Become a Scooter Juicer and Make Money While You Sleep (Yes, Really)

A woman carries a scooter
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Become a “Lime Juicer” and make $50 to $120 a night while you sleep. No, we aren’t talking about dreaming of margaritas. This side gig involves charging scooters.

A so-called Lime Juicer retrieves and charges those green and white battery-operated Lime scooters that get abandoned once they run low on power or are completely depleted. A juicer can make around $5 to $7 per scooter that’s retrieved, charged and delivered back to a hub the next day. The rate depends on the amount of charge the battery needs.

Say you collect and charge 10 scooters, that means at least $50 a night or more than $18,000 a year. Even collecting just 10 scooters a week could earn you around $200 a month.

Need some extra cash this month? Here are our picks for easy ways to make money.

How to Make Money Charging Lime Scooters

Bear Coughlin made several hundred dollars a month as a Lime Juicer when he was a student at American University in Washington, D.C.

“You sign up on the Lime app and then you get a specific app function that shows you where the (depleted) scooters are,” said Coughlin, who gave up the side gig recently after graduating and starting a fulltime job.

Once you see a scooter you use the app to “reserve” it and have 30 minutes to collect it.

Scan the barcode and the scooter is assigned to your possession while you charge it.

“You pick them up and load them in your car. I used a Toyota 4Runner because that’s what I had,” Coughlin said. “People with a truck or a van can fit a lot more. The scooters are pretty heavy and bulky.”

You then take the scooters inside your home or garage and charge them with a scooter charger.  A completely dead scooter takes about six hours to charge the battery until it’s full. (This is when you get to sleep while you make money.)

“The big thing that really decides how much money you’re making is how much of a charge the battery needs. So you want to pick up the ones that are completely dead,” Coughlin said. “It’s most profitable at night.”

After a long day of numerous riders, those abandoned scooters have drained batteries in need of charging.

The Lime app tells you where to return the scooters the next day and by what time. Usually it’s before 8 a.m. Once the scooter is checked back in, money goes into your account.

What Do I Need to Be a Scooter Juicer?

The larger the vehicle you drive, the more scooters — and money— you can harvest.

If you have a van or pickup truck with room for collecting and returning 10 or more scooters, the process can be more efficient and more fun if you take a friend along. Then someone can stay in the car while the other one grabs the scooter and you don’t have to find parking. But, unless you share a bank account or common cause, you’ll probably have to share your profits.

You’ll need a scooter charger, too. Lime sells chargers to its Juicers, but you can find better deals on your own. Amazon offers a wide variety with most chargers going for $17 to $25 while eBay sells chargers priced as low as $10.

You also need a power source and your power bill will increase, but only slightly.

Eco Cost Savings, a company that advises clients on energy usage and savings, reports that it costs 12 cents to charge a mid-capacity scooter and as much as 45 cents to charge a high-capacity scooter. Its scooter charging calculator lets you determine the exact cost of charging a specific scooter.

How to Make Money From Bird Scooters

Bird scooters, which are used in many cities around the country, used to pay individuals to collect and charge scooters, but has changed its process. It now contracts with individual “fleet managers” and says they can make as much as $1,500 a week. The company calls it “running your own business” and not a “gig.” A fleet manager is responsible for managing around 50 scooters at a time. The managers must store and charge them, make minor repairs and transport them to and from the Bird hubs. They often have one or more part-time employees.

“Fleet managers also earn on each ride taken on a vehicle in their fleet, which means Bird and our fleet manager partners are sharing the same goal of improving the experience and strengthening operations in local markets,” said Bird spokeswoman Campbell Millum.

Katherine Snow Smith is a contributor and  former senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.