Real Change newspaper's price hike a boost for vendors

Print
Email
|

by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 18 at 6:15 PM

The price of Seattle's street newspaper Real Change has doubled from $1 to $2,  the first increase in twenty years.

The price jump is paying off for most of the paper vendors you see on Seattle street corners.

After a stroke two years ago, Real Change vendor Mike Henderson turned to selling papers along Aurora Avenue North. 

"Several times I have to remind people, I'm sorry, but its $2 now.  They say OK and they pull out another dollar," said Henderson.

Across Seattle, Real Change sales have dropped 7%, since the paper doubled in price.  But, because the papers cost more, revenues are up for vendors.

Vendors are now bringing in about $10 an hour, nearly minimum wage.

"Real Change is very much a relationship driven newspaper," said founder Tim Harris. "People love their vendors and they want to see them succeed, and they want to support them."

Selling nearly 200 paper a week on Lower Queen Anne, vendor Greg Garza now earns up to $15 an hour. He says he needed the raise. His arm was paralysed after being stabbed 10 years ago.

Instead of welfare, Garza uses to paper job to pay his own way.

"I'm not homeless. I pay my own rent. My own groceries. I take care of it with the paper sales," he said.

That's Real Change in Seattle.

Real Change becomes the sixth North American city, including Vancouver B.C. and Chicago, to raise its street newspaper price to two dollars.

 

Print
Email
|