Working for Postmates as Courier/Driver

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Postmates is an on-demand goods delivery platform. The company was founded in 2011. It has three co-founders. Sam Street, Sean Plaice, and Bastian Lehmann. Bastian Lehmann is the current CEO.

Becoming a Postmates Driver/Courier

As with most jobs of this nature, the process to become a Postmates courier begins online. Coincidentally drivers/couriers are referred to as Postmates. If hired they join what is called the fleet. The fleet is supported by Fleet support, i.e., customer service for drivers/couriers.

The online process is quick and painless. It involves the following steps.

Step One - Create a Postmates courier account.

This requires your email address and for you to set up a password. The system will verify that the email address does not already exist before taking you to the next step.

Step Two - Basic Identification

Provide some basic information that includes the following:

  • Your first and last name.
  • Your mobile telephone number.

You will also be asked to select the following.

  • City where you wish to work.
  • How you plan to make your deliveries.

Postmates does not dictate your mode of transportation. You can drive a car, a van or truck. You can ride a bike or a bicycle or even a scooter. You can also walk. The city you select determines what options are available. For example in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, walking is not an option. It is, however, an option in Los Angeles.

In this step, you may also enter a referral code if you have one. The referral code will entitle you to some bonus if you complete certain actions. Those actions usually include:

  • Downloading and activating the app within a certain timeframe after job confirmation.
  • Delivering a specified number of orders.
  • Maintaining a specific customer satisfaction score/rating.

At the bottom of the screen, there is a note that calls your attention to the fact that Postmates runs background checks on all potential hires, so you are required to use your legal name for this process.

Step Three - Driving License Information

This includes your driving license number, expiration date and state of issue.

At the bottom of the screen, you will be advised that by continuing you are certifying that you have valid motor vehicle insurance.

Step Four - Home Address

As you enter your home address, you will notice that it appears that the information you enter is automatically compared against a postal database of sorts, probably to minimize errors.

Step Five - Confirm agreement to background check

This step requires you to confirm that you agree to have your information submitted for a background check and any other pertinent checks deemed necessary and that are in keeping with each states legal requirements.

Step 6 - Social Security Information

Your social security number and date of birth are required for your background check.

Postmates indicates at the bottom of this screen that they do not run credit checks and neither do they share your background information with anyone.

Postmates Customer Service

Step 7 - Finalizing

In the final step of the online process, you will be asked to complete the following steps to activate your account

  • Verify your identity
  • Upload a selfie
  • Activate your prepaid card
  • Download the fleet app

Things to Note

  • Background checks are done by Checkr and take up to seven days to complete. Progress is updated via email.
  • The background check only begins when you activate your Postmates Prepaid Card which comes in the mail along with a hot/cold bag an as part of your welcome kit.

Postmates Orientation

Once Postmates completes your background check, and it comes back clean you will receive notice and be invited for orientation.

How Much Does A Postmates Driver/Courier Earn

The Postmates site says that an experienced courier can earn up to $25 an hour. Unfortunately, this appears to be an exaggeration. Below is a review of how Postmates earn money.

Delivery Fee

Postmates charges a delivery fee that is currently $5.99 on every order. 80% of the delivery fee goes directly to the Postmates driver/courier. This means that you are guaranteed to earn approximately $4.80 an hour.

DoorDash or Postmates


Tipping is also encouraged. The Postmates app recommends tips in the range of 5%, 10%, 15% or 20%. A customer can choose to tip you when they place the order via the app. They can also choose to tip you in cash when you drop off the order. They can also go back into the app to add a tip once the order has been delivered.

Bonuses and Incentives

Postmates also offers city-specific bonuses and incentives. These are announced either daily or weekly as is applicable. Notice is via email, text message or a section in the Fleet app called the Newsroom. You can find out more about them here.

Blitz Pricing

Blitz pricing works the same way surge pricing works for Uber and adds up to more money in your pocket if you choose to work during those times.

Other ways to increase your earnings are covered here.

Challenges of Working With Postmates

Shift Selection

Drivers/couriers are considered to be independent contractors since they get to choose when they work as being assigned a particular shit or time block to work. That being said however Postmates main business comes from restaurants.

Restaurants are busy at lunchtime and in the evening. Few are busy in the morning. Therefore if you wish to make money, you must work within these times. The result is that demand more than the individual dictates the schedule.

Wait Time

Most of a drivers/couriers time is consumed by waiting. Waiting for the restaurant to fulfill the customer's orders. Waiting limits how many deliveries you can sign up for which subsequently limits how much you can earn.

At the end of the day whether a job is right or wrong for you is a personal decision. That being said, when deciding if working for Postmates is a great full-time opportunity, keep in mind the following quote from their CEO Bastian Lehmann made during a TechCrunch event.

" I' d like it to be a full-time job in the future, but the reality is it ' s probably a really good part-time job, " he said" It pays a lot more than other part-time jobs. If we look at median compensation during peak times, that ' s 40 percent to 50 percent more than a barista makes."

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