I had to learn this tip the hard way. It cost me $20.00 but I'll share it with you for free.
If you are: planning a yard sale, selling items in the paper, selling vegetables or fruit, from home, planning a trip to theme park or fair, or buying at a weekend flea market/antique shop hunter, buy a $3.00 counterfeit money marker.
I lost $20 or more at my yard sale last weekend. I'm sure they bought a $1 item and I gave back $19 in change. A loss of at least $38. total. It never crossed my mind while preparing for my sale. Funny money is on the rise, and these are prime target spots to pass them.
My story was printed in local news paper to raise community awareness.
By igaragesale from Cabot, AR
Thanks for the tip. What low lifes to steal from you.
Where do you find the $3 counterfeit money marker? I'm having a yard sale on the 24th and 25th of this month? Could you please write back? Thanks and God bless you.
Yes, please! If not the exact name of the store, at least the type of store you found it. Walmart type, office supply type, what?
Thanks ever so much!
Where did you buy the pen?
You don't need a pen. Hold the bill up to any light source and look for the magnetic strip. It is easily seen. I have been doing this for years.
Great tip! What a shame that some folks are always ready to take advantage of their fellow man!
Office supply stores sell these pens. My friend told me her Boy Scout troop accepted a $100 bill at a fundraiser hot dog sale and it turned out to be counterfeit.
I just talked to a lady who had a garage sale and said two people at two different times had given her 100.00 Dollar bills and she never thought anything of it. Their purchases were minimal around 8-9 dollars. Later at the bank they told her they were counterfeit. Buying a pen is the best solution. She lost a lot of money. Looking at them through the light to see the strip is ok, but if you have a bunch of people it is way more economical to buy the pen and i believe safer in the long run.
Thank you! I would have never thought of that. My mother in law always has yard sales. I will pass the info on.
I logged in to give this tip a thumbs up-it's an outstanding tip and very timely!
While I was in the States visiting family last month I noticed the clerks at several stores checking even five dollar bills with the pens and checking for the strip. I asked if counterfeiting had got that bad as to require even a fiver being checked, and was told by all of the clerks that yes indeed, even small bills were being counterfeited.
My son is planning a big four family garage sale in the fall and I'm going to suggest he have several of these pens at each pay table. I'm also going to suggest that he and his fellow sellers post a sign on the pay tables stating "Due to the recent rash of counterfeiting we will be checking all bills for legitimacy" in order to forestall questions (and hurt feelings in case the bearer is an innocent victim themselves and is merely passing on a bill received elsewhere unknowingly).
He runs a restaurant, and has had to deal with counterfeit money on several occasions-most of the time, the person with the fake has no idea it was fake, and can reliably prove they received it as change somewhere else.
Signs of desperate times.
Pens can be bought through Amazon and now they are having a buy one get one free. $9.25 or so plus shipping. I'd advised buying additional pens so they are all handy. This is perhaps the best tip I've read in recent memory. I'm on my son's PTA and will now try soliciting some of those pens free from one of our local merchants. I can see our events running into these type of problems. And I agree with frugualsunnie that it is a sign of these desperate times. The people most likely are just passing along the frauds. How sad for all. And the posted sign idea was great as well. Excellent comments people!
Wal-Mart sells the pens too.
It's a good tip but you didn't lose $38. If you gave the correct change, the most you lost was $20. And you can't always blame the person who hands you the money because they might not have known it was counterfeit.
She's saying that it happened with 2 people, maybe they were together, so she lost $38 total on the two sales. Go to a business supply shop or borrow one from your bank for the weekend.
One thing to remember when doing benefits, garage sales, to post a sign that bills over $20 will not be accepted, change not available. If someone is truly garage saling, they get small $5, $10, $1 to carry on their person. Do not make change for people. If so, take a photo of them.
The pens only work if the paper is not real money paper. In my area people have been changing $5.00 bills into $50.00 bills. The pen will show that these are real because they are on real money. Hold the bill up to the light and make sure the strip amount is the same as the face amount.
It saddens me that you had to submit your tip. The the people who rooked the Boy Scouts, should be pelted with rotten eggs.
I digress - another tip would be to place your bills that are $5.00 and more caddy corner on your till. Then count the change-as in; your total is $7.00 out of $10.00...that way nobody can claim they gave you a larger denomination (it has happened to me before).
I was speaking to a clerk at the grocery store the other day about these pens. She said the store advised them that it is not an accurate way of telling if the money is real or counterfeit. They were told to check by holding it up to the light and looking for the embedded strip.
Where can you find one of those pens? I only see clerks at stores have them.
Also, watch out for burglars. Try to have a friend there to help out, and act as security. A friend of mine had a yard sale at her home, by herself, in a sleepy little town in New Hampshire, and while the wife engaged my friend in conversation about a used book she was selling, her husband went into the unlocked house and stole some things she had on the porch.
Those 'counterfeit detection' pens don't always work! I used to work customer service and quite a few times we used those pens and the bill was counterfeit! The easiest way to check without the other person even knowing that you are checking the bill is: Run your fingernail down the bill on the President's suit. There will be tiny ridges that you can feel with your nail. If it feels real smooth, unless it's a real old bill, it's counterfeit. I had a policeman show me this trick and never had a problem after that. I've even shown many cashiers this tip when I am shopping.
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