Poplin, previously called SudShare, connects clients with people willing to pick-up, clean, fold and deliver laundry.
Expected pay: $10 – $25 per hour
Commissions & fees: 25%
Requirements: Social Security number; background check, washer and dryer, transportation; bathroom scale, plastic bags and laundry detergent
Poplin, previously known as SudShare, connects people who need wash and fold services with freelancers willing to pick up, clean, fold and deliver their laundry.
How it works
Clients go to the Poplin app and order a laundry pick up. They have the option of next-day service or same-day service, assuming they order early enough in the day. When the client has special instructions — say, they want their t-shirts hung dry — they add that into their order.
Clients pay $1 per pound of laundry for next-day service and $2 a pound if they want their clothing back on the same day. After a job is completed, clients are urged to rate their freelancer and provide a tip.
On the freelancer’s side
Freelancers sign up and determine how far they’re willing to drive for pick-ups. The maximum distance on the app is 50 miles from their homes. “Sudsters” get notified in the app when someone has ordered laundry service within their market area, along with details of what the job entails and where it’s located.
Sudsters are independent contractors, so Poplin can’t tell you what to do. However, it provides a series of training videos that spell out “best practices.” And, it rates freelancers based on a point system that favors the best-established and best-rated freelancers in the system.
After you sign up, you’ll get at least one order to take, says CEO Mort Fertel. You don’t have to accept it. But, if you do, you won’t get a second order until you complete it. This is essentially to test out your reliability and adherence to the site’s best practices.
Assuming you successfully complete that order, you’ll qualify to get additional orders. However, you’ll only be able to take one order at a time until you build up enough points to move to Poplin’s “bronze” level. At that point, freelancers can take up to three orders at a time.
As you climb the point ladder, you’re able to take a larger number of orders. You’re also given priority to pick and choose among the jobs that come in. Generally, the oldest and best-rated launderers get orders first. If they don’t take them, the order will go to the next available Sudster. This formula favors those who enter a market first and get good ratings from customers.
Clients pay $1 per pound or $2 per pound for rush (one-day) orders. Freelancers get 75% of that or 75 cents per pound/$1.50 per pound for rush orders. There’s also a minimum charge of $20 for two-day turnaround orders and $40 for one-day orders, so freelancers are certain to earn at least $15 – $30 per order.
Large items, such as bathmats, pillows and comforters are subject to a bulky item surcharge of $8, of which $6 would go to the freelancer doing the laundry. Sudsters can also earn tips.
The site pays within two days of completing a job. However, you can get paid instantly, if you’re a top-ranked Sudster.
Notably, freelancers who take these jobs have a number of expenses, including gas to get to and from client homes, car maintenance, water, detergent and electricity costs. They also need to buy plastic bags to deliver the laundry. (Clear plastic bags retail for between 30 cents and 90 cents each on Amazon.) One Sudster estimates that costs amount to about one-third of her income. That said, she estimates that she earns between $19 and $25 per hour, after costs.
Sudsters are not allowed to smoke. And are instructed to follow a variety of rules that are aimed at ensuring that client laundry is handled in a somewhat standard way — kept separate from other people’s clothing; is washed using appropriate tools and temperatures, etc. The site also encourages Sudsters to communicate with clients, letting them know when they’ve accepted their order, when they plan to pick it up and when it’s done and ready to be delivered.
Poplin does not provide ironing. However, launderers should fold client laundry promptly from the dryer and hang-dry items, when that’s been requested.
Sudsters are also instructed to not use fabric softeners, except at the consumer’s request. If the client wants fabric softener, they’re asked to include it with the pick-up and the remaining softener will be returned with the clean laundry. Clients who have specific detergent preferences can also include their detergent with their order.
Otherwise, Sudsters are expected to have a working washing machine and dryer; basic but good quality laundry detergent (Tide, Kirkland, etc.) and large plastic bags to return orders to customer doorsteps. If a client requests a hypoallergenic detergent, you can only take that order if you are able to fulfill that request.
As we mentioned earlier, Poplin’s point system favors those who sign up early, take multiple gigs, get good ratings and good tips. However, clients can also request particular launderers, allowing freelancers to build up a relatively regular clientele.
If you’re able to build regular clients, the job gets easier, since you no longer need to search for addresses and can create a regular route for pick-ups and deliveries.
That said, if you sign up to offer laundry services and you don’t get any jobs, it might be because your market is already saturated with other freelancers. That can make it hard to break into that market.
If you don’t mind doing laundry, this is a time-flexible, work-from-home job that pays decently even after expenses. It is also fairly unique.
However, if you are able to do other household tasks, ranging from running errands for others to assembling furniture or providing deep cleaning, you may also want to sign up with TaskRabbit. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, looking for jobs you can do with small kids, also consider BabyQuip. BabyQuip helps you run a baby equipment rental operation from home.
What their users say (from Indeed):
Let me first start off by saying, I have a college degree and a real career background in IT. But there is nothing like putting real smiles on others faces. With Sudshare (now Poplin), I get to work my own hours, be home all the time. Wash, dry and fold at my convenience. Deliver and pick up at my convenience. I love the bonus structure and points. I also love the tips. The company has the best training and not to mention Sudshare is always there for me. Love it too much.
Easy payouts, pick and choose which orders you take , work from home or part time. The only downside is some customers never rate or tip. If they do it take a minute.
I love that I can do the work at home. The orders pay very well. You also aren’t penalized for missing orders that pop up. I love how well we can communicate with our customers during the process. Everything is very simple and there is a training video for everything! Love this app!
Tough to get started
I was so excited about this job. However for your first pickup you have to do it pretty much immediately. They only show one pick up a day so if you’re at work and can’t get there pretty quick you can’t take it but then no other pick up comes up for that day. So I’m sure it’s great if you have nothing else to do but wait to get a pick up. But otherwise it’s impossible for a new Sudster to get started. And after you spent $100 on supplies and can’t get one pickup it’s kinda pointless. Also it’s not like you have time to wait til you get an order then run around looking for the stuff so idk doesn’t seem good for someone starting out. It’ll actually cost you money you won’t get back.
Driving and time consuming if your going to be working for SudShare it’s best to have a partner especially with orders 45 lbs or better makes things so much faster! I work from sun up to sun down there’s a lot of work that goes into this and you hope your Customers appreciate you and Tip handsomely.
Wacky rating system
Working with Sudshare allows you to create your own schedule and you can work from home. It’s also flexible in that you can pick how far you are willing to drive for an order. A downside though is that customers don’t always rate and tip and the system is point based. If you don’t receive a tip or the tip is low, you get a smaller amount of points. Those with more points receive more orders so not receiving a tip can slow down your advancement to the next rank.As some advice to management, I do not think the points we get should be based off the til we receive. Not everyone feels that they have to tip and tipping isn’t a reflection of how well we do our job.
They make it possible to have access to your pay faster as you progress if you receive positive reviews and for whatever reason the amount your tipped affects your ranking and ultimately you’re access to your earnings. But one judgmental unkind person says anything even remotely negative, you lose all the progress you made to eventually get access to payments even before you complete the job! Wacky!
Orders for new people are only one by one and its taking time to get more orders altogether but there’s a system that makes sure you rank up quickly. So its a learning curve but not a big Con.
Excellent experience with training and from everyone I’ve dealt with for these first few weeks I’ve been working as a Sudster. I’ve found the training and app steps insightful, responsive, upbeat and professional. Thumbs up all around! But I’ve experienced orders that are reported as a few number of bags, only to find out at pickup that it’s a much larger order than expected. I also find the compensation doesn’t always match the amount of travel, time and effort required to fulfill an order.