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Porcupine 11-30-2007 11:30 AM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
I think busy intersections, because your targets are stuck right by you waiting for the light. Also, people are used to the idea of panhandlers at intersections and everyone has seen someone hand money out of the car window.

Is knocking on the car windows that common? Around here they don't really approach the cars unless someone holds money out of their window. That said, I think knocking on the windows would really increase your take. Recently, I gave money to some tweaker that surprised me at my car window - partly because it was a girl, but also because she was "right on top of me" and harder to ignore.

AZK 11-30-2007 11:56 AM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
side note:

How many of you dump the change when going to starbucks? I do this frequently.

DrSavage 11-30-2007 12:14 PM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
I think you missed the most important and likely the most profitable panhandling spot of them all: by the church.

skier_5 11-30-2007 12:47 PM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
At night I'd be inclined to panhandle outside of a convenience store in an area with lots of nightlife. You're gonna get drunk people going in and buying stuff and getting change (and not leaving it in some tip cup most likely).

RERAISE5823 11-30-2007 12:51 PM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
I have no idea where would be the best spot, but I wanted to share a thought I had.

I've recently moved from NY to western Colorado (snug between Aspen and Vail). In NY, homeless are plenty and generally they adopt a passive posture on a main street like 3rd or 5th Ave, outside stores, bakeries etc... I'd usually drop my change after buying a sandwich or coffee. Occasionally I'd give more, like $5 or something, generally when someone looked alert (i.e. not drunk) but pretty helpless.

Here in CO, there is one major roadway from my home to Aspen. Pretty much everyone in the valley travels the roadway between 8-10AM and back between 4-7PM. There's always someone with a sign at one of the lights about halfway to Aspen, a light which stops for longer. I believe that the townships frown upon panhandlers actually doing their thing IN the town, so they choose the most likely spot to get people coming and going.

The real reason I wanted to respond was because of a link I perceive between ELD's other post about larger tipping, and this one about panhandling.

I feel that in our currently depressed economy, I'm more likely to tip and give money to panhandlers than I would be during flush times. The only reason I can think for this is because I feel fortunate to have a good job, even though I am making the same or slightly less (I'm full commission) than I was last year I'm more likely to help someone in need out now.

PITTM 11-30-2007 01:23 PM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
1: In front of Starbucks/coffee shop-Seems like a fairly decent idea. Lots of women who are more sympathetic, lots of people with change, etc.

2: In front of bar-Pretty bad, but high variance I would guess. You would probably be harassed a good bit, not get any real steady cash flow but I imagine with drunks around you might get bills from time to time.

3: In front of restaurant-Horrible, people who are eating in a restaurant are usually in a hurry, kind of short of temper and usually pay with credit, as opposed to starbucks, which probably gets more change.

4: On street in business/financial district-This is probably the worst if not the bar. Lots of people who look down on you more than average/really try keep as much for themselves as possible. I feel like this would be the worst, especially with the psychological effect of being surrounded by people with a ton of money.

5: On street in shopping district-Very good, maybe better than starbucks, people are happy, have lots of money readily available, and although most stuff is bought with credit a lot of smaller things will be bought with cash, meaning these people will be carrying change. These people are desperate to offload money any way possible.

6: On random neighborhood street-Pretty bad, people can easily avoid approaching you and would just drive up to their house, go inside and ignore you.

7: At busy corner/intersection-On one hand, kinda sweet because you have a ridiculous amount of traffic passing you. However, you have to deal with a few adverse factors like: people not stopping, people not even rolling down their windows and ignoring you, being surrounded by super polluted air all day.

For me, I would go shopping district, starbucks or maybe like a university campus or something with a bunch of super compassionate liberals or something.

Pyromaniac 11-30-2007 01:36 PM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
it's a good point that's been made that Starbucks might seem like a good spot until you realize the tip jar is sucking away your profits.

...and how easy is it to say "oops sorry I put my change in the tip jar" even if you didn't...


Assume that we're talking averages here, so given panhandlers of all types, where is the best average take?

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should we factor in "average time before you get chased off"? cities differ, of course, but I'm thinking again, that while Starbucks seems like a sweet spot to stake out, that a lot of places are going to run you off of the sidewalk before it has a chance to be profitable.

side note of my own: what if you're panhandling for a charitable cause? What's the best spot to be a bellringer for the salvation army, this time of year? I always see one outside a Sam's Club - and while people wheel a ton of stuff out of there, most of them, I'm thinking, have paid w/ a check or plastic and have no leftover change from the transaction. and again, it's a lot easier to blow by the guy when you're pushing a full cart of stuff and have both hands tied up anyway.

best place: I'm thinking busy intersection. You have a new set of possible donators every time the light changes, and that's more than the turnover of a starbucks. also, people have to sit there and wait and get uncomfortable--they can't keep just walking past you. And, finally, when someone *does* hand something out the window, it's usually some green, not change. so when someone does give, you get more.

punkass 11-30-2007 01:38 PM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
You need to be places where people have coins.

Financial district sucks -- no one has change.
Restaurant/bar sucks because everyone uses credit/debit cards or rounds to nearest bill with tip.
Shopping District sucks because of same credit/debit issue.
Random neighborhood street corner -- someone will probably call the police on you. They'll say they saw you doing drugs or something to get you away.

Busy corner sounds good. With plastic being accepted everywhere, including fast food, no place is good anymore.

Pyromaniac 11-30-2007 01:38 PM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
I think you missed the most important and likely the most profitable panhandling spot of them all: by the church.

[/ QUOTE ]

does that include "making change" from the collection plate?

adanthar 11-30-2007 01:50 PM

Re: PDT 1/2 : Best place to panhandle
The subway by a mile. The regulars in the NYC subways supposedly make 20-30K a year. It's hard to beat that without the captive audience.

Related to this, if you perform some kind of added service (playing an instrument, selling newspapers/old magazines/dollar store castoffs you picked up, making people laugh), your profits go up, too. This is easier to do in a location where people walk slowly, there are lots of couples out on dates, and they have spare change. Starbucks/shopping district areas are therefore better than the rest of the list, but you still can't beat the subways.

why do I know these things [img]/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

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