0995: "Coin Star"

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koogco
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby koogco » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:04 pm UTC

The smallest danish coin is around 9 pennies, the next smallest is around 18 (that would be 1DKK) Our smallest bill is about 10$
That is probably why I have never seen a machine like this outside of a bank (where it was free, just a way to save them from doing it manually)

This reminded me of a time when it was really hard to pay train tickets with 20DKK coins. People had coin-shaped bits of metal to use for shopping trolleys, as a result the ticket machines had to be very sensitive about 20DKK coins, and in some cases I had to give up on particularly worn 20DKK coins.

EDIT: By the way, if people use these machines, what do they occupy themselves with while waiting in line?

feldgendler
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby feldgendler » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:10 pm UTC

The use of coins in shopping carts, swimming pool lockers etc, where the coin gets temporarily trapped inside the lock to ensure return of the cart or locker key, is outright stupid and insulting to the customer. I always bring the shopping cart back anyway, but the stores that make me look for the right coin and sometimes even ask someone to exchange are showing me their disrespect. It's like telling me I won't behave civilized unless they make me.

By the way, I don't see a lot of shopping carts abandoned in the car park in those stores that don't use coin-operated locks — hardly any, ever. I wonder why they even bother.

In a swimming pool locker, it makes even less sense. Of course I'll return, my stuff is in there! And because you usually can't remove the key while the locker door is open, I can't see anyone forgetfully walking away with the key.

Also, because of this use of 10 kr coins, I always have to make sure I don't pour all of my coins into the machine I mentioned in my comment above, and that one 10 kr coin is left (and hope I don't encounter an unusual lock that uses a different coin). I've found, though, that a 2 Russian rubles coin fits the 10 kr locks but is of course rejected by the coin machines, so I now keep such a coin in my wallet, and it always returns to me when I get rid of the Norwegian ones.

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folkhero
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Re: How do people get all these coins?

Postby folkhero » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:17 pm UTC

mric wrote:The thing that puzzles me is how individuals end up with vast piles of coins. Businesses I understand - but they have cash management services from their banks.

I can imagine an eight-year-old saving pennies, but an adult?

I'm guessing you never worked a food service job in a tipping culture.
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LTK
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby LTK » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:42 pm UTC

Excuse me for quoting way up the first page, but...
Eebster the Great wrote:It's a machine that counts your change for you and charges a portion of it as a fee (often with exceptions, such as if you donate the money to charity or use it for in-store credit). It's only worth using if you have a large number of mixed dimes, nickels, and pennies that you can't be fucked to count yourself. Not great for quarters.

'Can't be fucked to count yourself'? How much small change could you possibly amass for it to be sufficiently arduous to do some mental arithmetric at the cashier? I think that if I ever were to get to that point, the 9% would probably be enough to buy a day's breakfast and lunch.

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BobTheElder
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby BobTheElder » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:25 am UTC

Whut the heck? Do you get some incredible amount of change given in America? If I get a bit of change in my wallet, then I've got enough to give exact money when I pay, then the change is gone.
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repeatingdecimal
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby repeatingdecimal » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:59 am UTC

I have coffee cans upon coffee cans filled with change, and take great enjoyment from time to time in running it through my own little coin-sorter and rolling them up neatly. If ever I change one denomination of coin for something else, it is usually to change pennies / nickles /dimes for more quarters.

Mountains of quarters...



...never used a Coinstar machine.

TNine
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby TNine » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:03 am UTC

To everyone talking about Coinstar being a waste of money:

http://xkcd.com/951/

It takes one short trip and 8$ to turn a bunch of change that can't be used into 100$. Definitely worth it.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:34 am UTC

feldgendler wrote:In Norway, we don't have the problem that Coinstar is supposed to solve. In a grocery store, you can pour unsorted coins into a special device at the counter while the cashier is busy checking out your purchase. After that, you pay the rest normally, with your card or cash. If you pay cash, the change comes out of the same device, so it doesn't need to be very big to store a lot of coins.

This is effectively what Coinstar does if you choose to get store credit, but you can also just get cash from it, and if you do THEN it charges a fee.

Though I admit it would be nice to have these at the register.

LTK wrote:How much small change could you possibly amass for it to be sufficiently arduous to do some mental arithmetric at the cashier? I think that if I ever were to get to that point, the 9% would probably be enough to buy a day's breakfast and lunch.

I've only used the machine twice, and in both cases I had over $50 in small change. Attempting to pay in exact change is a tremendous hassle, especially when most things cost something like $19.97, not to mention how uncomfortable it is to carry all the coins around, so change tends to accumulate over time and not get spent. The only alternative to a counting machine is rolling the coins myself, which is a reasonable alternative, but it doesn't really seem worth it for the pennies, nickels, and dimes. Yes I lost $5, but I don't care.

HTAPAWASO
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby HTAPAWASO » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:24 am UTC

feldgendler wrote:The use of coins in shopping carts, swimming pool lockers etc, where the coin gets temporarily trapped inside the lock to ensure return of the cart or locker key, is outright stupid and insulting to the customer. I always bring the shopping cart back anyway, but the stores that make me look for the right coin and sometimes even ask someone to exchange are showing me their disrespect. It's like telling me I won't behave civilized unless they make me.

By the way, I don't see a lot of shopping carts abandoned in the car park in those stores that don't use coin-operated locks — hardly any, ever. I wonder why they even bother.


I used to work in a supermarket which had to cut the trolley service entirely because so many people stole them. Even with the coin-system in place.

And I know a few other shops which have had to do the same thing (including my local liquor store, which is incredibly annoying).

They don't do this out of disrespect for their customers, but the other way around. Customers disrespect the shop by stealing and not putting the trolleys back, so the shop requires some control over that. If they didn't do that, either prices would have to go up to accommodate for the extra staff and constant influx of new trolleys, or they get rid of the trolleys altogether.
You can't hire a boat without a deposit either, is that disrespectful?


On the subject of spare change, all mine goes towards public transport and self-checkout. I've never seen coinstar or anything similar in Australia and I'd never pay such a huge commission for that service.

EugeneStyles
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby EugeneStyles » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:30 am UTC

Am I the only one that imagined the machine feeding out a full-sized candy bar?

Or just too obvious to bring up?

anaboly
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby anaboly » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:43 am UTC

I use the machines for Amazon store credit.

I've tried to take my change to Wells Fargo before (yes, I'm an account holder) and have been turned away with it. Other times, they've given me a monstrous amount of those papers and told me to fill them and come back. Then, I come back and they take them apart to make sure that all the coins inside are real. Why they can't just use their counting machines like they used to blows my mind. It took the guy more time to look at each of the rolls I made than it would have been for him to put them into the sorting machine. :|

rcox1
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby rcox1 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:59 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:Wait...so there are machines that, for a certain amount of money put in, give you less money back with no product or service provided other than a different denomination of said money?

And people do this willingly?


I have not used Coinstar, but see it's appeal, certainly now that there is no fee if a gift card is used. However, if I were to turn in my change, even with the fee, I would use the machine instead of the bank. At the bank I have to roll my coins in paper that costs $5. That is the fee on $50. Then there is the time to roll and write an account number on it. In my experience banks are not going to exchange rolled coins for cash without some expensive provisos. All in all the service is at least as valuable as, say, paying for individually sliced pieces of cheese.

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Little Richie
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby Little Richie » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:00 am UTC

Psh, the one time I had a large amount of coins, I didn't go to one of these machines because of the fee. I took the time to roll them, and then my terrible bank ended up charging a freaking fee anyway.
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Brian-M
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby Brian-M » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:00 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:Wait...so there are machines that, for a certain amount of money put in, give you less money back with no product or service provided other than a different denomination of said money?

And people do this willingly?

I had to Google it to find out what it was. Sounds absurd to me too.

AvatarIII wrote:all those times you buy things that are x.99, or if you ever really get change, and it's not all "silvers", it really adds up. if i ever go to my wallet, it's feeling a bit heavy, I'll clear out the coppers and other small change into pots, keep the 50ps and £1 coins.

Why not just spend the small change? If something costs $9.60, hand over a $10 note and 60c change, and get a dollar back. If something costs $2, hand over $2 in small change. That's what I do, and I never have to clear out the excess coins from my wallet.

Of course, over here we got rid of our 1c and 2c coins (the till rounds everything off to the nearest 5c), so we've got much less of the ultra-small change to worry about. But we do have $1 and $2 coins filling up the coin-pouch.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby zyxuvius » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:39 am UTC

mric wrote:
Eshru wrote:I'm saving pennies to fill the machine with enough to be a hassle to them afterwards. Anyone know the capacity of these machines?


From detailed research (3 minutes on the internet), the holding bin is roughly a 60x60x60cm3 box. a penny is roughly 0.4cm3, but let's call it 0.6cm3 to allow for the fit in the box.

You need around 360,000 pennies. Given that the machines are connected to a central management hub, and will notify when they are full, I think that the Coinstar company would be thrilled to take your $350 and send someone out to empty the machine.

(You can probably assume that the machine is 1/4 full when you start, and that my estimates are out by a factor of two, so it may be as few as 135,000 pennies)

The only 'them' you would be hassling would be other customers.


Uhh... 360,000 pennies is $3600.00 You might be better off crafting your own fake money out of some valueless material, but that would probably be illegal (It would definitely be a hassle for them to sort out...)

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby feldgendler » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:29 am UTC

HTAPAWASO wrote:I used to work in a supermarket which had to cut the trolley service entirely because so many people stole them. Even with the coin-system in place.


This system is not supposed to stop people from stealing carts. Obviously, the cart is worth more than the coin you put in it. Actually, even if it wasn't, the system wouldn't work because when you're taking the cart with you, you're taking the coin sitting in the lock with you, too. And it's trivial to yank the coin out of the lock with pliers, so I can't see the coin locks stopping anyone from stealing carts.

The only real purpose of the coin locks that I can think of is to get people to put the carts back in the stalls instead of abandoning them at random places, but here in Norway I don't see a lot of carts abandoned even in the stores that don't use coin locks.

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Re: How do people get all these coins?

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:07 am UTC

folkhero wrote:
mric wrote:The thing that puzzles me is how individuals end up with vast piles of coins. Businesses I understand - but they have cash management services from their banks.

I can imagine an eight-year-old saving pennies, but an adult?

I'm guessing you never worked a food service job in a tipping culture.


Or met my great-grandparents. They saved up a ton of coins over the years. When my great-granddad went into the hospital in 1997, Coinstar wasn't in Georgia at the time. I was given the task to count up all of those coins. Came to about $450.

I have my own coin sorter machine that tells me exactly how much I've got. The only downside is that nickels tend to get stuck in it, and it doesn't sort half-dollars. It sorts quarters, nickels, dimes, pennies, and those stupid "gold" dollar coins.

As for paying for the coin wrappers? You can, if you need a huge bulk of them at once. Most of the ones I've seen only go for about $1 to $2. You can get some of the flat wrappers at the bank for free, but they tend to be stingy about how many they allow you to have.

I haven't used Coinstar in over a year. When I do use it, I usually do so to get an Amazon gift certificate. The machine at the Ingles near my house has an option to buy gift cards or gift certificates using not only coins, but paper cash as well. The only rule is the minimum amount is $5; max is $5,000. This allows the customer to buy a gift certificate in the exact (or close to) amount they want. For example, if you see an item on Amazon for $29.99, and have no credit card or debit card to your name, but have managed to save up $23.99 in coins, and have $6 in cash, you can buy two gift certificates for these amounts, respectively, enter the codes into your account, and then order that item. Also works if you have the money in coins and paper, but not in your bank account.

I usually do it when I feel like going on a downloading spree for mp3s.
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feldgendler
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Re: How do people get all these coins?

Postby feldgendler » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:30 am UTC

folkhero wrote:
mric wrote:I can imagine an eight-year-old saving pennies, but an adult?

I'm guessing you never worked a food service job in a tipping culture.


Even tipping more often than not happens electronically in Norway. When you pay with a card in an establishment, the waiter brings you a wireless POS terminal (so that you don't have to let go of your card), and right before typing your PIN, you have an opportunity to enter the amount that you're going to pay, which can be more than your bill. The tip is remembered and eventually paid out to the waiter who served the order.

One less reason to use cash for anything.

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javahead
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby javahead » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:46 pm UTC

HTAPAWASO wrote:
feldgendler wrote:The use of coins in shopping carts, swimming pool lockers etc, where the coin gets temporarily trapped inside the lock to ensure return of the cart or locker key, is outright stupid and insulting to the customer. I always bring the shopping cart back anyway, but the stores that make me look for the right coin and sometimes even ask someone to exchange are showing me their disrespect. It's like telling me I won't behave civilized unless they make me.

By the way, I don't see a lot of shopping carts abandoned in the car park in those stores that don't use coin-operated locks — hardly any, ever. I wonder why they even bother.


I used to work in a supermarket which had to cut the trolley service entirely because so many people stole them. Even with the coin-system in place.

And I know a few other shops which have had to do the same thing (including my local liquor store, which is incredibly annoying).

They don't do this out of disrespect for their customers, but the other way around. Customers disrespect the shop by stealing and not putting the trolleys back, so the shop requires some control over that. If they didn't do that, either prices would have to go up to accommodate for the extra staff and constant influx of new trolleys, or they get rid of the trolleys altogether.
You can't hire a boat without a deposit either, is that disrespectful?


On the subject of spare change, all mine goes towards public transport and self-checkout. I've never seen coinstar or anything similar in Australia and I'd never pay such a huge commission for that service.

The ultimate trolley security plan

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rigwarl
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby rigwarl » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:32 pm UTC

koogco wrote:EDIT: By the way, if people use these machines, what do they occupy themselves with while waiting in line?


Errr, the same thing as waiting in any other line (e.g., for your groceries?)

I'm really surprised people don't see how this is useful. A few days ago I exchanged like a 10 pound bag of coins for some dollar bills that I can stick in my pocket. And yes, I'm willing to pay to do that... what part of that is hard to understand?

invalidsyntax
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby invalidsyntax » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:42 pm UTC

mric wrote:
Eshru wrote:I'm saving pennies to fill the machine with enough to be a hassle to them afterwards. Anyone know the capacity of these machines?


From detailed research (3 minutes on the internet), the holding bin is roughly a 60x60x60cm3 box. a penny is roughly 0.4cm3, but let's call it 0.6cm3 to allow for the fit in the box.

You need around 360,000 pennies. Given that the machines are connected to a central management hub, and will notify when they are full, I think that the Coinstar company would be thrilled to take your $350 and send someone out to empty the machine.

(You can probably assume that the machine is 1/4 full when you start, and that my estimates are out by a factor of two, so it may be as few as 135,000 pennies)

The only 'them' you would be hassling would be other customers.


Unless you're saying that coinstar empties the machine at 1/10th capacity (which I doubt is the case, being that you say the machine can be assumed to start at 1/4th capacity) I believe you mean $3,500, not $350.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby iqag » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:24 pm UTC

As usual it's interesting to see how many people are surprised by the need for Coinstar. Part of the reason that change builds up is that generally counting out change at the register is nowadays seen as the province of the elderly and the inconsiderate. Most people pay by card, and it seems to be a general social expectation that you have your payment out and ready to hand over by the time the cashier tallying the purchases or as soon as possible thereafter. That this is the cultural expectation can be confirmed by the number of times this scenario (as well as that of someone paying by check) has been used in television and movies for comic effect over the last 20 years. To those of you living in less coin-addled societies, congratulations. Undoubtedly the subset of Americans who not only read XKCD but follow up on the forums will contain a (possibly much) higher percentage of exact change payers than America as a whole. Some portion of those are presumably aware of the cultural expectation and don't care. And some other portion is probably made up of people who find the idea at people on line getting frustrated with change counters totally alien. For the latter, Steve Carell (of the US version of the Office) once said something to the effect of, "If you don't think you know a Michael Scott, you probably are a Michael Scott."

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:29 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:I do, but the problem is often the cashiers, who often don't seem to know how to give change for 4.01, or even (apparently) enter 4.01 into the register so it can give the change.

Happily, most of the cashiers I've seen wouldn't have a problem with that. But what's fun is an situation where you give 5.03 for a 3.78 order. It's like they think you're a wizard after they tap the number into their register. ;)

Randomposter wrote:So, I propose taking the big jar of change to a casino, dropping it all in the slots, and see if you can't beat Coinstar's rate of return. There's also the added bonus you may come back with more money than you left with. When you're done, take everything to the money cage and get crisp bills in exchange. It's a lot more entertaining than hanging out at the supermarket, and the booze is cheaper.

I took a trip to Vegas a few years back. My last day, I realized I'd acculated a good bit of change, so I figured I'd dump it into a slot machine before I left. I was unable to find a slot machine that actually took coins though. It was kind of sad.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby Hawknc » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:36 pm UTC

I suspect my own astonishment at the concept comes from not having to deal with pennies. Of course, if a person considers their time more valuable than the fee that Coinstar charges, then it's probably a worthwhile exercise. I'm probably just a) enough of an obsessive nerd that I give cashiers amounts that minimise the number of coins I get in return, so I rarely have enough coins to ever warrant using one of these machines, and b) very cheap.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby mric » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:25 pm UTC

invalidsyntax wrote:Unless you're saying that coinstar empties the machine at 1/10th capacity (which I doubt is the case, being that you say the machine can be assumed to start at 1/4th capacity) I believe you mean $3,500, not $350.

The $350 is the fee you would pay for depositing $3,600 worth of pennies. You will have paid Coinstar $350 for the dubious pleasure of costing Coinstar $50 to add a collection to one of their regular pickup schedules. The $3,600 isn't a cost, since you have receive $3,250 back.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby zkrueger » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:28 pm UTC

Putting chocolate coins into a change counter (in order to obtain chocolate dollars, surely) is entirely unlike what I personally would do. Pennies (in the US, at least) have the maximum weight per value, so exchanging for chocolate pennies greatly increases the amount of chocolate you get to eat later.

As to the "Why would anyone have that much change?" question:
Whenever I pay with cash (which is rare), the bills I receive back go straight into my wallet, whereas the change goes to the bottom of my pocket, from which they will be emptied out later that day and put into one of four tubes (one for each common coin denomination) on my shelf. So, I sort them as I get them. Also, when a tube is full, I empty it into a roll and use it exactly like a bill to pay for my next purchase.

I do not carry change with me because I do not like the sound of change in my pockets.

Also, I work as a cashier and I admit, despite taking college level math, it does take me slightly longer when somebody pays for their $7.28 food with $7.35 rather than a $10 bill. Why? Because *everyone* pays with a $10 bill, so I already know that the change they get back is $2.72, and don't have to math it at all. Whereas I have to do mental math if you hand me change (or I could punch it into the register, but mentally mathing is faster). Working as a cashier has made me much faster at subtracting from 10, 20, and 100 than I can subtract from any other numbers.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby vector010 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:55 pm UTC

I can see the need that Coin Star might fill, but I personally don't like paying for services I can get for free.

Back when I used cash for all of my transactions I had a special "savings" plan. Basically I only spent full bills, and any coins from change went into a jar at the end of the day. This would leave me with large amounts of coins after a while. My bank would normally sort these out for free, but then the bank I was using at the time stopped offering that service. Luckily I lived really close to some casinos that sort your change for free and give you bills back with no charge or gambling required.

Now I rarely ever use cash, but my bank automatically rounds purchases up to the nearest dollar and puts the "change" into my savings account. Basically the same principle. When I do use cash I take all of the change and give it to my young daughter. She is always excited to have more money to put in her piggy bank. I suppose when she gets old enough she is going to want a coin sorting service for the large amount of coins she has (currently about 10lbs of fairly evenly mixed coins from about 4 years of this).

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:58 pm UTC

zkrueger wrote:Putting chocolate coins into a change counter (in order to obtain chocolate dollars, surely) is entirely unlike what I personally would do. Pennies (in the US, at least) have the maximum weight per value, so exchanging for chocolate pennies greatly increases the amount of chocolate you get to eat later.

Ah, but in a specie-based currency (and let's face it, fiat chocolate currency would just be *silly*), the larger denominations would have to have more intrinsic value. Either the chocolate dollars would have to be larger, or have a more valuable composition. Imagine how nice it would be after Halloween to be able to trade your generic chocolate coins in for a nice bar of Valrhona.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby rigwarl » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:17 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:I suspect my own astonishment at the concept comes from not having to deal with pennies. Of course, if a person considers their time more valuable than the fee that Coinstar charges, then it's probably a worthwhile exercise. I'm probably just a) enough of an obsessive nerd that I give cashiers amounts that minimise the number of coins I get in return, so I rarely have enough coins to ever warrant using one of these machines, and b) very cheap.


That makes sense. For me, when I leave my house, I put my wallet into my pants pocket (note my wallet, like most men's, is not designed to hold coins) and that's it- I don't take the effort to throw in a bunch of coins. Then, I go buy something that cost $6.37, and it's the only thing I buy all day. When I get home, I throw the coins into a huge pile of them and repeat the process the next day.

The consequence is that, once a year I have to swap out $50 worth of coins for bills, which costs me $5. That's a very reasonable cost for me to not have to think about putting coins in my pocket every morning and carrying them around all day.

I also strongly disagree with the argument that the Coinstar service "cost money for something you can get for free"; every single service in the entire world (getting your lawn mowed, etc.) is something you can "get for free".

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby Kpyolysis32 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:56 pm UTC

So many of you clever people are making me feel this way, with all the tricks involving costs like $3.21

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Re: How do people get all these coins?

Postby cphite » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:56 pm UTC

mric wrote:The thing that puzzles me is how individuals end up with vast piles of coins. Businesses I understand - but they have cash management services from their banks.

I can imagine an eight-year-old saving pennies, but an adult?


Usually when I pay with cash, I just hand over the bills and take whatever change, throw it in my pocket, and forget about it. When I get home, it ends up in a large jar. When the jar gets near full, I take it down to my bank the next time I need to go there and dump the whole thing into their change machine. They don't charge a fee. So basically all it ends up costing me is a few minutes maybe once or twice a year.

As for why... lack of patience I guess. It's just easier to hand over a $20 and get the change, rather than dig through my pockets looking for coins.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby thesingingaccountant » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:42 pm UTC

Ronsonic wrote:As for giving exact or easy change, that's become more difficult these days. Clerks all have these automated registers and they enter the bills as soon as they see them so with a purchase of $5.20, you pull out a ten, then pull a quarter and you get to watch her brain smolder as she tries to figure this out. Hell, pull two dimes and the poor girl's lost.


An ex-boyfriend of mine from many years ago taught me how to get around that problem. Pull the coins from your pocket and hand them to the cashier before going into your wallet for the bill. Works every time (thanks, Chris, for giving me something useful/pleasant by which to remember you).

bmonk wrote:
bhoot wrote:Are these the same chocolate coins that we got from the advent calendar?

Sure! Because, unless we ate a lot of them--we've got infinite chocolate coins left.
Fire Brns wrote:Also If you don't like change do this: if so something is $3.21 with tax, pay with 4.01 instead of 4 and you will get a nickel instead of 4 pennies on top of the quarters. I hate that no one knows how to do this.


I do, but the problem is often the cashiers, who often don't seem to know how to give change for 4.01, or even (apparently) enter 4.01 into the register so it can give the change.


Maybe I'm even smarter than I thought, but when I was a register jockey (off and on between 1996 and 2004), I routinely figured out the proper change in my head before keying the amount I'd been given into the register. I wasn't much slower than the register, and I was very rarely wrong (I did double-check against the register before handing the change to the customer). Hooray for mental arithmetic!
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby bmonk » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:13 pm UTC

thesingingaccountant wrote:
bmonk wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:Also If you don't like change do this: if so something is $3.21 with tax, pay with 4.01 instead of 4 and you will get a nickel instead of 4 pennies on top of the quarters. I hate that no one knows how to do this.


I do, but the problem is often the cashiers, who often don't seem to know how to give change for 4.01, or even (apparently) enter 4.01 into the register so it can give the change.


Maybe I'm even smarter than I thought, but when I was a register jockey (off and on between 1996 and 2004), I routinely figured out the proper change in my head before keying the amount I'd been given into the register. I wasn't much slower than the register, and I was very rarely wrong (I did double-check against the register before handing the change to the customer). Hooray for mental arithmetic!



They say that grandpa was quick enough with mental arithmetic that, back in the days that clerks had to add the total by hand, he would add it up--reading the numbers upside down--and have exact change out for the clerk. . . . 8)
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Re: How do people get all these coins?

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:35 am UTC

cphite wrote:
mric wrote:The thing that puzzles me is how individuals end up with vast piles of coins. Businesses I understand - but they have cash management services from their banks.

I can imagine an eight-year-old saving pennies, but an adult?


Usually when I pay with cash, I just hand over the bills and take whatever change, throw it in my pocket, and forget about it. When I get home, it ends up in a large jar. When the jar gets near full, I take it down to my bank the next time I need to go there and dump the whole thing into their change machine. They don't charge a fee. So basically all it ends up costing me is a few minutes maybe once or twice a year.

As for why... lack of patience I guess. It's just easier to hand over a $20 and get the change, rather than dig through my pockets looking for coins.


That's the major reason. Lack of patience/time.

For example: If you're standing in a long line at the grocery store, and a customer ahead of you's total is $6.87, watch the facial expressions on the other customers in line with you when said customer begins reaching in their pocket/purse/otter-duck pouch and fishing for 87 cents. In my experience, it isn't pretty. No one has time to wait for someone to sit there and count out 87 cents in dimes, nickels, and pennies (no quarters), along with a 10-dollar bill, just to get $4.00 in change. It's easier to hand over just the $10, and get back $3.13. True, you "lose" a dollar, but gain time.

Besides, cashiers usually have a time limit on each customer, and each transaction is monitored; not just by how accurate their till is, how they greet the customers, whether or not they try to steal, or any other quality control purposes; they're also monitored on how fast they ring each customer up. Sometimes a retail store will have the cashiers compete against each other, to see who can get the most customers checked out within a period of time. The end prize might be a gift card to the store in a certain amount, or a bonus, or maybe a paid day off. Not only does this make the job more competitive, but it allows the management of the store to see who is truly the fastest and still has a high accuracy rating, and who should be fired. Regardless of what kind of transaction takes place (cash, credit/debit card, check), the ideal amount of time spent per customer should be anywhere between 1 to 5 minutes, depending on how many items the customer has to purchase.

I remember when I worked at Wal-Mart, I had a customer who wanted to pay in just pennies. Knowing full well this was going to take too damn long, I called the lady who worked in our cash office and asked her to come up with the coin counter we used for the store's profits. She came up, with the sorter in a cart, and we sorted and rolled every coin this customer had. It took us about 8 minutes to complete it, whereas it would have taken a good 30 minutes for the two of us to do it by hand. Besides, the number of coins this customer had was way too much to go into the till. The cash office lady wrote the amount we sorted onto a form, she signed it, I signed it, the customer signed it, and I put it in my drawer. The total number of coins came to over what the customer's total was, so I gave her the change. It didn't cause my till to come up short in the end.
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby thesingingaccountant » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:38 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:They say that grandpa was quick enough with mental arithmetic that, back in the days that clerks had to add the total by hand, he would add it up--reading the numbers upside down--and have exact change out for the clerk. . . . 8)


:shock:

I want to develop this skill. Where the hell do I go for a practical opportunity to do so?!

Oh, and because I haven't yet chipped in my two cents' worth concerning the Coinstar machines... I've never used them, and I have no intention of ever using them. I've been known to amass an annoying amount of change from time to time, at which point I dump a bunch into my pocket and spend my day doing things like paying for a $3.94 purchase with $5.94 and ignoring the irritation of the cashier and the customers waiting behind me. (My response to those irritated individuals: "This is legal tender, dammit. Live with it." I'm going to make a perfect old lady. :twisted:) It's a good thing I don't live in New York, or this practice might have gotten me killed by now... :?
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby BobTheElder » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:50 pm UTC

feldgendler wrote:
HTAPAWASO wrote:I used to work in a supermarket which had to cut the trolley service entirely because so many people stole them. Even with the coin-system in place.


This system is not supposed to stop people from stealing carts. Obviously, the cart is worth more than the coin you put in it. Actually, even if it wasn't, the system wouldn't work because when you're taking the cart with you, you're taking the coin sitting in the lock with you, too. And it's trivial to yank the coin out of the lock with pliers, so I can't see the coin locks stopping anyone from stealing carts.

The only real purpose of the coin locks that I can think of is to get people to put the carts back in the stalls instead of abandoning them at random places, but here in Norway I don't see a lot of carts abandoned even in the stores that don't use coin locks.


This system IS supposed to stop people taking trolleys away. The trolley is worth more but people don't steal trolleys because they really want a trolley, they steal them because they're too lazy to carry their shopping. The coin dissuades them. We're not talking about professional trolley thieves :p
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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:00 pm UTC

BobTheElder wrote:
feldgendler wrote:
HTAPAWASO wrote:I used to work in a supermarket which had to cut the trolley service entirely because so many people stole them. Even with the coin-system in place.


This system is not supposed to stop people from stealing carts. Obviously, the cart is worth more than the coin you put in it. Actually, even if it wasn't, the system wouldn't work because when you're taking the cart with you, you're taking the coin sitting in the lock with you, too. And it's trivial to yank the coin out of the lock with pliers, so I can't see the coin locks stopping anyone from stealing carts.

The only real purpose of the coin locks that I can think of is to get people to put the carts back in the stalls instead of abandoning them at random places, but here in Norway I don't see a lot of carts abandoned even in the stores that don't use coin locks.


This system IS supposed to stop people taking trolleys away. The trolley is worth more but people don't steal trolleys because they really want a trolley, they steal them because they're too lazy to carry their shopping. The coin dissuades them. We're not talking about professional trolley thieves :p


A better method to stop actual trolley thieves is what some supermarkets use, where to take them beyond the car park, the wheels lock up by some magic doohickey, and can only be unlocked by supermarket staff, however once the wheels have locked up and fixed, they are never the same again, so this method just creates increasing numbers of slightly broken trolleys.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby Anderas » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:09 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost --> You nailed it nearly perfectly.

I didn't know this wasn't an issue in most of the world, but in the States, there are a LOT of people who carry insane amounts of small pennies, either from tip-jobs where they accumulate, or more than likely, from deliberately creating a "coin jar" at home, that they cash out when it gets full to give themselves an "unexpected gift" of money. Now, people who have enough capital probably have a bank, and the bank will do this for free, but I am aware of quite a large section of the populace (especially near my region) that DOES NOT maintain a "home" bank.

This gets better. Most banks around here will not perform any services for you (without fees) unless you hold an active account with them. A large cross-section of people who rely on coin collection for surprises do not maintain banks. Where do they end up? Coming into a retail store with a pile of coins.

At this point, they have three choices:

1. Use the bank to redeem the coins.
2. Use the store to redeem the coins (register or desk).
3. Coinstar.

The bank will not help them without an account, or without charging them a hefty chunk.

The store will not take more than a smattering of change, instead referring them to the Coinstar service, because the person dumping a bucket (yes, a literal bucket) of coins on the register is going to jam up the entire front end operation, resulting a wave of unhappy guests.

Coinstar will do it quickly, efficiently, and give them a voucher that is easy to use. Getting a cash voucher charges a percent, getting a gift-card is usually free or a very low percent.


Now, some of you who've never worked retail may wonder, "Why would one person dumping coins ruin a line of a dozen registers?"

That, boys and girls, is an entire exercise in time clocks, break counters, and lane boards that is far to arcane to be explained in any post that wouldn't require a TL;DR tag. To put it cryptically: modern retail has become very good at running a wire-thin margin (low prices!), and part of this is by turning human-run "loose" systems into very tight-tolerance computerized systems that do NOT hold up well to human inefficiencies. If a certain snowball gets loose (a bucket of coins causing a certain cashier's Cashier Efficiency Score to drop below the value expected inside of the scheduling model for that business day, perhaps), this can turn into an avalanche as the tight balances derail (making the rate of transactions drop below the necessary level for the headcount in the building, causing overflow to move to other registers, dropping their scores, requiring more lanes, which requires personnel to be shunted from other locations - which are expected by the computer's model to BE IN ANOTHER LOCATION (more systemic errors occur here) - but these "cashiers" aren't really cashiers, and don't run at the high efficiency... etc). All in all, a lot of customers get service below what is expected, and a lot of employees get made miserable, because some jackass decided to drop $300 in small coins on a cashier.

That's why Coinstar exists in the States. It is another tool used to maintain the "low, low prices" demanded by the modern American consumer. You get exactly what you asked for.

Koogco: That Danish "counter at the register" idea is brilliant. DO WANT. As for what they do? They read magazines, or try and wrangle their pile of children, or talk with the cashier (if they're good, the cashier can run transactions and chat up the line simultaneously).

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby Anderas » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:11 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:A better method to stop actual trolley thieves is what some supermarkets use, where to take them beyond the car park, the wheels lock up by some magic doohickey, and can only be unlocked by supermarket staff, however once the wheels have locked up and fixed, they are never the same again, so this method just creates increasing numbers of slightly broken trolleys.

And you will never stop the person who drags their damn cart through the snow-drifts, all the way to the bus stop down the road. Now you have to send a couple cart-pushers on an epic quest to recover the blasted contraption. So much fun.

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Re: 0995: "Coin Star"

Postby popman » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:13 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:
BobTheElder wrote:
feldgendler wrote:
HTAPAWASO wrote:I used to work in a supermarket which had to cut the trolley service entirely because so many people stole them. Even with the coin-system in place.


This system is not supposed to stop people from stealing carts. Obviously, the cart is worth more than the coin you put in it. Actually, even if it wasn't, the system wouldn't work because when you're taking the cart with you, you're taking the coin sitting in the lock with you, too. And it's trivial to yank the coin out of the lock with pliers, so I can't see the coin locks stopping anyone from stealing carts.

The only real purpose of the coin locks that I can think of is to get people to put the carts back in the stalls instead of abandoning them at random places, but here in Norway I don't see a lot of carts abandoned even in the stores that don't use coin locks.


This system IS supposed to stop people taking trolleys away. The trolley is worth more but people don't steal trolleys because they really want a trolley, they steal them because they're too lazy to carry their shopping. The coin dissuades them. We're not talking about professional trolley thieves :p


A better method to stop actual trolley thieves is what some supermarkets use, where to take them beyond the car park, the wheels lock up by some magic doohickey, and can only be unlocked by supermarket staff, however once the wheels have locked up and fixed, they are never the same again, so this method just creates increasing numbers of slightly broken trolleys.

those trollies have electromagnetic locks. (a coil of wire around the parking area triggers them to lock) they can be fixed though, every shop using this system has an unlocker to make them work again.
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