If you’ve ever pounded the pavement capturing and charging Bird electric scooters, then you know how much fun this side hustle can be. But let’s be honest – no one works for the fun of it. Regardless of the job, it has to be worth your time.
Even if you’re making a decent hourly wage as a Bird Scooter charger, there are always ways to increase your earnings and make even more.
With these 7 tips and tricks, you can up your earnings (and maybe even have a bit more fun while doing it).
How Much Money Can I Make as a Bird Scooter Charger?
Working as a Bird scooter charger can be fun (it’s like real-like Pokemon Go). But most be don’t do it for the fun of it – most people do it to get paid.
So how much can you actually make? It depends.
It depends on how many scooters you collect and charge each night.
It also depends on which Birds you hunt, capture, and release.
When you view the app in Charger Mode to locate Birds, they are indicated in three different colors: red, yellow, and green.
Paying anywhere from $20-$25 per scooter, red Birds are the hardest to capture. Sometimes they’re locked in a garage that you can’t access. Sometimes they’re severely damaged. Sometimes they have absolutely no charge left. And sometimes they haven’t been seen (or ridden) for months.
With a pay range from $7 to $14, yellow Birds are easier to find than red ones, but a bit trickier to locate than the lowest-paying green Birds. Most Bird scooter chargers prefer the green Birds that are easy to find and easy to charge. So if you’re looking for yellow Birds, there’s a good chance there will be less competition.
Green Birds pay less than $5 per charge. They’re the lowest paying scooters, but they’re the easiest to find. That also means there’s more competition. You’ve got to be quick so you can snag them before someone else does.
It’s tough to work full-time if all you do it charge Bird scooters. This is because you can only pick up and drop off Birds during designated hours. So if you really want to make money, you’ll need to pair your electric scooter charger gig with another side hustle during the day.
7 Ways to Make More Money Charging Bird Scooters
Everyone who works in the gig economy knows one thing – there are always ways to make more money than the average Joe doing the same job.
Try these 7 tricks, and you should be able to make your job as a Bird scooter charger a bit more lucrative.
1. Collect and Charge Lime & Bird Scooters at the Same Time
Talk to Uber drivers and they’ll usually tell you they also drive for Lyft. Ask your next GrubHub delivery guy what other jobs he has and he’s likely to say “Uber Eats.” Seeing a pattern here?
Regardless of what type of gig you do, one of the easiest ways to maximize your earnings is to work on more than one task at a time. So if you’re a Bird scooter charger, you may as well also start picking up and charging scooters for Lime and other scooter companies.
Assuming that both Lime and Bird are available in your city, apply for both, get the chargers for both, and double up on your search each night. If you’re out there hunting Birds and pass by two perfectly easy-to-find Lime scooters, why not pick those up as well?
The more gigs you can juggle at once, the more money you can make.
Head to this page to learn more about being a Lime Juicer.
2. Buy More Chargers
The more chargers you have, the more scooters you can charge at one time (duh). The problem that many people are facing is that chargers are limited, and Bird only supplies you with three when you start. Over time, you can get more, but supply is low and demand is high…
Depending on how much power the scooter has left, it takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to charge Birds. If you don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night, you can use the same charger to charge multiple Birds.
But it’s best to have one charger per scooter. If you do decide to use one charger to charge multiple scooters, keep in mind that the scooters start to lose power as soon as you unplug them.
Why is this an issue?
Because when it comes time to return them in the morning, they need to have at least a 95% charge.
If you’re committed to the job and want to maximize your earnings while you sleep, you can buy your own chargers. (You can usually find them on Amazon for around $20 – $25 each).
3. Set Time Limits for Capturing Scooters
Time is money, so it’s wise to set a time limit per scooter search. Decide how much time you’ll allow yourself to look for one scooter. (Your limits may vary depending on whether you’re hunting a red, green, or yellow Bird).
The trick is to stick to your time schedule and not get hung up searching for one scooter for 20 minutes.
The way to make good money with this job is to collect as many Birds as you can handle charging in one night. But keep in mind, you’re not the only charger out there hunting for scooters. For every minute you waste searching for a hard-to-locate Bird, other scooters that are easy to find will be getting snatched up by other chargers.
How you prefer to spend your time is up to you. If locating a hard-to-find scooter is a thrill and you’re doing this more for the fun of it, then do that. But if you’re looking to maximize your time and maximize your earnings, set a time limit. If you can’t locate the scooter you’re looking for within that time limit, move on to the next one.
4. Map Out Your Locations
Having a strategy is the key to success in any line of work. But when you’re working as an independent contractor in the gig economy, it’s even more important than you may think.
Spend 10 or 15 minutes planning your course of attack before you capture your first Bird. Start by looking at the map on the app and finding the Bird that’s closest to you. Use your Google Maps satellite view to navigate to that Bird. With satellite view on, you’ll be able to get a quick overview of the landscape so you’re familiar with the location before you head out.
Once you decide on the first Bird you want to capture, work your way out on the map. Plan a course and decide which Birds you want to find and the order you want to find them in.
In some cases, if there’s a lot of competition in your area, this can be tricky. It will take you a few seconds to look at the satellite view of where each Bird is. But those few seconds can end up saving you ten or twenty minutes driving to a scooter only to find that you can’t get to it.
Also, plan your Bird nest locations for the morning so you can release as quickly as possible.
5. Avoid Obstacles
This tip goes hand in hand with tip #4 above. So if you plan to try mapping out your locations, we suggest doing this one at the same time.
We already talked about how viewing a location with Google Maps satellite view can give you the lay of the land so you’re familiar with the location. But you can go one step further and use the map to detect any obstacles that might be in your way.
What do we mean by obstacles?
Gates, fences, locked doors, and anything else that might stand in your way of a successful Bird capture.
Zooming in on a scooter location can help you to determine whether or not it’s worth it to go after that Bird.
If you’re going to have to spend five minutes at a security gate trying to explain to the guard what it is you’re doing, move on. If it looks like the Bird is behind a fence, skip it (unless you’re in the mood for climbing). If the Bird appears to be inside an apartment building or an office building, forget it. Even if it’s a red Bird with a higher price tag, it might not worth the time and effort it takes to reach it.
6. Plan Your Night
If you want to make more money by Bird charging, you have to know how to capture more Birds – and that means knowing what times to go out and find them. Bird opens up all scooters for charging at 9 pm. So it goes without saying that everyone doing the job is on the street, ready to start collecting scooters, at or before the 9 pm hour.
But that’s not the only time Birds are released. Check the app and the map at 7 pm and you may see that Bird has already released some scooters that are very low on power.
Heading out to hunt birds at 7 pm doesn’t mean that you won’t have to compete with other chargers. But in some cities, there is generally less competition at 7 pm then there is at the 9 pm release time.
Every city is different, so we suggest spending your first few weeks on the job working within a 5-mile radius of your home. Study your neighborhood to see what times the most chargeable scooters are available. Look for trends in peak times nearest you. If you understand your specific area, you’ll be able to collect more scooters quickly rather than having to spend all night driving around on a hunt.
7. Have a Strategy for Finding Scooters
With a good strategy in place, you can maximize your earnings and maximize your time hunting Birds.
But what should your strategy be?
Should you hunt for red Birds that pay the most? Yes.
Should you hunt for green Birds that pay the least? Yes.
Should you hunt for yellow Birds that pay somewhere in the middle? Yes.
You see where we’re going here, right?
When you flip on the Bird app, it can be tempting to want to get those hard-to-find red Birds. It can be easy getting your hands on those green Birds. The yellow ones can be a bit more challenging but also provide a higher reward.
So the best strategy is to pick up whatever scooters you can. That means the closest and most accessible, regardless of bounty.
Sure you can drive around for hours trying to locate red and yellow scooters, but all you’ll be doing is wasting gas. Keep your mileage low and pick up whatever scooters are closest to you. By cutting down on your gas and car expenses, more of the money you earn from Bird will be actual profit.
How to Become a Bird Scooter Charger
Signing up to become a Bird scooter charger is easy. Just head to their website, fill out some basic info, and provide your banking information so you can get paid.
Once they process your application, they’ll call you to conduct a brief phone interview. They’ll ask a few questions and, if you make the cut, they’ll send you some chargers, and you can get started right away.
Related: Sign-Up to Become a Bird Charger
If you’re ready to make more money as a Bird scooter charger, there are a few things you can do. Buy more chargers so you can charge more scooters. Double up your pay by working as a Lime scooter charger at the same time. Set a time limit for capturing each Bird, create a strategy by mapping out locations, and save time by knowing which obstacles to avoid.
Head out at the right time of night so you can find as many Birds as possible and pick up whichever ones are closest to you. With these tips and tricks in mind, you should be able to put a few more extra bucks in your pocket and free up time to focus on other gigs.