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Are Penny Cups Bad Business?

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I read in yesterday’s Buffalo News’ Letters to the Editor an opinion by Tom Flynn of Buffalo who questioned the practice of retailers who placed a penny cup by the register.  He says whenever he see that he makes it a point to shop somewhere else in the future.  Tom goes so far as to say if the merchant is willing to cut corners at the cash register, he’s afraid he’d cut corners elsewhere such as in restaurant sanitation.

You know the idea – when you shop at various convenience stores or stop at a coffee shop or restaurant, you’ll often find a cup filled with a few pennies next to the register so that when your bill comes to an amount where you might be a penny or two short you can dip into the penny cup and then leave a couple of pennies on your next visit.

Easiest solution is to consider what Canada is already planning to do – eliminate pennies altogether.  By next year Canada will stop issuing pennies with the idea that merchants will round up or down to the nearest amount.  It costs more to produce pennies in Canada than what they’re worth and it wasn’t too long ago I read it’s the same problem in this country.  It costs about 1.6 cents to produce every penny the U-S Treasury puts out.

In this era when every business is looking for ways to cut costs, the United States could save millions of dollars by ending the practice of producing pennies.  It’ll allow Tom Flynn of Buffalo to start shopping again at a lot of places he’s already crossed off his list.

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