The gig economy is a big thing these days and I wanted to drill down on one of the leaders in the space, Airtasker. We’ll look at it from both angles, those needing tasks done and those providing them. I’ve been on both sides of the ledger and wanted to give some insights. So, is airtasker worth using or not?
For Those Wanting Tasks Done
If you want something done quickly, cheaply and often pretty well; then Airtasker is a great platform. There’s usually a truck load of people eager to give your task a go. And that competition means competitive pricing. Ratings mean you can also see how they performed on similar tasks and is a pretty good indicator of what you ‘re going to get. So quality can be very good. And often there are businesses on there who are professionals, not just individuals. You can also find people ready to do what you want, when you want it. There’s insurance to cover your back. Sounds pretty good so far. It seems Airtasker is worth using. And it is, but you should also be aware of the downsides and they aren’t necessarily all downsides for you as the consumer.
On the negative side of things. You are often hiring people for less than the minimum wage. Airtasker will also take 10% from you for your task. They also take up to 22% from the person doing the tasks. So for a $100 job, you will pay $110 and the person doing it may only get $88. And because of the competitive nature of the platform that usually means someone is working for peanuts. Especially after travel time, equipment and other costs that may be involved. I’ve seen people working for $10/hr or less before other costs. And that is just plain wrong. It’s pretty normal to see people working well below what they should. It’s not fair on them or the businesses who can’t compete. Now you might be fine with all that cheap labour. But if you have some moral fibre, I’d still use it, but maybe offer a bit more than minimum wage after taking off 22% from your offer. And once you meet up with someone great, stick with them, so next time they get the profit and not Airtasker.
Support for Airtasker is not great. There is no number you can call. Your only option is to hunt down a support email/message system and leave a message, wait a few days and hope the response is good. You may then have to play message tag because you can never talk to someone to get stuff sorted. So if things do go wrong it’s a real pain in the neck! Most of the time it’s fine, but sometimes it doesn’t!
The Greatest Winner
The greatest winner of Airtasker is of course Airtasker. Taking up to 32% cut from every task is a pretty decent living for a system that runs itself with minimal support. Like all things Airtasker profits the most while its minions slave away for under minimum wage (often, not always!). Now I know I’ve painted a bit of a negative picture here, but it’s not all bad for those doing the tasks in certain situations. So lets take a look from the other side.
So Is Airtasker Worth it For Those Getting Tasks Done?
So here’s the conclusion. In short, yes. Airtasker is worth it. It’s great for those wanting to get things done, but please don’t screw people over and offer a decent amount of money for your task. And when you find someone, go to them directly next time. You can use THIS LINK to get $25 credit for your first task with airtasker (I’ll get $10 credit also).
For Those Doing the Tasks
What about the taskers, is it worth it for them? The answer is, it depends. It depends if this is a side gig or a living for you? Is it your only option or your best option? Are you using it for leads or as your main source of work? If you’re hoping to pay your rent and put food on the table then Airtasker is unreliable, cheap and horrid. You can’t live off airtasker and you shouldn’t. No benefits, no leave and often below a liveable wage, you are almost always going to be better off in a paid job. If you can’t find a job and this is it, then I feel for you. And hope you can escape the gig economy. As your main thing, Airtasker is not the place to be. Unfortunately the platform survives off those struggling to find work.
But if airtakser is just a side gig for some extra cash to splash or save, then Airtasker can be great. Pick up few extra jobs on the weekend to supplement and add to your income. That’s a great idea. If it’s your icing on the cake, but not the cake itself, then airtasker can be great. You can use some skills that you may have but not use professionally. Or you can take your professional skills and offer them direct to the consumer. Airtasker would like to think that this is the space it occupies, but all too often it’s offering underpaid work to those who can’t refuse it.
I use airtasker in my cleaning business for leads. Because I’m in an industry with repeat work, I use it as a way to meet new ongoing clients. The 22% cost is written off as the cost of business. It costs to advertise and airtasker costs to get a lead. But if that lead results in an ongoing client, then I win in the long term. Usually I either break even or make a small loss on airtasker jobs. And I’m ok with that as a business. It’s just a lead generation factory for me. So if you use airtasker this way it can provide a promising and meaningful lead generation system. A way to connect with customers you get to keep for the long term. But if you are only ever doing one off work, I can’t see how it could be worth it.
Airtasker wont’ let you do certain things. You can’t put your business name, your contact details, etc. They don’t want to miss out on their cut. The reality is I’d give the customer a better price outside the platfor if they went direct, but Airtasker don’t want you to find that out. So expect to get banned if you try to put out who you are or how to get in contact with you outside the platform. You also get a penalised if you can’t get to or complete a job. And sometimes this is inevitable as clients want to reschedule or life throws a curveball. The system really forces you to do anything you can to not miss an appointment.
Reviews are the lifeblood of doing Airtasker successfully. You have to get 5 star reviews consistently. If you are good at what you do, that usually not a problem. But you can’t control what people will do. Sometimes you do a fantastic job and still cop a bad review. Or you find that the job was poorly described or different. So you can get smacked with a bad review here and there. And if you get one early you are in big trouble!
When you get a job with Airtasker you often don’t know what you are walking into. I’ve entered homes that deserve to be gutted and the expectation is to do many more hours than what you quoted without pay. You can get stung by people who under represent or wrongly represent the amount of work required. Sometimes this is clearly on purpose. So just be aware you will have some bad experiences along the way. And because of the review penalty system you usually have to just do it with a smile and never return. But that’s part of it. Just be aware. Most customers are great, but some will take you to the cleaners and do it intentionally (and then move onto the next unsuspecting victim – I’ve seen repeated jobs listed for some of these!). It’s just one of the downsides of not being able to meet and chat and see the job in person to quote.
So Is Airtasker Worth it For Taskers?
NO, if it’s a living for you. YES, if it’s a side gig or a lead generation system for ongoing work. Airtasker can work well for some and horribly for others. Just make sure if you use it, to do so wisely.