Translation:Do you have fifty cents for the shopping cart?
I like this deposit system, but actually I'd be happy to pay fifty cents if I got to call it a winkelwagen. I love that word!
Do you normally have to pay to use a shopping cart? In the US, it's free.
No, it's not paying, but you need a coin in order to unlock the chain. ;)
At the end of your supermarket trip, you lock the cart, and voila, you get your coin back!
Supermarkets in Europe tend to hold your 50 cent coin hostage until you return their shopping cart to the correct location, this tends to prevent shopping cart theft like what you see often in the United States. It also eliminates the need to pay employees to collect shopping carts from across parking lots.
Is shopping cart theft actually higher in the US? I can't imagine anyone would be deterred by the loss of fifty cents. Especially when you consider the fact that your fifty cents are still in the cart, if you can figure out a way to get it out. I think it's probably just to incentivize people to return the carts to the front of the store. I know whenever we go to Aldi, we'll just give our cart to someone else in the parking lot so we don't have to return it.
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(Side note: trolley is accepted for at least a year.)