We talk about gig apps and ways to make extra money on the side quite a bit on This Online World.
I mean, while this is a blog that focuses on ways to make money online, using technology and your smartphone to make money while on the go is also pretty awesome.
In particular, there’s quite a few apps that pay you to drive that are an fast, effective way to boost your monthly income without having a high barrier to entry.
One of these companies is Postmates.
This local delivery behemoth is a major player in the food and grocery delivery space. If you want to make money and work your own schedule, becoming a Postmates courier could be for you.
But, is Postmates worth it?
Well, like any side hustle, you always have to think about the opportunity cost and if you’re really spending your time wisely.
Time to examine how much Postmate pays, some Postmate tips and tricks, and how to make the most out of this side hustle if you decide to go for it!
What Is Postmates?
Postmates is a local delivery service that’s very similar to companies like DoorDash or Uber Eats.
However, while most delivery side gigs focus on fast food and restaurant orders, Postmates goes beyond your basic burger and fries.
With Postmates, customers can order an array of products, including things like:
- Groceries and fast food,
- Kitchen goods.
- Party supplies.
- Pharmacy products.
Now, food and groceries are still massively popular on Postmates, so your job as a courier is similar to working for companies like DoorDash.
However, Postmates is one of the most flexible side hustle apps, and once you get approved as a courier, you can get to work immediately without having to schedule your shifts or worry about minimum hour requirements.
Plus, Postmates is available in hundreds of cities across all 50 states and Mexico.
How Does Postmates Work? – What Delivering Is Like
As I mentioned, one of the main advantages of Postmates vs DoorDash and a lot of other food delivery companies is that Postmates doesn’t bog you down with many rules or schedules.
Once you become a Postmates courier, you should get a Postmates delivery bag and credit card sent to you. You need the credit card to pay for certain orders you pick-up.
Once you have all that, just open the Postmates app and set yourself to available.
After you do that, orders will start to trickle in from different restaurant, fast food joints, and retailers in your city.
You can tap on an order to see some of the details like the distance, specific store, and what’s on the order.
Now, once you bike or drive your way over to the store, your order should hopefully be waiting for you, ready to grab and go. However, there’s always the chance you have to wait if the place is backed-up.
Once the order is ready, you pay for it with your Postmates credit card and snap a picture of the receipt. You then upload this information to your Postmates account.
This is slightly different and a bit of extra work, but the fact that you don’t have to schedule yourself in for shifts like with DoorDash is either a plus or negative depending on how much you value flexibility.
Anyway, after you pay and upload the information, you simply deliver it to the Postmates customer to get paid.
If you want a detailed walkthrough of what working for Postamates is like, I also suggest checking out this Postmates driver app walkthrough video on YouTube:
And remember: if you encounter a problem, you can contact Postmates support through the app to explain what’s going on, which is nice.
Also, it’s worth noting that you can work as a Postmates bike courier and you’ll generally only get orders within a short distance.
You should still double-check order distance and items to ensure bike orders are worth your time and not too cumbersome, but this is a great option if you want to get your exercise in and save on gas!
How Much Does Postmates Pay?
Alright, time to do some number crunching to answer the question if working for Postmates is worth it.
According to Postmates, earnings for each delivery include:
- An amount for each completed pick-up and drop-off.
- A per-minute-waited time for the pick-up location (this is awesome, even though it’s a small amount).
- A per-mile rate you travel between pick-up and drop-off location.
You also keep 100% of all tips.
Now, it’s important to note that Postmates calculates all of these values differently depending on the market you’re in.
For example, take Auburn:
As you can see, you earn $1.40 per pickup, $0.80 for dropoff, a $0.07 per minute wait, and a $0.61 rate per mile.
Additionally, this market currently has a few signup bonuses running including:
- Starter Guarantees. Complete 25 deliveries in 14 days and earn a guarantee $175 including base earnings and per delivery bonuses.
- Inviter Payout. Receive $150 for each person you invite that completes 35 deliveries in 30 days.
- Invitee Payout. Complete 35 deliveries in 30 days and earn guarantee $275 including base earnings and per delivery bonuses.
If you want to find the calculations in your own city, checkout Postmates’ payout information by market.
I definitely recommend doing this before starting so you also learn of any signup bonuses! 🙂
What Data & Real Couriers Say About Postmates Pay
According to ZipRecruiter, Postmates drivers earns $18 per hour on average:
The question is: is this realistic?
Well, if we take a look at forums like Reddit where real Postmates drivers are sharing thier experiences, it seems like Postmates pays many couriers around $15 to $16 per hour:
You can find these type of threads everywhere, and the Postmates subreddit as a very valuable community to hear from experienced couriers and to learn more about the side gig.
Now, you do find users who complain about Postmates and that they can’t earn more than $5-$10 per hour.
However, I’d say the overwhelming average I’ve found is that you can expect Postmates to pay around $12 to $16 per hour, assuming there’s enough demand in your metro and that you work efficiently.
Some couriers also point out that the people who complain about how much Postmates pays often don’t give it enough time or are using the wrong strategies:
We’re going to cover some useful Postmates tips later in this article, but I thought this point was important to bring up.
You’re probably going to have lower hourly earnings when starting because it takes time to learn your city and find the best delivery times/what orders are worth it.
However, it seems like you can work your way up to around $15 per hour if you put in the time to learn the ropes!
Extra Reading – How To Make $200 Per Day With Postmates.
How Much Can You Make In A Week With Postmates?
Another thing to note about the question of how much does Postmates pay is that hourly earnings can be volatile.
After all, the difference between making just one or potentially two or three deliveries in an hour is significant…if you only deliver a few hours and get unlucky, you can get discouraged.
A better question to ask is how much Postmates pays per week for active couriers.
If you search Reddit once again, you do find some pretty nifty posts like this that are definitely a positive sign for this side hustle:
Of course, you shouldn’t expect this off of the bat, and it’s probably good to do a bit of quick math to determine your weekly earning potential.
If we assume that you make $7.50 per delivery and can complete 2 deliveries per hour, here’s how some weekly earnings would break down:
- 5 hours per week – $75 per week, or $300 extra per month.
- 10 hours per week – $150 per week, or $600 extra per month.
- 20 hours per week – $300 per week, or $1,200 extra per month.
- 30 hours per week – $450 per week, or $1,800 extra per month.
- 40 hours per week – $600 per week, or $2400 extra per month.
Again, don’t expect this off of the bat, and check your given market rate for some info and what other couriers in Postmate’s subreddit are earning.
However, it does look like even as a humble side hustle after work on or the weekend, Postmates has some potential!
Pros & Cons Of Working For Postmates
If you’re still wondering if working for Postmates is worth it or not, it’s always helpful to consider the pros and cons.
After all, every gig job has a set of advantages and disadvantages, and working for Postmates isn’t an exception.
- Choose the hours you work
- Can deliver via car, bike, scooter, or foot
- Decent hourly earning potential
- Can start working whenever you want without needing a schedule
- Can take advantage of new Postmate driver sign up bonuses
- Hourly pay is slightly lower compared to DoorDash or jobs like Instacart
- If you spend all of your free time delivering for Postmates, the time you spend is an opportunity cost.
- Smaller markets might make it hard to get a steady stream of orders
- You need to consider vehicle depreciation and gas costs as a Postmates driver
This last point is a major con of working for Postmates or other delivery gigs.
Postmates can pay a solid hourly wage, but you need to factor in fuel costs and wear and tear on your vehicle to get a true idea of your profit.
Additionally, you need to accurately report your Postmates earnings on your tax return since you’re working as an independent contractor and are in charge of filing your taxes correctly.
My tip is to figure out what you want the extra money for and to then determine how many hours of Postmates delivering it would take to reach that goal.
Extra Reading – DoorDash vs Grubhub Pay.
Postmates Driver Requirements
Here are the requirements for working for Postmates:
- Authorize and complete a background check.
- Be at least 18 or older.
- Have access to a vehicle with insurance.
- Upload photo ID.
The application process is pretty simple once you get accepted, and you essentially agree to the Fleet Agreement, set up direct deposit, and activate your payment card.
Note: you can deliver via car, truck, van, motorcycle, scooter, and bike.
Extra Reading – How To Make Money With A Pickup Truck.
Frequently Asked Questions
I thought I would wrap-up this whole debate about if working for Postmates is worth it by tackling some common questions I’ve seen posted on Reddit and other forums.
If you’re still on the fence, here’s a bit more info to inform your decision making!
1. How Much Does Postmates Pay Per Mile?
While it might surprise you, there’s actually a lot of variability in how much Postmates pays per mile depending on your city.
Here are a few examples:
- Silicon Valley – $0.97 per mile.
- Birmingham – $0.47 per mile.
- Fort Lauderdale – $0.63 per mile.
- Davenport – $0.61 per mile.
- Rockford – $0.61 per mile.
- Virginia Beach – $0.45 per mile.
This is why it’s important to look at your specific metro before deciding if Postmates is worth working for.
2. When Do I Get Paid?
Postmates couriers get paid weekly through direct deposit for the deliveries they complete between Monday to Sunday of the previous week.
Once payments are sent to your bank account it takes 2 to 3 days to actually appear in your account.
However, you can set up instant deposit and cash out as fast as you like to a linked checking account for a $0.50 transaction fee.
3. Why Do Postmates Tips Take So Long?
One complaint I’ve seen people mention about Postmates is that it takes some time for your tips to process and actually hit your account balance.
According to Postmates, it takes at least 24 hours for tips to process, even if a customer tips right away.
I’ve also heard that weekends can delay this, so don’t get too worked up if you aren’t getting tips in your account. They will appear in due time!
Extra Reading – How Do Postmates Tips Work?
4. How Can I Make More Money Doing Postmates?
If you’re looking for some Postmates tips and tricks to maximize your earnings, you’re in luck!
There’s actually some strategies that are also common for other food and grocery delivery apps, like Instacart and Shipt.
So, if you want to maximize your earnings, consider the following tips:
- Drive During Peak Times. This is likely during lunch, dinner, and bar nights/weekends. Just keep in mind that lunch orders are usually cheaper and pay less than dinner and late-night orders.
- Track your Mileage. You can claim mileage on your tax return, so use a mileage tracking app like Hurdlr to keep track of your earnings and how much you drive.
- Leverage Signup Bonuses. If you can hit your delivery target and use an invite code to signup for Postmates, you’ll be able to easily boost your first month of earnings.
- Look for Blitz Pricing. During extremely busy times, Postmates actually pays couriers a bonus on orders marked with “Blitz Pricing,” so keep an eye out for these opportunities!
- Double Check Orders. Always double-check orders to make sure the distance is worth your time. Over time, you’ll also get a feel for specific food joints in your city that are easy to work with and others that always leave you waiting for your food.
- Get Cashback on Gas. If you drive for Postmates, check if GetUpside is in your city so you can earn some cashback when refueling. Also try to use a cashback credit card for refueling.
Hopefully, these Postmates tips help you boost your hourly earnings!
Extra Reading – The Best Times To Deliver For Postmates.
5. Is Postmates Legit?
If you look at other Postmates courier reviews, you’ll see that this is a legit company because they pay their drivers/couriers and have been doing so reliably since they got started.
Currently, Postmates has a 3 star review on Indeed with over 2,200 reviews.
The highest rated aspect of the job is work-life balance, whereas pay and benefits have the lowest rating.
This is truly reflective of most gig economy jobs in that while you’re free to work your own schedule and are your own boss in a sense, compensation and benefits aren’t the strength.
Ultimately, it’s safe to say that Postmates is a legit company, but it isn’t for every side hustler.
Is Postmates Worth Working For? Who Should Deliver?
If you want a flexible, straightforward side hustle idea to make extra cash, delivering for Postmates is worth it.
This is especially true if you can work as a bike courier and avoid putting mileage on your vehicle and paying for gas.
The bottom line is that Postmates usually pays more than minimum wage, and if you get a steady stream of orders, you can probably make a few hundred dollars extra per month with this gig.
Now, if you’re looking to make thousands of dollars per month or don’t have regular access to a vehicle/bike, Postmates isn’t worth working for. That’s because the hourly pay simply isn’t high enough and you really need a vehicle or bike to make it worth it.
Additionally, I think alternatives to working for Postmates like driving for DoorDash or working for Instacart are worth testing because they often pay more than Postmates per hour.
And, every market is different, so you need to test what works best in your area.
Personally, I would sign up for food delivery gigs like DoorDash first because it’s available in more markets and pay more and then test how much you earn working for Postmates.
Many couriers actually work for Postmates and other food delivery apps simultaneously since this lets them get more order requests per hour, so they can pick the highest-paying orders to take.
Extra Reading – How Much Can I Make A Week With DoorDash?
DoorDash Disclaimer: Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.
Postmates Joins Uber Eats – An Update
I’m updating this post because Postmates has recently joined Uber!
This news comes as no surprise since Uber aquired Postmates in early 2021.
From the looks of things, it looks like you can still sign up from the Postmates website but drivers are redirected to sign up for Uber Eats.
This means I suggest reading our post on if Uber Eats is worth working for as well as our post on Uber Eats tips and tricks to help you maximize your earnings as a food delivery driver!
At the end of the day, Postmates is a way to earn approximately $12 to $16 per hour delivering food, groceries, and other everyday essentials to people in your city.
Is this still worth it when you factor in your time, vehicle depreciation, and fuel costs?
Well, that’s up to you.
If you’re sick of having no money after paying off your bills and want a flexible side hustle that has a low barrier to entry, Postmates could be for you.
In contrast, if you feel strapped for time and the idea of working a few extra hours per week fills you with anxiety, this isn’t the right side gig to try.
It’s truly all a matter of personal preference and doing what’s right for your situation.
I mean, my friend delivers for Uber Eats and DoorDash by bike because it’s great exercise and a nice break from his programming job.
Ultimately, if you need money fast, Postmates could be it. You can also try other gig platforms like Wonolo or apps like TaskRabbit if you want some new ideas.
Hopefully, this post has helped clarify what you shoul expect as a Postmates driver/courier!
Catch you guys in the next one!
Description: Postmates is a local delivery service where drivers and bike couriers can make money delivering food, groceries, and other everyday essentials to people in their city.
Operating System: Android, IOS
Application Category: Gig Apps
Author: Tom Blake
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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