Saturday, May 13, 2006


Yesterday, Tom shared his favorite sushi spot with us. Today, he reminds us how easy it is to convert our spare change into something more useful. Last year Hansel introduced Tom to Guys’ Night Out and the Thursday crew has been fortunate to be able to get to know him ever since. Sadly, Tom is moving back East next week to attend business school, but he promises to send updates from Duke. Tom writes:

The other day I was cleaning out some drawers (my life is so exciting at times), and I came across a bag of coins. Then, I came across more coins, and still more coins. Apparently, 8 years of placing my loose change into this drawer has resulted in a LOT of coins.

I couldn't imagine sorting, rolling, and counting up all those coins to take to the bank, so I started looking for some alternatives. After just a bit of surfing, I came across the website for Coinstar. At first, I was discouraged by their service fee of 8.9%. Way too high. After a little investigating, I discovered that there was no service charge if I converted my coins into an Amazon eCertificate. Other company certificates available include Starbucks and Borders. You can also donate your coins to charity with no fee and take a nice tax deduction.

I was a bit skeptical of how well this would work, so I took a small bag of coins to the local machine to give it a test. To my surprise, the machine wasn't out of order, and everything went smoothly. The machine was a bit loud, but not unbearably so, and it sorted the coins very quickly. After finishing, out came an eCertificate for Amazon.

So, I went home, gathered up the rest of my coins, and went back to the Coinstar machine. After about 10 minutes of shoveling in coins, I had another eCertificate, with a total value of something near $400. Not bad for cleaning out my drawers. I even managed to mostly avoid looking like a dork while lugging all those coins into the store.