On a recent afternoon in Los Angeles’ wholesale district, Ashley Roberts is crouched beside a sidewalk display of clothes, DVDs and phone accessories. What she’s doing is illegal, but Roberts said getting a good spot determines whether she’ll make enough money to eat today.
“It all depends what area you set up at, whether the cops are going to bug with you,” Roberts said.
Roberts has already received two citations in the few months she’s been street vending. She’s also regularly negotiating with businesses, like the sunglass wholesaler she sells in front of.