Few cities have a love affair with their area code as strong as Miami does with 305. It's shouted out in various rap songs. Pitbull calls himself "Mr. 305." Tattoos with the numbers are common, and Dade lifers love to say that they're "305 'til I die." Of course, that's not Miami-Dade's only area code. Register a new number nowadays and you're likely to wind up with a 786 area code, and even though that's not the case anymore, it's hard to shake the idea that when you're dialing a 786 number you're calling a cell phone in Kendall.
Businesses in particular still covet in the 305 area code, especially for marketing purposes.
As it turns out though, there's a mini-industry of second-hand phone number sales, and Miami's 305 area code is one of the hottest on the market.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The Washington Post profiles Ed Mance, a guy who operates PhoneNumberGuy.com, which sells vanity phone numbers. He buys up old phone numbers in bulk from businesses that no longer need them and then sells them, usually for between $299 to $799 a pop.
As it turns out, 305 is one of Mance's hottest seller, only behind Los Angeles's 310 and New York's storied 212. Interestingly, both L.A. and New York are split up into more than two area codes, and yet Miami's 305 is almost as popular as New York's 212. That's an area code considered such a status symbol in New York City that an episode of Seinfeld featured a plot in which Elaine tries to finagle one for herself; rapper Azealia Banks burst onto the scene by boasting about the number. Though, Mance's sales of 212 numbers is limited by the amount he comes by.
305, however, has quite a storied history itself. It was one of the original area codes when the concept was introduced in 1947 and once covered the entire state of Florida. It slowly became a Miami-Dade exclusive. 818 was introduced in 1953 to serve the Tampa Bay area and most of the rest of West Florida. 305 was limited to South Florida in 1988, and in 1995 Broward County got it's own area code, officially limiting 305 to just Miami-Dade and portions of the Keys. Three years later the 786 area code was overlaid to meet demand for cell phones, but that code now covers landlines as well and 305 numbers are no longer a guarantee, even for businesses operating land lines.
So it's no surprise then that businesses are willing to shell out a bit extra for the prestige and history the 305 area code carries. When was the last time you heard a radio jingle based around a 786 number?