taskrabbit-logoOkay, I’m cheating a little bit because this happened before baby girl came along, but once upon a time, I was a Tasker. That’s what they call people who complete TaskRabbit tasks.

The concept is pretty simple. People need something done like putting together IKEA furniture. They post the job on TaskRabbit and then hire a Tasker. Tasks vary from handyman jobs to delivery to housecleaning.

Payment varies. The low end is about $18 per hour, while high end can be $50/$60 per hour depending on your skill set. TaskRabbit takes a 30% cut of whatever you make, which is pretty hefty. (The company used to take less if you had a repeat customer, but that perk was recently discontinued.)

There are some hoops to jump through before you start. You have to go to an orientation in person, which in my case meant an hour away in San Francisco. Driving and parking in the city stinks. Worse yet, the whole orientation could have been completed just as easily through an explainer video.Task Rabbit Jobs

After the orientation, TaskRabbit activated my account. You can set your schedule ahead of time and book jobs in advance, but I was never sure enough about my family life, work life, etc. to book in advance. Snagging jobs on the fly is tough, you’re competing with other Taskers and the Taskers that do the most tasks get first shot at the new ones.

I did about five tasks before my account expired. That’s right if you don’t complete a task within a certain time frame (I think it was 60 days) your account is frozen and you can’t start working again until you go to another orientation. Finding tasks in my area was tough. There were a lot fewer in my area and they were gobbled up quickly.

TaskRabbit Home PageDuring my brief stint as a Tasker, my tasks included delivering champagne (er, sparkling wine for trademark reasons) to an office party, and a cigarette and Starbucks run for a homebound woman.  She did offer to buy me something at Starbucks too, which was a nice bonus. I tried a cleaning job but wasn’t very good at it. I also helped a local dot-com clean out its storage room. The bonus there was I got to keep some of the stuff, including beach toys and glow sticks.

I made good cash, but nothing life-changing.

The pluses:

  • The money goes directly into your account.
  • You’re paid within a week or two of completing tasks.
  • If you’re trying to build a business, it could be used to find clients.
  • You can receive tips.
  • Sometimes you get free stuff.
The minuses:

  • The 30% fee is killer.
  • If you’re a skilled laborer, like a handyman, you’d make better money on your own.
  • The hoops you have to jump through to become a Tasker are insane, especially if you’re just doing it occasionally.
  • The number and types of tasks available depend on where you live.
  • Many of the tasks I did were far away. 15 to 20 miles is a lot when you have to drive in San Francisco Bay Area traffic.
Bottom line, working for TaskRabbit isn’t something I would recommend. The tasks are not kid-friendly and there are a lot of hoops you have to jump through. Worst of all the 30% fee the company charges kills any chance of making a good profit.

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