Coins-for-bills in San Francisco
March 30, 2004 2:53 PM   Subscribe

I have a bunch of American coinage (quarters, dimes, etc.) and I sure as hell don't want to count and roll it all. Do you know of a company or service that converts change to paper money for a small percentage? Bonus points for outlets in San Francisco.

I know there used to be a vending machine company that did this, but I've forgotten their name and haven't ever seen them around.
posted by squirrel to Work & Money (16 answers total)
That would be Coinstar.
posted by hyperizer at 2:57 PM on March 30, 2004

Many grocery stores (the Albertson's in my area, for instance) have machines that will take all your change and give you a receipt — they take 8%, or something like that. Some banks also perform this service, depending on your bank, you might ask around.
posted by brool at 3:02 PM on March 30, 2004

Almost any chain grocery in SF has those Coinstar machines, they will take 8-9% though. I recommend at least removing the quarters and possibly dimes, rolling those yourself, and letting the machine handle the rest.
posted by whoshotwho at 3:08 PM on March 30, 2004

This might sound like a stupid question [and I don't mean to imply anything by it] but have you asked your [or any] bank if they have a coin machine? I know that, during certain hours of the week, my bank will convert coins to paper money. I would never have known had I not asked, as it isn't an advertised offering.
posted by zorrine at 3:26 PM on March 30, 2004

I have some tubes like this, they work very well. The only annoying part is sorting them, which something like this would do for you. If you take coins to the CoinStar often enough, a do-it-yourself solution will prevent the loss in the long run.
posted by o2b at 3:26 PM on March 30, 2004

on preview: zorrine is absolutely right. I had a bank that counted coins for me for a while, and was shocked when my new bank wouldn't do it for me.
posted by o2b at 3:27 PM on March 30, 2004

If you have any quarters, halves, or dollars from 1964 or earlier, you might want to hang on to them, since their silver content makes them worth more than face value.
posted by hyperizer at 3:29 PM on March 30, 2004

My credit union has one of those machines, and it's in the lobby where presumably anyone can use. They don't take a percentage, so maybe it's only supposed to be used by members. You dump in the coins, it gives you a receipt, then you go to the teller with the receipt and get the cash.
posted by GaelFC at 3:32 PM on March 30, 2004

Response by poster: Wow. Thanks for all the input! Zorrine, I once made a trek to my bank with a big bag of pennies and they just gave me some rolling papers (cough), so I haven't tried since then. You're probably right, though... it probably depends on how busy they are and what their policy is. Thanks again, y'all.
posted by squirrel at 3:34 PM on March 30, 2004

The Cala foods at Hyde and California has such a machine - it charges a fee though (maybe you get 90 or 95 cents on the dollar).
posted by jasper411 at 4:03 PM on March 30, 2004

The funny thing is, you'll roll the coins with the wrappers the bank gives you...

...then they break open the wrappers in front of you at the counter and count (and check for validity) the coins. Yup, had this happen to me. Even for the pennies rolls.

So very pointless.
posted by shepd at 5:13 PM on March 30, 2004

I was gonna mention that the Cala at S. Van ness and 22nd has one of these machines. Looking at jasper411's comment above I'll venture to guess that most Cala stores have them?
posted by vacapinta at 5:25 PM on March 30, 2004

Take it to any small bar, or small business that do a lot of dealing in smaller currency (hence bars), and they'll be glad to take it off your hands, since they (in the UK at least, don't know about SF) usually have to pay for the priviledge of coinage.
posted by armoured-ant at 7:45 PM on March 30, 2004

Molly Stone's at Steiner/California has a Coinstar too.
posted by swank6 at 8:54 PM on March 30, 2004

I have those tubes o2b linked to and I did $700.00 in change in just a few hours. Turn on the TV and just go at it. It's easier and faster than you'll think it is, cheaper than having someone do it, and actually sort of fun. Sort of.

Now I just need to lug the 100lbs of change to the bank, which is the hard part.

Also, if you do roll it yourself, put your name, account #, and phone number on each roll before you go to the bank. I was turned back once because I didn't do this. Just print up some lables.
posted by bondcliff at 7:26 AM on March 31, 2004

I saw a coin sorter machine in a grocery store that (iirc) took a percentage and the receipt was redeemable only in that store and only within x number of hours.

I would second the idea of going to neighbourhood establishments and selling the coins. I often buy mugs of tea and newspapers with dimes and nickels. I don't like paying a rolled coin fee, even if it just coins.
posted by philfromhavelock at 8:22 PM on March 31, 2004

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