People Reveal What 'Black Market' Kids Sold At Their School--And We're Shook


Kids are smart - future leaders are created with clever ideas, like when students create a black market for what would normally be harmless items. Candy, zip ties, and jerky are just a few examples.

Nazzapple201 asked: What 'black-market' did kids in your school run?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

This was brilliant in the days before everyone had a camera.

Photos of groups of friends. I'd take pics at lunch (and sell yesterday's photos for $5 to $8) of all the little crews and cliques, develop the film in the darkroom during a free period in the afternoon, print the negatives during 1st or 2nd period photo class... sell the black and white 5 x 7's or 8 x 10's during lunch and take more images. Wash, rinse, repeat. I made hundreds of dollars, if not more (I was a spendthrift). Some adults thought it was drug related, but no one who actually knew me. My school had 2 to 3 thousand students, some kids bought multiple pics. I took pics of couples, but the best were groups of 10 to 15 ppl... could make $100 on 1 image.

This was mid- 80s. I wish I had this job now.


What's great about this is that a lot of those kids still cherish those photos 30 years later.


You know... thanks for saying that. I can't say I really thought about it like that... lol.❤


Kids are crafty.

One kid in middle school sold dumdum lollipops. He carried them around in a shopping bag, and I believe he charged a quarter.

In highschool I had a friend who would sell cookies. 1 for 1$. Eventually staff got wind and told her to stop. So people would give her money for no reason. And the next day she would give them cookies for unrelated reasons.

Edit: Almost forgot elementary school. Kids would sell their parents jewelry for ice cream money. One kid sold his grandmother's engagement ring for 50 cents.


Kids were buying cookie futures. Smart move.


Back in my day we used Alta Vista.

WiFi password to the teachers WiFi network so that we could use sites blocked on the student and guest networks. School kept changing it but the kids always figured it out.


At my school the kids would just download a proxy.


Begun, the proxy wars have.


Not all heroes wear capes.

Teacher here. A kid at my previous school sold those little salt and pepper packets to kids at lunch everyday. 50 cents for both. The cafeteria (due to state/fed regulations) didn't season anything so the food was blander than bland. He made a few hundred dollars over the course of the month he did this before admin shut him down.


Now I want to know why someone would ban seasoning.


Probably an attempt to keep low sodium levels.


A real cold war.

Zip ties.

When you go to a ski resort and buy a lift ticket, before the RFID ones a lot of places have now, they'd have a little thing full of zip ties so you could take one and attach it to your jacket.

When I was in middle school, over the course of a week I took a couple of thousand of those from a resort I went to with my family for vacation. When I got back to school, I brought with me a backpack full of zip ties, neatly zip tied into bundles of twenty. I sold those bundles of twenty for $1-$5 each, depending on who was asking.

Why would people want to buy zip ties? Well, at first, they wanted to get revenge on me, for zip tying all their shit closed/together/to other things. Eventually, though, once they had gotten revenge on me and still had zip ties left over, they'd do it to other people. Who would want revenge on them. And so on, and so forth.

I had a lot of repeat customers in that battle.


Sell three colors for different prices and watch factions happen.


You not only had a market monopoly, you created the demand from scratch. Damn.


First Kool-aid, then tequila.

Kool-aid gummy bears

In middle school a group of guys I know began to sell these for a dollar a bag because the school snacks were trash. They ended up creating an Empire and would literally sell a hundred of these daily. The school eventually cracked down on their business because the kids were making a mess in the bathrooms. The dealers stopped selling before they got into trouble and this upset the kool aid addicts. This then prompted many other students to come up with their own recipe and try to become the new hot shots. I kid you not when I tell you how quick everyone was to try and dispose of their competition. The school was giving out detentions to everyone selling the product and to those buying it. After the school stated that they would suspend anyone seen with the Kool-aid gummy bears it died.

I feel like my school was the birthplace of many future drug dealers and addicts.


Sugar is a hell of a drug.


These future leaders.

There's 2 that come to mind. Both in middle school.

The faculty caught on that this one kid was selling something from his locker. They immediately thought it was drugs and asked to search his locker. Turns out his dad cured really good beef jerky and my whole class was obsessed with it. Think him and his dad made a good buck before he got shut down.

The other kid lived near the Tastycake factory in town (pre-packaged, super-sugary baked goods). The factory would throw out perfectly good products if their packaging was damaged in any way. This included the outer boxes that held the tasty treats. This kid would go to their dump, steal these boxes, and then sell the treats individually in school for $1 a treat. His operation lasted a bit longer than the beef jerky kid's.

I think both of them became good friends in high school lol


This is the only one that made me laugh out loud lmao


Warheads are still the crown jewel of sour candy.

I ran a black market distribution network for Warheads in the 4th grade. They had just come out, and were immediately all the rage at school. Mom had an in with a wholesaler, so I bought a ton of them. Sold them for .25 a piece. $.50 for the fizzy ones when they came out. Eventually we had a small riot on the playground when I stood on the jungle gym and threw them into the crowd like Frank Lucas throwing out f*cking turkeys in Harlem. Some kid got hurt, the teachers got wind of the racket and i got shut down. Warheads were banned from the school. But man, it was a wild ride.


I also got in trouble with my Warhead selling. Kid gave me a $20 for 10 and his parents ended up calling the school to find out who he gave his money to. My Warhead selling ended the next day with my giving his money back ... And I didn't get my Warheads back.


Sugar is really addictive.

Pixie sticks were banned because kids were snorting them in middle school. We had passes to go across the street for lunch and they would buy them from the mini mart. Once they were banned people would sell them out of their locker like it was actual cocaine.


Doesn't putting sugar in your nose hurt???


I'd imagine snorting anything hurts.

In my middle school years, kids smashed smarties and snorted them.


When the black market becomes too real.

My school had a guy who used to go around selling candy, he ended up dying when he was shot attempting to rob a home, good times.


That went from 0 to 100 real quick.


It's good to be the king.

A buddy and I used to load up on energy drinks for $1 or $2 a pop and turn them around for $3 at school.

Another kid tried to get in the game and started a turf war. Legit cornered me in the bathroom to try and intimidate me into stopping. I laughed in his face, called his bluff and pushed passed him. Told all the people who bought from me about it and nobody would buy from him.

It's rough on the streets.


The king stay the king.


This is like confronting Gatsby. It's pretty much a death sentence.


This is a step below prescription pads.

I had a teacher who gave me unsupervised access to all the attendance records and paperwork. I sold blank early dismissal and late entry slips. For a higher price I'd change people's attendance record.


This is the one that is actually pretty shady.


Honestly, schools get paid based on attendance. It wouldn't surprise me if that blind eye wasn't as blind as OP thought.


schools get paid based on attendance

What the f*ck is wrong with the USA?


What I never get is that schools that perform well get more funding which gives good incentives to teachers etc... but worse performing schools get less funding continuing the cycle.


Crack chicken.

Chicken biscuits from Chick-fil-A.

My friend would go there every morning and buy 20, then later 50, then 100. He sold them for about a dollar more than he bought them. And he sold them out, every single day...for 2.5 years. Our school started really early (7:10 am), so once people woke up they frequently REALLY wanted Chick-fil-a.

He took me to school a good bit before I got a car and he would have to stop by Chick-fil-A on the way. He would always give me a biscuit for free, and when I tried to pay he assured me that it was not a problem for me to have one. He always, always, sold out his biscuits.

I seriously, actually think he made more than $30,000 in high school just by doing this for 2.5 years.


"Boss... I made the hundred biscuits this morning like always, but that high schooler didn't show up... Think he's taking a sick day?"


I'd imagine when that kid graduated, that Chick-fil-A had to shut down after the sudden inexplicable plunge in their daily biscuit sales.


They just had to find a new distributor.


There's actually a lesson about business etiquette here. If you're going out of business (with decent lead-time) or taking a sabbatical or whatever, always give your suppliers/distributors a heads-up with ample time to prepare for their own decline in business. It will save everybody a lot of headaches (and potential heartbreak), and keep your bridges thoroughly unburnt should you decide to get back into whatever industry you're leaving/taking a break from.


Speed fighting because why not.

Well... In my school we had an underground fight club. It took place in the limbo between 3rd and 4th periods in the boys locker room of the gym. If you ran out of class right when it ended you could get into the locker room from the hallway entrance if the people inside opened it for you. We only had about 30 or 40 guys in the entire year so everybody knew each other pretty well.

There were different weight classes and curated rounds. My favorite was two scrappy 130 pound skinny kids vs the 300 pound held-back 20 year old. The fights got pretty intense but were always kept to a certain restraint so that people wouldnt return to class bloodied up or with ripped clothing. There was always a time limit on them of about 3 or 4 minutes so kids who didn't have gym that period could get to their next class only a few minutes late.

Well, anyway, one of the kids would record the fights on his phone (back when camera phones with video recording capabilities were sort of a luxury) and put them online behind a password. Then he would sell access to the videos for a few bucks. They were all very well shot and nobody ever told on us or held any grudges. The fights were always very sportsmanlike and even at a certain point someone was appointed referee. Crazy days.


behind a password

At least they were smart enough to do that instead of sticking them on YouTube or something.


Nicely done.

I was a loan shark in middle school.

I earned money at my dad's business, so I could always loan kids a buck for a bottle of pop or whatever.

They would always pay me back for interest the next day. Usually a dime on a one-day dollar loan.

In high school I learned to calculate loan interest and realized that a 10% return for a 24-hour loan was crazy high.


You earned money in middle school?


Dad had a business and put us kids to work. Not just on paper, real hourly labor.

I hated it at the time, but I'm so damned grateful for it now.


Was there a black market within your school?

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