More bang for about ten bucks

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

‘‘Money – it’s a gas!’’

It was satirist H. L. Mencken who quipped ‘‘We live in a world where money is val­ued above its present price’’.

The ‘‘price’’ of money has been re­fo­cused by a lo­cal en­trepreneur who has auc­tioned two of the new $10 ban­knotes for more than their face value on Trade Me.

The new-look $10 ban­knotes were re­leased into cir­cu­la­tion along with facelifted $5 notes, on Oc­to­ber 12.

‘‘Modeki’’, a Palmer­ston North trader, sold a pair of the new notes in pris­tine ‘‘un­cir­cu­lated’’ con­di­tion for $34 last week, with the page at­tract­ing more than 21,000 views, and pro­vok­ing a fair bit of com­ment.

The seller was of­fer­ing the notes in ‘‘un­cir­cu­lated con­di­tion’’ with ‘‘no creases from a teller count­ing it or scratches from au­to­matic count­ing ma­chines’’, ex­plain­ing: ‘‘If you keep it in great con­di­tion who knows it could be worth more in the fu­ture but keep­ing it in that mint con­di­tion is the key. I can only guar­an­tee that it will al­ways be worth as must [sic] as some­one else is will­ing to pay for it.’’

Which re­in­forces an ob­ser­va­tion by 19th cen­tury US philoso­pher Henry David Thoreau that ‘‘the price of any­thing is the amount of life you ex­change for it’’.

‘‘Peo­ple seem to think this auc­tion is odd,’’ the trader com­mented. ‘‘But peo­ple sell cur­rent ban­knotes on Trade Me and eBay all the time and they have to be at a small mark up to cover Trade Me fees and time. It is a pop­u­lar hobby and has been for a long time in New Zealand with a large num­ber of col­lec­tors be­ing mem­bers of The Royal Nu­mis­matic So­ci­ety of NZ.

‘‘There are a few full time deal­ers mainly in Auck­land, Welling­ton and Christchurch that deal with coins and ban­knotes to thou­sands of cus­tomer around the world.’’

The 70 per cent mar­gin ‘‘modeki’’ made on each 10-dol­lar note doesn’t take into ac­count Trade Me com­mis­sion, or time that the seller spent ac­quir­ing the notes and an­swer­ing a long list of ques­tions.

As for a non-mint con­di­tion $10 note new or old – it’s ap­par­ently a re­ally use­ful de­vice for buy­ing about $4.50 worth of some­thing.

A new-look ‘‘Katie’’ (af­ter Kate Sheppard) or $10 note. A cou­ple of mint ex­am­ples were hawked off on Trade Me last week.

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