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Recent events have changed the way people order food from restaurants and shop for groceries. If they weren’t already in high demand, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of food delivery apps.
This, of course, has created an excellent opportunity to drive, deliver food, and increase your earnings. Today, we’re here with the complete guide on how to do just that with Postmates, a prominent delivery app. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what you need to do to drive for Postmates.
- What Is Postmates?
- Why Drive for Postmates?
- How to Start Driving for Postmates
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Postmates?
Postmates is a delivery app that focuses on moving goods around cities. The Postmates delivery service is unique because it focuses on more than just restaurants and food. It allows for on-demand drop-off of any good from any store. That can include:
- Takeout food from a restaurant
- Alcohol from a liquor store
- Groceries from your local grocer
- Supplies from your local hardware store
Postmates is headquartered in San Francisco and was first founded in 2011. The service now not only exists in many major cities, such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Atlanta, but in more rural areas as well. You can use the Delivery Near Me feature to find out if Postmates exists in your area.
Why Drive for Postmates?
There are a couple reasons why you may want to consider becoming a Postmates courier. For one, you take home 100% of what you earn every time you complete a delivery. The customer pays delivery fees, which go directly into your pocket. This is not necessarily the case with other food delivery services.
The company is very transparent about the deliveries that its drivers make. After each delivery, you’ll see a clear breakdown of how much you earned and how this figure was calculated. You can elect to receive direct deposits to your bank account weekly or cash out instantly as soon as you complete a task.
There is also an incredible amount of flexibility that comes with being a delivery driver for Postmates. You set your own schedule, allowing you to build your working hours around previous time commitments. Do you want to work full-time? Feel free to do so. Do you only have a few hours to spare on weekends but are looking for a convenient side hustle to pad your bank account? No problem.
Postmates also stands out because it invests in its workers. Although you are considered an independent contractor, the company offers a Career Launchpad to its Fleet members. The Launchpad makes career advancement and opportunities for upward mobility accessible.
How to Start Driving for Postmates
Getting started as a Postmates driver is straightforward. You’ll first visit the Fleet Signup page. You can do so via the company’s website or the Postmates app, available for iPhone and Android smartphone devices. Note that the Postmates Fleet App is designed for its drivers. Postmates customers use a different app to place their orders.
Upon completing signup, you’ll need to provide some personal information, a phone number, and a driver’s license. The company will use this information to complete a background check. There is no cost associated with signing up.
If you pass the background check successfully, you can begin working as a Postmates delivery driver. You’ll receive an answer within three days as to whether your application was accepted.
If your application is accepted, the company will send you a warming bag and a prepaid credit card that you can use when you pick up orders for customers. From there, you’re set to begin driving. Unfortunately, you’re on your own when it comes to learning how to use the app. Postmates does not offer much of a training program to its drivers.
When you’re ready to begin accepting orders, log in to the app and indicate that you’d like to “Go Online.” This means that you are working and willing to accept orders. Because you set your own hours, you can toggle this switch on and off any time you’d like. The app displays “Hot Spots” so that you can determine whether it’s a worthwhile time to be active.
When an available delivery comes in, your phone will buzz to alert you. You can then choose to accept or decline the delivery. The app displays where the pickup location is. However, it does not indicate the:
- Wait time for the food
- Price of the order
- Drop off location
As you can imagine, these factors can tremendously influence your final payout and it’s unfortunate that you’re not aware of them before you accept an order. For instance, you earn $1 for a pickup and delivery. But if the delivery is 30 minutes away from the pickup location and you get stuck in traffic, you’re not compensated for this time.
Similarly, if a delivery takes you way outside of a “Hot Spot,” you don’t receive payment for getting back to a pickup zone. And, if you arrive at a restaurant and you have to wait for food, you don’t receive money for the time you spent waiting. All of these things could lower your hourly earnings wage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still on the fence about whether you should drive for Postmates? Consider some of the most commonly asked questions about working for the app.
1. How much can Postmates drivers make?
The answer depends on different factors, but most Postmates drivers make between $12 and $20 per hour. Postmates pays based on the number of stops you need to make in addition to its base delivery fee. You also keep 100% of the tips you receive.
If Postmates doesn’t have enough drivers in its Fleet during periods of high demand, it will offer what’s known as Blitz Pricing. Blitz Pricing increases the amount that you can receive. It’s typically during Blitz Pricing that you can earn upwards of $20 per hour.
2. Do I need a car to work for Postmates?
No, you do not necessarily need a car to work for Postmates. The company currently allows the following forms of transportation:
- Car or truck
- Walking (depending on where you are delivering)
If you do use a vehicle, Postmates does not have any requirements. That is not the case with Postmates. Any driveable vehicle that allows you to get from Point A to Point B should do the trick. However, you’ll need to have valid insurance if you plan on using a car.
3. What tools and supplies will I need to provide?
Postmates provides you with everything you need to get started. The company gives you a delivery bag and a prepaid card that you can use to make and drop off purchases. The only thing you’ll need to provide is your form of transportation. Postmates does not have a uniform requirement for its Fleet drivers.
But as an independent contractor, you are responsible for paying self-employment taxes. However, you can deduct the mileage that you travel while working. Keeping track of this throughout the year can help lower your tax burden.
Is Working as a Postmates Driver Right for You?
If you would like to drive for Postmates, you’ll quickly find that it has its pros and cons. On one hand, you can set your own hours and work when it’s convenient for you.
Postmates also acts as a courier service. Whereas some apps, like UberEats and GrubHub, limit themselves to food delivery, Postmates also allows you to run errands for customers. This, in turn, could open up more opportunities for you to earn.
However, we aren’t the biggest fans of how the Postmates app works. A few strokes of bad luck and deliveries outside of Hot Spots could have you making less than minimum wage.
Our recommendation is to look up and see how prevalent Postmates is in your area. If the app is entrenched with local businesses, grocers, and liquor stores in your market, then working for the company could be well worth your while.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.