Is Uber Eats hiding tips?
Yes, Uber Eats is hiding some of the tip amount on larger delivery offers. When Uber Eats sends you a delivery offer and the customer has tipped more than $8, they will not show you the total amount.
It's a lot like how Doordash does things. But it's not as bad.
But it's worse. Because they're flat out lying to us about what happened to that tip.
It's amazing how many people believe the lie.
If you've delivered for Uber Eats, you've probably had it happen. You complete your delivery. An hour later you see the total payment (because Uber Eats takes an hour to post the tip). You got more than they offered.
Uber Eats tells you that the customer added a tip. They just lied to you. They hid part of the tip.
We'll look at how you can tell when Uber Eats has hidden the tip from you. Then we'll talk about how they are lying about it (and we'll prove it's a lie). Finally we'll talk about how (or if) you need to adapt your delivery strategy when Uber Eats hides the tip.
How you can tell Uber Eats was hiding the tip.
It's fairly simple. We see the same thing happen on higher paying Uber Eats deliveries as we see with Doordash. The offer is a certain amount. When all is said and done, you received more than what was offered.
One thing is different between Uber Eats and Doordash. With Doordash, you know the final amount immediately. With Uber Eats, when you finish the delivery they tell you the part that Uber Eats paid. The tip doesn't show up for an hour.
One thing that Uber Eats does is that they give the customer an hour after delivery to adjust the tip. They could add to the tip. They could reduce or eliminate the tip.
That can be a good thing or a bad thing. It means your excellent service could lead to a larger tip. However, it could lead to tip baiting, like what Instacart shoppers have been known to do. I've done hundreds of deliveries since Uber Eats started including expected tip in the offer amount and haven't seen a single tip bait yet but that's not to say it doesn't happen.
However, the ability to change the tip also might be an explanation as to why some deliveries paid more than what was offered. In fact Uber Eats tells us that's what happened. They lie when they tell you that (in the vast majority of cases). We'll get into that more.
How can you tell? You have to do the math.
The reason we know that Uber Eats his hiding the tip is that the delivery offer from Uber Eats is never more than $8 over the amount Uber Eats is paying. We're going to have to do some math to figure out how much of a tip was included in the offer amount.
Figuring out what part of the Uber Eats offer was the tip.
For the next steps, we're going to talk about single deliveries. There's something wonky about Uber Eats, their offer amounts, and how things add up on stacked deliveries.
Once you do that, you notice that the tip part of the single delivery offer is never more than $8.
As in… NEVER.
But how do you figure that out?
That depends on when you're trying to figure it out.
The thing to remember is that Uber Eats doesn't include the actual tip in your earnings for a delivery until one hour after the delivery is over. How you figure the estimated tip depends on whether it's before or after that hour has passed.
We'll look at both ways. Each has its advantage: Figuring out the estimated tip in that first hour is really simple math. Figuring it out after they've tipped allows you to compare the actual tip to the estimated tip.
Either way you need to pull up the breakdown of your trip details in the Uber Driver app.
If you've never opened up specific details on a delivery, you should do it. If you haven't done so before, I'll walk through how to do that. However, if you have done so, you can skip down to the next part.
The simplest way is to go to the home screen on the Uber Driver app and tap on the dollar amount on the top center.
That will bring up a total earnings screen. Swipe that to the right so that you get a screen that shows the Last Trip.
Now select “See Earnings Activity.” That will bring you to a screen showing the most recent trips.
At this point you tap on the map of the delivery that you want, and that will bring you to the breakdown of your delivery similar to the screenshots in the sections below.
Option 1: Calculating the estimated tip within an hour of delivery completion.
For the first hour after you complete a delivery, if you go into your earnings report on the app, you can find a breakdown that looks something like this.
To get to this screen, tap the menu in the top left of your screen, and choose earnings. You'll see an overview of how much you have earned for the week. Tap on See details. From there you'll find a breakdown of the earnings. There you can tap on See Earnings Activity.
From there, you get a screen that shows the individual deliveries. Tap on the one you want to see details for and it will bring you to a screen similar to the one above.
From the trip details screen you have two important pieces of information:
- The offer amount
- The pay from Uber Eats
When you look at this screen within an hour of completing the delivery, the tip won't be reflected yet in the pay. Instead you get a note like we see in the screenshot above:
The estimate for this trip was $4.50 including tip. Tips are available 1 hour after delivery since customers can change the amount until then.Earnings explanation from Uber Eats that appears up to one hour after the delivery is complete
Okay. Now you know what Uber paid. It's really pretty simple from here.
Subtract what you were paid from the offer amount. Now you know how much of the offer was the expected tip.
All that's left now is to compare the actual tip, which shows up within an hour, to what you were paid.
When you complete a higher paying delivery and you calculate the estimated tip as $8, you can almost guarantee that the final pay is going to be higher.
Option 2: Calculating the Estimated Tip after the actual tip has been added.
Sometimes you'll have an extra step. You have to do the math a little differently here, however now you can calculate the estimated tip and compare it to the actual tip.
In this screenshot above, the original offer was $11.50. The final amount was $14.01.
Uber Eats tells us “the customer tipped you even more after delivery.” That's how they explain that the final amount was higher. They lied. Or let's say there's about a 95% chance they lied. I'll explain in a bit.
If you scroll down, you'll see a section entitled “Paid to you.” In that breakdown you can see the fare and the tip.
Now that we know the fare, we can calculate the estimated tip.
Subtract the fare from the estimate for the trip. This tells you how much of the offer was the “expected tip.”
In this screenshot, the fare was $3.50. The estimate for the trip (in the box below the earnings) was $11.50.
$11.50 minus $3.50 equals $8.00
Here's another way to look at the math. The actual tip ($10.51) was $2.51 higher than $8. Guess what the difference is between the actual pay ($14.01) and the estimate for the trip?
The bottom line is, the customer did not add anything to the tip here. Uber Eats hid the $2.51 portion of the tip when they made the offer.
And then they lied about it.
The significance of knowing what Uber Eats included as the expected tip.
When you get the offer for a delivery, Uber Eats gives you an amount which “includes expected tip.”
Because it's when you know how much of the offer was the “expected tip” that's when you see the pattern that shows you that Uber Eats is hiding part of the tip, rather than the customer adding the tip later.
Almost every time you get paid more on a single delivery than what the offer was, when you do the math like we did you'll find the expected tip was $8.
Every time the actual tip was more than $8 on a single delivery, you'll find that the expected tip was $8.
Finally, you'll never find more than $8 expected tip in a single delivery. If you do, I'd like to see it. Send me a screenshot of the pay detail that includes what the estimate of the delivery was.
I went through the last 203 single deliveries that I've done on Uber Eats. Of those 203 deliveries:
- 34 had actual tips that were higher than $8.
- The ‘expected tip' that was part of the offer on those 34 deliveries was $8. Every. Single. Time.
- NONE of the 203 deliveries had an expected tip of more than $8.
- The average actual tip of the 34 higher tip delivery was $11.31. The average expected tip on those was $8 even.
On every single delivery that had a tip higher than $8, Uber Eats only included $8 of the tip in the offer amount.
I don't think there's any way you can say anything other than Uber Eats is hiding part of the tip based on that data.
How do we know Uber Eats is lying when they say “the customer tipped you even more after delivery?”
Personally, I don't have a problem with them capping the amount. The average offer amount when they capped it was still $12.57. Not a lot of people are passing on $12.57 delivery offers.
What I do have a problem is them lying about it.
Of those 34 deliveries where the tip was higher than $8, on every single one of them Uber Eats says “the customer tipped you even more after the delivery.”
Every single one.
They probably lied on every single one of those 34. The customer tipped the entire amount when placing the order and Uber Eats hid the last part of the amount.
There's no way that every single one of those 34 customers tipped exactly $8 when placing the order and then added tot he tip afterwards.
Who's going to tip exactly $8 when placing the order, and then go back in later to add $3.84 or $6.39 or some random number afterwards?
But the best evidence that Uber Eats lied about customers adding to the tip is in the 169 deliveries where the tip was LESS than $8.
Out of 169 deliveries where the “expected tip” was less than $8, only one had a final pay higher than the offer.
So you're going to tell me that 99.4% of those 169 deliveries did absolutely nothing to change their tip, and yet every one of 34 people who tipped $8 added to the tip?
Or that exactly 34 people tipped $8 exactly, and not a single person tipped a penny over that $8 amount?
Because that's what you're telling me when you say that every single one of those people ‘added to the tip' after delivery.
In other words, Uber Eats, you lied.
Is it possible that some of those higher tips may have been added after delivery?
I do think that someone who tips $8 or higher when placing the order is more likely to go in and add more after the fact. That's just part of the generosity.
What if they tipped $10 originally and then added another $10 later because they loved your service?
It's possible. There's no way of knowing if they did if their tip was more than $8 to begin with. And there's no way they didn't.
So because of that, I can't say with certainty that Uber Eats completely liked on every single one of those 34. They still capped the tip in the offer at $8 (unless you believe they actually tipped exactly $8 when they placed the order).
But this is where we go back to all those tips under $8. Only one of those deliveries paid out more than was offered. That's nearly a half of a percent.
So even if big tippers are more likely to add more to the tip? Are they ten times more likely? I doubt that. But let's go with that. 6% of those 34 went in and added to their already large tips.
Know how many that is?
Best case scenario is Uber Eats told the truth on 2 of those 34. Which means they still lied on all of the other 32.
How to adjust your strategy (and should you?) when Uber Eats hides the tips
Does it even matter that they're hiding the tips?
To me, it doesn't make a difference. It doesn't change how I accept or reject offers with Uber Eats.
For me, the part that I don't understand is why they have to lie about it. There's no getting around it.
If you compare Uber Eats to Doordash, Uber Eats isn't hiding the tips nearly as often. The pay is already pretty good by the time Uber Eats puts their cap on the amount. Doordash caps it at a much lower amount.
With Doordash, it's a manipulation game. They want you to think the pay will be higher on low paying deliveries.
So to be fair to Uber Eats, hiding the tips isn't about that kind of manipulation. I just hate that they're lying about it.
I know that a lot of people are hoping that the Para app could uncover those hidden tips. Para can already identify the total pay on Doordash offers, and they're looking for ways they can branch out to other platforms.
Evaluating deliveries when Uber Eats might be hiding the tip.
From my perspective, I don't think it makes a lot of difference.
Remember that the average payout when the tip is partially hidden is already at $12.50. Most people consider that a pretty good delivery.
I am probably more likely to reject a $12.50 delivery than a lot of people (yet I'll take a $5 when it fits). That's because I look at the bigger picture including time and distance. If a delivery is going to take a long time, I'm probably passing on the offer even at $12.50.
Okay, but what if that delivery were $20? Or $30? Wouldn't I want to know?
In that one in 100 chance that the delivery pays that much, it would be nice to know. But here's the thing – half of all the hidden fee deliveries paid less than $2 above the offer amount. Usually if I'm rejecting a $12.50 offer I'm probably rejecting it at $14.50.
You can try to estimate when a delivery has the potential to pay higher. It's a little harder with Uber Eats because the actual delivery fee fluctuates a lot more than it does on Doordash, as time and distance play a far greater role in the delivery fee.
That said, I don't think it's worth playing that game. By the time the tip is already at $8, that's usually an indicator of when a delivery is a good one or not.
I think what I'm getting at is, don't make decisions on what could be. Accept or reject Uber Eats orders based on what you already know. Assume it won't be more than they offer. Focus on whether the delivery pays you enough for the time that you put into delivering.
What if you might pass up a delivery that could pay $30 or more because you didn't know? Remember that with Uber Eats, if they capped the tip at all, they're already offering $11, $12 or more to begin with. That means you're probably less likely to pass on that offer in the first place.
It would be great if Uber Eats were transparent about those deliveries. But I'm not going to pass up on the other good opportunities I have through them because they don't. I'm not going to stress out with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
The way I look at it is, if you're making good decisions on deliveries based on what information you do have, you're not going to be hurt by not knowing those last couple of dollars.