Looking for a side hustle or a full-time gig to earn some extra money? If you have been looking for either of the two, then becoming a Postmates delivery driver may be a good choice.
In this guide, I will be answering all the questions you might have about being a Postmates delivery driver and giving you tips in our Postmates Driver Reviews guide on how to succeed should you choose to venture into delivering for Postmates.
Started in 2011, Postmates is one of the biggest on-demand food delivery platforms in the United States. In December 2020, Uber, the rideshare service, completed their acquisition of Postmates. Postmates relies on a mobile delivery app and GPS for both drivers and customers.
Apart from food deliveries, customers can also order essentials from stores, like groceries (similar to a service like Instacart).
Due to the convenience and the increasing popularity of this service, Postmates is always recruiting or accepting applications for new delivery drivers. So what’s required to become a Postmates delivery driver?
Requirements for Being a Postmates Delivery Driver
If you’re considering being a Postmates delivery driver you might be wondering what the application process is like. It’s pretty simple and you don’t need any special qualifications.
First things first, you need to be of legal age and you also need a valid driver’s license, along with an insured vehicle. If you don’t have a car or truck, you may be able to deliver using a bike or scooter, however, this may limit your range of delivery jobs.
How to Sign Up
If you meet the above requirements then you can go ahead and sign up using Postmates easy-to-use sign-up process.
First, you need to download the Postmates Fleet app on your device (not the normal Postmates app used for ordering). After you have downloaded the Fleet app, you can sign up using an email. You will be required to provide personal details like your name, location, and a photo of your face among other personal details such as your social security number and date of birth.
When this is done, review the Fleet agreement to authorize a background check, add a bank account through which you will be paid via direct deposit, and wait for your starter bag to arrive, which consists of an insulated hot/cold delivery bag and your Postmates card (a prepaid card). Once your bag has arrived, you only need to link your Postmates debit card to your Fleet account.
After this, you’re good to go as a Fleet driver independent contractor and ready to accept deliveries and start earning.
How Much Does Postmates Pay its Delivery Drivers?
The pay can vary greatly from one delivery driver to another. This is because, with Postmates, there are a lot of factors that will influence the amount of money you earn. If you are in a busy zone, for instance, you will earn more than another driver who is in a slower zone. Postmates no longer offers blitz pricing as an incentive to drivers.
The hours of the day you’re working also influence how much you earn. Picking hot spot hours around lunch and dinner time will get you more traffic than any other time of the day. It’s important to remember that sometimes it will take you a while to get an order while other days may be fast-moving.
With this in mind, estimates that averaged six drivers’ pay for about 36 months showed that they earned roughly $10 to $11 an hour in the United States. Of course, where they were working and how often also plays into this. Either way, this is nowhere near the estimates that the app advertises to new drivers.
Make Money 101: Tips on How to Maximize Your Earnings When Working as a Postmates Delivery Driver
Your goal should be to earn as much of a payout as you can each time you go online. To do this, you need to know how to best make the system work for you.
Here are tips on how to maximize your earnings as a delivery person on Postmates.
Understand Your Zone
Even if you don’t order take-out often you will need to know where the restaurants are if you want to make more money. This saves you a lot of time when it comes to navigating your way around.
You can still rely on the GPS but knowing the area before your deliveries will be a lifesaver. Knowing your city also means you know where orders are most likely to pop up.
Something else that will boost your income considerably when you are a Postmates delivery driver is the tips you get from customers. Customers are not obliged to tip you but any amount will add up over time. Whether you get tipped through the app or via cash, Postmates won’t ever touch your tip money.
While tips are not guaranteed, you should do everything you can to increase the likelihood of getting your tips. This means great customer service. No one will want to tip you if your service or delivery is poor. Here are a few things that will help you:
- Always make sure you get your order right. When you pick up a customer’s order, double-check to ensure everything is there.
- Keep your customer updated. You are not obliged to but always update your customer on the progress of the delivery. When you pick up the order, notify the customer that you have picked up their food and give them an estimated waiting time for your arrival.
- Get them extra condiments, napkins, and straws if you can.
When you do these things, your customers will always be satisfied and more likely to tip you. If you don’t get tipped, however, just continue to the next order. As I said before, tips are not guaranteed. You just have to keep doing the best you can to make your customers happy.
Set Your Delivery Schedule Around Peak Hours
Some times of day are busier than others. When you decide to do Postmates deliveries, you should know the peak hours in your area. Mostly, people tend to order around lunch and dinner hours.
These are the best times to be online. If you’re planning on delivering for Postmates part-time, you can be online during lunch and dinner hours and do something else during the slow hours. This is the best way to maximize your overall earnings.
Look out for peak hours too, which is when the app identifies an area to be ordering more frequently than usual.
Postmates allows you to accept multiple orders. Instead of making one delivery at a time, you can stack your orders. This is especially great if the orders you have stacked are on the same delivery route. Even if they aren’t though, there is an hour-long delivery window so as long as you meet each order within the allotted time you won’t have any problems.
Be Aware of the Hot Zones
On the Postmates Fleet app, hot zones are always indicated on the map. Postmates uses collected data to present areas that are most likely to be busy: the darker the area the busier it’s likely to be.
You should hang out in these areas if you want to get more orders.
Know Which Orders to Accept and Which Ones to Skip
Some orders are not worth accepting as they take up a lot of time and resources. Orders too far from you will cost you more. Postmates doesn’t pay for the time it takes for you to make a delivery. This means that the cost of the journey to and from the pick-up point are on you.
Orders to pick up items from a supermarket will often take a lot more of your time as you try to locate the items the customer wants. This is time you are not compensated for so it’s sometimes wiser to skip these orders.
Keep Your Costs Low
Make sure you deliver at the lowest possible cost. For a Postmates delivery vehicle, a fuel-efficient and reliable car is the best choice. The less you’re paying for tolls, refueling, maintenance, and repairs, the better. Apart from cars, Postmates offers other delivery vehicle options like bikes and scooters — but only in certain areas.
When it comes to taxes, you can write many of your expenses off, like your phone bill or gas. This applies to mileage too if you can successfully track it.
The Postmates app also has some discounts and perks you can take advantage of.
Pros and Cons of Being a Postmates Driver
Now that you know how to earn with Postmates, you might be wondering whether delivering with Postmates is a worthy venture. Let’s lay down the pros and cons of being a Postmates driver.
You Get to Pick Your Schedule
When working as a Postmates delivery driver, you get to decide when you want to deliver and for how long you want to. This means you can do other things alongside food delivery, which usually isn’t the case when you’re working at other jobs.
This gives you the option to only work during peak hours where you will earn the most money, or if you prefer, only during your off-hours.
As you get to decide what time to work, being a Postmates delivery driver makes for a perfect side hustle. If you’re looking for something you can do on the side to boost your income, being a Postmates is an ideal opportunity because of its flexible nature.
Normally, Postmates will deposit your earnings into your account on a weekly basis for free. However, if you need cash fast, you take advantage of their daily cashouts. The only downside of this is that you will have to pay a small fee every time you withdraw early. But, if you are stuck and you need some cash fast, Postmates is a quick source of money.
If you’re working as a Postmates driver, you can write some things off, including your phone bill and your mileage as it pertains to your deliveries.
As I already mentioned before, customer tips are not guaranteed but they go a long way in boosting your Postmates earnings. With Postmates, you get to keep 100% of your tips whether they are cash or through the app.
Lower Service Fee in Comparison to Other Apps
Postmates charges less of a service fee than other platforms offering the same service. While UberEats’ service fee is said to be 25%, reports show that it can be as high as 35%.
Postmates, on the other hand, will only take up to 20% of the delivery fee, which is noticeably smaller.
Sometimes you will get bonuses per delivery in certain areas during peak hours. This usually happens around holidays or big events.
Inconsistencies in Pay
The biggest downside of being a Postmates is that the income you make is highly inconsistent. There is no way to know for sure how much money you will make in a given week or month.
There is no way to predict whether you make a lot or only a little each time you start. This may make being a Postmates delivery driver unreliable as a primary source of income. If you’re looking for a career, then delivering for Postmates may not be ideal.
Instead, Postmates is better if you’re only looking for something on the side or if you are in between jobs as you look for your next main gig.
Postmates doesn’t take care of your car maintenance or refueling and the more you drive your car the more likely it is to break down. This means you have to set aside more money to service your car and keep it in good shape.
You will also use a lot of fuel that will eat at your income. These are important things you have to keep in mind.
Customers are free to order almost anything from anywhere and some of these orders can be complicated and time-consuming for the delivery driver. Orders where you need to go into supermarkets and pick a list of things, for instance, can take up a lot of time.
On good days you can afford to skip these types of orders but on slower days, you may have no option which can be frustrating.
Postmates Delivery Driver FAQ
How is a Postmates Delivery Driver Payment Calculated?
This is one of the most common questions people have when considering working for Postmates. So, how does Postmates calculate delivery drivers’ payments? Well, there’s an algorithm that calculates basic pay per order, the waiting time, as well as the distance between the pick-up point and the drop-off.
For every order you pick up, you earn a base pay* of $1.35, $0.10 for every minute you wait at the restaurant, and $1.03 for every mile you drive—however, this may vary per city you deliver—to deliver the order from the pick-up location to the drop off location. Then Postmates takes 20% of the delivery fee, so you are left with 80% plus any tips you make.
(*Please note that this payment structure may change, especially since Uber has acquired Postmates.)
How Much Money Can I Make as a Postmates Delivery Driver?
As I mentioned earlier, earnings with Postmates can be highly inconsistent. Postmates, however, estimates that you can make anywhere from $18 to $25 per hour. However, many drivers have reported that number is closer to $10 to $18 per hour.
Do I Need a Car to Deliver for Postmates?
Generally speaking, no, you don’t need a car to sign up as a Postmates driver. Postmates allows you to deliver using a bike, a scooter, a truck, or a minivan too. This makes it versatile and accommodating to people who may not afford a car or don’t want to incur maintenance costs for a car.
Some cities are set up in a way that non-motor vehicles are great for making deliveries. However, cars are ideal for cities or other areas that are spread out.
Is Doordash a better alternative?
When considering food delivery services, one cannot overlook the OG in food delivery: Doordash.
Doordash is a decent alternative if you’ve decided being a Postmates courier is not for you.
You can read more about how to become a Doordash driver here.
In Conclusion, is being a Postmates Driver worth it?
Working as a delivery driver for Postmates may not be the highest paying job out there but it’s a great way to earn extra income on the side. It’s also a great idea if you don’t have a job at the moment and you are looking for something to do as you continue your search.
Ultimately, Postmates is easy to sign up for and doesn’t require any special qualifications. You will be able to make a little more than minimum wage in most states and you can work on your own time.
We hope this Postmates Driver Review helps you to decide if Postmates is the right choice for you.