Screenshot from 2016-02-10 09:31:38

You may have been involved in the “gig economy” in some form, whether it’s paying somebody on Fiverr to create a logo for your company or paying a neighbor boy to run an errand for you. However, sometimes you want something done that only takes a few minutes and isn’t really worth five bucks. In fact, you’d probably do it yourself if it wasn’t one of those little annoying tasks that you’ve been putting off because you have more important things to do. It might be something as simple as finding the best price on a flight to Washington, D.C., when you are wary of getting taken for a ride by an airline that is notorious for poor customer service. That’s where Bitfortip comes in.

How Bitfortip Works

  • Create an account. Fairly straighforward stuff. Just choose a username that hasn’t already been taken and a fairly secure password.

  • Fund it with Bitcoin. This is easiest if you can copy-and-paste the unique Bitcoin address assigned to your account. If you don’t have any Bitcoin yet and live in the U.S., you can download a wallet here and buy some Bitcoin here or, alternatively, make use of Localbitcoins at your own risk.

  • Ask your question. You just simply post it using the form on the right side of the main page. This is where you’ll have to decide how much getting your question answered is worth to you. Perhaps finding the best deal for a flight is worth .0025 Bitcoin – slightly less than US$1 in today’s Bitcoin prices. It’s up to you.

  • Wait a while. This gives other Bitfortip users time to come up with a good answer to your question. Because I’m a busy person, I finished up an article about the Blockchain that I was writing for another client while I waited for the first answers to come in.

  • Review the answers. Don’t forget to give the Bitcoin reward to the most useful answer. This gives users an incentive to provide better answers, which improves the Bitfortip community.

  • Don’t forget to download the Android app. The style of Bitfortip’s Android app looks a little like Instagram. It’s pretty useful for when you’re out shopping and you see something you want, but you also want to see whether you can get a cheaper price for it without visiting five or six different websites. Download it on Google Play now.

My Thoughts

From the asker’s perspective, Bitfortip is so simple and easy to use that a caveman could do it. So far, I’ve asked exactly two questions just based on a couple of topics I was curious about. The first asked where I might find the best deal on a trip to Washington, D.C., in mid-May. The other was where I could find a decent road-legal scooter for less than $1,000 including shipping costs if necessary. Neither of them have gotten very many answers, but then, Bitcointip appears to be fairly new and maybe just hasn’t had time to grow much yet.

Actually, looking around, I see that some questions got more answers than mine did. However, at least the answers I got pretty much stayed on topic. This may be a major concern if Bitfortip wants to get much farther than it already has. I could, for instance, wreck my reputation as an affiliate marketer by posting a lot of nonsensical spam links for travel sites like Great Value Vacations on the off chance of boosting my own travel fund by selling a few vacation packages. That kind of spam could discourage potential members who might legitimately be willing to reward a good answer to their question. How do you prevent members from posting “answers” that have nothing to do with the topic at hand?

It’s not really meant for big jobs, like writing an article or creating a decent logo. A typical tip isn’t much more than about 0.005 Bitcoin and you’re not going to get a research paper, complete with an MLA-style bibliography, for that price. However, my experience is that there are hidden deals in the nooks and crannies of the Internet that other Bitfortip members may be better than me at finding. Somebody found me a sweet-looking TaoTao scooter for $849 plus free shipping – definitely better than throwing $100+ down the drain for shipping on top of the sale price. Somebody found a $149 flight to Washington, D.C., with Spirit Airlines. I wasn’t that impressed with Spirit after the last time I (tried to) fly with that airline, but at least the Bitfortip members tried and could certainly save me a lot more money on my travel expenses than I spent on the tip. That’s assuming that I even decide to make the trip to Washington, D.C., for the Humans to Mars Summit this year.

I actually wouldn’t have been at all surprised if somebody mentioned a travel site such as CheapAir or Expedia, both of which accept Bitcoin, or maybe even BTCTrip, which accepts payments in Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin. Bitfortip is, after all, a website that uses Bitcoin and the Bitcoin community is pretty good about looking out for its own when it isn’t arguing about block sizes. Maybe nobody thought of it by the time I decided to choose the best answers.

The Bottom Line

This could get a little bit addictive if you’re one of those people who hates comparison shopping and wishes you could afford your own personal shopper. Bitfortip isn’t huge, but this is like crowdsourcing your Google searches and your online comparison shopping, basically. It’s what you do when you’ve found a product that costs $1,100 with shipping and you’d like to get that down to under $1,000, but have exhausted the limits of what you can find on your own. It’s also what you do when you just feel like calling it a night but know that you’re going to need answers by morning. As they say, work smarter, not harder, and give yourself permission to get a good night’s sleep while other people make a few lookups in the hope of earning that tip. And don’t forget to reward the answer that is most useful to you, because you’ll definitely be back for more and you want good answers.