They Finally Found A Good Use For Their Lockers
“My best friend and I shared a locker. At my school, you got the option to rent one at the beginning of the year for like, $10. I’d rented one the year before and I had kind of used it but also probably not enough to justify spending $10 because I didn’t have a job. So my friend and I split it. Halfway through the year, neither of us were really using it so one of us got the idea to just keep cereal in there so we could eat it between classes. We had cookie crisp, fruit loops, cinnamon toast crunch…. it was great. My calculus teacher was probably sick of our shenanigans, but she never said anything about us walking into class with a bowl of lucky charms.
One of our other friends was inspired and started keeping soda in his locker…and then fruit snacks, and pop tarts, and a variety of other snack foods. He gave us his combo and told us we could grab whatever if we left a few bucks every now and then so he could restock. He eventually ended up giving this combo to others and was running a pretty successful business, honestly. Definitely not allowed by school rules, but we all knew to keep it on the down low. I was trying to help him figure out a way to rig up a hot water heater in his locker safely and efficiently so we could have hot chocolate and coffee, but we graduated before we could figure that out.”
The Perks Of Being A Photographer
“I was in school in the mid-’80s. I’d take photos of groups of friends and cliques during lunch and develop the film in the darkroom during a free period. The next day, I would print the negatives during 1st or 2nd-period photo class and sell the black and white 5×7’s or 8×10’s during lunch and take more photos. Wash, rinse, repeat.
I made hundreds of dollars, if not more doing this. I was in school during the mid-’80s, so part of the reason why this worked was because no one had a phone/camera in their pocket. Portraits were a little more special.
My school had 2 to 3 thousand students, some kids bought multiple pics. I took pics of couples, but the best were groups of 10 to 15 people. I could make $100 on one image by doing that.”
Jewelry In Exchange For Ice Cream Money
“One kid in middle school sold dumdum lollipops. He carried them around in a shopping bag, and I believe he charged a quarter.
In high school, I had a friend who would sell cookies. One cookie for $1. Eventually, the staff got wind and told her to stop. So people would give her money for no reason. And the next day she would give them cookies for unrelated reasons.
Also, in elementary school, kids would sell their parents jewelry for ice cream money. One kid sold his grandmother’s engagement ring for 50 cents.”
When you go to a ski resort and buy a lift ticket, before the RFID ones a lot of places have now, they’d have a little thing full of zip ties so you could take one and attach it to your jacket.
When I was in middle school, over the course of a week I took a couple of thousand of those from a resort I went to with my family for vacation. When I got back to school, I brought with me a backpack full of zip ties, neatly zip-tied into bundles of twenty. I sold those bundles of twenty for $1-$5 each, depending on who was asking.
Why would people want to buy zip ties? Well, at first, they wanted to get revenge on me, for zip tying all their stuff closed/together/to other things. Eventually, though, once they had gotten revenge on me and still had zip ties left over, they’d do it to other people. Who would want revenge on them? And so on, and so forth.
I had a lot of repeat customers in that battle.”
This Never Would Have Happened If The School Had Better Snacks
“In middle school, a group of guys I know began to sell these kool-aid gummy bears for a dollar a bag because the school snacks were trash. They ended up creating an empire and would literally sell a hundred of these daily. The school eventually cracked down on their business because the kids were making a mess in the bathrooms. The dealers stopped selling before they got into trouble and this upset the kool-aid fiends. This then prompted many other students to come up with their own recipe and try to become the new hot shots. I kid you not when I tell you how quick everyone was to try and dispose of their competition. The school was giving out detentions to everyone selling the product and to those buying it. After the school stated that they would suspend anyone seen with the kool-aid gummy bears, it died.
I feel like my school lead people down a slippery slope of illegal habits.”
Black Market Beef Jerky
“The faculty caught on that this one kid was selling something from his locker. They immediately thought it was something illegal and asked to search his locker. Turns out, his dad cured really good beef jerky and my whole class was obsessed with it. I think he and his dad made a good buck before he got shut down.
The other kid lived near the Tastycake factory in town (pre-packaged, super-sugary baked goods). The factory would throw out perfectly good products if their packaging was damaged in any way. This included the outer boxes that held the tasty treats. This kid would go to their dump, steal these boxes, and then sell the treats individually in school for $1 a treat. His operation lasted a bit longer than the beef jerky kid’s.
No wonder they both became good friends in high school.”
The Warhead Riots
“I ran a black market distribution network for Warheads in the 4th grade. They had just come out and were all the rage at school. Mom had an in with a wholesaler, so I bought a ton of them. I sold them for $0.25 a piece. $0.50 for the fizzy ones when they came out.
Eventually, we had a small riot on the playground when I stood on the jungle gym and threw them into the crowd like Frank Lucas throwing out turkeys in Harlem. Some kid got hurt, the teachers got wind of the racket and I got shut down.
Warheads were banned from the school. But man, it was a wild ride.”
Start Your Day With Chick-Fil-A
“My friend would go to Chick-Fil-A every morning and buy 20 chicken biscuits, then later 50, then 100. He sold them for about a dollar more than he bought them. And he sold them out, every single day…for 2.5 years. Our school started really early (7:10 am), so once people woke up they frequently REALLY wanted Chick-Fil-A.
He took me to school a good bit before I got a car and he would have to stop by Chick-Fil-A on the way. He would always give me a biscuit for free, and when I tried to pay he assured me that it was not a problem for me to have one. He always, always, sold out his biscuits.
I seriously think he made more than $30,000 in high school just by doing this for 2.5 years.”
We Were The Peaky Blinders Of The School
“My friends and I opened a casino in the cubby room during lunch back in grade six. The only game we knew how to play was Black Jack, so that was the name of the game. We started out betting lunch items. Pudding cups, granola bars, that sort of stuff. Eventually, we decided to become high rollers and bet our milk money: quarters and nickels.
One day, I pretty much swept and walked away with close to twenty dollars. It was a lot of money, considering how little some kids bet. Anyways, this one kid cried foul, the teacher got involved, and our little operation was shut down pretty quickly.
Still, for a short while, my buddies and I were basically the Peaky Blinders of our grade school.”
They Technically Weren’t Breaking Any Rules
“We had a school store where we could buy junk food and soda.
One day they got rid of all non-diet soda, but kept all the junk food. The students were pretty universally upset, but my buddy and I had a plan.
We got some medium sized coolers and ice packs at a grocery store, and a few 24 packs of Pepsi and Coke.
At first the hall monitors and teachers gave us crap, but the coolers weren’t any bigger than most full-sized backpacks and we weren’t breaking any rules, so eventually, they gave up.
$1 cans of pop sold like crazy, especially since he and I had separate lunch sessions. We were cleaned out nearly every day.
By the end of the year, we’d made somewhere between $300-$350 each. It was a lot of work lugging those things around in the first half of the day, but it was so worth it.”
A Very Lucrative Operation
“I lived pretty close to shops in high school while a lot of the other kids caught the busses to school. During that time, a mate and I made a food ordering/delivery website and had it running on a Raspberry Pi (a mini computer) on the network. The website was so people could order whatever food they wanted. We had prices on just about everything that we could buy too. Then to get paid, we charged a $7.50 delivery fee. We used a school locker that we stole the key for as a post office for the money for each order.
We also had a selection of energy drinks stored in lockers. Those were available for immediate pickup. Then we used restroom breaks as an excuse to go sell the drinks.
We made roughly $300,000 over 4 years. Averaging about 50 orders a day.
We also sold teacher logins. There were different prices depending on the risk factor that the level of access each staff member had. The principals’ logins were sold for over $600.”
The Underground Forgery Ring
“I ran a signature forgery ring. People who wanted to get out of classes and needed a signed note would come to me and my friends.
It all started I forgot to get my parents to sign a permission slip in 9th grade, I told my friends to take pictures for me on the bus trip there to school.
Before the field trip started though, I decided to forge my dad’s signature. This was the trick to our ring, use a parent who doesn’t usually handle this stuff to be the forged signature.
Anyways, my gamble worked, and before long, I began to see my talented potential, so I told my friends about this. I did all the forging of signatures, my guys in English wrote the notes, and my guys in Theatre vouched for the recipients.
For $3 Canadian a signature, (I got a dollar, the other 4 got 50 cents) we could forge anything you needed. Usually, it was parents’ signatures, but, one time, someone wanted to say they were besties with a local celebrity, so I got one of my autographs from a local radio DJ from 6th grade and copied the signature. My English associates once again whipped up a convincing story, and my theatre students vouched for him, and by golly, it worked.”
It Pays To Have Special Privileges
“My senior year of high school I was elected SA (ASB) president. At my school, it’s a very high honor with a lot of responsibility. You’re basically a faculty member. One of the benefits besides clout and leadership awards is that you get a set of the master keys to the school. Some school geography, in order to get from the buildings to the parking lot, you had to go through one of three gates. One of my responsibilities was to lock all 3 of the gates in the morning and unlock them in the afternoon.
There were two main demographics that I’d make most of my cash off of. The kids who were always late, and the burnouts. The kids who ran late would text me and I would lock one gate last after my first period, giving them time to slip in. This happened about 3 times a week, and I charged 5 bucks if I left it open. The burnouts would ask me to open it before school got out so they could skip class and hang out in the parking lot. I hated them, but I knew they were willing to pay, so I charged them 15 bucks just about every day to open the gate.
Collectively I made well over $2000. If you’re wondering why staff or security never caught me, I was a well respected and tenured student. Most of the teachers and admins were family friends who thought I could do no wrong.”
A Scheme So Good Even The Teachers Got In On It
“Freshman year of high school (9th year), my school board decided to go healthy and removed sodas from every vending machine. Naturally, that didn’t go over well for a bunch of caffeine-addicted teenagers. So, doing my civic duty, I started to bring cans Dr. Pepper to school.
It started out as a 12 pack a day, just for me and my friends. By the end of freshman year, I was selling 48 sodas a day. I sold them for $1.00 a piece. I bought them in bulk every weekend and spent on average $0.37 per can, so I made a good profit even with drinking a quarter of the product myself.
The next year, I actually had 3 friends that I’d supply and they’d sell for me, earning themselves a third of what they’d sell. Teachers bought from us as well, so it was a pretty safe market, even with others trying to join in (and mostly failing, unless they sold a different soda).
I made just under $4000 in those two years but stopped after that due to getting a real job and learning what a girlfriend was. That was a fun two years though.”