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By now, you’ve almost certainly heard about the “gig economy.”
Due to a variety of factors surrounding the emergence of app-based technology and the changing needs of today’s workers, the gig economy has sprung up to help average folks make a bit of extra money to supplement their income.
Some folks have even taken to the gig economy full time in an effort to create a flexible work/life balance.
Unlike major sub-economies of the past, the gig economy is made up of a broad variety of different companies who cover a wide variety of practical niches.
From ride sharing to grocery delivery to maintenance work and more, there are now apps for neatly every type of work that enable users to access their desired services on demand and enable workers to as much as they desire.
Many gig economy apps have made waves in the existing economic structure.
Even folks not engaged in the gig economy have likely heard about Uber and Lyft’s ongoing rivalry to revolutionize the ride sharing industry through decentralized service providers.
But these big name apps aren’t the only way to make money in the gig economy; there are also lessor known apps out there that are ready and waiting to help you establish a comfortable side hustle.
If you have a valuable skill or resource in your personal arsenal, there’s no reason to wait for a big name app to track you down.
Indeed, you may consider trying out one of these 10 lessor known gig economy apps in order to leverage your resources into a viable source of income.
Almost all of these apps include minimal onboarding, making it easy to begin engaging customers through the app in a matter of hours.
If you’ve ever had any interest in the gig economy but haven’t found an app that fits your skill set, you’ve come to the right place.
These 10 lesser-known apps will help you make money off of your existing skills and resources, all with the convenience of choosing when and with whom you work.
You may have recently noticed that your local big box store has started grocery pickup and delivery services.
These services are extremely convenient for the elderly, families with small children, or anyone who simply wants to skip the frantic grocery shopping experience.
While these stores should be applauded for this improvement, the true credit goes to grocery delivery innovators like InstaCart.
In short, InstaCart’s entire business revolves around delivering groceries from local participating stores to customers via vehicles driven by its app users.
In other words, if you sign up to work with InstaCart, you’ll be able to accept grocery delivery jobs from folks around your area.
In doing so, you’ll provide same day delivery services and make a small commission on the side.
InstaCart provides a variety of different employment opportunities to match your unique schedule.
For example, InstaCart offers an introductory part-time line of work wherein a user can work for up 29 hours a week as shopper without the need for a personal vehicle.
With a car or truck, though, you’ll be able to work an unlimited number of hours carrying out the app’s primary delivery functions (and making more money while you’re at it).
Some major companies have partnered with InstaCart to provide direct delivery services through their stores.
Aldi is one noteworthy example, allowing folks living in communities with their partner stores to have access to a reliable stream of service requests week in and week out.
There will always be a demand for effortless grocery shopping. As such, you should take advantage of this opportunity and use InstaCart to make some extra money.
Following in the footsteps of ride sharing’s expansion within the larger gig economy, it was only a matter of time before these automotive innovators made the leap into another economically fruitful field: food delivery.
Much like its competitors, DeliveRoo uses an app-based interface to allow users to either request food delivery or act as the delivery intermediary.
However, unlike UberEATS and GrubHub who operate primarily through vehicular-based delivery, DeliveRoo relies fully on self-employed bicycle and motorcycle couriers.
From the perspective of prospective users, this makes it even easier to begin using this app to pick up gigs and earn some extra money.
DeliveRoo’s business structure also varies slightly from its competitors.
In order to fund its service and pay its independent contractors, DeliveRoo charges its partnered restaurants a commission fee while also charging a base delivery fee to customers using the service.
While this does slightly raise prices for users, it also provides a better payment base for users looking to cut themselves a slice of this swiftly-delivered pie.
Also, compared to many of its competitors, DeliveRoo offers an excellent package of benefits to help support its independent employees.
This includes opportunities to invest in sickness and accident insurance coverage.
Cyclists in particular also have an opportunity join into DeliveRoos public liability insurance system, which is considered the first of its kind in the UK.
Availability for this app is rapidly expanding beyond the 200 major cities it is currently offered in.
Cities in the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Australia, UAE, Taiwan, and more all have access to this app at this time.
While access is not currently available in the United States, gig economy participants in nearly every other corner of the world possess a great opportunity to make money through this service.
Though it isn’t in common parlance anymore, there’s a perfect word to describe the gig economy in one word: moonlighting.
The term itself refers to the practice of holding a second job outside of one’s regular employment, often in a field unrelated to the first job.
For those gig economy participants who are looking to complete a few service-based jobs on the side, Moonlighting is the way to go.
At its core, Moonlighting has described itself as an on-demand app that “allows people to earn extra money and get tasks done instantly by creating a virtual marketplace for individuals and small businesses.”
In practical terms, that means that the Moonlighting app enables users – both individuals and business – to seek out auxiliary assistance to complete a wide variety of short-term jobs.
Moonlighting CEO Jeff Tennery has described his app-based company as “a mobile-based virtual ‘Swiss Army Knife’” that empowers both workers and employers alike to find precisely who they are looking for based upon a variety of attributes, including skills, experience, schedule, and pay.
One of the ways the app accomplishes this goal is by using an integrated hiring map that visualizes who is searching for what skills in your geographical area.
As far as app-based companies goes, Moonlighting is on the rise.
Since launching in 2014, the app has registered 650,000 users across all 50 states.
They’ve ranked as one of the Apple App Store’s top Job apps for several years, allowing them to gain even more attention and grow their money-making marketplace.
Even Forbes magazine hailed them for “taking the Gig Economy to the next freelancing level.”
Though it is rarely discussed online, Moonlighting also deserves a pat on the back for its continued efforts to make freelancing payments safe and streamlined through their platform.
Invoicing on the platform is a no-brainer, as is accessing your earned money in short order.
You’ll even keep every red cent you earn because Moonlighting does not charge commission fees on work through their platform.
That alone justifies trying this app when you’re trying to learn some extra money.
Those familiar with the classic CBC television program “The Red Green Show” might recall the titular characters common refrain, “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”
In the context of the show, Red Green was often applying his handyman skills around his home.
Much in the same vein, you too can apply your personal handyman skills around your city by using the Handy app.
Like many gig economy-aligned apps, Handy makes it easy accomplish tasks in its niche market by placing booking, payment, and rating services all in the same digital location.
In Handy’s case, all of these services are related to maintenance of a functional and clean home.
Plumbing, electrical, and cleaning services are all accessible through Handy, making it easy for users to find trained professionals in their time of need.
Handy has also been set up to provide its users with an enhanced sense of security and reliability, as well.
All professionals working through the platform are background-checked and insured for the services they provide.
Along the same lines, users play a key role in Handy’s app as they provide reviews and ratings for each serviceperson they engage.
This ensures that hardworking independent contractors always receive the best gig opportunities through this app.
Individuals looking to earn money through this app may also give their “Handy Pro” service a try.
This paid service is designed to provide professionals and experts in a variety of service fields with special privileges and priorities when it comes to fielding and selecting valuable gigs.
Users of this add-on service also receive better pay rates and more flexible scheduling opportunities.
While Handy only serves around 20 cities in the US, Canada, and the UK at this time, cleaning, utility, and installation professionals in those cities have little reason to pass on this money-making opportunity.
When you moved into your college dorm, you probably had a flock of student workers helping you efficiently and effortlessly move your personal belongings into your new abode.
During the summer of 2011, Bellhops founders Cam Doody and Stephen Vlahos took part in the very same practice, completing a remarkable 325 move-ins during their university’s three day move-in weekend.
After college, they translated that same success into an app-based opportunity to engage the same sort of moving-related services, christening it “Bellhops.”
Today, Bellhops reigns as one of the nation’s first tech-enabled moving platforms that lends a hand to college students and the general public alike.
Their app – which allows you to request “Bellhops” for your moving day based on an hourly rate – is designed to streamline the move-day process by providing qualified movers from within your geographic region.
One Business Insider article described the process by highlighting its per-hour price tag, which came out to around $40 per Bellhop per hour (in addition to first-hour down payment).
These rates are fair for workers as well as they maintain a fair portion of their earnings after the job is completed.
Given its origins and its target audience, Bellhops is among the most worthwhile gig economy options for college students who are physically able and willing to help others in their community move their personal belongings from place to place.
With availability in most major and mid-major cities in the US, users can almost always find a moving job in their area so that they can earn a bit of extra money through their physical efforts.
What are rabbits known for?
They hop from place to place, enjoying clover and keeping watch with their oversized ears along the way.
While you may not be able to train a rabbit to translate their hectic energy into productive activity to meet your needs, you can get the next best thing by using the TaskRabbit app.
In so many words, TaskRabbit is focused on providing users with an opportunity to either request or fulfill another user’s odd job.
While some of the tasks on TaskRabbit fall within the conventional range – cleaning and yard work to name a couple – TaskRabbit users can also request some out-of-the-ordinary assistance with jobs such as research and data entry.
TaskRabbit even lets you request another person stand in an important line for you, which demonstrates how multifaceted this app is at its core.
Using TaskRabbit is fairly easy, even for its broad swath of task opportunities.
After downloading the app, users are able to describe their task (especially if it falls outside the usual confines of services offered on other apps).
Then, TaskRabbit aggravates taskers who have the skills and are willing to work at the offered price range.
Once confirmed and completed, users are able to rate their tasker’s performance and pay them securely in app.
From the perspective of someone looking to earn a bit of extra money, TaskRabbit provides nearly limitless opportunities to apply skills that you could never list on a resume.
Every time you flip on TaskRabbit, you’re likely to find a task that leaves you saying, “I can do that!”
You can also be sure that you are being paid well through TaskRabbit because every user who makes a task listing is provided with a monetary average based on previous jobs completed through the platform.
Sometimes, the secret to making money in the gig economy requires you to take stock of your resources and determine if any service (app-based or otherwise) will provide you financial incentives to leverage that asset.
SpotHero is a prime example of this business model, as it is designed to allow individuals to rent out their personal parking spot while it is not in use.
As implemented, SpotHero provides a peer-to-peer parking marketplace that enables willing gig economy participants to make some extra money without even needing to actively complete any particular task.
Simply download the app, place your available parking spot on your city’s market, and wait for another user to request the use of your parking spot.
From there, you can set up terms for use of the spot, including overage costs and permitting.
Those interested in making money on SpotHero have a fair number of advantages over private parking lots in their area.
For one, SpotHero actively works to provide parking rates for its users that are under regional averages while still providing a worthwhile financial stake to the parking spot’s owner.
Also, SpotHero parking spots benefit from their unusual locations when it comes to encouraging users to use the service and park closer to their desired destination.
As it stands, SpotHero is available in 50 cities in the United States and Canada, with more geographic locations coming in the near future.
Folks living in those locations who use alternative commuting methods (and thus don’t use their allotted apartment parking spot) stand the best opportunity to leverage their unused asset through this app in order to earn some extra cash.
Some aspects of the gig economy can find their roots back during the rise of the internet.
Take Craigslist for example, which made it easy for internet-connected individuals to seek out goods and services of all kinds in a peer-to-peer network.
Craigslist isn’t the only player in that market anymore, as best demonstrated by the rise and growing prominence of apps like OfferUp.
At its core, OfferUp acts like many other user-generated sales platforms in that they provide listings that include photos and details regarding what item or service is for sale.
Many users looking to make some extra money leap onto this platform in order to sell off items from around their home that are valuable on the second-hand market.
As its name suggest, though, OfferUp does provide the unique opportunity for its users (both buyers and sellers) to “offer up” alternative prices on listings hosted on the platform.
The buyer or seller can then make a counter offer, effectively allowing the parties to haggle until they’ve found a mutually beneficial price point.
Sellers, in particular, can benefit from this system by carefully managing their initial price points to maximize eventual profit.
As with any gig economy app, OfferUp includes some added features to ensure transactions on the platform are optimally secure.
One such feature is known as TruYou.
This system is designed to foster trust in the marketplace by providing checks for all users’ identities.
Though buyers won’t see any particular details, sellers can really help boost their sales through this system because it provides them with a publicly-visible “verified” certificate.
There’s no denying that the majority of the participants in the gig economy are on the younger side of 35.
Because of sharp changes to the economy since their parents’ golden days, many of these participants have fairly low expectations of ever accruing enough wealth with which to make any type of financial investment.
But as the Acorns app has shown, even these gig economy participants can make fruitful financial investments with their spare change.
At its core, Acorns is an automated investment service that allows you to invest in capital markets with your spare financial resources.
Namely, Acorns picks up your digital “spare change” by rounding up your transactions and adding the resulting difference to a personalized investment account.
You can then use Acorns to create an investment portfolio and begin working towards attaining a return on your investments.
In effect, Acorns empowers its users to leverage financial resources they would not otherwise account for and put them to positive use (that is, earning the user extra money).
Acorns also puts financial investment within the reach of those without classical investment training by providing investment portfolio recommendations.
Though returns on investment are not always immediate (or assured in any way), profits gained through Acorns are accessible in a variety of methods including through their proprietary Acorns Spends debit card system.
This debit card provides unlimited ATM reimbursements, has no minimum balance, and doesn’t charge overdraft fees, making it an excellent value for its $3 per month fee.
Overall, Acorns is an excellent money-making opportunity for anyone who wants to take advantage of what is effectively found money.
Though this investment platform does come with some risk for loss of investment value, you owe it to yourself to give this app and see if you can turn a profit in the capital markets that made previous generations wealthy.
Finally, this gig economy app provides excellent opportunities for freelancers from a variety of specially-trained fields to advertise themselves to prospective clients.
Fiverr (spelled with two “r’s”) founding in 2010 actually predates the current gig economy revolution, but still provides an excellent two-sided platform for buying and selling digital and creative services.
At its core, Fiverr is set up to simplify what used to be an exceptionally complicated contracting process.
Freelancers that provide writing, translation, graphic design, video editing and programming services (among others) are able to easily post their availability on this platform as well answer requests for work from both large and small businesses.
After the requested work is completed and all files are properly transferred, payment on Fiverr occurs efficiently without the need for additional invoices.
Payments start at as low as $5 but can range into the thousands of dollars depending on the scale and complexity of the project.
Out in the freelancing community, Fiverr has previously received some negative reviews.
These reviews were, at the time, justified given that Fiverr maintained an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau.
But over the past several years, Fiverr has really turned a corner and improved their reliability enough to earn a “B” rating.
They even broke onto the New York Stock Exchange in July 2019.
Overall, Fiverr is perhaps the best gig economy app for folks with a broad portfolio of professional-grade skills that otherwise lack traditional accreditation for those skills (IE degrees).
This is because this app’s marketplace in particular values performance and results over all else.
Even folks with traditional accreditations can find a great wealth of money-making opportunities on Fiverr’s freelancing marketplace.