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#1
Old 10-02-2006, 12:54 PM
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How does CoinStar survive as a business?

Coinstar is the company that owns those coin-counting kiosks you typically see at the entrance of many grocery stores in the US.

Ostensibly, they provide you the service of counting and redeeming a jarful of coins into paper money and so save you "the time and effort of sorting, rolling and taking them to the bank." Cost is 8.9 cents (US) per dollar counted; the fee is waived if you take your cash as a giftcard/e-certificate to certain affiliated retailers like Amazon, ITunes, Borders, etc.

At every bank where I've every had an account, the bank provides coin-counting for free, without requiring you roll them in advance (in fact, most banks break the rolls open anyway to make sure you aren't pulling a fast one). And although Coinstar does save me the "hassle" of transporting the coins to the bank, they replace it with the equal hassle of transporting the coins to the grocery store.

I simply cannot believe there are enough people without a bank account or interested in giftcards to make this a profitable business. Obviously they are; they've been around--according to their website--since 1991. What am I missing here?
#2
Old 10-02-2006, 12:57 PM
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People are lazy. They're going to the market anyway and don't want to make the extra trip to the bank. Even if you do go to the bank, you have to wait in line which is inconvenient.
#3
Old 10-02-2006, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJJ*
Coinstar is the company that owns those coin-counting kiosks you typically see at the entrance of many grocery stores in the US.

Ostensibly, they provide you the service of counting and redeeming a jarful of coins into paper money and so save you "the time and effort of sorting, rolling and taking them to the bank." Cost is 8.9 cents (US) per dollar counted; the fee is waived if you take your cash as a giftcard/e-certificate to certain affiliated retailers like Amazon, ITunes, Borders, etc.

At every bank where I've every had an account, the bank provides coin-counting for free, without requiring you roll them in advance (in fact, most banks break the rolls open anyway to make sure you aren't pulling a fast one). And although Coinstar does save me the "hassle" of transporting the coins to the bank, they replace it with the equal hassle of transporting the coins to the grocery store.

I simply cannot believe there are enough people without a bank account or interested in giftcards to make this a profitable business. Obviously they are; they've been around--according to their website--since 1991. What am I missing here?
Banks out here, where CoinStar is headquartered (no pun intended) don't provide the coin sorting service anymore (at least not the banks I go to). In fact, as a store owner I often receive rolled coins that are over or under a coin or two. If we tell the bank they were under they'll make it up.
#4
Old 10-02-2006, 01:02 PM
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I wouldn't write off the gift cards as a source of revenue, either. I'd be willing to wager that CoinStar gets a portion of each sale from the various retailers.
#5
Old 10-02-2006, 01:04 PM
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One could ask the same question about Currency Exchanges, but they are about every 42 feet around here. Yes, there really are that many people who don't have bank accounts. Either they're too young (I've seen lots of kids emptying their piggy banks into Coinstar), too poor (can't keep a minimum balance), too distrustful (the banks in <insert third world country here> took their money before a collapse or coup) or too ignorant (surely the bank won't have someone who speaks Polish, right?)

And, actually, I've used Coinstar because it's more convenient. My bank has ATM's, which won't take change, or walk-up, no drive-through. So I'd have to park, take the baby out of her carseat, dodge traffic and chase her around the lobby while someone counted my coins, dodge traffic again and then wrestle her back into the carseat, against her Prime Belief that once you're taken out of the carseat, you should be free for at least 20 minutes, and listen to her scream all the way to our next stop. With Coinstar, she's nicely restrained in the shopping cart and gets to watch and listen to what's going on. 9 cents a dollar is a small price for convenience and a happy baby.
#6
Old 10-02-2006, 01:26 PM
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I probably used CoinStar 20 times when I was in college. Each time, the incident occurred:

1) One to three days before payday;

2) Outside of normal banking hours; in fact, usually between the hours of midnight and 4:00 AM;

3) At a 24 hour grocery store; and

4) Immediately prior to an emergency hunger-inspired purchase at said grocery store or at a Taco Bell.

It's cool to empty out your car's ashtray and the coin bowl on your dresser and come out of it with $8. All I'm sayin'.
#7
Old 10-02-2006, 01:43 PM
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I can't even remember the last time I was inside my bank.

I go to the grocery store every week.
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#8
Old 10-02-2006, 01:52 PM
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The last time I took a sack of coins to the bank (US bank--this is the least of my complaints about them, but that's another thread) they handed me a bunch of rolling tubes and pointed to a table. Yeah, coinstar would be a hell of a lot easier than rolling 20 lbs of pennies.
#9
Old 10-02-2006, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee
The last time I took a sack of coins to the bank... they handed me a bunch of rolling tubes and pointed to a table.
My bank won't even accept customer-rolled coins anymore. They have a coin machine right in the lobby, and it's free (no fee) for account holders.
We have a change jar in the kitchen cabinet, plus my husband and I both throw change in our car ashtrays, and when they're full, I go to the bank and cash it in. On a good day, I can get $50 or so.
#10
Old 10-02-2006, 02:02 PM
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When I was last in L.A., some banks had similar machines for anyone's use in the lobby, but it wasn't free.

Where I live now, they bend over backwards to help customers, so Coinstar wouldn't have a foothold.

So I guess the answer to the OP is it depends on where you are.
#11
Old 10-02-2006, 02:04 PM
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My bank makes you leave the coins, and they will count them when they get around to it. And quite honestly, it's time consuming for them. For them to carry, dump, count then give me an account credit receipt takes about 10 minutes for the teller to process. I might do Coinstar for an Amazon voucher as I lose nothing in that I use Amazon quite often.
#12
Old 10-02-2006, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee
The last time I took a sack of coins to the bank ... handed me a bunch of rolling tubes and pointed to a table. Yeah, coinstar would be a hell of a lot easier than rolling 20 lbs of pennies.
I work for a large bank, and we don't even do that for our customers. As an employee, I can get free coin-counting, but the process is noxious:

Go to a banking store with merchant services and hope they have an extra canvas coin bag.
(Whine! I have to go to the bank! And stand in line! During my lunch time!)
Dump the coins into the bag and add a blank deposit ticket.
Wait in line again to give the sack of coins to a merchant teller.
They ship the sack off to a regional cash vault (where the coin counting machines are located) and a day or two later, they've been counted and a deposit has been posted to my account.

Or, just take the coins to a Coinstar machine at my leisure. Pay the 8.9% fee if I want instant cash, or take a full-value gift card.

As to how Coinstar makes money? It's all about instant gratification. If you want money now, you pay the 9%. If you don't want a gift card for iTunes, or hate Starbucks and don't want one of their cards, you pay the 8.9%. The time it takes for me to go to the bank at lunchtime, plus the annoyance of having to cart the coins to work on the train makes for an unappealing way to save 8.9%.

As for the gift cards, I don't fully understand the economics of them, but there has to be some profit in them - otherwise, why would you be able to buy cards at other merchants? Safeway's not going to sell Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond cards if they can't get some profit out of them. Same goes for Coinstar.
#13
Old 10-02-2006, 02:11 PM
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My bank also has a machine in the lobby that's available for anyone to use, and this bank also has branches in supermarkets where they have them in the open, with no fee for account holders and a nominal fee for non account holders. It's a great way to engage people who aren't otherwise already banking with you.
#14
Old 10-02-2006, 02:27 PM
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Free money making idea for those of you who are technically inclined, Have a free coin counting system that automatically looks at the coins, identifies rare ones, and separates them out to sell to rare coin dealers. Customers just get face value of coins.
#15
Old 10-02-2006, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiblioCat
My bank won't even accept customer-rolled coins anymore. They have a coin machine right in the lobby, and it's free (no fee) for account holders.
We have a change jar in the kitchen cabinet, plus my husband and I both throw change in our car ashtrays, and when they're full, I go to the bank and cash it in. On a good day, I can get $50 or so.
In my amusement park days we deposited alot of coins every so often from vending machines and such. We had our own sorting and counting machines and bagged them by denomination and value with little crimped seals on the bags. I don't remember the exact amounts but according to the manager I worked with on it he said the bank takes them free if we did it this way. Is this the case or is this some kind of special scenario for merchant accounts and such.
#16
Old 10-02-2006, 02:45 PM
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My mom just reported to me yesterday that she noticed the Coinstar in my grocery store is now free. I hadn't noticed it, but will check it out. What's THAT about?
#17
Old 10-02-2006, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caricci
My mom just reported to me yesterday that she noticed the Coinstar in my grocery store is now free. I hadn't noticed it, but will check it out. What's THAT about?
Just an educated guess, but I'd bet the store is paying the fees to CoinStar, in the hopes that the "free" service will draw in more customers. Of course, the store will most likely pass that on to you in the form of slightly higher prices. TANSTAAFL, and all that.
#18
Old 10-02-2006, 03:04 PM
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Coinstar reported a gross profit of $150.58 million for 2005. About 45% of their revenue came from the coin counting kiosks.

Their SEC filings indicate that they have about 13,000 coing counting machines installed, in addition to nearly 300,000 "entertainment services machines", which they describe as "skill-crane machines, bulk vending machines, and kiddie rides." Roughly 27 percent of their income comes from machines installed at Wal Mart and another 11 percent from machines at Kroger.

The conclusion I draw from perusing the report is that it's a volume business. The OP is right that they don't make much money per transaction, but they profit from having so many transactions that the aggregate is worthwhile. it's an interesting insight, particularly in light of the recent thread where mazinger_z wondered if his mom could have a lucrative business owning a vending machine or two...
#19
Old 10-02-2006, 03:46 PM
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I use Coinstar. I have an investment account with a broker, not a traditional bank account. For legal reasons, they do not accept cash. My coins collect in a giant jug. When it gets to the top, I can take it to the grocery store and get a giftcard to buy things I need at Amazon or whatever. A couple times, I've just got the cash, but the 8.9 cents/dollar fee seems a little high to me.
#20
Old 10-02-2006, 03:54 PM
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In the US I've never used a Coinstar machine either, but on the other hand I try to get rid of my change as soon as possible.

Here in Ontario, on the other hand, there's no paper below $5, so I'm saturated with these damn coins. Just the few in my car are probably worth $50, and I honestly try to spend them rather than accumulate them, but I collect 'em faster than I can get rid of them. I'd consider CoinStar if it were convenient. There aren't many banks in Ontario, at least compared to the on-every-corner scheme like we have at home in Michigan.
#21
Old 10-02-2006, 04:07 PM
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I would imagine that a percentage of the gift cards are lost or destroyed and otherwise fail to be redeemed, in which case Coinstar wins a pile of change.
#22
Old 10-02-2006, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hajario
People are lazy. They're going to the market anyway and don't want to make the extra trip to the bank. Even if you do go to the bank, you have to wait in line which is inconvenient.
True story. My son had about $30-40 in change he wanted to get rid of. I told he could drive 5 minutes to the supermarket and use Coinstar or drive 10 minutes to the bank and do the same thing with no servie charge.

He took Coinstar.
#23
Old 10-02-2006, 04:12 PM
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I think your assumption that most banks will count your coins for free is wrong. It definitely depends on your bank and your area.
My buddy recently decided to cash in a huge 5 gallon water jug of coins. His bank wouldn't touch it. They just handed him some complimentary paper coin wrappers. He was told that they only accept change if it's in the rolls.
He was so pissed he was going to withdraw all his money and go to a bank with better customer service. He checked out a half dozen banks though, and found that they wont do it either. He had a lot of gripes about the banks "down here", so I think it has bit to do with location. He couldn't find any bank down here that would roll his coins.
He didn't take it to CoinStar because of the huge fee. The change was well over 1,000 dollars so he was rolling his ass off for weeks. Personally I would have taken it to a CoinStar. He agreed that it was probably worth the effort but it was personal now.
#24
Old 10-02-2006, 07:48 PM
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How does CoinStar survive as a business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluricaun
My bank also has a machine in the lobby that's available for anyone to use, and this bank also has branches in supermarkets where they have them in the open, with no fee for account holders and a nominal fee for non account holders. It's a great way to engage people who aren't otherwise already banking with you.
That's interesting. I save coins in a large jar and when it's full, I bring it to a Crestar bank, dump in the coins and get a receipt. I bring the receipt to a teller and I get the cash right away. Now, I do have to do the work of dumping the coins in a hopper, but I've never been charged a fee whatsoever, even though I'm not a member of Crestar. I hope this doesn't change.
#25
Old 10-02-2006, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno
I think your assumption that most banks will count your coins for free is wrong. It definitely depends on your bank and your area.
My buddy recently decided to cash in a huge 5 gallon water jug of coins. His bank wouldn't touch it. They just handed him some complimentary paper coin wrappers. He was told that they only accept change if it's in the rolls.
He was so pissed he was going to withdraw all his money and go to a bank with better customer service. He checked out a half dozen banks though, and found that they wont do it either. He had a lot of gripes about the banks "down here", so I think it has bit to do with location. He couldn't find any bank down here that would roll his coins.
He didn't take it to CoinStar because of the huge fee. The change was well over 1,000 dollars so he was rolling his ass off for weeks. Personally I would have taken it to a CoinStar. He agreed that it was probably worth the effort but it was personal now.

That's one of the funnier stories I've read in a while.
#26
Old 10-02-2006, 08:31 PM
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I use Coinstar because I buy enough on Amazon to make it worth it. In fact it feels like free gifts to myself when I do it that way. And since I do everything in the grocery store anyway (including check deposits at the ATM), the Coinstar is just incredibly convenient.

I would never do it though if they were going to take the 10% - that's highway robbery IMHO. (Oh yeah, right, only 8.9 cents for every dollar - so cheap!!! )
#27
Old 10-02-2006, 08:34 PM
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Call me a cheapskate, but I just can't believe that people are willing to give away 9% to turn cash into...cash.

Whenever the issue of Coinstar comes up, I always mention coin sorting machines like this one. For the price of about three trips to Coinstar, the machine automatically sorts your coins. When a tube fills up, you slip the coins into a paper roll. No sorting or counting by hand. (For about twice the price of the one linked above, you can get one made out of cherry wood from Hammacher Schlemmer.)

I've been using a machine like this for years. I empty my pockets straight into the hopper every night, and every few months I take a stack of rolled coins to the bank.
#28
Old 10-02-2006, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense
I've been using a machine like this for years. I empty my pockets straight into the hopper every night, and every few months I take a stack of rolled coins to the bank.
I think you just nailed the problem for me and people like me. It is just change even if there is $120 of it and the process you just described is way more work than I want to go through. I basically consider it found money. I am exceptionally busy these days and I can easily quantify the value of my time. The time I would spend doing all of that simply isn't worth it to me unless we are talking about $1000 in quarters only. Plus, I am almost always tied up during my bank's hours. It might be different if I was unemployed and trying to stretch every last dollar.

This is a like someone asking you to imagine that someone builds a small store across the street from a huge, discount supermarket or warehouse club. The small store has limited selection and often charges two times the price as its larger neighbors. No one would shop there right? Wrong. Convenience stores do well all across this great land because people often need things in the middle of the night or just can't be bothered to make a special trip to save a dollar on a tube of toothpaste.
#29
Old 10-02-2006, 09:51 PM
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So if I'm reading you right, Shag, your objection is the time it takes to roll the coins and make a trip to the bank every once in a while? You may be overestimating the amount of time involved.

Dropping the coins into the sorting machine takes no more time than it would to drop them into a jar. And once a tube is full, it takes 30 seconds at most to slip the coins into a paper roll and fold over the ends. I just checked, and at the moment I have 26 rolls of coins with a value of $97.50. So I may have spent 13 minutes over the past six or eight months rolling coins. Maybe your time is a lot more valuable than mine, but I don't consider that an onerous burden.

As for the bank, mine happens to be less than a ten minute walk from my home, and I go there regularly for business anyway. But if yours isn't as conveniently located, there's no reason in the world you have to go to a bank to get rid of your rolled coin. Take one or two rolls to the store once in a while and spend them like any other form of money. I routinely put rolls of quarters in my glove compartments to pay parking meters and car washes.

But if you're the kind of person who lights his cigars with $10 bills, it's no skin off my butt.
#30
Old 10-02-2006, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense
So if I'm reading you right, Shag, your objection is the time it takes to roll the coins and make a trip to the bank every once in a while? You may be overestimating the amount of time involved.

Dropping the coins into the sorting machine takes no more time than it would to drop them into a jar. And once a tube is full, it takes 30 seconds at most to slip the coins into a paper roll and fold over the ends. I just checked, and at the moment I have 26 rolls of coins with a value of $97.50. So I may have spent 13 minutes over the past six or eight months rolling coins. Maybe your time is a lot more valuable than mine, but I don't consider that an onerous burden.

As for the bank, mine happens to be less than a ten minute walk from my home, and I go there regularly for business anyway. But if yours isn't as conveniently located, there's no reason in the world you have to go to a bank to get rid of your rolled coin. Take one or two rolls to the store once in a while and spend them like any other form of money. I routinely put rolls of quarters in my glove compartments to pay parking meters and car washes.

But if you're the kind of person who lights his cigars with $10 bills, it's no skin off my butt.
See, you are describing all that is if it is nothing but I am having visions of building the Great Wall of China with a spoon. Buy the sorting machine, make sure my daughter doesn't destroy the wrappers (hopeless), find a safe place to keep the rolls (from my daughter), find out the bank hours, drive down there, stand in a bank line for the first time in many months, fill out a deposit slip, swipe my ATM card and enter my pin (because they won't even look at you otherwise), get dirty looks from the teller, deposit my $77.32.

I don't know about you but I get tired just thinking about all that. It seems one step above my wife's uncle who will back up on a 4-lane highway to pick up a can. Honestly, CoinStar machines have their problems as well. I have had them jam several times and had to get a 16 year supermarket bagger to come up with some ingenious scheme to get it to work again.

This had me thinking of a business idea. Laziness is the big reason why CoinStar machines do well but they don't take the concept far enough. What we need is a service where a "financial conversion specialist" meets people in their own homes to sort the coins and convert them into cold, hard cash (conversion fee is .40 on the dollar, $100 minimum).
#31
Old 10-02-2006, 10:22 PM
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A while back there was a thread in which I bragged how I'd figured out what to do with my change. Take it to the local grocery store which has those new "self check-out" lanes. Screw the guy waiting in line behind me. They take change and if you really think the self check-out lane is faster you deserve to get stuck behind me while I feed $10 in change into the machine.

But anyway, I was quickly corrected by some Dopers that in fact, banks do still take & count your change.

Well, that was news to me. For about 10 years I'd been under the impression pretty much all banks stopped taking & counting change. I figured I didn't have much choice but to get fucked by CoinStar. My bank wouldn't even give me the coin rolls. I had to buy them at some place like Wal-Fart.

I'm glad to hear there are banks which will take & count your change, but I can understand why there are lots of people who think CoinStar is the only way to exchange their coinage.

As for those Amazon gift certificate things, damn that's genius. Instead of depositing and saving your money, you have to spend it. And as someone else pointed out, a certain percent of people will forget about/lose their certificates and CoinStar/Amazon totally make out.
#32
Old 10-02-2006, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
I wouldn't write off the gift cards as a source of revenue, either. I'd be willing to wager that CoinStar gets a portion of each sale from the various retailers.
I would imagine so. I don't think Coinstar is going to offer advertising for those other retailers for free. They're getting a piece of pie regardless. I'm surprised the recieipts don't have advertising on them as well (or maybe they do?).
#33
Old 10-03-2006, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
People are lazy.
This is certainly my excuse. I have a milk glass bowl on a shelf in my living room and my husband and I toss our change into it. I do have a bank account, of course, but it's at a credit union and the nearest branch is 20 miles away from my home. So for me to cash in my change at my bank, I'd have to count and roll the damned stuff, load it into my car and haul it all the hell-and-gone to Norfolk -- possibly encountering traffic at the bridge-tunnel either going or coming, and stand in line for however long that takes -- and I've never been in the NFCU when there wasn't at least a short line.

No thanks.

Instead, I've been dumping it into a paper sack and taking it to the CoinStar machine at the nearest Food Lion when I'm making a trip there anyway. It's fun to dump the coins in the hopper and listen to it all go chinga-chinga-ching.

The 8.9 % is a bit steep, of course, but I'm paying for the convenience -- and a little bit for the chinga-chinga-ching. Anyway, I hadn't known about the gift certificate thing. I just checked and the Krogers nearest me offers the Amazon ecertificates. So from now on, I'll go to Krogers instead of Food Lion. It's a little farther away, but not much. And I'll get my chinga-chinga-ching (and my coins turned into cash) for free.
#34
Old 10-03-2006, 02:16 AM
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I've never taken loose change to the bank, but I've taken many pounds of rolled coins. The only one that ever refused to take them was my credit union, that has a free CoinStar machine in the lobby.
Is it legal for a bank to refuse legal tender?
#35
Old 10-03-2006, 04:37 AM
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My only complaint with Coinstar is this: though they say outright what their fees are, and that is perfectly fair as far as it goes, they do NOT tell you that if you put in a silver dime, quarter or dollar, or a very old coin with different dimensions somehow by accident, it won't even count toward your total, it will fall into a can inside the bowels of the machine and become the property of Coinstar. They *could* have the machine give those coins back to you, but they don't.

Fortunately, my bank (a credit union) has a coin-counting machine. I recently took in about 30 lbs of coins and cashed it out...about $225 worth. It was fun dumping all the coins in, paper tube by paper tube, and fun knowing people were watching with envy (so I fantasized) as I got to shake the hopper and push more and more coins down the chute....not because of the money, but because it was simply fun.

I believe you can get Starbucks cards from our local Coinstar machines, but if you cash out, it's 17%, not 9% as someone said. I'd have lost nearly $40 on the deal if I'd used Coinstar, so it was worth the drive to the bank branch.
#36
Old 10-03-2006, 04:52 AM
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The reason I've used this service in the past is that I work in the boonies. The banks are open while I'm in work and it's about a 45-minute round trip to get to my nearest branch. Whereas the supermarket and its Coinstar equivalent is open until 10pm every night. It's 7% commission here, or you can hit a button to donate the entire amount to charity.
#37
Old 10-03-2006, 05:09 AM
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Slight digression here, but reading all these responses and seeing what a hassle the whole thing is I can't help but think - why do so many people even bother with change in the first place? How about this - don't buy things with cash?

Not only do you get a number of benefits (secure transactions that can be disputed, cashback/rewards, float period on payment, etc.) but you don't get all those piles of frickin' change!!!

Coinstar be damned, problem solved. (for me anyway. The rest of you can continue your toils in Babylon as you like )
#38
Old 10-03-2006, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
TANSTAAFL, and all that.
What does this mean?
#39
Old 10-03-2006, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole
Not only do you get a number of benefits (secure transactions that can be disputed, cashback/rewards, float period on payment, etc.) but you don't get all those piles of frickin' change!!!
I don't know about others in this thread, but I hate paying for small items with a card, some stores near me don't even take cards, and in the UK, pubs prefer cash too.
#40
Old 10-03-2006, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole
Slight digression here, but reading all these responses and seeing what a hassle the whole thing is I can't help but think - why do so many people even bother with change in the first place? How about this - don't buy things with cash?
I'm with you! I never use cash unless I absolutely have to. And if that comes up, I have to make a trip to the ATM because I never have more than 5-20 dollars in my wallet. I never deal with change or coins.
#41
Old 10-03-2006, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense
....I take a stack of rolled coins to the bank.
As I mentioned, my bank (credit union) won't even take the home-rolled coins any more. If you walk in with a bunch of them, they'll point you to the coin machine over in the corner and you have to go dump them in yourself. There's no fee if you're an account holder and a nominal fee if you're not. I think it's 3% for non-members.

Contrary to what Chotii said, the machine in my bank has a rejected coin slot, for bent or damaged coins or foreign coins, so if something won't go through, you still get it back. The machine doesn't keep it.
#42
Old 10-03-2006, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by What's That Smell?
What does this mean?
TANSTAAFL = There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
#43
Old 10-03-2006, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Renee
The last time I took a sack of coins to the bank (US bank--this is the least of my complaints about them, but that's another thread) they handed me a bunch of rolling tubes and pointed to a table
Banks here in Northern Ireland have pre-printed plastic bags to be filled with a certain value of smaller coins, these are then weighed by the cashier.

My sister works for a charity so she gets the coppers now. Its funny to hand her hundreds of coins to count and then get a nice thank you note from her afterwards
#44
Old 10-03-2006, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by What's That Smell?
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There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
#45
Old 10-03-2006, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
I don't know about others in this thread, but I hate paying for small items with a card, some stores near me don't even take cards, and in the UK, pubs prefer cash too.
I'm with you. For small purchases I'd rather not deal with the hassle of a card. And some places that take a lot of small transactions don't take plastic at all (Tim Horton's comes to mind)
#46
Old 10-03-2006, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole
How about this - don't buy things with cash?
That's a great idea for buying groceries or clothing, but not so hot for a can of pop from the vending machine or lunch at the many cash-only places. Or the fair number of places that either post a minimum charge to use plastic, take Visa/MC but not debit, or charge 49 to use a card instead of cash.
#47
Old 10-03-2006, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords
...a minimum charge to use plastic...
Which, incidentally, is generally a violation of the Merchant Agreement the store is bound by (agreements can and do vary, but businesses which have negotiated an agreement under which they CAN impose a minimum charge, usually also pay a higher per-transaction fee for that privilege). Not that I don't understand the reasoning behind placing such minimums, but MC/Visa are less understanding on this score than I am.
#48
Old 10-03-2006, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords
...or charge 49 to use a card instead of cash.
Oh, and that's an outright violation, period. Venors are absolutely NOT allowed to charge an additional fee for using a CC.
#49
Old 10-03-2006, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
Oh, and that's an outright violation, period. Venors are absolutely NOT allowed to charge an additional fee for using a CC.
But they are for a debit card, even a debit card with a Visa logo - it goes in the system like an ATM transaction at a competitor's bank, with the 49 cents as the "transaction fee".
#50
Old 10-03-2006, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot
But they are for a debit card, even a debit card with a Visa logo - it goes in the system like an ATM transaction at a competitor's bank, with the 49 cents as the "transaction fee".
I'm not sure this is true; I've never encountered this and I use my debit card for nearly everything. Certainly, if it's processed as a CC then the rules for CC acceptance apply.
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