Bethany and I were sitting around talking about pennies. The way she phrased a comment made me realize something:
We don’t need a government mandate to get rid of pennies.
This can be done at the grassroots level, and it would benefit both consumers and retailers. All that would be required is that if a retailer owes you a few pennies in change, they give you a nickel instead. A lot of them occasionally do that already, but why don’t they always do it, program it into their till, and advertise it?
I know that a store with a sign saying “No pennies here: we always round down to the nickel.” or “No pennies here: any time we owe you one or several pennies in change, we’ll give you a nickel instead!” will score karma with me. Goodwill for the price of 0-4 cents on every cash purchase? Stores pay a lot more than that for goodwill!
If you use a credit card or a debit card, they’d still charge full price, but when you pay in cash, they’d knock 0-4 cents off the final bill to make it an even multiple of 5 cents.
And once somebody’s doing it there’d be pressure on other stores to do it. It’s a cheap way to make customers happy. And happy customers are repeat customers.