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Coinstar has recently created a promotion where they are taking away the fees for using their coin-counting kiosks when you take a gift card or e-certificate instead of cash.

Now you can exchange your coins for FREE when you load the value onto a card or eCertificate for big name brands. That’s right, there is no coin counting fee when you choose this option. So grab your coin jar and change your coins into something you love.
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They have partnered with major brands such as Amazon, Borders, iTunes, Cabela’s, Lowe’s, Starbucks, Old Navy and others. [full list here]

While I see this as a great way to drive more use of their coin-counting machines, and creating a win for consumers and partners, a very important brand is missing from the list – Redbox.

As I have mentioned before, it only makes sense for Coinstar to drive more traffic to Redbox, and this is an easy way to do it. How about letting consumers print promo codes in lieu of cash?
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Do you use Coinstar’s coin-counting services? Would you use it more if you could turn spare change into Redbox rentals without paying the usual fees?

21 Responses to “Coinstar Coin Counting for Free, But Something Is Missing”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Steven [visitor]

    Wow – that could be a ton of Redbox promo codes at $1/shot. Maybe Redbox could come up with their own gift card (credit card format) which you could use for Redbox after the fact.

  2. Member [Join Now]
    LABASAUTOMOTIVE [labasautomotive]

    i would never pay a fee for counting my own change. check with your personal bank to see if they do it for free if you have accounts there. i know my bank, PNC does this.

    • Member [Join Now]

      Totally agree with you. Same as paying ATM fees (except for true emergencies). My local bank has a coin-counting machine and will, for free, put their customers coins through. It’s especially handy when our church’s youth group has a ‘noisy Sunday”:)

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Stephanie PTY [visitor]

    Recent promotion? I was under the impression that Coinstar was always free as long as you got it as a giftcard. At least, that’s the way the machine at my local grocery store always had it.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    John Small [visitor]

    Umm, it is amazing how little you know about business here.

    Coinstar will get a small percentage cut of all the cards that they sell (probably in the 3-12% range depending on the retailer).

    If Coinstar started handing out Redbox cards, they would lose all profitability on their coin machines which is what is keeping the company alive.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Johnny Knox [visitor]

    @John Small If you look at Coinstar’s profits from last year (prior to the Redbox buyout) and this year.. how can you possibly believe that the coin machines are what’s keeping the company alive? DVD’s make them more money in 3 months than the coin business does in a year. You should be a little less critical of other people.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    dmean [visitor]

    Just out of curiosity, how would you propose they implement a promo code system? It seems like it would be quite problematic.

    A giftcard system might work, but I’m sure would take a lot of modification to their system. Plus, they would have to make the customer swipe a credit card in addition to the giftcard. (Remember, they have to be able to charge up to $25 if the DVD is not returned.)

    • Administrator
      Michael [administrator]

      Issuing promo codes would be simpler for the consumer, I think, as the machine could just email the code to you. Then, you would use the code like any other Redbox code, which requires your credit card.

      A gift card system would work well, too, and is actually a preferred method for me. The only thing they would have to do is cause the gift card to be “activated” after you received it. Activating it would simply require you to go online (or call a number) and link it your credit card or existing Redbox account.

      I personally would LOVE to see a Redbox gift card system, because then I could give out Redbox gift cards to users of this site.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        rb [visitor]

        The Redbox gift card system is an excellent idea. Activating the gift card only by linking to your charge or debit card seems to be the answer to solve a lot of questions/problems involving if someone uses the gift card but never returns the dvd, how can Redbox recoup it’s $25 fee for the unreturned dvd.. You should present the idea to Redbox. If I came up with the idea I’d be on the phone with Redbox right now!

      • Member [Join Now]
        Mark [rb123456789]

        In order to print codes or transfer funds online you would need the Coinstar machines to be online. Are they now? I wouldn’t think so, though I’ve never used one so I could be wrong.

        And given how unreliable Redbox emails are, emailing promo codes is a complete loser of an idea to me. No way would I trust them to get that right.

  7. Member [Join Now]
    The Turnip [the-turnip]

    Oddly enough, the only time I ever used a Coinstar machine, I traded my coins for a Hollywood Video gift card. I do like the idea of getting one-time-use promo codes in exchange for coins. Are the machines capable of printing? If not, could they send the codes by email?

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    rb [visitor]

    In my local grocery and Walmart stores, the Coinstar machine is right next to the Redbox kiosk. Therefore, I agree the smartest move for Coinstar would be for the Coinstar machine to print out 1x Redbox promo codes in lieu of charging you to use the Coinstar machine. Since Coinstar owns Redbox, it seems like a win-win situation for Coinstar/Redbox as it would increase traffic for both. However, what would then stop the Management of the Walmarts, or grocery stores, or any other large business that has a Coinstar/Redbox in it from just dumping all their registers cashboxes change/coins (thousands of dollars worth)for counting at the end of each day into the Coinstar machines for hundreds of free 1x Redbox codes? How do these large businesses deal now with all the coins in their cash registers at the end of the day anyway? Do these large businesses make a drop off of all their bills/ coins at their banks 1x daily or what?

    • Member [Join Now]
      Mark [rb123456789]

      How is it a win-win? Increasing zero profit traffic to their coin counting machines is not a win for that division.

      And yes, typically retail businesses deposit their bills daily (or frequently at least). Checks too, though in a lot of cases these days businesses are installing scanners and just transmitting checks to the banks electronically. Debit cards have reduced the amount of cash tendered though so there isn’t as much as in the past.

      And typically on balance they take fewer coins in than they give out in change, there are more people who pay with bills and get change than people who pay with exact change.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        rb [visitor]

        It’s a win-win situation for both Coinstar and Redbox because if a customer has used one but is not familiar with/hasn’t used the other, then it introduces that customer to the other. The only way I, as a now Redbox customer, became familiar and started to use Redbox at all was when my local grocery store printed out a Redbox promo code on my receipt because/after I bought certain frozen food items. Until then, I’d alway seen that big red box at the entrance of the grocery store, but never really paid attention and just walked on by. Likewise, customers who now use Redbox but never paid attention to the Coinstar machine might be inclined to try it out if they’d be getting a few free redbox codes for doing so….. And customers who now use Coinstar but never paid attention to/tried out the big red kiosk next to the Coinstar machine just might be inclined to do so if they received some free redbox codes when they turned in their change at the Coinstar. People are crammed with information daily and can only pay attention to/handle so much, so it’s become second nature to just pass by the unfamiliar–unexamined. Just like the free Redbox promo code at the bottom of my grocery receipt helped me stop/examine/introduce me to the big red kiosk that I’d otherwise passed by –well, so might Redbox promo codes from Coinstar help introduce Coinstar customers to Redbox, and Redbox customers to Coinstar. Win-win situation since Coinstar owns Redbox.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    CowNow [visitor]

    I have only used coinstar once so far, and needed it to be in cash rather than a gift card as it was ear-marked as vacation money. If it was just going to be grocery money, or back into the back account, I would have opted for the Wal-Mart gift card. Had it gone to a RedBox card, I would have had a lot of credits for future movie rentals, but you could hardly consider them as “promos” since I would still be spending MY money for the rental. Even if it was set up so that by using the card at RedBox for a kind of “rent one, get one free” deal, it would still be my own funds financing it. Instead of charging a fee, if CoinStar paid out the cash, and THEN issued a “rent one, get one” coupon (multiples determined by how much cash was turned in?) they would lose the initial fees, but get it back by the user then having an incentive to use RedBox. There’s your “win-win” for both CoinStar/RedBox and the consumer.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bar [visitor]

    Coinstar just sold off the entertainment division. I assume that would I include redbox. This may be why we don’t see
    anything connected with gift cards.

    • Member [Join Now]
      Mark [rb123456789]

      The “entertainment division” consisted of kiddie rides, skill cranes and videogames. They consider Redbox to be “retail” not “entertainment”. They sold the division so they could cencentrate on (and use their capital for) growing Redbox and coin counting. Mostly Redbox.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    cash counter [visitor]

    well, why haven’t anyone thought of this before!?? this setup is brilliant! even just itunes, amazon, borders and starbucks already makes it worth it. this is great news!