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TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Which One Should Customers Choose in 2023?

Offloading tasks around the house to someone who can get them done better and faster is a no-brainer. But in the battle of TaskRabbit vs. Handy, which one comes out on top?
Meghan Wentland Avatar
TaskRabbit vs. Handy
Photo: istockphoto.com

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Ever looked at a task on a to-do list and thought, “Gosh, I wish I could just hire someone to get that done”? Homeowners and renters often toss that thought away because they assume it will be too expensive or there isn’t someone out there who can be hired to do that particular job.

The rise of the online freelance marketplace has negated both of those ideas—chances are there is someone out there who can be hired to do most tasks inside and outside of the home, and the cost is likely less than most would expect. TaskRabbit and Handy are two of the most prominent marketplaces, and they provide similar services, from some of the best packing services to the best home organization services. But which one should customers hire? Below, we’ll break down everything prospective customers need to know when considering TaskRabbit vs. Handy.

What is TaskRabbit?

TaskRabbit vs. Handy
Photo: istockphoto.com

Formed in 2008 as RunMyErrand, TaskRabbit began as a community service project to help busy people get things done. In 2010, RunMyErrand became TaskRabbit, broadening its scope to include more types of errands and tasks that the service can be hired to complete.

In 2017, IKEA acquired TaskRabbit (though it retained its name). Because the vast majority of IKEA’s furniture is unassembled, the company saw the value in offering connections to handy people who could do the assembly. TaskRabbit Taskers (as they’re called) can still perform the same broad range of tasks and aren’t limited to IKEA furniture assembly. With its convenient web and mobile presence, TaskRabbit has grown into a full-fledged service that matches freelance service workers with homeowners and renters seeking their skills.

What is Handy?

Handy services was founded in 2012. At that time, the gig economy was also growing, and more people took on independent or contracted work. A platform to link those individuals with others looking to hire handymen, independent electricians, plumbers, painters, and cleaners struck just the right note, and Handy took off. Handy is a TaskRabbit competitor, and it’s a large and still-expanding platform. Acquired by Angi in 2018, the service now includes Angi’s wide reach and markets.

How We Compared Online Freelance Labor Marketplaces:

  • Reputation: In this particular market space, reputation is critical to both those interested in working and those interested in hiring. Services with longer and stronger reputations will be able to attract more qualified and experienced workers, and customers will know that and lean toward those services. It’s anxiety-inducing enough”to hire a stranger from an app to work inside a home, and customers want reassurance that the company isn’t fly-by-night in case there’s a problem.
  • Service area: Not every customer who needs to hire service workers lives in a major metro area, so services covering larger areas of the country will attract more workers and customers.
    Tasks and services offered: Customers will often be more attracted to platforms that offer a wider range of tasks through one portal, rather than having to cobble together the workers they need using several different services. The point of these marketplaces is to offer one-stop shopping, which is more likely if a wide range of services are offered.
  • Customer signup process: Must customers establish an account to browse or hire people? What kind of information is required to create an account? What will having an account mean—easy access to the booking process or an endless stream of marketing emails? Sometimes being forced to share too many details and create yet another account can derail a customer who is loath to sign up for one more thing.
  • Booking process: Some customers are very tech-savvy and can breeze confidently through a booking process regardless of whether it’s streamlined or complex. Others, especially those who are less comfortable with technology, might hesitate or abandon the process entirely if it’s too complicated or asks too many questions they’re unsure how to answer.
  • Pricing: In addition to the range of services, the prices and fees matter to customers. While it’s expected that they’ll be paying a premium for hiring through one of these services, customers want to know where their money is going.
  • Cancellation policies: Schedules can change quickly. A resident of the home could be ill, finances could unexpectedly tighten, or the customer could simply realize the job doesn’t need to be done. We looked at each service’s cancellation policies, considering how late a customer could cancel a booking and whether or not penalties were charged for late cancellations.
  • Customer safety guarantees: When a customer hires a worker from an established service, there’s an assumption that the people coming to do the work are known to the company and have been properly vetted. While this assumption isn’t always accurate, customers hiring from an online marketplace should be aware that the workers are unknown to the company; they, like the customers, simply created an account and signed up. Customers will want to look to the marketplaces to learn about the parameters or conditions that include safety measures and privacy protections for any workers the customers allow into their homes.
  • Mobile app: So much business is conducted on phones and tablets that sometimes a desktop site seems antiquated—but having access to the full-service website will feel more comfortable for many customers. Others will appreciate the speed and ease of an app. We considered the functionality of both the desktop site and available mobile apps to evaluate the ease of use.

1. TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Reputation

Both Handy’s Truspilot page and TaskRabbit’s Trustpilot page have solidly positive reviews—and considering that most people are more willing to submit a complaint than a positive response, that’s saying something! Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau both give Handy excellent ratings as well, but Handy simply isn’t as well known as TaskRabbit is, despite its acquisition by Angi, which should have considerably expanded its purview. Some Handy app reviews at the Better Business Bureau indicate that there have been some problems scheduling through the app, but those complaints have been resolved, and it appears that those reviews are from several years ago.

TaskRabbit is also rated well by the Better Business Bureau, and while its rating is a bit lower than Handy’s, and some of the TaskRabbit reviews posted by customers are negative, the company is credited with a 100 percent business response rate for resolution of complaints. The company has been around for a few years longer than Handy and has benefited significantly from its position with IKEA regarding name recognition. Its origins as a company that’s designed to do anything from painting to packing to waiting in line has garnered it a bit of a cult following.

Verdict: Handy was founded in 2012 and was acquired by Angi in 2018, but it still remains a lesser-known online service. Founded in 2008, TaskRabbit is a popular and well-known service, even in markets where TaskRabbit isn’t available.

Winner: TaskRabbit

2. TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Service Area

TaskRabbit has increased its coverage areas significantly since its inception by a single entrepreneur, and its connection with IKEA has increased that coverage. It’s available in select metro areas across 75 metropolitan areas, so there’s a good chance that many city- and suburb-dwellers live close enough to a TaskRabbit service area to make it worth trying out.

On the other hand, Handy had a larger service area to begin with, but with its connection through Angi’s marketplace, the service area has become considerable. Handy’s coverage includes 488 markets across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, so there aren’t many places that Handy doesn’t reach in North America, and it continues to expand. This is great for customers because it means that there are likely providers connected to Handy in their area, increasing the selection of contractors and reducing the chances that customers will have to pay a premium in travel costs for their chosen hire.

Verdict: TaskRabbit has notable reach in over 75 metropolitan areas nationwide. However, Handy is much more widely available, operating in a staggering 488 markets.

Winner: Handy

TaskRabbit vs. Handy
Photo: istockphoto.com

3. TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Tasks and Services Offered

Its partnerships with companies such as Wayfair, Walmart, and Nest make it clear that Handy’s services are focused on the home and garden. Some of the best move-out cleaning services, best handyman services, and best cleaning services all fall into the Handy wheelhouse. It also offers shopping services for the home. The focus on the home makes Handy an excellent go-to for homeowners or renters who need lots of projects done around the house, as they can keep all of their home care and improvement hires centered and recorded in one place for easy reference.

TaskRabbit began as a service designed to help busy people take care of errands. Its earliest incarnation included hiring people to stand in long lines while the customer took care of other, more personal tasks and group shopping trips so nobody had to go to every store they needed. While TaskRabbit has expanded to home improvement, IKEA and other furniture assembly, and yard care, it has maintained its original ethos to help people get things done. A quick scroll through available TaskRabbit jobs reveals tasks that many people might not even realize they can hire someone to do—wait for a delivery, take returns back to stores, hang holiday lights, deliver baby food, pack for a move, organize a room—while also covering the bases that other service marketplaces cover by default. It’s just a huge range of options.

Verdict: Handy mainly offers services pertaining to home improvement, such as repairs or furniture assembly. TaskRabbit’s services run the gamut, from gift wrapping to yard work and grocery delivery, making it a go-to for many customer needs.

Winner: TaskRabbit

4. TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Customer Signup Process

Handy gladly allows potential customers to shop around for different services and begin the booking process without creating a full account. Customers can simply search or browse for a service, then fill out a short form outlining the type of service, the length of time they’d like the contractor to work, and the date and time they’d prefer the service to take place. Customers then add their email address (required) and telephone number (optional), and they’ll be taken to the listing of available workers. No further signup is required until booking is complete.

Customers can browse for service providers on TaskRabbit without creating an account. However, the account creation process isn’t onerous; entering a name, email address, phone number, and ZIP code, then selecting a password, is all that’s necessary. Then users are free to add services to their virtual to-do lists, then search for workers to complete those tasks.

Verdict: Both Handy and TaskRabbit offer straightforward customer account creation processes, and new customers can hire a professional within mere minutes.

Winner: Tie

5. TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Booking Process

Handy offers two options for customers to book their contractors. The first option, which is the most streamlined, is the “Book with Handy” option. This allows the customer to select the type of service they need, pinpoint the date and time they’d like the service completed, be given a set cost, and confirm the booking in minutes. Handy will then identify a professional among its members who are qualified to do the job and available at the chosen time, and that’s the person who will do the work. This is a quick and easy way to hire someone, but it removes the customer’s agency from selecting the worker based on pricing, reviews, reputation, or anything else. Book with Handy does come with the Handy Happiness Guarantee, so the risk of having subpar work done is limited (especially since most people choosing a pro based on reviews are still taking that risk without the guarantee), but some people find it unsettling to leave the choice to Handy.

The second booking option is for customers who have already used Handy and found a professional they liked. Customers can add that pro to their “team.” Once a pro has been added to a customer’s team, the customer can request to book this pro again. However, the pro can select or deny the customer’s request.

TaskRabbit asks customers to search for their task, input general location information, and then add specifics about the nature of the task. The site then lists Taskers in the area, their hourly rates and experience, and includes a photo. TaskRabbit also highlights Taskers with Elite status, which means the Tasker has garnered a 4.9 or above star rating. The results page also tells the customer the average hourly rate for the service and offers options to limit the search to Taskers available at specific dates or times to sort the results.

Once a Tasker is selected, a calendar pops up with their available dates and times. This means the customer is limited to when a Tasker is available—they can back out of the calendar, choose another Tasker, and check that person’s availability. But unlike Handy’s Book with Handy option, where customers can choose any day and time, and Handy will find a worker to get the job done, TaskRabbit has the customer do the work as a trade-off for being able to select and book their Tasker instantly. For most people, this won’t be a problem, but it may be an inconvenience for those with tricky or limited schedules to find someone available when they need the work done.

Verdict: Customers who hire on Handy don’t have full control over who they hire, while TaskRabbit allows customers to choose their Tasker based on pricing, user reviews, and Elite status. Handy requires customers to input their contact information before it shows pricing information, which can slow down the booking process. Meanwhile, TaskRabbit has a streamlined and intuitive booking pipeline thanks to an easy-to-navigate home page and minimal required clicks.

Winner: TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit vs. Handy
Photo: istockphoto.com

6. TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Pricing

TaskRabbit’s pricing structure is fairly straightforward: Taskers are independent contractors and set their own hourly rates. The initial cost to the customer is the hourly cost times the number of hours it takes to complete the job (customers are encouraged to let their Tasker know if they have a firm budget so they can discuss options of how best to use the time). In addition, TaskRabbit adds a service fee that is a percentage of the total cost, in addition to a trust and service fee that’s used to put safety measures in place for both customers and Taskers and increase training for TaskRabbit workers. The company notes that where applicable, sales tax will be applied, and it promises a full cost breakdown and itemized price when the job is booked and an invoice when it’s complete.

Payment is made using a credit card that’s kept on file in the customer’s account. Reviews and tips for a job well done can be added to the account within 24 hours after the job is complete. Because the Taskers set hourly rates, they’re fairly competitive, and the Tasker’s experience and ratings usually justify higher rates.

Handy’s rates are generally a bit higher across the board, partially because its profit comes from charging the customer a slightly higher cost per hour or per job than the contractor is paid. This isn’t necessarily unfair, although some customers have complained about the disparity between what they paid and what the contractor received, but it’s a business, and it’s just a slightly different way of making money—other services charge exorbitant fees for contractors to list, or charge per lead. Handy’s method may be distasteful to some, but it’s straightforward, and the introduction to Handy for pros is clear about these charges. Handy also adds a trust and support fee to cover insurance, screening, and customer service. This fee is noted on the cost information before a customer books a service, but the upcharge on top of the contractor’s actual fee is not, which makes some customers uncomfortable.

Verdict: TaskRabbit’s pricing is highly transparent and generally more affordable than Handy’s pricing across multiple service types and markets. Conversely, Handy’s prices are often higher, and customers are unable to view the cost breakdown.

Winner: TaskRabbit

7. TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Cancellation Policies

Everyone has to cancel a service or appointment at some point or another, whether because of illness, weather, unexpected schedule changes, or other issues. It’s reasonable for businesses to have policies in place to protect against income loss due to cancellation—after all, the contractor has set aside time for the job and potentially turned down other jobs based on the anticipated booking—but unclear cancellation policies are one of the top complaints customers have about online marketplaces. It’s critical that customers do their due diligence to check on the cancellation policies before booking.

Luckily, both Handy and TaskRabbit clearly outline their sensible cancellation policies. Handy will allow customers to cancel a booking with no penalty up to 24 hours before the appointment time. If the service is canceled within 2 and 24 hours before the planned start time, customers will pay a $25 penalty, and customers who cancel appointments less than 2 hours before the appointment will be charged the full cost of the service to recompense the hired worker for their time.

The TaskRabbit cancellation policy is simpler but not significantly more beneficial to customers: Cancel more than 24 hours before the appointment, and there’s no fee. Cancel less than 24 hours before the appointment, and the customer will be charged for 1 hour of the Tasker’s time at the Tasker’s hourly rate to defray the worker’s financial loss.

Verdict: TaskRabbit has a straightforward cancellation policy where customers are charged for 1 hour of the Tasker’s time for any services canceled less than 24 hours before the appointment. Handy has a less severe $25 fee if services are canceled within 2 and 24 hours of the appointment, but customers are charged for the full booking if they cancel services less than 2 hours before the scheduled appointment.

Winner: Tie

8. TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Customer Safety Guarantees

Customers are letting a stranger into their home when they book through an online marketplace, which can sometimes feel a little different than hiring the appliance installer who has worked for the local shop for 20 years. There’s a sense that a customer could walk into that local shop if something went wrong and there would be some accountability, whereas handling issues may feel more nebulous with an online platform. TaskRabbit and Handy show through their safety and customer service policies that they’re aware of this risk and take explicit steps to ensure customers’ (and workers’) safety and satisfaction.

Handy screens and validates the professionals who book services through Handy. Individuals must pass a third-party background check, while the principals of small businesses who book services through the site must also submit to a background check and vouch for their employees. Individuals and companies must provide evidence of their experience, credentials, insurance, and other documentation showing their good standing.

TaskRabbit also performs background checks and validations on every Tasker listed on its marketplace, checking local, state, and national databases. The company has a clear privacy policy for handling customers’ personal information.

Handy’s Happiness Guarantee offers credit toward a future booking or an immediate repeat of the service (with a different contractor) if a customer has booked through the instant Book with Handy feature and submits a claim within 72 hours of service completion. For all jobs completed by workers hired directly through the platform, Handy carries insurance that will cover damage caused as a direct result of the work done by its contractor, provided that the work can be documented and the claim is made within the 72-hour window. Handy also has a thorough privacy policy that covers customers and contractors.

TaskRabbit offers the Happiness Pledge, which covers any residual expenses the customer incurs as a result of damage caused during service that isn’t covered by a customer’s own insurance policies as long as the damage is reported within 14 days. The Happiness Pledge also offers TaskRabbit customer service to help resolve customer complaints or dissatisfaction.

Verdict: Both Handy and TaskRabbit claim to take customer safety, privacy, and satisfaction seriously. Background checks are performed on service providers for both platforms, and customer privacy measures are upheld. Both platforms also resolve any issues customers may experience with robust satisfaction guarantees.

Winner: Tie

TaskRabbit vs. Handy
Photo: istockphoto.com

9. TaskRabbit vs. Handy: Mobile App

Bright, clean, straightforward interfaces greet customers who download the TaskRabbit and Handy mobile apps. In some ways, the apps for both services are more streamlined and clear than the desktop sites.

In contrast, the desktop sites provide some additional guidance, education, and detail about the different task offerings for those who want to do a little more research before hiring someone to do the work. For many, the Handy app and the TaskRabbit app will be all they need to use to find and book a contractor.

Verdict: Both Handy and TaskRabbit’s mobile apps allow customers to access many of the same features that the desktop sites do and provide seamless booking and appointment-management experiences.

Winner: Tie

Verdict: With almost 15 years in business and millions of users, TaskRabbit is a leader in the mobile contractor marketplace. Customers can benefit from choosing a Tasker across dozens of service categories and various price points to fit any budget. However, Handy’s widespread reach means that many customers and contractors across the country can access this mobile marketplace—and it’s still worthy of consideration.

TaskRabbit offers a longer history, more customer choice when instant booking, and a wider range of services than Handy, often for a slightly lower price. It’s a little more likely that customers outside major metro areas will find Handy contractors in their area, though, and that’s fine—because Handy is a worthy TaskRabbit alternative with a lot to offer.

How to decide which one to use? It will depend first on which service is available in the area. After that, the type of task that needs to be accomplished will be the deciding factor, along with cost, which are areas in which TaskRabbit typically prevails.

Tips for Using TaskRabbit and Handy

How can hiring a contractor from TaskRabbit or Handy make life easier? And how does one decide which contractor to hire? Many people will be surprised by the range of services available and the savings over the more traditional way of getting things done.

  • When choosing a contractor from either service, balance cost against the other information the platforms provide. Cheaper isn’t always better: Customers will want to check the contractor’s experience, ratings, and specialties and be willing to pay just a bit more for someone who has experience doing the task they’re hiring for. Even if the right contractor costs a little more, that cost pays for skill and expertise, and a job done right will save money in the long run.
  • Hire a contractor to pick up and assemble furniture, electronics, or lumber rather than using the store’s private delivery and installation service. The hourly rate for a hired contractor to pick up the items and install or assemble them will likely be significantly less than the store’s delivery fee.
  • Found a great piece of furniture on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist but don’t have a vehicle for transport (or enough available friends to lift it)? Hiring a mover through TaskRabbit or Handy to transport and get the piece into the home will likely cost less than renting a truck, bribing friends with pizza, and risking injury trying to heave the furniture up the stairs.
  • Flatpack furniture is less expensive and easier to transport than furniture that is already assembled, but it can be really, really irritating to build, especially if there isn’t an extra pair of hands around. Hiring a Tasker or contractor through Handy to assemble it may not save money, but it can save a lot of time and aggravation.
  • Often, homeowners and renters do jobs themselves because they assume it will be too expensive to pay someone else. But some jobs really should be done by a professional, and others would just be less stressful with some professional help. The hourly costs for some basic jobs, such as cleaning or painting, are much lower than one might expect—and some services (including cleaning) can cost even less if the customer sets up regularly scheduled service.
  • Some services on these marketplaces are unexpected: Customers can hire someone to drop off flowers or a coffee at their partner’s workplace as a surprise or to get help organizing a garage or an attic. Tasks that seemed overwhelming can suddenly be manageable.

Tips for TaskRabbit and Handy Contractors

Putting services on the market can be a great way for professional contractors or DIYers to supplement their income—and some may even be able to make a living through TaskRabbit or Handy. Potential contractors will want to be aware of any requirements before signing up with one of these sites. For example, Handy requires contractors to have paid professional experience in the area that they want to work in. TaskRabbit’s array of services is wider and its standards more lax, but credentials or experience can often help a Tasker get hired more.

FAQs

Still feeling uncertain about hiring from one of these online marketplaces? Read on for answers to customers’ most common questions about TaskRabbit and Handy.

Q. Is IKEA the owner of TaskRabbit?

In 2017, IKEA purchased all of the shares of TaskRabbit, but the agreement permits TaskRabbit to exist and operate as its own entity. Both companies benefit from this arrangement; IKEA has an option to directly offer its customers assistance with the best furniture assembly service and benefit from TaskRabbit’s strong grasp of the digital marketplace, and TaskRabbit benefits from IKEA’s reputation as a long-standing company that stands by its policies—and it benefits from IKEA’s referrals.

Q. Is TaskRabbit worth the money?

This depends a bit on how important it is to the customer to have the task completed—and completed by someone else. TaskRabbit’s rates are competitive, but whether or not it’s worth hiring someone to do a job will depend on how much the customer needs it done and how much they don’t want to (or can’t) do it themselves. Customers can peruse the different contractors and their rates, then base the decision on whether or not the cost will cover the value of the time and effort they’d spend doing it.

Q. Does TaskRabbit perform a background check on its Taskers?

Yes. All Taskers are required to submit to and pass an identity check and verification and an extensive local, state, and national background check.

Q. Is insurance required to work at Handy?

Handy carries insurance for every job booked through its platform, although it is not terribly clear whether the contractors must carry their own insurance as well. However, all contractors must have licensing as required by the state to perform the work they’re doing, must prove that they have paid experience doing the work, and must be authorized to work in the country. Many licensing boards require insurance as part of their licensing requirements. If this is a concern, customers can check the licensing requirements in their state.

Q. Do I tip people I hire on Handy?

Tipping is not required, but contractors will certainly appreciate extra compensation for a job well done. This can be handled in cash directly to the contractor or via the Bookings tab on the Handy site or app. Handy leaves the decision to tip and the amount to the customer, and it guarantees that the full tip will be transferred directly to the contractor.

Q. Is Handy a genuine company?

Yes, Handy is a legitimate company operating in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It’s been in operation since 2012.