Run My Errand Please

run-my-errand.jpgProbably not unlike many of you, at any given moment, I'm overwhelmed by errands. In addition to the length of my laundry list, I'm short on hours, and also wheels, given that we're a one car family and Jon has the car most weekdays. So I was thrilled to discover the excellence of RUNmyERRAND, a local errand service that recently saved my sanity (and advanced the awesomeness of my office). Read on for more about my experience with RME, as well as to learn how to be one of three winners to receive RUNmyERRAND credits (entry closes January 18):

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UPDATE: RUNmyERRAND is has rebranded and is now known as Task Rabbit.

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RUNmyERRAND is a fee-free online service that connects those overwhelmed by errands with people who want to run them. Simply sign up and purchase credits; these credits are the currency with which runners are paid and reimbursed for goods or services paid for during the errand (alternately you can reimburse for goods or services via cash on delivery). Post your errand details, including how much you are willing to pay for the errand (I recommend looking at the active errand roster to get a sense of going rates for various errands), and an alert is sent to the RME network. Then sit back and wait for runners to contact you about fulfilling the errand. Note that all runners must fill out an application then undergo a phone interview and background check in order to become a part of the runner community. Also, the RME site offers a rating and comments system -- for both runners and errand delegators -- to keep folks accountable.

So here's how RUNmyERRAND saved my sanity. I have been in desperate need of an office overhaul (like, really desperate...I'll be posting the horrendous before pictures once my office is finished). Around Christmas (naturally, the best time to take on new projects...), I decided to do something about it and narrowed in on some desks from IKEA. However, we were just back from Christmas travel and were about to turn around a couple of days later for New Year's travel. The last thing I wanted to do was drive down to IKEA and fight the crowds. And actually, we have a little car so not only would I have to drive and fight the crowds, I'd also have to rent a van or large Zipcar. I just couldn't bear doing any of this. So I figured, okay, I'll pay the exorbitant shipping, but lo, the IKEA desks I wanted were only available in store.

Enter RUNmyERRAND. I decided to give it a try after checking out the site and seeing some other IKEA runs in their active errand roster (and notably, the IKEA runs I saw listed cost less than IKEA shipping). Admittedly, though, I was a little nervous; I'm a bit of a control freak. Was this really going to work? Would the runner pick up the right desks and all the various components that go with it?

However, seeing as I wasn't going to rent a van and head to IKEA myself, I decided to have a little faith. I signed up, posted my errand, and literally within 10 minutes received responses from a couple of runners. Though the first runner didn't yet have a rating (turns out we were each others very first errand), I got a good vibe off his profile picture and decided to go for it. We exchanged a few emails to clarify details and later that day, my very courteous and friendly runner delivered two IKEA desks to my house. All the pieces were there and the desks were in perfect condition when I cracked open the boxes. Utterly convenient. Utterly awesome.

My office is still a work in process but it's already looking pretty spectacular with my two new studio desks set up. As a freelancer, I live and breathe the phrase "time is money." Outsourcing onerous (in my mind) errands that are no big deal to someone else while supporting the local economy? Totally worth it.

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Congrats to winners Leslie, Marianne, and Dylan!
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Now, want to be one of three winners to receive RUNmyERRAND credits? Here's how:

  • Visit the RUNmyERRAND errand ideas page, then email (with 'RUNmyERRAND' in the subject), and name an errand idea you'd love some help with.

  • One entry permitted per person; local residents welcome to enter.

  • Entry period closes at midnight EST, Monday, January 18, 2010.

    *Three lucky winners (drawn using will receive 26 errand credits.