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  #1  
Old 01-10-2003, 02:49 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
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Anyone ever deliver phone books for quick cash?

I just saw an ad in my local paper and did a followup call. Basically, you deliver a neighborhood's worth of phone books and collect your money...AFTER the company verifies (by phone call) that the books have indeed been delivered.
Any experience with this? Is it worthwhile? How do I know it won't take them a month to follow up and do the verification? (The company, if it makes any difference, is Yellowbook.)
Elderpoet and I are looking for quick cash because--I may have to start another thread on this because it is SO exciting--we just put a very fine used, tenor bass, Holton trigger trombone on layaway, and it's gonna cost $300 more to get it out. I don't even play trombone, but I am here to tell you it is One Fine Horn.
Thus, the interest in a temp job like this.
Best,
karol
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2003, 03:09 PM
merge merge is offline
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There has to be a catch... here are a few reasons why I would not do it...

1. Most people deliver the books by throwing them in front of the house... some get picked up and thrown out right away...

2. Call ID.. I have caller ID now, and we never pick up a call that says "unavailable" which I am sure the call would say to verify a phone book was received...

3. How do you know they are going to call veeryone that you sent a book to?

4. You probably get a few cents per book...

5. not worth the time...

Here is an idea...
call local painters... or any home renovation places in your area... call the smaller ones...
Tell them you have been helping out a few companies market by delivering flyers. (or think of something else)
and ask if they would like you to hand out flyers for them to local towns...

If you are looking for something for a few hours a week... this may work for you... I did it once... for 3 weeks... I made about 7 dollars an hour in college...
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2003, 03:58 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Reminds me of a cartoon called That's Jake that I had posted over my work area many years ago.
It was entitled
Jobs that are worse than yours #27 in a series

The picture showed a guy sweating bullets, lugging a large anvil up a steep sidewalk.

The caption was "Door to door anvil salesman in a hilly neighborhood."

Think about it, phonebooks are freakin heavy.
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Old 01-10-2003, 04:05 PM
sj2 sj2 is offline
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We had a couple that stopped by our business and asked if we wanted phone books. I said, "No, I have enough for the recycle bin." As they were leaving, I asked them if they got paid by the book delivered and they said they did. I changed my tune and took 2 for every person in the office. I did have to sign for the number accepted and provide my company name, however...which I was happy to do.
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Old 01-10-2003, 05:30 PM
whitetho whitetho is online now
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I know I have gotten calls asking if I received a telephone book. In all the cases I have and I told them so.
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Old 01-10-2003, 07:11 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
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Well, at least we don't have to ask (or beg, heh) anyone in order to give them out. They automatically go to every address in a given neighborhood. The followup calls, based on the few such calls that I've received, are just random checks rather than a address-to-address verification of every home.
If I manage to keep an appt with the Guy in Charge, I'll be able to find out more. Sizewise, these aren't too bad--I've seen them on the doorsteps as I do papers, and they are maybe as heavy as a Sunday paper. I do 300 of those every Sunday (and have to be done in under 5 hours), so the actual work involved won't be that bad.
Wouldn't, I mean. Hypothetically. I sure won't do it for cents on the book.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2003, 08:56 PM
Some Guy Some Guy is offline
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I did this many years ago - or rather, I sort-of-subcontracted from someone who did it on aregular basis. Here (Georgia), the phone co. doesn't call everyone, but they do do spot check calls of people who asked for special delivery instructions (payphone guide, more copies than phone connections, specific drop spots, etc.) If anyone wasn't satisfied on the spot check, or your route got a valid customer service complaint, you were supposed fix it. Since the pay was per drop, rather than hourly, this was a serious hit in the aggravation department. Theoretically, they could also blacklist you from doing delivery for them again, but I got the impression that in practice that never happened short of deliberate malfeasance.

It really wasn't worth the money, btw, especially as I was only subcontracting. However, I dunno what the rates are these days.
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2003, 10:53 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Re: Anyone ever deliver phone books for quick cash?

Quote:
Originally posted by bodypoet
I just saw an ad in my local paper and did a followup call. Basically, you deliver a neighborhood's worth of phone books and collect your money...AFTER the company verifies (by phone call) that the books have indeed been delivered.
Any experience with this? Is it worthwhile? How do I know it won't take them a month to follow up and do the verification? (The company, if it makes any difference, is Yellowbook.)
Elderpoet and I are looking for quick cash because--I may have to start another thread on this because it is SO exciting--we just put a very fine used, tenor bass, Holton trigger trombone on layaway, and it's gonna cost $300 more to get it out. I don't even play trombone, but I am here to tell you it is One Fine Horn.
Thus, the interest in a temp job like this.
Best,
karol
Heh-heh. You are asking the right person about this. I have 12+ years in the directory distribution industry, and I currently own my own distribution services company, Distribution Solutions Inc. where we provide routing and verification services to the industry. My prior company delivered many of the Yellow Books (they did all their directories in AL, TN, GA, NC, MS, and LA), but did not deliver any in Bloomington, IN. That distribution, I believe (the YB contract was just this last summer so my info should be pretty good), is run by YB itself, and your manager probably reports to the old McLeod offices in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ask him.

Anyway, to your questions:

"Any experience with this?" Yup. Tons. More than I can type - trust me.

You're going to go to a warehouse that has a ton of phone directories in there. You will likely meet a manager and a clerk or 2 in a bare-bones temporary operation, and they will probably send you through an orientation session where they teach you how to deliver phone books.

You then get to select a route (more on this very important step later), whereupon you'll fill out some paperwork, including a contract between you and the distribution company to deliver phone books for that route (more on this as well). You will then get your phone books, some plastic bags, some paperwork telling you what areas/streets to deliver, and you're off!

When you deliver, you will likely have to bag all residential deliveries. Some people bag all their books the night before they go out delivering, some people bag their books while they are delivering - do what you think is fastest.

You will either get a list of streets and address ranges, or a list of all the people that you are supposed to deliver. Since you are doing Yellow Book, you'll probably get the postal route system, where you'll get a list of streets like "Adams St 1 199 B", which tells you to deliver all addresses between 1 to 199 on Adams St, "B"oth sides of the road. You'll also get a list of the advertisers who live/work on that route - you'll have to get signatures for the whole list (ask them if they pay extra for signatures).

Houses must be delivered to the door. Do not think that you'll be able to toss a bunch of books onto driveways as you're slowly driving down the street - not if you want to get paid. You are going to have to get out of your car and walk, young lady (I assume - you did sign "karol").

"Is it worthwhile?" Only if you're smart about it and you have the right tools. You will need the following items to make it worthwhile:

1. A vehicle capable of holding a minimum of $125 worth of phone books. You will get paid about $.10-.25 per book (dependant upon book size and driving distance of route), meaning that your vehicle must hold between 500-1,250 books. In short, and this is very important, you will lose money delivering in a sedan. Period. You must have a large-bed truck or, better, cargo van to make money.

2. Smart route selection. Go for the businesses and the apartments. Leave the suburbs and the rural areas for the pros (and yes, there are professionals at this). If they haven't already picked the area clean, you need to select routes that have large business counts (the managers and clerks will know how many residents and businesses exist per route - just ask) or those that cover large apartment complexes. This way, you'll be able to get rid of over 200 books an hour ($20+).

3. A strong vehicle. Cars are the thing that will destroy any profit that you might make - I cannot tell you how many irate people have yelled at me, demanding that I pay to replace their transmissions/axles/suspensions/etc. Phone books are heavy, and they'll f-up a mere car just like that.

4. You will be an independant contractor, meaning that you will be sign a contract to be paid piece work for every single directory you deliver. They will not deduct any taxes/alimony from your paycheck, and you can earn up to $600 before the income gets reported to the IRS in a 1099. Many people, to evade the $600 limit, use familial social security numbers - my father had 4 kids back in 1982 when we got into this, and all of us had about $580 of phone book income that year.

"How do I know it won't take them a month to follow up and do the verification?" You will sign a contract with YB that stipulates how long the check will take (usually 3-10 days)*. The verification amounts to a sampling of the people that live on your route(s). Yellow Book asks (I know this, btw) four questions:

1. Did you recieve your book?
2. Was it in a good condition?
3. Was it in a plastic bag?
4. Was it by your door or mailbox?

They will ask these questions of 5% of the people/businesses that exist on your route, and they will call EVERY advertiser, signed or not.

*This is an industry standard, comparable to times given by Market Distribution Specialists (MDS), Specialty Directory Distribution Specialists (SDDS), and American Directory Services (ADS) who also do Yellow Book work. ADS bankrupts and re-orgs every 3 years or so, so they might be called something else now. If Yellow Book differs, my bad.
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2003, 11:02 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Oops. I meant to put the appropriate smilie in this passage:

"You are going to have to get out of your car and walk, young lady (I assume - you did sign "karol")."

Otherwise I just sound like a codger.
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2003, 11:08 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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You know, given the events in this thread, which detailed the hell I went through in order to leave my parents company, it is appropriate that post # 666 was (in a slight way) about my parents company.
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2003, 01:16 AM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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I've done this a couple of times, but there was never anything about them having to call and confirm they were delivered, we got paid right away.
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2003, 01:52 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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I delivered phone books last fall, and my biggest complaint was the incredible pain it caused in my back (from lugging all those heavy books around). Other than that, the money was okay for the amount of work I actually put in, with no one looking over my shoulder. If you have a strong back and want a little quick cash, I would say go for it. Oh yeah, JohnT's advice is right on the mark.

(You will probably need some kind of carrier for the books if you don't have one already - armfuls of phone books isn't a great idea.)
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2003, 03:19 AM
Lorenzo Lorenzo is offline
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I can concur that delivering phone books (or newspapers) has destroyed more automobiles than fortunes it has made in the process.

Need a truck. Definitely need a truck.
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2003, 01:38 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
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JohnT. The SD is an amazing place--I just KNEW someone here would chime in with the voice of experience. Thank you.

Now, to address some of your points, so you can talk me out of this if need be:

I drive a Nissan Quest van. It's not huge, but if I put the seats down I have plenty of room. I use it to deliver papers every day, so whatever systems are going to be killed by the weight are already halfway there. If necessary, I'll look for smaller routes and see if they'll let me do another one in a few days.
I'm okay with walking, especially since I intend to make the boys do most of that. (It ain't MY trombone we're trying to pay for, after all!) They're 12 and 16, very responsible, and used to doing this kind of thing as I drag them out every Sunday for paper delivery. Moneywise, I'm more concerned with how much we make than how quickly we make it, as long as it helps out with the horn payment.
We have many, many, MANY apartments here--college town and all that--so I will be careful to select a route carefully, assuming they aren't already taken.
Hmm. I guess I'd better go get a valid driver's license, just in case all goes well.
Thanks again! I love having a SD.
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  #15  
Old 01-13-2003, 08:27 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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You will likely make anywhere between $60-$120 per route*. Having 2 kids that you don't have to pay is a big plus, as that is what my dad did back in the early '80s. We'd deliver the phone books while he was reading the newspaper in the car: he'd park in the middle of the street and wait for us.

*1 route~=8 hours (including bagging).

You HAVE to have a valid License to deliver phone books, btw. Unless the distribution is totally sucking air, you won't get contracted without a current drivers license and liability insurance. Sorry.
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  #16  
Old 01-13-2003, 11:46 AM
deball deball is offline
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JohnT,
Are there many overlaps in delivery companies? I seem to get new copies of the same three DC area phonebooks every other month. I get home from work and there they are, in a huge stack next to my door.

I don't mind very much because the thick phonebooks make great .357 targets, and great campfire logs. Or I just recycle them.

Nobody has ever called me.
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  #17  
Old 01-13-2003, 05:04 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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You have two different types of publishers in the phone book industry - Telco's (TELephone COmpany books) who are required by some outmoded regulation to provide a phone directory, and Independents, who publish telephone books solely for the purposes of selling advertisments to be in said book. www.yellowbook.com]Yellow Book USA[/url] is an independent.

The telco's are forced to divulge their listings due to another Federal Regulation, so technically the listings in the Independent book should be as up to date as the listings in the Telco book (I'd tell you the law, but I can't remember it right now...).

A lot of independent books have far more features then the Telco books, including restaraunt menus, area-wide street maps, Criss-Cross listings, etc. Here in Knoxville we get the BellSouth book (it has gotten a LOT better over the past years) and the Yellow Book. In Atlanta, GA some places get as many as 7-9 separate books - even the Telco white/yellow pages is 5 books (2 books for Yellow, 2 books for residential white, and 1 book for business white). BellSouth used to pay $1.00/set back in 1988, I can only expect it to be higher now. I made $400 one day by hitting the motherload of apartments, made $300 the next and never worked again.

The delivery companies themselves compete for the contracts to deliver the telephone directories published by the independants and the telcos. The telco business is locked up by two companies, Product Development, and Directory Distributing Associates Inc, while the independants are fought over by the smaller companies, of which my parents company is one. Many times, they have had different books being delivered for different clients in the same city - at the same time!
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  #18  
Old 01-13-2003, 05:10 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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That's Yellow Book USA, btw. . And Product Development Corporation doesn't have a website that I can find
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  #19  
Old 06-24-2013, 12:00 AM
SANDRA2563 SANDRA2563 is offline
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Delivering phone books

I've delivered phone books with deliverthephonebooks.com and it is legit. The orginizers are friendly and helpful if you have questions. Your the contractor and if you make over $600 you will get a tax form at the end of the yr, if under $600 you get nothing. Pay is like anyother job it runs a week behind. the last check is mailed to you. If you get the books delivered b4 the due date you get a bonus. The give you a gps to carry around to prove you delivered the books. If you do not deliver the books and threw them away its a class action felony.(if you get caught)... Its thru verizon
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  #20  
Old 06-24-2013, 12:17 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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Spam reported. (SANDRA2563)
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  #21  
Old 06-24-2013, 01:14 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Actually, the website is deliverphonebooks.com, and it is legit - it's for one of the larger delivery companies, PDC (www.teampdc.com).

I'm no longer in the business like I was, God, 10 years ago(!), but everything Sandra says is true (other than the "class action felony" part - I don't even know what a "class action felony" is, but if you toss enough $8 books, yes, you could be charged with a crime.)

Last edited by JohnT; 06-24-2013 at 01:14 AM..
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  #22  
Old 06-24-2013, 09:13 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Actually, the website is deliverphonebooks.com, and it is legit - it's for one of the larger delivery companies, PDC (www.teampdc.com).

I'm no longer in the business like I was, God, 10 years ago(!), but everything Sandra says is true (other than the "class action felony" part - I don't even know what a "class action felony" is, but if you toss enough $8 books, yes, you could be charged with a crime.)
She revivied a thread from 2003, her username is similar to the President of the company while claiming to be a delivery person and the whole post reads like a job ad.
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  #23  
Old 06-24-2013, 09:26 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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It may be some useful information. The mods can ban the user and leave the post in case anyone is interested. Maybe just inform the user of a more productive way to provide such information instead of banning.
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  #24  
Old 06-24-2013, 10:59 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
She revivied a thread from 2003, her username is similar to the President of the company while claiming to be a delivery person and the whole post reads like a job ad.
President of what company?

Regardless, it does kind of read like an ad. And this is an old thread. However, the advice I gave still is valid and there are plenty of people who deliver books for quick infusions of cash. Not that closing the thread would prevent anyone from reading it, true.

Last edited by JohnT; 06-24-2013 at 11:00 AM..
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  #25  
Old 06-24-2013, 11:31 AM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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Mod note

Since there is some input that Sandra's info could be useful, I'm leaving it open.
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  #26  
Old 06-24-2013, 12:05 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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So, what about the trombone?
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  #27  
Old 06-24-2013, 12:29 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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JohnT, in your description, were you talking about the full-size phone books? A lot of the ones I see now are smaller sized ones, that might be more feasible for someone with a sedan (assuming the same pay per book, rather than per pound).

Last edited by ZenBeam; 06-24-2013 at 12:30 PM..
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  #28  
Old 06-24-2013, 02:01 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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It's been a while, but you get paid lesser $ for smaller books. All things being equal, we would price contractor pays on the size and weight of the books. So if you're delivering route A in year 1 and the book weighs 1 pound, you'll get $.16/per book. If, in year 2, the book is now 14 ounces, you'll now get around $.14/per book for the same route.

The above numbers are an illustration and the pricing was never that simple.

Back in the late '80s, early 90s I would deliver the Atlanta Bell South directories. 1 WP, 2 YP, and a neighborhood book... you would make up to a $1 per stop, though you would have to go back to the delivery station and reload 4, 5 times. I would easily clear $400/day using my little Toyota.

Those days are LONG gone, though.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:02 PM
Lips_Obsession Lips_Obsession is offline
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All the phone books in our area either get tossed at the end of the driveway, or put under the mailboxes at the edge of the road. We signed up several years ago for an opt-out of receiving all phone books since we don't use them and consider them a waste. First year we didn't get any - since then we've gotten more and more each year. I finally complained this year to YB.COM and they called for more info. SAID they wouldn't deliver to us again, but I won't be holding my breath....
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:51 PM
kwc27 kwc27 is offline
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Kinda ironic. I stopped by the local convenience store for a snack today and there was a dude sitting in an older minivan with a bunch of phone books in plastic bags.

I didn't have one on my steps when I got home like usual but I don't think they pay people to deliver them like by your method out here.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:18 AM
Lips_Obsession Lips_Obsession is offline
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I know last year we saw an old beat-up van driving down our street with the side door open. There was a young kid (under 10) almost hanging out the side tossing out phone books onto the driveways as they passed each house.
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  #32  
Old 06-25-2013, 11:02 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Sounds like littering to me.
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  #33  
Old 06-25-2013, 11:02 AM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Guy View Post
I did this many years ago - or rather, I sort-of-subcontracted from someone who did it on aregular basis....Since the pay was per drop, rather than hourly... especially as I was only subcontracting. However, I dunno what the rates are these days.
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
It's been a while, but you get paid lesser $ for smaller books. All things being equal, we would price contractor pays on the size and weight of the books.... I would easily clear $400/day using my little Toyota....
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Originally Posted by Lips_Obsession View Post
I know last year we saw an old beat-up van driving down our street with the side door open. There was a young kid (under 10) almost hanging out the side tossing out phone books onto the driveways as they passed each house.
It sounds like this type of work is typically done on an independent contractor basis rather than as an employee hire. How comfortable are the companies with their contractors hiring subcontractors or employees or about doing business with partnerships (e.g. me and my little sister want to do it together and sign up to do the same route together, understanding that we don't get any more money than what we would have gotten if we had done it alone)? Is it meaningfully possible to get a route that pays $X a delivery, then subcontract or hire it out to someone for 3/4 of $X, then go off and get another route and end up managing your own delivery company? Of course, if your employees or subcontractors mess up, it's your responsibility - you're the boss!

Last edited by robert_columbia; 06-25-2013 at 11:05 AM..
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  #34  
Old 06-25-2013, 03:14 PM
tralfamidor tralfamidor is offline
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You make about $6 an hour, before subtracting gas expenses and the wear and tear on your car. The toll on your body is substantial, and the weight of the books will destroy any vehicle smaller than a medium pickup truck or cargo van in short order. Some routes are MUCH better than others--that $6/hr figure is for the good routes. If I had access to a time machine, the first thing I would do is travel back in time, find my former self, and kick him repeatedly for having done this awful, horribly compensated, tedious, strenuous work.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:06 AM
DrCube DrCube is offline
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I helped my buddy do this when I was 15, he was 16 and drove my grandma's car. This was 1997.

We worked all evening. He drove, I dropped off the phone books, mostly in areas around where we lived, but fairly scattered across the back roads. So there was a decent amount of driving and we got lost a couple of times.

I remember it as a fairly fun time cruising around for a 15 year old, but the pay was basically nothing. I think it was supposed to be $50, but minus gas money and splitting it between us, we each should have got about $10-$15. However, I don't think they ever actually paid us.

So there's my delivering phone books story. If you're 15 and want an excuse to get out of the house, go for it. I have fond memories of it as my first non-mowing job. However, if you're an adult and cruising around for 5 hours for basically no money doesn't sound good to you, I'd choose another job.

Also, isn't it just littering? Back when I did it, phone books were at least useful. Now they're only good for weighing down the trash can.
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  #36  
Old 06-26-2013, 09:11 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
It sounds like this type of work is typically done on an independent contractor basis rather than as an employee hire. How comfortable are the companies with their contractors hiring subcontractors or employees or about doing business with partnerships (e.g. me and my little sister want to do it together and sign up to do the same route together, understanding that we don't get any more money than what we would have gotten if we had done it alone)? Is it meaningfully possible to get a route that pays $X a delivery, then subcontract or hire it out to someone for 3/4 of $X, then go off and get another route and end up managing your own delivery company? Of course, if your employees or subcontractors mess up, it's your responsibility - you're the boss!
You are correct - you are working as an Independent Contractor (IC.)

You're allowed to subcontract the work. Many professional distributors in fact do this. At my time with my parents company we did send out 1099's in excess of $500k, with the record being, IIRC, over $750k. And many of the arrangements were of the "I get paid $.25/book and I'll pay you $.15 and pocket $.10" variety. Of course, out of that $.10, the main contractor was responsible for gas, vehicle maintenance, and insurance so at the end of the day he was likely taking home $.04/book... but if he had enough teams to deliver 15k books/day (not uncommon) he was making $600/day ($3,600/week, $150k/year) in take-home. (Figures assume 6 working days a week and 40 weeks of work a year.)

You can work as a partnership (you can do whatever you want as long as you get the books delivered properly), but the contract is signed solely with you or your sister - not both. The details of the agreement you have with your sister is of no interest to the company with whom you're signing the contract.
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  #37  
Old 06-26-2013, 09:19 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 14,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by tralfamidor View Post
You make about $6 an hour, before subtracting gas expenses and the wear and tear on your car. The toll on your body is substantial, and the weight of the books will destroy any vehicle smaller than a medium pickup truck or cargo van in short order. Some routes are MUCH better than others--that $6/hr figure is for the good routes. If I had access to a time machine, the first thing I would do is travel back in time, find my former self, and kick him repeatedly for having done this awful, horribly compensated, tedious, strenuous work.
No biggie, but if you were only doing $6/hour worth of work you either:

1. Lived in a really crappy area, full of hills and mountains and took some truly shitty routes

or,

2. Wasn't really good at the job in the first place

Ain't no thing - like all jobs, some people are better at doing it than others.

I got to be pretty good at determining who would last at doing the job. Your worst distributors? Overweight white guys who couldn't shut up about how great workers they were and would be all "Just give me 10 routes and I'll have them done tomorrow!" Those guys would crap out every. single. time.

Best workers? Women, especially ones with kids. They might only take out one route and decide that this job sucks, but they will get that one route delivered cleanly, with no problems, all their paperwork done properly.
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  #38  
Old 06-26-2013, 11:29 AM
tralfamidor tralfamidor is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
No biggie, but if you were only doing $6/hour worth of work you either:

1. Lived in a really crappy area, full of hills and mountains and took some truly shitty routes

or,

2. Wasn't really good at the job in the first place

Ain't no thing - like all jobs, some people are better at doing it than others.

I got to be pretty good at determining who would last at doing the job. Your worst distributors? Overweight white guys who couldn't shut up about how great workers they were and would be all "Just give me 10 routes and I'll have them done tomorrow!" Those guys would crap out every. single. time.

Best workers? Women, especially ones with kids. They might only take out one route and decide that this job sucks, but they will get that one route delivered cleanly, with no problems, all their paperwork done properly.
The $6/hr figure was not only my own experience, but that of many others I asked who were doing the same job. It does, in fact, make sense, as at the time the minimum wage was $5.85/hr and the distributing company would have naturally adjusted the compensation downward as long as people were willing to do the work, until new people stopped showing up and/or the existing people started quitting. Since they were employing people with no qualifications, they would be able to pay the bare minimum.

In my experience, the "people who would last" were the most desperate and the least otherwise employable. You don't ruin your body and destroy your car for peanuts unless you really have no alternative. The reason so many people "crapped out," as you put it, is that many who showed up for the job had no idea what shitty work it was and how ridiculously low the pay was. They had the impression that their "employer" was going to pay them decently. When they found out how wrong they were about that, they bailed. As did I--though I did eventually learn how to cherry-pick the best routes, which was like selecting the apples in the barrel that were only half rotten.

I actually did this job in several cities, in all kinds of terrain, in all kinds of weather, rural, business, apartments, single family homes, etc. The only even halfway decent money I ever could make was in delivering to apartment buildings and businesses. Other types of routes were hopeless---I actually lost money on one ridiculously extended rural route. And I do, in fact, think I did the job rather well, as I kept devising small labor- and time-saving methods to speed up my routes. I did my paperwork and delivered to all the destinations listed. I also moved rather quickly, as sometimes I barely had enough time to finish before the sun went down (we weren't supposed to deliver after dark). I dealt with muddy access roads, unidentifiable addresses, loose dogs, and the difficulty of driving down the road at 10 MPH trying to determine where the %^$%# the next delivery was.

The bottom line is that delivering phone books is an exploitative, brutal job that pays far less than minimum wage (and hides behind the "independent contractor" shield to do that), and the assholes who take advantage of desperate people by offering this pseudo-job should be burned alive.
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  #39  
Old 06-26-2013, 12:11 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
I did it last summer; the advertisement coincided with us having a spell of relatively cool weather, so I did my deliveries in the early morning and in the evening, because I don't take heat very well. Most of my clients were apartment buildings (my own included) so it wasn't that difficult, although some of it was a residential area. I do have a dolly cart, so that made things easier.

I don't remember exactly what the pay rate was, but I did make $138 for my route. Bagging the books was what took most of my time, and my payment was on a prepaid VISA card. The exercise was nice too.

As for contacting people, I have been called about whether I got my phone book. And as for how it's delivered, one of my deliveries was to a home-based business, and the woman was shocked that I knocked on her door (that's what the instructions said to do!) because she said it was usually just tossed into her yard.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 06-26-2013 at 12:13 PM..
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