We’ve reviewed 5 new hustles this week, which provide good opportunities for designers, notaries and motorcycle owners. However, the other two — a broad job site that recently launched in California — and a driving app, are less attractive.
5 new hustles
What’s the basis of our opinion on these 5 new hustles? The first criteria we consider is effort (or risk) vs. reward. Translation? How much money do you earn compared to the amount of time and trouble you spend to earn it? When considering rental opportunities, we weigh the risks — the chance that your property will be damaged or stolen — versus the income each rental generates.
We also look at the amount of control the freelancer has over his or her schedule and working conditions. And we consider the actual freelancer experiences when working with these platforms.
Finally, we evaluate the costs of participating and how much those costs might eat into your income. Jobs in driving and delivery, for instance, require that freelancers pay for their own gas, car maintenance, insurance and upkeep. At a time of extraordinarily high gas prices, driving and delivery apps need to provide bigger payouts to make these jobs worthwhile.
GoPuff: pretty bad
That is, in fact, partly why GoPuff — a grocery delivery app — gets a substandard Husl$core and is the only undeniable clinker in this listing of 5 new hustles.
Like Instacart, GoPuff enlists freelance delivery drivers to pick up customer groceries from stores — in this case GoPuff warehouses — and deliver them to the customer’s door. The driver gets a minimum delivery fee that varies based on the city and, sometimes, a tip. How much are the tips? GoPuff’s “pre-set tips” range from $1 – $3, according to the site’s blog.
So, not a lot. Particularly when you recognize that you’re using your own gas, paying for auto insurance and maintenance and may only be delivering one set of groceries at a time. In states where independent contractors are due at least a minimum amount of earnings, including California, drivers will receive that minimum. However, they are not reimbursed for expenses. Drivers say they’re lucky to earn minimum wage.
If you shop for Instacart or drive for GoPuff, we recommend that you check out Dumpling, which helps you manage your own personal shopping business. With Dumpling, you set your own rates and can schedule shopping trips so you’re doing several at once. That’s a much better formula for making decent income.
Meanwhile an Australian job site called AirTasker has broken into the U.S. market, launching in Los Angeles, Dallas, Kansas City, Miami and Atlanta. The site allows individuals who need help to post the job they want done and say how much they’re willing to pay for it. Freelance workers respond by explaining why they’re the right person to do the job.
When the customer chooses a freelancer to complete the work, the agreed-upon price is automatically taken from their payment method. That eliminates any chance that the freelancer will do the work and not get paid.
The problem? Job descriptions are often vague, which makes it difficult to know whether the pay is enough for the effort involved. The site’s CEO says the idea behind Airtasker is to create a community where freelancers and customers talk freely and can, if appropriate, negotiate rates and terms. But we didn’t see any sign of that when we tested the site, which was not a good sign.
If you do get a job through AirTasker, you’ll pay a fee ranging from 20% to 10%, depending on how much work you’ve gotten from the platform in the past month. The more work you do, the lower the site’s commission.
There also appear to be a number of job scammers on the site, who post potentially high-paying work to get the freelancer’s payment information. Our test found several seemingly high-paying positions posted by the same individual, for instance. One of these had a phone number listed, which was answered by someone who said the job had been filled. But another job was available.
If you gave this person payment information over the phone, your transaction falls outside of AirTasker’s domain. So your “payment” can evaporate along with whatever money you have in the bank account that you provided to the con artist.
If a community eventually does form around this site, it might work well for people who want to search for odd jobs. But, for the moment, you’re more likely to find work by signing up with TaskRabbit or Fiverr.
Meanwhile, if you’re a freelance graphic designer, Awesomic is worth checking out. Awesomic enlists freelance graphic designers to work on a variety of projects, ranging from logo and app design to website user experience. Designers do not have to hail from the U.S. However, they need good English language skills to properly communicate with clients and the Awesomic team.
Unlike other freelance platforms, Awesomic promises to keep designers busy and provide a monthly stipend that works much like a salary. Pay varies by experience and whether you want to work full-time or part-time. Designers are evaluated once every three months and can win pay raises at that point.
Notarize is an online notary service that enlists freelancers to verify document signatures. Pay is determined both by the state you live in and the type of transaction. Real estate transactions, which usually involve volumes of documents, pay more than simpler transactions.
The site is clearly going through growing pains, which employees complain about bitterly. However, it doesn’t appear that these pains impact the freelancers who can sign on to notarize documents through the platform.
There also is no cost to sign up as a freelancer. Thus, there’s little risk. Notaries are paid through Stripe, within days of completing a transaction.
This site’s only shortcoming for people who want to notarize documents online is that it’s currently only available in four states — Texas, Florida, Nevada and Virginia.
The site also has a service called “notary sourced transactions” that helps independent notaries digitize their business. This is a turnkey system that allows independent notaries to use the Notarize platform for online meetings and electronic seals and signatures. This service has been expanding rapidly and is now available in 14 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey and New York. At some point, Notarize to charge notaries for taking advantage of its online portal. However, until at least the end of 2022, the service is being offered to notaries for free.
TwistedRoad is a peer-to-peer motorcycle rental platform that connects potential riders with bike owners. Owners set the terms of their rental, including the daily rental rate and availability. When bikes rent, TwistedRoad takes 30% as a site commission from the owner’s pay. It also imposes a fee on renters. (Renters also can buy daily insurance through the site to limit their liability for any loss or collision.)
The site pays rental fees to owners by direct deposit within a few days of the bike being returned.
When we consider what makes a rental site work well, it’s all about reducing the risk of loss or damage to the property that you’re renting. And TwistedRoad does all the logical things to protect your bike, from screening renters and limiting what they can do with your vehicle, to providing insurance coverage. If you’ve got a motorcycle that you don’t use a lot, this is a great place to list it for rent.
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