Suppose your travel plans this holiday season include a road trip to another city or state.
With a little extra car space and the flexibility to make a pit stop, you could cash in by picking up and delivering other people’s stuff along your route.
Contrary to ride-sharing or food-delivery apps, peer-to-peer shipping and delivery operates on convenience: Make money delivering goods where you’re already going.
Roadie is a rising star in the social delivery space with more than $25 million in funding to date. And whereas apps like PeerShip and UberRush are more local in nature, Roadie has a clear pitch to the everyman heading on a road trip — ideal for making the most of your holiday travel. So Business Insider spoke with a couple Roadie users to get a feel for what the experience is like.
The nearly two-year-old startup offers both local and long-distance “gigs” where drivers can earn up to $650 transporting everything from boxes to furniture to pets. To pick up a gig on Roadie, drivers start by selecting one or a few deliveries along their planned route.
Each listing includes the item(s) to be delivered, the number of miles from point A to point B, and the price to be paid, explains David Hater, a 50-year-old retired Army officer who’s delivered more than 400 gigs for Roadie, earning anywhere from $8 for a local delivery to $400 for “delivering a few extra boxes and making a stop or two along the way” on interstate trips.
Roadie sets the price for each gig based on the urgency, size of the item, and distance, Hater explained in an email to Business Insider. There’s no back-and-forth negotiations between the driver and sender, he said. If Hater spots an attractive listing along his route, he’ll make the sender an offer, and once they accept, the two are free to communicate throughout pick-up and delivery on the app. He receives his payment once the sender gives him a code to enter into the app as a confirmation of satisfaction.
“For me, Roadie is an excellent way to make extra money. The effort is very minimal because I’m usually driving to a particular place anyway,” said Hater, who frequently travels around the country directing chess tournaments.
“When I am between tournaments, I can choose to courier items anywhere and anytime I want, as well as do as much or as little as I want to fill time and make a bit extra. Roadie is flexible, and I can choose my hours and how much or little I want to do — that is very important to me,” he said.
Hater added that as a startup, Roadie has its “growing pains,” but overall he gives them “very high marks in their ability to work through challenges as they occur.”
On the flip side, you can also save money as a sender, especially when shipping large, oddly shaped, or delicate items. Roadie doesn’t require packaging or boxing and allows delivery of big-ticket items. Every gig is insured up to $500 with the option to purchase additional coverage up to $10,000.
Scott Laine, a 48-year-old real-estate executive told Business Insider that he saved an estimated $200 using Roadie rather than a traditional shipping company when he sent his Vespa from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Laine was able to execute and keep an eye on the gig all the way from New York City.
“I cannot stress how seamless it was,” he told Business Insider. “From my couch I was able to upload the gig and within a day I had a guy who could pick up my vintage Vespa, and deliver it in short order where it needed to go. I could monitor his progress and even knew how to alert the recipient on the driver’s timing. I never spoke to the driver once, didn’t need to. Everything happened via text.”
So if you’re trying to earn some extra cash — or save some on shipping — it might be worth checking out a peer-to-peer delivery service like Roadie this holiday season.
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