NYC Man Earns $55,000 A Year Peddling Candy On Subway

Payscale

"Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please. Pardon the interruption..."

The announcement is familiar to many New Yorkers, who as they ride the subway, get visits from various people asking for their spare change, sometimes in exchange for an accordion tune, a belted 1960s ballad, or a pack of M&M peanuts. Probably few of those travelers know that at least one of those peddlers earns $150 a day.

Alex "Tracks" McFarland started selling candy on the subway at age 11, and is the subject of a two-minute documentary by Bianca Consunji (via New York magazine). With his 13 years of experience, Tracks knows the business well. Peanut M&Ms is his biggest seller, but he's got Welch's Fruit Snacks if you prefer your candy grape-flavored and gummy.

There are trail mix bars "for people who like to eat healthy," he says. "But this has got the most sugar in it," he chuckles.

Tracks carries cookies too -- Famous Amos chocolate chip and shortbread, "for people who claim they don't eat candy."


Sugar rush hour from Bianca Consunji on Vimeo.

He covers every person's predilection. "If you don't spend a dollar with me, either you don't have it or you're a hater," he's concluded.

And many New Yorkers spend that dollar. Tracks walks the D train in $300 kicks, and takes home around $55,000 a year, in cash. "These M&Ms, I take care of my family with this," he tells the camera.

While it might frustrate some to learn that the man who hectors subway riders to buy a granola bar is making more money than many of those commuters, there is something impressive about Tracks' entrepreneurship.

He started selling candy in order to get out of the "hood," he says. And he not only offers a valued service -- helping boost the blood sugar of wilting travelers -- but he does it with a human face. And a side of entertainment.

Tracks summarizes his simple business strategy at the end of the film:

"I do what I gotta do, just to stay on my feet.

I'm flipping them sweets, I sell cavities,

and s*** believer, hole in your teeth."


Next: Blue Collar Billionaires




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addypotter

Wow! Peddling on the street is definitely not my thing but good for him. It seems crazy to think that he made that much money just selling on the street. It blows me away. I think I will stick with my career as a cinematographer. (http://www.rickspix.net)

May 14 2012 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jeckt84

Are you kidding me, I don't think I could do that.

Mark
http://www.ontimedeals.com/

December 16 2011 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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December 15 2011 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Successfulmingle

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December 15 2011 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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December 15 2011 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DC Chillin'

Buying a dollar candy is basically the same as buying it fro the store outside. I do admit that it is pretty annoying to hear the same "Excuse me ladies and gentlemen," but it's part of being a daily New Yorker. You never know what's the cause for. Nobody really wants to sell candy on the train, but this man has brilliant idea of choices for snacks! He does seem a little cocky, but he has to support his family. He also declares he doesn't want to be known as a thug on the street, so why not sell candy?! He's helping the community, and having a good time. Hey, why not?

December 08 2011 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Casey Jackman

I buy from these guys because I'm scared to death of them. They get in your face like he said in the article "either you got a dollar or you're a hater." Maybe I don't eat junk food?? But I buy it anyway because the last thing I need is some dude glaring at me in a subway car that I can't walk away from. Usually I give them the dollar and tell him I don't want any candy. They say "what? I'm not a begger here take somethin'" And I say no thanks, because actually they are beggers and I'm paying him a dollar to go away.

December 07 2011 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Casey Jackman's comment
bronxchica1

Lol, what, you're scared? For what? I was a nerdy teenage Catholic school girl riding the trains and I've never been afraid of them. Just ignore them if you don't want candy.

December 07 2011 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DGEP

you need to relax man or just stand up for yourself more! come on. Convey confidence and people will respect and abide you more, convey weakness and people will take advantage of you - like "these people" do to you. they are working hard just like any sales man, recruitment dude, telemarking guy does, he wont stop bugging you until you give in. your just an easy target dude, blame yourself, not them

December 16 2011 at 7:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Devald

Selling products that say on the package not for individual sale..yea lets support people who break the law.

December 07 2011 at 5:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Devald's comment
Bryan Tobias

they say not marked or packaged for, not disallowed you idiot. breaking the law, get a clue you dumb ****.

December 13 2011 at 2:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karel

Good for him.

December 06 2011 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mdavidangst

i see there is no mention in this article about these people using children to peddle the candy for them. Using the underage kids to do the same "sorry for the interruption" scheme or scam and claiming that it keeps them off the streets.. BS - how much of that 55K is coming from using these kids.. what percentage of each dollar do they get? any at all?
It's a scam - do not give to them...

December 06 2011 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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