Moving, cleaning, doing laundry, and even getting things fixed around the house can be a big hassle, especially if you’re weighed down with work and unable to take the time required to get it done. Often, we could use another set of hands around the house from time to time, or even an extra skilled set of eyes on a project around the office.
Enter TaskRabbit, a site that lets you find the help you need in your area, and perhaps even make some extra money being that helpful hand. Stacy Croy, a member of the Gnomies community, brought this service to our attention. All you need to do is post a task and the amount you’d be willing to pay for it, and background-checked TaskRabbits make bids on the job. You pay only after the task is done.
Is it Safe?
This may sound on the surface to be another Craigslist or open site where anyone can show up at your door after promising something online. TaskRabbit takes the spirit of community and combines it with the concept of an actual business full of employees. TaskRabbits must submit their name, Social Security number, and address for a background check at the local, state, and federal levels. While this may not ensure that TaskRabbits are 100% reliable, it is a step many of its customers appreciate.
TaskRabbits would appreciate the fact that they don’t have to have that unfortunate money conversation on-site with the client. The client has all their credit information stored in the TaskRabbit system. When the task is closed, the client is charged and the TaskRabbit is paid directly. Expenses for shopping runs and other materials are also covered through this method.
What Kind of Tasks Does TaskRabbit Cover?
I was surprised to see in the Austin area just how many different tasks had been completed in the past 24 hours. House cleaning, shopping, handyman work, moving assistance, computer assistance, event coordination, and even skilled labor such as carpentry and plumbing are all parts of the TaskRabbit task list.
In Austin, SXSW is one of the largest events of the year. Traffic is a nightmare, and finding someone to help you get things done during that week is a chore and half. TaskRabbit actually created a SXSW-specific task section on its mobile app to help folks with SXSW-related tasks. Clubs that need an extra hand checking badges, parties that need last-minute touches, and other common tasks could be completed with TaskRabbits rather than posting something on Craigslist and hoping someone reliable would answer.
If you have a task that needs doing, you set the price. Just enter a maximum amount you’re willing to pay in the system and TaskRabbits will bid on the job. You simply need to choose the bid you wish to accept, and help is on the way.
When setting your maximum price, you may find the best results by taking distance of travel, time, and the difficulty of the task into consideration. While you can get away with getting jobs done pretty cheaply, no one wants to spend a few hours on something and walk away with very little. Set your prices competitively, and you might be surprised at some of the TaskRabbit bids you receive.
How Do You Make Money Doing This?
TaskRabbits make life easier for folks that want to find odd jobs to do, but don’t want to have to deal with the grind and hassle of finding each job themselves. TaskRabbit makes the tasks available to TaskRabbits via the iPhone app or website, and allows them to get things done without having to deal with complex negotiations or uncomfortable moments. The task is assigned, and the TaskRabbit gets it done. All the client needs to do is post the job on TaskRabbit and make it possible to get it done.
In addition to background checks, TaskRabbits must fill out an application, take part in a video interview, and complete an online training program. It’s a lot like applying for a regular job, though you’re technically still a contractor.
The more a TaskRabbit gets done, the higher their rank. TaskRabbits are ranked by their review scores and tasks completed. The higher your rank, the more likely someone will pick you for the job.
How to Save Money on TaskRabbit
All right, there are two ways to save some money using TaskRabbit. For one, you can refer friends via your own account using a PAL link provided by TaskRabbit. Each referral brings you and your friend a $10 discount on your next task.
You could also use coupon code VID15 to save $15 on a task. This code is mentioned in the informational video embedded above.
TaskRabbit is one of many community odd-jobs sites out there. While it does bring a lot to the table with background checks, there are a couple of issues I have with the site in general.
The ratings and review system appears to be a bit skewed. When I select a candidate with perfect reviews (and a lot of them) those reviews are from other TaskRabbits that are advertising their own services. This makes the review and ratings system somewhat useless, and it’s very concerning just how many people are abusing the system in this way. Are these the professional types you want to trust?
At the end of the day, TaskRabbit is just another take on virtual classified ads. You are still putting a lot of trust in people you don’t know to get jobs done. The review process TaskRabbit puts contractors through is more thorough than most, but how often do seemingly honest people do crazy things? TaskRabbit may put workers through the checks, but responsibility is ultimately in the hands of the person offering the job.