Worth Watching Week: Be a TaskRabbit

Worth Watching Week:  Be a TaskRabbit »Play Video

It's Worth Watching Week here at KATU - our effort to put extra money in your pocket!  The Problem Solvers show you how to get paid for doing everyday tasks in your neighborhood.

It's called TaskRabbit.

"This is where I make most of my money," says Richard Herbert, sitting at his computer. Herbert writes, edits and proofreads for people around the country.

His current assignment, writing an artistic statement for a TaskRabbit poster, will take him about an hour-and-a-half. He'll be paid $50.

Other times, Herbert is on his bike, making deliveries around town.

Herbert is one of 400 TaskRabbits in the Portland area. TaskRabbits number 20,000 nationwide.

Here's how it works:

  • You create a profile with your photo, information about yourself, and your skills.
  • TaskRabbits who are serious about marketing themselves also can include a short video.
  • After completing a mandatory background check, you can start bidding on tasks.

Common jobs and pay?

  • Grocery shopping:  $35
  • House cleaning: $60
  • Handyman services: $85

In Portland, one of the most popular tasks is delivering Voo Doo Donuts for out-of-towners, wanting to treat their Portland friends.

But tasks can be as unusual as the poster:

  • Assemble IKEA furniture
  • Deliver a McFlurry to a friend
  • Pick up after a dog in its backyard
  • Be an accomplice in a practical joke

"In fact, yesterday, someone was going to pay $70 for someone just to walk around Portland on FaceTime and give them a downtown tour," Herbert says.

Some tasks are one-time jobs; others are reoccurring. Some tasks need to be completed in person; others can be done remotely, like vacation planning or proofreading.

Occasionally, Herbert has had to report questionable, perhaps shady, jobs to TaskRabbit.

"The website and the community around it are really good about communicating and identifying risks and make sure everyone is safe," says Herbert.

Rabbits are paid through the website; TaskRabbit takes 20 percent.

Herbert says the average TaskRabbit in Portland makes between $50-100 per week.  Top-performing Rabbits, like Herbert, make between $200-400 per week. 

It's enough to cover his rent, so Herbert can focus on building his own video production business.

"You can do really minor tasks for a lot of money," said Herbert.

TaskRabbit is available in 18 U.S. cities, plus London.