We’re coming to the end of the road to Rio and the end of the road for shopping at Woolworths…phew. I’ve spent the last 5 weeks going out of my way to shop at Woolworths to have that “chance” to receive an Olympic coin in my change.
Week one and the blue ring coins were in solid supply with what I could tell was every register containing the new shiny coins and there was no effort in receiving them. Whether you went through a regular checkout or a self checkout I found the coins were readily found. Week two and it was becoming a little harder although I still managed a good supply of black coins that carried over to the following week reducing the red coins obtained. Week three and the red coins didn’t go so well and we were onto Week four and the yellow coins before I had got many. It was becoming increasingly harder to “find” the coins though, no more self checkout joy and even the skillful additions in spending $5.25 and using a $10 note (or multiples of) to force 2 coins in change was not working. The coins were just not there, multiple purchases with no luck and heading to the service desk to ask politely for a coin that should have been in steady supply led to staff checking multiple registers to find just one coin. The availablity of security bags of the coloured coins at a hefty premium on sites such as eBay was also leaving a sour taste in my mouth as I was genuinely spending in Woolworths to feed my family of 6 and was keen to get a collection happening of these coins at face value, as a collector who wouldn’t? Not once had I asked Woolworths staff for an entire bag, perhaps I should have, but the fun of collecting these coins and the interest this type of release brings to collecting made me think these coins should have been gracing the everyday shoppers change much more frequently. The registers should have been full of them, the excitement of the Games and our achievements in your hand as you do your everyday shopping. This last week (five) has been the most promising week with regards to numbers of coins, a lovely staff member had green coins on hand and after I asked for Olympic coins in my change and with a friendly “how many” I responded with “how many can you give me” without wanting to get anyone in trouble I walked away with 5 coins from the one visit (interestingly this was a different Woolies to my local). What a win! So what were the rules for staff and the allocation of these coins? I have to say it seems like a massive free for all. Depending on what staff at what store the rules were different all round. It pays to shop around! As long as it’s just Woolworths!
If you didn’t want to put yourself through this “perhaps you’ll get one in change” or missed the allocation of all 5 Olympic coins in the folder distributed by Woolworths for $15 these are still available at the Mint or your local coin dealer for issue price which is equivalent to just $3 per coin. (edit: in the hour or so since publishing this article the Mint has sold out of this set).
Week 1. Blue. 8 coins
Week 2. Black. 13 coins
Week 3. Red. 8 coins
Week 4. Yellow. 7 coins
Week 5. Green. 13 coins (ongoing)
Next week should be even more exciting with multi-coloured Paralympic Games coins hitting the tills. Sadly a quick search of eBay shows a $50 face value bag of these coins already for sale with an asking price of $250. Hmm, a zero feedback seller obviously created a new ID for selling so they can’t be tracked down by their employer…..Woolworths. Another seller has already sold 5 bags @ $145 each with images showing they have stock and have shipped.
Sigh…..I’m off to Woolies for my one coin after spending $20 on my family dinner.