From Techdirt:

Jeff Bezos wants your spare change.

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

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.

I’ve been arguing for years that Wal-mart should get in the

coin-redemption business, and just offer a redeemable-only-at-Wal-mart

gift card in exchnage for 100% of the coins’ value. The cost of the

service would be made up by the fact that the money was only spent at

Wal-Mart. Apparently, Bezos and I think alike. Smart money says Amazon

is fronting the 8.9% to Coinstar, knowing that the added influx of

committed buyers is worth the cost.