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.
Some have an easy application process, offer flexible hours, and can earn you a good amount of money. One of those apps is Postmates.
In this Postmates driver review, you’ll get all the information you need to start and succeed with this food delivery service.
What Is Postmates?
Postmates is an on-demand delivery service that’s been around since 2011. Its purpose is to serve anyone needing anything delivered at any time. From Pedialyte for your sick infant to late-night fast food, a Postmates fleet will deliver whatever you need.
Postmates delivery is available in all 50 states and over 400 cities in the U.S. and Mexico. This means there’s a good chance it’s in your area.
If you’d like to become a Fleet member, there are only three requirements:
- 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; you can deliver by car, bike, scooter, or even on foot. And Postmates sends you the supplies you need to deliver food including a free insulated delivery bag and prepaid card.
Postmates claims that on top of earning money for delivery, you’ll also earn money for miles traveled, time spent waiting to pick-up orders, and how many orders you complete in an hour. And you get to keep 100% of your tips. However, while many drivers report enjoying the flexibility and scheduling autonomy, others feel the pay is too low for the work involved and that the wear and tear on your car isn’t worth it.
Postmates is an app-based delivery service available in all 50 states and Mexico. Signing up as a driver is a quick and easy process. It's possible to earn good money, but you will need to hustle to do so.Show Hide more
- Easy to get started
- Flexible schedule
- Instant pay option
- Keep 100% of tips
- Low pay
- Long wait times at restaurants
- Wear and tear on vehicle
Working for Postmates Review: How to Make Money with the App
If you’re interested in delivering food for Postmates, here’s what you need to know about how to apply, how it works, and how you get paid.
How to apply for Postmates
You can sign up to be a Postmates courier by 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 prepaid card, to arrive.
Note, however, some markets do not require a Postmates card. In those instances, you won’t receive your welcome packet until you’ve completed your first delivery order.
To authorize your background check, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number and date of birth. You’ll also need to activate and link your Postmates prepaid card, upload a selfie, and download the app. Once that’s initiated, you just need to wait for an email with the next steps and instructions.
Once you’ve completed and passed your background check and received your welcome packet, you can start accepting delivery orders.
Delivering for Postmates: How it works
Unlike other services, there’s no scheduling function in the Postmates app. You just need to swipe right on the white dot to receive alerts for new delivery requests and 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.
If the order isn’t already paid for, you’ll pay for everything using your prepaid Postmates card. 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 any time.
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 drop off is upwards of $1.00 each. For every minute you’re waiting for an order, you can add an additional $0.10. 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.
Although it seems like it’s easy to sign up and start making money as a Postmates delivery driver, there are still a few things you need to know.
How much money can I make working for Postmates?
In general, most Postmates drivers end up earning between $10-20 per hour depending on variables including location, average order size, and time of day. David Hopkins, a Postmates driver in St. Petersburg, FL, works a full-time job but delivers for Postmates as a way to make money before his afternoon shifts.
“Short trips are usually $4 per order. But if it’s a longer trip, it can range maybe from $5 to $8,” Hopkins said.
You can even deliver with Postmates outside of the original city you register in. This can be a great way to earn extra money during downtime on a work trip or while traveling in a different city.
Do I have to pay taxes on my Postmates earnings?
As an independent contractor, Postmates doesn’t withhold any taxes from your earnings. That means at 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 deduct them on your taxes. This includes things like mileage, tolls, and parking fees. You can also partially deduct items you use both personally and for your Postmates business, like your cell phone or car insurance.
How can I maximize working for Postmates?
To ensure you make the most delivering for Postmates, there are a few things you can do:
- Work in hot spots. These are areas in your market that have the best chance of getting delivery requests. You can find them on the Fleet app shaded in orange and red, and the darker the shade, the busier the area. They become visible after you complete your first delivery in a city.
- Go online during peak hours. Delivery prices tend to increase during 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. to 8:30 p.m. for dinner orders (this is the busiest time of the day), and any time on the weekend. To ensure you receive orders during Blitz pricing, turn on your notifications. This way, you’ll receive a text when it goes into effect in your area.
- Maximize your opportunity for tips. Smiling, saying “thank you,” and using the customer’s name can all impact the size of your tip. When things don’t go as planned, communicate with customers to let them know an item is unavailable or there’s a delay due to traffic. Lack of communication, rudeness, or lateness might mean zero tips, and you definitely don’t want that.
- 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.
Hopkins also advises to treat your customers right, get their order right, and accept every order you can get.
How does Postmates compare to Uber Eats and DoorDash?
While there are similarities among these popular delivery apps, there are also a few differences.
For example, with Uber Eats, a restaurant will always receive the order online. With Postmates, the courier may have to place the order. This means a slightly higher incentive for the Postmates driver who earns about $0.10 per minute of wait time. However, if it happens often enough, it may limit the total number of deliveries a driver can make during their shift.
With DoorDash, drivers must schedule shifts, whereas Postmates drivers can go online and pick up orders at any time.
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 your city while making a little extra money.
Hopkins delivers on a 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.”
Postmates Driver Review Summary: Try It Out for 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.
Be aware, though, that it can be difficult to earn money, especially in oversaturated markets. If that’s the case, try to be efficient with your deliveries. Pick peak times, communicate with your customers, and cluster your deliveries. If you do those things, Postmates could be a great side hustle for you.