I think apps are the greatest invention since sliced bread. Now there are apps to do all our chores for us – non-billionaires can have all the ‘staff’ they want!
Here is an ideal day I hope to experience in the near future:
I first prepare my laundry and dry cleaning to be picked up by Washio, and arrange for any packages I need to send to be scooped up by Shyp. I will make some breakfast and order groceries and schedule delivery from Instacart. Then Uber or Lyft will take me to anywhere I need to go. If I decide to take my car instead, I alert Luxe just before arriving at my destination and someone will be waiting to wisk my car off to a parking garage. They will wisk it back to me wherever I am when I’m ready, with only 15 minutes notice. I attend my meeting, and am ready for Sprig or Spoonrocket to deliver my healthy lunch. I rush home to meet the Task Rabbit Tasker I’ve hired to hang pictures for me, and to move furniture and set up for a birthday party I’m hosting this evening for a friend. I spend the afternoon at my desk, but have Postmates picking up decorations and party favors I need for the party. My final arrangement is for Saucey to deliver the wine for the party.
Look at how much I’ve gotten done, and it’s only 4 PM!
For details about each app service see below.
Washio, an on demand dry cleaning and laundry service, is currently available in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland and Washington, D.C. It is rapidly expanding and will be in many more areas soon. You can set up recurring pick-ups and deliveries or make spontaneous requests. Washio needs a 30-minute window for pick up. They offer 24-hour weekday turnaround, pre-sunrise through late night.
Shyp will pick up your items, pack them up and send them anywhere using the lowest price and best reliable option. It is currently available in San Francisco, New York City, Miami and Los Angeles. It is expanding to other areas rapidly.
Instacart will deliver your groceries in an hour or less. We wrote about Instacart in an earlier article about grocery delivery apps. It will go to the shops you request to purchase your items -think of them as personal shoppers. There is a $14.99 delivery fee for orders within one hour and $3.99 for non-rush orders over $35.00. There is a $10.00 minimum. There is currently a free delivery or pickup offer on first orders over $10.00. They have locations in seventeen states with more to come.
We have written articles about Uber and Lyft. They are on-demand car services that arrive very quickly wherever you are, and since you’ve already provided your credit card, there’s no payment process to go through. Lyft is currently operating in 29 states and Uber in 58 countries and many, many U.S. cities. These two companies have transformed city transportation.
Luxe is an on-demand valet parking service. They will also wash and/or refuel your car for the asking. This is a service that can actually save you money. Because Luxe buys blocks of parking spaces in garages at a discount, their parking charges are often less than you would pay if you park in a high priced part of a city. Luxe is currently serving Seattle, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Washington, D.C., and they are expanding.
Task Rabbit is an app that allows you to hire Taskers to help with a wide range of needs. I have used them to hang pictures and move my children from college to their first apartment. Tasks can include moving help, shopping and delivery, cleaning, handyman items or parties and events. How it works: you describe the task, Taskers who are able to complete the job then bid on it, you choose your Tasker. The job is completed and your satisfaction is guaranteed. The Taskers I’ve met have been terrific. Task Rabbit is currently in 51 cities, including Birmingham UK and expanding.
Postmates will deliver any product in under one hour. Their local couriers will purchase and deliver items from any store or restaurant in a city they serve. It is in 20 cities and expanding.
For Saucey, an on-demand alcohol delivery app, “it’s always 5 PM”. They deliver beer, wine and spirits in under an hour. At this point they are only in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Sacramento and Oakland.
Other service apps we have less experience with but have read good reviews about:
Urban Sitting provides babysitters, summer babysitters, nannies and last minute childcare.
Rover provides dog sitting in thousands of cities.
Munchery delivers pre-made meals from local chefs in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York.
Zeel finds licensed masseuses the same day you request one and in your home! It currently operates in New York City, Long Island, the Hamptons, Miami to Palm Beach, San Francisco Bay Area, North Jersey and Southern California.
Same Ole Line Dudes are professional line sitters in New York City. They will stand in line for you for anything from sample sales, the new iPhone or the cronut.
Fancy Hands is a virtual assistance service for individuals and businesses. They will do research for you, make customer service calls, transfer your hard copy address book into your Contacts on your computer, book a trip, place online orders, all those pesky things on your ‘to do’ list!