20 Platforms for Workers in the Gig Economy


Think Uber or Airbnb are the only platforms for gig economy workers? Wrong. Here are nearly two dozen gig websites where you can find work.

The days of staying in one job until you retire are slowly disappearing, and at the rate at which the gig economy is growing, it will be a rare thing moving forward.

The gig economy is being driven by independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. And it is affecting a wide range of industry sectors, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes: arts and design; computer and information technology; construction and extraction; media and communications; and transportation and material moving.

Here are 20 platforms that are growing the gig economy by providing connections between contractors and customers customers across several industries.

Gig Websites

Uber

If there is one company that has come to represent the gig economy, it is Uber. It lets you use your personal vehicle to start earning money through its Uber Partners app. This is a very flexible platform that allows you to choose when and where you drive and set your own schedule.

Uber also has a generous referral program for bringing in new drivers and customers.

Lyft

With claims of making up to $35 per hour driving for the company, Lyft is looking to outdo Uber. The company’s app matches drivers to riders and the Prime Time pricing feature lets drivers make more money during peak hours.

Lyft also has referrals for both drivers and riders, and if you earn any tips, you get to keep the whole thing.

Turo

Turo has taken a different approach to using your vehicle to earn money, you rent it. Based on the market value, location, time of year, and other data, it will dynamically set your car’s rental price.

Gig Websites - Turo

You get 65 to 85 percent of the trip price, depending on the protection plan you select. And the company screens travelers before they get in your car to provide an added level of security.

HopSkipDrive

This is a great idea for parents that are very busy. HopSkipDrive is a service for kids that uses carefully vetted drivers with a clean background, five years of experience with childcare and be 23 or older.

Gig Websites - HopSkipDrive

Drivers can earn up to $30 per hour, incremental bonuses for new customers, and it also provides comprehensive insurance with no deductible.

Airbnb

What Uber does for your car, Airbnb makes possible for your property. Whether it is a single room or your entire apartment, condo, RV or home, you can use this app to rent it with a free listing.

The company will even send a photographer to get the best image for the space you want to rent, and you will get referral fees for hosts as well as users.

OneFineStay

OneFineStay improves on Airbnb by preparing your home just like a hotel with clean linens and more. Your home must be qualified and you have to make it available for a minimum of six weeks spread across the year.

Gig Websites - OneFineStay

This service caters to high end customers and it ensures the service by greeting guest when they arrive, checking identities, key handling and insurance.

OpenAirplane

Most airplanes sit idle for long periods of time. With OpenAirplane not only can you rent your plane, but you can also find, book, fly, and pay for aircraft rental online or a mobile device. OpenAirplane keeps 10 percent of the rental income and 90 percent goes to the owner.



Gig Websites - OpenAirplane

OpenAirplane Universal Pilot Checkout verifies the qualification of pilots and training in each make and model aircraft.

ToolLocker

Whether you have light or heavy equipment, ToolLocker lets you rent them with a great user interface that filters equipment by category, availability, location and more.

The platform coordinates payment and pickup between both parties and it provides the renters profile with phone number and email address.

ParkingPanda

A parking space is a premium product in many major cities across the country. ParkingPanda is an app that brings owners and customers together seamlessly. You can post a free listing with the app to start earning cash whenever anyone books your space.

You can set the price and the time of when the space will be available for rent and be on the way to monetizing that empty lot.

Closet Collective

Are you a fashionista with a closet full of designer clothes? If so, Closet Collective will provide the venue for renting your $200 plus designer pieces. You can use the white glove service, which includes professional photography and listing, as well as dry cleaning before it is returned for 40 percent of the rental cost.

If you want to go the DIY route, you keep 80 percent, but you will be responsible for the listing and shipping. There is a $25 lender and borrower referral fee.

Postmates

As a Postmates worker, you will be delivering dry cleaning, grocery, food from restaurants, coffee from Starbucks and more. You can use your car, motorcycle, truck or even bicycle to make the deliveries.

Delivery people make 80 percent of delivery fee and 100 percent of tips, with $10 referrals for users and employees.

Amazon Flex

You can now deliver packages from Amazon and make $18-$25 per hour. Amazon Flex lets you set your own schedule using the company’s app and make as much or little deliveries as you want seven days a week.

If you’re 21 and over with a valid driver’s license and be able to pass a background check, you can start making deliveries for Amazon Flex. 

TaskRabbit

Taskers are people that will perform a variety of task. Everything from mowing the lawn to picking up groceries, moving, plumbing and is posted on TaskRabbit.

According to the company, before they join, taskers undergo extensive background and in-person onboarding. And if you want the highest rated taskers, you can use TaskRabbit Elite.

Dolly

The Dolly service uses people that have vehicles for moving, or movers to do the heavy lifting if they don’t have a vehicle. Movers can choose the jobs they want to do and can earn on average $30 per hour or higher. Price is set up front and movers get paid weekly.

Dolly performs background checks, and it does provide a $20 user referral.

HelloTech

HelloTech gives experts in the tech industry a platform to provide services for individuals in their homes and businesses. Computer repair and tech support, music, entertainment, games, smart homes, networking, Internet and other services are available.

HelloTech has thousands of techs across the country with background checks and verified test and certifications to ensure their skill level.

SpareHire

This is a great service for small businesses because it provides top-tier finance and consulting professionals for project-based work. SpareHire has investment bankers, CFOs, strategy consultants, marketing pros, venture capital pros and more.

According to the company, the professionals that work for SpareHire have at least two years of experience from a top firm. The company takes a 25 percent fee out of all payments to Contract professionals. The referral program pays out five percent of the total project value.

Freelancer

Freelancer has posted almost 11 million jobs for tens of thousands of its members. This is a platform that has given experts in website development, graphic design, programming, Internet marketing, content producers, translation and much, much more.

Once you register, you can start offering your services by bidding on projects customers post on Freelancer. The fee for fixed price projects is 10 percent or $5.00 USD, whichever is greater, and 10 percent for hourly projects.

Etsy

If you are into arts, crafts, supplies and vintage, Etsy is a platform that provides a market place with low a $0.20 listing and 3.5 percent transaction fee. The company helps store owners with many tools to manage their store, including promotion and analytics.

All you have to do is create an account, set the shop location, choose a name, create a listing and set a payment method, and you are ready to go.

Feastly

If you are a chef and want to host meals and you are a foodie looking for great chef, Feastly is a platform that brings them both together. The company says it has culinary talents that are great home cooks and Michelin starred chefs.

The chefs for Feastly are verified after going through an extensive vetting process, and they are protected up to $1,000,000.

Udemy

Udemy has more than 45,000 courses taught by expert instructors in a wide range of subjects. If you want to earn money from your expertise, you can create your video lesson and post it on Udemy.

Udemy provides marketing tools to promote your courses as well as an affiliate program if you want to monetize any of the courses on the site.

Conclusion

The gig economy has its pros and cons for freelancers, with work-life balance, freedom to work anytime and variety on the plus side. While uncertainty, lack of benefits and erratic schedules making up some of the negative aspects. As for businesses, the gig economy provides many positives, including contracting experts on a project basis and saving on resources such as permanent salaries, benefits, and office space.

According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute Report, the gig economy makes up 20 to 30 percent of the working population in the U.S. and Europe. And as consumers and organizations continue to demand services for independent services, that number will continue to rise at a robust pace.

Gig Economy Photo via Shutterstock

14 Comments ▼

Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

14 Reactions

  1. Would you put sites like Upwork in this category?

    • Alex Yong

      There was one freelancer v. Upwork horror story (told by a specific freelancer, last year I think it was) that was told so well, it’s hard to forget. But it really tainted my then-neutral opinion of Upwork. That’s how effective storytelling is. The memorable stories stay with you.

  2. Band Of Hands is another great one!

  3. Michael Guta

    Hi Robert,
    Yes I would, and I was actually thinking about it, maybe in the next list.

  4. Aira Bongco

    Amazing on how the gig economy has grown. And it is now available in different forms. The ideas are amazing and it can change the way we live our lives.

  5. Pretty solid list here. My wife has started an Etsy page in the last few months that has been more fun/interesting than anything else as she stays home with our daughter. Seems like it could be pretty worthwhile if you really got going on it.

  6. Michael Guta

    Hi Adam,
    Thank you very much. No matter which platform you choose, what they provide is opportunity. Whether it is to supplement your income or as a primary source, they are great options.

  7. Martin Lindeskog

    Is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk a gig site?

  8. Michael Guta

    Hi Martin,
    Yes it is.

  9. Danielle Vandenbulcke

    Hi Michael – Catalant Technologies would be a great add to this list. Catalant is the Amazon for industry experts – Catalant’s on-demand model gives you access to industry experts in a matter of hours for project based engagements.

  10. Michael Guta

    Hi Danielle,
    Thank you very much. We will keep it in mind for next time.

  11. Roadie is another one. They are a peer-to-peer driving network, allowing people to ship their items with people who are traveling there already. It seems as if these apps are all about connecting. If you can find a way to connect people then individuals can make the money instead of big businesses. Thank you for sharing this list of companies that are changing the way that we do work.

  12. Michael, most of these sound like they are for big cities. Are there platforms for those living in rural areas?

  13. Michael Guta

    Hi Barb.

    I have also noticed they are geared to big cities. Perhaps you can come up with a business model that addresses this short coming.

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