk vending and have never used anything else. So in fairness here are some of the good things about the U-Turn vending machines; they look different enough to get people to notice them in about any surrounding.  The tops all include a separate donation slot built into the lid which allows for higher profits for no out of pocket pay out to charity. TheM-90 Celcon coin mechanism does include a fall through mechanism to eliminate jams and to keep the mech free of small denominations. The drawback to the coin mechanism is it’s also plastic and less sturdy than the metal coin mech’s used my other major vending machine manufacturers. There is also a gasket in the lid for freshness.

Now don’t get me wrong, I buy these all the time because I can get them very cheap. I get them cheap because people who bought them to get into the business and have since learned there are better alternatives, well they can’t wait to get rid of them. So I buy them cheap and resell them or their parts for profit. I will never put these out on my vending route, I just don’t care for them that much.

So my suggestion, stay away from these if you can. If you can’t because you already own some, please don’t buy anymore until you look at some of the more traditional machines. Read my other posts, visit Vendiscuss, and learn from others who have made the same mistake and how to recover from it. If after you read the opinions and experiences you want to stay with them , well at least you will be better informed.


  1. Does anyone know where I can get some metal coin mechanisms for the Uturn machines. I am looking for about 20 mechanisms and 24 door flaps.

  2. PerformaVending says:

    Metal coin mechs are available from U-Turn direct, but they aren’t cheap. Last I heard it was right around $25 each plus shipping. However, that was a while ago, so things may have changed.

  3. My friend is a Disabled Combat Veteran and this company ripped her off badly.

    Lied to her time and time again.

    Machines are junk, made of plastic and light metal. The works of the machine, (insides) are plastic, BUT they offer an expensive upgrade to metal, after you call and complain, YES they are expensive and NO U-turn will not give the upgrade free, they charge you!

    Machines also can be empltied without paying by rotating the crank back and forth and stealing all the candy, without paying anything at all. Or if that is not happening the machine will not work at all.

    The locators that are recommended by u-turn even admit that places don’t want the machines in their business, because they never work.

    We have asked U-Turn to return her money but they refused.

    IS it okay to rip off a Combat Veteran , that was disabled in war? NO! is not right to rip off anyone.

    Did you get ripped off as well?

    Please tell us your story.


    combatVETgotrippedoff@gmail . com
    (( if you cut/copy and paste the email address, please remove the spaces ))

  4. daniel says:

    Dave dont come to reliable vendor to complain, go to the entity in charge of protecting consumer rights on your country.
    Why was he or she ripped off, they sold them a machine made of plastic, they never said it wasnt made of plastic.

  5. Julie Maurer says:

    My husband and I have several machines but he was relocated for his job. We would like to sell the machines instead of moving them to our new location. Know of any takers? Julie and Jeff Maurer

  6. CaroleJone says:

    Rick my husband & I are new U Turn Vendors and after buying & locating 24 -8 U Turns, we realize that most locations don’t need 8 selections and we will lose product and profits if they remain 8 head machines. My husband is mechanically inclined and has changed several to 4 selections. But we are left with unused canisters and chassis for the remaining four and need additional parts to convert to a 4 head. You said you have parts and wanted to know if you have what we need to convert our machines?
    Carole, Vending in Atlanta

  7. Hi Carole, I don’t but I would suggest eBay, I broke most of my machines down and sold them on eBay, the parts are worth more as parts than as a whole Uturn, so there are tons of parts there to be had. Good luck to you and your husband.

  8. Hi julie, put an add in craigslist to sell them. Don’t tell them you are moving or that you have to get rid of these, there will already probably be some major haggling, don’t let them know they can pressure you because you have a deadline and good luck.

  9. Gary Stoe says:

    I will buy any U-turn machines that are working for fair price or any available parts as well. Please contact me, I’m very interested 520-406-5533

  10. Chris says:

    Do you have to own a U Turn franchise to operate the U Turn Machines. I was thinking about getting some.

  11. Hi Chris, no you do not, I owned several U Turns I ran and was not a franchise owner.

  12. Hi,
    I bought a used u-turn machine for a coal mine site to use as fundraising for our annual xmas festivities and also Kids Club events.
    I was after some metal u-turn coin mechanisms as the plastic i’ve found way too flimsy and jams alot. Can anyone help direct me? I am in australia but happy to arrange shipping if I find a reliable supplier. Thanks!

  13. Vickie Hogue says:

    We have 8 uturn machine. They work great, no problems ever.

  14. I need to get new locks for my u turn candy machined any ideas what kind I need

  15. can anyone suggest a better vending franchise? Please let me know, disabled Vet looking to get into the business.

  16. Is anyone making a good living on buying and servicing these machines?

  17. Dinah says:

    I have a U-turn machine in my office. I give out tokens to the kids to use in the machine. I was able to rig the mechanisms to accept tokens but some of them get jammed. Is there a company that sells token mechanisms for the u turn machine?

  18. So, Rick, I presume that maybe the plan is that if you continue to rant on about any and all minor issues for U-T machines, then you will also be able to continue to ” Buy these all the time because I can get them very cheap So I buy them cheap and resell them”. Rick do you work for some other vending co. or just make a living by yourself, passing on what you see as problems, to other people for a few $$$ ?

  19. Hi Jack,

    If you had reviewed my whole site you would have seen my opinions on U-turns has evolved over time. No I do not like them terribly much but in some cases they are great for high volume locations. I have owned and operated just about every name brand vending machine out there and while all have pro’s and con’s, the U-turns had more than most. No I don’t work for any vending manufacturer, just calling it as I see it. But by your defense and obvious vehmenance I am guessing you are a U-Turn employee or one of their operators, sorry if the truth about them hurts; they are normally to large in product volume for most locations, the coin mechs are garbage and jam easily and unlike most others the mechs are plastic. Otherwise they can be great.

  20. Syed Sarim says:

    Hi I have 10 Uturn Terminator machines and want to sell them, please call 314-607-1968. Thanks

  21. Hello, I have 7 U-turn vending machines for sale, please call (843)779-5432. Thank You.

  22. Miguel says:

    Has anyone had any trouble with people twisting the handle back and forth and getting free candy? Not sure how to fix this on my uturn candy machine.

  23. Jean mathieu says:

    I would like to know if you guys suggest using quarter machines or looney machines? Wich one is more profitable?

  24. Syed A. Sarim says:

    Hi I have 9 Uturn Terminator machines and want to sell them,
    please call 314-607-1968. All these machines are located in North Houston and are at running locations. Most of them are at restaurant, barber shops & Auto places.

  25. I have 14 uturn with both mecs quarter’s and looney, I’m in Canada, my first mistake was buying them directly from the company, way over price, but then I was able to get more for a really good price, in my opinion:
    This are good and solid machines that I learned how to operate them and started to make more profit
    I have a mix of 25 and 1 dlls mechanism and that has work really good for me
    In my iPod the best locations are the ones that have people flow, employees break room haven’t work that well for me
    This is like any other busines you have to learn how to operate it
    Yes you have to disamble the machine to get the money but that also helps you to check visually the mechs
    And for the person claiming that got ripoff or scam, she or he has to understand that, they set the price and you paid, there is no scam, dosnt matter if you are vet, disable single mother or any other name, all business have risk and by buying you accept to take them. I would recomend to learn to work the business and make the best out of it

  26. James says:

    Does any other brand of coin mechanism work in a u-turn machine. My entire inventory are the metal single housing tri-vends, very solid and awesome. I am looking at these as a compromise that isn’t a rack. I also remember reading years ago that you could get $.50, $.75 and $1.00 mechanisms for them as well. I have been watching ebay for a month now and no gum wheels, no coin mechs other than $.25. Anyone here a supplier or website other than u-uturn? Thanks

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