If you want to know what it feels like when opportunities to make side money rain down on you like cats and dogs, I suggest you sign up to drive for Postmates during peak hours. During peak hours (lunch, dinner, and weekends) there’s a lot of opportunities to make money on Postmates, especially if you’re on priority dispatch. It can be a bit overwhelming. But before you get all excited, not all jobs are worth your time. Couriers should reject the following jobs during peak hours.
Every time I see “Taco Bell” or “McDonald’s” pop up in the Postmates app during peak hours, I refuse the order. Here’s why. The customer is probably nearby the pick-up location. It’s very unlikely someone is going to go online and find a fast food restaurant that is far away from their location. The total cost of the order is unlikely to be large. It’s fast food, come on. Translation? Short distance means small payout and little to no tip.
It’s worth noting that I don’t always refuse fast food orders. During late night hours, you can knock out these rapidly as traffic is non-existence and there aren’t long lines at the drive-thru.
This is where your knowledge of the food scene in your city is helpful. Know which establishments are tourist traps and avoid them. In Portland, where I drive, Voodoo Donuts and Screen Door are big tourist traps. These places typically have a long line, and if the order isn’t pre-paid, you’ll be waiting.
The customer is likely to be a local who wants to avoid waiting in line with tourists. So they send a Postmates courier to suffer in their place. In these cases, it’s likely the person doesn’t live very far from these popular restaurants, so the payout isn’t going to be large enough to be worth it.
Most Postmates jobs are food delivery. But occasionally someone will use it to have non-edible items delivered from retailers like Walgreens or Rite Aid. These aren’t likely to be pre-paid orders. So I personally don’t accept these jobs because of the amount of time involved in roaming the retailer looking for items and then waiting in line to checkout. You could be making more money stacking multiple food delivery jobs instead.
You’re not missing out much on earnings when you avoid these orders. Trust me because Instacart, which is a platform that hires on-demand shoppers to perform grocery runs, has a lot of unhappy and unpaid independent contractors.
Postmates Couriers should be strategic with which jobs they accept during peak hours.
Keep in mind that Postmates allow customers to tip 10%, 15%, 20%, ‘Other’ or ‘No tips.’ Since three out of the five options are a percentage and not fixed amount, couriers should accept jobs that are likely to have a large price tag. Good examples are pizza places or Thai restaurants. Avoid fast food orders which are likely to be small orders and don’t pay much due to proximity. Sometimes, you might even have to travel very far to get to the pick-up location in the first place, and you’ll be disappointed because you won’t get rewarded for the extra mile(s).
Peak hours are perfect for stacking multiple jobs. So do not put yourself in a position where you have to wait in a long line at some tourist trap when many jobs are available.
This is also true for jobs that involve going into a retailer, hunt for some items (instead of placing an order at the cashier), and wait in line to checkout.
Good luck out there.
By the way, Postmates is currently running a promotion for this month. If you sign up using a referral code and complete 25 deliveries within 21 days of being approval, you’ll earn an extra $50. If you’re interested in driving for Postmates, please consider using my referral link.