Update: As of June 26, Washboard service has been discontinued, according to a notice on the company’s website.
Fifteen dollars for ten bucks worth of quarters?
It may sound like an uphill business model, but two young entrepreneurs say they’re hoping to make it work.
College friends Shaun Chapman and Caleb Brown test launched their new Washboard quarter delivery service Thursday morning, offering consumers rolls of coins automatically shipped to their mailbox each month for all their laundry needs.
Brown, of Pittsburgh, said the duo came up with the idea after struggling to find quarters for their own post-college laundry runs.
“There’s a piece of mind to knowing that you’re always going to have a roll or two of quarters a month with Washboard,” Brown said.
But is securing a roll of quarters really that stressful? Most laundromats offer change machines, and anyone could go to a bank or supermarket customer service desk to get some quarters.
Plus, it may be hard for some consumers to wrap their mind around paying a 50+ percent premium for a roll of quarters, as evidenced by some of the service’s detractors on Twitter:
Obviously I?m not functioning at 100% today because I can?t seem to find the part where they say ?haha jk lolz?. http://t.co/6rmBNg7BZu— Chris Bestwick (@thebestwick) June 19, 2014
Brown said he understands the skepticism.
“It’s polarizing,” he observed. “If you have that problem you think, ‘oh, that makes so much sense,’ and if you don’t, it’s just like: ‘these guys are reselling me money.’
“But that’s how anything works...you’re paying the extra couple bucks to avoid going to the bank…To me, that makes a lot of sense, to pay a couple of dollars a month to not have to do that, though I totally understand and respect if that doesn’t make sense to someone.”
Brown said the pair only pocket about ten percent of the cost as profit—the rest goes to cover shipping, he said.
So far, six people have signed up for the service.
“It’s a niche market,” Brown said. “I know there are bigger problems in the world—and perhaps we should be tackling that—but it was just a [project] we could do pretty quickly, and I still think it’s a nice service for those that need it—a little different, while still being practical.”
You can check out the service at their official website.Caesar can be reached at Christopher.Caesar@globe.com or via Twitter @ChrisCaesar.