Pass the Task

Posted on July 8, 2010. Filed under: Product Review, Review | Tags: |

Do you need to have boxes dropped off at Goodwill? A ride to the airport? Diapers from BabysRUs®? Wall mount a flat screen TV? Balloons for a party? Change the batteries in smoke detectors? Wall painted? Dinner delivered? A store return?

A local company called TaskRabbit may be your answer.  Especially since the by-line of the Boston-based company is,”Life is Busy. We can help.”

The first part of the byline is an understatement. The second part? Help they do. You name it, they do it.

This is a great service for anyone and everyone, but I immediately think of new moms. Probably because I am, relatively, a new mom. After having a baby, the thought of running around with a newborn, after giving birth, was not appealing to me.  Let alone the fact that if I had a spare hour or two, I wanted to sleep – not go grocery shopping. Fast forward a few months; I now have a crawling baby, a work-from-home job, and a not-handy husband (sorry honey, but it’s true) and would love to pass along some of the little ‘to-dos’ on my big list. Ok, maybe a big to-do like cleaning the garage.

How it works is fairly simple. You sign up for free account on their website and post any task you need completed. Next, you set the price you are willing to pay or allow Runners to bid on doing your task. Then, your task is accepted and assigned or you choose the bid you think is most fair. Generally though, the fee ranges from $10-$15 for their time and mileage.

Have a small car and need to pick up a large item at Home Depot? Don’t have time to drive to the post office to mail a package? Need your dog dropped off at the vet so you can go to a school play? TaskRabbit is your answer and new best friend. Don’t live in Boston? They can help with virtual stuff too.

What is the catch? Well, there is a service fee that ranges from 12%-30% that goes on top of what you pay the Runner. The fee goes to TaskRabbit itself (because how else can they run the website)? The website has live online chat support, email support, or if you are a people person there is phone support, for any help you need while using the site. Tasks generally get a fast response from Runners who are given a thorough background check by Acxiom. (Runners are often stay at-home-moms and dads, young professionals, retirees, and college students.)

Other cool things?

You can post a Task that you haven’t paid for yet. For example, if you want a Runner to pick up your dry cleaning, but you still need to pay the dry cleaner.  The Runner can front the money for your items, leave the receipt for you and then you can reimburse your Runner through the site. Since I never seem to have cash on hand to pay for anything, it is great to use the online payment option.

You don’t have to be at home to meet your Runner.  For example, you are at work when school/daycare calls looking for a medical form from the doctor – now! And you have a big meeting in the office. Crap – what to do? Post it on TaskRabbit! The Runner can head to the doctor’s office, pick up the form and then head to the school to drop it off. When a Task is assigned to a Runner, you will get the Runner’s contact information so you can give authorization to the doctor’s office and/or school.

Oh, and any problems (there are reported few) can usually be worked out directly with the Runner, but if there is one, TaskRabbit is there to step in.

Needless to say, it is a pretty neat service for new Moms who need a diaper run, to Dads who have growing “Honey-Do” list, a great idea for a baby shower or birthday gift (they offer e-gift cards), or for people like me who just want a clean garage. (Hint, Hint Honey…our anniversary is coming up….)

*Image courtesy of TaskRabbit. Many Thanks to TaskRabbit for helping me with the details of their business processes and for an e-gift card to try them out! If you would like to try them out, leave a comment here on what task you would have completed if you could win a $25 TaskRabbit e-gift card from Metrowest Mama! Contest is open until 5pm, Friday, July 16th. The winner will be selected through a drawing by Random.com, and the winner will be notified by email.
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