There are lots of easy side hustles out there, a wee known one is delivering for Postmates. If you’re considering delivering for Postmates, you’re probably wondering how much potential there is to make money and if Postmates delivery is the type of side-hustle you want. To decide that, you’ll need to know the pros and cons of delivering for Postmates, the other app options you have, and whether or not it’s ultimately worth it. Don’t worry; this Postmates review will help you make your decision.
What You Need To Know About Joining The Postmates Fleet
Postmates is a U.S. founded company that offers local delivery. As a deliverer, you would be joining Postmates fleet and using their app to deliver food to customers. Postmates is available in all 50 states in the U.S. and over 400 cities in the U.S. and Mexico. To become a deliverer, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Own a smartphone to download the Postmates Fleet app
- Pass their background check
You can deliver by car, bike, scooter, and even on foot. They will send you everything you need, including a free insulated delivery bag and a prepaid Postmates card.
To sign up, visit the Postmates website or mobile and click “Join the Fleet.” Then, from there, you can create your free account and verify your identity.
The Pros Of Being A Deliverer For Postmates
There are many pros to being a deliverer for Postmates. Read on for more details.
You Are Your Own Boss
One of the greatest benefits to a side-hustle like this is that you are your own boss. You get to determine your hours. The Postmates app is extremely flexible in that you can go online and offline whenever you want. You don’t need to set any specific schedule.
Being your own boss means that you don’t have anyone telling you what to do and when to do it. If you want to take a break, you can take a break. You can also have a friend or partner in the car with you, which makes the drives more enjoyable.
If you decide you want to go on a shift for 4 hours and then stop to go shopping at a nearby mall, you get to make that choice. Then, you can get back on. You can also work as many hours as you’d like to make as much money as you’d like.
If you need some extra money quickly, it is easy to sign up and easy to do. All you have to do is pick up the food and deliver it. It doesn’t require a lot of learning or skills, so if you want to pick up an easy side-hustle, this is an excellent option for that.
The pay is calculated based on pickup fee, drop off fee, mileage between pickup and dropoff, and the time it takes from food pickup to delivery. Postmates also gives you a prepaid card to use, so when you need to order at a restaurant, you will pay with that card. Postmates can track how long you have spent at a restaurant based on that. Thus, you also get paid for the time waiting for the food to be ready.
Postmates claims to have a pay rate of $14-$25 an hour, but it depends on a variety of factors such as your location, distance from your starting location to the restaurant, and tips. Realistically, most people are making between $10-$20 an hour through Postmates. While this might not be a ton of money, in general, it’s still pretty good money for just driving around and delivering food.
You can cash out every day. You don’t need to wait two weeks as you would working for a typical employer. Just add a debit card to your banking settings, and when you want to get your money, tap the “Cash Out” button. You’ll get the cash instantly deposited to your debit card! However, they do charge $0.50 every time you use the instant cash out option instead of waiting for the weekly direct deposit. Having the choice is still a bonus, though. It’s especially useful if you are ever in a situation where you need instant cash and don’t want to have to wait a week to get it.
Postmates has “Blitz” pricing where you can get paid more during peak delivery hours. “Blitz” increases pricing by 1.25 to 1.75 times the standard pricing. These times are typically 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM every day for lunch orders, and 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM for dinner and anytime on the weekend. Postmates will even notify you when Blitz pricing is in effect in your area as long as you turn on the “Blitz” notifications. That way, you can choose to deliver when it’s prime money-making time.
Postmates is one of the most tipping friendly apps. The app automatically recommends a 20% tip to customers, and the company lets deliverers keep all of their earnings from their tips. Sometimes the tips can be even better than the base pay if you are driving around upscale areas. This won’t always be the case, but sometimes you can even get a $20 tip for one delivery!
Pro tip: Make sure to be friendly and try to be as quick as you can with deliveries to get more tips!
The Postmates Application
One of the pros of Postmates is the in-app map. The in-app map shows you how far the food pickup location is from the dropoff location and will show you a suggested route. It will also show you other orders that you’ve accepted during your current order as dots on the map, so you can more easily keep track of what’s coming next.
You also have the option of order batching using this app. Order batching allows you to get orders while you’re in the middle of your current one. To start the next one, you’ll have to finish your current one, though.
Aside from flexibility coming from deciding your hours, you also have flexibility in vehicle options. You don’t have to use a car. You can also use a scooter/motorcycle, bicycle, or walk. Certain locations have these options available while others do not. If it’s available to your location, you get to choose your vehicle when you sign up. The app also has different routes and delivery ranges based on the kind of vehicle you are using.
Busier Than Other Apps
Because Postmates is a more established app, it gets a lot more delivery requests than other less-established apps. The busier the app, the less wasted time you’ll have, and the more money you’ll make.
Other Deliverer Perks
Other perks that come with being a deliverer include meeting new people every day, such as restaurant staff, other Postmates deliverers waiting to pick up food, and customers. You also get to explore new areas of your city, admire beautiful homes, and learn what all of the best food hotspots are.
The Cons Of Being A Deliverer For Postmates
There are a few cons to consider concerning being a Postmates deliverer. Keep reading to learn about the cons you need to keep in mind.
Expenses And Risks Associated With Drive Time
When you are driving a lot, you are going to rack up mileage and wear and tear on your car. You may need to replace and buy tires more frequently. Also, the more often you drive, the higher chances of getting into an accident. It doesn’t necessarily mean you will get into an accident, but the possibility is there anytime you drive. You also have to pay for gas more often. However, since you are considered a 1099 independent contractor and covering 100% of your business costs, you can typically write off these types of expenses on your taxes.
Speak to a tax accountant regarding this, but you can expect to fully or partially deduct the following:
- Parking Fees
- Cell Phone Usage
- Car Insurance
- Care Maintenance
- Car Loan Interest
- Registration Fees
Even though you can technically deduct these expenses on your taxes, the fact that you will have upfront expenses can be a con for many people that don’t want to have to wait to file their taxes to reap the benefits.
Driving In Bad Weather
If it is raining or snowing, expect that more people are going to be getting their food delivered. People don’t want to have to go out and get food in bad weather, so you’ll have to do it. Well, technically, you don’t HAVE to, but if you want to make as much money as possible, you may need to work in bad weather.
Even though tips for Postmates can be high, they won’t come in right away. They typically will come in the next morning or afternoon. You may even have to wait a week for them to kick in. Additionally, the base pay is typically only $4, which isn’t much. You also don’t get paid for the trip to the pickup location. If the pickup location is far, that could mean a lot of time you aren’t getting paid for. Also, some apps typically have higher pay than Postmates.
The Postmates Application
There are a few cons to the application. First, you can’t see the dropoff destination until after you pick up the food. That gives you less control over what orders you want to accept. Postmates also won’t let you know how much money you are going to make in advance. It isn’t until after the food is delivered that you find out how much you made.
Additionally, one major issue is that if someone purchases their food online instead of you ordering it, Postmates has no way of accounting for the time you spend waiting for the food. Sometimes food may not be ready when you arrive at the food pickup location, and you’ll end up having to wait. Since the customer has made the purchase online, you won’t have to use your Postmates debit card to order (that’s how they keep track of wait time at the restaurant), which means you could end up spending 10-15 minutes waiting for an order and not getting paid for that time.
Depending on where you live, parking may be a con for you. If you have to drive in a very congested area where parking is tight, that can take up a lot of time and become a nuisance.
Are There Better App Options?
Better is subjective. There are apps like DoorDash that have slightly different features. DoorDash is known to pay a bit more, and also gives you more control over choosing the deliveries you want to take. For instance, they let you know what the pay will be before accepting any order. But, the tips typically aren’t at good as they are for Postmates.
The DoorDash app is also simpler to use but makes you schedule your hours. If you want more flexibility with your hours, you might not like having to set your schedule with DoorDash.
Ultimately, though, if you wanted to work off two or three apps, it might be a smarter way of increasing your income because when there is a lull in one app, you can take advantage of orders in another.
Postmates: Is It Worth It?
Whether or not delivering for Postmates is worth it to you depends on a variety of factors. While, yes, you can work and make money every day if you have to, the amount of money you make will be significantly impacted by where you live. If you live in a big city like Los Angeles, New York, or Atlanta, then yes, you could make a decent amount of money. If you live in an area where there are a lot of affluent people like Orange County, it could be worth it for potential tips. If you are just looking for an easy side hustle that doesn’t require a lot of effort, then yes, it would be worth it.
However, if you don’t want to have tons of mileage and wear and tear on your car, you need to consider this. You can write it off on your taxes, but you need to decide if the upfront expenses are something you want to deal with. You also have to consider potential repairs on the car and the need for more frequent car maintenance. Some may think that the potential hassle isn’t worth it.
Additionally, if you don’t live in a big city or affluent area, you could end up with a lot of dead time where you aren’t making any deliveries.
You also need to consider how much money you truly want to make with a side-hustle. If you are looking to make your side-hustle into a significant income-generating project, then Postmates isn’t going to do that for you. You’ll be able to make some extra side cash, but that’s about it. If you’re okay with a little extra side money that you can quickly cash in on, then go for it.
The Bottom Line: Delivering For Postmates
Postmates is a great way to make some extra side cash and make your own hours. It’s also easy, extremely flexible, and you’re likely to get some great tips! You can even write off the mileage and wear and tear on your car. If you want to minimize potential downtime, use multiple delivery apps. However, do consider where you live. Some locations are going to be more lucrative than others. And remember, this is a side-hustle, not a full-time job.
You can make some extra cash on the side of your main job, but it’s going to be hard to make an actual living from doing Postmates alone. With that said, it’s easy to start as long as you meet the three requirements listed at the beginning. If you just want some easy money, Postmates is worth a shot!
Interested in learning about some other side hustles to make extra income? If so, you may also enjoy our guide on the best side hustles to make real money.