What to Know
Several people have advertised 'training' services for $20 per hour to level up pokemon in the app.
Other people with cars are offering to ferry drivers around to catch pokemon and stock up on items.
One so-called trainer said she retired because she was worried about violating the game's terms.
Wanna be the very best Pokemon Go trainer but don’t have the time or car to travel across the land, searching far and wide? Well, other players in the tri-state might be willing to help out – for a price.
Dozens of listings on the New York-area Craigslist are advertising professional training services and “tours” for the massively popular app, which lets users catch the popular Nintendo critters and battle for supremacy at so-called “gyms” in real-world locations.
One trainer in Bushwick offers to catch Pokemon, get items or walk for hours to help users hatch Pokemon eggs that have to incubate for as much as 6 miles of travel. The cost of the service? Twenty dollars per hour for as much as three hours.
“I can focus on catching a specific species of Pokémon to evolve for you. I can focus on training up your Pokémon to get your local gyms on lockdown. I can focus on catching Pokémon of a specific type. And of course, I will gladly walk out of my way to find new Pokémon to add to your Pokédex,” the listing states.
Another user, in Chinatown, offers to help users catch ‘em all while they toil away at work for the same $20 per hour rate.
Another trainer, Ivy St Ive, told Gothamist she was getting out of the business just a day after offering her services on Craigslist. She too was charging $20 per hour and had drawn interest from players including a Manhattan media lawyer and a pregnant Texas woman, but she said she took down her listing after hearing that she might be violating the terms of the game.
"I don't want to break any laws and I definitely don't want to get banned from Pokemon GO, the game I have been waiting for since 1997 just to make a quick buck," she told Gothamist.
Others have been taking a slightly different approach to profiting off the craze, charging to ferry players to specific spots for items – called Pokestops – and gyms. One man in Stony Brook is offering to shuttle players around in his Prius for $30 per hour. The man is also offering to charge players phones during the trip and said he would provide snacks and Hi-C Ecto Cooler, which was a popular kids drink when the original Pokemon Game Boy games were released in the mid-1990s.
Another driver, in Queens, advertises ferrying around in a bus outfitted to look like Pikachu, one of the most popular Pokemon. The driver’s services start at 99 cents per Pokestop, but a player can pay as much as $100 per trip.