Local coin shop owner weighs in on nationwide shortage

NOW: Local coin shop owner weighs in on nationwide shortage

GOSHEN, Ind. --- Two unexpected items have come in a shortage across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While toilet paper may be back on the shelves, people may have to make the switch to a debit card to make the purchase as a coin shortage sweeps the nation.

The coin shortage is an issue that businesses across the nation may be feeling the effects from. One Goshen coin shop owner said the biggest roadblock of it all is distribution.

At Casper’s Coin and Jewelry, the business has not necessarily felt the effects of the nationwide coin shortage being a coin shop.

“The shortage really didn’t come as a surprise,” owner David Kollar said. “Actually, I think it is more of a desire for businesses and banks to kind of reduce their costs.”

David Kollar is the owner of the Goshen business and he used to work in the banking industry.

“It was very expensive to bring in coinage so that we could actually disperse it out to the members,” Kollar said. “Likewise, at even like Walmart, the massive amount of coinage that they would go through at the cashiers is basically astronomical.”

However, many businesses nationwide must cut down on just how much change they receive.

The United States Federal Reserve is dealing with a coin shortage—a direct impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Mint produced fewer coins this year, but the bigger problem is distribution.

“We have a large, couple of large ammo cans, full of coins that we need to take to the bank in order to get them circulated, so yes, there has been kind of a that resource of trying to get coins in have basically been reduced,” Kollar said.

Kollar is not alone; many bank lobbies have been closed up and fewer people have been heading to coin-collecting kiosks during the pandemic. This, combined with so many businesses being closed, means that many people have been racking up pocket change.

“As businesses open up and the banks open up where people can go into the lobbies, you’ll probably see an influx of coins,” Kollar said.

At Casper’s, Kollar said that about seven out of ten transactions are on debit cards instead of cash.

“Because people don’t want to carry change in their pockets or carry their wallet,” Kollar said.

While Casper’s may not be feeling the direct effects, some major retailers are, such as Meijer. The grocery chain is no longer accepting cash at self-checkout lanes, but Kollar said that in his experience at the store, it was more convenient not having to fuss around looking for change.

“I know the retailers, there’s a cost associated with using credit or debit cards and things like that so I think by getting the customers in and out more conveniently, I think that’ll pay for itself,” Kollar said.

As businesses open back up and more people get employed, Kollar is confident that the shortage is just temporary and coinage will go back to normal soon.

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