It sounds like you’ve figured out what works best for you, so stick to it. Having dealers keep an eye out for you for @BestestDad
I don’t have Hawaii notes locally so I can’t say. The few places I checked online the prices seem fair. As to my purchases, A few of the notes I’ve picked up I got really good prices as I have a relationship with the local dealer. He let me go through over 1000 bills in his junk bin and I paid little over face, but that was me. I’ve spent thousands there. Based on what I see, it makes more sense for me to just wait and see if I can pick them up locally or have my LCS get them for me when coin shows come back. I still have a list of wants, so Hawaii notes will just wait.
specific notes is always a great thing. :-) And as you hav me already found, relationships can be very important in this hobby both for finding tougher notes and for what you’ll expect to pay.
Paying “little over face” is generally reserved for very low end notes that don’t have a massive numismatic premium or for more common notes in VF or lower condition that a seller wants to get rid of. eBay won’t be the place for that unless they are auction format with very low starting bids. I’ve picked up some great deals on VF+ PQ notes for my set that way. But eBay BIN listings won’t ever be that way except for very common notes, generally with problems that make them less desirable. 😊 Local dealer “junk bins” and those you find at shows are the best way to find notes for those “junk bin” prices.
Enamored with VF-35 and lower grade PPQ/EPQ notes!