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If you like going out and about with others, then I might have the perfect opportunity for you to have fun and get paid.
But hear me out, because it’s probably going to sound weird to you at first.
It’s called being a rental friend or paid friend.
And it’s legitimate and not as weird as it sounds.
As a rented friend, you can get paid hourly to be a companion to someone.
Keep reading to see how it works.
Wait…Can I Really Get Paid to Be a Friend?
Yes, this is a 100% legitimate way to make money, but we realize it sounds a little odd.
But think about it: Have you ever wished you had someone to go with you somewhere, like a wedding or a networking event?
You might not have ever thought of paying someone to come with you, but that’s exactly what others do when they need someone to tag along.
Seniors or their families might pay someone to sit with them during the hours that family can’t be there at a hospital or nursing home.
A person might pay someone to go to a wine tasting event with them because they really want to go, and they’d rather not go alone.
Some people might want to hire others to attend church with them because they don’t have anyone they know who wants to go, and they don’t want to go solo.
There are tons of reasons someone may willingly pay for another person to be a friend or companion, and they’re not nearly as weird as you originally thought.
As someone who’s open to being a friend to someone, you can get paid by the hour to do it!
There’s even a website that makes it easier for you to connect with others who need a friend or guest for some sort of event.
It’s called RentAFriend, and it’s basically a big search engine that focuses solely on matching friends with people who need them.
Companionship for Money with RentAFriend.com
RentAFriend.com is a unique type of site that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s legitimate, nonetheless.
The site helps you connect to people who might need or want to pay for friendships or companionship for whatever reason.
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RentAFriend is for people to look for workout partners, hiking partners, event attendees, dates to a dance or work event, or just about anything else they might want someone to accompany them to.
Let’s look deeper into this interesting way to make money to help you decide if it’s right for you.
How Does It Work?
RentAFriend works much like a search engine for people who want to find friends.
They just plug in their location, and the site will automatically pull up a list of people in the area who are signed up as friends.
Then, they can take their pick of what friends to contact based on what the friends offer and what they’re looking for.
As a friend, you can accept or deny any chat requests you want.
Choose to talk to someone by phone, email, or whatever ways work best for you.
The good thing about this site is it’s not very strict as far as micromanaging how people do things and meet up.
It’s more between you and the person who contacts you to work out the details.
RentAFriend just serves as a matchmaker between you to help you find people willing to pay you for companionship more easily.
What Will I Be Doing?
Contrary to popular belief about this kind of work, you don’t engage in any risky or questionable behavior by being someone’s rented friend.
RentAFriend isn’t an escort service.
However, you can be somewhat of a platonic escort who accompanies people as a friend to local events, work events, the movies, a restaurant, or wherever else you agree to go.
RentAFriend lists a bunch of different ways people might use their rented friends, including:
- Going to bars or clubs
- Helping with shopping trips
- Biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities
- Sporting events
- Baking or cooking companionship
- Instructive classes
- Amusement park friends
A lot of people might also use this type of service to meet new people in an area they aren’t familiar with.
Whether they’re traveling or just moved somewhere new, they might want to get to know people in the area.
You could potentially be the right person to introduce those people to others that you know!
Basically, your experience with RentAFriend is up to you.
You can offer specific rental services or just remain open as a general friend who’s willing to accept offers from people who might need your help.
You can accept or deny any job that isn’t right for you, so there’s never an obligation to do something you don’t want to do.
Can I Meet People Virtually?
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, RentAFriend has noted on its website that many friends are offering virtual services to people rather than in-person.
This means that they will “meet” with people digitally, when possible, through Facebook Messenger, Zoom, or other virtual means.
This is a good idea for people who just want someone to talk to or someone to help them with learning a skill that they can learn virtually, for example.
The great thing about RentAFriend is that you and the person paying for your services can make everything work for both of you by discussing needs and expectations beforehand.
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If it makes more sense to safely meet in person, that’s fine.
But you always have the option to meet virtually if it makes you both more comfortable and makes sense for the job.
How Much Money Can I Expect to Make?
How much you can make using this site depends on how much you list yourself for.
You can choose to list your services at a flat rate for a certain number of hours, or you might list an hourly rate for your time.
The site states that most people are at least $10 per hour, but some ask for $50 an hour or more, depending on their services.
For instance, people who help others with cooking classes or music instrument instruction might charge more than those who are simply getting paid to escort someone to an event.
You can price yourself, however much you feel your services are worth and choose to accept any job you think you can do.
That means that you’re fully in control of when you work and how much you make for each job.
Just remember that this gig isn’t an employee job, so you’ll need to account for the taxes you’ll need to hold from each payment and price yourself accordingly.
How Do I Get Paid?
You don’t actually get your payment through the RentAFriend website, unfortunately, so there’s not really a set way to guarantee payment.
Instead, you and your payer must agree to your rate and work out details of getting paid in person.
If you do a virtual meeting, you might opt for something like Venmo or PayPal to get paid ahead of time.
In-person meetings can also utilize this method, too, if you feel more comfortable getting a payment upfront.
Do I Pay Anything?
No, it’s free to be a friend on RentAFriend.
People looking for friends, however, pay a $24.95 fee to have access to the site and friends.
That gives them the ability to search through friend lists and contact who they want.
Your listings cost nothing, and you’ll keep 100% of the earnings you make.
How Do I Sign Up?
You can fill out your friend application on the website.
It should only take a few minutes to complete.
Once submitted, you’ll need to wait until an admin approves your account.
This is to make sure people aren’t signing up for fake spam accounts.
Once approved, you can complete your profile and wait for others to contact you.
You must be at least 18 years old to sign up and not have any felony convictions on your records.
How to Avoid Scams on RentAFriend
On any type of site like this, it’s possible to run into scammers.
RentAFriend tries to eliminate this as much as possible by manually approving all accounts for friends and requesters, but it’s not a foolproof system.
The company doesn’t conduct background checks, either, so it’s super important that you keep a watchful eye open and avoid anything that doesn’t feel right to you.
Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Meet people in public locations only, and make sure you bring someone with you to drop you off. Also, make sure at least one person knows who you’ll be with and where you’re going.
- Always communicate for a bit on the site before meeting up with someone. Get the person’s name and contact information.
- Never give your personal details out to the person, like social security number or address.
- Don’t give your requester any financial details. Instead, use a service like Venmo or PayPal if you want to get paid electronically before your meeting.
- Contact customer support to report anyone who violates any RentAFriend policies or anyone you believe is trying to scam you.
What Do Others Say About RentAFriend?
RentAFriend has a testimonial section of its website where you can get an idea of what people say about it.
However, these can be a little biased because sites don’t usually post negative reviews on their sites!
So, I dug a little to find more unbiased reviews to learn what people think of the site after signing up as a friend.
From what I found, the reviews are a little mixed.
Some people have awesome experiences for most of the meetings they have, while others seem to only have awkward encounters.
One negative I found is that meetings aren’t very regular for most people unless you live in a big city where there are lots of opportunities.
You might have a couple of meetings one month and nothing for three months after that, so it may not provide you with an income you can rely on.
How to Get Paid to Be Someone’s Friend
Now that you know how to get paid to be a friend, you can decide if this interesting opportunity is right for you.
It’s definitely something different, but if you’re not into traditional gigs, then it could be the perfect way to bring in some fun to your usual workdays.
You might even meet some people you want to keep as friends along the way!
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