Sidecar Goes Out Of Business : What I Learned As An Uber / Rideshare Driver

Discussion of the failure of Sidecar and what lessons rideshare drivers can take from it.

0:00 Intro
0:24 Brief History Of Sidecar Ridesharing App And Its Features
1:12 Driver’s Ability To Set Rates and Minimum Fares
1:59 Sidecar Pivots And Begins Delivery Services
2:08 How I Took Advantage Of The Opportunity To Deliver With Sidecar and Earned $185 / Day In Exchange For Very Little Of My Time
3:00 Take Advantage Of Opportunities In The Rideshare Industry
3:51 Diversify Your Sharing Economy Income – It’s To Your Advantage
5:28 Thanks For Watching! 🙂

Hey, it’s Ez with Rideshare Genius, coming to you from beautiful Santa Monica California, a place that I am lucky to call home.

So, I wanted to talk for a minute about Sidecar. You guys might have heard the news that Sidecar is going out of business on December 31, 2015 and if you’re not familiar with Sidecar, Sidecar was a rideshare app similar to Uber and Lyft. Much, much smaller than Lyft, actually. Only in a very limited number of cities, like 10 cities or so. And it worked a little bit differently than Uber and Lyft in that as a passenger you would put in your pickup location and then you would also put in your destination. You had to put in your destination and you would be presented with a list of drivers you could choose from.

You could see the drivers ratings, you could check out their profile and each driver would be able to write a couple sentences about themselves or what perks they included like, “I have phone chargers or I have cold waters,” things like that. And then the drivers would actually have different prices as well and you could see what kind of car they drove too so you could get a bigger car, a fancier car, whatever you wanted.

As a driver it was cool in that you could set your price. You couldn’t just set any old price you wanted, but it was kind of cool in that for a while, you know, kind of like how Uber has, say 2.0 surge pricing, in Sidecar I could set my rate to 2.0. I’ll only take rides that are at 2.0 or 3.0 even, and you could set your minimum fare as high as $12, here in Los Angeles at least. So that was pretty cool and I leveraged that to my advantage. I would set my — turn on my Sidecar app and set my multiplier to like 2.8 and set my minimum fare to $12 and I didn’t have to worry about getting pinged and going out and doing a two dollar minimum fare because I knew I would be compensated for my time; I’d get at least $10 for a ride. So it was pretty cool in that regard.

Now, earlier in 2015, Sidecar pivoted and they tried to get away from rides because they couldn’t compete with Lyft and Uber and they tried to start doing food deliveries. So I was sent an offer to start doing their delivery program and at first it was pretty cool because they would offer these blocks and they were generally 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM during the day for a guaranteed $20 an hour or they were 5:30 to 10:30 PM for $25 an hour and these dollar amounts were actual take-home pay, not fares that they would then cut into by taking a commission, so I was able to really milk out for a couple months and use it to my advantage.

I stopped doing Uber and Lyft and I was doing a lot of Sidecar deliveries. I would be making $185 a day driving very little. A lot of the time I would be just sitting in my apartment waiting for a ping and I could work on other things, other projects, you know, other things I was working on. So that was really cool that I was able to take advantage of that opportunity.

So my point in this video is, you know, what can we, as drivers, take away from what happened to Sidecar? And I think there’s two things we can take away from it. First of all, take advantage of every opportunity that’s out there. So, you know, new apps are going to pop up, there’s going to be sign-up bonuses, they’re going to try to entice drivers by offering great like hourly guarantees and things like that, you know? These are probably going to be more like delivery apps rather than ridesharing apps because I think that space is pretty full right now with Uber and Lyft, but who knows. So anyway, take advantage of these opportunities. When new apps and new services come out, they need us drivers and they need to entice us by offering us good money and good benefits and perks and things like that, so definitely take advantage of that but don’t just stay around because you’re comfortable. You know, always be looking, always be scanning the horizon and seeing what’s next and what’s coming up.

And the other to takeaway I think we have to remember as drivers is that it is very important to diversify your ridesharing or your sharing economy income because you never know when Sidecar might announce they’re going out of business. You know, today is December 30, 2015 that I’m recording this. They announced they’re going out of business on the 29th, yesterday, and they’re going out of business tomorrow. So if you were only a Sidecar driver relying on that for income, you’re kind of screwed. So it’s very important to diversify, you know, sign up for a bunch of apps.

The position of power that we have as drivers in this economy is that because the companies don’t want to make us employees and guarantee us a minimum wage and things like that, we have the ability to work as little or as much as we want and whenever we want, so there’s no commitment. So sign up for a bunch of apps, especially when there’s a great signup bonus or something like that, and then you always have the opportunity to go and work for that app when you need to.

Now, is Uber going to go out of business and give us two days’ notice? That’s probably not going to happen; they’re a really big, established company at this point, but they might change their rates, they might lower their rates and give you two days’ notice. I’ve seen it happen a bunch of times before.

So keep that in mind: remember to always take advantage of every opportunity and also diversify your ridesharing or sharing economy work and make sure you have a bunch of different sources of income from that because you never know when you might need one or when a certain company might start offering a really great pay or something along those lines. So let’s always keep those things in mind going forward and use those aspects of Sidecar’s failure as a lesson to us in the future.

I hope you guys have a wonderful day. I will see you guys soon.

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