Black Friday sales started with long lines of people camping out on the sidewalks and in the parking lots of some of the biggest retail chain stores. While those people braved the cold and were without the comforts of home, many of them won’t walk out of Best Buy, Walmart or Target with so much as trinket. That’s because they are paid line-waiters.
According to “Fox and Friends” live on Friday Nov. 28, people were paid up to $22 an hour to camp out overnight in lines for a shopper wanting the bargains. Time Magazine calls them “lazy bargain hunters” who hired line-sitters to brave the cold and keep a place in the front of the line for the shopper back home tucked in bed. That paid line-waiter is worth their weight in gold as the sleeping bargain hunter still gets the sale offering of 70% off HDTVs.
Just where would you find someone who is willing to make $20-$22 bucks an hour on the sidewalks in front of a chain retail store? According to the San Francisco Chronicle, many of these shoppers who stayed at home in a warm bed got their pinch hitters through the website TaskRabbit.
This website lists jobs of all sizes that are up for grabs. Many are temporary one-shot deals, like standing in line on Black Friday to keep the place of a shopper who is dedicated to get that deal no matter how much it is going to cost them. TaskRabbit is the place to go to find any type of quick employment. One might say that it is the mother lode of odd job offerings.
Aaron Gannon, who is a spokesperson for TaskRabbit, said this has become a yearly tradition of sorts. “Every year hundreds of taskers are hired to wait in line for Black Friday deals,” said Gannon.
Gannon said this year requests for these line-waiters came in early, but he believes this is because Black Friday sales started earlier this year. This service is in most demand in New York City and San Francisco. The average pay is $22 an hour for the Black Friday line-waiter.
Stores like Best Buy that hand out a limited number of vouchers for their biggest sales are where these hired line-waiters come in handy. According to Rakesh Agrawal, CEO of Redesign Mobile, a San Francisco app company claims that paying someone to stand in line makes sense in some cases.
If you can get a TV for several hundred dollars off the regular ticket price, then paying out that few hundred dollars to someone who will stand in line for you is worth it.
Canada’s AskForTask, which is much like TaskRabbit, reports getting 100 requests a day for Black Friday line-waiters in the week leading up to the busiest shopping day of the year. It seems that a paid line-waiter is a new job title thanks to modern technology!