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It can be very frustrating when a vending machine eats your change or refuses to give you a drink after you've inserted the last of your money. There are several tricks you can use to get older machines to give you your drink without having to pay a second time.

Please note that this article is not to teach you how to steal from an older Pepsi machine, but rather how to retrieve what you've already paid for. Stealing is illegal and can get you in trouble if you are caught.

Cut a strip of cellophane tape four feet long. Tape it to the top of a one dollar bill, where the number 1 is located. Let the rest of the tape hang off the end of the bill. Repeat this step, this time taping the bottom of the bill where the number 1 is located. You will now have a dollar with two long strips of tape. Place a pencil or pen in the middle of the strands of tape, then fold the tape over so there is no sticky side exposed. Insert your taped dollar into the machine. It will take the dollar, but you will still have the pencil and tape connected to it. Press the numbers to order your drink and wait for it to come out. Holding the pencil or pen firmly, slowly pull your dollar back out.

Enter the access code by pressing the numbers 4, 2, 3, 1. The buttons on the machine won't be numbered, but the top button will be one. If you're using a machine that has the buttons lined up vertically, the button below the first will be two and so on. If the machine has buttons aligned in rows, the button to the left will be number two, and so on. Once you've accessed the machine, you can change the price of drinks to be however low you want. The exact way to change the price depends on the machine model, but it can always be done by navigating with the same four number buttons. You can change the price back using the same method, then press the "Return Change" button to exit the menu once you've gotten your drink.

Slide a five-dollar bill into the dollar slot and select a soda. Most older machines say they don't accept five-dollar bills; after you've inserted the money into the machine, it will reject the five-dollar bill but still credit you the amount needed to get a soda.


Only use these tricks if a vending machine has taken your money without giving you a drink. If you use these methods to steal a drink, you risk being caught and punished.

About the Author

Leanne Canirs

Leanne Canirs has been a freelance writer since 2010. She focuses her work on an online audience, writing for various websites. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in journalism at University of West Florida.