Postmates Driver Review: What to Expect

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postmates review

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TL;DR: Postmates offers a flexible and relaxing way to make some extra side cash. Drivers make a decent hourly amount but there are a lot of hidden costs such as gas, insurance, and vehicle depreciation that can affect your total earnings.

Thanks to the recent pandemic, there is no shortage of delivery apps. Delivery apps exist for food, for clothing, and even for your weekly groceries. Delivery apps have allowed some people to retain at least some sense of normalcy while under quarantine. They have also given many people a way to make some extra cash on the side driving delivery.

Postmates is one of the most famous delivery services and offers flexible hours and scheduling for delivery drivers. But the question remains, how much can you make, and what should you expect driving for Postmates? We will cover all of those questions and more in our Postmates delivery driver review.

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AVAILABILITY

Postmates is currently available in all 50 states and in many cities throughout the US and Mexico, making it one of the largest on-demand delivery services in the country.

HOW DOES IT WORK

When you accept an order, the app will pull up directions to the restaurant and to the final delivery point.

Postmates: Overview

Postmates is a crowd-sourced, on-demand delivery service in the same vein as Grubhub and Doordash. Users can make an order on Postmates at any participating restaurant and the app will connect with a nearby driver to bring you your food. Postmates is currently available in all 50 states and in many cities throughout the US and Mexico, making it one of the largest on-demand delivery services in the country.

Postmates offers an easy and flexible way for people to make money. You can sign up relatively easily and start making deliveries on the same day. Postmates claims to currently have over 800 employers who make 5 million deliveries per month.

So if you want to start a side hustle driving delivery for Postmates, there is a large demand and you can certainly find a place to deliver in.

How Does Driving for Postmates Work?

Postmates’ model is similar to other delivery service apps. You sign up and create an account. Once you have an account and are a registered driver, you turn the app on. The app will then connect you with orders in your neighborhood. 

Postmates offer several features to make the delivery simple. When you accept an order, the app will pull up directions to the restaurant and to the final delivery point. The app will also notify you if there are special events going on such as Blitz Pricing (more on that later). Once you find an order you want to take on, click on the notification and the app will assign you the delivery.

When you arrive at the merchant, you can pay for the order using the Postmates prepaid card. In most cases, the merchant receives the delivery before. And you can just walk in and pick it up If the item has already been paid for, then you just have to confirm the order with the merchant and they will hand it over. Then you simply take it to the customer at the other end of the route. Simple right?

How Do I Sign Up to be a Postmates Driver?

Signing up to be a Postmates driver is straightforward and simple. First, download the app or head on over to the Postmates website. You will be prompted to make a driver account and will have to provide some basic personal information such as your name, address, social security number, and submit to a background check.

Postmates has three requirements for becoming a delivery driver:

  • You have to be at least 18 years old
  • Own a smartphone with the Postmates Fleet app
  • Pass a background check.

And that’s all there is to it. Postmates does not require you to have a vehicle. You can deliver orders via car, bike, or even on foot. However, if you do use an automobile, then you will have to provide proof of valid insurance and registration, and have a valid driver’s license. Postmates will also send you all supplies you need to make your deliveries, including a prepaid card to pay for deliveries and an insulated delivery bag.

Keep in mind that Postmates is available in numerous cities in the US but they are not located everywhere. So if you do not live in an area with Postmates service, then unfortunately you are out of luck.

How Does Postmates Pay Drivers?

As a Postmates driver, you get paid for each delivery you make. Postmaktes charges a delivery fee on each order which is anywhere between $0.99 to $9.99. The company keeps 20% of the fee and the driver gets the remaining 80%. Drivers also get to keep all tips they make during their routes.

Here is a full breakdown of what, exactly, you get paid for

  • Each pickup
  • Each successful drop-off
  • Time spent waiting for each order (per minute)
  • Per-mile rate for each deliver covering the distance between the pickup and drop-off location
  • Tips

The exact rates vary depending on the location. In general, delivering in larger cities will net you a larger amount. For example, the pickup rate for Phoenix, AZ is $1.80, and the rate for Nashville, TN is $1.30.

Postmates pays delivery drivers via direct deposit so you will have to provide bank account details when you create your account. You get paid each week for all activity during the previous Monday-to-Sunday period. There is also an instant cashout feature that costs $0.50 per transaction.

Keep in mind that as a Postmates driver you are classified as an independent contractor, so taxes are not taken out of the payments you get. You will have to manage those on your own.

Postmates tries to keep cash-only businesses out of its network but sometimes businesses will slip through the cracks. If you are at a cash-only place and the merchant requires payment, contact Postmates support and they can handle the transaction. As a driver, you will never be required to pay for orders out of your own pocket.

How Much Can I Make Driving for Postmates?

According to CEO Bastian Lehman, Postmates drivers make a median pay of $19/hour. However, it is not clear how Postmates calculates that fee and whether it includes tips or not. According to Indeed, drivers report making $12.40 to $37 an hour, though these average rates vary heavily based on the specific location.

Other salary reports websites such as Glassdoor report similar figures between $7-$26 per hour. The actual amount that any one driver will make depends on how many deliveries they make per session. Based on our research, it seems that the average Postmates driver makes anywhere between $5-$10 on each order. Assuming that you complete at least 2 deliveries per hour and work three hours, that comes out to about $30 to $60 per hour.

Bonuses and Incentives

Postmates also gives drivers the opportunity to make extra money through bonuses and periodic promotions. Here are a couple of the kinds of bonuses Postmates offers its drivers:

  • Bonus per delivery – Every now and then, Postmates will offer an extra bonus per successful delivery.
  • Guaranteed earnings – If you complete a certain number of orders in a set time period you will get a guaranteed minimum payout that is higher than the base payout rate.
  • Crusher – A crusher bonus is like a guaranteed bonus that you will get for completing a large number of orders per hour.
  • Invites – If you refer a new driver to Postmates then you will get a special invite fee if they complete a certain number of orders in a period of time.

If Postmates has multiple promotions active at the same time then you will get paid for each successful one you complete. Keep in mind that tips do not count to your totals to the guaranteed minimum amounts.

Hidden Costs

But, there are a few hidden costs that you should be aware of that may limit your net gains.

The most obvious expense is the wear and tear to your car. Postmates does not help with any car costs so you will have to pay for all gas, maintenance, and insurance,

You also need to consider depreciation from driving. The average depreciation per mile driven is about $0.08 so you will need to factor that into your total payment.

You also need to factor in any off time. Sometimes you might be waiting 20-30 minutes for any order. Unfortunately, you don’t get paid for that off-time; you only get paid when you are on an active delivery.

Overall, Postmates drivers make about as much as drivers for other delivery apps. However, when you factor in all the hidden costs, you will not be making as much as salary review sites might indicate. The biggest expense is definitely car costs and those can severely impact your earnings if you are not careful.

How to Maximize Your Postmates Earnings

Here are a couple of tips and tricks on how to make the most of your Postmates earnings.

  • Learn the roads. The more familiar you are with your neighborhood, the more deliveries you will be able to make in a given time period. Make sure you have a thorough knowledge of all routes around your delivery area.
  • Take multiple orders at once. Postmates allows you to make multiple orders at once so sometimes grabbing multiple orders at the same time is a way to save money. Try to plan routes so you can make a single trip and grab multiple orders.
  • Take advantage of promotions. Promotions can offer a nice chunk of extra cash if you are willing to work hard for it. Fortunately, Postmates offers promotions and bonuses pretty often, especially in larger cities that have a lot of demand.
  • Choose orders wisely. Postmates does not penalize drivers for not taking orders and there is no minimum amount you have to complete to keep your driver account active. Picking orders that are the most lucrative and that have reasonable delivery times is much better than taking whatever order comes your way. We recommend not taking an order unless you can get a guaranteed $10 from it, preferably more.
  • Short orders are better. You might think long orders that require you to drive more are better for earning money. However, you have to factor in vehicle depreciation costs and all the maintenance you’ll have to do driving your car for long hours. Shorter orders are almost always a better deal than long-distance orders.
  • Figure out hotspots. Some areas are much better for orders than others. Try to do some market research and figure out where hotspots are. You may have to drive a bit of the way out of your neighborhood to find the most action.

Conclusions

Postmates offers a simple and flexible way to make some extra cash on the side. Becoming a Postmates driver is very easy and you can work as little or as much as you want. Postmates drivers can make a pretty penny if they choose their orders correctly but you will have to balance your earnings with all the hidden expenses. If you are smart though, Postmates can be a great way to make a couple hundred extra bucks a week with little effort.

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