Operating in almost 3000 US cities, Postmates helps folks get anything delivered when they want it. This great convenience-oriented delivery service has been kicking around since 2011, helping folks get food, groceries, and coffees (and, sure, other drinks, too) wherever and whenever. Of course, they need help fulfilling this promise—which is where you come in.
If you’d like another way to make money while hanging out and traveling around your city, get the scoop and read on for my review on driving for Postmates!
As a member of the Postmates team, you use their app to accept local delivery gigs, pick up the requested items, and perform the delivery. This may mean driving, biking, or even walking to a local shop or restaurant to pick up goods or orders—and then delivering them to the client you’ve connected with on their app.
You get to set your own schedule by logging onto the app whenever you’d like to pick up some delivery gigs; remember, however, that while there are no required hours, some hours of the day will simply be busier and thus more lucrative than others. To maximize your earning potential, plan your shifts accordingly.
When you’re online and accepting deliveries, Postmates will actually assign available jobs to you for your consideration. As soon as they notify you of an available delivery, they’ll start a timer—if you wait too long, they’ll offer the delivery to another active Postmate. Once you review and accept the order, you’ll head to the local store or restaurant and either pick up a prepaid order that’s ready to go, or you’ll place an order once you arrive using the details provided to you in the app. (If you have to place the order yourself, you’ll pay using a Postmates prepaid card that they send you in your Welcome Kit when you first start delivering with them.)
Throughout the delivery process, Postmates provides the most efficient route to the merchant and then to the client’s location in their app (although you can use other map apps if you prefer). It’s best to deliver the goods directly to the client, and to confirm it’s them before hand-off. Once you’re finished, mark the delivery complete and get paid for your time.
How to Drive for Postmates
Postmates has made their sign-up process very simple and straightforward. Start by downloading their app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. If you don’t feel like searching the relevant app store, click here and they’ll text you a link. (Make sure you know whether your cell phone plan charges you for texts first.)
The app will invite you to set up an account using your email address and setting a password. Next, they'll get all the necessary personal details, which include your name, address, phone number, and which city you'll be doing deliveries in. If you're driving, they'll also ask for your car's details and your driver's license number. They’re also going to want a profile photo, so have a good selfie standing by.
Next up, you'll get to read their legal agreement and authorize a background check. They’ll also mail a Welcome Kit to you, which includes a Postmates bag to help with deliveries and a Postmates Prepaid Card for you to pay for orders with as necessary.
Once you’ve passed your background check, linked your card to your account, and are ready to go, you can sign on to the app and start taking delivery jobs.
Requirements for Contracting with Postmates
In order to work with Postmates, you must be at least 18 years old and be in a city that they service. The great news is that they now offer delivery services to cities in all 50 states, and D.C., so there’s a good chance you can do deliveries for them. (You don’t even have to live in the city where you’re delivering—you just have to log in on the app while you’re in that city. So feel free to work while you travel, if you want!)
While it’s not necessary, they do recommend that you pick up a Postmates shirt from their shop to help customers recognize that you’re there to deliver their orders. (Right now, the shirt is $12.) You can also pick up other useful gear for these gigs, such as an illuminated Postmates sign for your car, a hot/cold bag, and a drink carrier.
So, how much does Postmates pay you to make deliveries? It depends. They absolutely pay you for each pickup and drop-off that you complete. They also pay you for the time you spend waiting on an order in a store, and they'll pay you something for the distance you have to travel to make the delivery (only between the pickup and drop-off, though).
Pay attention to this detail: how much you are paid for the above depends on where you’re delivering. Each location offers a different rate for pickup, rate for dropoff, rate per minute spent waiting in store, and rate per mile traveled.
For example, if you’re in Orlando, FL, you could expect to make $1.50 per pickup, $1.00 per dropoff, $0.07 for each minute waited, and $0.45 for each mile traveled. But if you're in Atlanta, GA, it's $0.61 per mile traveled (all else is the same). In Los Angeles, CA, it's $1.50 per pickup, $0.70 per dropoff, $0.07 per minute waited, and $0.69 per mile traveled. Each city has its own landing page that details the earning potential available to you.
These per-delivery rates aren’t the only way to earn with them. You can also earn a guaranteed minimum invitee payout including delivery bonuses if you complete a certain number of deliveries within a certain time frame. For example, in Atlanta at the time of publishing this post, you can make a guaranteed $425 (including base earnings and delivery bonuses) if you complete 50 deliveries in 30 days. This also varies according to your location.
You also get to keep all of your tips, so keep those clients happy!
(All numbers in this section are current as of this writing. Rates can change at any time.)
How They Pay
When you successfully sign up to deliver for Postmates, they'll have you sign up for direct deposit. Then, each Monday, they automatically deposit your earnings into your bank account. There's no fee, and no required minimum to cash out.
You can also choose to cash out whenever you want, as many times a day as you want. These instant deposits require that you have at least $5.00 in available balance; they also cost $0.50 per deposit. You’ll need to have a debit card linked to your account as well.
What People Are Saying
Reviews are mixed for delivering with Postmates, but most of the negative reviews hinge on people feeling deceived about the earning potential. As with any gig-based work, you can only get work when there’s work to get. There will be slow periods and slow days, meaning you won’t always reach the promised earning potential advertised by Postmates. Some cities will also simply have more work than others based on size and popularity (for example, Orlando vs. Pensacola in Florida).
Postmates probably shouldn’t be your only income stream, but instead a side hustle or one of many gig-based jobs that you do. Diversifying in this way will keep you solvent when there aren’t enough Postmates gigs to go around.
So, what do you say? Will you try delivering for Postmates? There’s no time like the present, so sign up and start earning at your convenience.