By EAMON McNIFF, SARAH LANG, KIMBERLY LAUNIER, and ALEXA VALIENTE
Want to try a cronut, but don’t want to wait in line for one? This man will do the waiting for you.
While some people dread the thought of waiting in lines, Robert Samuel turned the drudgery and frustration of line-waiting into a business.
About two years ago, Samuel lost his job as a sales representative at an AT&T store. Looking to make ends meet, he posted an ad on Craigslist offering to hold a spot in line for people when the new iPhone 5 came out.
“It wasn’t a business thing. It was just, ‘Hey, I need to make extra money,’” Samuel, 38, of New York, told ABC News’ “20/20.”
One man paid Samuel $100 to wait 19 hours outside of a store for the phone. “I was cheap. I know better now,” said Samuel.
Today, Samuel charges $60 to wait in line at Dominique Ansel Bakery and deliver two cronuts, the latest New York foodie craze.
“I would say I do maybe two to three a week,” Samuel said.
His business, SOLD Inc., which stands for “same old line dudes,” employs a team to stand in line at various businesses.
Besides cronuts, Samuel and his team have been hired to wait on line for Nike sneaker releases, autograph signings, sample sales, “Saturday Night Live” tickets, and even the Department of Motor Vehicles. Overall, Samuel said he’s waited on well over a hundred lines.
“It’s perfect in New York because, number one, it’s the most populous city in the world,” said Samuel. ”And number two, because there’s so much stuff to do food-wise, culturally, retail — it’s like a perfect storm.”
Samuel has customers throughout the country, including Florida and even in Toronto, Canada.
“Robert provides a really reliable service,” a woman, who hired Samuel and asked to remain anonymous, told “20/20.” “I don’t have to get up super early. I don’t have to wait in the cold.”
Samuel said he’s not in the business of professional line-sitting just for the money.
“I’m not even gonna tell you how many cronuts I’ve had already,” said Samuel.