A while back we featured Milk.ly, a European peer based marketplace for services. Basically an errand board full of local odd jobs. Now we’re taking a look at a US option in TaskRabbit, a website designed to help outsource tasks and errands.
The goal is to match users who are too busy to accomplish everything on their list of errands with users who have free time along with a willingness to accomplish odd jobs for a small fee and the skill to perform them.
Unlike job boards where employers are hunting for applicants to fill a permanent position, TaskRabbit errand boards list one time odd jobs that need to be done in a specific time frame. Categories range from physical delivery type tasks to virtual vacation planning.
How TaskRabbit Works
Users who need help, post a task or errand along with pertinent information such as important details about the task and payout for completed tasks. The task is then posted for TaskRabbits (task doers) to view and make offers on through a he/she who bids lowest, gets the job process. Once a bid has been accepted it’s up to the TaskRabbit to complete the task as expected.
Afterwards, TaskRabbits are paid according to the agreed bid price with a 20% service fee charged on the total payout by TaskRabbit. The percentage decreases as the amounts exceed $50 (18%) and $100 (12%).
Users who have free time and want to earn some extra cash can sign-up to be TaskRabbits. Be aware however, that only the most eligible will be allowed to become TaskRabbits. The verification process is extensive with multilevel security checks involving written application, video interviewing and background checks on all would be TaskRabbits.
Potential TaskRabbits are expected to surrender their social security number and personal information typically given when applying for a job. The information is used to ensure TaskRabbits are legitimate people looking to honestly complete errands and to safeguard other users from fraud.
There is also a rating system for TaskRabbits. Through reviews and star ratings, TaskRabbits can build a profile that shows their skill and proficiency.
Currently TaskRabbit is available in only 7 states which makes its physical presence for errands a bit limited. Even with its limited number of states, there are a large amount of cities in and around the big metros for those states.
Virtual tasks are available though a bit more limited than the physical errands based on what we saw. Either way, by having virtual tasks available it means users from all over the states can participate.
TaskRabbit provides a keen resource for busy people seeking help in the completion of odd jobs, tasks and errands. On the flip side, users who sign up to be TaskRabbits can earn some extra cash which is never a bad thing. The security checks put in place seem strict enough that both sides benefit from verification in a way that keeps the service honest and reliable.
In a down economy, TaskRabbit is a great supplemental source of income if you have skill to offer. The service is free to join and the only fee comes out of the TaskRabbit payment which means no ugly membership charges. The interface is easy to understand and relatively uncomplicated. If you could use some extra cash and have a skill or free time to offer, then TaskRabbit is the way to go.
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