In most countries, taxi drivers are not too high up on the socio-economic food chain. In other words, taxi drivers don’t typically get paid very much for what they do.
When people want to get from point A to point B, they usually want to do it for as cheaply as possible. So they haggle with the taxi drivers over the cab fare. This puts further pressure on how much the driver ultimately gets paid. Overall, it’s not a good situation being a taxi driver.
So what’s an aspiring taxi driver to do if he wants to move up the economic ladder? The most obvious answer may be for him to save his money to buy his own cab. That way, he can keep more of what he earns. But how long would that take?
Well, let’s see… I am currently in Thailand writing this article so let’s use taxi drivers in Thailand as an example. Most taxis here are Toyota Corollas. A Corolla in Thailand costs roughly $25,000 US Dollars. That’s a big sum of money by most world standards. It’s a princely sum in Thailand, where the per capita income is considerably lower than the USA and other first world countries.
It costs me roughly 60 baht or $2 USD to take a cab from the Grand Palace to my hotel on Petchburi Road. Distance wise, it’s not far, about a few kilometers depending on which route you take. But traffic wise, it can take an hour. If you have ever experienced Bangkok traffic, you would understand. So the worst case is that the taxi driver would gross $2 USD per hour. If he works 10 hours per day, he would make $20 gross. Subtract his cost for gas, and he isn’t left with very much. It would take a long, long time to save enough money to buy his own car.
So what is plan B for an enterprising taxi driver? How about affiliate marketing?
Yes you read that right. A taxi driver can sign up to be an affiliate for jewelry stores, clothing stores, souvenir stores, travel agencies, and restaurants. Each store pays a flat fee of $5 per qualified lead. A qualified lead is defined as someone that the taxi driver literally drives to the store and drops off for a “quick look around.” The prospect does not have to buy anything for the taxi driver to get paid.
Does this sound like the Pay-Per-Lead programs that internet marketers see online?
In the real or offline world, traffic is literal. Here is how the numbers would work out for the taxi driver:
Drive tourist to jewelry store –> commission = $5;
Drive tourist to tailor store –> commission = $5;
Drive tourist to souvenir store –> commission = $5;
Drive tourist to travel agency –> commission = $5;
Drive tourist to restaurant –> commission = $5;
Charge tourist “reduced” fare –> $1.
Total amount earned = $26.
Compare this number to the $2 that the driver would normally earn by driving the tourist simply from point A to point B.
So yes, taxi drivers can and do make excellent affiliate marketers.
One final note: most affiliate marketers in Bangkok drive Tuk-Tuk’s. They are a form of motorcycle on three wheels. Tuk-Tuk’s seat two people.
Taxi drivers typically warn tourists to stay away from Tuk-Tuk’s. Go figure.