What It's Like to Be a Professional Line Sitter

(Photo: SOLD)

If you want a really hot product--like the latest smartphone or high-end sneakers--then you may have to stand in line if you want to purchase it on the first day that it's released. Those lines can get really long. If you don't have time for that, then you can hire someone to stand in line for you.

Robert Samuel of New York City used to work for AT&T. He lost his job, so he created a new one. Tiffany Yannetta of Racked interviewed him about his work. How did Samuel get started in the line-sitting business? He explains how it all began by sitting in line for 19 hours for an iPhone:

I wanted to supplement my income because I used to sell iPhones, and this time I wasn't going to be able to sell them and make a big commission check. I live a few blocks from the Apple store on 14th Street, so I said, "Let me wait in line for somebody else and make them happy."

The guy that hired me cancelled and said he wasn't going to use me—he was just going to get it online but that he was still going to pay me. He paid me $100 and I resold the spot and made another $100, and then I called my friends and told them to come on down, because I just made $200 standing in one spot on a weekday afternoon.

They came down and took up spaces, but after a while they got tired and went upstairs to my house and hung out, and I ended up selling one of their spots. I also sold milk crates for $5 a piece that I had in my house. At this point, the line was getting long and people didn't want to stand, and some people didn't want to sit on cardboard on the floor, so my milk crates came in handy at $5 a pop. That's $325.

Samuel later expanded his business, which he calls SOLD: Same Old Line Dudes, Inc. He regularly employees 7 people as line sitters. He charges $25 for the first hour and $10 for every subsequent half hour.

-via Marginal Revolution


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