Renan Gimenez is always trying to perfect his sales pitch. As an Uber driver in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, that’s not exactly required of him. But Gimenez also resells perfumes and other cosmetics products during his Uber rides. His car is his shop on wheels, and every ride is an opportunity.
Gimenez started his cosmetics side gig eight years ago. In the early days, he delivered his orders on motorcycle, and switched to a car two years later. Owning a car also allowed him to work as an Uber driver. He now works six days a week, taking Sundays off to spend time with his wife and three kids.
“Before I make my sales pitch, I try to break the ice with a comment about the beautiful weather or about how the year is going by so fast,” Gimenez told Rest of World. He then pulls out the catalog for the cosmetics brand he resells. His stockpile is conveniently positioned near the passenger’s feet, as well as in the glove compartment and in a cooler inside the trunk.
80% The rate of successful sales pitches Gimenez claims to make.
Gimenez previously had a different sales approach: He would dab some hand cream on passengers’ hands so they could see for themselves how well the product worked. This method worked fine until a woman reported him to Uber, claiming she had felt uncomfortable and unsafe. “I was blocked for 18 days,” Gimenez said. Uber only removed the ban when he sent them the link to his Instagram account, where he posts pictures of passengers with the products he’s sold them.
He’s become a better salesman over the years, Gimenez said — the customer service skills he learned as a teenager working the counter in his family’s bakery have helped. He said he now manages to secure a sale in eight out of every 10 rides. The Uber passengers aren’t his only customers; Gimenez also sells his products to employees at gas stations and in restaurants.
Gimenez’s daily routine
|6 a.m.||Wake up|
|7 a.m.||Drop off kids at school and wife at work|
|8 a.m.||Start driving for Uber|
|12 p.m.||Stop for lunch|
|2 p.m.||Pick up more passengers|
|11 p.m.||Return home|
“I love making passengers laugh and I have lots of fun myself,” he said. “I really enjoy what I do.”
Gimenez said he currently makes as much from reselling cosmetics as he does driving for Uber. Though his income from the ride-hailing platform is technically higher, the maintenance expenses for his car take a large chunk out of it. Working two gigs at once has allowed him to double his pay for the same number of hours.
The extra money also affords Gimenez more flexibility with his schedule. Occasionally, he ends work early, and takes his kids — aged 7 and 9 years — to the park. Once, he recalled, he had been driving with his daughter in the back seat. When he turned around, he found she had silently gone through his hand cream samples, and slathered them all over her hair.
Recently, he had a couple from Mexico in his Uber. “They were amazed by the perfumes and they loved my Instagram,” said Gimenez. “Of course they wanted a picture too, but I told them pictures are only for passengers who buy products.” The couple then bought two perfumes and a bottle of lotion, and paid with a $100 bill. Gimenez got to keep the change, and the couple got their snapshot with Brazil’s Uber cosmetics salesman.