Sites Like Airbnb: Make Extra Money By Renting Out Your Humble Abode

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Much like Uber, Airbnb has become a shining star of the app economy over the past several years. People have even been able to make full-time incomes just from listing properties on Airbnb.

If you are looking to rent out your home, apartment, or other living space, though, you should consider the various options that are out there. It turns out that there are many different apps and sites like Airbnb to choose from.

Here I’ve compiled a list of sites like Airbnb to help you with your search.

You can also scroll to the bottom of the page for a video overview

HomeAway and VRBO

While Airbnb offers a great flexibility in the amount of living spaces you can rent out, including private rooms in your home or apartment, HomeAway and its subsidiary VRBO focus on vacation homes exclusively.

If you travel a lot or are away from your home for extended periods of time, this could be a good option for you.

Homeaway and VRBO also have a different payment structure than Airbnb for the people listing their properties. Rather than giving a chunk of the rental fee away each time someone rents your property, HomeAway and VRBO allow you to pay a flat, yearly subscription fee for your listing instead.

List on HomeAway here

List on VRBO here

Wimdu

Based in Germany, Wimdu is one of world’s largest competitors to Airbnb with listings including over 350,000 properties.

Much like Airbnb, they allow you to rent out apartments and spare rooms in addition to entire houses, allowing for a great range of options. According to their website, Wimdu listers earn an average of over $1000 a month- not too shabby!

List on Wimdu here

TripAdvisor Rentals and FlipKey

Famous for their hotel bookings, TripAdvsior also lets you post lodging listings of your own.

Their website claims you can list everything from “private rooms to castles, houseboats to villas” so no matter the type of property you’re looking to rent out, it sounds like TripAdvisor has your covered.

It’s free to list your property, but TripAdvisor (as well as its subsidiary FlipKey) will keep 3% of your guest’s payment.

List on TripAdvisor here

misterb&b

This was created to be a gay-friendly alternative to Airbnb, ensuring that LGBT travelers can know that their hosts are supportive.

Whether you are traveling alone or with a partner, misterb&b provides a space for queer people to travel safely without fear of judgment.

It is free to list on misterb&b and the company will keep 5% of the rental fee. You can rent out your house, apartment, spare room, or couch and hosts are eligible for insurance coverage up to $500,000.

List on misterb&b here

Rent Like a Champion

As featured on Shark Tank, Rent Like a Champion is a company that lets you rent homes near sporting events such as college football games, golf tournaments, and racing events.

Renters can list there home for free, and the company charges a 15% commission fee.

List on Rent Like a Champion here

Spothero

Perhaps instead of listing a home or apartment, you are interested in leasing a parking space? If you live in a city that is crowded enough that parking becomes a hot commodity, then Spothero could be a great way to earn some extra money with minimal effort.

Spothero lets you rent out a parking space to commuters in your area. You get to set your own rates and set the availability as well.

Then if you ever need to use the parking space yourself, just pause your availability temporarily and resume when you are ready to start earning money again!

List on Spothere here

Outdoorsy

While an RV is a bit like a home away from home, many house rental sites don’t include RVs in their directories. If you are looking to rent out an RV, though, don’t fret! Ourdoorsy has you covered. They rent out campers and recreational vehicles through their website.

When you rent out your RV with them, they provide rental insurance which covers both liability and com insurance.

They are one of the largest RV rental businesses on the net, plus they provide insurance for the renter AND the RV owner.

List on Outdoorsy here

Or Just Do Airbnb

Airbnb remains one of the largest and most well known places to rent out your home, apartment, room, or couch with over 3 million listings worldwide. They allow you to set your own price and will even send out a photographer to take pictures of your property (for a fee).

While safety precautions have to be take with ANY service where you are allowing strangers into your personal, private space, Airbnb and services like it remain a good way to pick up some extra money for your unused spaces.

List on Airbnb here

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more updates on frugal living, as well as stay updated on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

You Can Literally Get Paid to Use Bing as Your Search Engine: Find Out How

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It’s no secret that Google has the most popular search engine out there, but that doesn’t mean that other search engines can provide acceptable service for your web-browsing needs.

Take into consideration Microsoft’s Bing. It’s a fast, snappy engine that provides relevant search results at a level of proficiency that’s acceptable to the needs of most internet users.

One particular perk of using Bing is that Microsoft will actually pay you to use it, in addition to their web browser Microsoft Edge (the successor to Microsoft Explorer. This program is known as Bing Rewards

How It Works

By using Bing and/or Microsoft Edge, shopping with Microsoft (using your relevant Bing Rewards-linked account), and completing tasks like answering quizzes on the Bing Rewards homepage you earn “credits.”

10 credits is roughly equivalent to one penny. Once earned, they can be redeemed for gift cards, Skype credit, charity pledges, or tickets for sweepstakes entries.

The Earning Process Works as Follows:

-Searching on Bing while logged into your Bing Rewards account will result in earnings of 5 points per search, with a maximum total of 50 points per day.

-You earn 5 points an hour for using Microsoft Edge, with a maximum of 5 points per day you can earn.

-You get 1 point for every dollar spent at Microsoft, Xbox, and Windows stores.

-You get additional points for quizzes and special offers. At the time of writing there were multiple trivia quizzes where you could search Bing for the answers to earn credits available.

Once you earn 500 points in a month you reach Level 2. At Level 2 you can earn up to 250 credits a day searching Bing, and you get discounts on Microsoft products

Where to Sign Up

Using Bing Rewards won’t make you an instant millionaire. If you are seeking this out as a way to specifically earn extra money, you will probably be frustrated.

On the other hand, if you are willing to switch to Bing as your default search engine and casually rack up credits on the side as you browse the web, it could be a good way to get an extra $5-$10 in your pocket towards an Amazon gift card after a few months.

If you want to try it out, sign up here

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more updates on frugal living, as well as stay updated on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!


How to Make More Money from Tips as a Food Delivery Driver

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Whether you work for an on-demand food delivery app service like Postmates or Uber EATS or you deliver pizzas for your local Italian eatery, there are some strategies you can utilize if you want to ensure you get good tips and maximize your earnings. Here are some things I’ve come up with that help to keep the customers happy, provide exceptional service, and make sure they return to repeat business.

Text the Customer and Introduce Yourself

When customers order food online or through an app it can seem like a very mechanical experience. For all they know, a robot could be delivering the food to them. And while robot delivery isn’t the industry standard (yet!), it is still helpful to introduce yourself to the customer to help humanize the experience.

A simple text message that shows personality, tells them your first name, and offers to be there if they have any questions can go a long way in establishing that you are indeed a real person and are genuinely trying to consider their needs. Of course you need to hurry when you are working on deliveries, so I recommend using your phone’s text-to-speech feature or sending them a picture of a standard greeting so you don’t have to type the message each time.

This goes without saying but be VERY CAREFUL when using your phone while doing deliveries. It is better to send a brief text-to-speech message BEFORE YOU START DRIVING than to text while you are on the road. Always prioritize your personal safety above all else. 

Keep the Customer Updated if There Are Any Delays

If there are any issues, send the customer a text and let them know about anything that could delay their order. If you work for a company like Postmates, for example, where you have to place restaurant orders on behalf of customers, let them know if there is a long-wait time and give them an estimate of how soon you can get on the road.

Should there be any trouble with the delivery or if you need to substitute a menu item, call the customer and clarify what they would like to do.

Get Lots of Condiments and Free Stuff From the Restaurants

Unless the customer specifically tells you they don’t want a certain condiment or utensil, go ahead and grab whatever is available (for free at least) amongst the restaurant’s selection of condiments. If there are ketchup packets, soy sauce packets, salt and pepper packets, parmesan packets, plastic cutlery, napkins, taco sauces, breath mints, or anything similar that you can take for free- GET IT.

When delivering for Postmates, I even keep a small selection of ketchup packets, taco sauce, and soy sauce with me at all times just in case a customer ever needs it. This is a small way that you can show the customer you were thinking ahead of what they might want with their order.

Apply for Delivery + Driver Jobs on Snagajob

Smile, Be Courteous, and Make Small Talk When You Drop Off the Deliveries

Your interactions with the customer in-person will be very brief so make it count. You don’t want to act like a zombie who says nothing and just hands over a bag of food. Put on a bright smile, ask the customer how their day is going, and comment on the weather or make other forms of small talk as you hand them their order. If they have a garden or anything interesting in the front of their house, make sure to compliment it.

Plus, if you picked up extra condiments for them, this is a good time to specifically mention this to the customer so you get credit for doing so! Say something like, “I made sure to get some extra ketchup packets in case you needed them” so they know that YOU were the one who thought to pick it up for the customer.

Send a Final Text Message to the Customer Thanking Them

I always send a brief message to the customer after I finish up my Postmates deliveries where I include three things- a brief thanks for their business, a reminder to please leave a review, and a final wish for them to enjoy their food and have a good day. I NEVER mention anything about tipping, but might still casually nudge them in the direction of it.

In the Postmates app, the screen where they leave the review is the same screen where they tip (HOW coincidental! What ARE the chances?!). Thus encouraging them to review me subtly leads them towards tipping.

Conclusion

When it all comes down to it, the same age-old standards of customer service apply. Be helpful and efficient, respond well to the customer’s needs, and go the extra mile to demonstrate that you are going out of your way to make the customer happy. If they can tell you are making an earnest attempt to do well at your job that often can lead to higher tips.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more updates on frugal living, as well as stay updated on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

Working for GrubHub vs. Postmates: What are the Differences?

Working for GrubHub vs Postmates

Hello everyone! As you may have seen on my blog or my YouTube videos, I have worked as a delivery driver for both GrubHub and Postmates. Some people have asked me about what the differences are between the two, so I thought I would take some time and write about the differences between working for the two companies as a driver.

The Hiring Process

Getting hired with GrubHub, at least in my geographic region, was pretty similar to Postmates. I did not have an actual “interview” with either company and instead my hiring as an independent contractor depended on the submission of an online form and the successful passing of a background check. It seemed like maybe there were more vehicle-specific questions with GrubHub than there were with Postmates.

Training

This is where things got a little bit different. GrubHub required that I attend either an in-person or online training session before starting work as a driver. Postmates, on the other hand, required only that I watch a brief training video before driving. I felt a little more prepared for the job with GrubHub before starting work than I did with Postmates as a result. I would highly recommend that Postmates Couriers take some time out and read both the help forums on the Postmates Fleet website and read about the experiences of Couriers online for advice before starting work.

Scheduling

This is an area that is MUCH different between the two companies-

GrubHub requires that you sign up for specific shifts called “blocks,” which are offered on a first come, first serve basis. The blocks are typically short, 2-5 hour chunks of time and there are always more blocks offered around lunch and dinner. Once you have signed up for a block you MUST work that block, get a replacement, or try to call the Drivercare line to drop it just like you would with a regular job. If you don’t show up for a scheduled block you may be penalized or have your contract revoked. You are not required to work a minimum number of hours (nor do you have a maximum) and you are never under obligation to sign up for a block.

Because the blocks are first come, first serve, sometimes you may not be able to work at the times you would really prefer and I found myself working multiple blocks with huge gaps of time in between when I would have preferred to continue working. A typical Saturday for me might be 11AM-2PM (1st block), a three hour break, then I’d work 5PM-9PM (second block) if I wasn’t able to get the late afternoon hours before others grabbed them.

Postmates is significantly more flexible in this area. You do have to work at any specific time and and there are no shifts or “blocks” to sign up for. You can literally just get in your vehicle and work whenever you want to. Just like with GrubHub there is no minimum or maximum number of hours you have to work. The only thing is, with Postmates you are not offered an hourly minimum so it will still be advantageous for you to work during lunch and dinner when the business is most heavy.

Work Gear

Postmates provides you with one insulated tote bag that will keep the temperature of the food regulated during your deliveries, plus a Postmates credit card to make purchases for the customers (if you want more info on how this works, check out my blog post here). At least in my region, you do not get a shirt of hat and can wear whatever you want during deliveries.

GrubHub provides two bags (one small and one large), a hat, a cap, and a laminated sign to put in your windshield. I much preferred having the extra gear that designated to the customers and the restaurants that I was indeed a GrubHub delivery driver.

Need an hourly job? Search over 250,000 part-time and full-time hourly positions on Snagajob.

Support for Drivers

GrubHub offers a “Driver Care” phone line that you can call at any time during your deliveries when you have trouble. While they do offer help menus in the driver app if you wish to figure out things on your own, there were a number of times when  I still found myself calling this phone line and enjoyed having it as a resource.

Postmates, on the other hand, does not offer a driver care phone line. In most cases you must go through the help menus in the app to fix your problems. There are situations where if you encounter very specific issues and enter details about them in the help menus, Postmates may place an outbound phone call your way to help you out but it is very rare and difficult to prompt such phone calls. You must be willing to work independently and autonomously when working as a Postmates Courier.

The Work Flow

GrubHub has you delivering from restaurants only and it’s a pretty basic process- you go in, pick up the order, and go out. In my region I was usually a little bit less busy with GrubHub than I was with Postmates and often found myself waiting in my car doing nothing. The upside to this, though, was that I was guaranteed an hourly minimum so I would still get paid during my block even if the base pay wasn’t all that much.

Postmates is more complex in the scope of its services to customers- they can deliver from ANY store or restaurant and you will need to pay for certain orders yourself with the Postmates credit card. On occasion you will need to place the orders to the restaurants as well. This creates a more varied work experience. Because Postmates doesn’t offer an hourly minimum but rather a base minimum per order, you will need to stay busy on your shift if you want to make money. This requires a bit more strategy than it does driving for GrubHub.

If I ever find myself waiting around in my vehicle without any orders with Postmates, this will mean I MUST move to a busier area (or work during a peak time around lunch or dinner) if I want to make money. As a result of this I’ve had to carefully consider the neighborhoods and times of day I choose to work. Driving around looking for orders uses up more gas so I also have needed to be more strategic with my gas usage.

Tipping

GrubHub customers must pay their tips in advance of receiving the food through the app because of the way the app is structured, if they tip with a credit card that is. Cash tips were more rare (at least for my orders) with GrubHub. The app prompts the customer to leave a tip and it is framed as a standard for the customers to do so (which is a plus for the drivers). The issue is, however, that because the credit card tippers must submit it before you actually deliver the food, the tip is not influenced by your customer service. So if you really go above and beyond to connect with the customer that will not be factored into the tip (unless they tip in cash).

Postmates customers pay their tips after you deliver the food. The app will prompt them with a notification (if they have notifications turned on) to please leave a review and to tip the driver after the food has been dropped off. While most customers tip through the app, I did receive more cash tips with Postmates. You have to be a bit more diligent in your efforts to impress the customers if you want to receive good tips. I try to make the customers happy by sending them texts with updates as I’m getting their order picked up as a way to introduce myself to them and humanize an otherwise automated, tech-driven experience. I will have another blog entry at a later date with some of my advice for getting better tips when working as a Postmates Courier, but I think it is possible to get MORE money in tips with Postmates than you can with GrubHub if you play your cards right.

Pay Frequency

GrubHub drivers get paid for a work week (running Monday through Sunday) every following Thursday, and then it takes 3-5 business days to process. As I’ve written about previously, however, it’s possible to get paid daily with DailyPay which is a third-party service that works with GrubHub to pay drivers in advance with small payments up-front before pay day. It’s not a loan, there’s no credit check, and there’s no extra fees to sign up. The only thing you have to pay are small transfer fees every time you transfer to your bank account. The really awesome thing is that you can now get your money transferred to your bank the same day it’s available, including weekends and holidays!

You can find out more about DailyPay here

Try it for two weeks FREE (without any transfer fees) by following this link

Postmates on the other hand, will make daily transfers to your bank account within 5 business days that the money is earned. There is a small transfer fee that you pay with their transfers and you will get your payments in a longer amount of time than you would working for GrubHub and using DailyPay.

My Thoughts

GrubHub is a little more structured and offers more driver support and training but is significantly less flexible when it comes to scheduling. Postmates offers much less driver support and training, requires a bit more strategy if you want to earn a good amount of money, but is ultimately way more accommodating when it comes to schedule flexibility. Whichever company is right for you is going to depend on what you are looking for personally. Depending on the hours you work, I would say their pay is relatively competitive with each other. With both companies the basic principles of working during lunch and dinner, going to busy “hotspots,” and keeping a good, efficient workflow (without speeding!) are going to be your best bets for making the most income.

 If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more updates on frugal living, as well as stay updated on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

Ebates Review: Get Paid to Shop Online!

Follow this link to try it for free!

Ebates is a website that will give you cash back every time you follow one of their links from their website before making an online purchase. The cash back will accumulate in your balance and you get a “big fat check” sent to you every quarter for everything you’ve earned. There’s no fee to sign up, all you need to do is register, click and you’re good to go!

This is a great way to make some extra money for online purchases that you ALREADY planned on making. I’ve tried it myself and can confirm it’s totally legit and it works! If you have the chance to make a little extra money every time you shop online, why not give it a whirl?

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more updates on frugal living, as well as stay updated on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

Working as a Postmates Courier (aka Delivery Driver): What It’s Like!

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As you may have read from my other blog entries, I have previously worked as a GrubHub delivery driver. This was an interesting experience that was an overall good way to pick up some extra cash. When I found out about an opportunity to work as a Postmates Courier, however, I decided to try it and see how my experiences could compare to GrubHub.

I will go over the differences between being a driver for the two companies in more depth in a separate blog entry, but for now will recap the basics of what working as a Postmates Courier is like.

How Postmates Works

Postmates is different from other companies in that the customers can order things for delivery through their app from ANYWHERE. This could be food from restaurants, groceries from a grocery store, gardening equipment from a hardware store, toiletries from the pharmacy- if it is a product you can purchase from a store or restaurant then you can order it for delivery from Postmates (certain items like alcohol or tobacco are banned but these vary by region).

While you can technically order from anywhere, the app does still direct the customers to specific, featured merchants when they first open the app. Stores and restaurants that have partnered with Postmates will be prominently featured as part of Postmates Plus where they have a flat delivery fee of $3.99. Merchants that are not part of Postmates Plus will likely have higher delivery fees, although Postmates frequently sends out promo codes for reduced fees to the app customers.

The Hiring Process

To become a Postmates Courier you must be 18 years or older, have a smartphone with  a data plan, and a valid U.S. driver’s license. In some regions you are required to drive and own a car, but in others you can deliver by biking or walking as well (typically in major cities like LA or San Francisco). You apply online and in my region the hiring and orientation processes were entirely over the internet- there was no “in-person” training or interview.

You must pass a background check (including your driving history) in order to get hired. I was literally asked zero questions for the interview process other than the online application form. It seems that if you apply at the right time and have a decent driving record you’ll get in. The training was VERY minimal. There was a brief video to watch (approx. 3 minutes long) that goes away after you watch it and that was it!

You must rely on their Postmates Fleet Help website for most of your basic instructions for how to do the job.

What the Actual Work is Like

You are completely on your own for this job! There is no driver support phone line, just a series of troubleshooting menus to go through in the app if you run into any problems. You definitely need to be prepared to work independently and think quickly if you have any issues.

You do not have any specific shift either. You can literally get in your car and work whenever you want (or stay home when you don’t want to work for that matter!). This flexibility is very nice, although it also means there could be times where too many drivers start working and you don’t get as many orders. There’s nothing to stop “overstaffing.”

When business is booming and there aren’t enough drivers on the road, however, it triggers a “blitz” where you can get paid extra. It will send you a notification when this is being offered. Like with other delivery services; bad weather, holidays, and special events like the Super Bowl will trigger more delivery orders from customers.

You will receive a tote bag to transport your deliveries in that keeps the food temperature regulated, and a Postmates credit card to make purchases with (more details below).

Using the App and Picking Up/Dropping Off the Orders

Your phone will send you a notification when you are logged into the Postmates Fleet app (separate from the app the customers use) when there is an order available. You have the option to accept or reject an order. That I know of, there is not a penalty for rejecting an order. Be aware, though, that if you do not accept the order VERY QUICKLY, it will pass it on to another driver.

Once you accept an order, the app will give you a button to tap on for directions to the restaurant or store with a map. Each business has its own set of interaction with Postmates. Some are set up like GrubHub (if you’ve driven with them) where the order goes directly to the restaurant for them to prepare and the payment is processed solely between the business and the customer. With others there is nothing set up between Postmates and the merchant, so you must use your Postmates credit card to make the purchase at the store.

How this works is that whenever a customer submits an order for a merchant that hasn’t set up a payment system directly with Postmates, Postmates will add a balance on the card for the approximate value of the customer’s purchase (they always round up a little bit to accommodate everything). You will go into the store or restaurant and pay for the order with your card just like you’re a regular customer. You will NEVER have to pay using your own money- you only ever use the Postmates credit card.

Once you’ve picked up the order, you indicate this on the app and it will give you directions to the customer’s drop-off location. If gives you an option to text or call the customer if you need any help finding their place. Once you’ve dropped off the order you indicate this on the app and it closes out the order.

Certain items like tobacco products or alcohol will prompt for you to check the customer’s ID before giving them the merchandise.

The Pay

Now here’s the big question everybody has- how much do they pay? This is something that varies by region, but you can see detailed information by region here. The basic structure is that you get a base payment for every order, plus a small mileage reimbursement, payment for the time you spend waiting for orders to be prepared, and 100% of your tips. There is NO hourly pay or hourly minimum but there is a minimum guarantee per order.

This means that if you receive few to no orders you will not be guaranteed an hourly minimum so it is better to work during times where there is a guarantee of being busy.

Your pay is automatically transferred to your bank account within five business days of earning it. There is a $0.15 fee for every transfer to your bank.

Here’s an example of their payment structure

In Minneapolis you get a base payment of…

$1.75 per order + $0.14/minute for time waiting at pickup location + $0.91/mile for distance from pickup to drop-off location + your tips. You are also guaranteed a minimum of $4.10 per order (regardless of tips).

On your first order you had to wait 20 minutes for the restaurant to prepare the food and you drove 3 miles to deliver it, plus you got a $5.00 tip. So you get $1.75+$2.80+$2.73= $7.28 as your payment and $12.28 including your tip.

On your second order you didn’t have to wait because the food was ready to pick up, the customer was only 1 mile away, and you got $2.00 as a tip. Because $1.75+$0.91= $2.66, your payment would round up to $4.10 for a total of $6.10 with the tip.

Let’s say in this example it took you a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete these two orders, including the time to go TO the pickup locations. This means you made $18.38 for two orders, or ~$13.80 per hour (not factoring in gas expenses). 

I would say a realistic expectation for Couriers in most midsize cities is to make $10-$15/hr. after factoring out taxes (take note that taxes are NOT deducted from your pay, but you will of course still have to pay them)  and gas expenses. I’ve heard people from cities like New York and San Francisco say they could make more than that due to more frequent orders and tips from larger ticket items, though, so it will probably be influenced heavily by the region you are working in.

Conclusion

The ability to get in your vehicle and work whenever you want is a very nice component of working for Postmates. For people with unpredictable schedules, or those that are trying to squeeze this work on top of another job, the flexibility Postmates offers could be a huge asset. Between GrubHub and Postmates, I will say that each company has it’s own pros and cons but I do consider one to necessarily be superior to the other. I will make a follow-up blog post where I discuss the differences in more depth.

If you are interested in trying out delivery driving with Postmates, I say go for it!

To apply to become a Postmates Courier, follow this link

For information on other delivery driving jobs, go here

Check out the Postmates Fleet Help Center for more information

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more updates on frugal living, as well as stay updated on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!