What: GreenPal is an online marketplace that connects consumers in need of yard work with the contractors willing and able to do it.

Expected pay: set by you

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & Fees: 5%, plus a 2.9% payment processing fee imposed by Stripe

Where: Most major cities in the U.S.

Requirements: Smart phone; be legally able to work in the U.S.; have the tools and experience necessary to provide yard care to clients

Review: GreenPal connects homeowners in need of yard work with the contractors willing to do it. Contractors post profiles of their businesses and photographs of the yards they have serviced. When customers list jobs on the platform, contractors in the same geographic area can “bid” on the job, presumably giving the customer numerous landscapering bids to choose from.

The customer chooses his or her preferred contractor based on the bids. The contractor sends a photograph when the job is complete, which sets the billing process in motion. Contractors are also encouraged to text their customers to tell them the job is complete and to encourage them to review the contractor. Photos of finished jobs are added to contrator profiles, giving potential customers a view of your work.

However, if more than three customers complain about a contractor in a given month, that contractor can be fined $30. (It was unclear if that amount went back to the customers or if it went to the platform to compensate them for apologizing for your sorry performance.) If the customer demands a refund, that’s on you, the contractor.

What concerns us a bit about this platform isn’t in the terms. Our editors attempted to test the platform as a customer to see if we could view local contractor profiles. But the site immediately jumped to booking a service. We stopped mid-booking, not wanting to mislead contractors about our intentions. But the request, which lacked all detail, including the size of the yard, what was entailed, whether we had pets, etc., apparently was delivered to contractors, who attempted to bid on the job anyway. To be fair, two of the three bids stipulated that they were only interested in regular weekly work. (The site promises to book one-time mow and edge jobs to start.) But the notion that anyone would bid on a non-existing job was a little disconcerting.

This may have been a few contractors jumping the gun. But if the site expects you to bid without any information, you could vastly underbid or overbid the cost of providing the work. And, reading between the lines of some customer reviews, it appeared that walking into jobs unaware of the extent of the work is not rare. That said, you’re initially bidding on one simple mow and edge. You presumably could use that as a loss-leader to get new customers. But we’d caution you to bid high on anything unclear or don’t bid at all. 

We’re giving this a better-than-average Husl$core based on the contractor-friendly terms. We’re also assuming that you lose little if you choose to walk away from jobs that have been misrepresented. Customer reviews say that when the contractors showed up and refused to do the work, the customer was also blocked from giving them a bad review.

Other places to find lawncare work are Nextdoor, Takl, Handy and JiffyOnDemand.

What their lawncare providers say:

We have yet to find reviews from contractors. If you have worked through this platform, please contact us or submit a comment to let others know how well it worked out. 

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