SF couple uses Task Rabbit, Airbnb apps to make money

June 19, 2013 7:09:44 PM PDT
There are apps on your smartphone that can help you rent out your house, sell your old clothing, or borrow a car. They're designed to facilitate something called the "sharing economy" and save you money. But one Bay Area couple's actually using them to make money.

"Everybody has that stuff sitting in their closet that they bought, still has the tags on it, they've never worn it," Brittney Bedford said.

And that's how Brittney began selling clothes with an app called Poshmark. It's a trading post for women's fashion.

"I started putting up a few of my clothes and they were selling," she said. "And then I started selling things for my mom and my sister."

Then she was selling for her friends, and her friends' friends. She wound up with a storage unit full of stuff, and an idea.

"Being able to use these websites, instead of having quote-unquote real job," Brittney said.

Brittney was working as a cook, but she didn't like the hours. So she quit and began hiring out her cooking services with another app called Task Rabbit. It's a market for all sorts of odd jobs. Soon she got her husband on board doing furniture repair.

"In his first two days he made more than he made in a week at his other job," she said. "And it kind of just sold him."

She helps with the re-finishing, on top of everything else.

"I didn't do this because I don't like to work," Brittney said. "I love to work. I probably work harder doing this. But I have the ability to say when I want to work, when I don't want to work, and I'm essentially my own boss."

The new face of self-employment does come with some challenges. For one thing, if you don't have pay stubs and a job history, renting a place to live can be awfully difficult. But in that department, Brittney and her husband hit the jackpot.

Brittney: "He thinks it's all amazing."
Jonathan: "Your landlord's officially the coolest person in the world." Brittney: "Um, yes he is."

Not only did he rent to a couple with no regular paycheck and a small family of pit bulls, but he also let them build in the backyard.

"This is our Airbnb rental unit," Brittney said.

It's cozy, to say the least. But they have no trouble renting it out for 40 bucks a night on the Airbnb website. Sometimes they rent out the whole house.

"We love to travel, and so it gives us an opportunity to do that," she said.

But what about the dogs? Well, when they travel they find a pet sitter on Task Rabbit of course.


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