Harry here. It’s been a while since I signed up for Postmates and in that time, a lot has changed. Today, RSG contributor Dash Bridges switches allegiances and shares his experience about Postmates’ new sign-up and on-boarding (or lack thereof) process.
I’m going to be honest with you. After writing four articles about my DoorDash experience, I found it difficult to come up with a new angle to write from. Nearly on cue, Harry emailed me and said I should consider signing up for Postmates. In summer 2015, he tried Postmates and shared his experience, but a lot has changed since then so I wanted to sign up with Postmates myself and see what it was like.
Entering this experiment, my knowledge of Postmates was that it’s a service similar to DoorDash, delivering restaurant meals as well as non-food deliveries. You get paid on a per delivery basis, plus tips, PLUS additional money based on mileage. In talking to other drivers I’ve met on the road, most of them said you don’t make as much with Postmates as you do with DD. But just assuming that conventional wisdom doesn’t make for a good blog post. So, with no further knowledge, I began the signup process.
Want to sign up for Postmates now? Click here to start your application process.
Signing Up for Postmates
I signed up using Harry’s link and along the top of the screen, it suggests one Become a Postmate. I clicked to the next screen and got this:
“Join the Movement!” it declared. Wow, a movement! I’m fired up!
Postmates Application Process
I input some of my basic information, including name and phone number. Then I clicked a pull-down menu to note my geographical region. Postmates appears to be in 45-ish metropolitan areas, some of them in surprising areas like Lexington, KY and Stockton, CA. Because I’m a total geography nerd, I looked to see how many of the top 20 metro areas they represented. Depending on definition of the ‘Los Angeles’ area, it may or may not include the Riverside/Ontario/San Bernardino area (#13), and I didn’t see any reference to Detroit (#14) either.
Postmates Vehicle Requirements
For me, I clicked SF Peninsula. I then added my driver’s license info and type of vehicle – not what type of car, mind you. It was what type of vehicle, as in car, scooter, truck, motorcycle, etc. Although DoorDash asked me to specify my type of car (without noting any specific requirements) Postmates does not. I don’t think either service cares what type of car you drive.
Clearly, there’s no reason a DD/Postmates car needs to be in the same condition as an Uber/Lyft vehicle. The food doesn’t care! The site then asked for a couple of state disclosures allowing them to perform background checks. Next, they requested a ‘clear photo of your face, from shoulders up, without sunglasses’ for customer ID purposes. No problem.
The site then instructed me to wait a few days while they review my photo and public records. In summary, all very basic stuff and nothing that might weed me out as a poor candidate to drive. Finally, I was told to expect a package in the mail the following week.
Postmates Driver App
Although never instructed, I tried to get ahead of the game a bit by finding the fleet.postmates app and downloading it. Upon download, all I could get was this:
No matter what I tried, it wouldn’t download. After a while, I gave up.
A day or two later, a package arrived. Inside were two items:
- A Postmates bag.
- A Postmates credit card.
What I didn’t show in this photo was the postcard-sized sheet attached to the Postmates credit card. MAYBE it had some tips and instructions on how succeed as a Postmate, but clearly I didn’t think much of it when received because I threw it away… sorry, bad research on my part!
Anyway, I was surprised by the lack of direction given for someone about to represent Postmates. Although I’M familiar with what to do, how could someone completely new to delivery have the confidence to start taking orders? Furthermore, I have no idea what or how I’m getting paid. What’s the delivery fee? How much extra do I get per mile driven? I THINK I get 100% of tips, but is that correct? No one’s told me. I’m flying blind.
Note: If you don’t want to deal with a Postmates credit card and want a little more direction, then Caviar is a good option. They provide an orientation and don’t require a card or cash.
Also note, I haven’t yet spoken to a human being! Whereas in September 2015 I spent about 45 minutes at a DoorDash orientation in a DoorDash office with about 6 other people, I have yet to speak to a Postmates representative.
Around the same time, I received an email saying my background check had been completed and declared ‘boring’. The email led to this text:
I clicked the link attached to my text and downloaded the app without an issue. Ahhh, they probably needed my background check to clear before providing me the hidden URL. Makes sense.
Here’s what the driver app looks like in its offline state:
Finally, it was time. I had my app. I had my nifty Postmates bag. I had plenty of gas in the tank. Unlike Door Dash, there’s no scheduling function on the Postmates app. If you want to start working you just slide the button on the top-right and go live. It was now that time.
OK, I’m officially a Postmate! I’m still fired up and now I’m gonna…
Well, I guess I’m gonna wait.
And about 15 minutes later…
Sprinkles Cupcakes, I’m on my way!
Coming soon, I’ll share Postmates II: The Driving Part. Actually, let me spice that up in Internet speak:
This Devoted DoorDasher tries his hand at Postmates — You Wouldn’t Believe What Happens Next!
Until then, drive safely, everyone!
Are you interested in driving for Postmates? Have questions about the Postmates experience you’d like us to cover? Let us know in the comments!
-Dash @ RSG
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