What are the economics of cart witnessing?
The only money I see them making on the carts is from the "suggested donation" when they sell the carts to the congregation. A recent article of theirs has stated they've sold over 165k carts, so even if they're only making $10 profit on each one they've made a pretty good chunk of change.
How this balances out with the literature that gets taken from the carts without being paid for, I have no idea. I'd guess they're giving away more literature, but then again everyone talks about how they just sit there and everyone ignores them so maybe not.
One thing that can be certain is that standing or sitting next to a literature cart is not as effective as calling onto people's doors. People are are walking down a street for a reason , most of the time religion is not on their minds.
Further to that JWs are perceived as nuisances, religion pushers that disturb people usually in the morning at their front door..
People are a little more hesitant to talk to people openly in the public about religion right on a public street anyways.
The hours that pioneers accumulate may be easier as far as foot work and perhaps gas and wear and tear onto vehicles but the effectiveness is not as strong as going directly to people's doors.
In the endeavor to sustain a religion in devoted followers/numbers, it would assumable that street vending is not as productive as calling onto people's doors and this connects to the financial sustainability of the organization itself if the numbers fall or decline.
From a person who has been directly and indirectly involved with this organization, I'm actually surprised that this cart witnessing has taken such a strong presence with JWS in most modernized countries.
All good questions. I know it has been speculated that it is the vendors around the Watchtower that are profiting and benefiting.
I tend to think most on this board tend to overstate how much cart witnessing is done. It is easy to feel that the organization is going almost entirely to carts because they are much more visible. In my area, the carts are only manned by pioneers. And not even all pioneers. You have to be specially recommended. So cart witnessing is more of a status symbol and another class distinction.
I would argue that the main purpose is to keep people pioneering and motivate other to pioneer in a way that appears effective. I know many in my area who have stopped because they can recognize how unproductive house to house is. With cart witnessing, even if no one stops, you can argue that you made a witness simply by being seen.
so--WTF is this i found on google image ( watchtower carts )
This exporter/shipper/supplier comes up for kiosks, literature carts and parts, furniture handles and folding chairs.
RSF Sourcing Group LLC
Unit A, Floor 29, Legend Tower
7 Shing Yip Street
Kwun Tong, Kowloon 123
It seems Watchtower is always the trading partner/consignee. The former website contact in Hong Kong is actually a purchasing agent located in… Wallkill, NY according to his LinkedIn account.
See a sample here: http://portexaminer.com/trade-data/rsf-sourcing-group-llc-watchtower-bible-and-tract-society/ctyosznycmi1188/
LITCART SPARE PARTS https://panjiva.com/Rsf-Sourcing-Group-Llc/15761737
This list shows Watchtower received 228 cartons of literature carts and chairs on 2015-08-26:
RSF again. All of the trading partners are Watchtower: http://en.52wmb.com/s-rsf_sourcing_group_llc/3865094
This company is not affiliated with WT, but they do ship carts as well
Welfull Group Company Limited
11 F Jinjiang Mansion No.111 Hushu
Litcart Litcart Acrylic Panels Wheel Litcart Parts Rain Cover
Its a good way for people to use their hours up and there is a chance they might manage to give out some of their old teaching books
I can't believe that JW's actually count service time by just aimlessly standing there.
Betterdaze - good research work on finding that, thanks.