People are paying up to $1,500 for someone else to take their place in line
Professional line sitters will wait for your wants - for a fee, that is.
What started mostly on Craigslist and TaskRabbit, an odd jobs hiring service, has evolved into a more sophisticated service.
One example is New York-based Same Ole Line Dudes (SOLD Inc.), a team of professional line sitters who will take over your wait for anything New York City has to offer, from sample sales to Saturday Night Live tickets to the latest Air Jordans.
Founder Robert Samuel got into this business about three years ago, when he lost his job as an AT&T sales representative and needed a new way to make extra cash. The iPhone 5 happened to be coming out around the same time and he put an advertisement on Craiglist offering to wait in line for it.
After 19 hours of waiting, he had earned $325.
The venture was so profitable that he put a name to it and started SOLD Inc. in December 2012.
SOLD Inc. charges $25 for the first hour and $10 for each additional half hour - a minimum two-hour wait is required, meaning the cheapest you'll pay is $45. In one week, Samuel can earn up to $1,000, he told Business Insider.
Samuel isn't the only one profiting from this business.
One TaskRabbit "Tasker" brought home $1,500 for waiting in line for 100 hours for the iPhone 5. Others consistently wait in line for clients to get into the trendiest restaurants or bars, and there is a growing line sitting industry in Washington DC specializing in Supreme Court argument and congressional hearing lines.
Even before iPhones and TaskRabbit existed, people were earning extra cash by waiting in line.
Line sitting is a 20-year-old tradition at Galatoire's, a fourth generation family restaurant in New Orleans famous for its Friday lunches. The world-renowned spot insists on a no-reservations policy, and line sitters will arrive around 2 a.m. and camp out for hours to ensure their customers get a coveted seat in the dining room, The Times-Picayune reports.
The most lucrative days of the year used to be the Fridays before Halloween and Mardi Gras, when sitters would earn over $1,000 to wait in line for three days. That ended in 2006 when Galatoire's started auctioning off the tables on those two days, but every other Friday can be a couple-hundred-dollar opportunity for the line sitters.
If you have more money to spare than you have time, hiring a line-sitter could save you minutes, or even hours. If you have more time than money, however, there's another side job to consider.
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