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Coin trolleys and other disappearances (Friday fluff)


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#26 Chocolate Addict

Posted 24 January 2020 - 05:00 PM

Our  major shopping centre's Coles just turned all their hundreds (ok maybe not hundreds but at least one hundred) trolleys to coin operated. Pain in the bum. All the supermarkets and department stores there now are coin operated but because they are at different points in the shopping centre it is bloody hard to return them to the bay.

All the trolleys are slightly different sizes so don't fit in to each other so people turn them around and plug them in to get their coins then others can't plug theirs in. lol

Our local Coles only has the coin slots on the half trolleys.

#27 Lime-Polka-Dot

Posted 24 January 2020 - 05:08 PM

I feel like there was an increase in coin trolleys several years ago and more recently not as many. One particular Woolies in the suburb I used to live in and now work in opened just over 10 years ago and had coin operated trolleys for a few years and at some point actually got rid of them more recently.

My local shops has a Coles and an Aldi next door to each other. The Coles trolleys aren't coin operated and of course the Aldi ones are. I don't think many people at all even bother with the Aldi trolleys and go and get a Coles trolley then go into Aldi with it (myself included, I often grab a stray trolley from the concrete surrounding area of the carpark and use it and put it back in the trolley bay when I'm finished.) I find coin operated trolleys annoying, mostly because I don't often carry much or any cash, so more often than not I don't even have coins on me.

Also interesting, the Aldi is always dead quiet and Coles is relatively busy. Both are decent sized stores.

#28 kimasa

Posted 24 January 2020 - 05:10 PM

It's about 50/50 around me, and Coles and Woolworths hand out the tokens for free to anyone who asks.

I wish my closest Coles would bring them back. They worked wonders for the prevention of the "16yr olds drunk trolley racing down the hill" crowd.

Edited by kimasa, 24 January 2020 - 05:41 PM.


#29 got my tinsel on

Posted 24 January 2020 - 09:31 PM

My local Coles (no coin) had to put a staff person on the doorway to prevent people taking trolleys to use at Aldi (about 75 metres away) because the shoppers didn't want to use the Aldi trolleys as they were coin release.

It was such a problem when Aldi first opened in the shopping centre that there were no Coles trolleys for their customers to use.

Was interesting to see the interactions when the people were told they couldn't take the Coles trolleys out of the store if they weren't going to shop there.  Some would insist that they would be coming back to shop at Coles later, to which the staff member would say that they were welcome to shop with the trolley at Coles first and then use the trolley to do other shopping but not to take the empty trolley.

Funnily enough, the shoppers didn't like that idea at all.  

What does disappoint me is that the Aldi store has done away with baskets because they were being stolen at an alarming rate.  I only go in for a couple of things at a time and it's much easier with a basket than packing straight into my shopping bag.

#30 Caribou

Posted 24 January 2020 - 10:12 PM

View Postmelbun, on 24 January 2020 - 03:52 PM, said:

Woolies have tokens (they give you for free) that stick in a little holder on a key ring, I have one in my handbag and the other on the strap of my insulated bag.

All the supermarkets I shop in are coin trolleys.

This! The number of times I’ve forgotten my free token I just got a new one from counter. I have a lovely collection at home. :lol:

#31 PocketIcikleflakes

Posted 24 January 2020 - 10:16 PM

I must leave somewhere really unusual. The only coin trolleys are aldi but I rarely notice abandoned trolleys.

I do often notice people using trolleys to push groceries a long way, presumably home, or empty trolleys towards shopping centres/ supermarkets...

#32 IamOzgirl

Posted 24 January 2020 - 11:47 PM

View PostRiotproof, on 24 January 2020 - 11:58 AM, said:

Don’t you go to aldi?

they even have some at Coles now, particularly the higher ones with the narrow basket.

I don't use a trolley at Aldi normally.

I did the other day and was surprised I didn't need a coin. Thought it must be my trolley only. Nup no chains! Coin bit there, but all chains cut off.

#33 WaitForMe

Posted 25 January 2020 - 06:37 AM

Theres a shopping centre near me that has a Coles, Woolies and Kmart. The Coles and Woolies each have the large and small trollies and Kmart has a medium one. So 5 different types. They all have the coin release thing.

All 5 types will only stack into a trolley that is the exact same type.

So you go to return your trolley in the large carpark, and you can pretty much guarantee you can't release your coin on whats available. Everyone just ends up leaving their trollies all over the place with coins in them, its just a given that if you want a trolley it costs you a dollar.

Its ridiculous and annoys me to no end because I don't carry cash and rarely have coins on me.

#34 Daffy2016

Posted 25 January 2020 - 06:53 AM

View PostWaitForMe, on 25 January 2020 - 06:37 AM, said:

Theres a shopping centre near me that has a Coles, Woolies and Kmart. The Coles and Woolies each have the large and small trollies and Kmart has a medium one. So 5 different types. They all have the coin release thing.

All 5 types will only stack into a trolley that is the exact same type.

So you go to return your trolley in the large carpark, and you can pretty much guarantee you can't release your coin on whats available. Everyone just ends up leaving their trollies all over the place with coins in them, its just a given that if you want a trolley it costs you a dollar.

Its ridiculous and annoys me to no end because I don't carry cash and rarely have coins on me.

Thiiiiiis oh my goodness. I lived near a similar centre and the number of coins I just gave up on cause I’d walked to three separate returns with DD carrying on in the seat and couldn’t fit my trolley in anywhere.

We just moved away from Canberra and the single best thing has been no more coin trolleys!

#35 Mose

Posted 25 January 2020 - 07:46 AM

View PostCaribou, on 24 January 2020 - 10:12 PM, said:



This! The number of times I’ve forgotten my free token I just got a new one from counter. I have a lovely collection at home. :lol:

And this is my problem with Woolies "solution" to their self-created problem.  All over Australia these tokens are being lost, forgotten or binned, and new ones are being made.  I just cannot believe that creating more pieces of plastic is considered a good solution to anything in this day and age.

The supermarkets etc created the problem (I need a coin but may not have one available for whatever reason) and then they are generating more stuff in the world to solve it.

I don't know your personal situation (and I wasn't trying to call you out personally - just to comment on the downsides of this solution).  I am also thinking if a person is struggling financially, their confidence to walk up to the supermarket counter and ask for a token may not be as high as that of those who are not stressed about the $ value of their shop.  (And by stressed, I mean wondering if they can get that last loaf if bread they need).  

And I know dumped trolleys are a worse environmental disaster than the tokens, but as referenced upthread, there are other solutions the supermarkets can use that impact all shoppers equally and don't generate all the extra waste.

Edited by Mose, 25 January 2020 - 07:46 AM.


#36 TheGreenSheep

Posted 25 January 2020 - 07:50 AM

Everywhere nearby is coin operated trolleys. I keep a coin token in the car to use. It’s second nature now along with reusable bags. I always get a surprise to shop at a different supermarket and the trolley is ‘free’. And I always return trolleys, it gives me the sh*ts when people abandon them behind your car or in car spaces when they leave.

#37 TheGreenSheep

Posted 25 January 2020 - 07:54 AM

View PostMose, on 25 January 2020 - 07:46 AM, said:

I am also thinking if a person is struggling financially, their confidence to walk up to the supermarket counter and ask for a token may not be as high as that of those who are not stressed about the $ value of their shop.  (And by stressed, I mean wondering if they can get that last loaf if bread they need).  

And I know dumped trolleys are a worse environmental disaster than the tokens, but as referenced upthread, there are other solutions the supermarkets can use that impact all shoppers equally and don't generate all the extra waste.

Our local shops, if you haven’t got a coin, if you ask at the desk they use that trolley key to unlock one for you. No token given out.

The token I own is a solid metal coin shape, I paid $2 for it and it’s most definitely not throwaway.

#38 Riotproof

Posted 25 January 2020 - 08:04 AM

Is it just me that picks a trolley and it seems fine, but then about 3/4 through the shop, the wheels start to crap out and it’s impossible to steer?

that never happens with the coin ones.

#39 overlytired

Posted 25 January 2020 - 08:25 AM

View PostPaddlepop, on 24 January 2020 - 12:29 PM, said:

My local shopping centres have a perimeter locking system where if you take the trolley outside a set perimeter (generally the footpath at the edge of the shopping centre) a wheel will lock up and you can't move the trolley. It's hugely reduced the number of abandoned trolleys in the streets because you simply can't push them anywhere beyond that perimeter. No need for coin trolleys.

The only time I've ever used a coin trolley is at Aldi.

You would think that, but I've seen some very determined people.

#40 Coffeegirl

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:47 AM

No where local has the wheel lock at exit, but I’ve seen it work at another centre.    

I do admit I giggled watching a lady try and push it past the big green line on the pavement and the sign that clearly said ‘shopping carts will lock past this point’      Even after other shoppers told her what the issue was, she still tried to drag the cart sideways down the street.   And she didn’t have enough in there to warrant using a trolley.   (Yes, she maybe disabled,  but she was exerting a tremendous amount of force to drag that trolley!)


We do have a few of the coin ones locally at supermarkets but no one actually locks them up, so they are all free.  The only ones locked up are the really large ones at First Choice, and they will unlock them for you if you ask.

#41 notsoretro

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:01 AM

Near to me is a centre with Coles adjoining an ALDI store.  They are separate but there's a break in the dividing fence so you can walk through from one to the other. To counteract the Coles trolleys being taken through and used at ALDI and then dumped they put extra bollards in to narrow the opening. My generous proportions require me to walk sideways to get through, ugh. I guess people could still take a Coles trolley to ALDI if they walked it along the driveway, out into the street and then in to the ALDI carpark, but laziness....

#42 Mose

Posted 25 January 2020 - 06:17 PM

View PostTheGreenSheep, on 25 January 2020 - 07:54 AM, said:



Our local shops, if you haven’t got a coin, if you ask at the desk they use that trolley key to unlock one for you. No token given out.

The token I own is a solid metal coin shape, I paid $2 for it and it’s most definitely not throwaway.

Some years ago Woolies sent tokens to all their Rewards members who live near a coin trolley spot.

If every household in Australia has had one token on average (so some have never had any but others, like ours and a PP have been through a number of them) that would be a staggering 10 million tokens that have used all sorts of resources to manufacture and distribute.  To solve a problem the supermarket s created in the first place being the need for a coin.

So while they aren't throw away and there are plenty of PPs who use them effectively as a standard part of shopping, it doesn't change that there is a significant volume of unnecessary "stuff" that wouldn't be in the world without the existence of coin trolleys.

I base my one on average per household on no facts whatsoever, except that the majors sent one free to loyalty program members many years ago, and most Australian households have one or more adults who are members of at least one supermarket loyalty program.  No scientific basis. But even if you halved my assumptions there is an impact.

#43 IamOzgirl

Posted 25 January 2020 - 08:55 PM

View Postnotsoretro, on 25 January 2020 - 10:01 AM, said:

Near to me is a centre with Coles adjoining an ALDI store.  They are separate but there's a break in the dividing fence so you can walk through from one to the other. To counteract the Coles trolleys being taken through and used at ALDI and then dumped they put extra bollards in to narrow the opening. My generous proportions require me to walk sideways to get through, ugh. I guess people could still take a Coles trolley to ALDI if they walked it along the driveway, out into the street and then in to the ALDI carpark, but laziness....

Oh this might be why my Aldi did away with it. Coles is right next door.

Ironically I found an Aldi one years ago and use it mostly at Costco! It’s the only place I do a shop big enough to need a trolley n

#44 Jingleflea

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:53 PM

The supermarkets had to install the coin trolleys becasue people dump the trolleys in waterways and underpasses and destroy them.
It was costing the supermarkets thousands and thousands each year to replace the trolleys. They cost about $300 each I read, so this was their fix.

If people didn't dump or destroy them, if they returned them properly they wouldn't need to buy the coin operated ones.
And really, how often would you be deciding between a trolley or food? You get the coin back, it doesn't keep the coin.

#45 BECZ

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:12 PM

View PostRiotproof, on 25 January 2020 - 08:04 AM, said:

Is it just me that picks a trolley and it seems fine, but then about 3/4 through the shop, the wheels start to crap out and it’s impossible to steer?

that never happens with the coin ones.

No, it doesn’t.  That’s because the trolleys aren’t left around getting trashed by idiots.  So not only do less trolleys end up dumped, they require a lot less repairs/maintenance and last longer too.

I can remember the price, but trolleys are really expensive.

Edited by BECZ, 25 January 2020 - 10:13 PM.


#46 sahmie

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:22 PM

View PostJingleflea, on 25 January 2020 - 09:53 PM, said:

The supermarkets had to install the coin trolleys becasue people dump the trolleys in waterways and underpasses and destroy them.
It was costing the supermarkets thousands and thousands each year to replace the trolleys. They cost about $300 each I read, so this was their fix.

If people didn't dump or destroy them, if they returned them properly they wouldn't need to buy the coin operated ones.
And really, how often would you be deciding between a trolley or food? You get the coin back, it doesn't keep the coin.

Exactly this!!!!

Is people weren’t such entitled/lazy sh*ts, the supermarkets wouldn’t need to come up with a solution.

And the person down to her last $2 deciding between a trolley or bread - please. Who TF uses a trolley just for a single loaf anyway.

#47 Mose

Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:05 AM

View Postsahmie, on 25 January 2020 - 10:22 PM, said:



Exactly this!!!!

Is people weren’t such entitled/lazy sh*ts, the supermarkets wouldn’t need to come up with a solution.

And the person down to her last $2 deciding between a trolley or bread - please. Who TF uses a trolley just for a single loaf anyway.

I never said they were only buying bread. I said there were people for whom having $2 tied up to use the trolley is a serious financial issue.  Plenty of people have to grocery shop to their absolute limit every week.  Do you think because those people are struggling they should have to put their groceries away and then come back again to spend their last $2?

I'm also not objecting to the supermarkets doing something to reduce trolley dumping.  Just pointing out that this particular solution has used lots of resources (fittings to trolleys, manufacture and distribution of tokens), where other solutions mentioned upthread are more effective and affect all shoppers equally.

The coin solution doesn't affect people who either have a token (and the stability in life to keep track of it) or always have a spare coin to use.  You do still see coin trolleys dumped in various places, it has reduced but not eliminated the problem.

The boundary solution would seem likely to me to have less environmental impact, and it affects everyone equally.  You can't take the trolley out of the boundary (which is in fact stealing supermarket property) irrespective of your situation.

#48 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:34 AM

We didn’t have cooin trolleys until a few years ago. Both Woolies and Coles went coin, but Coles didn’t bother locking their together, so the slots were there but not needed.

Then after awhile Coles started being locked and needing coin. Talking to the workers it was Council who pushed for the coins. The Coles in the next suburb (and different council) has never had coin operated trolleys.

#49 123Tree

Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:43 AM

I bought a key ring off eBay for a couple of dollars. I shove it into the coin slot and pull it back out straight away so don’t need a coin. The best thing ever as I was always without a coin and those plastic woolworths ones get worn out and don’t stay in their holder after a while.

Now when I get my trolley I find myself unlocking trollies for other shopper who don’t have coins.

#50 Riotproof

Posted 26 January 2020 - 09:44 AM

That is a super clever idea. One of the reasons I often use non coin trolleys is because I can’t be guaranteed there will be one to return it to in the car park.




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