This is an exercise that each individual must do in their own town.
Ability to get coins is widely variable at every banking institution, or Credit Union. I recommend the following tactic. Starting with your own bank, determine if you can order boxes ($25) of rolled coins. This is a tactic many have successfully used to build significant inventories of copper alloy coins. If you have exhausted your options with your own banking institution, I recommend branching out.
Get your phone book out, and look up the banking section. Look on a map and determine all the banks within a practical driving distance to you. Contact those banks or credit unions and ask if they can provide you with coins. They may tell you that you must be an account holder, or member. Ask if they have a “self service coin return” or a “coin counter” available to account holders. If they do, you can do one of two things.
1. Ask if they will sell you $50 bags of loose coins from the self service machine or counter, these would be coins that other account holders or members have returned, and possibly hold good ratios of good coins to bad.
2. If they will not sell them to you, ask if they have a charge for returning coins to these machines. Usually there is a small charge, like 2% or 5%. If it’s free, try to establish an account at that bank and you will have a good place to drop off your unwanted coins such as zinc or steel based coins.
Another tactic is to buy CWR Customer Wrapped Rolls. Some banks have them some do not. Often times the tellers are required to unwrap CWR before it is taken out with their armored car service company, usually it is put in a $50 loose bag. You can offer a “service” of removing the CWR without them having to get dirty and unwrap it themselves, just have them save it for you, and be sure to get in on a regular schedule to pick it up.
Again, do your homework. I am often asked how to get coins, but the only town I can speak for is my own, it is different in each town and different with every institution. This is an exercise you must do to determine if you can get coins in a quantity that allows and justifies the activity. The three P’s rule comes to your aid more than you would imagine…First off, be Patient, Persistent, and mostly Polite. You will often be surprised how helpful the tellers can be if you bring the a little chocolate too.