Use the penny to start a retail revolution

By rounding only those cash transactions that do not end in 5 or 0, retailers can effectively take the penny out of circulation.

http://business380.com/2012/02/19/use-the-penny-to-start-a-retail-revolution/

Good idea?

Yes, well, it’s been going on like than in Australia for the last 20 years. The 1-cent and 2-cent coins were withdrawn in 1992, and I don’t think anyone misses them.

Yes! Please do this.

Oh thank god I thought you were going to advocate buying everything in pennies!

Pennies? What’re those? My money comes out of a plastic card.

1989 in New Zealand. We also dropped the 5c coin in 2006, it seems no-one misses that either.

It makes me a little sick to read that people throw out pennies. I used to spend entire afternoons collecting pop bottles and cashed them in for a few cents each. Bought a lot of my sodas that way with the money I collected with pop bottles when I was 9. Then I could afford to use my allowance for comics.

I put most of my change in a jar and cash it in about 3 times a year. Including the pennies.

When pennies are deprecated, or when merchants or other people just decide to boycott them, you be sure that most non-5 and non-0 prices will be rounded UP to the next nickel.

Side thought: What will happen to gasoline prices at the pump? Will they still all be x.xx[sup]9[/sup]/[sub]10[/sub] per gallon?

I worked in a restaurant 40 years ago that did this. All prices ended in 0 or 5, and we would round the sales tax to the nearest nickel. No customer ever said anything - I don’t know if anyone noticed.

I’m sure of no such thing since apparently it’s not an issue in Australia and no merchant would want the resulting bad publicity at the attempt.

Sure, why not? You get back your 3/10 of a cent change often?

psshht.

It’s a great idea, but it’s been kicked around for a few decades now. I don’t see how it will ever happen.

At this point - I’d say get rid of the the penny, the nickel and the dime. None of them are worth enough (real money value) to be worth the coining, transactional and labor (counting small change) value.

The sad thing is - there’s so much wrong with US politics that this is nearly an impossibility.

Any congress-person that proposes it - there will immediately be a (stupid) backlash by (an ignorant) populace - “OMG YOU JUST WANT BUSINESSES TO BE ABLE TO CHARGE AN EXTRA $0.10 ON EVERY PURCHASE!”

at the same time, no matter who proposed it, Republican or Democrat, the ENTIRE other side in both houses would immediately side up and kill any chance of a bill.

The "pro"s would say, “The REPUBLICRAT PARTY IS AGAINST MONETARY EFFICIENCY, COMMON SENSE, AND REDUCED EXPENDITURES BY THE US MINT!”

The "con"s would say, “The DEMOLICAN PARTY IS TRYING TO FORCE MORE COST ONTO THE WORKING CLASS BY ALLOWING BUSINESSES TO ROUND UP! HAVE THEY NO IDEA OF HISTORY? MY GRANDPARENTS USED PENNIES, NICKELS AND DIMES AND IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEM! WHY DO THEY HATE OUR GRANDPARENTS?”

…seriously, people. Democracy never works. Especially in this case. :wink:

Funny video on the subject

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77C47XYm_3c

BTW my mother’s restaurant does this and it is a lot easier to make change and more importantly no carrying STUPID PENNIES from the bank when she needs coins. The only down side is that the restaurant always has a surplus of pennies since some people pay with pennies and there is no outflow of pennies so she has jars of them.

I always toyed with the idea of scoring each of the pennies down to the zinc. Place the pennies in an acid (i think it was an acid, i did it in high school chemistry) and have pure copper. I believe the price of the copper in each penny is worth more than 1 cent. Of course this is illegal. I think even the chemistry experiment I did in high school was also illegal since I destroyed that penny.

The smallest coins in Thailand are half-baht and quarter-baht, worth slightly more and slightly less than a penny respectively. You’ll get them in change only on certain items and only at a large chain like 7-Eleven or Big C. The Post Office charges 2.5 baht per envelope, but you’ll lose a half-baht every time you buy an odd number of envelopes.

Even 1-baht pricing is avoided at regular markets. If something is 7 baht per unit you can almost assume without asking it will be three units for 20 baht. An exception is clothing which is invariably sold for 99 baht (or 199 baht or 299 baht) per piece at regular markets. :smack:

There are major multi-billion dollar ripoffs still in progress in the U.S.A., but they aren’t mundane or pointless enough to mention here. Instead

:confused:
The efficient market hypothesis has many defects. But it is far far more valid than many laymen seem to credit.

If one postulates an equivalence between minimum wages, the Thai 1-baht coin corresponds with almost 20 U.S. cents, yet I’ve never heard Thais complaining that they don’t get their half-baht change. Perhaps the U.S. penny is on the list with motherhood, apple pies, and personal semi-automatic weapons as quintessentially American.

Bad idea. I take about $500 in pennies to the bank every year. Pennies are real money.

I get fractional amounts on some of my investments. If the stock exchange thinks fractions of a penny are real money, that should tell you something.

Nobody is going to argue that they are not real money, but are they a useful representation of money?
Isn’t it telling that you’re hauling all those pennies to the bank instead of using it to pay for things?

Five hundred dollars in pennies? What do you do that you get that many pennies in change over the course of a year? That’s a thousand rolls of pennies.

The fact is that it costs the government more than one cent to make each penny (something like $0.018 per penny). And the American one-cent coin is one of the lowest-value coins in the world. Aside from the pressure from the zinc lobby, there is no reason that the US needs to make pennies and we would be better off without them. I’d like to see a large retailer like Walmart or Target agree to five-cent rounding.

I’d be for elimination of the penny ONLY if we can round down, not up.

I just processed over $1000 in pennies through CoinStar from the fountains at my mall for a Make-A-Wish donation. I netted $940 that went to the charity. Other charities got the nickels, dimes and quarters. The pennies filled 28 plastic coffee cans, each weighing, IIRC, 22 pounds.

And that’s from just 6 months of people making wishes and throwing in their coins. It was a much bigger donation than we would ever have gotten from asking individuals for donations. So I think there are many charities throughout the country that would hate to see the penny disappear.

The problem isn’t the penny. The problem is the stupid American custom of not including tax in the purchase. You want to eliminate small coins? Pass a federal law stating the merchants are not allowed to charge more than the price listed on the label.

However it’s arguable that if there were no pennies, even though fewer people might be throwing in change, it would be nickels instead, and the total would be higher.

Merchants would wouldn’t have more motivation to price things so that they came out evenly- they’d still probably find they sold more of something that was priced, including tax, at 99 cents , than if it was priced at 1 dollar even