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How Much Money Did I Make Driving For Postmates?

Postmates and Doordash are the top two delivery companies right now. In today’s article, I’ll review my experience with Postmates but I do recommend signing up for both: Sign up for DoorDash

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As business owners, it’s important to diversify your income streams. I talk about this a lot because it’s important, hopefully you guys get that by now. Right now, times are good, drivers can get by just driving for Uber and making a decent wage whether it’s part-time or full-time.

But it’s easy to get complacent when you can turn an app on at literally any time of the day and go make decent money with Uber or maybe even Lyft. Why should you go sign-up for another service and waste time with orientations and on-boarding when you can make more money just driving for Uber? The answer to that question isn’t simple but it’s something that every savvy business owner has learned over time: you have to hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

Now more than ever, while things are good, is the time to start assessing all of your options and looking at multiple platforms to see how they can benefit you. I think the emergence of all of these niche rideshare and delivery options are a great thing for drivers. They are all getting funded with boku bucks and they are all in need of drivers. I currently see two major problems for drivers though:

How do I know which services to drive for? If there were a hundred on demand companies that you could potentially work for, it obviously wouldn’t be feasible to apply for all and try them all out. Lucky for you, I do this full-time now so I know what to look for with these companies and as they start to scale nationally, I will be trying them all out and reporting back so that you don’t have to. I’m going to give you the good, the bad and the ugly since I have no agenda with these companies other than figuring out whether they can help drivers earn more money or not (and what it’s like to drive for them).
Why aren’t these companies trying harder to retain drivers? When companies are in start-up mode, they tend to throw acquisition costs out the window. They don’t care how much it costs to onboard new drivers since they want their growth charts to look more and more like a hockey stick. But, this phase can only last for so long and at some point, all of these companies are going to have to start doing a lot more to retain drivers. You can put yourself in the most advantageous position by not being afraid to switch to the company that treats drivers the best. If all of Uber’s drivers started moving over to Sidecar, I guarantee Uber would take notice and take driver’s concerns about adding a tip button seriously. Actions speak louder than words so if you’re unwilling to go out of your comfort zone, Uber has no incentive to appease you. The attitude you should always take with these guys is that they need you more than you need them.
Now more than ever, while things are good, is the time to start assessing all of your options and looking at multiple platforms to see how they can benefit you. I think the emergence of all of these niche rideshare and delivery options are a great thing for drivers. They are all getting funded with boku bucks and they are all in need of drivers. I currently see two major problems for drivers though:

I think the actual delivery fee is going to be very similar across every Postmates region but what’s going to change big time is the number of jobs you can do per hour and the tips you get. I was able to do about 1.33 jobs per hour but I really don’t see how I could do more than 1.5 or so on average. There are just so many factors beyond your control that limit your earning potential.

On this night, I logged on at 5:45 pm but didn’t accept my first request until 6:45 pm and then worked until around 9:45 pm. So during that 3 hour span, I completed 4 jobs, made $39.35 and drove 34 miles. So my gross hourly rate was $12.97 per hour. I know some people like to use the standard mileage rate deduction of 57.5 cents in order to calculate the expense of operating their vehicle but that number is pretty conservative in my mind. I’d say the cost for my car is closer to 35 cents per mile.

So if I calculate my net earnings (after vehicle expenses), my hourly rate drops down to $9.03 per hour. I’ll probably be able to increase that by 10-20% once I get the hang of things but it’s probably a bit low for most people. There is clearly no shortage of Postmates drivers though so I’m not sure how they’re able to get by paying such low hourly rates when there are other more lucrative options available.

Personally, I think drivers should make more than $10 per hour so it’s not a service that I currently recommend going out and signing up for. That being said, there are always people who will be willing to work for less and less. But I value my skills and you should too! At a certain point, when these companies are making millions of dollars, drivers should share in some of that success. That’s not going to happen at $10/hr.

My hope is that some of the other on demand delivery services like DoorDash, Instacart and Washio (just to name a few) will figure out a way to make this a more lucrative endeavor for drivers. I think there are a lot of Uber and Lyft drivers who would be willing to switch over to a company that treated them well and paid a reasonable hourly wage.

Maximizing Your Income On Postmates

Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to take what I’ve learned and go apply it to see if I can maximize my earnings with Postmates. My next post will cover all that and more. Here’s a preview of what I’ll be trying out and potentially writing about:

What’s Blitz pricing like? Can it be leveraged to earn drivers more?
How to increase tips. I’ve already experimented with texting each customer after each delivery and I’m also considering providing restaurant recommendations based off their order (I’m a foodie and I love to use Yelp!)
Peak Demand Postmates Vs. Low Demand Uber. The only time I can think of where you might be able to make more on Postmates than with Uber is during the lunch rush.
Business Opportunities. While you’re out walking around delivering food, you might as well pass out a few promo cards 🙂
Strategy. I’ll be doing a lot of experimenting and gathering data on earnings potential with fast casual food vs. restaurants and also when/where to drive.
Bike Couriers. Is there a better job for someone without a car?

Postmates is currently offering sign-up bonuses up to $200 depending on your city and if you’d like to sign up using my link, thank you!

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