How Much Weirdness Can You Buy for $5?

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hot dog costume
How much would you pay someone to record your voice mail greeting in Homer Simpson's voice?

Chris Hardy will do it for $5. For $5 more, he'll record up to a 3-minute script.

Hardy doesn't stop with Homer -- he also does the rest of the Simpsons, most of the South Park cast, Beavis and Butthead, and a host of other cartoon characters. And, $5 price tag aside, the 47-year-old former radio personality has transformed his part-time voice-over gig into a lucrative side business. "It's helped me quit my corporate job, and has given me some really good supplemental income," he says.

Hardy isn't alone. According to the Freelancers' Union, at least 30% of the American workforce now qualifies as "independent workers." What's more, with continuing high unemployment and a brutal job market, it looks like more people are poised to join them.

The trouble is, while many people daydream about leaving office life behind, finding the gigs to make that possible can seem like an insurmountable hurdle. Some companies, like TaskRabbit or PA For a Day, are designed to help freelancers find clerical work and other service jobs. Then again, for creative people looking to leave the corporate world behind, a freelance career spent filing invoices or running errands might not seem like a great alternative.

Micha Kaufman, an Israel-based entrepreneur, thinks that he has the solution. In 2010, he and his partner, Shai Wininger, launched Fiverr, a website that bills itself as "The world's largest marketplace for small services." On the site, independent contractors offer a host of services for prices starting at $5.

Kaufman's goal is to create "an eBay for the service economy," an online marketplace where people can sell their creative talents. "The job market is changing," he points out. "People are looking to monetize their skills in nontraditional ways. When we started, the Internet didn't have a single place where people could offer their skills."

In the two years since its launch, Fiverr has exploded. According to the site, its contractors are based in over 200 countries, and offer more than 800,000 different "gigs." And these offerings are incredibly varied, ranging from prank calls performed in celebrity voices to custom-made puppet videos to personalized video games. On the other end of the spectrum, some contractors even offer traditional services, like proofreading, html conversions, and web design

But the real highlight of the site is its strange, often bizarre collection of creative gigs. If you want to see someone dance in a hot dog costume, sing "Happy Birthday" in Welsh while wearing a thong, or get someone to crochet you a fake mustache in the color of your choice, there's no better place to go. As Mark Gray, one Fiverr user, notes, "It's a brilliant platform for artists to sell their work."

As for Gray, he makes videos with his puppet alter-ego, Professor Hans von Puppet. Among other things, he has shilled for Australian fast food restaurants, proposed marriage for shy grooms-to-be, and hosted an awards show in Jordan.

His price? $5.



Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.


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13 Comments

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Lee Phương

http://GiGpluss.com/ Start getting more Freelance Micro Jobs to Make money online anywhere with any price.

November 27 2013 at 6:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Real Follow

With the state of the economy and several others own personal financial concerns, Fiverr.com is a useful and beneficial website for many. It's controls are easy to learn and simple to learn.
http://fiverr.com/realfollow

August 04 2013 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TN Fiverr

I use FIVERR to help people start their family trees and with this upcoming holiday season a family tree chart with supporting documents would make a great gift. http://fiverr.com/tn5rr2012

August 12 2012 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
smiles41

LOL...does that include a ride to the polls in Nov????

July 23 2012 at 8:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Invest Zar

For $5 you can buy 7 shares in the upcoming IPO next week on ORION DHC, Inc (OTC:OODHA) (OTC:OODH). ...And Yes, I'm talking about the Holding Company that's modeled EXACTLY after Warren E. Buffett's Holding Company. ---> IMO - That's $5 WELL spent -- Just in case the company does ACTUALLY pull off a REPLICA of the famous (NYSE:BRK.A) . Anyhow, lets hope for a good week all over the markets, I need to make $100k this week (Wife wants a new Sewing room!).

July 23 2012 at 2:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wllharrington

Didn't some high placed idiot say that nobody builds a business themselves, that they need the government to do it for them?

July 22 2012 at 4:07 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to wllharrington's comment
ectullis

That was BHOzo, and he isn't the least bit funny.

July 22 2012 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stephen Jackson

Not that I have any great faith that a "real" live Canadian is lurking around bashing Obama, but I would love to see any single on of those who take issue with the statement (usually spouted off completely out of context) even manage to stay alive for more than a few weeks without the PUBLIC funded infrastructure that helps people "build" their business. How do your products get to your shelves? (on publicly funded roads) How did you get the education that taught you HOW to run your business? (IF you are educated at all, {and there is a glaring disparity among the far right and everyone else} you most likely went to a school built with at least SOME public funding and continuous public support from both Federal and State Governments) How can you be sure the food you eat and the water you drink is even vaguely safe? (again... public funded entities that protect the common welfare) Need medication to keep from dying? (Much of the research bill that went into develooping that drug was.. you guessed it! In part, GOVERNEMNT funding) I would love to see every person who is too ignorant to recognize the interdependence of humanity go off and try living on their own without the "handouts" that the "evil" government "gives" us all to make live in the 21st century possible. Let's not even talk about communication and utilities in this respect... most 3rd world countries and idigenous people have figured this out already. We are too proud (i.e. stupid and self-centered) here in the west to understand even the most basic facts of Sociological interaction as it relates to the business world.

September 19 2012 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jorczak9

You'd Never Guess How Much Weirdness Can You Buy for $5. Does this headline even make sense? Huff's editors are in need of some good edumication.

July 22 2012 at 10:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
depaul878

Before we can buy anything for $5.00, we need jobs, are you listening Obama?

July 22 2012 at 9:29 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to depaul878's comment
thahashtronaut

We need jobs, we need Ron Paul

July 22 2012 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to thahashtronaut's comment
Stephen Jackson

Yes.. deregulate everything and let everyone do whatever the hell they want.. sounds like paradise to me... Or, wait.. isn't it that exact attitude that got us INTO this crisis to begin with? Go smoke some more weed and stop commenting on things that you have an obvious failure to understand.

September 19 2012 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
aquarodent2

$5? Er hello AOHell we dont use dollers here in the UK! Not yet anyway! nd do we need anymore weird Yankie stories?

July 20 2012 at 2:40 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Chris Ferretti

Awesome write up Bruce! Thanks again for having me be a part of this!!! Who would've thought a prank calling business that started off as a joke would make it this far? Ha!! No matter...I'm riding this thing till the wheels fall off. More to come soon...in the meantime, if anybody out there who needs a custom prank...something unforgettable...don't think, go here: www.fiverr.com/jerseyferretti and Mr. Walken will take care of the rest ;)

July 19 2012 at 7:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply