The end of a company with a very dumb idea


#1

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#2

corpus reductio ad absurdum


#3

Poor guy. I get the logic (save yourself a trip to get quarters), but it's a tough sell to get someone to pay 1.5 times the face value for money. The whole concept of commerce hinges on moving something from a place where it has less value to a place where it has more value. Moving money, which has exactly the same value at origin and destination, is...dumb.

Another problem is that there is 0 barrier to entry for competitors. If this model had worked, I would be competing with him by supper.


#4

I always trusted my change business to First CityWide Change Bank... They were always friendly and I didn't have to worry about them giving me 2000 nickels (unless that is what I wanted)


#5

Does the article mention the initial investment? Could be nothing more than a single webpage and a few days of hanging fliers? Why not give it a try?


#6


#7

Dollar coins? Now that's just loony.


#8

it's apparently an easier sell if you do both hope and change.


#9

i was with my friend and bought a soda with a dollar coin. he noticed me out of the corner of his eye and afterward asked "did you just buy a soda for a quarter?!"

"no, it was a dollar coin." "but you didn't have a dollar." "dollar. coin." "what?" "the coin i used has a face value of one american dollar." "ohhhh…"

it was pretty funny.


#10

I wonder what the payment processors objected to.


#11

Every so often the U.S. Treasury tries to get Americans to accept dollar coins but gets a lot of pushback, usually from older people who hate the idea of change (har!). Of course, those are usually the same people who like to remind everyone else that a quarter used to have the buying power that a dollar has today.

Also, who are the sentimental nincompoops who insist on keeping pennies around? How often do Americans really need to buy something that costs less than a nickel?


#12

i love dollar coins. funny point about the curmudgeons.

with pennies, i think the problem is inertia and talking points. if the democrats try to get rid of them, it'll be part of some Marxist scheme, and if the republicans try to get rid of them, it'll be part of some Koch brothers conspiracy. :-/


#13

Funny but true story about the pennies: the zinc lobby has a front group called Americans for Common Cents which exists solely to boost popular support for the penny.

You know your country has problems when the nation's monetary policy is being dictated by Big Zinc.


#14

If only they had initially been sold for 23 cents, as a limited promotion, washboard could still be in business.

I myself I would make a large order.


#15

I've had a few jobs working cash registers in the U.S. and Susan B. Anthony dollars were really hard to give back out as change. Many people didn't think it was real money or they thought you were trying to short-change them. I eventually gave up trying unless I was really short on paper one dollar bills.


#16

Well played, sir (or ma'am).

Ad #1:

https://screen.yahoo.com/first-citywide-change-bank-1-000000088.html

Ad #2:

https://screen.yahoo.com/first-citywide-change-bank-2-000000534.html

With apologies to those in geographies that are blocked.


#17

My old man - who did pretty well for himself - told me that the way to make money in this world was to stand in front of a pay phone with two dimes, waiting for a guy with a quarter.

I'm glad this spirit is still with us.


#18

tell that to Big Copper, who laughed at the idea of Zinc calling the shots.


#19

As dumb as that sounds, when I lived in SF every laundromat in walking distance of me used quarters exclusively (and usually had barely functional change machines).

When I was in Montemarte living in Eric Satie's fucking 17th century apartment the local laundromat used credit cards, but SF laundry is in the stone age.


#20

Dear Doofus: The kind of people who can afford to pay a 50% markup for a dubious boost in convenience generally can afford their own washing machines.

I love how he notes that absolutely everyone thought it was a stupid idea, but still seems to be convinced that it only failed because people wouldn't give it a fair shake, instead of because it was, y'know, a really stupid idea.