If you live in a busy town/city, you’ve probably heard of a service called Postmates. Working on the Postmates delivery job is fast becoming a common side gig, but at what cost? Should you join the fleet? This review will show you all the ups and downs so hopefully towards the end, it will help to decide if the gig is right for you.
What Is Postmates?
Postmates started in 2011 and its core business is to serve as a courier company between local businesses and customers using app technology. Instead of employing permanent staff, it crowdsourced freelancers – or in this case, gigsters – to fulfill on-demand orders.
Similar to Doordash, most orders that come through Postmates are for takeaway, but they accommodate for groceries, goods, and drinks (including alcohol) pickups too. This job is suitable for anyone who has several hours to spare in a day; college students, homemakers, people who are in a job transition or unemployed are potential candidates for this job.
Key Requirements to Join Postmates Delivery
Like most gig services, high qualifications aren’t necessary but you do need to meet these basic requirements.
- Must be at least 18 years old and doesn’t have a criminal background.
- Have a functional vehicle (with insurance) and a valid driver’s license.
- Must own an Android or iPhone.
- Have a checking account to receive payment (Postmates doesn’t pay through PayPal).
- Have a social security number.
If you fit the criteria, there’s a good chance to get hired. The first thing to do is to submit your phone number through the website and a link will be provided for you to download the app. After that, you just need to key in the necessary details and follow through some simple training on the app.
The entire hiring process could take about 1 to 3 days while the company performs a background check on your application. Once confirmed, they will mail you a delivery warm bag and a prepaid credit card to use for paying customer’s orders. At this point, you can log into the fleet app and begin accepting delivery gigs.
Getting Paid From Postmates
After completing every single order, the earnings will appear in your fleet account. The funds will accumulate in a week’s period before being released to your checking account for withdrawal.
According to the fine print, you get to keep 100% of what you make, including tips. A minimum amount is also guaranteed when you complete a certain number of deliveries within a given time frame.
Besides delivery, you can also earn by inviting new customers to order from the app OR new applicants interested in the courier gig. Either way, some form of incentive will be paid to you when the minimum threshold for orders or deliveries are being met.
The Advantages of Delivering for Postmates
Delivery gigs are popular for many reasons and in the case of Postmates, these reasons probably resonate with why you may want to apply for the job in the first place.
(1) Flexible hours – On-demand gigs are very flexible jobs since there’s really no one to report to. It makes a great side hustle – college students can work during the weekends, homemakers can take on orders while their children are at school and unemployed individuals can make some extra money while waiting for a more permanent job.
(2) No Direct Dealing with Customers – Unlike rideshare gigs like Uber or Lyft, delivering with Postmates doesn’t require you to deal with customers directly. This saves you the trouble of confronting weird or rude people. All that’s needed is to pick up the orders and drive to the destination as fast as possible.
(3) Easy on-boarding process – There’s no cost to joining the fleet and you don’t even need to be interviewed at a physical location. There’s no formal training and you’re expected to learn everything intuitively through the app. Overall, the process is very simple and straightforward.
(4) More Tips – In regards to this, the bigger the orders, the more tips you’re likely to make. Even if you don’t receive any tips, you’ll still get paid more for the gig than other food delivery apps as long as you didn’t drive too far.
(5) Referral Benefits – Instead of relying solely on delivery earnings, referral revenue lets you generate some passive income when you aren’t on the road. A referral link tracks new customers or courier sign-ups online and then transfers the credit to you.
Most people do this by writing a blog or creating YouTube reviews about Postmates offers and services. And it’s not all that difficult to start. You just need to create a blog and write about your experiences. Don’t own a blog? Use this tool to build a WordPress site within minutes.
The Downsides of the Postmates Delivery Job
Now, for some cold hard facts about delivering for Postmates.
(1) When receiving an order, your earnings will only be made known AFTER you complete the delivery. No estimation or order size information is given upfront. Therefore, you can’t really choose an order based on the merits; you just gotta accept the gig and ‘hope’ that it will pay you for what it’s worth.
(2) Understandably, there’s no fixed income with this type of gig either. The reported average gross earnings is said to be within the range of $6 to $20 per hour – more so on the lower end. After taking into account the wear and tear of your vehicle and gas expenses (if you drive a motorized vehicle), your take-home will be much less.
The earning fluctuation is likely due to a few challenges that are beyond your control. Hot zone areas, peak hours and larger orders are likely to pay more. On the flipside, non-peak hours, the unfamiliarity of delivery areas and oversaturation of couriers in one place will naturally lead to less earning.
If you consider all these variable factors, a part-time job at McDonald’s may actually pay better in the long run.
(3) In order to maximize earnings, you must be willing to make some sacrifices in terms of time. Peak hours usually take place during lunch and dinner and more so during the weekends and big holiday events. That means while people are spending time with families and friends, you could be out there delivering food.
(4) Besides the low-paying hours, there’s another major complaint – lack of support. Apparently, the on-boarding process is so intuitive that finding a person from the company to talk to is almost impossible. This can be a significant problem when couriers face troubles with customers’ orders or have difficulties with payments. No one wants to talk to a robot or reply to automatic messages in these situations so it’s going to be a major drawback.
So, Is The Postmates Delivery Job Worth Your Time?
The answer to this very much depends on your location and income expectation. If you’re looking to make a few extra bucks during your spare time and happen to live in a hot zone area, this gig is worth trying and referring to others.
But if the earnings could barely pay for your expenses and literally consume hours of precious time, then I think you should consider other gigs that are more structured and actually pay more. For example, you could make up to $1000 per month doing petting sitting with Rover or earn up to $22 per hour shopping groceries with Shipt.
The gig economy is a great market to search for job opportunities and get to know new people, but after reviewing Postmates, the delivery job is definitely not for everyone. To achieve better financial goals, you can’t just rely on gigs or work for someone else.
You need to think bigger and starting an online business is a good entry point to that. No experience in this area? No worries because I have the right platform to show you how to go about this step-by-step. In fact, you can even try the training for free and I’ll personally walk you through the process.
Well, I hope this review has been an eye-opener. Let us know if you’ve done any gig before in the comment area down below.