Available in 60% of the US, delivering for Postmates has become one of the most popular side hustles in today’s gig economy. Our Postmates driver review takes a deep dive into Postmates’ earnings with tips on how to generate more cash.
With more than half a million fleet members, Postmates has become one of the largest on-demand delivery companies in the United States. While mostly known for its food delivery service, Postmates offers on-demand delivery for almost anything.
Want a beer at 1 am? Need a pack of toilet paper? Need a new set of ping pong balls?
Postmates it. It’s fast, easy, and attractively accessible.
The drivers’ side of Postmates
Using Postmates as a courier offers massive convenience, but how does it fare on the driver side? If you’re a serious side hustler, you’ll love Postmate’s flexibility.
There’s no need to schedule your time, hit delivery minimums, or work a certain number of hours. All you need to do is open the app and start delivering whenever you want for as long as you want.
The flexibility to work at your own pace makes Postmates a great money-making medium for anyone with free time (or the lack thereof, as they can work whenever time allows). It doesn’t matter if you have a day job or busy taking care of kids – you can hop onto your bike, deliver groceries, and make money asap.
While flexibility is one of Postmate’s strongest aces, it does come with several drawbacks. The pay isn’t mindblowing, and in some cases, it can be time-consuming.
Our Postmates drivers review offers comprehensive details about how much you’ll get delivering for Postmates using the Fleet app, a list of its pros and cons, and how to get started working as a Postmates courier.
Ready to make money with Postmates? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Postmates?
Postmates is a popular food-delivery service that employs a team of freelance drivers, or, as the company calls them, Postmates couriers. These couriers are tasked with delivering a wide array of items to people’s homes or even their offices.
The startup, which has raised $16 million in VC funds, has grown exponentially over the years expanding to cities including Boston, Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, and Dallas, among others.
How does Postmates work?
Customers can make orders through the official Postmates website through the Postmate app available on both iOS and Android. Couriers use a separate app called Postmates Fleet, which they use to receive and deliver orders.
The Postmates Fleet app is used by thousands of independent contractors across the United States.
As a Postmates courier, your task is simple: Pick up items from stores or restaurants and deliver them to your customers. You can use any type of insured vehicle to complete your deliveries – this includes pick-up trucks, bicycles, or electric scooters – as long as they are in tip-top shape. You can even deliver on foot in some markets.
Once you accept a request through the Postmates Fleet app, you’ll receive instructions on what to do, where to go, and when you’ll pay the merchant using your very own Postmates prepaid card.
Completing these requests earns you weekly deposits which you can withdraw via your bank account – you can also cash out any time you wish for a small fee.
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How to become a Postmates Fleet driver
Thinking about joining the Postmates Fleet? Our Postmates driver review will tell you how. All couriers are required to pass minimal requirements which include the following:
- You must be 18 years old
- You mush have a valid driver’s license. If you’re delivering by foot or a bike, a passport will suffice
- You must be able to pass the Postmates background check. This background check includes a thorough review of your driving record and criminal history
- You must have a fully-functional smartphone that’s compatible with the Postmates Fleet app
Markets that do not accept walking deliveries and bike deliveries may be required to have a registered vehicle with auto insurance.
Using the Postmates Fleet App
Our Postmates driver review will not be complete without a comprehensive guide about how to use Postmate’s Fleet app. After being approved by Postmates to work as a courier, you can begin accepting Postmate driver jobs right away using the Postmates Fleet App.
Every time you log in, you’ll be matched with delivery requests from locals who are near you. Do note that these requests are based on your vehicle type; if you’re driving a larger vehicle like a cargo van, you’ll get larger orders.
Those who deliver by bike will most likely get single orders from customers who are located within close proximity.
If you’re interested in the delivery request, you can select “Accept delivery” before the time frame is up.
Couriers get to see a basic map of where they should go to, as well as an indication of Blitz pricing which can multiply your earnings during peak hours. Couriers may also select the auto-accept feature if they want requests to be automatically accepted.
Once you’ve accepted a request, tap on “Navigate” to determine the order location using your preferred navigation app, pick up the order, use your Postmates prepaid card to pay, then navigate to your drop off location. Once the customer has delivered the item, just swipe to complete the delivery.
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Pros of Postmates fleet
Postmates is a great side hustle for people who value their own time and have limited resources. Our Postmates driver review lists down all the benefits of joining the Postmates fleet.
- You don’t need a car
Postmates allows bike-only delivery agents in all of its markets in the United States, allowing anyone to generate income even if they don’t have a vehicle.
Other delivery platforms like Bite Squad or TaskRabbit require you to own a car or know how to drive one.
- The pay can be great – depending on where you live
If you live in a high-demand location, Postmates claims that you can make up to $25 an hour, inclusive of tips. This amount isn’t guaranteed, as your pay really depends on a plethora of factors.
The high earning potential, however, is way above other delivery services. Instacart shoppers, for example, only earn $14 an hour including tips.
- Delivery fees are influenced by distance
While other platforms base their fees on the size of the order, and not the distance, Postmates accounts for how far you travel to get the delivery done when determining your pay.
This encourages Postmates couriers to accept out-of-the-way jobs.
- Rush periods get you paid more
During peak hours, delivery fees may be increased by up to 50%. With Blitz Pricing, couriers are encouraged to work harder.
Cons of Postmates fleet
While there are so many reasons to join Postmates, there are a few drawbacks everyone should know. Our Postmates driver review lists down everything you need to consider.
- Postmates Fleet members are not officially employed
All Postmates couriers are independent contractors, which means that they’re responsible for paying their own expenses like car insurance and fuel, tax liabilities, and expenses associated with illness or injury.
You also won’t get sick days, worker’s compensation, or paid time off.
Here are some safety tips for Postmates Fleet drivers.
- You’ll have to cover your own expenses
Postmates couriers will encounter many overhead costs that may eat into their earnings. This is especially true for couriers with cars, as they have to deal with fuel costs, parking fees, vehicle insurance, and wear and tear.
By comparison, other delivery services like BiteSquad cover overhead costs at some point, allowing couriers to keep more of their earnings.
- It’s only lucrative in high-demand locations
Postmates is a great side hustle if you live in larger cities in metropolitan areas. If you live in rural areas, you may find it difficult to generate a sizeable income.
How much can you earn driving for Postmates?
There are a lot of things to consider when discussing how much you can possibly earn from Postmates. Our Postmates driver review lays out all the factors that can influence your pay.
The Postmates Pay Model
Postmates pays you for individual deliveries that you complete.
As of 2020, Postmates calculates a delivery fee based on the following components:
- Pickup fee
- Dropoff fee
- Per-minute waiting at a restaurant/shop
- Per-mile for the estimated delivery route from restaurant to customer location
Couriers also get to keep 100% of all the tips they collect from customers. The payments you’ll receive varies by market.
Ways to make more money with Postmates
Earning through tips
Postmates customers can tip couriers right through the app, with tips being sent after the deliveries are made.
While customers can tip couriers in person through cash, Postmates likes to keep their transactions cashless so they encourage customers to tip through the app instead.
When tipping in Postmates, customers can select between the default amounts of 10%, 15%, or 20%.
The platform generally holds tips for at least 24 hours before releasing them and in some exceptions, your tips may not show up for a day. In even rarer cases, it can take several weeks before a customer tips you. Our research indicates that customers mostly tip well through Postmates.
Do note that since tips are offered after the delivery, the quality of your customer service can have a direct impact on your tip amount – influencing it positively or negatively.
Bonuses and Incentives
Postmates offers a variety of incentives to encourage more deliveries from couriers. These include:
- Guaranteed Earnings: Completing a specific number of deliveries within a time period earns you a guaranteed minimum payout
- Bonus per Delivery: You can earn an additional payout bonus for each delivery accepted within a specific time window and specific zone
- Crushers: Completed a specific number of deliveries within a time frame and earn an additional payout bonus
- Referrals: Each friend you invite to the Postmates Fleet that completes a number of deliveries within a time period earns you a guaranteed amount.
How much you’ll actually earn
The answer to how much you’ll actually get paid can be a tricky one since your income really depends on variables – and most of them are out of your control.
Postmates actually does a good job of informing potential couriers about their potential income with their list of market rates, but factors such as your effort, tips, and local demand will considerably affect this.
Our Postmates driver review discovered that some couriers can generate up to $20-$25 an hour, while others reported profit per hour as low as $10-$15.
As discussed, your pay very much depends on your personal effort.
How many deliveries do you intend to make?
Obviously, those who are able to make more deliveries within a specific time frame earn more, not only because they serve more customers, but because they’re more likely to reach Postmates’ bonuses and incentives.
Tips are another massive wildcard. More affluent areas will obviously have more customers that tip more, so being in a metropolitan city influences your pay significantly.
Your delivery performance also influences the number of tips you receive, so if you’re a bad performer you’re more likely to receive less.
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Is Postmates driver worth it?
Delivering for Postmates can be worth it – in the right circumstances. In some markets that have a higher market share with a lower ratio of drivers, Postmates can be a primary source of revenue.
In other low performing markets, it can be an option that you can mix with other providers.
In general, Postmates offers a fair way to make money with a system that rewards you based on your effort.
Whether Postmates works for you depends a lot on your location, your approach, and how hard you intend to work.
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