Surprises

by Mike Masnick




Spare Change For Amazon.com?

from the it's-under-the-couch-here-somewhere dept

Jeff Bezos wants your spare change. Amazon.com has teamed up with Coinstar, the folks who put those machines in supermarkets everywhere and try to get you to dump your change into them in return for cash (for which they take an 8.9% fee). So, now, instead of being handed a receipt you can redeem at the grocery store register, you'll get a code you can use at Amazon.com. Apparently, if you get your coins redeem in Amazon dollars, Coinstar won't charge you the 8.9% -- which makes you wonder what Coinstar is getting out of the deal. Either way, it's an interesting way for Bezos and crew to try to get you to empty your piggy bank directly into the Amazon bank account.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 13 Sep 2005 @ 3:08am

    A Lebesgue Measure

    Do we define coins in the machine as a Borel set, Coinstar's cut as a lebesgue measure, customers as a finite sigma field? Does everybody get nothing, in the same way the integral of all rational numbers between 0 and 1 is 0, or do people get something for nothing, as zero raised to the zero power is 1?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      pat, 13 Sep 2005 @ 3:56am

      Re: A Lebesgue Measure

      dude. thats some complicated theories your throwing arround there.

      i recon coinstar will be keeping the money you put in until its reedeemed at amazon. how many ppl will cash in their change and then forget to reedeem their voucher online?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pete Austin, 13 Sep 2005 @ 6:15am

    That Dorpus comment in Googlejap

    私達は機械の?d貨をようにBorel セット, 有限なシグマ 分野として顧客lebesgue の測定として?リられるCoinstar's 定義するか. ゼ?がゼ?力へである1 ?繧ェるように, 皆は何も得 ない, 同じように0 と1 間のすべての有??狽フ全体0, または得る 何ものための何かを民を?Zまわせなさいか.Google translate. Assuming Techdirt's form can cope, that should be much better. BTW the value of coins is a scalar, but a Lebesgue Measure applies to volumes.

    I expect Amazon will be paying Coinstar, in return for the additional business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    WyerByter, 13 Sep 2005 @ 6:49am

    What Coinstar gets out of it.

    Obviously, Coinstar is going to charge Amazon.com that 8.9% or probably more. Meanwhile the increased sales at Amazon.com will offset the small loss (or at least, that is the hope).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Daniel (profile), 13 Sep 2005 @ 8:51am

      Re: What Coinstar gets out of it.

      actually amazon have a fairly good affiliate scheme, if it works on the same principal then they are making their money out of amazon by selling you the coupons. probably not quite a much money, but it may encourage you to use it more which offsets the amount.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mitch, 13 Sep 2005 @ 11:13am

    I give you $1, you give me $0.91. Good idea!

    I've always been checked that people would give money to a machine, and happily less money back.

    I suspect that Amazon is treating this like advertising, in that 8% (or less?) that CoinStar wants becomes a new sale.

    -Mitch

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Greg Andrew, 13 Sep 2005 @ 11:41am

    No Subject Given

    Coinstar is effectively buying Amazon gift certificates at a discount and then selling them to customers at full price. They've done this with a few other companies in the past, but Amazon is the first Internet retailer. For Amazon, this is similar to dealing with an affiliate, but the most important thing for Amazon is that this is a way to attract customers who don't have credit cards and so can't really order from Amazon over the net.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      aReader(), 13 Sep 2005 @ 12:39pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      You are right. The nearby Albertsons (grocery store) has a Coinstar machine and if you buy an Albertsons gift card, they don't charge any commission.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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