Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume IX, Number 14, September 19, 2023)
A man stopped Truong Thi Kim Loan as she was passing by and offered to sell her a mangled VND100,000 ($4) note, a corner of which had been burned off.
Loan, 60, of Ho Chi Minh City, held the bill in her hands, looked at both sides carefully, checked the serial number, and gently inspected the burned corner. She then offered to buy the banknote for VND60,000.
The man agreed and Loan paid up. She put the burned bill in a small bag full of other damaged notes she'd collected that day.
Loan started collecting damaged banknotes over 20 years ago when her father, a former damaged bill collector, grew too old to move around and make collections.
She rides her motorcycle around neighborhoods every day looking for anyone willing to sell their damaged paper money. Apartment complexes with lots of eateries are fertile ground for her, she says, because amid the hustle and bustle of mealtime rushes, owners and cashiers often accept damaged bills without knowing it. Loan also says small eateries often don't store their cash carefully, and a lot of notes get mangled just hanging around tiny frenetic kitchen spaces.
Loan normally collects between VND1-1.5 million in broken bills each week. After collecting enough damaged notes, she heads to the bank and trades them in for new bills at a profit.
Many people don't know that damaged monetary notes are still legal tender. Even though some service providers won't accept them as payment, they can still be traded in at banks for new bills of the same value. Loan capitalizes on the fact that many people are unaware of this, and even many of those who do know still find it more convenient to trade with her at a loss rather than dealing with a bank.
Collectors normally only buy bills no more than 30% damaged. They pay in accordance with the proportion of damage. Some collectors have fixed rates. Loan always pays VND120,000 for a VND200,000 note and VND300,000 for a VND500,000 note. She also never turns down buying small bills.
"A damaged bill collector should never say no to money," she says.
To read the complete article, see:
Damaged money collectors profit on broken bills
Wayne Homren, Editor
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