Small business opportunity for coin hunters?

Discussion in 'Coin Roll Hunting' started by Brent Miller, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Brent Miller

    Brent Miller New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I just retired from the fire Department and am looking for a small business opportunity. I really want to find something that includes my interest, like looking for valuable coins! I’ve tried to get my foot in the door of the “coinstar” type machines, but that’s proving harder than I thought. Does anyone have any suggestions for a small business that would allow a lot of access to lots of coinage? So far I’ve researched laundry mats and vending machine routes the obvious things like that but seems most modern businesses are trying to get away from coins and into cashless transactions or cards. Thanks for any thoughts or advice you might have!
    SlipperySocks likes this.
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  3. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

    There are also vending routes for gaming machines like pool tables, video games and juke boxes, and many of these still rely on quarter slots. The down side is that you need to have (or provide) the ability to fix these machines when they break down.

  4. NOS

    NOS Former Coin Hoarder

    Do you need a reliable and consistent income now that you're retired? If you're fully retired, are in decent physical shape, and don't need a regular-type job anymore you can make coin searching a full time job by buying rolls, boxes and bags of coins from banks. Buy them, search them, and return what you don't keep elsewhere from where you bought them.

    Some full-time searchers with the right banking connections go through dozens of boxes a week, for example. You're not likely to get rich but there are good finds to be found out there.
    Mannie gray likes this.
  5. Hommer

    Hommer Curator of Semi Precious Coinage Supporter

  6. SlipperySocks

    SlipperySocks Well-Known Member

    Good luck. Hope you find the right thing.
  7. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    Maybe a local church will let you count and bag the collection plates/envelopes income and you can exchange bills for the change.
    jonathan layne likes this.
  8. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    And, from what I've seen reported here, they get an effective dollars-per-hour rate WAY below minimum wage.

    Searching change or rolls can be a great pastime, but it seems like it would be a lousy business.
    Dougmeister likes this.
  9. NOS

    NOS Former Coin Hoarder

    Well yes, I know that. Searching through coins doesn't typically pay in the long run and generally shouldn't be relied upon as a money-making endeavor. It's something that should be done more for fun and as a hobby. This is why I asked if he needs a "reliable and consistent income now" and mention if he's "fully retired" and doesn't "need a regular-type job anymore" and stipulate that he's not likely to get rich from doing it (which was edited off from my quote?). It's not yet clear if he actually needs a regular-type income or is looking more to pass the time now.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  10. Brent Miller

    Brent Miller New Member

    NOS likes this.
  11. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

    Buy Brinks or Loomis. :)

    Congrats on your retirement.
  12. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Enjoy your retirement, I am.
  13. Danigirl

    Danigirl New Member

    Car wash in an older part of your city may still be coin operated and not as much liability or maintenance required as laundry mat.
  14. Brent Miller

    Brent Miller New Member

    Thanks for everyone’s input I really do appreciate it! I think I’m going with buying my own machine, placing it in hopefully a lower income part of the city and splitting the fees with the owner of the store. If not there then a credit union.
  15. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Well-Known Member

    Back in 1965 when I was 16 I volunteered to work as cashier at the hotdog,hamburger & soda stand at the fireman’s field days just to search the coins. Found my 16d merc there.
    NOS likes this.
  16. NOS

    NOS Former Coin Hoarder

    If you end up going this route I'd make sure you are able to calibrate whatever machine you get to accept silver coins, as well as older coins that may be thin and/or worn.

    While it can be fruitful for collectors to find coins in the reject slots of Coinstar machines, they are well known for being picky and rejecting perfectly good silver and coins that are worn yet may still be desirable (which is a loss for whomever has access to the coins after they are taken out of the machines for processing).
  17. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    And hope you don't get too many slugs as a result. I don't think most machines come with "silver yes/no" knobs, and the more you widen the tolerance of what the machine will accept (if that's even possible), the more non-coin things you're likely to get.
  18. NOS

    NOS Former Coin Hoarder

    If one has the resources, funding, and were to engineer their own machine it could be done with ease (surely Coinstar had/has the resources to allow for their machines to be developed to accurately accept silver) but yeah, you're right on about this.

    This puts the OP in kind of a bind as he wants to use the coin-counting enterprise to look for "valuable coins". That basically leaves finding silver, errors and rare dates (of which the latter is rarely encountered in circulation).
  19. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    I've got it! I'll set up a fake CoinStar machine that has an XRF analyzer built in! Of course, customers might start to wonder why it takes five or ten seconds to count each coin...
  20. NOS

    NOS Former Coin Hoarder

    Oh, please. I know you're being sarcastic but there are a myriad of ways coins can be validated. Clad coins have special properties that vending machines (and counters) use to key off of to determine authenticity. Silver coins also have their own attributes that can be identified swiftly and easily with the right engineering and calibration.
  21. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Yeah, I was only joking, not snarking.

    I know a bit about electromagnetic properties like permeability and conductivity, a bit more about color and reflectivity, and the usual amount about mass/inertia/moment/etc. I have ideas about distinguishing metal properties on the fly. Heck, we may be getting close to a point where a vision system (camera and image-analysis software) wouldn't add much more to the cost of a machine than credit-card handling does now.

    I don't have much appreciation of the engineering challenges in building a machine that measures those properties, classifies coins in a fraction of a second, and gives an acceptably low number of false positives (accepting a slug) and false negatives (rejecting a good coin). Much less handling a steady stream of grimy coins without getting jammed or blinded, much less dealing with mechanical wear over time.

    Putting together a classroom (or YouTube) physics demo is fairly easy and fun. Building a (sometimes literally!) bulletproof mechanism to be manufactured and deployed "in the wild" is another thing entirely.
    NOS likes this.
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