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If you want to earn money as a delivery driver, Postmates and DoorDash are platforms worth considering.
They are both incredibly popular companies and apps that make it easy for customers to get food delivered from restaurants and other merchants. And they both contract a team of drivers to do the work.
In this article, we’ll compare the two platforms so you can decide which one is best for you.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: An Overview
There are plenty of similarities between Postmates and DoorDash.
Each has a fast registration process and easy-to-meet eligibility requirements. They also both let drivers choose their own hours and work as much or as little as they want.
Drivers will typically earn a similar amount with each service, under equivalent conditions.
But there are some differences. Following is an overview of each service.
|What You Will Deliver||Just about anything. Whether it’s food, new headphones, or a new shirt.||Meals from local restaurants.|
|Driver Requirements||18+ years old, live in an area where the company operates, have a social security number, pass a background check, own a vehicle with insurance, own a smartphone and have a bank account to receive payments.||18+ years old, live in an area where the company operates, have a social security number, pass a background check, own a vehicle with insurance, own a smartphone and have a bank account to receive payments.|
|Vehicle Requirements||Have a car, scooter, or bicycle with relevant insurance.||Have a car, scooter, or bicycle with relevant insurance.|
|Pay||Average pay is $15 to $18 per hour (includes: per pickup rate, per drop off rate, per minute rate, per-mile rate and tips).||Average pay is $13 to $16 per hour (includes: base pay, promotions and tips).|
|Working Hours||24/7 on-demand.||24/7 on-demand (*volume highly dependent on mealtimes).|
|Earning Potential||Around $50,000 (*Indeed estimate).||Around $48,000 (*Indeed estimate).|
|Rating System||Customer rate delivery as a whole (thumbs up or down).||Customer rating, on-time rate, acceptance rate and completion rate (0 to 5 stars).|
|What We Like||Payment guarantees when you complete a certain number of jobs.||Ability to see minimum earnings for each job.|
|Sign up for Postmates||Sign up for DoorDash|
What is Postmates?
Postmates is a delivery service that lets customers order pretty much anything. It could be takeout food or groceries, but it could also be items from retail shops.
People use the service to order electronics, cosmetics, clothing, and more. People can order from both partner and non-partner shops.
The only items the service won’t deliver are controlled substances, weapons, live animals, gift cards, and people.
The main implications of this are:
- Drivers are more likely to deliver a wider variety of items from a more extensive selection of stores.
- There is more scope for work outside of typical eating hours. If you want to deliver at irregular times, Postmates is an excellent choice.
What is DoorDash?
DoorDash is a food delivery service with thousands of partners across the U.S. The single task for drivers is to take food from restaurants and drive-thrus or takeaways to customers.
DoorDash is busiest during mealtimes. There might not be as much work during other hours unless you live in a city with around-the-clock demand.
However, DoorDash lets drivers schedule shifts in advance. Those who create schedules in advance are prioritized for jobs during quieter times, which means you are more likely to get consistent work when you are on the road.
It also means you might not be able to work at certain times if you don’t create a certain schedule beforehand and demand is already met.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: How Do They Work?
Both Postmates and DoorDash work by connecting customers with merchants, and then drivers take food from the former to the latter. They both use apps to operate, and they both require drivers to have their own vehicles.
How Postmates Works
Postmates drivers log into the app at the times they want to work. Drivers are alerted when a new delivery is available, and they have to accept it within a specific time frame. If they don’t, it will be passed on to someone else.
Once on a job, drivers travel to the pickup location by following the route displayed by the app. They then collect the order. Sometimes they will have to pay for it using the Postmates prepaid card (never their own money).
The driver checks that all items are present in the order, uses the app to confirm they have picked up the package, and then follows the directions to the delivery location.
Once they arrive, the driver drops off the delivery according to the instructions and then marks the order as complete. At this point, they are made available for more work.
How DoorDash Works
DoorDash drivers schedule shifts up to five days in advance or log in at a time that suits them. Top Dashers also qualify for early-access scheduling that allows them to book up to six days in advance.
At the start of a shift, the driver logs into the app and begins to receive job notifications. The notification includes distance, time, and guaranteed minimum payment. Drivers accept the order if they like the conditions.
From here, the job is similar to Postmates.
Drivers travel to the pickup location, check the order, and then take it to the customer. When the delivery is complete, they mark it within the app and become available for further tasks.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: Requirements
Postmates and DoorDash have similar eligibility requirements. If you can work for one, you’ll likely have no problem getting accepted to the other.
However, if one of the companies doesn’t operate in your area, that may stop you from being accepted.
To work for Postmates, you must:
- Be 18 or older.
- Live in an area where the company operates.
- Have a social security number.
- Pass a background check.
- Own a registered vehicle with insurance if you plan to drive.
- Own a smartphone that can run the Postmates app.
- Have a checking account you can use to receive payment.
To work for DoorDash, you must:
- Be 18 or older.
- Live in an area where the company operates.
- Have a social security number.
- Consent to a background check.
- Have a car, scooter, or bicycle with relevant insurance.
- Own a smartphone that can run the DoorDash app.
- Have an account you can use to get paid.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: Sign-Up Process
The sign-up process for each platform is similar.
Both platforms make it easy to get started. Each company offers clear instructions about what you should do at each stage of the application process.
The time it takes to start working varies. But if accepted, you’ll typically be verified within a week.
Occasionally, DoorDash and Postmates stop hiring new drivers at times when demand is high. This ensures there aren’t too many drivers on the road.
This is usually a temporary policy, so keep checking back if there are no spots when you want to apply.
Postmates Sign-Up & Approval Process
To sign up for Postmates:
- Head to the Postmates application page and fill out your profile.
- Download the app and authorize a background check.
- Add a profile photo.
- The company will run a background check and send you a prepaid card and bag.
- Activate the card and add your banking information for payments.
- Once the background check is approved and your account is verified, you can begin accepting orders.
DoorDash Sign-Up & Approval Process
To sign up for DoorDash:
- Head to the DoorDash application page and fill out your profile.
- Consent to a background check and vehicle check.
- Request an activation kit containing a prepaid card, bag, and manual.
- Activate your card and set up your direct deposit.
- You can get started once your account is active.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: Pay
Drivers earn a similar amount on each platform — typically from $12 to $20 per hour.
The exact amount you earn will depend on how much work is available and how fast you can complete jobs.
Also remember that you only get paid while on a delivery. Reducing idle time between jobs means you’ll earn more.
A significant factor that affects pay is the area you work in. Different cities have vastly different rates—even within the same platform.
For example, a Postmates driver in Silicon Valley earns $2.30 per pickup, $0.50 per dropoff, $0.07 per minute, and $0.97 per mile. Meanwhile, a Postmates driver in Acton, CA earns $1.20 per pickup, $1 per dropoff, $0.07 per minute, and $0.69 per mile.
The way each platform calculates pay is also slightly different. This may result in one platform being a better fit for you, depending on what you value in a job. They also have different payment guarantees, which we’ll look at in further detail below.
The final consideration is bonuses. Both platforms use incentives to encourage drivers onto the roads during busy times. These can seriously increase earnings.
Postmates pay is made up of the following:
- A fee for each pickup.
- A fee for each dropoff.
- A per-minute rate for time spent waiting at the pickup location.
- A per-mile rate for the distance between pickup and dropoff locations.
- 100% of your tips.
Postmates also offers payment guarantees to drivers who complete a certain number of deliveries in a predefined time frame.
This varies depending on your location. At the time of writing, drivers in Brooklyn who complete 50 deliveries in 14 days are guaranteed to earn at least $325.
|City||Rate per pickup||Rate per drop-off||Rate per minute||Rate per mile|
|New York City||$1.80||$0.70||$0.07||$1.05|
DoorDash Pay is made up of the following:
- Base pay that considers the time, distance, and desirability of an order.
- Promotions and bonuses.
DoorDash allows drivers to see a minimum they will earn before they accept a job.
Like Postmates, DoorDash also offers guaranteed payments, but only to new drivers in certain areas.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: Working Hours
Both Postmates and DoorDash let drivers choose their own hours. There are slight differences in how each platform schedules shifts, though.
Postmates Working Hours Available
Postmates is available all day, every day. Whether there is any work available at the times you want will depend on where you live and whether shops stay open and people order.
A busy city might have people ordering late into the night, but this will be less likely in a sleepy town.
Postmates says that peak hours for delivery are between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The service is especially busy on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The best way to discover busy times is to start working in your area.
DoorDash Working Hours Available
DoorDash also has 24-hour working schedules. Like with Postmates, whether the app is busy enough to make it worthwhile will depend on where you live.
DoorDash has a nice feature that lets you book shifts up to six days in advance. If you do so, the platform will prioritize you for work during quiet times.
The downside is that if you don’t schedule your hours, you can’t dash at times when there are already enough riders on the roads.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: The App
Each service uses an app to connect drivers with jobs. Both apps are easy to use and do a good job of letting drivers know what to do next.
The Postmates app for drivers is called Fleet by Postmates. It has a simple interface that lets drivers sign up and begin working. Instructions are clear for each job. Drivers can easily access weekly earnings and tips.
The DoorDash app is called DoorDash Driver. New drivers can sign up from within the app. The app provides easy access to everything drivers need to work on the platform, including accepting orders and setting your schedule. Drivers can also see their current week’s earnings as well as what they have earned over time.
The DoorDash app has a nice feature that shows which areas are busy by highlighting them on the map in red. If you see a nearby area that needs drivers, head over and start working.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: Earning Potential
While each app calculates pay differently, the amount drivers earn is comparable.
Many drivers find that logging into both platforms during a shift is the best way to maximize earnings. This enables drivers to take jobs from either platform, doubling the potential workload and reducing idle time.
Below, we have highlighted reported earnings on each platform from around the Web.
Remember that rates in your location and how busy you are will significantly affect how much you earn.
You should also consider that expenses like gas, parking, vehicle maintenance, taxes, and mobile data will eat into your earnings.
How Much Can I Make with Postmates?
Postmates says drivers can earn over $25 per hour. While this may be possible, Indeed puts the national average at $15.65 per hour. Salary puts the average rate at $16 per hour, with 10% of drivers earning more than $21, and 10% of drivers making less than $13.
How Much Can I Make with DoorDash?
Indeed puts the average DoorDash salary at $15.57 an hour. GlassDoor puts the average hourly rate for Dashers at between $11 and $18 an hour.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: Rating System
Both platforms have a rating system customers can use to rate the service they receive.
Postmates has a simple thumbs-up and thumbs-down system that customers use to evaluate an entire order. It considers all aspects of a delivery—not just those related to the driver. This rating is not used to decide whether a driver should continue to work for the platform.
DoorDash has a much more intense rating system.
Top-rated drivers get bonuses like the ability to schedule work at any time and the chance to schedule shifts a day earlier than other drivers. They are also prioritized for deliveries when business is slow.
The downside is that drivers can be removed from the platform if their score drops too far.
Drivers need to be aware of the following two rankings:
The customer rating is a score out of five that considers the quality of your last 100 deliveries.
Drivers must keep a score of over 4.2 stars to guarantee that they can keep working for the platform. Those over 4.7 qualify to be a top driver.
This rating does not consider factors outside your control, such as the quality of the food or the restaurant being slow to prepare meals.
Your completion rate is the percentage of your last 100 deliveries that you have completed successfully.
You must maintain a score of over 80% to keep working for the platform. DoorDash does not count customer cancelations as uncompleted orders.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: What We Like
The main reasons to work as a delivery driver are the freedom these apps provide and the ability to work whenever you want. Both platforms offer these benefits.
There are some platform-specific things we like about each service.
What We Like About Postmates
- Payment guarantees when you complete a certain number of jobs.
- No vehicle requirements.
- Fast sign-up.
- 24/7 deliveries.
- Not just delivering meals.
- Quick payment.
What We Like About DoorDash
- Ability to see minimum earnings for each job.
- No vehicle requirements.
- Ability to apply for shifts in advance.
- Vast area coverage.
- Quick payment.
- Top Dasher Benefits.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: What We Don’t Like
Each service has its downsides, though.
Drivers are private contractors, and having to pay for expenses and taxes is a big downside. And the fact that you won’t receive any benefits such as holiday pay or health insurance is another thing we don’t like.
But, these negatives are consistent across both platforms. Here are the main platform-specific things we dislike:
What We Don’t Like About Postmates
- No ability to schedule shifts.
- Don’t know how much you will earn for a job.
- Not available in as many areas.
What We Don’t Like About DoorDash
- Drivers with a low acceptance rate can’t qualify for Top Dasher program.
- The platform is less likely to require deliveries outside of mealtimes.
- Ratings can affect your ability to work on the platform.
If you want to earn money as a delivery driver, then both Postmates and DoorDash are good options. The overall experience will be similar no matter which platform you choose, and in most cases, the earnings will be comparable.
The main reason you’d choose one over the other is if the alternative isn’t available in your area. Then, you’ll be left with little choice but to drive for the competitor.
Beyond that, the biggest differentiator is the market share of the company where you live. If one company has more restaurants signed up and more customers using its app, then that will be the way to go.
If both services have a similar market share, then it will come down to payment methods.
Would you like to schedule shifts in advance and be able to see how much a job pays before you take it? Then go with DoorDash.
Or, would you rather have more freedom over when you work as well as payment guarantees if you reach task targets? If that’s the case, then go with Postmates.
For most people, the best option will be to sign up with both apps. You can then test each one out to see which you like the most.
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Ricardo is an entrepreneur, investor and personal finance nerd who enjoys spending time with his family and friends, travelling and helping others achieve their financial goals. Ricardo has been quoted as a personal finance expert in several online publications including Healthline, Bankrate, GOBankingRates, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and USA Today.