How do you know whether it’s worth accepting orders on Postmates?
There are some apps where you can cherry pick pretty easily based on what the delivery will pay. Doordash tells you the minimum you can expect and Grubhub shows you the actual amount the delivery will pay.
But Postmates doesn’t give you that information. Is it really even worth delivering for them if you don’t know how much you will get?
I would tell you that you can still do quite well evaluating deliveries with Postmates. You might have to think a little harder, but if you can master selecting your Postmates orders it will develop skills that will make you better at choosing orders on any platform. This is an important skill to have when these companies can change their system at any time.
Three Important Factors to Consider When Rejecting or Accepting Orders With Postmates:
You can still make good judgment calls on orders with Postmates. You want to pay careful attention to the information you are given. In particular, it comes down to these three factors:
- Value of the Order
The combination of these factors will help you make a good decision on whether accepting orders with Postmates is a good decision. You want to pay careful attention to the offer screen. It should show you on a map where the restaurant is and where the restaurant is.
You want to know your area. This is huge. You won’t get a specific address for the customer, however you should be able to look at the offer map and at least know what the major intersections are nearest that point. Once you know where you are going, and the restaurant you are delivering for, you can make some decisions from there.
Estimate the pay you will receive.
Obviously, you want to make sure you understand the Postmates Pay Model. The main factors are time and distance. You get paid so much per minute for your time at the restaurant, and so much per mile driving from the restaurant and customer. You also have a pickup and dropoff fee. You can get the specifics for your market here:
Personally, I only factor in pickup, dropoff and distance. The wait time pay is minimal – for example in Denver it’s only 7 cents a minute. That’s $4.20 per hour – for that reason you just want to avoid a situation where you have to wait whenever possible. Usually the pickup and dropoff are going to be in the neighborhood of $2, and then you factor in your per mile rate for your area. So if the delivery is 5 miles and you’re getting 60 cents a mile, you’re getting $3 for distance, $2 for pickup and dropoff, and maybe a few pennies for your wait time. That’s it.
But What About the Tip?
This is where it’s a real crapshoot with Postmates. You just don’t know what it will be until usually a day or more after you deliver. In fact you don’t know for sure that you WILL get a tip.
But once you have delivered enough, you get a good feel for how often you are tipped and what the average is. You can usually do pretty well by playing the averages.
But here’s where you pay attention to what restaurant is involved. Is it a sandwich shop where most orders are around $10? At best your tip is going to be $2. Is it a Brazillian Steak House with expensive food? You can expect that more often than not the tip is going to be higher.
It’s a crapshoot. You’ll never know for sure. But here’s the thing: If you play the averages, you’ll be okay. You know you average about $10 from that Brazillian Steakhouse. Now we both know that there’s a chance you get nothing. But there’s a chance it could be double. In the end, the averages catch up with you.
Add up the estimated delivery fee and you have an idea of what it will pay.
You’re getting $5 for 5 miles. If that’s a Chipotle order you might only be able to expect 2 bucks. If it’s a higher end restaurant you know you’ll usually get $10. Add them up.
I know, that’s a lot of stuff to consider when you only have a minute to make your decision. But when you know your area and you know the restaurants, and you’ve done this enough times, you can figure it out in a few seconds. If all else fails, you have Google Assistant or Siri that can measure distances or do the math for you in seconds.
Now Use the 40 Cent Rule to Make Your Decision.
When it comes to rejecting or accepting orders for Postmates or anyone else, the 40 cent rule is a good one to go by. You can click that link to read more, but here it is in a nutshell: Estimate how much time the delivery will take. Now divide what you will get paid by the number of minutes you think it will pay. Is it 40 cents or higher? It’s worth taking. If not, you might consider rejecting. The 40 cent rule means your time is worth 40 cents a minute – or $24 per hour. You can obviously set your own amount, but I really advise you not go much lower.
Time and Distance and Accepting Orders With Postmates
The 40 Cent rule is helpful, but if you’re like me there are times I just don’t want to go to that trouble, you know? I like Postmates for the most part because you can get some really good pay rates because of a number of factors. Having said that, they can also be horrible. It really depends on the orders you take.
If you want to make a quick decision, focus on short and fast. If I can get it done in less than 15 minutes and less than a couple miles, I’ll probably take the delivery. If I can’t, I usually reject unless it’s a restaurant where I have a higher probability of making a decent tip.
Speed of order can be great with Postmates and it can be terrible. My experience is they do the best of anyone at having prepaid orders ready to go when I arrive at the restaurant. Their Achilles heel is when you have to place the order. They just don’t pay enough for time to make it worth while on most orders, so I reject most of those.
I know they pay extra for longer drives. It’s not worth it, folks. Your hourly rate will go down on long distance deliveries.
Be the Boss, Make Business Decisions, and you can thrive by accepting orders for Postmates.
You’re a business owner. You get the right to set your price by accepting orders that meet your price. Pay careful attention to where you’re going with the order. Get an idea what you think it will pay and how much time you think it will take. If the order is worth it, take it. Don’t worry if your estimates are accurate. They won’t be. But if you know your averages and play them well, those averages will catch up and you’ll be fine.