Driving for Postmates is a great option for bringing in a little extra cash each month. Postmates is similar to services such as Uber or Lyft, but instead of taxi-ing people, Postmate couriers deliver goods such as take-out, packages, personal items, and groceries.
Here’s how it works: After you sign up and download the Fleet app, Postmates will send you notifications for delivery orders in your location. You can tap “accept” to accept the order, or sign up for auto-accept to automatically accept orders after you have manually accepted your first order for a particular drive. The Fleet app will then give you a route to the pick-up and drop-off location. Each new order that you accept will be added to this route.
In some cases, the order will already be placed, and in other cases you will place the order yourself — either by phone or once you arrive. If the order was not prepaid, you will use a prepaid card supplied by Postmates to purchase the items. You will then tap “start drop-off” on the app, and drive to the drop-off location where you will deliver the order.
Clearly, the process itself is extremely simple. There are, however, a few tricks you can employ to maximize your potential earnings as a driver.
1) Stack Deliveries
One of the best ways to make more money, faster, driving for Postmates, is accept multiple deliveries at once. The logic behind this one is fairly obvious. With Postmates, you are paid per order, so accepting 6 orders at once and delivering them all in an hour will net you the same profit as accepting 6 orders separately and delivering them over several hours.
Using the “auto-accept” feature is great for stacking deliveries. With the auto-accept option turned on, Postmates will automatically accept new orders for you and add them to your route. This saves time, and also cuts down on the possibility that other drivers will snag a nearby order before you.
Stacking orders is especially easy if all of your deliveries are in the same general area. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Postmates requires you to deliver packages in the same order you picked them up, so make sure you keep track and plan your route accordingly. Postmates also has a “1 hour delivery” guarantee, so make sure you don’t accept more orders than you can reasonably complete in one hour.
2) Find the Best Locations
Finding the best locations to drive from may take a bit of trial and error, but figuring it out is well worth the effort. As with anything, time is money when driving with Postmates. Postmates pays you for the timeframe between pick-up and drop-off — not for the time it takes to actually pick up the order. This means that it will benefit you to find an area close to most of your pick-up locations, and hang out there during your shift.
On top of this, certain areas in your city will be more profitable to you. This is because Postmates is generally more popular in more densely populated neighborhoods. Pay attention when you take your shifts to the areas that tend to have more orders, and focus on driving in those locations. It may even be helpful to write down the orders you’ve accepted, along with their times and your earnings, during each shift. This data will be useful to you down the road, and will really help you pin-point the best possible places for you to drive.
Beyond knowing the trends in your area, you can also use Postmates’ Fleet app to find “hot spots” — areas in your city that are experiencing a high volume of orders. These hot spots will show up on your map in dark red, and are a great place to be to accept orders.
3) Take Advantage of Blitz Pricing
Postmates has a fun offer called “blitz pricing” to encourage couriers to work during peak hours. Blitz pricing is a special bonus you receive on top of your normal delivery fee and occurs when the number of orders exceeds the number of couriers currently available. Blitz pricing often occurs near lunch and dinner, but pay attention to the trends in your area to make the most out of this feature.
4) Use the Receipt
Perhaps the best way to make more money with Postmates is to focus on tips. One trick to increase your likelihood of getting tipped, is to give the customer the receipt for their order. A simple, “here’s the receipt in case there is anything wrong with your order,” will do.
Before you leave, don’t forget to remind the customer to close out the order and rate the service. The is especially important to avoid a pending status and not seeing your tip anytime soon.
5) Go the Extra Mile
Another idea to increase your tips is to always go the extra mile. Great service generally gets rewarded, so why not make sure your customers feel special and taken care of? There are so many ways to do this. Here’s a few ideas:
- Make sure they have utensils, napkins and plates (use common sense to decide how many)
- Grab some condiment packets for their food
- Let them know about current Postmates promotions (there are a lot)
- Help them save a little money with a coupon or two
- Recommend a local restaurant you like
- Don’t forget to smile and be friendly!
There are plenty of things you can do to increase your earnings potential as a Postmates courier. The payment you receive per delivery is relatively low. In order to make the the most money with Postmates, you will want to deliver more orders in less time. So keep your focus on quality service that will increase your likelihood of receiving a fat tip.
Driving for Postmates might not earn you enough to replace your day job, but it is a great side hustle and a viable way to make some extra cash on the side.