Contents:

7 min read

    7 min read

    Have you ever thought about starting your own delivery business, but couldn’t figure out how to create an app or process payments from customers? New delivery platform Dumpling has figured that all out for you – all you need to do is find the customers. Today’s guest post is from Kristin, a Nevada delivery driver, who shares her review of the Dumpling delivery service below.

    For many former Uber and Lyft drivers, delivery driving has not only been a good way to earn income during the current pandemic, but also a way to avoid chatty or rude passengers.

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    If you’re one of the many drivers considering remaining with delivery companies even after a vaccine for COVID-19 is widespread, you may be wondering how you can make more – and potentially make this your ‘life after rideshare.’

    Quick links:

    Driving for Delivery Companies During COVID-19

    It’s no secret that with the outbreak of COVID-19,  the majority is practicing social distancing and sheltering in place. Families and individuals all over the country have begun to rely on having their groceries and food delivered in order to protect themselves from potentially contracting the virus.

    So who is the face behind your delivery? It’s people such as myself, gig workers who have been deemed an essential business. We are contracted usually through companies you may recognize or have recently heard in the news about workers on strike. Companies such as Instacart, where workers went on strike as a result of unfair practices.

    Just like Instacart, there are sadly many companies that have refused to classify workers as employees or provide them with any benefits or PPE, and for the most part, are paying well under minimum wage. Instead, workers are deemed self-employed, who then get no sick pay, health insurance, or unemployment benefits. To add insult to injury, many Instacart drivers are now talking about customers ‘tip-baiting’ delivery drivers and then removing the tip entirely after the delivery is complete.

    Harry, the Rideshare Guy himself, has noticed that this has become a problem for delivery companies. In particular, the percentages charged to restaurants by these delivery companies has made it very difficult for restaurants to receive much benefit from the apps:

    Whereas the apps may generate some new business, Harry is right – there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to these delivery apps and compensation for them, restaurants and us, the drivers!

    Unfortunately, for many of us, driving and delivering is all we can do. Although the CARES Act allowed self-employed people and independent contractors to apply for unemployment insurance, for many drivers it’s still a byzantine nightmare, with many states still struggling to pass the overall unemployment backlog.

    Most of these issues could be avoided if companies who have been avoiding paying into things like health insurance and unemployment were made to classify employees correctly. It’s enough to make delivery drivers wonder if there’s something better out there…

    How to start my own delivery business with Dumpling

    I wanted to start my own delivery business, so I did a Google search for exactly that – “start my own delivery business”. During my search I found the website for Dumpling which offers to help get you get started by providing many of the things that prevent most gig workers from starting out on their own, including a platform and ability to process payments.

    I’m sure I don’t only speak for myself when saying the number one reason I hadn’t shifted from being a contractor to starting my own delivery business was the lack of funding to do so.

    By sending each shopper a business MasterCard that works much like Instacart, Dumpling eliminates the need for substantial capital. Just like other delivery platforms, customers place an order and the card is automatically loaded with a base amount of funding, and for most large grocery orders this preset amount is more than enough to cover.

    If you need more than the usual set amount, you simply call and more funding is made available to you. This gives business owners protection and cuts out the risk and wait associated with charging customers. That’s not all Dumpling offers either!

    Dumpling helps you set up your own website

    Offering capital, an app for your customers to pick items, place orders, your own website, and the ability to set your own prices, Dumpling is doing for gig workers what every other delivery platform has failed to do. Not to mention, they never hike prices of grocery items like the other top delivery services.

    Dumpling makes it easy to share your link on social media to promote your business

    Also, Dumpling is not just a random new app – it’s raised $3 million dollars and was created to put shoppers at the center, treating us like independent business owners and letting us set our own rates.

    Dumpling: Costs and Getting Paid

    What’s in it for Dumpling? Well, for one, they do charge several fees, including:

    • A $9.99 one-time business set up fee
    • The Starter Plan, which is $5 per order and is pay as you go (no monthly description) OR
    • Pro Plan, which is $39 a month and is for people who process over 8 orders a month
    • Credit card and processing rates

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    Although this may sound complicated, it’s really quite simple and the app BOSS, which is Dumpling’s app for the shopper to access their business settings, makes it very easy to understand. You simply sign up and build a customer list, set up your website, pick the stores or restaurants you will offer, and then adjust your prices and tip percentage. Then you are off to the races as they say.

    how to start your own delivery service

    I pay for the Starter Plan

    The customer gets peace of mind knowing they can order from anywhere, get the same shopper every single time and they don’t even need to use the app to complete an entire order! Customers can text message, email, or even send pictures of items they want, meaning you can save charging them for the end!

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    I choose to get paid on a percentage basis. Note how you can also set your gratuity/tipping percent – a minimum of 10%!

    Dumpling Delivery and Finding Customers

    The only thing shoppers have to provide themselves are the customers.

    This may sound scary and I’ll admit, I am still figuring this part of it out myself. Basically, you have to gather interest and customers, whereas companies like Instacart or Shipt have automatic name recognition and people think of them first when ordering grocery delivery.

    Dumpling professes this is not for everyone, and that’s ok! However, if you can get the customer base and market yourself to your community correctly, the potential is endless.

    Furthermore, if you are unsure about where to begin or would like some guidance Dumpling offers a coaching program! Upon signing up you are matched with a business coach who can help guide you through the process of getting started.

    As if that wasn’t enough to make the average gig worker start a long slow clap for Dumpling, they have even provided funds for each business owner to purchase PPE in lieu of the coronavirus pandemic. This is something no other delivery company has done.

    If owning your own business and being in charge of your prices, locations, customers and more sounds appealing to you, then I strongly suggest giving Dumpling a shot.

    If you are a current customer of other delivery companies and have been subjected to unfair price gouging, orders not being picked up or worse, consider hiring a Dumpling business owner. All you have to do is go to the Dumpling website, download the app and search for your area code to see a list of shoppers in your area.

    When she is not working as a delivery driver, Kristin enjoys spending time with her daughter, painting, and working on her home-based business creating custom-painted plant stands and tables.

    Readers, if you’re currently an Instacart or Shipt shopper, would you try Dumpling? What do you think of running your own delivery business?

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    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.