Whether you have a great job, or if your job doesn’t pay you nearly enough, it is always a good idea to have extra income from other sources. Having a side hustle is one way to make some extra cash in your spare time. But with so many side hustling options, which should you choose?
In the past few years, food delivery apps, such as Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, have become go-to’s for takeout. You can get almost any food you like delivered to your door within an hour.
In 2011, a San Francisco-based internet company created Postmate. This app lets people have food and other services delivered to their door whenever they want. The on-demand delivery service was founded in 1999. With the more recent introduction of smartphones, Postmates has gained traction with consumers.
In summer of 2020, Uber announced it was acquiring the food-delivery service Postmates for $2.65 billion in stock. Uber originally stated that it would keep the Postmates app running as its own separate brand. But by December news started to surface that customers and restaurants have been introduced to the idea of Postmates being “folded into” Uber Eats.
As of the time of this writing, there is no word of whether or not Uber and Postmates will merge into one application. For now, only the back office operations will be merged but Uber still states that that Postmates and UberEats will continue to operate as separate brands.
So with all of these changes happening, is side hustling with Postmates worth it?
How does it work?
Postmates offers on-demand delivery, so you can have all your favorite goodies at your door with the touch of a button. Though Postmates was initially envisioned as a food delivery service, it soon developed into a broader marketplace enabling customers to purchase various items to be delivered by a Postmate driver.
Along with takeout, Postmates also offers delivery from some grocery stores, pharmacies, electronic, and liquor stores, depending on where you live and the nearby stores that are available.
Postmates is a little more expensive than other delivery services. In addition to a delivery fee (which can range from $3.99 to $5.99), they also charge a 9% service fee. They offer a savings option for customers who order frequently.
The Postmates Unlimited program gives you unlimited free delivery from partner companies or merchants, as long as your order is over $12. Postmates Unlimited subscribers get extra perks like exclusive deals, the ability to attend Postmates events, and discounts on deliveries of items under $12, even during peak hours.
The first step to using Postmates is downloading the app on your smartphone and creating an account if you don’t already have it. The Postmates app has tabs at the top to select either delivery or pick-up items. You can also order popular items right now to earn free delivery.
There is a search bar in the upper right corner to help you find items. Just type in the food or item you want, i.e., sushi, and the app will find businesses with the product available. To access your account information, including your latest orders and available perks, tap on the account icon in the top-left corner of the screen.
Driving for Postmates
Postmates is one option for people who want to ditch their desk jobs and make money doing something they enjoy. Postmates charges customers for deliveries. The amount needed to cover the costs is placed on a corporate debit card, which the driver uses to pay for the customer’s purchase.
Postmates advertises that its drivers could make as much as $25 per hour delivering customers’ orders but, drivers typically make between $12 and $18 per hour. Specifically, Postmates pays its drivers the following: $0.95 pick-up, $0.95 drop-off, $0.09 per minute waiting at pick-up, $0.72 per mile between pick-up and the final drop-off point, and 100% of tips from customers.
The amount you earn as a Postmates driver is based on factors including how many people use the service in your area, the time of day, how many other Postmates drivers are working simultaneously, and the distance between the restaurants and customer’s location.
Pros and Cons of Working for Postmates
Pros to working for Postmates
- Flexible delivery options are available during times of store availability.
- You can choose which deliveries you want to accept.
- There is no rating system; therefore, you are not penalized for store issues.
- Now that Uber has purchased Postmates, the customer service issues with the app should not be as much of a problem as previously reported by drivers.
Cons to working for Postmates
- Tipping is offered after delivery, giving the customer the option to change their mind when tipping you.
- The delivery details, such as how many miles you will travel or how much the delivery will profit, are not visible until you accept the order.
- UberEats has been known to be more restrictive with drivers. For example your car cannot be older than 20 years old if you want to drive for UberEats. This restriction may trickle over to Postmates drivers.
Is Working for Postmates Worth It?
If you’re looking for ways to earn extra money on the side, Postmates’ app is definitely worth giving a try. Not only letting you choose when to accept delivery items for customers in your spare time, but the company also says deliveries pay up to $25 per hour depending on the market. That is by far greater than the minimum wage in most states.
How to start working as a Postmate
Working as a Postmates drive is only open to people 18 years or older (you must be 21 to deliver alcohol). You also must have a smartphone to use their GPS feature and a valid driver’s license. Postmates also requires that you have a car to deliver with, but there are no specific requirements beyond that. Once you become a Postmate, you need to submit your social security number for a background check. Once approved, you will set up a profile. You are then ready to earn money for successfully completed deliveries. Your earnings are sent to your account four days after the transaction is made.
In addition to being paid for the orders you take, miles you travel, and the time you spend on deliveries, you can qualify for bonuses to increase your income. Bonuses are offered when you meet specific criteria. You’ll receive a notification from Postmates letting you know that you have qualified for a bonus. Postmates offers several ways to increase your earnings as a delivery driver, like guaranteed payouts for meeting or exceeding delivery goals and other opportunities for bonuses.
Working for Postmates will let you enjoy the freedom to make your own schedule and be your own boss. This alone makes it one of the best hustles available. It could be a great start to a new career!
Looking for other side hustle ideas? Check out our list of over 50 side hustles that work.