Hundreds brave long, cold lines to snap up Snapchat Spectacles in New York

Enthusiasm for Snapchats pop-up sales of video-capturing sunglasses bubbled into a second day as people camped out in hats, scarves and sweaters

As temperatures dipped and high winds whistled down Manhattans Fifth Avenue on Tuesday hundreds waited in line for the chance to snap up this seasons must-have tech toy Snapchat Spectacles and the possibility to make some extra money.

This was the second day that tech company Snap Incs Spectacles pop-up store had opened on 59 th street and enthusiasm for the video-capturing sunglasses hadnt waned. Its doorways were closed until 4.00 pm but by 12.30 pm, the line to buy had already stretched around the corner to Fifth Avenue and up to 60 th street. There were about 150 people waiting at that time, still with three and a half hours to go.

Those waiting stood in jackets and hats, scarves and layered sweaters. Some were huddled together and others the professionals sat in plastic tents to keep out the wind. One woman, Kelsey, was garmented in a dinosaur costume.

Kelsey, who had come with her friend Krystal clad in a neon green snowsuit for warmth arrived on the scene at 10.30 am. The pair had tried to come on Monday to get their hands on the technology, but were too late. We decided to shower in the morning which wasnt the right move because by the time we got here there was a line, Krystal joked.

On Tuesday, the pair arrived with snacks, blankets and enthusiasm. Were not calling it “ve been waiting for” line, were calling it tailgating, Krystal said. We merely felt like the word tailgating makes it seem like more of an event and less “ve been waiting for” line for this product.

A woman standing in line behind them said she thought Spectacles would make it much easier to take videos of cats.

The coveted device consists of a pair of sunglasses with a camera inside. They shoot video which directly links to the Snapchat app. Each pair of glasses costs $129.99 and clients can purchase two Spectacles each.

Braven Stone, an economics student at Hunter College, was one of the first people in line on Tuesday morning. He didnt know what time the store would open, but didnt want to take a chance so he arrived at 4am. Im kind of in the new tech fandom, so Im down for anything, Stone said.

But Stone said he hoped to sell the Spectacles, rather than to be maintained for himself. People walking by had stopped to ask him if he would sell them to him, Stone said. Hes hoping to get $700 for them. On eBay, Spectacles are listed at a few hundred dollars to as much as $1,000 though its unclear if people are actually buying them for such exorbitant sums.

Others in line were also hoping to turn a profit through resale.Joe Miller and Joy Aldrich, who had recently moved to New York from Colorado, had purchased two pairs of Spectacles each on Monday and were waiting in line again on Tuesday to buy two more to sell.

Snap Inc, the company that constructs Snapchat and Spectacles, has kept the locations of its Spectacles pop-up stores secret. Before New York, the Snapbot a vending machine of Spectacles had recently appeared in the Grand Canyon and at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, among other locations, according to the New York Times.

Miller said he had been watching the countdown clock online for about 2 week awaiting the next locating. If the store hadnt been in New York, he had considered traveling to it. Honestly to think youre making a thousand bucks to go, whats a $200 train ticket? Miller said. Between undertakings, the money would be helpful with rent and presents for the holidays, he said.

Robert Samuel, the owner of Same Ole Line Dudes, was sitting in a clear plastic tent with his computer on Tuesday morning holding a spot in line for a paying client. He and his company got on line at 7.30 am to purchase Spectacles for 13 people.

Robert Samuel, a professional line sitter, waits to buy Snapchat Spectacles for his customers. Photo: Nicole Puglise for the Guardian

Samuel said business had been booming since the Spectacles store opened up, with people from as far as Toronto and Florida hiring him and his employees to procure the device for them.

People want it when they want it and they dont want to wait for it to make Pensacola, Florida, if it ever will, he said with a laugh.

At around 3.50 pm, about 50 people were let into the store to queue up for the Snapbot vending machine. Over the next hour, they slowly percolated out, Spectacles in hand. Those still waiting called out: Congratulations. Most people bought two, and black seemed to be the most popular color.

Kyuwon Choi, a quantitative researcher for a hedge fund, was one of the first people to build the buy. Im feeling so good, he said after walking out. I had been waiting for 12 hours and now Ive ultimately got them. He plans to keep one for himself, and might sell the other.

Others stood outside with their purchases, building telephone call or haggling with passersby.

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