Black Friday: Shoppers in US and Canada hire 'taskers' to hold their place in queues

San Francisco-based firm offer waiting-in-line service to those desperate for bargains

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The Independent US

Shoppers wanting to take advantage of the Black Friday sales in the US and Canada are hiring people to stand in the massive queues to get into stores, according to a report.

A San Francisco-based firm called TaskRabbit, an employment service for people who do odd jobs, said hundreds of people were taking advantage of their waiting-in-line service.

“Every year hundreds of taskers are hired to wait in line for Black Friday deals,” Aaron Gannon, a spokesman for the company, told The San Francisco Chronicle.

The “taskers” — previously known as “rabbits” – cost $22 (£14) an hour.

Rakesh Agrawal, chief executive of Redesign Mobile, a San Francisco app company, said: “Paying someone to wait at Best Buy makes sense, because you might save several hundred dollars on a TV, for instance. The TaskRabbit would cost a fraction of that.”

The Chronicle added that in Canada had been getting about 100 requests a day for people to wait in line for Black Friday sales since last week.

Its chief executive, Muneeb Mushtaq, said that “some people are even hiring multiple taskers so they can be at different stores, and arranging to give them gift cards of that store” to cover the cost of the goods, so the actual customer does not even need to be there when the doors open.