Last year, Sayed paid a college student $900 to take over her place at the front of the line for the iPad 2. His main motivation then was also to promote an app, AskLocal. In a phone interview, Sayed, who has waited in three other Apple lines in the past, said the nature of waiting in front of the stores has changed over time, with more people these days selling their spots for cash, seeking buzz for their own companies or being sponsored by other brands.
“It would be hard to get the same amount of publicity for a small company like we are in any other way,” the 54-year-old said. “It's certainly worth the week of effort and the week of time.”
For others, it's simply about the money. Hundreds of people have posted ads online offering to wait in line on Thursday night, usually for $100 to $150.