TaskRabbit, the helper-for-hire service that lets you outsource odd-jobs and errands, counts deliveries and shopping as their most-requested task types. According to TechCrunch, the SF-based company has laid off some employees as it undergoes a "realignment" that will focus it on "mobile, geographic expansion, business services, and [its] marketplace operations." What that means for your at-home IKEA or booze delivery remains to be seen, but we wanted to look at how well Rabbits stood up to other services.
Many of these tasks deliver on convenience as much as they do the items themselves: Drop off an iced coffee at the office, pick up some groceries, haul some Ikea furniture to an apartment building. But how do you know when it's worth hiring a Rabbit over standard delivery methods? We put together point-by-point price comparisons for seven items we wouldn't mind having delivered to our front doors--by Rabbit or traditional delivery services and sat back as they went head-to-head.
TaskRabbit: Due to insane demand for these cream-filled, croissant-doughnut hybrids, prices for delivery vary greatly--we've seen estimates from $25 to $150. To be fair, the task involves waiting outside the bakery starting at 7 a.m.
Delivery: Dominique Ansel Bakery doesn't offer in-house delivery service, but demand is so high that an ad hoc delivery service has popped up at CroissantDoughnut.com, a "white glove service" that will deliver the treats to you. Downsides: They only take five deliveries per day. Oh, and each cronut will cost you $100.
Winner: Probably TaskRabbit
Delivery: Unless you live on the Upper West Side, or the Williamsburg or Carroll Gardens neighborhoods of Brooklyn, instant delivery isn't an option. For us, a next-day UPS shipment costs $22.74.
TaskRabbit: Starts at around $50 for pickup and delivery.
Delivery: Ikea offers two delivery options: A parcel delivery service will handle smaller items (under 100 pounds) for around $11. Items heavier than 100 pounds require a truck, which comes with a two-person delivery team and starts at $99.
Winner: Ikea for smaller items; TaskRabbit for larger ones.
TaskRabbit: Upwards of $50
Delivery: You're out of luck here--Shakespeare In The Park tickets are free, but you can only get them by waiting in line.
Winner: Depends. If you think $50 is worth saving four hours of wait time, go with a TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit: A comparable task of delivering bottles of Blue Bottle iced coffee went for $8 to $13.
Delivery: Grady's Cold Brew offers free delivery in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. You have to order either six or a dozen bottles at a time, but in return you get 10 to 20 percent off retail price and $2 back for every bottle you return to their delivery drivers.
TaskRabbit: About $15-20 for a same-day delivery.
Delivery: $10 for a same-day courier if you order before noon.
TaskRabbit: Expect to pay about as much as you would for a grocery run, around $30.
Delivery: NYC-based startup Booze Carriage promises to deliver beer, wine, and liquor to your door within an hour. There's a $20 minimum purchase, but you get free delivery and they claim not to mark up their supplies. The downside: In accordance with New York State liquor laws, you can't actually order beer, wine, and liquor in a single Booze Carriage order--you can either order just beer, or just wine and liquor.
Winner: If you're short on time and need beer, wine, and liquor, go with TaskRabbit.
(Note: Like any other task on TaskRabbit, the workers, or "Rabbits," are the ones who make bids on deliveries, so prices often vary. All price estimates are based on delivery to our New York City office.)