Money Matters


Laundromats running out of change

Posted at 2:53 PM, Aug 10, 2020

Many of us have been inconvenienced by the national coin shortage. But at some businesses, the shortage is now becoming critical.

Thinking of washing the car? If it's a coin wash, bring change.

Need to do a load of laundry? Laundromats are now running low too.

"My customers use quarters to run these machines. And when I can't go to the bank to purchase quarters, then they can't run the machines," Jamie Lusk, a laundromat owner, said.

Lusk says he is now begging family and friends for quarters to keep the change machines full.

Now, if laundromats run entirely out of quarters, they may no longer be able to stay open. But, there are some simple solutions.

Ken Shaner, a sales director of a 100-year-old token manufacturer, says his company is getting inquiries from all over the United States.

The token manufacturer makes coins for occasions, subways, presidents, and more. But not they're getting crushed with orders for vending machine tokens.

"What we are seeing is a lot of people switching over from coins to tokens," Shaner said.

Legally, these shiny tokens cannot be the same thickness as quarters. But, Ken says a simple modification will allow vending machines to take these tokens.

Lusk is considering it because right now, he has to beg people not to come in and take all his quarters.

"Please don't go to people's coin machines, you are affecting their business," Lusk said.

Like other pandemic shortages, experts hope the coin shortage subsides this fall. Till then, try to carry change with you.