LazyWeb Request for the Locals: Coin Counting in Vancouver?

UPDATE – July 16, 2010 – Wayne confirmed that there’s still a coin counting machine (that, as below, takes a 10% commission) at the SuperValu at Commercial and 1st.

Speaking of pennies, I have a largish bowl next to my wallet-keys-watch-ring dish. when I come home, my spare change (minus loonies and toonies, which go in another bowl) goes into the bowl. Every six months or so, the bowl fills up.

In the past when that happened, I’d head up to the Safeway in the (ironically named) City Centre Mall at Cambie and 12th. They had a Coinstar machine. You dump your change in the machine, the machine counts and sorts, takes 10% for itself, and gives you a receipt for the rest. You go to one of the tills, and turn the receipt into cold, hard cash.

I headed up there the other day with my bucket of coinage, and discovered that the machine was gone.

Coinstar apparently no longer serves the Canadian market (at least they don’t have any other machines near me). I’m a lazy bastard, and don’t want to sort and roll the coins myself. What alternatives (aside from, you know, giving them charity, which is an option I suppose) do I have?

75 comments

  1. There was an RBC machine in the international terminal at the airport, well, if you feel like going there!
    btw, how can one return these to bank? I mean should I get a special paper or something to roll the coins in?

  2. There’s a machine at the IGA on Burrard (at least there was 2 months ago when I used it) that does all the counting for you and takes them off your hands for a small fee.

  3. Banks, at least my bank (Bank of Montreal), only accepts pre-wrapped coins. You can get the paper from the banks (really crappy cos’ they give out flat pieces of paper) or get better ones (stiffer paper that holds its shape) from the loonie stores.

  4. Call your bank and ask if they will take them. I think some banks will take your coins without them being wrapped. IMO they should all be required too. Then they just need to get a little sorting machine and it works out well for everyone.

  5. I once sold a large jar of change to a friend at a garage sale I was having for $20. “Sucker”, I thought, “What’s he ever going to do with that!”.

    That’s when I first heard about change counting machines, and my “friend” made $40!

  6. Think of the trips the Brink’s trucks would save (less fuel, less pollution, less traffic congestion) if we used the change in our pockets to pay for coffee or lunch, and we would not have the dilemma of how to deal with buckets full of coins that are emptied from our pockets every day 🙂

  7. The old-fashioned solution is best for this. Lose the saucers, jars, and other containers. Search out the loose change in your sofa or that wide, flat middle desk drawer, and dump it all into a piggy bank.

    Then once it’s full, roll it.

    I know, I know–you don’t want to roll it yourself. Okay–a significant other into helping roll the coinage. This means:

    1) She/he/they feel it’s a “together” thing that will “strengthen the relationship”.

    2) You feel that it’s a cheap night in.

    3) You make money on the deal.

    Finally a romantic evening that will show a material profit!

    The piggy bank in that picture cost me 99¢ plus tax at my local dollar store.

  8. Safeway decided that the Coinstar machines looked awlfully profitable and announced that they are going to start up an in-house operation, so that they can keep all of the penny tithes themselves. So Coinstar pulled all of their machines. Now there are no machines around Vancouver and neither US-owned company will denign to tell us when or at what locations machines may reappear. Safeway just says that they don’t know who is calling the shots in-house. Coinstar offers to locate Canadian locations on their website, but just serves up Washington state addresses if you click on Canada. And calling Coinstar just gets you a dense CSR that suggests trying Tesco (the closest one being in Europe). A regular comedy. So if that IGA really has a machine, it might be the only one, or at least one of the very few still extant around Vancouver.

  9. Hilarious. I did a search for coin machines in Vancouver and found your article. sounds exactly like what happened to me about 6 months ago. last time I strolled into the safeway. only now I have 3 huge jars full of coins. the term “lazy bastard” definitely applies on this one.
    I’ll try IGA or perhaps a Casino.
    thanks.

  10. lol i was just searching for a coin machine myself i think ill try the caisnos and as for coinstar and safeway what a bunch of idiots

  11. I should have done this search before I went to the Safeway where I was so sure there was a machine.
    I’m going to IGA.
    I like being lazy!

  12. Just back from the IGA with $45 crinkling in my pocket. Still have ten pounds of pennies though. Filled up the machine. The floor manager, as he was fishing my uncounted coins from the hopper, said the coin counter usually fills up sometime on Sunday but almost never on other days.

  13. I just spent 15 minutes at the machine in IGA and walked away with a juicy $256! Yeehaw!

  14. ok so i went yesterday. i strapped the 15 pound bag of coins to my back in a back pack and went to the IGA. I brought my long board and couldn’t even ride it cause the coins kept throwing me off! i get there with a sharp pain in my shoulder, and the coin machine was busted….. sigh….

  15. yeah so I went there(IGA downtown) and prior to going made sure I called them to make sure it was working…. but wait…. nope I had to haul my bag o’ change there to find out the teller is a morron and didn’t even look to see if it was opperational.. litterally 5 mins before going there. take your chances change rollers!!!

  16. Called IGA and the coin machine is still down. Apparently the guy suspects it will be “gone” pretty soon.

    Doesn’t anyone love coin counting machines???

    Calling River Rock Casino…

  17. Was just at the Burrard IGA this morning (for the 3rd time in 3 wks) – machine was broken. I talked to a manager who said all coin counting machines are all being removed from IGA stores because they break down so often.

    Those little plastic coin containers are looking better and better . . . .

  18. so..these machines disappeared from all safeways, reportedly due to them breaking down. they then had a short stint in the igas…i just called the iga near work, on burrard, to see if their’s was working and they told me that the machines were yanked out of all igas due to petty crime. i asked what petty crime and they told me that crooks were copying the receipts that were handed over for the cash. so, as a result, all the machines are gone. another thing ruined by small time crooks.

  19. River Rock Casino will do it, for free, at the Main Cage. But not if it’s a huge amount (over $100 I suspect). I just got off the phone with them. Going to do a trip there and then hit the Ikea afterwards! Make a day of it.

  20. 10% of $300 is $30. For that, you can get the manual Sorting Tray (not shown on web site) and the Counting Tray from Staples…

    for $40 you can get a machine…

    Not sure what to do with the rolls once u are done…

  21. Wecome to Canada where the simplest things can turn into day long ordeals. Anybody, interested in partnering to buy a couple of machines???

  22. I just carried 16lbs worth of quarters up to IGA on Burrard, but the machine’s gone now, dammit.

    Anyone care to guess how much that is in real money?

  23. I have about 45lbs worth of change. Quadrupled bagged the thing and have to carry it with two hands. 10% is a heck of a lot.

    This things will take me hours to wrap. What can I do with this change!?

  24. I bought a coin sorter from Staples for 30 bucks (on special at present). It occasionally misdirects the smaller coins into the wrong slots, but it’s a lot faster than sorting by hand – you can pick out the odd mistake easily.

    You can buy pre-formed wrappers too, and larger coins are a breeze to wrap (dimes and pennies are a bit fiddly). I did over 500 dollars in about half an hour.

  25. Okay… here is my business plan:
    1) Get a hybrid car – and a truck
    2) Get that coin tech machine with a battery powersupply
    3) Advertise on the internect
    4) Drive TO peoples houses and take their money
    5) Give them cash to start.. and then, cheques once it starts taking off.

    Go to the bank

    Z should get in touch with me at javakinetic with would could possibly be a gmail ending

  26. Phoned cascades casino in langley and they said to head to the cashiers cage and they will do it for free.

  27. well I just read a years worth of the the “lazy bastard coin machine” issue…(I do love those machines..). what a funny story to read guess I’ll try the casino too…..wish me luck!!!

  28. this is turning into a forum. 😛
    Ive got $70 in change and am taking it to the bank in bags on monday. I’ll let you know if they take em loose.

  29. I just bought a coin sorter/digital counter. I live in the West-End by King George highschool.

    I can dump your change into my machine, get a digital read out of how much you have and I’ll give you cash on the spot… I’ll roll up the coinage and walk it over to the bank- on MY time.

    10% service charge sounds reasonable.

    email me at j-presley@hotmail.com… I’m available on weekends.

      1. I just went to Supervalu on Commercial and 1st and collected my $55 after the 10% commission charge. Quick and easy! They only do it between 8am and 5pm.

  30. Are there any machines around vancouver?

    From reading the comments it seems that none exist anymore.
    What is this comment about supervalu on Commerial and 1st.. do they have a machine, or some people process it there??

    1. I called the Supervalu on Commercial and they confirm the still have it. In operation between 8:30am and 4:30pm now.

  31. Thanks for all the info, I love the interweb. Going to Comm and 1st to get rid of my unruly amount of nickels and pennies! f’n yay!

  32. Hi everyone i just read all the notes for the coin machines in Safeway and IGA well that was me the company was not coinstar it was Coinage Distribution Inc. i had the coin units in all Safeways and IGA the coin units were getting old and would break down more then you even know so i took them out.

    BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS

    im bringing them all back brand new machines curently working with Safeway in Alberta and will also trying to get them back into IGA so stay tune. i will also change the fee to help both the store and the customer.
    if you want cash for your coin there will be the same fee you had before. if you would like to change the coins for a store gift card it will be free to you or a small fee.

    i hope i helped

    chris

    canadian coin solutions & coinage Distribution Inc

  33. Hooray- there is a coin machine at the new BMO branch in North Vancouver at Lonsdale & Esplanade.

    BTW- no fees!!

    1. Are you sure? As far as I´ve seen, there isn´t a bmo branch at Londsdale and Esplanade? Are you sure you’re not talking about Londsdale and 16th?

  34. I was at the SuperValu on Commerical last weekend (16th Sep 2010), and the coin sorting machine was gone. I asked somebody working there what happened to it, but they hadn’t even noticed it wasn’t there anymore.

  35. Really dude?
    First off, It’s not “ironic” that City centre is named as such. It’s pretty much the middle of Vancouver, not to mention ACROSS THE STREET FROM CITY HALL.
    Second, if you’re too lazy to … sort money? Give it away. God, I wouldn’t have found this website if I was poor as hell and needing to sort change to buy food. I would give anything to have the issue of having too much extra money for my poor working hands to have to sort. Get over yourself.

  36. I just called SuperValu on Commercial and they said they did have one but it broke down and they never fixed it.

  37. HI EVERYONE HERE IS AN UPDATE ON THE COIN MACHINES. CURRENTLY I HAVE WORKED OUT A PROGRAM WITH REAL CANADIAN SUPER STORE SHORTLY YOU WILL SEE COIN UNITS IN ALL STORES ACROSS CANADA. AND WORKING ON A LARGE BANK AND A DRUG STORE CHAIN.

    IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFO YOU CAN CONTACT ME AT
    chris@ccoins.ca

    all the best

  38. There is a free coin machine at the BMO at the foot of Lonsdale in North Van. They don’t charge you anything, and you don’t have to be a BMO member (I’m not). The machine gives you a receipt, an you bring it to the teller, who pays you out in bills.

  39. The coin-changing machine that used to be at SuperValu has been moved to the Canadian Tire at Cambie and 7th. It charges an 11.9% fee.

  40. The coin-changing machine is alive & well at Canadian Tire at Cambie & 7th, right beside the coin cutter stand near the entrance/exit. Thanks to this thread for helping me find it! Had $85 cashed!

  41. Hey Guys,
    I was in the same situation: looking for a coin counting machine since a friend of mine who went to California left me his coins that he had on a bag. After almost six months looking for a machine to exchange them, I found this blog and tried the machine at Canadian Tire on Cambie. The machine was out of service becuase it only changes a limited amount per day. After the limit exceeds, the machine fills up and does has to be emptied by it’s operator. I wasted my trip there with a bag of coins weighing around 30 pounds. Somewhere on the internet I read that BMO has coin counting machines for free and I stoped at the closest one. They told me that the one at Oakridge Mall had one of those machines and guess what….Voila!!! The machine was good and the service was amazing..a couple of lovely Asians attended me with a big smile but the best of all is that the bag of coins totaled more than 132 dollars….sweet! Bad news that a lady before me had just counted 550 dollars and therefore, when I counted mine, it filled up and couldn’t change them all. But I got 132 and still have around 20 more to change. The best of all is that they don’t charge you for changing your coins….is totally free

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