With the gig economy continuing to grow, you may have noticed Postmates being mentioned in conversations about delivery driving. Since there are multiple delivery driving opportunities in today’s economy, it can be hard to decide if one is right for you.
This article will break down the details of Postmates in comparison to other delivery driving gigs out there. We hope by the end, you’ll know if Postmates is the right choice for you.
What Is Postmates?
Postmates is an on-demand delivery app that delivers pretty much anything you can imagine right to your doorstep. From restaurant food to beer and tech gadgets, Postmates can have it to you shortly after you place the order.
On the driver’s side, Postmates drivers simply pickup orders that have been placed, take photos of the receipt, drop the order off, and get paid. Drivers get to set their hours, which offers a lot of flexibility. If this sounds like a good opportunity for you, let’s keep going.
Postmates Driver Requirements
Like all delivery driving gigs, Postmates has requirements that their potential drivers must meet. One of their advantages is that their requirements aren’t as strict as some other gig jobs out there.
To apply for Postmates, you must be 18 years old or older. This is different from other opportunities (UberEats, Lyft, and Uber), where drivers must be 21. This lower age requirement makes this a great opportunity for recent high school graduates or college students.
Postmates requires their drivers to pass both a criminal background check and a DMV check. They want to ensure their drivers don’t have violent crimes, felonies, sexual offenses, or drug charges in their background. In addition, they want to make sure there isn’t a history of dangerous or reckless driving, including DUIs, lots of tickets, or hit and runs.
Postmates is more flexible when it comes to vehicle requirements than other delivery driving gigs. While some companies require that your vehicle be a certain size, condition, age, or even that they pass a mechanical inspection, Postmates is different. All they require drivers to have is a vehicle that is in running condition. These vehicles can be cars, motorcycles, scooters, or even bicycles. In fact, depending on your location, you can even travel on foot if it’s conducive to delivery distances.
If you’re driving a motor vehicle, it is important to note that you’re required to have valid car insurance.
Postmates Application Process
The Postmates application process is straightforward and quick. If you’re wanting to work for Postmates, apply by following these steps.
Create a Postmates Account
Creating an account will include giving Postmates your basic information: name, date of birth, photo, phone number, and address. It’s important to make sure your address is put in correctly because Postmates will send your welcome packet to that address.
Next, you’ll read over and agree to the terms and conditions. This will include all the fine print about working as a Postmates driver. You’ll want to give these terms a good glance over before signing, so you’re informed about the details of your job.
When you apply for Postmates, you have to pass both criminal and DMV background checks. These checks ensure that Postmates drivers are up to company standards for upstanding drivers and citizens. You can expect your results to come back in 3-10 days.
Set Up Direct Deposit
Once you pass your background checks, you’ll want to set up your direct deposit so you can get paid for the deliveries you make. You will receive your direct deposits weekly from Postmates, though there is an option for instant pay. Instant pay will give you your earnings ($5 or more) immediately, but with a $0.50 fee per transfer.
Working for Postmates
Once you’ve completed your application and been hired by Postmates, you can immediately start taking delivery orders. Let’s walk through what to expect with your first delivery.
An order will pop up in your Postmates app and you will have the opportunity to accept the order or decline it. Upon accepting, the app will give you the quickest route to the store or restaurant where the order was placed.
When you arrive at the store, the order may be already made for you. However, sometimes you have to get the order together yourself, or you may have to wait for the workers to finish putting the order together. Either way, don’t sweat – you’ll get paid for any shopping or waiting time at the store.
Some orders are paid for in the app, so you simply pick the order up and you’re on your way. If the order isn’t prepaid, you will use your Postmates credit card sent in your welcome kit. After making the purchase, take a picture of the receipt and upload the photo into the app. Either way, you won’t ever have to use your own money to cover an order.
With the order in hand, the Postmates app will give you the quickest route to the delivery address. Make sure to check for any specific delivery instructions, like gate codes or where to place the delivery. Once you arrive, simply drop off the order and take a photo.
How Is Payment Calculated?
Postmates Drivers are paid based on the time it takes to shop/wait, pickup, and drop off a delivery. In addition, drivers are paid a rate per mile traveled. The rates that are paid out are dependent on your location – bigger cities tend to pay more per order. Regardless of your location though, all Postmates drivers get to keep 100% of the tips they receive from customers.
Are There Tricks to Earn More Money?
If you make deliveries during peak times, you’re more likely to make more deliveries and be paid more per delivery. These peak times tend to be during lunch and dinner hours as well as during the weekends. They also can trigger Blitz orders, which are orders that pay out a premium due to how busy it is in your area. You can also watch your email for promotional bonuses that happen from time to time, where you can make extra money if you complete certain requirements.
What Happens if an Order Is Cancelled?
If an order is canceled before you’ve arrived at the store or while you’re waiting to pick it up, then you will receive a small payout for that order. However, if the order is canceled when you’re on your way to the delivery address, you will receive the full payout. However, you shouldn’t expect to receive any tips on these orders. If you have the order on hand already, you can choose what you do with the items in the order.
Postmates Versus DoorDash
DoorDash is one of Postmates’ biggest competitors, so you may be wondering which one is a better choice for you. Let’s break it down for you.
DoorDash lets you schedule work shifts ahead of time if you prefer to plan your hours out in advance. However, you’re also able to DoorDash on demand by clicking the “Dash Now” button in their app.
On the other hand, Postmates doesn’t have the option to schedule ahead, so you can just choose to make deliveries whenever it’s convenient for you. Postmates has more hours available though because it is available 24/7.
DoorDash will show you if an order is guaranteed to be paid out, regardless of its outcome. This isn’t a perk that Postmates offers.
However, Postmates won’t lower your rating if you refuse deliveries. Refusing an order on DoorDash can hurt your rating.
Postmates is currently available in 189 cities in the United States, with about 80% of households having access to it.
DoorDash is currently available in 4,000 cities in a variety of countries, giving it a global advantage over Postmates. DoorDash is also available in smaller cities and towns more often than Postmates, so your location may be a deciding factor.
Summary – Is Postmates Worth It?
Postmates is a solid option if you are considering a delivery driving gig opportunity. While there are many competitors out there for you, if you are in a bigger city, Postmates is a great choice for you. With the ability to order so much more than just groceries or fast food, Postmates opens the door to being able to deliver almost anything you can imagine.
It’s important to note that being a Postmates driver requires a large amount of self-discipline to make a decent amount of money. With peak hours often including nights and weekends, you may have to make some schedule sacrifices to make the money you are hoping to make. Plus, you will need to have the drive to make yourself work since you won’t have a set schedule.
Overall, if you set your expectations for yourself ahead of time and don’t waver on them, then Postmates can be a great opportunity to make money while having the flexibility many gig workers are looking for.