Do you know about the coin machine at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre? We first noticed it back in December when we were at the mall doing some Christmas shopping, and ever since then, we have been meaning to go back. This past weekend we finally made it there with our collection of coins. It only took us three months to get back to the mall. I would like to say it’s because we are not big shoppers (true), but the real reason is more truthfully laziness and procrastination.
To take a step back for a moment, these coin machines have been around for quite a while. We have one at our local monstrous grocery store, but most of these machines take a 10% cut of your coins before spitting back out the appropriate number of bills. I never thought this was a bad deal, and I was never unwilling to pay that 10% in order to avoid rolling all of my coins, or just letting them sit in their jars indefinitely.
The coin machine at St. Laurent is different though; it doesn’t take a cut at all, though neither does it give you back cash for your coins. After loading it up with all of your change, it spits out a voucher that can be redeemed for a St. Laurent gift card, which can then be used at most of the stores in the mall (there are a few exceptions, notably most of the food outlets). It was perfect for us since we needed to pick up some things for the girls.
We transferred our two jars and three piggies worth of coins into plastic bags before leaving for the mall. When we arrived, we went to the machine and started to load it up. N and B were huge helps pushing all of the coins to the side and into the depths of the machine for counting. We had so much, it took us about 15 minutes to get through it all. The machine rejected a lot of our dimes, and it wasn’t fooled by Euros or British coins either. We kept reloading the dimes and eventually most were accepted, though we did walk away with about 10 that it just kept spitting back out.
The grand total? $254.
It was like getting free money for a shopping spree. The girls have new spring coats, new art supplies and a few other things too. It wasn’t completely glitch free, however. Using the card at stores caused a bit of confusion because the scanners at the stores spit out the bill like a Master Card receipt, which has a place for a signature. Some stores made us sign, but some didn’t. All seemed confused.
All in all though, this seems like a brilliant idea to get people to spend money at your mall. St. Laurent is out of the way for us, and we never would have gone there this weekend if we hadn’t known about their coin machine.