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15 min read

    15 min read

    Postmates drivers are in high demand right now. Postmates says you can earn up to $27 an hour delivering food and more. It’s one of the best gig jobs.

    In the past, our experience showed Postmates drivers made around $14/hour driving, but now, Postmates drivers are earning at minimum $20 an hour, and more depending on when and where they deliver. Add in customer tips, and you can get paid even more. You can also cash out instantly, every day you drive.

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    I’ll show you how to improve your efficiency so you can avoid some of the lower-paying orders that will net you less. You don’t need a car to make deliveries with Postmates. You can also do Postmates delivery by bike, car, scooter, motorcycle, or even by walking.

    Delivering with Postmates is a little different from typical delivery: Postmates drivers pick up everything from food to Best Buy orders! Below, we offer you the top Postmates driver delivery tips so you can earn more in less time.

    Become a Postmates Driver

    The Postmates application process is very simple. To become a Postmates driver all you’ll need is:

    • Download the Postmates app
    • Create an account with an email address and password
    • Input your basic information, including what city you’re driving in and the vehicle you’re using (if delivering with a car)

    You’ll also go through a standard background check (yes, you’ll need a Social Security Number) but before that process kicks off, you’ll actually have to do a few more things. This is where most drivers get confused – you’ll need to set up things like direct deposit before Postmates runs you through the background check process, so make sure to follow their instructions:

    • Review the Fleet Agreement
    • Upload your profile photo
    • Add your referral code
    • Set up direct deposit
    • Activate your Postmates Card in your app once you receive your Welcome Kit

    Note: some markets do not require a Postmates Card. In these instances, your Welcome Kit will be sent after you complete your first delivery.

    Once you link your card, upload your selfie, and download the Fleet app, your background check begins and the final part of the process is kicked off, so watch your email inbox for next steps and instructions.

    Postmates Driver Qualifications

    To become a Postmates driver, you’ll need to be 18 years of age or older. You’ll need some sort of vehicle to drive, but scooters count and in some cities, you can deliver on foot.

    Here are instructions for using the Postmates driver app:

     

    Postmates Vehicle Requirements

    Signing up to deliver with Postmates was easy. While going through the sign up process, I 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! 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.

    Postmates Orientation

    In the past, to work for Postmates would have you go to an in-person orientation. Nowadays, Postmates will have you fill out the information above and then follow up with a Welcome Kit like the one below.

    A day or two later, a package arrived. Inside were two items:

    1. A Postmates bag.
    2. 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 to 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?

    This is why we always recommend signing up with multiple delivery apps – try something like DoorDash or Instacart first so you can get the hang of delivery!

    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 DoorDash, 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.

    Postmates Sign Up Bonus

    Postmates is one of the few delivery companies out there still offering referral bonuses for new drivers! Your sign up bonus will depend on the city in which you drive, so make sure to sign up with a Postmates referral code!

    Postmates recently began an incentive program that guarantees you will make a specified amount of money (a la Uber’s guaranteed earnings program). For example, after using my Postmates referral code to sign up in Phoenix, if I complete 85 deliveries in 30 days, I would earn a referral guarantee of $675.

    Read more about the Postmates sign up bonus here: Postmates Sign Up Bonus.

    Working for Postmates – My Experience

    My first official Postmates pickup was for Sprinkles Cupcakes.

    Just like DoorDash, as soon as I arrived, I tapped my screen to reveal the specifics of my order.

    I walked in and confidently stated, “Hi, I’m Dash and I have a Postmates order for Melissa.”

    The employee checked the order, got the cupcakes, and handed them to me. I slid to the next screen and got this:

    This is where my experience working for Postmates diverged from my past experience. The majority of DoorDash restaurants have a DD corporate account, allowing them to complete their transaction directly. This direct account eliminates my involvement in a transaction. I typically sign the DD order printout, I assume for their own record-keeping, and go on my way.

    Postmates is very different. I felt like every time I picked up an order, I needed to ask for the receipt and enter the receipt value into the app. Furthermore – and this is where it gets cumbersome – I needed to take a photo of the receipt and upload it to the screen, like this:

    After I submitted the above claim, I was given directions to the customer’s house and delivered without incident. Once completed, I got this:

    Cool! I earned $6.43!

    Pro-tip: Don’t lose your Postmates credit card! I briefly lost my Postmates credit card mid-shift (I blame the misplacement on the accumulation of photograph-requiring receipts in my pocket, but that’s a different rant). I paid the restaurant $13.25 with my own credit card to get through the order.

    After the incident, I read support FAQs that said PM won’t reimburse drivers for meals paid on their own card. I understand that policy position, but I thought my incident was cut & dried enough to warrant a one-time reimbursement/hand slap. I never received a response for either of my support emails.

    After my first week on the job, I received a deposit for my week of work: $105.21, for part time driving.

    Note: Don’t forget to track your miles as a delivery driver! As a delivery driver (and rideshare driver) you can deduct mileage at tax time. Looking for a free mileage tracker? Check out Stride (available on Android and iOS).

    Postmates Driver Pay

    Most people that work for Postmates find that they make around $13 an hour, although those numbers are currently going up due to the increase in delivery demand.

    From our experience, you’ll actually earn a little more if you deliver with Postmates via bike. We found Postmates driver pay by bike came to $15/hr.

    In addition, we recently surveyed delivery drivers about driving during the pandemic/quarantine. New Postmates delivery drivers are reporting earning $20/hour now, due to increased tips and lower competition (fewer drivers out doing delivery).

    Kory Mann, a popular Los Angeles YouTuber, shares how she made over $1,000 in one month (less than part-time!) delivering with Postmates in the video. Her top tips?

    • Drive during lunch and dinner hours – these are considered ‘peak hours’ for Postmates orders
    • Incentives and tips make a huge difference in earnings
    • Take multiple requests! Stack requests, especially if the deliveries are close by

     

    Read more about Postmates driver pay here.

    Postmates Referral Guarantees By City

    Good as of 2020 only if you use a Postmates referral code

    You can find your specific city and payout here, but a few stand outs include:

    • NYC: complete 105 deliveries in 30 days and earn $850 ($8 extra per order)
    • Philadelphia: complete 65 deliveries in 30 days to earn $525 ($8 extra per order)
    • Denver: complete 85 deliveries in 30 days and earn $675 ($8 extra per order)
    • Los Angeles: complete 130 deliveries in 30 days and earn $1050 ($8 extra per order)
    • Salt Lake City: complete 60 deliveries in 30 days and earn $475 ($8 extra per order)

    These bonuses are good as of 2020, so if you’re thinking of signing up for Postmates, now is a good time to do it! You can sign up with our referral code here to get your Postmates Sign Up Bonus.

    It’s been over a year since we broke out how much Postmates couriers earn per hour, but in our several articles about Postmates, we made anywhere from $9.50/hour to $14 an hour. Glassdoor estimates Postmates drivers earn on average $13 an hour.

    As with all delivery companies, where you work affects how much you’ll earn per hour. Drivers in California estimate the earn around $15-16/hour with Postmates, with that number increasing as Postmates couriers get more proficient at accepting and delivering orders.

    How are Postmates Earnings Calculated?

    While working for Postmates may pay a little less than other popular delivery companies, like DoorDash, payouts are calculated pretty straightforwardly:

    The earnings for each delivery include:

    • An amount for each completed pick-up
    • An amount for each completed drop-off
    • A per-minute-waited rate for the time you spend at the pick-up location
    • A per-mile rate for the distance between the pick-up and drop-off locations
    • 100% of the tips you earn!

    For Phoenix, my formula looks like this:

    postmates earnings in phoenix

    Postmates Delivery Earnings in Phoenix, AZ (2020 rates)

    Compare this to the rates Postmates had back in 2018, and you’ll see they’ve bumped pickup rates way up. Although the other rates went down a bit, that doubled increase in pickup rates makes up for it.

    Also, don’t forget to track your mileage – in 2020, you can deduct 57.5 cents for ‘business miles driven’, helping reduce expenses even more.

    2018 Postmates Delivery rates

    You can find the formula for your city here. Postmates couriers also keep 100% of their tips.

    Something important to note: Postmates still has bonuses… but only if you sign up with a referral code! This is the bonus I’m offered in Phoenix:

    postmates driver bonus

    Note that you’ll only get this extra bonus if you sign up with a referral code!

    You’ll get paid every Monday with Postmates, or you can get your earnings on demand with Instant Deposits.

    Postmates Driver Advice

    Here are our top tips for Postmates Drivers:

    1) Take advantage of Postmates incentives!

    Similar to a few other delivery companies, like DoorDash, Postmates offers a variety of incentives for drivers. Use them!

    Here are the types of incentives Postmates offers:

    • Bonus per Delivery: Earn an additional payout bonus for every delivery accepted within a specified time frame and completed within the specified zone.
    • Guaranteed Earnings: Complete a certain number of deliveries within a set period of time and earn a guaranteed minimum payout
    • Crushers: Complete a certain number of deliveries within a set time period and earn an additional payout bonus
    • Invites: Invite friends to become a Postmate and earn a guaranteed amount for each invitee that completes a certain number of deliveries within a set time period.

    2) Pay attention to peak driving times in your city!

    Postmates offers a handy list, by state and city, of peak times and payouts/referrals. Make sure to check out the peak times in your city to see when Postmates recommend you drive.

    For example, in Florida, Postmates recommends drivers get out from:

    • Every day from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Demand increases as customers order early to time the delivery arrival with their lunch break.
    • Every day from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. In the evenings, demand spikes as customers order dinner. This is the busiest time of day.

    These are similar to the peak times in California, but the California page provides more information on the type of vehicles accepted (including walking) and small business registration information.

    3) Time is money!

    As much as possible, don’t accept deliveries for restaurants that make you wait until the food is cooked. You’re not paid as much for waiting for food, and you want to keep moving.

    4) Communicate with your customer

    Let them know when you’ve arrived at the restaurant (and double check that their order is correct), then let them know you’re on your way.

    This is extra helpful now, as you’ll also want to text them after you deliver the food (no contact delivery) so they know to go outside and get it without interacting with you.

    5) Take advantage of Blitz pricing

    When you’re on Postmates, you’ll notice before accepting a request that sometimes you’re offered ‘Blitz’ pricing. This gives you a bonus on earnings!

    For example, if you receive a blitz pricing notification for 1.5x, you’ll receive 50% on top of that order. If it’s a $10 order, you’ve just made $15 (not including tips!)

    Takeaways for Working for Postmates in 2020

    There is a lot of competition in the delivery space though with Uber Eats, DoorDash, and other local companies getting in on the food delivery action. This is both good and bad, as it’s hard to say which one company you should go with it – it depends on what’s the most popular company in your market. On the other hand, it does encourage you to sign up for multiple companies to determine which one pays you the best and keeps you the busiest.

    As always, it makes the most sense to combine delivery with rideshare driving (Uber and Lyft) so you stay consistently busy during your driving hours. Postmates can help you do this by keeping you busy during lunch, which is typically a slow time of day for drivers (at least during the weekdays).

    At the very least, you can sign up with Postmates today, deliver the required number of deliveries for your city in 30 days, and get a guaranteed pay out! These amounts are good as of 2020, and you’ll need a Postmates referral code to get the guarantee. You can use our Postmates referral code here to sign up with Postmates.

    Postmates Courier FAQs

    What are the most common Postmates deliveries?

    Depending on the area you’re driving in and the time of day you’re delivering, you may have a different experience. But, overall, you’ll likely receive more food delivery around lunch and dinner time for local restaurants. There will be occasions when you’ll be delivering alcohol, but Postmates offers instructions on verifying a customer’s ID if that comes up.

    How do I sign up for Postmates?

    Make sure to sign up for Postmates with a referral link! Also, be sure to have your phone handy as you’ll be sent a verification code while signing up.

    Is Postmates available in my city?

    Postmates is most likely available in your city! You can sign up to deliver for Postmates to check and see if Postmates is in your city.

    Does Postmates pricing change during high demand?

    Postmates has broken down the most likely busy times for you here:

    postmates driver income

    It is not guaranteed that you’ll earn more during this time, but if the demand is high, you’ll likely receive blitz pricing. They don’t seem to have a breakdown listed of what this blitz pricing really looks like, but you will be notified before accepting a delivery that it will pay higher due to being in a blitz price time and location.

    How can I contact the customer if something goes wrong?

    Within the app, click on the question mark in the corner if you’re having an issue. From there, scroll to the bottom and click on the Email link under “Contact Us”. That will take you to a page where you choose what general issue you’re having and give you more options to keep narrowing down your issue. From there, you can fill out a form to let them know exactly what is going on.

    What are batched and chained deliveries?

    A batched delivery will contain multiple orders from the same location. This lets you do multiple deliveries at once, saving you time and earning you more money. Be sure to double check you’re delivering the correct order to the right drop-off space.

    A chained delivery is multiple orders from different locations. These will end up being deliveries where the drop-off location is in close proximity to each other.

    What do I do if the customer isn’t there to receive the order?

    If you go to the delivery location and the customer cannot be found, Postmates has you return all items that are able to be returned such as non-food and non-perishables. In some instances, your app will be able to detect the items in the order that can be returned and direct you back to the pick-up spot.

    Do I get rated for making deliveries?

    You are giving a thumbs up or a thumbs down from your customer after your delivery. This will not affect your standings as a courier for Postmates.

    Do you currently drive for Postmates? If so, what tips do you have for new Postmates couriers?

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    -RSG Team

    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.