Very few things are as convenient as the standard coin-operated newspaper vending box. The operation of one is seemingly very basic and yet, some cautionary pointers are necessary.
First of all, heavier coins seem to operate the mechanisms better, so, for example, if you're in the US, don't use dimes when you can use quarters1. Very heavy items, such as sledgehammers, or good-sized bricks, will also open the newspaper box very effectively, although such means should be left until the moment all else has failed, especially as it's not really a good idea to get arrested over attempting to purchase a newspaper.
These vending machines are often grouped together, with competing newspapers vying for your loose change. For the sake of your own dignity, take a moment and make sure you're putting your money into the correct machine. Nobody will have any sympathy for you if your day was ruined because you put your money in the wrong newspaper box.
Some people say, 'I paid for a paper, but the only one in there was three days old'. Look before you invest. Take advantage of the window on the front of the machine to make sure there is a newspaper in the box, and that the date of said newspaper is current.
If the only paper in the box is the one in the window, take it! This serves two purposes - it gets you your paper, and lets the next person know there are no more papers.
Finally, you may have noticed that newspaper boxes bear more than a passing resemblance to a slot machine, so it goes without saying that you are taking a chance with any money you decide to put into them. If you lose your money, accept it and get on with your life. It is generally considered bad form to take your frustrations out on those around you, or even on the boxes themselves.
Generally speaking, the folks who stock the newspaper boxes, and collect the money, do so well before sunrise, so you can often catch and surprise them between the hours of 3 and 6am. As a rule, they will be happy to discuss any problems you may have had with the box in their charge and will probably even offer you a complete refund, particularly if you brought along some of that very heavy 'coinage' mentioned earlier.