Postmates Driver Review: Pros, Cons, and What to Expect
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When it comes to signing up for one of the many apps that deliver dinner, groceries, or even your dry cleaning, there’s no shortage of companies claiming you’ll make money fast with their service.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell which opportunities are going to give you the most bang for your buck and which ones will leave you sitting around twiddling your thumbs.
If you’re looking to try working for a delivery service that you can get started with easily and in almost no time, consider giving Postmates a shot.
In this Postmates review, you’ll get the low down on everything you need to start and succeed with this straightforward food delivery service — without any of the gimmicky sales pitch.
What Is Postmates?
You may have heard about it but if you’ve never used it, Postmates is a delivery company that’s been around since 2011 with the purpose of allowing anyone to have anything delivered at anytime.
Yes, literally anything.
From Pedialyte to cure your new year’s day hangover to $1,000 worth of Taco Bell, the Postmates fleet will deliver whatever your heart desires.
How to Make Money Delivering Food for Postmates
This is great news for side hustlers because all those orders means the need for a lot of Postmates drivers, or couriers, as they’re sometimes called.
Being a Postmates driver can be a pretty sweet gig. You’re paid for miles traveled, time spent waiting to pick up orders, and how many orders you’re able to complete in an hour. That’s in addition to keeping 100% of your tips.
Postmates delivery is now available in all 50 states and over 400 cities in the U.S. and Mexico so there’s a pretty good chance it’s in your area and there are only three requirements to becoming a courier:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- Own a smartphone with the Postmates Fleet app downloaded
- Pass a Postmates background check
There are no vehicle requirements so you can deliver by car, bike, scooter, or even on foot. And Postmates sends you everything you need to deliver including a free insulated delivery bag and prepaid card.
How to Apply for Postmates
You can sign up to be a Postmates courier by simply visiting the website or mobile app and clicking “Join the Fleet.” You’ll be taken to the application where you’ll create your free account and verify your identity.
Postmates will need some basic information like your address, phone number, a profile picture, and driver’s license number (if you’re delivering by car.) Then you’ll wait for your welcome packet — including the insulated bag and card — to arrive in a few days.
To authorize your background check, activate and link your Postmates Prepaid Card. Once your background check is complete and passed, you’re ready to immediately hop online and begin accepting deliveries.
Delivering For Postmates – How It Works
Unlike other services, there’s no scheduling function in the Postmates app so going online is as easy as sliding a little white dot to the right. You’ll then be alerted at the bottom of your screen when a new delivery request becomes available, simply tap “Accept” to take the delivery.
You can also sign up for “auto accept” to have the next delivery offer automatically assigned to you.
The Fleet app will show you a map with the quickest route to your destination. When you arrive the order will usually already be placed and waiting for you but if you need to place it yourself you’re still paid for the time you wait.
Then, if the order isn’t already paid for, you’ll pay for everything using the prepaid card. You’ll then take a clear picture of the receipt, enter the total order amount and deliver it to your awaiting purchaser.
How Postmates Pays
Postmates couriers get paid weekly via direct deposit for deliveries made Monday through Sunday of the previous week. Payments typically post by Wednesday or Thursday.
If you need your earnings earlier you can enable “Instant Deposit” from the Fleet App and select “Cash Out” to withdraw your earning at anytime.
For each order, Postmates guarantees a minimum payout before tips. There are also incentives and bonuses on top of that for “Blitz” pricing, every minute you wait for an order, and every mile you travel to deliver.
Rates fluctuate based on location but for most places the minimum is $4. Base pay for every pickup and dropoff is upwards of $1.00 each. For every minute you’re waiting for an order you can add an additional $0.10 and once you leave the restaurant, each mile traveled to the drop off location is roughly an additional $0.60.
And Postmates drivers always keep 100% of tips. Once a driver completes a delivery, the customer receives a notification asking them to tip and isn’t able to place another Postmates order until they take action on tipping in their app. It takes at least 24 hours for tips to show up in the Fleet dashboard.
Ever wonder the nitty gritty details you won’t find in the Postmates FAQ? We talked to David Hopkins, a Postmates driver in St. Petersburg, FL to get the scoop on some commonly asked questions about delivering for Postmates.
How much money can I make working for Postmates?
“Short trips are usually $4 per order. But if it’s like a longer trip it can range maybe from $5 to $8,” Hopkins said.
He has a full-time job but said Postmates is a great way to make money before his afternoon shifts.
You can even deliver in cities outside of the one you sign up in. This is great if you’re bored on a work trip or want to explore a city you’re vacationing in.
In general, most Postmates drivers end up earning somewhere between $10-20 per hour depending on many different variables, including location, average order size, and time of day.
Do I have to pay taxes on my Postmates earnings?
As an independent contractor, Postmates doesn’t withhold any taxes from your earnings so come tax time, you — or a tax professional — will have to figure out what you owe. But this could work to your advantage.
Since you’re covering 100% of your own business costs you can often claim them as deductions in your Postmates delivery business.
Some things you can expect to deduct include mileage, tolls, and parking fees. You can also partially deduct items you use both personally and for your Postmates business including cell phone, car insurance, maintenance, repairs, car loan interest, registration fees, and depreciation.
How can I maximize working for Postmates?
When asked how he maximizes his Postmates earnings, Hopkins said: “Treat your customers right, get their order right, and accept every order you can get.” But there are a few ways to go above and beyond that too.
Work in Hot Spots. These are areas in your market that have the best chance of getting delivery requests. They’re shaded in oranges and red in the Fleet app, the darker the shade the busier the area, and they become visible after you complete your first delivery in a city.
Go online during peak hours. Not only does this assure you the best chance for getting delivery requests, delivery prices might increase in what Postmates calls “Blitz” pricing. These times are usually every day from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch orders, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. for dinner orders (this is the busiest time of the day,) and anytime on the weekend.
You can get ahead of the game by turning on Blitz notifications to receive a text from Postmates when Blitz pricing is in effect in your area.
Maximize your opportunity for tips. Smiling, saying “thank you,” and using the customer’s name all go a long way to make them feel good and potentially in the mood to tip better. When things don’t go as planned, communicate with customers to let them know an item is unavailable or there’s delay due to traffic.
Working fast. Postmates offers a “Crushers” bonus, meaning if you complete a certain number of deliveries within a set period of time, you can earn an additional payout bonus.
How does Postmates compare to Uber Eats or DoorDash?
As opposed to Uber Eats, where the restaurant will always get the order, a Postmates courier may occasionally have to put an order in at a restaurant. This means a slightly higher incentive for the Postmates driver who gets about $0.10 per minute of wait time but may limit the total number of deliveries a driver can do in their shift.
DoorDash requires drivers to schedule shifts whereas Postmates drivers can go online anytime.
And finally, drivers report that Postmates is the most tipping friendly of the three, automatically calculating and suggesting a 20% tip within the app.
Is Working for Postmates Stressful?
Being a Postmates delivery driver (or any gig economy worker) can be demanding, but more often, it’s a fun way to explore whatever city you find yourself in while making a little extra spending money.
Hopkins delivers on a 50cc scooter and says if you can manage your schedule right it’s more enjoyable than stressful.
“Most of the time it is fun, it just depends on the traffic,” he said. “You get to meet so many new people and I’ve found so many new restaurants that I didn’t know existed.”
Try It Out Yourself and See How It Compares
If you’re considering a food delivery service and want to get started ASAP, Postmates should definitely be on your list.
With no extensive orientation, no vehicle requirements, and instant access to “going online,” making money with Postmates is quick and easy compared to the variety of other delivery services out there.