Tips for Street Vendors

Lola Bean - Posted on 18 November 2010

Reggie Thompson - PNN Washington Correspondent
It's a little before 9pm. I had a great day selling Real Change papers and meeting new people.Man, am I hungry for a pizza! I sell 600 papers a month,attend writing and art classes. Also, I write blogs and articles. The truth is, I am too busy to know I am busy, and that's good.
  • Speaking of good, I got some good tips on how I built and grew my Real Change vendor business through the worstiest times we face, that makes Holloween look like jelly beans. Smile and take notes, this stuff works, here it go:
  • First I brought a cheap notebook, Spiderman on the covwer, to record important notes for my business journal. A journal is like a mirror you can see yourself progress.
  • I kept communication open with my customers and staye d at the same corner and built a good reputation as a dependable, responsible and friendly person.There no reputation like a good reputation.
  • I chose not to smoke or drink on the job because I did not want to run potential customers away. Some body always watching and talking. Believe me!
  • Words such as " Good Morning, Good Evening and Thank You " ,has always been in my daily greetings to customers and non-cusomers. It helps to break the ice and show respect.
  • Having a plan and working kept me on track to reach my goals. Plan + Action = Success.
  • I listened to business motivation tapes that I bought from Goodwill thrift store to help make me strong in sales when my battery was weak. Those cheap tapes paid for themselves over and over again.
  • When the economy really got bad, I extened my hours to meet the demands for Real Change paper. The Seattle P-I wenty out of business, the people wanted an alternative paper. I filled their needs.

I realized I was in the right place at the right time, so I helped people who wanted to become Real Change vendors by giving them the information they needed. They were very thankful.

As a street vendor selling street news papers , I can only see business growing and growing. THIS IS MY OWN TIME TO SHINE ! 

Check out these articles and more on our sister sites at Real Change and the International Network of Street Newspapers: INSP Vendor Blog: INSP Main Website: Real Change Blog: Real Change Main Website: 

Dear Reggie- i dont know you yet - this is tiny, i started POOR with my mama back when we were still dealin with houselessness and living in and out of our car-we survived on selling stuff on the street "illegally" for years and now im still not so far from that - but holding on- but i wanted to say these tips are grrrreat!!! - we did an issue of the hard copy of POOR in 1998 and it was dedicated to work and we spoke with panhandlers, street vendors ( like me and my mama) and recyclers and we were trying to get the world to understand that these are in fact forms of labor and businesss - not that we were lazy, bums, etc - all the names they call us, and your tips are like that issue! - anyway, just wanted to tell you that you are a great writer and a great micro-business man- so go Reggie- and i cant wait to meet you in person someday and i know our sister Gioia is working with you all to get your excellent work out to the world so kudos to you all !!!

in solidarity- Tiny, poverty scholar & daughter of Dee

These are some great tips, Reggie. I would love to share them with other Real Change vendors- may I print this page out?

Jenn Pearson
Real Change Vendor Services


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