Vendor Program

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Vendor Program

Community FAQs and General Information about the Real Change Vendor Services Program

Real Change is Expanding!

Starting November 6, 2013, Real Change will be distributing papers to vendors located in Kitsap County, thanks to our new partnership with Kitsap Rescue Mission. Vendors will participate in orientation and purchase copies the paper at Kitsap Rescue Mission, and will be selling at various locations throughout Kitsap County.

The new distribution program is supported by major social services providers and community organizations in Kitsap, including The United Way of Kitsap County, The Coffee Oasis, The Salvation Army, and Bremerton Foodline.

The November 6 launch in Kitsap County marks the first launch of a satellite distribution site for any street newspaper in North America. On November 20, Real Change will open its second satellite distribution center in Bellevue, making it a regional publication.

Who is a Real Change vendor?

A Real Change vendor is a person who has independently chosen to sell Real Change and earn personal income by selling the paper.  Vendors buy the paper for 60 cents and resell it on the street for a suggested $2.  Most of our vendors are people who are presently or formerly homeless.  All are low income.  For more information about vendor demographics, you can check out our Annual Reports.  The simple cross-class mutual change of reciprocal value Real Change offers- $2 for a quality award winning paper, helps both the vendor and the reader. 

How can I nominate my favorite vendor for Vendor of the Week?

We have some amazing vendors and we appreciate you taking the time to let us know about the special person who offers you Real Change.  Vendors of the Week are profiled in the paper and receive a $25 prize.  To nominate your vendor, use the nominate a vendor button to the far right on each page of this site.  If you prefer to nominate someone by phone or email, you can contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at 206-441-3247 x204. 

How do I know who is and is not an authorized Real Change vendor?

Currently active vendors will have a badge bearing the Real Change logo, their vendor number and the current year on the bottom left corner. 

How can I report a problem or incident I’ve had with a vendor?

We are always sorry to hear about any trouble anyone has had with a vendor.  Responding to customer and community concerns is a top-priority for us.  Please call or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Director of Vendor Services and she will be happy to address your concern.  If the vendor is active and is violating the Real Change Vendor Code of Conduct, immediate action will be taken by our staff to correct the situation with the vendor.  In serious or ongoing situations, we will suspend or cancel a vendor’s right to sell papers.

Where does the money go to when I purchase a Real Change paper?
The vendor buys the paper from Real Change for 60 cents and sells it for $2.  Vendors retain all of the money they earn as their personal income.  The vendor earns $1.40 for each paper, plus any tips they might receive.

Are there specific locations where vendors are/are not authorized to sell?

Vendors have a first amendment right to sell the paper on any public, common space such as a public sidewalk. Vendors selling on private property (for example, outside a grocery store but not on a sidewalk) must get permission from the property owner or manager. To ensure vendor and circulation success, vendors agree to sell no closer than 1 city block from each other. Some vendors sell more than 300 or more than 600 papers a month and are granted a reserved selling location. This is called the 300 club and 600 club and vendors who have attained this level of sales are called club vendors. Other vendors can still sell when the club vendor is not there, but need to move to a different spot if the club member arrives to start selling. A reserved selling location is printed on club member’s badges. If you would like a vendor to sell at your store, we encourage you to talk to the store manager about inviting a Real Change vendor onto their property.

Who can I contact about stories or submissions for the paper?

We are a paper with a small staff and we rely on volunteers from all backgrounds to help write and produce the paper.  Those interested in volunteering with our award winning editorial department should consult the guidelines and procedures on our volunteer page

How do I become a Real Change vendor? or How do I refer someone to become a Real Change vendor?

New vendors are welcome at Real Change!  Please visit our page for prospective sellers to learn more.  There are no requirements for being a vendor other than agreeing to abide by the Real Change vendor code of conduct and completing a 1 hour in-office training and orientation. 

What hours is Real Change open?

Real Change’s Vendor Center and the Michael Garcia Vendor Learning Center have the following operating hours:
Monday: 9am-5pm
Tuesday: 9am-1pm
Wednesday: 8am-5pm (office opens early due to the release of the new newspaper)
Thursday: 9am-5pm
Friday: 9am-5pm
Saturday: 9am-1pm, 2pm-5pm
Sundays: RC is closed
Community hours, when vendors can access the Robert Hansen Memorial Computer Lab, are daily from 9AM-1PM. 

Is Real Change all over the country?

There is only one Real Change.  However, Real Change belongs to a network of independent street newspapers in North America, called The North American Street Newspaper Association (NASNA).  Additionally, we are part of the International Network of Street Newspapers (INSP).  There are vibrant and growing street newspapers all over the world.  If you are interested in connecting with a paper in your area, consult the NASNA and INSP websites.  Don’t see one in your area? Maybe you have what it takes to start one!  The guide on how to start a street paper was co-written by Real Change’s Founding Director, Timothy Harris. 

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Real Change exists to provide opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic, social and racial justice.(Read more...)

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