24 responses

  1. Moneycone
    March 28, 2011

    Hey, wasn’t this always free? I always exchange coins for Amazon gift cards. Maybe they’ve added more merchants lately, but I’m pretty certain gift card exchange was always commission-free.

    Like you I could never justify paying 9% for counting coins! :)

    • Money Reasons
      March 28, 2011

      Hmm, maybe! This is the first I’ve heard about in in my area. I think previously it was only available in select areas of the country.

      I think it’s now more broadly available.

  2. Everyday Tips
    March 28, 2011

    I have been using Coinstar for giftcards for quite awhile now. It is the best to cash in your change in December, when they usually give a ten dollar bonus gift card for certain merchants.

    • Money Reasons
      March 28, 2011

      Wow, great add! I wish it was in my area earlier!

      Thanks for the wonderful tip about when to buy them! :)

  3. FIrst Gen American
    March 28, 2011

    Good Idea about the Coinstar stock. I think they have a good marketing plan. I would never pay 10%, but I would definitely exchange it for a top end gift card.

    • Money Reasons
      March 28, 2011

      I was surprised to learn that they owned Redbox. I guess I heard that they owned Redbox, but I didn’t know they also owned the change machines.

      I don’t own any of their stock, but I’ll be following it for sure!

    • Katye
      May 16, 2012

      wow you can tell coinstar is paying you guys a pretty penny thats where the 10% is going!

  4. krantcents
    March 28, 2011

    So coinstar is not charging the consumer for counting the change! HMMMM! I wonder how much these vendors are paying coinstar? Maybe they consider the cost as advertising. I guess it is a win win.

    • Money Reasons
      March 28, 2011

      Yeah, I’m sure Coinstar is taking a cut in profit too. I’m betting they expect to make it up by more transactions…

      I think it’s a pretty good move on their part :)

  5. Squirrelers
    March 28, 2011

    This certainly helps quite a bit, and beats paying those ridiculously high charges. Getting full value in a gift card that you will actually use (and won’t have to go out of your way to do it) is a better solution. It changes my view of Coinstar machines!

    • Money Reasons
      March 28, 2011

      Me too! I’m stoked to see if there are any Coinstar machines around where we grocery shop! I love to save gas by making using the grocery gas to do the Coinstar thing :)

  6. MoneyIsTheRoot
    March 28, 2011

    I recently did an article on them myself, though I had a different opinion lol.

    @Krantcents – The full fee is passed over to the vendor! They might consider it advertising, but hey, selling and overhead costs are what drive up the prices that are passed through to the consumer.

    Also, they take 7.5% off the top for charitable donations, which kinda irks me.

    Let me also point out that many of those gift cards can be purchased at a discount from reputable online sites like Plastic Jungle, so I still think you are losing money going this route.

    Lastly, I wouldnt be too quick to buy their stock. Redbox is definitely a part of their growth right now, and while they have much lower overhead costs than BB does, they suffer from a similar outdated business model….tangible DVDs and your physical presence to rent them! Not to mention that Warner Bros., Fox Studios, and possibly more studios to come, have worked out deals with Blockbuster and other video stores, to provide them with DVDs 30 days prior to Netflix and Redbox. Also, BB has similar kiosks with available FREE coupons easily found online for renting…this is how I rent just about everything! Coinstar machines are a business model too easily duplicated, and at some point raising their fees is going to turn their customers away.

    • Money Reasons
      March 28, 2011

      Hmm, some great counterpoints! I’ll have to do some more homework before I take the plunge and buy some of their stock…

      I think it all comes down to management, and I’m hoping that Coinstar has a better managment team than BB. I will definitely do more research first.

      Thank for the great points.

  7. JT McGee
    March 28, 2011

    As far as I’m concerned, Amazon gift cards ARE cash. Ha, I buy everything there!

    • Money Reasons
      March 28, 2011

      I think I would buy mostly Starbucks gift cards. I state that they are for my sister for Xmas, but I’m pretty sure I would use a few too. :)

      Although with Amazon, what can’t you buy?…

  8. Buck Inspire
    March 28, 2011

    We’re on the same wavelength as I recently wrote about my local Coinstar machine as well. It is a brilliant, win-win-win situation. Will be interesting to see their partnership list grow. That will make them even more appealing to me.

    • Money Reasons
      March 29, 2011

      It was an article my local newspaper, I just read the title then went out to Coinstar’s website. Seems like a pretty smart move on their part!

      I think I will use their service this year…

  9. Crystal @ BFS
    March 29, 2011

    I mentioned this to my husband and he looked like I was trying to steal his Christmas gifts…he actually enjoys counting change! I knew he was little weird when I married him, lol…

    • Money Reasons
      March 29, 2011

      Unfortunately, I’ll still be counting the kids change… I want them to have money instead of gift cards…

      But the excess change that I have laying around is fair game!!!

  10. Jeff
    March 29, 2011

    I never use coinstar. I just go to the local TD Bank( I don’t even have an account there) they allow me to use the coin counter in the bank without any fee. Then I walk 2 steps to the counter and get the full value of my change in CASH.

    • Money Reasons
      March 29, 2011

      I’ve never heard of such a friendly back! That’s awesome!

      I wonder if any other bank offers such a great service!

  11. Jason
    March 29, 2011

    Wonder if coinstar gets enough buisness, could stimulate the economy. Coinstar said last year it converted almost 7 billion dollars in coins into dollar bills. Thats 7 billion dollars that was just sitting in people’s couches and coin jars, untouched for spending.

    • Money Reasons
      March 29, 2011

      that’s some pretty clever thinking Jason!

      I think you’re right, they probably could make a difference. Especially if they advertised. Overall, it seems like they are a pretty smart company. Especially with the RedBox revenue stream. Even though online streaming is starting to get big, I always see people at the kiosks getting the latest DVD.

  12. Katye
    May 16, 2012

    Its is highway robbery! And when people need money to the point im counting out change why would i put it on an Old Navy giftcard. They dont put gas in my car or food in my Kids mouth. NO THANKS!

Back to top
mobile desktop