An enterprising company called World Reserve Monetary Exchange took out ads in two Arizona newspapers last month, and presumably others throughout the country, offering supposedly rare, collectable ‘state $2 bills’ — meant to capitalize on the recent craze of state quarters — for $17 each, I reported in my day job at the Arizona Daily Star.
The company overlays the $2 bills with a removable film labeled with each state and violates no laws. The phone order ad seemed to be aimed at the elderly, and judging from several phone calls I’ve received after the story ran, it seems to have been effective. From the story:
“The World Reserve Monetary Exchange has restricted the issue and release of the exclusive State $2 Bill Collection, so getting one would be like hitting the lottery,” the ad says. “They are so scarce that those lucky enough to get them will feel like they were handed a million dollars.”
According to a World Reserve Monetary Exchange customer service rep, a single $2 bill costs $17 plus $5 shipping and handling, and a pack of four is $48, plus $12.88 shipping and handling.
(Coin collection shop owner Brett) Sadovnick said the markup is not justified.
“There has never been a resale value for that type of product at any collectible store,” Sadovnick said. “It’s just a regular $2 bill with (a sticker) on it. The U.S. government hasn’t sanctioned it, and anything in the ad about the popularity or scarcity of it is misleading.”
Has anyone noticed the ad in their paper?
Collectors warned on sales of ‘rare’ $2 bills here [Arizona Daily Star]