Believe it or not if you are pressed for time to find a Valentines present, a vending machine could be your best bet for a romantic gift or other great Valentines Day gifts.
According to the National Automatic Merchandising Association, the vending industry's national association, vending machines across the country offer a surprisingly wide array of luxury gift options for cupid, from fresh flowers to jewelry to Beluga caviar.
Granted not every drink or snack vending machine is going to be able to dispense the best Valentines gifts, but if you know where to look, you might just find a vending machine offering novelty gifts, romantic gifts, and other kinds of Valentines presents.
Here are 9 unexpected Valentines Day unique gifts that you really could find in a vending machine:
- Gold. "Gold to Go" vending machines first debuted in German and Japan. Nowadays, if you happen to be in Boca Raton, Florida, you could stop by a "Gold to Go" ATM and get a bar or two of gold. I mean, nothing says you care quite like gold.
- Gourmet Delights. Are you a California resident planning a romantic dinner at home? You may want to stop by Beverly Hills Caviar. This upscale shop offers unique gifts, such as Imperial River Beluga caviar and blinis, gourmet oils, truffles, and escargots all wrapped to go at vending machines in its Burbank, Los Angeles, and Canoga Park locations.
- Cupcakes. You'll find the world's first cupcake ATM in Beverly Hills, Chicago and Washington DC from Sprinkles Cafe. This clever way of dispensing cupcakes made from a creative blend of butter, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, and pure Madagascar Bourbon makes them a conversation piece, to be sure. But don't they get smooshed when they come down the vending machine's chute?
- Luxury Goods. If you happen to be near the Hudson Hotel in New York City, you could stop by for a romantic gift for her of designer furs and python clutches, or unique gifts for men—Nixon watches and Ray-Ban sunglasses—from that property's luxury vending machines.
- Tech Gadgets. Does your beloved desire a tech gadget? At Best Buy vending machines around the country—including, Atlanta, Boston, and Dallas—you can pick up an iPhone or an iPad. At the Philadelphia airport, before a flight to Paris last fall, I spied upscale cameras in the Best Buy vending machine there, too—talk about awesome gifts with an awesome delivery method!
- Flowers. Also at the airports—19 of them, to be exact—vending machines that dispense flowers.
- Shoes. After dancing all night in heels, comfy ballet flats may be just the answer! Vending machines dispensing the shoes began in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and are popping up in many cities, making for happy feet, coast-to-coast.
- Cars. Yes, it's true. You could surprise your beloved on Valentines Day with a Bentley. With just $90,000 it's yours, courtesy of vending machines at the Mondrian in Miami and the Hudson Hotel in New York.
- Be Beautiful. I've seen Sephora shops in plenty of airports and train stations—including in Paris—but I had no idea that you could find Sephora vending machines in Nashville, Dallas, and Houston airports where you could purchase makeup, perfume, and even eyelash extensions. Wow, you're really in luck if you're flying on Valentine's Day and forgot a gift—so many vending machines in airports where you can get gifts!