TaskRabbit: Your Guide to Making Quick Cash Doing Odd Jobs

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We all have those annoying tasks we just don’t want to do. Have you ever organized and purged your closet, only to leave the “donation” pile sitting in the corner for weeks?

Now there’s a way to turn someone else’s annoyance into your paycheck. From waiting in line for the newest tech toy to giving out birthday hugs, the online marketplace TaskRabbit showcases thousands of short-term gigs that revolve around helping people cross items off their to-do lists.

TaskRabbits have made extra cash by pulling off ridiculous pranks, whipping up delicious vegetarian meals, planning entertaining activities for kids, and even performing a marriage ceremony. Heck, this guy asked for help finding a rattlesnake wrangler in Portland!

Most posts, though, are your garden-variety jobs that people want to outsource: delivery, cleaning and small handy projects that only take a few hours.

Ready to make some cash? Here’s your guide to snagging well-paying jobs on the site.

Tips for making extra cash through TaskRabbit

1. Build an appealing profile: A strong profile that highlights your skills and abilities will help your profile stand out to TaskPosters as they scan through bids.

Choose a good-quality, fun photo of yourself and take the time to write an informative bio. Link to your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn, to highlight your background and expertise. If your profile shows you are experienced, approachable and intelligent, you’ll have a much higher chance of landing gigs — even if you’re not the lowest bidder.

2. Work with your skills and interests, not against them: Run lots of errands already? Choose tasks that fit with your own to-do list. Hate cleaning? Don’t bid for those tasks.

Figure out which types of tasks to focus on by considering what works with your life. Maybe you can plan your grocery shopping or donation drop-offs to coincide with tasks.

Consider tasks that you enjoy, but others may not, such as cooking or gift-wrapping. If you’re handy, why not help with projects that people struggle to do themselves, such as building a backyard sandbox or fixing door hinges?

3. Set your prices well: Choosing a fair and accurate price for a job can keep you from being passed over — or worrying about being paid less than your work is worth.

In a post at Price Intelligently, Elena Kerzner recommends communicating the value you bring to the poster, rather than simply undercutting other bidders, and experimenting to find your perfect pricing strategy.

4. Write a killer pitch: Each time you bid for a task, there’s a box to write a message to the poster. Sure, you could just write, “Please pick me to do this job,” but if you want to make the most of your bid, treat this message like a short cover letter.

Why should the TaskPoster choose you? What makes you the best person for the job? Taking the time to explain exactly what sets you apart will boost your chances of being assigned the task.

5. Use the TaskRabbit app to check tasks on the go: Increase your productivity by checking the app while you’re out and about. Does anyone need anything from your area, whether it’s groceries or a lunch delivery? Have you had any responses to your bids, or are there new tasks you can jump on?

Being able to check on available tasks while you’re away from your computer adds a little extra productivity to your work. Sadly for Android users, the app is only currently available for iOS.

Potential pitfalls and other options

As useful as TaskRabbit can be for those hoping to supplement their incomes, there are a few caveats. Though it also offers a growing list of virtual tasks such as reading books to create audiobooks, to get approved as a TaskRabbit you have to be in one of the 19 U.S. cities (or London, U.K.) where it operates. Several users have also written about struggling to land gigs that fairly value their time or being asked to do more than the work they agreed to.

If you find success on the site and decide it’s time to look for slightly longer-term work, check out the recently launched TaskRabbit for Business; it connects workers with businesses to fill temporary customer service, data-entry, admin and sales positions.

Your Turn: Have you used TaskRabbit to supplement your income? Tell us how it has worked for you!

Heather van der Hoop is the editor of ThePennyHoarder.com. A writer, editor and lover of the outdoors, her work has been featured on Brazen Careerist and The Write Life. Based in Kelowna, British Columbia, she enjoys playing along with Jeopardy! and climbing rocks, mountains, and trees.