My name is Pat Dixon, and I’ve been selling Spare Change News since 2001.
I first became interested in SCN after I saw one of my neighbors selling the paper in Harvard Square. His name was Bill and he said I should sign up as well. He’s since passed away, and I now sell in his old spot next to Harvard Station.
I signed up to become a vendor shortly after that. After I did, Spare Change News gave me 10 free papers to get started. I sold all 10 papers in my first day, and then I went back and bought 20 the following day.
Over time, I started to build a base of regular customers. I had 10 regulars during my first six months. I also had many new customers. Sometimes I could sell up to 20 papers a day. Those days were great!
My customers sometimes tell me how much they like the paper: “it’s better than the Globe,” some say. Others say they don’t want to buy the paper at all. Sometimes, though, if I explain what the paper is, they change their minds.
That always puts a smile on my face.
I’ve been selling the paper for 15 years now. Every day, I leave the house at 6:30 in the morning. If I get out early, I get more business. I tried selling the paper later in the morning, but I didn’t sell as much.
I’m usually outside the station until 10 a.m., and I sell about 20 papers. Sometimes I’ll go back to Spare Change News to buy more papers before I go home and eat lunch and do some housework.
I sell Spare Change News because it feels good. I’ve made a lot of friends during my time at the paper. It feels like I’m part of the family. I’m going to be 75 next year, and I might sell the paper for another year before I retire. We’ll see what happens.
If I do decide to retire, I’m going to miss it. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing and it’s been a big part of my life.