Want to earn extra money? For most presented with this question, the answer is a resounding yes. And thanks to the internet and smartphones, it’s easier than ever to sign-up for lucrative opportunities and start earning more dough right away without expending too much effort or burning yourself out.

One of these opportunities is Postmates, and the earning potential is high considering the amount of effort you put in. So if you don’t mind driving around town and delivering goods to individuals when they need them most, this may just be the perfect side hustle or another way to make money for you.

Sounds like something you may be interested in? Read on to learn more about Postmates, the onboarding process, and how to start making money right away. 

What Is Postmates? 

Founded in 2011, Postmates is a delivery company that prides itself in delivering just about anything their customer’s need in under an hour. And their deliveries are not just restricted to food and groceries from the local fast food joint or produce market. They can pick up a blouse for date night, balloons for your 8-year old’s birthday party or supplies to finish that home improvement project. You get the drift. 

Quick Note: Some items are prohibited, including controlled substances, gift cards, live animals, weapons, and humans. 

How It Works

Delivery requests can be accepted or automatically assigned through the mobile app. (For the latter, you must opt-in to use this function). Upon acceptance, a map will appear that navigates you to your intended destination, along with the name of the person that placed the order and any other important details. 

When you arrive to pick up the item(s), you’ll proceed to the pickup area and either wait until the order is ready or pick it up and head out. If there’s still an outstanding balance on the bill, you will pay for the order with the prepaid debit card sent to you by Postmates in the Welcome Kit. The final step is to make the delivery to your intended recipient. 

Service Areas

The service is currently available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. You can view a comprehensive listing of cities, arranged by state, right over here. If you don’t see your city listed and would like to see Postmates offered, you can submit a request using this form.  

How Much Can You Make Driving For Postmates? 

Postmates boasts an earning potential of $1,500 per week, plus tips. Delivery fees range from $5.99 and $9.99 depending on the distance. As a Postmates driver, you’ll be compensated 80 percent of the fee, plus any tips from customers. 

The amount you bring in will depend heavily on your location, the demand, and how much time you spend making deliveries. However, there are a few ways to beef up your earnings, like new driver bonuses and Blitz pricing. 

New Driver Bonuses

When you sign up for Postmates and complete a certain number of trips within an allotted time frame, you may qualify for a signup bonus of up to $1,000. But this bonus varies by location, so you’ll need to confirm the details online. When you create your online profile, the details of any sign-up bonuses or special offers available to you should automatically appear on the screen. 

Blitz Pricing

If you want to make even more money delivering with Postmates, work during periods when demand is high and there are more requests than drivers. This is referred to as Blitz pricing, and you’ll be notified via the mobile app if it applies to the delivery you are making. Common peak periods include lunch hour, rush hour, dinner time, and special events. 

Referral Program

Do you have friends or relatives that you think would love the idea of driving for Postmates? The online platform also offers special incentives to current couriers through their referral program. 

Benefits of Driving For Postmates

Run Your Business Through the Mobile App

You can run your business while on the go through Postmates’ mobile app, which is available on Android (5.0 or later) or iOS (10 or later). Inside the app, you can accept or be assigned deliveries, navigate your way to the location, receive tips (can be 5, 10, 15, or 20 percent), and view your earnings data.

Flexible Schedule 

Postmates allows you to make deliveries whenever it’s convenient for you. So you can choose to work early in the morning, after work, or solely on the weekends. Regardless of the schedule, you decide to go with, there’s always ample opportunity to beef up your wallet as the service is available 24/7, 365 days a year, which means it doesn’t shut down for holidays and special events. 

Decided to change locations for a few days or weeks? The good news is you aren’t only restricted to the location you put in your application when signing up. Simply go into the mobile app or log in to the website and update your location. If there’s work available in the area, you’re free to start accepting deliveries. 

On-Demand Payouts Available

You can also request a payout at any time, and the funds will appear in your bank account in as little as 15 or 30 minutes. Otherwise, earnings are paid out weekly and will appear in your account on Wednesday or Thursday for deliveries completed between Monday and Sunday for the prior week. 

Other Resources for Drivers

Through the Flexible Toolkit, Postmates couriers can access resources for free to help them maximize their health and finances. There’s also a career launchpad that’s geared towards helping you gain upward mobility in your line of work outside of Postmates. 

Getting Started as a Postmates Driver 

Before you can begin delivering with Postmates, there are a few steps you have to follow. 

Qualification Criteria 

To drive for Postmates, you must: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a car or bike to make deliveries
  • Have a smartphone with the Postmates Fleet app downloaded 
  • Be able to pass a background check 
  • Not have any prior offenses on file with the platform

Documentation Requirements

The entire onboarding process is done electronically. However, there are a few documents that you may need to refer to when completing the online application, including your: 

  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle registration 

How to Sign Up for Postmates

Ready to apply for a courier position with Postmates? You can apply on their website or via the mobile app. Here’s how the application process works:

  • Step 1: Sign up for an account. 
  • Step 2: Input personal information so the system can identify you. This includes your name, phone number, email address, and mailing address. 
  • Step 3: Input information about your vehicle and the city you plan to work in. Be prepared to provide your vehicle type and driver’s license number. 
  • Step 4: Consent to a background check. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number and date of birth. (Note: the background check will not be completed until you activate the prepaid debit card found in your Welcome Kit. More on that shortly). 
  • Step 5: Read and agree to the terms of the Postmates Fleet Agreement
  • Step 6: Select an image from your smartphone or computer and upload it into the platform to serve as a profile photo.
  • Step 7: Set up a direct deposit by entering your bank account information. Keep in mind that the verification process could take between 5 and 7 business days. 

Postmates will communicate with you regarding the application status by email or text messages. You also have the option to log in to the online portal or check the mobile app to see where your application is in the review process. If there are any issues, discrepancies, or if you are missing information, it will be notated inside the portal or mobile app. 

What You’ll Receive

Expect to receive a Welcome Kit in the mail containing all you need to get started, including a delivery bag and prepaid card. You’ll need to activate your prepaid debit card so it can be used right away. Once your background check is complete and your application is approved, you’re free to start accepting deliveries. 

Bonus Tips for Success

Accept Multiple Deliveries at Once

Want to maximize your profits? Accept multiple deliveries through the Postmates app, but be sure to keep the one-hour rule in mind when doing so. It’s best to test this strategy out by accepting two to three within the hour to start, and seeing how it goes. Once you’ve mastered this technique, you can increase your acceptance rate. Just be sure to always meet your deadlines or you could find yourself in trouble with the platform. 

Park and Wait

Instead of driving around waiting for a hit, park in an area that’s known for a ton of requests and wait. Yes, there may be a bit of downtime but it beats cruising around town burning fuel without getting paid. 

Identify Trends

When you’re first starting as a Postmates courier, you probably won’t know where the hot spots are. But as you gain more experience by working on the job, pay attention to those areas that are ripe with requests and have the greatest earning potential. 

The Bottom Line 

While you may not earn a fortune or even replace your day job driving for Postmates, it’s a fun way to earn some extra down when you have downtime. You’ll meet new people, see new places, and have a good time without burning yourself out. Best of all, you’ll be boosting your bank account in the process.

Author

Allison Martin is a syndicated financial writer, author, and Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI). She has written about personal finance for almost ten years and holds a master's degree in Accounting from the University of South Florida. Allison's work has been featured on The Wall Street Journal, ABC, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, Fox Business, Credit.com, MoneyTalksNews, Investopedia, The Simple Dollar, and a host of other reputable publications. She also travels around the nation facilitating financial literacy and business workshops to individuals from all walks of life. In her spare time, Allison enjoys traveling, cuddling up with a good book, and spending time with family. She lives in Florida with her husband and two young sons.

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