How You Can Make Extra Money While Running Errands

If you already drive or even bike or walk about town, this is an easy way to generate some extra cash during the busy holiday season.

Many of us run errands, commute to work, shuttle kids to activities or otherwise drive around every day. So would it be a great stretch to pick up and drop off packages for people along the way?

The peer-to-peer economy enables you to generate some extra cash by doing just that. Specifically, a growing class of package delivery services makes this possible– in a system similar to that of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

One of the newer package delivery services is called Roadie, which like Uber and Lyft, operates mainly through a smartphone app. founder Stacy Johnson explains in the video above:

“Roadie is an app that lets anyone with a package to deliver hook up with anyone heading that way. So just as Uber is challenging Yellow Cab, Roadie is challenging FedEx and UPS. Customers can send anything from an envelope to a Saint Bernard across town or across the country, and people like Tommy here can turn empty space in their car into cash.”

How it works

Packages delivered through Roadie don’t have to be boxed up as they would if sent via FedEx, UPS or the U.S. Postal Service. Basically, if you want a book delivered, you can hand the Roadie driver the book.

Senders simply sign in with Roadie and — that is, request a delivery.

When creating a Gig, the sender enters details such as the location where the driver should pick up the package, which could be the sender’s home or elsewhere, and the person who will give the Roadie driver the package, which may be the sender or someone else.

The price of a Gig is determined in advance. “So you can browse Gigs by price, location, distance and size to determine which Gigs you want,” Roadie’s .

Once a Gig is posted to the app, Roadie drivers can accept or decline. Then the sender chooses the Roadie with whom to work.

The app prompts drivers to take a photo of the item both at pickup and the destination, to record the condition of the item as well as confirm arrival at the destination.

Local Gigs usually pay between $8 and $50, with long-distance Gigs paying up to $650. Gigs involving delivery of pets can pay even more.

Tommy Bryant, a full-time bartender who became a part-time Roadie driver to earn extra money, estimates he makes between $20 and $30 an hour, on average, as a driver on Gigs.

“Of course, some jobs are more lucrative than others,” Bryant tells “But it’s so easy, you know, it all adds up.”

Delivery services disrupting the shipping industry

Roadie isn’t the only service that recruits drivers in a challenge to traditional package carriers. There are others, each with its own focus and parameters. If you’re interested in earning a little extra cash through package delivery, check out these options, too:

  • : As Amazon expands its same-day delivery service, Prime Now, it is looking for drivers — and paying $18 to $25 an hour.
  • : Similar to Prime Now, this service offers on-demand delivery. Couriers can earn up to $25 an hour, according to Postmates. And you don’t even need a car. Postmates people make deliveries on foot or by scooter, bicycle or other transportation.
  • : Ever regret that you failed to buy something when you were traveling abroad? With Grabr, you can earn some money by helping others in that same quandary — by getting the product and delivering it when you take your next international trip.
  • : This service as “your moving, delivery, and heavy lifting concierge.” Dolly drivers own pickup trucks, box trucks and cargo vans; are able to lift more than 75 pounds; and are willing to haul loads. These drivers earn $30 an hour or more, according to People who don’t own trucks but can lift 75 pounds can earn upwards of $15 an hour as helping hands.
  • : Those who want someone to do their grocery shopping and then have the items delivered can call on Instacart. To learn more about this type of service, check out “How to Make Extra Dough by Buying and Delivering Groceries.”

Even if one of these services isn’t right for you, you can still earn extra cash by turning to the traditional shipping companies during holiday package delivery season.

For example, UPS that it would hire some 95,000 seasonal workers for the upcoming holiday season. For more information about openings, check out the job webpages of or .

How do you drum up extra cash for the holidays? Would you consider picking up work for Roadie or one of its competitors? Share with us in comments below or on our .

Nancy Dunham
Nancy Dunham

Nancy Dunham is a freelance journalist based in the Washington, D.C., metro area.


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