On-demand delivery services, like Postmates (which this review is about) are hugely popular these days.
Not only do they help people get their stuff delivered faster and cheaper, they also enable anyone with a car to make money in their downtime.
When you sign up with Postmates as a courier, you can make money by picking up and delivering items to people throughout the city.
The company claims you can make up to $25 per hour working on your own schedule.
But, is this really the case for the average driver?
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Can you really make good money delivering food?
Let’s find out…
What is Postmates?
At its core, Postmates is an on-demand food delivery service, although according to the company, you can have “just about anything” delivered.
Some refer to it as the Uber of food delivery, even though as we mentioned, there is more to the service than food delivery.
Customers go through the app and order items they’d like to have delivered.
These items may include restaurant foods, fast food, coffee, alcohol, and clothing.
Some have even put in orders for their dry cleaning to be picked up and delivered.
You can work as one of the drivers who picks items up and delivers them, for a fee.
Currently, it is only available in select markets throughout the U.S., but it is growing as its popularity increases.
Some of the biggest markets it’s available in include:
- District of Columbia
- Northern California
- Southern California
Now, it’s important to note that this is not some get rich quick gimmick for overnight wealth and instant success.
It is a platform on which you can build a steady stream of income.
How does Postmates Work?
The process is simply really:
- Customer places an order via the app.
- You (the driver) get all the info including pickup and drop of address.
- You buy the item with a prepaid debit card (give to you by the company) and deliver it.
- You get paid!
For those interested in more details, basically customers log into the app and put in a request for items they would like to have delivered according to what is available in a particular city.
Once the order is placed by customers, it will appear in the Postmates app along with information on the location of the pickup and drop off.
After you accept the job, the app will typically place the order while you are in transit.
This means the items are ready to pick up when you arrive at the designated pickup location.
There are times when this is not possible. On these occasions, you may be required to wait in line and place the order yourself.
You will pay with a prepaid debit card provided to you by Postmates and then make the delivery.
You get paid a fee for the delivery which varies according to the location and difficulty of the job and may receive tips from highly satisfied customers.
Getting started is pretty simple.
The application process is conducted online and involves you providing a few details, such as the following:
- City You Would Like to Serve
- Driver’s License Information
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- Type of Device You Will be Using
- Vehicle Type (Car, Scooter, Truck, Motorcycle, Van, Bicycle, Walker)
Once you have provided all the pertinent information you will be asked to complete a fleet agreement and go through a background check before loading a profile picture.
When your background check is approved you will receive a welcome kit, which includes a prepaid debit card that you use to pay for the items you pick up and deliver.
You are now able to download the free Postmates app and begin accepting deliveries.
How much money can you make as a Postmates courier?
The delivery rates vary for each job and include the following:
- Base Rate of Pay Per Leg
- Per Minute Rate for Waiting at Pickup Location
- Per Mile Rate for distance between Pick up and Drop Off Locations
- Applicable Blitz Bonuses
Couriers also get to keep 100 percent of their tips!
Payouts are made within four to seven business days (Monday through Friday) of delivery completion via direct deposit.
Keep in mind that your bank may have a processing time of 24-72 hours for direct deposits in addition to the four to seven days the company takes to process payments.
The company advertises that drivers can earn up to $25 per hour, but hourly rates will vary according to the location where you’re working, volume of deliveries, and tips earned.
While researching for this post, I came across a few posts from actual drivers sharing their experiences and how much they are making.
Here are a few:
- Las Vegas – $14 to $15 per hour: A driver in Las Vegas reports earning an average of $14 to $15 an hour with good days earning up to $19 per hour and $11 per hour on bad days.
- Las Vegas – $19.50 per hour: Another Las Vegas area driver reports earning $21 per hour before gas and $19.5 per hour after gas. This figure includes tips, which he claims account for 36 percent of his pay.
- Seattle – $13 to $18 per hour: One Seattle driver reports earning between $13 and $18 hourly depending on the day.
- Los Angeles – $16 to $20 per hour: A Los Angeles, West Side, driver reports earning between $16 and $20 per hour while a driver in Louisville reports earning between $12 and $15 per hour.
The bottom line is that pay for drivers vary greatly from one city to the next.
Make more money with Postmates with these tips
The key with any job like this is to find ways to boost your income so you earn more money for your time.
After all, there are only a limited number of hours in a day.
These tips will help you make the most of those limited hours.
1. Choose your times wisely
For instance, rush hour might not be the best time to work.
Deliveries will take longer meaning you can work fewer deliveries into the time you’re working.
Additionally, restaurants are busier during certain times of day which can result in delays fulfilling your orders which has the same effect – fewer deliveries and less income.
Also consider that lunch hour may be a time when more deliveries are available.
If you can work multiple deliveries into a small radius by bicycle, you may be able to boost your income since you won’t have to worry about parking, gas, and traditional traffic concerns.
2. Take advantage of Blitz Bonuses
Blitz bonuses offer you an opportunity to boost your income above and beyond the standard rate for deliveries, and can be quite lucrative.
3. Be selective in delivery jobs you accept
Restaurants located in areas that have limited parking, require payment for parking, or require you to do shopping or to wait for orders to become available are more time consuming and/or costly.
For these reasons, they may not be worth your while.
That is especially the case if your primary focus is in improving your hourly rate allowing you to make more money in fewer hours.
4. Accept multiple deliveries in the same area when available
By accepting multiple deliveries, you can work more jobs into an hour, substantially boosting your hourly rates.
5. Consider unconventional requests
Sometimes, the unconventional requests may bring in bigger tips.
It’s a gamble, but going the extra mile may net you bigger rewards from satisfied customers.
6. Working for Postmates Reddit
I’am a big fan of Reddit. It has hundreds of active subreddits that cover almost anything you can think of.
One of those is /r/postmates.
Here, users talk about everything Postmates related – personal experiences, tips and tricks for earning more, and so on.
If you are serious about making money as a delivery person for this company, be sure to keep an eye on this forum.
The benefit of working with this app
Of course, you are probably wondering what it is that makes this company in particular an attractive option for earning income to so many people.
There are many benefits that make working with this company a good option.
Some of the main benefits include:
- No passengers: This means you don’t have quite the stringent condition requirements for your vehicle that jobs like Uber and Lyft require and you don’t have to deal with strangers in your personal vehicle.
- Work your own hours: One of the best things about it is that you can choose to work at any time of the day or night. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean there are always jobs available at these hours.
- Work in any market: Once you are approved to be a courier, you can work in any available market. This means you can take your work on the go if you travel frequently.
- A car is not required: Many courier and delivery services require couriers to have some sort of passenger vehicle. Couriers with Postmates can deliver by bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, or on foot if you so desire.
- App encourages tipping: This is a big deal for drivers who earn a fair portion of their income in the form of tips.
Postmates isn’t the only service of this type available.
You may be able to maximize your income by working for multiple services simultaneously.
Of course, you need to be quite familiar with the area to effectively juggle pickups and deliveries for multiple locations in larger cities.
Here are a few other apps like Postmates to make money with:
You may not get rich making deliveries but you can earn a nice second income if you choose your hours wisely and take advantage of the tips mentioned above to maximize your income.
I’d love to hear from you, especially if you are (or have been) working with Postmates.
How was your experience?
How much are you making?
Would you recommend it?
And if you haven’t worked with them yet, has this Postmates review given you enough reasons to sign up?