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Meet the Dudes Who Make $1K a Week Waiting in Lines

Robert Samuel charges $25 for the first hour and $10 every following half-hour
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2015 8:10 AM CDT
Meet the Dudes Who Make $1K a Week Waiting in Lines
People wait in line outside the Apple Store on New York's Upper West Side.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Robert Samuel is a professional time-killer. As the founder and CEO of Same Ole Line Dudes (or SOLD) in New York, he'll keep your place in line to ensure you get your hands on "iPhones, the latest Air Jordans, or the hottest Broadway tix in town." SOLD has even helped New Yorkers with brunch waitlists, sample sales, and passports. And because he's paid for his time—$25 for the first hour, and $10 for every half-hour thereafter—long lines are likely a lot more welcome to him than they are to the rest of us. In fact, Samuel recently made nearly $1,000 when he spent 48 hours at the very head of the line for the iPhone 6, reports Salon, which calls the business part of the "Uber-ization of everything." Since starting SOLD after getting laid off in 2012, Samuel now has 15 employees.

He says he makes up to $1,000 a week, though the New York Times notes that because his business is "cyclical," he currently also has a full-time job as a security guard. The line-waiting doesn't always sound pleasant. SOLD employee Adonis Porch tells Salon he's had to wait in hot weather, freezing weather, rain, sleet, and snow. Samuel says that while his customers can be superwealthy, most are just "everyday" people for whom time is a real commodity, reports CNBC. "Moms hire me because they can't wait in lines in the mornings. They have to take the kids off to school." Though in that wealthy vein, the Times recounts the time a group from the Middle East had nine SOLD workers wait in line for Cronuts. Whatever he's doing, his advice: "The rule is always respect the order of things. First come first served." (This line stretched more than a mile last November.)

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