In the 1990s, owning a PEZ dispenser would be considered cool, and Netflix's 'The Pez Outlaw' attempts to do the same through the experiences of Steve Glew, a Michigan native who made a fortune selling unusual candy dispensers with tactfulness and skill.
What Was Steve Glew's Income?
Steve Glew was raised in a poor family that hampered his resources and prospects of development. He also abused alcohol and drug abuse for several years as a teenager, leading him to find a steady employment much later in life.
Steve collected cereal boxes from a recycling facility and used them to collect the coupons printed on the boxes to sell to collectors and at local fairs. In 1992, he discovered a guy selling PEZ dispensers, making a substantial profit.
Steve used $4,000 of his savings to go to Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he bribed security guards and border guards to enter the warehouse. He would then ship PEZ dispensers back to the United States, sell them to collectors, and at PEZ conventions.
Steve was able to buy one dispenser for 27 cents, and sell it for $5 when he sold them. PEZ Candy Inc. had not registered its trademark with US customs, thus allowing him to sell the items legally.
Steve stated that he smuggled a total of two million PEZ dispensers into the United States in the eleven years he spent there, earning around $750,000 and employing six staff members. Later, Steve agreed to buy liquidated dispensers from a Hungarian warehouse.
Steve's European partner backed off when PEZ Candy Inc. began cracking down on the US black market. He purchased a bigger house for his family and started a new business.
Steve sold the PEZ dispensers at $25 apiece, doubling his investment of $2.5 million. Unfortunately, PEZ Candy Inc. copied his prototypes and sold them at a much lower price.
Steve tried to lower his prices, but the company outperformed his sales, leaving him with a considerable debt of $250,000. Not just that, he had several boxes of brand-new PEZ dispensers on his shelves when he put it up on eBay for $750,000. In 2015, Playboy Magazine published a feature on Steve's life, but he was not paid for it.
Netflix approached Steve to produce a new candy dispenser with Steve's alter-ego, The Pez Outlaw, following a failed film deal with Warner Bros.
Steve Glew's Net Worth
Steve Glew earned a lot of wealth during his first decade in the business of purchasing PEZ dispensers, but the subsequent losses left him with a $250,000 debt. According to accounts, he spent a lot of his earnings trying to pay back the debt, but he is still to pay back about half the amount.
Steve Glew stated that sales might increase rapidly and help him pay off his debts. He also mentioned that a book deal is on the way, as well as his 20-acre DeWitt farm.