Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Reverse coin-changer

Machine that turns change into dollars for some and dollars into change for others.
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Imagine you have a big cup of change you and want to turn it into hard cash. You just go to one of those machines at the grocery store. That's fair, but what if the next day you need change for the laundry?

How about a machine at the laundromat that works like a coin star and also works as a change dispenser. Some customers use it for cash, and others use it for change. In theory it may never need to be filled up with either cash or change because both sets of customers would be replenishing it through normal use.

Toss in a 10% fee for everything and it even makes money.

lowbot, Aug 04 2007

(?) Coinstar http://www.coinstar.com/us/WebDocs/A1-0-1
No fee if you turn them into giftcards [Klaatu, Aug 04 2007]

replacement link http://www.coinstar.co.uk/
see old link [popbottle, May 05 2014]

[link]






       Baked by Coinstar (including the fee at 9%) <link>   

       After re-reading this idea, it seems to be a Coinstar and change machine hybrid. "Baked" removed.
Klaatu, Aug 04 2007
  

       Seems eminently sensible, but I imagine the underlying problem is supply and demand. The laundromat machine will run out of change very quickly.   

       Besides, one of our local banks counts coins for free, whether or not you are a customer. Maybe you should be *adding* 10% to change contributors, to incentivize them to go to the laundromat?
DrCurry, Aug 04 2007
  

       What about pennies? I've not seen a vending machine in a while that accepts them, and about half of my loose change seems to consist of them.   

       (I guess you can just collect them and empty the big penny bucket into the coinstar next door every once in a while.)
jutta, Aug 04 2007
  

       I take my pennies down to the post office and buy stamps from the vending machines. (This may only work in some parts of the U.S.) But who uses stamps these days?
baconbrain, Aug 04 2007
  

       Coinstar? We don't have them around these Old World parts - sounds really handy though - I've got about 5 piggy-banks full at the moment, and am running out of piggies.
zen_tom, Aug 04 2007
  

       Just develop the habit of placing all low- value coins on unexpected horizontal surfaces: armrests on trains, the tops of low brick walls, wherever. That way, you never accumulate an excess of useless change, and dozens of people are given a small unexpected moment of pleasure at finding one or several coins in an unexpected place.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2007
  

       I always worry that coins I pick up may have been rendered radioactive by prankster terrorists.   

       Pennies work for tolls too. If I lived somewhere that required regular tolls, I would keep pennies in my car, in groups of 25, in easily dumped tupperwares.
bungston, Aug 05 2007
  

       Thanks for the link [Klaatu] looks like they do exist here after all.
zen_tom, Aug 05 2007
  

       Will never catch on - anywhere that needs cash will take coins. Only true requirement is cash -> coins and not the reverse.   

       A foreign currency version would be much more interesting... whatever currencies happen to be there are available for exchange.
vincevincevince, Aug 06 2007
  

       [Maxwell]'s idea is good, and I do this sometimes. It's also good to place a small stack of quarters in a high place (I"m six foot tall) and then next time you visit that place with someone reach out and retrieve them.   

       I worked with a rather cruel and rude fellow who one day was foolish enough to mention in my hearing that he was compelled to pick up every penny he saw because it was bad luck to leave them there.   

       The next day I scattered six pennies in the areas that he reliably trafficked in his work day, and he dutifully retrieved them over the course of the day.   

       The following day I scattered ten pennies.   

       And the day after that I scattered fifteen pennies.   

       And so on, until he figured out that someone was messing with his head and stopped playing the game.   

       It was well worth the small investment.
normzone, May 05 2014
  
      
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