Automated Coin Machines Taking Your Money


Jug of changeYou’ll find tons of stories on the Internet describing cool coin finds in every day pocket change. For many, it can be the starting point of a new hobby and for existing collectors, it can be one of the most memorable experiences ever.

Interesting, just today on a coin forum and earlier this week on an early morning show there was talk about the expanding use of automated coin machines in banks and convenience stores. What you do is pour your change into the machine and in seconds it’ll sort and count everything for you. Perhaps one of the most popular is by Coinstar.

A selling point for the machines, outside of the fun of dumping the coins, is their convenience in saving you from the hassles and lost time of counting, rolling and cashing all your loose change. A downside is that there’s a fee for the service of nearly 10% unless you flip your change into certain Gift Cards or eCertificates.

Whatever you do, before dumping or rolling your change, take a good look at what you have! You never know if there’s a cool coin just waiting for a place in your collection.


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[…] Yet, once again, an attractive coin may spur collectors, add some fun and the average citizen may hoard more of the coins because they look great, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to used or carried around for change! In this day and age, many people will actually PAY MONEY to get rid of their lose change! […]


My experience has been that these machines are heavily used by low-income people and those with limited English skills. Without getting into the language debate, it seems to me that Coinstar and its ilk are the coin equivalent of payday lenders and rent-to-own stores, taking advantage of people who don’t have the knowledge or wherewithal to seek out alternatives. Often, when I try to inform a Coinstar user that there are places (at least in my region) that will redeem coins for free, they tell me they have no idea how or where to do that. OK, we’ve already got… Read more »