Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Truth about Uber and AirBNB income.

(c)  2015 P. Lynne Designs
(Warning:  Although I am not affiliated with either site, there are links ahead, and I recommend you try one or both of them, with caution)

Ok, I am official back, writing about how to write, and about the world as I see it. 

Today, I want to talk about earning extra income.  Ok, before you turn the page and read another post, or (gasp) go to another blog, please hear me out.  I am taking issue with these two services, and I am not going to back down on my opinions either.  Before I do that, I want to issue some facts about these two services, in case you never heard of them.

Both of these services are popular among the Millennials (ages 18-35).  Uber allows a person to contact someone with a private car to take them to and fro.  The service (and others like it) claims to be cheaper than your typical taxi service, more accessible than your typical train or bus service, and you can make money by registering your own car, and charging the same rate as other Uber drivers.

Airbnb, on the other hand, is the Uber of staying overnight.  You simply contact someone through Airbnb’s website when you want to stay in town.  Any place (other than an apartment) is up for grabs, and you just simply rent a room for the length of your stay (1 night up to a whole month) or a whole house.  You can also register your home as an Airbnb home to earn extra income.

Now before you pack your bags for the nearing Airbnb in Maui or decide that you are not going to drive to work that day, there are some other facts to consider:  BE CAREFUL WITH THIS TYPE OF TRAVEL AND BE CAREFUL OF THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU.   This is my only issue with these two services, especially outside of the US.  Why? 

With Uber, taxi companies, especially in Europe, have been protesting, because Uber drivers have been taking their money and their potential customers.  Hey after all, it is free enterprise, so I see no problems with the service.  Taxis charge too much money to get from point “a” to point “b”, and for what?   For example, back in 2004, my family and I returned from Walt Disney World.  We had fun, had to wait on another pilot to fly the plane, because the first Captain forgot his schedule, then a part fell off mid-flight, and we had to return to a burnt room at my parent’s house, but overall, we have fun and the Mouse’s Florida Home.  Anyway, the ride for 5 miles was almost $75!! In Columbus!!! For 5 people!!!  Uber would have been cheaper if it had existed.
For Airbnb, the complaint is from the hotel owners and city officials.   A recent news item was about a woman, who had registered her home with Airbnb.  She went through all the paperwork that was required by the city of San Diego, CA.  She double checked everything.  Next thing you know, she was trumped up with massive charges by the city, claiming that she had no right of running a bed and breakfast without a permit.  Many cities are taking issue with this too, like New York City.  Why?  Because of this so-called Hotel tax.  Look, if a person is stay one night in a city, why should they be charged $100 or more a night?  Also, I have a feeling that hotels and resorts are complaining, because, here again, customers are being taken away from them.

My Recommendations:  As I stated before, I love the concept of both.  I suggest you take caution on both ends. 

1.      Be careful who you except in both your car and your home.  It is not really possible for you to do a background check on Uber, except only except people who register on the site.  I am saying this for the ladies, but guys, because careful too.  As for Airbnb, only except those who register as a guest on the site.
2.      Do not go out on your own and put a listing on Craig’s List.  You are flirting with fire.  Do not answer an ad on Craig’s list either, unless you have done your homework about the person you have rented your humble abode to.  
3.      Follow both the rules of the site and the city where you live.  I feel sorry for the woman who was slapped with fines from San Diego, because she did what they asked her to do in the first place.  The city, state, nor the country should not govern what you can and cannot do in your own home.  If that was the case, a person cannot take in roommates, boarders, or anyone else without a permit.  Requiring a permit for someone other than your family to stay for a night or two borderlines the taking of freedom to do what you want in your own home.   If they (the city) wanted taxes in the first place, they should have told the woman.
4.      Abide to al rules of the road.
5.      Keep good records of all earnings and finally
Be safe and make the most of your new found earnings.