Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Side Hustle Week Day 2: Wrapify


Welcome to Side Hustle Week here at Road To A Tesla! Most personal finance bloggers love to talk about side hustles - ways you can make some extra money on the side to help you achieve your financial goals more quickly. These are usually jobs you can do as a hobby or while you are still employed full time somewhere and, with luck, you may be able to parlay them into big-time income producing projects.

I tried out my hand at some side hustles and each day this week, I will be posting my results and thoughts on some of the more popular ones.

Day 1 - Studypool
Day 2 - Wrapify
Day 3 - Loanables and Craigslist
Day 4 -Amazon Mechanical Turk
Day 5 -Udemy


You’ve probably seen the rolling billboards – cars wrapped with vinyl advertising copy cruising down the highway. I used to assume the cars were owed by the company doing the advertising – after all, my employer has a fleet of vehicles and they are all wrapped with ads for the company. However, it turns out this may not be the case. Those might simply be hired cars.

Wrapify is a company that sells advertising on cars. They pay you to get your car wrapped with vinyl advertising and then you go about doing your normal day to day driving and get paid for it. Sounds like a great, easy side hustle!

The Process

To qualify as a driver, you have to be at least 21 years old, have a clean driving record, and own or lease a 2008 or newer vehicle with no body damage. I signed up in July and learned how their process works.

Getting started is easy. You create an account on their website and download their app to your smartphone. When you go out driving, you launch their app, which uses GPS to track where you drive. If a company is interested in advertising in the area you drive in, you will get a notification to come in and get your car wrapped. (You always have the option to decline advertising for a company if, for example, you disapprove of their product.) Should you decide to go ahead and get your car wrapped, you drive to one of Wrapify’s service centers and drop your car off for the day. They wash it and apply the vinyl wrap, and then you pick it up. Wrapify will pay for an Uber or taxi to transport you to and from their service center while your car is being prepped. Then, simply drive your car as normal, being sure to run their app on your phone so you get credit for driving.

Advertising campaigns can last from 1 to 6 months, after which, Wrapify will remove the wrap from your car. You are paid only for driving within whatever area the advertiser selected and you are paid bi-weekly.

How It Turned Out

In order to be eligible for campaigns (which is what they call an ad), you have to first log at least 50 miles with the app. No problem. My daily commute is 52 miles, so I qualified the day I signed up. They also want to know what kind of car you drive, information they need to know so they can tailor the wrap to your specific car.

I dutifully turned on their app every time I drove my car anywhere. After more than a month of driving without getting an offer for a single campaign, I contacted the company and found out a bit more about how the process works.

Campaigns are only available when companies want to advertise, naturally. In my area (Phoenix), there were some campaigns active, but not many. The person I spoke with said their salespeople were attempting to sell more ads – after all, if the drivers don’t get paid, the company doesn’t get paid either – but it was slow going. To date, I’ve driven 3,357 miles without a campaign offer.

The App

Wrapify’s app comes in both an iPhone and an Android version. When I first joined, iPhone was all they supported and that is the one I used initially. That version works well. You just log in to the app when it launches and it simply tracks your mileage and route. You can get totals for the miles you’ve driven for the day, week, month, and year.

When you log into the website on your computer, you can also see maps of your routes, the times the app sampled your locations, and the speed you were driving. I will say that the speed number is way off. Most of my commute is freeway driving, where I am driving about 65 to 75 MPH. The app seems to think I’m only going around 35 MPH though.

The Android app was in beta when I started using it. It looks and functions identically to the iPhone version with one big exception – it drains your phone battery like crazy. I noticed after a 30 minute drive in to work, my battery typically dropped from 100% to around 50%. (I have a Samsung Galaxy S6.)

Even when you are not moving, the Android app sucks power. With the phone just sitting on my desk, by noon, my battery was dead. Now, this was a beta version, so things might have changed in newer versions, but the battery drain was so bad, I had taken to killing the app when I got to work to save the battery. The thing is, you can’t really do this because……

When a campaign becomes available in your area, you are notified via a push notification from the app. According to the company, campaigns are not tailored to a specific driver – the notification goes out to all drivers in the area and it’s assigned on a first come, first served basis. So you need to have the app running all the time and your phone with you all the time if you want to get and respond to a campaign offer. Here’s how the company explained it to me (grammar and punctuation as given):

We are active in the Phoenix metro however our advertisers are not currently running a campaign with open seats at the moment.  Because our platform is entirely advertiser dependent there will be a wait time for campaigns.
Here is some insight as to how the campaign matching works: Our advertiser sets up the area that the campaign will run when they are creating it in the system, they create the map or "campaign area" in which they want to pay drivers. Sometimes this will encompass the whole entire metro, and other times it's part of the metro, it's entirely up to them.  When the campaign goes live, the system will match the drivers that drive in that campaign zone that the advertiser has created. Those drivers that drive in that area will then receive the campaign via a push notification in the app. If a campaign goes live in your metro and you do not receive an offer that simply means your driving pattern does not fall within the advertiser desired campaign zone. Campaign selection is entirely up to the drivers who receive the offer, we do not choose the drivers for the campaigns and there is no priority seating. All offers that go out are first come first serve. Your driving data is not used for anything other than matching you with campaigns when they go live.
As long as you have the push notifications enabled on your phone you will receive the offers when they are activated in your area.

After three months, I have yet to receive any campaign offers. My daily commute is between the Phoenix metro area and a nearby suburb, so either I don’t fall into the area the advertisers are looking for, or  there just isn’t anyone advertising.


I’d like to see this side hustle work. Even without getting selected for a campaign, it’s not too much hassle to continue to make yourself available for when a campaign kicks off. I rarely leave the house without my phone anyway, so there is very little in my routine that I have to change to keep myself available for a potential campaign.

Obviously, the area you drive in will have a huge impact on how successful this side hustle can be for you. Those living in sparsely populated, rural areas are probably not going to get much income from this side hustle.

While I have not made money with this yet, I’ll keep using the app for a bit and continue to see how it plays out. I imagine though, that after more than a couple months without an offer, I'll probably give it up.


Post a Comment