I’m a Lincoln cent collector and I recently got back into searching
coin rolls. My area banks refuse to give me more than a few dollars
worth at a time, even if I have an account. Nobody seems willing to
place orders for you anymore. Do you have any suggestions?
Bill O’Rourke, who writes Coin World’s weekly “Found in
Rolls” column, graciously provides a number of tips for would-be roll
searchers, such as Mr. Mitchell.
O’Rourke suggests establishing accounts at more than one bank or
financial institution, then buying rolled coins at one bank and
getting rid of the rolls at another bank.
“I have a ‘free’ checking account set up at a few banks so I can
pick rolls up from one and drop them off at another,” O’Rourke says.
The reticence many banks have dealing with collectors is because
rolled coins incur costs above their face value. For that reason,
banks often view the coming and going of rolled coins via collectors
as a waste of their time and resources.
O’Rourke says: “Banks and credit unions use counting companies
like Brinks, Garda and Wells Fargo to provide them with coins, and the
average shipping cost can be as much as $2 to $3 per box. Some banks
don’t want to take on that extra cost just so ‘roll searchers’ like us
can ‘play.’ In the overall scheme of things, as much as we believe
that a bank is there to provide us with coins or cash, that is not
really their purpose.”
As well, O’Rourke suggests doing banks a favor by taking excess
coins off their hands.
“One time I was waved into a bank branch in a supermarket where a
good customer of theirs dropped off a big pile of half dollars,”
O’Rourke says. “Banks don’t like halves, so I did them a favor. Silver
was everywhere in those rolls.”
O’Rourke encourages roll searchers to become friendly with their
local bank employees, even so far as to ask the bank to call if
someone drops off a large number of rolled coins.
“One of the banks I use will actually call me if a customer drops
off an unusually large amount of coins, mostly unsearched,” he says.
“If I pick up the excess coins, I am doing that bank a favor by saving
them shipping costs.”
One way to become friendly, he says, is to take an online or phone
survey about a recent transaction made at the bank. “Some banks take
these surveys very seriously to the point of even asking for a
teller’s first name,” he says.
Until a relationship with a bank is established, O’Rourke says
hobbyists should content themselves with a few rolls here and there.
Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins
or other items for examination without prior permission from staff
member Erik Martin. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety
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