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Task Rabbit website lets you set own pay for temp work

January 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
How would you like a job where you set how much you'll get paid? A new website puts you in control. While many of the jobs are short term, there are lots of options to choose from.

Michael Bannett is a recent USC graduate in music. He's hoping to make a living as a classical singer. Nancy Hayes would just like to have full-time employment. In the meantime, the two of them are working part-time to support their dreams.

Instead of going through a traditional temporary work agency, both Bannett and Hayes found work through a website called Task Rabbit.

"I choose when I want to work and who I want to work for," said Hayes.

The website offers over 4,000 tasks and errands that need to get done and the people who are willing to pay someone to do them.

"It's nice to see people have things that they've wanted to get done for a long time and they finally get somebody to help them with it, so it's nice," said Bannett.

A business or an individual posts a task and how much they're willing to pay to get it done. The person looking for work, called a Task Rabbit, then bids for the job with what they're willing to get paid. Once the task is finished, the employee is paid online.

On one day, we spotted a job picking up donations that pays on average $27. Another was pet-sitting for an average $64. One more was for office help paying about $74.

So there's quite a variety of tasks to choose from. Some may take only a few minutes, while others may take several days. Bannett said he has probably done about 100 Task Rabbit jobs.

Meantime, Hayes is working for a startup company called Loot Crate, helping to package and ship mystery gifts to its subscribers. Hayes has not only worked here at Loot Crate many times before, but she's also worked taking things back to stores for people so they can get their refunds. But most of her work is right at home.

"I do a lot of virtual jobs. I have a lot of administrative skills, and so I do a lot of virtual work from home," said Hayes.

Her employer, Christopher Davis, finds the website very helpful for hiring temporary workers.

"It's a really easy platform to use and all the people we've meet have been really nice, so we've just had a good experience with them," said Davis.

Task Rabbit says safety and security is all part of the process. Each Task Rabbit goes through a multiple-step application process, which includes an essay, video interviews and a background check before being selected to run tasks.

The website does get a service fee from those posting a job, but the Task Rabbit always gets at least what they bid for the job.

"The thing about Task Rabbit is you can just take on things that are different. I've never done this before," said Hayes.