On an occasion like Black Friday, which is all about stores chiseling gullible consumers and consumers trampling one another for the opportunity to get chiseled first, the marketplace extends well beyond the walls of Walmart. Because, while most people are looking to save some money, others want to make some—by holding your place in line.
But does the discount on that HDTV justify the price of a line proxy? Depends on where you like to do your shopping. Here’s what they charge in various regions, according to Craigslist:
Bangor, Maine: Nothing, apparently. Must be Stephen King looking for story material.
Palm Springs, Calif.: Negotiable, though “personal concierge” sounds potentially pricey.
Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C.: Negotiable, but cash only. Must compensate for travel expenses and “any other nominal fees incurred”—like emergency room bills.
Tucson, Ariz.: $9 per hour. Very reasonable!
Indianapolis, Ind.: $10 per hour for the first three hours, $15/hr thereafter.
Las Vegas, N.V.: $50 for four hours, $10/hr thereafter. Go play some slots.
Charlotte, N.C.: $20 per hour.
Buffalo, N.Y.: $100 for the first day, which includes the cost of “supplies”—like pepper spray.
Central New Jersey: “Flexible” rates begin at $500 for one day of waiting, $900 for two, $1300 for three, $1700 for four, and the ultimate deal, $2000 for five. Out-of-state work is negotiable.
Waco, Texas: “I will stand in line for you even all day Thanksgiving. For $1000 I will hold you a place in line on Black Friday. You sleep, stay warm, and let me do the work for you. Payment due when you take over my place in line. Deposit of $250 with signed contract.”
Bloomingdale, Ill.: A somewhat chilly first date.