152: The beauty bus?

This morning, I watched a woman on my bus sell the woman next to her some Mary Kay cosmetics out of a large handbag. Since they were already chatting when I got on, I figured they knew each other. But then the buyer got off the bus, and the Mary Kay lady struck up a conversation with someone else.

On the way home, two hours later, the Mary Kay lady was on my bus again. This time, I didn’t notice her until she leaned over to ask me if I wanted some Mary Kay. I said no, and then regretted it, because she moved away to talk to someone else. I’m not looking to buy lip gloss from a stranger on public transportation, but I wish I had a chance to find out more about her business. Is it possible she stays on the bus all day, and treats it like her portable store? It seems like a pretty good deal, if that’s the case — she pays $1.25 to work from a sunny, air-conditioned location where she has a constant stream of potential customers. Until the riders get where they’re going, she has a captive audience. Now that I think about it, I’m surprised the buses aren’t full of traveling salespeople.

3 Replies to “152: The beauty bus?”

  1. Actually, there’s a cologne/perfume hustler that has his run of the 6:48 #460 from Disneyland. Also, I’ve seen plenty of pirate DVD sales [as well as an arrest or two for doing so] on the Blue Line.

    I swear, LA’s public transit system can be a swap meet if you know when to ride.

  2. I was on the #14 eastbound when a lady got on the bus, she sat next to another lady……after a few minutes I heard the first lady ask the second lady if she was the one who sold clothes….and the second lady answered yes…..she went on to pull some clothes out of a shopping bag and proceeded to sell some to the first lady.
    The second lady even gave her advice on how to ship it to El Salvador, which service was cheaper and which was quicker…..
    I love L.A. public transportation…..one stop shopping……

  3. Not long ago I took a number of trains around China. For the most part, the only folks selling stuff where the train employees – bringing by carts of food, drinks, ciggies, etc. These were long haul routes (most overnight) so it was welcomed. At many stations we could disembark for a 10-15 minutes and purchase stuff from local vendors. Most of these stations served locals, so the offerings were pretty much food and drink for the working class.

    Then one trip we were on a train more suited to western travelers. Every 5 minutes someone would stop by to sell us the latest little electronic gadget/game. It was fun for a while, but most of these items were annoying. Rubber balls with bright lights and tunes. Little barking dog devices. Singing keychains.

    I had learned to brush them off nicely, but there was always some elderly couple from Iowa who thought this was the most delightful entertainment and thus every toy had to be played with. This, of course, meant that we became ground zero for shopping.

    As with most things, moderation is fine. Just don’t keep sticking it in my face.

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