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pkbites
05-05-2000, 01:56 AM
At the post office there is a machine that sells stamps. This machine accepts every type of bill or coin there is, INCLUDING PENNIES! Is there a reason why other vending machines like soda and newspaper boxes, can't be made to take pennies?

VaHermit
05-05-2000, 04:40 AM
I personally think a better question is "why in hell do we even still have pennies"

They are heavy and useless. I pitch all of mine in the "take a penny, give a penny" cups on the counter. They're a pain in the butt.

Why can't we just do away with them and round things to the nearest nickel.

Just today at the ABC store (Virginia still has Alcoholic Beverage Control), my change included two pennies. I told the clerk to keep them "for the cause". She had the nerve to tell me that she couldn't do that because they "didn't have a cause". I pitched them in the grass outside and I hope their lawn mower throws them through the window. Hell, even the IRS lets you round out.

Anybody else feel this way?

ZenBeam
05-05-2000, 07:24 AM
Why stop there? Get rid of nickels too. Then all our coins will be in the right order in size.

AWB
05-05-2000, 07:26 AM
VaHermit: I personally think a better question is "why in hell do we even still have pennies"

They are heavy and useless. I pitch all of mine in the "take a penny, give a penny" cups on the counter. They're a pain in the butt.

You should put them in your pocket, not your butt. Less painful. :D:D

What irks me is vending machines that say "Takes all coins", but then says "No pennies". They don't even mention half dollars or either of the dollar coins in circulation, which don't even fit in the slot. So what they mean by "all coins" is 42.8% of denominations of US coins.

Whack-a-Mole
05-05-2000, 08:54 AM
Is there a reason why other vending machines like soda and newspaper boxes, can't be made to take pennies?

Can be answered by:

They are heavy and useless. -- They're a pain in the butt.

They certainly could be designed to accept these coins but why would the company that empties them want the hassle?

As for:
I personally think a better question is "why in hell do we even still have pennies"

While they are a pain to you and me they DO add up after awhile. I had friends keep penny jars in college that got them $50 when they were in a pinch.

More importantly...they REALLY add up to companies. Did you see the movie Hackers? The bad guy in that movie created a program that would shave off fractions of a cent on every transaction before rounding happened. After letting his program run for a month or so he several hundred-thousands (or was it millions?) of dollars in his bank account. The company supposedly wouldn't miss it for awhile because they were getting robbed for less then a penny a go.

In real life currencies are traded to 5 decimal places. Fortunes are made and lost on the movements of fractions of a cent (the guys who trade currency buy a LOT of currency so it adds up). Movement of 1/2 a cent will gain or lose a person $500,000 on a $100,000,000 investment.

However, I think the most important reason (sarcasm coming) for keeping pennies around is so marketers can price everything at $x.99. That way you don't really feel as if your paying one cent less but feel as if you saved much more. Scary thing is my marketing class in college showed that these pricing strategies work. People will buy a LOT more of a product than the same product priced one cent more but crossing a whole dollar boundary.

Alphagene
05-05-2000, 03:58 PM
For your personal edification, or something.
Does it make sense to keep minting pennies? (https://academicpursuits.us/columns/981009.html)

Lagged2Death
05-05-2000, 04:13 PM
At the post office there is a machine that sells stamps. This machine accepts every type of bill or coin there is, INCLUDING PENNIES! Is there a reason why other vending machines like soda and newspaper boxes, can't be made to take pennies?


It could be partly because that soda pop, candy, newspapers, etc, are generally priced in multiples of $0.05, whereas the price of stamps often something odd like $0.29. Since a stamp vending machine absolutely will have to provide pennies as change when selling the oddly-priced stamps, it's a trivial step to make it accept pennies as well. In fact, it's desireable - if customers put pennies into the vending machine, then the machine's change-making stash won't have to be re-supplied as often.

Dystopos
05-05-2000, 04:56 PM
More importantly...they REALLY add up to companies. Did you see the movie Hackers? The bad guy in that movie created a program that would shave off fractions of a cent on every transaction before rounding happened. After letting his program run for a month or so he several hundred-thousands (or was it millions?) of dollars in his bank account. The company supposedly wouldn't miss it for awhile because they were getting robbed for less then a penny a go.


This is also the plot of Superman III, with Richard Pryor as the computer whiz who collects a ha'penny fattened paycheck, alerting his boss to the skills he can use to thwart the Man of Steel.

Also, please go rent the sublime 'Office Space' directed by Mike Judge which pits the disgruntled cubicle-dwellers against the condescending boss (played by Gary Cole) - Led by the suddenly carefree Ron Livingston, they parlay the same scam, set to the Geto Boys' "Damn it Feels Good to be A Gangsta", into the mother of all guilt trips.

Crusoe
05-05-2000, 05:33 PM
As a Brit used to the pointless collection of one and two pence pieces, I loved the Australian solution: mark prices to the nearest cent, but have coins where the demonination starts at 5c. When you make a purchase, the price is rounded up or down to the nearest 5c.

Dystopos
05-05-2000, 11:19 PM
And of course this is what we Yanks do with the 9/10's of a cent tacked onto our gasoline (petrol to you) prices. I think the $-.99 trick would still operate, as would sales taxes of odd, or even fractional cents -- you'd just have to round the total to the smallest denomination availiable for making change - in this hypothetical case, the nickel.

Possible objections to eliminating the penny:

1.) surly unemployed copper miners (luckily we've been steadily weaning the copper from pennies for a long time and the surly zinc miners have plenty of galvanizing to be doing)
2.) are gumball machines already a nickel? owners of antique vending machines and the one's that squish pennies would need to have supplies of pennies availiable, ro start buying penny-size blanks somewhere.
3.) The Lincoln estate would need appeasing. Maybe you could reserve the inevitable five dollar (plastic?) coin for the great emancipator.
4.) Isn't there some kind of construction toy that incorporates pennies? And is it true Lincoln Logs are made of plastic now? (Speaking of plastic and Lincoln and construction toys)

Farmer
05-06-2000, 04:26 PM
Ass penny's, stick them in your ass.

Lynn Bodoni
05-06-2000, 04:33 PM
It could be partly because that soda pop, candy, newspapers, etc, are generally priced in multiples of $0.05, whereas the price of stamps often something odd like $0.29. Since a stamp vending machine absolutely will have to provide pennies as change when selling the oddly-priced stamps, it's a trivial step to make it accept pennies as well. In fact, it's desireable - if customers put pennies into the vending machine, then the machine's change-making stash won't have to be re-supplied as often.

Our stamp machine won't give out pennies, it gives out one cent stamps in addition to the first class postage.

meara
05-06-2000, 11:36 PM
I'd imagine vending machines have a limited amount of space for coins and pennies would force more frequent collections (not to mention heavier ones).

Shrug.

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