Monday, October 27, 2008

StreetWise Changes Could Mean Extra Profits

Since its launch 16 years ago, StreetWise has always sold for a dollar. Publisher Michael Speer says that means a profit of 65 cents per paper for Streetwise vendors, many of whom are homeless.

SPEER: While all the cost of living has gone up around us, these individuals have never had an increase in the amount that they're making on the paper.

But soon they will, assuming they can sell as many papers. Streetwise is doubling its cover price, a move that will also double the profit for vendors. For the extra money, readers will get a glossier publication, with more content. The new Streetwise goes on sale mid-next week. 

For some reason I thought StreetWise was a ripoff and not just to those who buy these papers, but for the guys selling them as well. Perhaps a profit of 65 cents is better than begging for pennies or hustling on the streets for money or indeed better than nothing. How much would a person pay for a papers from StreetWise this article doesn't make clear, but what could be the profit 75 cents or a dollar assuing it goes up to close to two dollars.

Others things I've observed.

There used to be a Walgreen's on Randolph and State. I was leaving the store and some guy walks up to me, I would call it aggressive because of how he ended the convo. If you're going to be selling those papers the least one could do is make people comfortable buying from you. IMO that wasn't what he did.

Another time there was this guy selling papers. Assuming this was the same guy whom was yelling on the streets on that very same street corner Jackson & State, he sold a StreetWise paper to some guy who said something to him and this guy only nodded. That's another person who's not likely to get money from me or a number of people for a StreetWise.

Others have been more agressive but probably not in a bad way, but more annoying. I walked past one guy who was selling StreetWise and I had no intention of buying from him. This was near the Thompson Center. He didn't cut it off there as I was carrying a backpack at that time. He wondered if I have something to eat, like a cracker or what not. Hmm, not sure that's good!

Another time on State & Randolph another guy I walked past him but he was right behind me trying to get me to buy one of his papers. Somewhat playful I thought, but wasn't conducive to me making a purchase for his paper. I kept going because I wasn't interested.

Please don't think for a second that I'm putting down any StreetWise vendor.

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