A brainchild of the recession, “Micro-Gigs” are turning average job-seekers into entrepreneurs by showing various ways to make extra cash.
Micro-gigs are very small and quick services that can be completed virtually or in person. For example, you may not need a personal assistant for 20-40 hours a week, but you really need someone to pick up your dry cleaning on the day that you’re just too busy to do it. Or, let’s say you’re an entrepreneur that really needs help with the recent changes in Facebook. These “micro-gigs” can be posted and completed by people locally, nationally, or even globally. Here are a few of the more popular micro-gigging sites:
Fiverr.com The whole concept behind Fiverr is “what people will do for five dollars.” There are folks who will write a press release for you, record voiceovers, give Spanish lessons, or map your family tree. For just $5. These gigs are mostly completed online (no shipping or handling of products) and Fiverr makes their money by charging $1 per gig.
Gigbucks.com Much like Fiverr, Gigbucks lists services and items mostly completed through the web, however you’re not limited to the $5 threshold. On Gigbucks, gigs range from $5-$50, and payment is delivered through Paypal or AlertPay.
TaskRabbit.com is currently in a few concentrated areas: Boston, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York City, with more to come. Their focus is primarily on simple tasks that a personal assistant would do: laundry, grocery shopping, delivery, office help, party help, etc. They also have tasks that focus on skilled labor (carpentry, sewing, yoga instruction.) The service providers (also known as TaskRabbits) have been vetted with a background check by the company before being allowed to make offers on tasks that are posted. Once the task is completed, payment is processed online. Most tasks are around the $20-$30 range, and TaskRabbit’s fee is 15% on average.
Mechanical Turk (mturk.com) is owned by Amazon.com, and specialized in digital tasks that are very simple for a human to do, but cannot be automated by computer. You earn money by completing Human Intelligence Tests (HITs) which range from voicemail transcription, to identifying items in photos. Some HITs pay as little as $0.01, and others go up to $99. You can be paid either by transferring your earnings to your Amazon Payments account which can then be sent to your bank account or used as Amazon credits.
Zaarly.com allows you to buy services and goods with people in your local area. They act as an online marketplace whether you’re looking to sell used furniture, or are in need of hiring a personal assistant. You choose what area you want to sell in, so if it’s a nationwide service (like online help) you have that option as well. While it is free to post on Zaarly, they do charge transaction fees when using their credit card processor, PoundPay.
AgentAnything.com is for the busy professional who needs “missions” accomplished, and college students who need flexible income. Missions range from walking dogs, to distributing flyers for a business, to picking up last minute gifts. To be an Agent, you have to have a current university student with a valid university email address.
While none of these “gig” sites will make you a millionaire by completing tasks, they are a good resource for when you run out of things to sell, and you need to earn some income quickly. Five dollars here and there may not seem like much, but over time, you’ll be able to help pay down debt or save for vacation. Not bad trade for helping people out with their “to-do” list!