Finding New US Money (bills)
November 12, 2012 7:11 PM   Subscribe

As the holidays approach I'm again on the search for unused money in 20s, 10s, 5s, and 1s for gifts. I've been lucky over the years by finding the bank tellers that have ordered unused bills but there has to be a better more systematic way than going from bank to bank. Any suggestions? Thanks
posted by KneeDeep to Work & Money (5 answers total)
I used to get 2 dollar bills from the bank (just for fun) and they were almost always brand spanking new. They would go get them from the safe and unsnap the band in front of me.
posted by bq at 7:16 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Uncut sheets of bills can be purchased from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, but at a substantial markup from face value.

You would be surprised what some spray starch and a iron can do to make a bill mint-crisp.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:24 PM on November 12, 2012

Tanizaki: " You would be surprised what some spray starch and a iron can do to make a bill mint-crisp."

According to people on the forums, starching bills can cause them to falsely register as counterfeit on those testing pens. And I can say from experience in Georging bills that even after washing, rinsing, and ironing, the difference between a new(ish) bill and one that's been circulating for a while is perceptible.
posted by Lexica at 8:38 PM on November 12, 2012

Probably not. I used to be a Teller Supervisor for a small branch of a US mega bank, and we had no way of requesting brand new bills in our cash shipments. We ordered the amounts we needed, but type of bills was not under our control. As the holidays approached, we tried to set aside straps of new bills for gift givers, but it was not easy to do, especially with ones and fives.

As an aside, if we could have ordered used vs new bills, we would have requested used bills every time. Tellers hate new bills, because they are much more likely to stick to each other.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:49 AM on November 13, 2012

Not just bank tellers, anyone who handles cash hates new bills... given that this is so, you could add "mom and pop businesses that you frequent where the cashiers/operators know that you are not a weirdo counterfeiter" to your list of places to try. If the cashier has new bills in the drawer they'd probably be delighted to exchange them for some nice soft manky used ones.

This won't work at most chain stores, where cashiers have stricter, more formal rules about cash handling.
posted by mskyle at 6:32 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

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