Big issue seller

(26 Posts)
ChickyDuck Sun 04-Sep-16 14:17:58

I'm looking for advice or abou ions, especially if there is anyone here who has sold big issue:

There is a big issue seller I pass on my walk to and from work (so twice a day every day). I really support the principle of the big issue, and buy it relatively often.

However, he always stands under a little bridge which is quite dark and always feels a bit intimidating. I would like to buy from this man, but never have done as I don't want to stop under this bridge, and I have never seen anyone else do so either. I totally understand if it's wet or windy he uses it for shelter, but even on lovely bright days he is still under it.

I was thinking of passing him a note one day when I'm passing, just as a little bit of friendly advice explaining this. It would also say that if he moved up into the daylight I would likely buy from him once a week. I would try not to make it patronising or insulting, l just genuinely think he would do a lot better if he moved his spot a few metres. WIBU to do this, and do you think he would be more insulted than anything?

I was also thinking I could include in in some money (a tenner) or maybe a supermarket voucher or something. Would this also seem patronising or do you think it would help him? Would he even be allowed to accept it?

I really want to help this man, but I don't want to patronise or upset him. And advice or experiences would be really helpful.

ChickyDuck Sun 04-Sep-16 14:18:14

Ahhh sorry this ended up so long!

SawdustInMyHair Sun 04-Sep-16 14:27:26

Hmm. I wouldn't pass a note. I would buy one, and mention in passing that a lot more people pass above if he wants to catch more trade or something. If anything.

But being me, I'd probably leave him to it. I don't know if the BI gives them a specific pitch, or just an area to cover, or if it's up to them.

HorraceTheOtter Sun 04-Sep-16 14:27:45

Just speak to him, like a person. A note would ,I suspect, come across fairly badly. In theory he shouldn't accept the money from you, but probably would. The whole point of TBI is that it's a 'hand up, not a hand out', so handing out cash is missing the point rather.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 04-Sep-16 14:36:10

I wouldn't pass a note or money. I'd just say to him. If you are worried about sounding rude, say something lighthearted such as 'it's lovely and sunny out there, have you been out?' or similar, and then chat about it. I would think he's under cover to avoid getting rained on, TBH - he'll want to be in the same place rain or shine, and some councils actually require you to state where you'll be, I believe.

(Btw, one reason not to pass a note is that more people than you'd think can't read very well, and he might be a bit embarrassed if that's the case with him.)

ChickyDuck Sun 04-Sep-16 14:36:41

I would stop and speak but it feels a rather scary and intimidating place to stop.... Maybe I should just be brave on a busy/bright day and do it.

He wouldn't even have to go up on top of the bridge, just a few feet further up the path.

timelytess Sun 04-Sep-16 14:37:17

Just buy one elsewhere. Some BI sellers enjoy being intimidating.

ChickyDuck Sun 04-Sep-16 14:38:03

Oh that is a very good point LRD and something a had not even considered at all...

timelytess Sun 04-Sep-16 14:38:11

You could get in touch with the Big Issue office and ask them to tell him. Likewise, if he scares you, you can complain to them. They take such things seriously.

ChickyDuck Sun 04-Sep-16 14:39:41

timytess I don't think it's purposeful, he's always very polite and is well turned out and not an intimidating person. It just the spot that's the issue!

Hariasa Sun 04-Sep-16 14:42:04

Call your local Big Issue office and discuss with them.

carefreeeee Sun 04-Sep-16 14:43:02

Is it the bridge that's scary or the BI seller? Seems odd that it's so intimidating that you wouldn't stop for a few seconds? If it's that bad I'd probably walk another way

ChickyDuck Sun 04-Sep-16 14:44:17

I don't want to get the poor man in trouble! He isn't doing anything bad or wrong, I mainly just want to give a bit of friendly feedback. I think big issue's great and I don't want to potentially spoil the opportunity for him by dobbing him in to the powers that be hmm

ChickyDuck Sun 04-Sep-16 14:45:30

It's fine to walk that way, I just don't like to stop, linger, get my purse out etc. Perhaps I just need to put my big girl pants on, put a couple of quid in my pocket and talk to him.

justilou Sun 04-Sep-16 14:48:04

He could be agoraphobic or have other issues. I don't think I would want to stress him out further....

Marmalade85 Sun 04-Sep-16 14:49:14

Very odd that you feel the need to tell a complete stranger where to stand. Leave him be and buy your copy elsewhere.

Hariasa Sun 04-Sep-16 14:50:06

Why would you get him into trouble? Just a quick friendly phone call, with some feedback.

emotionsecho Sun 04-Sep-16 14:53:39

I don't understand your nervousness about stopping, what do you think is going to happen?

1frenchfoodie Sun 04-Sep-16 14:56:59

If you walk under the bridge anyway and you don't find the BI seller himself intimidating why is the idea of stopping for a couple of seconds intimdating? I'm not sure others necessarily share your feelings and in that case your advice on repositioning may not be particularly helpful. But what would I know, I normally buy from a seller in a london underground underpass.

yoink Sun 04-Sep-16 15:02:21

Oh fgs don't go telling him where he can and can't stand. He's got his spot and he clearly likes it. You're sounding very patronising, eave him be.

ChickyDuck Sun 04-Sep-16 15:05:23

Probably nothing would happen, but it's dark, dingy and smells quite strongly of urine - just not a nice place to stop (and in central London French). I have literally never once seen someone stop for him, and I generally pass at rush hour, although maybe he gets more custom at other times of day.

However, listening to the MN jury, I clearly ABU and so will leave the man to it. Thanks folks!

hotdiggedy Sun 04-Sep-16 15:06:22

Slightly off topic but Big Issue sellers almost never ask me to buy from them. They call out to other people but stay quiet when I walk past. I always said to myself that the day one asks me to buy the magazine I will buy it straight away. About a month ago one did and I bought him and told him my little story. Since then I have walked past countless Big Issue sellers and they have all gone silent on me again smile

I guess I just don't look rich enough!

Bluechip Sun 04-Sep-16 15:26:33

Definitely don't silently pass him a note without stopping, that's odd!

insancerre Sun 04-Sep-16 15:31:09

How long does it take to buy a copy?
I really don't get your reasoning
Either buy a copy or don't

chocolatespiders Sun 04-Sep-16 15:36:03

I would buy one and say have you thought about standing x y or z

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now