Community FAQs and General Information about the Real Change Vendor Services Program
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 35 cents and resell it on the street for a suggested $1. 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- $1 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?
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?
Where does the money go to when I purchase a Real Change paper?
The vendor buys the paper from Real Change for 35 cents and sells it for a dollar. Vendors retain all of the money they earn as their personal income. With tips, the average paper brings a vendor around $1.25.
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, called 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 members 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:
Wednesday: 8am-5pm (office opens early due to the release of the new newspaper)
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 founder and Executive Director, Timothy Harris.
About Real Change
Real Change exists to provide opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic justice.(Read more...)