Want to Buy

The main principle of the market economy reads: if you need it, we will sell it to you. Or even if you don't, we will sell it to you anyway. We want money, and nothing else matters. So, again and again, you go shopping and buy stuff you've never thought to obtain compos mentis. All this happens only because some talented psychologists and marketing experts have learnt how to convince buyers that they desperately need those, say, green 3-floor stone castles for dogs (which they have never had, and moreover, haven't even thought of buying, what with them being awfully allergic to pelage). You will admit: yes, this is just the way the world functions; people have to sell something to survive, it can't be othergates. Well, and of course the same is happening on the Internet. Thousands of times I have stopped myself from buying some useless things on eBay after opening the web browser only to check my e-mail.

TaskRabbit’s coverage mapTaskRabbit’s coverage map

It has always seemed to me that it would be much more efficient to organize our markets (at least those that are connected with services or do not require mass production to cover the needs of people) in a completely different way. Surprisingly, I first met this different approach in multi-player online games. There we can encounter two types of markets: seller-powered (where you advertise what you have) and buyer-powered ones (where you ask someone to sell what you need) - unlike the real world, which is entirely for sellers. Back then, I thought it to be a really nice idea just to announce your need and wait for someone who could cover it. Well, that could be a great way to make a fortune; but when I was thinking it over, I was still too young to set up my own business. Thank goodness I was not the only one who had this thought crossing their mind.

Not so long ago, I came across a couple of articles about web services that fully correspond with my childhood ideas. They can be easily contrasted with such portals as eBay and eBid, which are usually used to sell a variety of products, sometimes in bulk and sometimes of unsatisfactory quality. The websites I am talking about represent embodiment of a new trading principle: they turn their faces to those who want to buy.

Browsing tasks for RabbitsBrowsing tasks for Rabbits

These services have existed for quite a long time, the first one was launched around 10 years ago; but their popularity is yet to reach its prime. One of their most distinctive features is that they are normally aimed at people who can provide the others with some kind of common services. For example, one could ask for a kilo of carrots, or to have a picture hung in the living room. Those who live in the neighbourhood and do not mind spending some time to get a couple of bucks are supposed to get up and do it. This is the way it works: you create a deal, explain what you need, name the price for the service and wait until somebody passes by your house and brings you the good news that they can do it. Nothing could be easier, and therefore more efficient.

These websites build solid communities of people who are ready to help each other (given they benefit from it as well, of course). If you try to google, you can find a number of such portals, like Zaarly, Fetchmob or Gigwalk, where you are always welcome to leave a post and get what you need without shopping for it. However, one of the most well-developed portals of this kind is TaskRabbit. The service is available in the biggest number of cities, and its interface is the most user-friendly of all. By the way, I forgot to mention that, at the moment, most of these services are limited to the USA; so those who live outside the covered area are automatically and unfairly excluded from the list of beneficiaries (there's still room for making a fortune, isn't there?).

Creating tasks on TaskRabbitCreating tasks on TaskRabbit

The only things you should do before you can start using this service are to move to one of the supported cities and log in (you can either create a new account or log in with your Facebook credentials). Done? Great. Now you can create your own deals and make your life much simplier by outsourcing some tasks and paying reasonable money for that. To do so, just click the 'Post the task' button, fill in all the necessary fields and start waiting. Another option is to help others in the meantime. The list of tasks available is adjusted according to your chosen town and address. On the website, you will find a map with tickers displaying the tasks to be completed. You can just choose those that are the most convenient for you and start your quest for money (or self-esteem). For your convenience the developers have created a nice lightweight application for iPhones and Android, so that you could come into new deals right on the way home.

As I have mentioned before, I have long dreamt of a world in which any given person gets only what he or she needs, without all those useless spendings made in the state of half-consciousness - after watching catchy commercials or just in the race to show off. Said rapidly developing web portals are actually able to open the way to a new, buyer-driven market, which could free us from a number of problems we're suffering from now. And I truly hope it will happen in the near future.

Comments

Keath_Wyszynski

I've got a task to give to the site already:
'Three measures of Gordons, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemonpeel. Got it?'

 –  10 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)
Amirah

I'd rather you had the patience to wait till the weekend

 –  10 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)
Arrgh

I believe 'My TaskAngel' was intended to scratch the same itch in the UK, but I don't suppose it's gained any substantial ground (yet?). What with the ridiculously off-putting registration form, I probably shouldn't be too surprised.

 –  10 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)
Policy Maker

You wouldn't want extremely random people coming by your house... there has to be some sort of track record in case something happens to you or your home... Bless the paranoid UK ppl.

 –  10 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)
Amirah

I got scared by the button called 'Beta Login', what to say about the service it can provide?

 –  10 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)