RelayRides blogger Nicholas Pell shares the modern-day equivalents of old-school odd jobs, proving that supplementing your income is easier than ever
In times past, when people needed a little extra scratch they did odd jobs. Whether it was raking leaves, washing a car or shoveling a driveway, it was a way to make money for all the little extras that make life worth living. Among other things, the digital economy makes it such that such door knocking is no longer necessary. You can get the jobs you want for the money you need right in the comfort of your own home.
Copious: The Modern Yard Sale
Everyone knows about eBay and Etsy. Less well known is Copious. However, whereas the former are basically marketplaces for shilling your goods to strangers, Copious has a social component. Imagine if you could integrate social networks like Twitter or Facebook into a site like eBay; We don’t mean just posting about your listings, but actually using the social component to find people with a style like yours. You’d spend a lot less time hunting around for the perfect scarf. This is the idea behind Copious, a company that just got $5 million in Series A funding. Whether you want to sell your old stuff or go bin picking at the local Goodwill for fun and profit, Copious is the place for you.
TaskRabbit: The Digital Odd Job Marketplace
What can you do? No matter what it is, someone is willing to pay you to do it on TaskRabbit. Some of the stuff is pretty menial, for example household cleaning. However, you can also ply your trade as a virtual assistant, caterer or even skilled carpenter on TaskRabbit. What eBay was to cleaning out your garage, TaskRabbit is to breaking out of the 9-to-5 grind and making money on your own terms doing the things you know and love.
Lionbridge and Leapforce: Today’s Taking on the Laundry
Some drudgery can be fairly lucrative, if a bit mind-numbing. In years past, doing other people’s laundry provided a way to make extra scratch without a lot of work. You just trudged a bag of laundry down the road, threw it in the wash and studio for your biochem midterm while the dirty laundry tumbled. These days, you can make money helping search engines pair people with the results that they want. A number of contractors do this, such as Lionbridge and Leapforce. They allow you to set your own schedule doing nothing more than looking at websites and clicking radio buttons. Throw on a record in the background, brew a pot of coffee, zone out and make some money.
GigWalk: Making Money Right in Your Neighborhood
GigWalk, which recently received a $6 million cash infusion, allows you to look around jobs by price point and by distance. There’s tons of stuff right in your neighborhood that GigWalk will pay you to do. One popular gig on there at the moment is taking pictures of local businesses for Bing. Want to offset the cost of a night at the movies or your favorite restaurant. Take a few pictures while you’re out. If they’re the ones that Microsoft is hiring for, you’ve just earned yourself a cool $5 for not doing a whole lot. Your access to gigs increases the better your reputation is, so get the small ones out of the way and work your way up.
Etsy: The New Lemonade Stand
Cleaning out your closet and flogging it on eBay might get you a little extra coin in your pocket from time to time. It’s not going to provide you with a long-term revenue stream, however. What will? Taking your hobby crafts and listing them on Etsy. If you’re the type of person who likes to work with your hands in your spare time, why aren’t you listing things on Etsy already? Take something you already enjoy and make it into a revenue stream. Any profit you gain from it is just gravy on top of an activity you already love.
RelayRides: Delivering the Morning Paper
Over the years, the role of the paperboy has changed quite a bit, what started as a neighborhood kid slinging papers from a bike, changed to an adult firing the daily news from a car. Now, with most people getting their news online, even the chance of making a buck putting your car to use has gone the way of the RSS feed. That said, if you still have a need for some extra cash and have a car, may we suggest that you join RelayRides? You can help make ends meet by renting your car a few times a month, or make big bucks by renting it more frequently. And the best part–besides not having to wake up before dawn to toss newspapers–is that RelayRides protects owners renting their cars with a $1 million policy.