A soggy night in the iPad line - updateMarch 11, 2011: 9:45 AM ET
Waiting in the queue for Apple's latest hot gadget is a cold hard way to earn some cash
[UPDATE: The No. 1 spot changed hands Friday morning for $900. See below.]
Six hardy souls were huddled under red and black umbrellas in front of the big glass cube of Apple's (AAPL) Fifth Avenue retail store at 5 p.m. Thursday night -- 24 hours before the iPad 2 was scheduled to go on sale.
No. 5 in line was Alex Shumiloe, 29, a Russian IT specialist from Moscow on what he called an "iPad holiday."
No. 3 was Joseph Cruz, 17, from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a student and musician (piano) who sold his first generation 64GB iPad on Craigslist last week for $430. He arrived at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with his cousin, Brian Ceballo, also 17. Brian describes himself as a student, musician and boxer, in that order. He's No. 2. This will be his first iPad, and he can't wait to get his hands on GarageBand.
No. 1 in line was Amanda Foote, 20, from Leesburg, Florida, who is majoring in media studies at Manhattan Community College and hopes to get a job at NBC ("I'm a huge fan"). She arrived at 5 p.m. Wednesday expecting to be second or third in line and was surprised to find herself first.
She will spend two nights on the sidewalk, the second one quite soggy. But she's not there to buy an iPad. Her spot is for sale. She plans to trade it for cash at 3 p.m. Friday, two hours before the doors open. She's had offers as high as $650, but she's holding out for $700.
And what will she do with the money? She won't waste it on an iPad, that's for sure. "I'm going to buy a bus ticket to see my family in Florida," she says. "And maybe see Lady Gaga in concert."
UPDATE: Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday morning, after nearly 41 hours in line, Amanda sold her spot for $900. That works out to nearly $22 an hour. At the time of the sale she estimates that there were 75 to 100 people queued up behind her.
UPDATE 2: Mashable has posted a video interview with Amanda on YouTube here.
Also on Fortune.com:
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]