June 18, 2000 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Coinstar seems like a good idea, however, in the FAQ, they don't give the exact amount of the service charge. How odd.
posted by starduck (15 comments total)
they have quite a few of those out here in LA. service charge is about 3% if i remember correctly. real good for lazy folks like me...
posted by owillis at 2:55 PM on June 18, 2000

I've seen these coin-to-bill machines around for some time now.

It seems weird to me that Coinstar has TV commercials... it's not like I really care which machine does it for me (though I'm usually bored enough to roll my own change).

It's not like the local Safeway is going to install competing machines and I'm going to have to choose.
posted by adamv at 3:11 PM on June 18, 2000

I've used these. They rock! All the pennies I get end up paying the service charge. Dumping in a bunch of worthless change and getting back $100 is the best.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:39 PM on June 18, 2000

At the nearest grocery store to me there is an official Coinstar kiosk, and I just happened to use it yesterday when the banks were closed. It charged 8 9/10 cents to the dollar.
posted by magnetbox at 3:54 PM on June 18, 2000

We could use some of these in Canada. Having to carry around a pocketfull of 1$ and 2$ coins, along with the regular change, is a drag. Expect, of course, when you need some cash, and you reach into your pocket, and you're like, "Nah, all I've got is a bunch of change," and you pull out a big wad of coins and realize that you've got over 10$. Score!
posted by Calebos at 4:41 PM on June 18, 2000

The true innovation would be to make a sofa model to sort the change that falls out of your pockets down between the cushions.
posted by internook at 5:41 PM on June 18, 2000

Indeed; I like the Sac and Susie dollars for the same reason. They make good tips, too.

Coinstar likewise gets 8.9 c/$ hereabouts; it went up about 6 months after they put the things in.

It's worth noting that the *bank* will charge you to count coin these days, too; I suspect that how much it costs depends on how good a customer you are.
posted by baylink at 6:09 PM on June 18, 2000

The other Day when I used the Coinstar Machine, I put in about $40 (as I do now and then). One of the coins sliding down the ramp was a Susan B dollar which Disappeared! No credit or returned coin down below? Waste time by calling the Manager of the Store or Shaking the Machine till I get my Dollar. Guess which one I Did - No tilt but a lot of Customers staring at me!
posted by Almac at 7:53 PM on June 18, 2000

See, I was always under the impression that coins were cash. But then again, I like to save my pennies for those cashiers who somehow anger me. True story; on a visit back to my home state, I saw that one of the people who was involved in beating a cousin of mine up was working at a B.J.'s discount warehouse. Because I knew revenge would be impossible during work hours, I instead gathered up all the old pennies I could, went in, and used my cousin's B.J.'s card to purchase a Playstation and several games...which I paid for in pennies.

When the cashier tried to evade this, I insisted that Pennies are legal tender and by federal law must be accepted for all debts, public and private, within the borders of the US. (Note: I have no idea if this is true or not...I mean, perhaps stores do have the right to refuse pennies. It didn't matter, because I was loud and obnoxious.) Eventually, after fifteen minutes of wrangling first with him, and then with the manager, I forced the cashier to sit there and count $225.00 worth of pennies.

Sure, it was shallow. But I got payback (you should have seen the look of rage on his face...I basically ruined his whole day) got ride of the pennies, and didn't even break the law. I call that a double win.
posted by Ezrael at 7:55 PM on June 18, 2000

A friend of mine once claimed to have learned, while working retail, that some law (U.S. or most states, I'm not sure) limits the amount of coinage that a retailer must accept. According to her, a retailer could legally refuse to take coins adding up to more than some certain dollar amount.

Also, in some net discussion over cash vs. credit a while back, someone claimed that "all debts, public and private" does not, in a strict legalistic sense, cover retail purchases. Technically, according to this interpretation, the retailer could refuse (for whatever reason) to complete the transaction and not incur a "debt". Naturally, this would not apply to bills, loan payments, taxes, etc. which would be treated as an existing debt that the owind party could pay back however the hell they wanted.

Of course, IANAL, I did not hear either of these claims from primary sources, and my memory ain't what it used to be.
posted by harmful at 10:01 PM on June 18, 2000

Ah, I tried to pay a ridiculous parking ticket (parking in a taxi zone which was only marked by an ivy-covered sign) with pennies once and then city clerk whipped out a 20 year old by-law stating that they'd accept up to $2 worth of pennies, up to $5 worth of nickels and dimes and up to $10 worth of quarters, but that was it for change. I guess they had that happen too many times. I'd expect that most authorities with the ability to regulate the terms of payment for their own receivables would do so . . .
posted by sylloge at 10:31 PM on June 18, 2000

I was thinking about how people rarely pick up change except for quarters or dimes because it "isn't worth their time". This is nothing but a lazy person's excuse, really. While I would not accept a full time job picking up pennies for my own salary, the notion that it costs more than the time to pick one up is ludicrous. By the same token, it's not worth it to watch TV. I'm starting to think of dropped coins as a discount in life rather than a burden.
posted by plinth at 6:15 AM on June 19, 2000

CoinStar also allows you to press a button and donate all the money you put in to "charity" which I always thought was pretty okay [if I was keeping all that money in a jar for that long, I probably don't need it too badly] though the charity was also unspecified.
posted by jessamyn at 9:08 AM on June 19, 2000

The ones around here don't do that, but it's cool.

My secondary-source memory says that they can bounce pennies but have to take nickels and up.

[ Asks the Web ]

[ looks further; damn, I was certain either Cecil or AFU had something on this... ]

Crap. The keywords are too common.
posted by baylink at 6:30 PM on June 19, 2000


Got too interested in *reading* Cecil, didn't finish searching.

Assuming you consider Cecil a primary source... :-)
posted by baylink at 6:35 PM on June 19, 2000

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