The poll closed with 12 votes and most of you deeply underestimated the value of quarters. A full half the field estimated $45 in change in my Lowenbrau beer stein and only one reader took the high and accurate road of $95. So much for the wisdom of crowds. Or maybe 12 doesn't quite make a crowd. I think Surowiecki's point had something to do with random individuals and large sample sizes, neither of which we produced here. It's clear form the poll results that I just know a few skeptics.
That said, I do want to get back to a comment by reader 'Iceman' that read:
Coinstar is for suckers....go to any TD Bank and they'll sort your change for free.Cold, Iceman, but true. I didn't do my homework going in and was only mildly surprised (as in, I should have expected this) the Coinstar tries to fee-gouge you to the tune of 9.8%. And after that just gives you some kind of 'cash voucher' which must create a second layer of inconvenience as you find a way to redeem it. I was picturing some kind of mail-in and wait 6-10 weeks for a check, but didn't go down that road to find out for sure. Perhaps someone else can comment?
So I went with Plan B, which in Coinstar terms is taking the full dinero amount in the form of a gift card with one of their pre-selected partners. This is also a pretty sly deal and I'm sure Coinstar's getting a tummy scratch on the back end of this too, but at least you get your full value and some of the vendors are pretty good. I chose Amazon.com but you could have iTunes, The Gap or a few others. Surprisingly, Wegman's wasn't one of the vendors.
Adding in poll results for posterity and because I wanted to remove the widget from my left-hand nav: