I started driving for Postmates in the autumn of 2016; I had just moved to Anaheim, California, had just started a new job but could really use some extra income.
So I started looking into various rideshare and delivery apps, to see what might suit me.
If I’m honest, I chose Postmates because of its convenience and my relative laziness! I didn’t like the idea of having to go get my car checked out or having to do an interview to drive for a courier service.
The Postmates sign-up process seemed the easiest. It also seemed, after a little research, that of the various courier apps, its delivery rates were the highest.
What the Sign-Up Process was Like
Once I created an account, the process was pretty easy. I needed to confirm that I had a valid driver’s license and a way to get around. (The nice thing about Postmates is that you can deliver by car, scooter, bike, or on foot, assuming your market is conducive to it.)
I didn’t have to have my car approved, since I’m the only one who’s ever in it, and I didn’t have to talk to anyone.
After they approved my account (which they said could take up to a week, but really ended up only taking about a day,) I was sent a link to download the Postmates Fleet app to my phone.
In the following days, I also received a prepaid card in the mail, which is what I use to pay for deliveries, and an insulated bag to keep the food at the right temperature on long drives.
Postmates boasts that you can make $1,500 a week driving for them, and that’s probably true if you’re setting out to do that and also don’t work another job.
In my case, I’ve always been out to just supplement my income. I set an arbitrary goal for myself (usually $50/day) and then work until I make that goal.
It’s worth noting that the pay rates for Postmates differ market to market; you can find the information for your specific market here.
Since I started driving for Postmates, I’ve moved to San Diego, a city I know very well, and have a much better time of it because I know where I’m going!
The Process of Delivering for Postmates
1. Order available: This tells you which merchant to pick up from but not where you’ll be delivering it to. You can either accept the order or skip it.
2. Once you’ve accepted the delivery, the app will give you the name of the customer you’re picking up for, plus the items they ordered. There are three possible options for what you’ll need to do once you arrive at the merchant:
- Prepaid: All you need to do is give the merchant the name or number of the order. Once they give it to you, you'll be ready to go!
- “Pay with your Postmates prepaid card.” These orders have been placed by someone at the Postmates call center, but this merchant doesn’t utilize the Postmates merchant app, so you’ll have to pay for the food. Keep in mind you’ll need an itemized receipt here, as you’ll have to upload a photo of it to the app.
- “Order when you arrive.” These are the most time-consuming orders, as you have to place the order yourself, pay for it, and then wait for it to be ready. You do get paid by the minute while at the merchant, but keep in mind the rate for waiting time is much lower than the rate while driving.
3. Once the order is in hand, you can hit “Complete Pickup,” at which point, the app will give you the customer’s address (the app also gives you a method of contacting customers, in case there’s a problem with the order or you have trouble finding them.)
4. Once you’ve delivered the items to the customers, hit “Complete Delivery.” The app will then tell you how much you made (before tip) and will leave you open for new orders. Keep in mind, once you’re on your way to the customer, the app may ask you to “stack” a delivery, which essentially means you have a new delivery waiting for you as soon as you’re done delivering the current delivery. This is a good thing to keep an eye out for, as it can make your driving much more lucrative.
That’s all there is to it!
It is possible to make a lot of money driving for Postmates, if you know what you’re doing and have a system that works with the Fleet algorithm.
There are learning curves and tricks to make the process easier and more lucrative. They take a little trial and error, and a lot of patience, but once you get the hang of it, Postmates can be smooth sailing and can make you a lot of money!
* IMPORTANT: You may be confused why the email (firstname.lastname@example.org) shows up in the email field, but it's important to leave this here as this is how you'll be able to receive your bonus. Postmates automatically applies this referral email to your application at signup.
You can double-check the address field at the top of your browser to make sure it says this:
Then click "Get Started."