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Delivery drivers have a ton of options when it comes to choosing a company to work for.
Two of the most popular choices are Postmates and Uber Eats. Both these platforms provide drivers with a way to earn money on a flexible schedule, and they both let pretty much anyone sign up to start.
But, there are differences between the two services. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most significant distinctions between Postmates and Uber Eats to help you decide which is the best one for you.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: An Overview
Uber Eats and Postmates are both delivery services/apps that hire a fleet of drivers to take goods from businesses to customers.
The two companies have a lot in common, and they may be about to get even closer. That’s because Uber bought Postmates in July 2020 — although Uber says it plans to keep the Postmates brand.
|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.||19+ 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 $14 per hour (includes: per pickup fee, trip supplement, promotions and tips).|
|Working Hours||24/7 on-demand.||24/7 on-demand.|
|Earning Potential||Around $50,000 (*Indeed estimate).||Around $58,000 (*Indeed estimate).|
|Rating System||Customer rate delivery as a whole (thumbs up or down).||Driver rating (0 to 5 stars).|
|What We Like||Payment guarantees when you complete a certain number of jobs.||Easy to sign up for if you are already an Uber driver.|
|Sign up for Postmates||Sign up for Uber Eats|
What is Postmates?
The most significant difference between Postmates and Uber Eats is that the former lets customers order almost anything they want.
While this is mostly food from restaurants, it can also be groceries, electronics, kitchen supplies, and more. The company’s website claims it has “everything you need available in an hour.”
This assumes that what you need isn’t controlled substances, weapons, live animals, gift cards, or a person. These are all requests the service has banned.
This more comprehensive variety of items doesn’t make the delivery experience hugely different for drivers. The main differences are that you may have to pick orders up from a wider variety of places, and there may be more scope for work outside of regular eating hours. To learn more, check out our Postmates review.
What is Uber Eats?
Uber Eats is the food delivery arm of the ride-sharing app Uber. If you have experience working for Uber, you’ll have a good idea about what to expect with Uber Eats.
The difference is that instead of taking people from place to place, you take food from restaurants and takeaways (or drive-thrus) to hungry diners.
The platform has a wide presence across the U.S. and it partners with thousands of businesses, from popular fast-food chains to cafes and independent restaurants.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: How Do They Work?
Both platforms work in a similar way. Customers place orders via the relevant app, and then drivers take these orders from the merchant to the buyer.
The main difference is the app you use and the items you collect.
How Does Postmates Work?
Postmates drivers sign up for the platform, then log into the app. Like Uber Eats, they receive alerts on their phone about deliveries. They have to accept these within a certain time frame.
Occasionally, Postmates drivers have to pay for an order. If this situation arises, be sure to use the prepaid Postmates card you get when you sign up. Never use your own cash.
Once you’ve accepted the order, check that everything is included. Then bring it to the delivery location. Follow the drop off instructions and mark the delivery as complete within the app.
Once all is signed off, you’ll be made available for more work.
How Does Uber Eats Work?
Uber Eats drivers first need to sign up to the platform. This process is simple, and you can expect it to last around a week.
Once you’re signed up, download the Uber app and tell it you’re ready to start driving.
You’ll begin to receive alerts when orders come through. Don’t stall, though — you typically only have between 15 and 30 seconds to accept a request.
Once you agree to take an order, the app shows you directions to the pick-up location. Head to the restaurant for pick-up, and confirm the order details.
The app will then show you directions to the customer’s location. Follow these and any specific delivery instructions from the customer. Once you’ve dropped the item(s) off, mark the order as complete, so you can be made available for further work.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: Requirements
Both companies have similar requirements for people who want to work as drivers, and neither needs you to have previous delivery experience.
The main difference is that Uber Eats has specific vehicle requirements. If you are already an Uber ride-share driver, switching over to Eats is typically easy to do — they both use the same app.
Postmates is a good option if Uber Eats doesn’t allow your vehicle. Below are the requirements you must meet to work for Postmates. Exact needs may vary depending on the area you work in.
All drivers must:
- Be 18 or older.
- Have an insured car, truck, van, bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter.
- Pass a background check.
- Have a social security number.
- Have a phone that can run the app.
- Live in an area where the service operates.
Uber Eats Requirements
Uber Eats requirements differ slightly depending on whether you plan to deliver by car, scooter, or bike.
If you’re delivering by car, you must:
- Be old enough to drive in your city, plus have one year’s driving experience.
- Have a two- or four-door car made within the last 20 years.
- Have a valid license, registration, and insurance.
If you’re delivering by scooter, you must:
- Be 19 or older.
- Have a scooter under 50cc built in the last 20 years.
- Have a driver’s license, registration, and vehicle insurance.
If you’re delivering by bike, you must:
- Be 18 or older.
- Have a government ID.
All drivers must also live in an area where the company operates, pass a background check, and have a phone that can run the Uber driver app.
Exact requirements vary depending on the area you plan to work in. For example, it isn’t possible to cycle in all cities.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: Sign-Up Process
One of the best things about working for delivery apps is the easy signup process. Most let you start working within a week, and Postmates and Uber Eats are no different.
Here is a look at the signup process for the two platforms.
Postmates Sign-Up & Approval Process
You can sign up for Postmates via the app or by visiting the registration page. Here, you’ll create an account and fill out some biographical information plus information about your vehicle and the area you plan to work in.
While the company checks this information, you should read and agree to the terms and conditions, upload a photo, set up a direct deposit, and authorize a background check.
In areas where drivers require a prepaid card, the company will send you one with a welcome kit. Activate the card in the app. In other areas, you won’t receive the welcome kit until after your first delivery.
When you’ve completed the above steps, your background check will begin, and the company starts the final part of the application process. If you are accepted, you can log in at any time to start driving.
Uber Eats Sign-Up & Approval Process
If you are already an Uber Driver, you can log into your existing account and start the process to switch to Uber Eats. If not, you’ll have to register for the service by heading to the sign-up page and filling in the form.
You’ll need to add information about yourself and the type of vehicle you want to drive.
Then, upload any required documents and consent to a background check. Once you apply, it’s just a matter of waiting for it to be approved, at which point you can start taking orders.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: Pay
Both Postmates and Uber Eats pay on a per-job basis. But the way the pay is calculated differs slightly on each platform. The platforms also offer different rates depending on where you work.
Perhaps the most significant factor that affects earnings isn’t the pay rates, but how busy the platform is during shifts.
Because you only get paid when you are making deliveries, the less time you have between jobs, the more you’ll earn. This means you may earn more per hour on a busier platform that pays less per job than on a quiet platform with a better per-job rate.
Be aware that when calculating your pay, you’ll have to consider the cost of gas and taxes. As neither company gives drivers money to put towards either of these expenses, they come out of your pocket.
Postmates earnings include:
- An amount per completed pick-up.
- An amount per completed drop-off.
- A per-minute rate for time spent waiting at the pick-up location.
- A per-mile rate for distance traveled between pick-up and drop-off.
- All your tips.
The amount you get varies depending on where you work. For example, drivers in Silicon Valley earn:
- $2.30 per pick-up
- $0.50 per drop-off
- $0.07 per minute waited
- $0.69 per mile
Meanwhile, drivers in Allentown, PA earn:
- $1.50 per pick-up.
- $1.00 per drop-off.
- $0.07 per minute.
- $0.43 per mile.
Here are other typical earnings from popular cities across the country.
|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|
Uber Eats Pay
Uber Eats pay consists of a base fare, trip supplements, promotions, and tips.
- Base Pay consists of a fee for pick-up, drop-off, time spent on a job, and distance traveled.
- The supplement considers, among other things, whether the distance or time of the job was different from expected.
- Uber Eats sometimes offers promotions when driver supply is low to encourage more people onto the road.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: Working Hours
Both Postmates and Uber eats are available 24/7 and partner with franchises that stay open all night.
But actual working conditions are heavily dependent on when people are using the platforms to order food.
If you live in a city with 24/7 demand, you will have more options than someone who lives in a quiet town. Wherever you live, the apps will typically have the most work available around mealtimes.
Postmates Working Hours Available
While Postmates promises to deliver anything customers need, the service is still busiest around mealtime.
Postmates says that peak hours for delivery requests are every day from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Additionally, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays have the highest demand overall.
Uber Eats Working Hours Available
Uber partners with 24-hour chains such as McDonald’s and IHOP. If one of these chain restaurants is in your area, you may get work at any time of day.
Uber says that the platform is busiest from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. It also says there is typically higher demand when it is raining and in areas with more Uber Eats partner restaurants.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: The App
Drivers on both services use an app to manage their work. Here are the most important things to know about each one.
The Postmates app is called Fleet by Postmates. It lets drivers:
- Sign up for the service.
- Start working.
- Manage deliveries.
- Get paid.
- Track earnings.
- View promotions.
Uber Eats App
Uber uses one app for both its food delivery and rideshare platforms. Drivers can easily switch between the two if they are accepted on each platform.
Beyond this, drivers use the app to:
- Accept jobs.
- Manage payment and track earnings.
- See which areas are busy.
- See delivery instructions.
- View which areas need drivers.
- Request early payment.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: Earning Potential
Neither Postmates nor Uber Eats will make you rich, but they do both offer the potential to earn some extra money during your downtime.
We typically see people earning between $10 and $20 an hour on these platforms.
The variance between the two numbers depends on several factors, including the demand for work at the time and in the location when you log on. You may also begin to earn more as you become used to the way the two apps work.
Both platforms let drivers keep all their tips. This can be a way to increase earnings if you provide a service people love.
Because drivers are hired as independent contractors, if you work for one of these companies, you won’t be subject to your area’s minimum wage rules. Consider this when deciding if working as a driver is worth it.
How Much Can I Make with Postmates?
Postmates claims that most drivers earn $25+ per hour. Unfortunately, Indeed doesn’t back this claim up, with the website showing average reported hourly earnings of $11.35. Glassdoor puts the average Postmates base pay at between $9 and $14 an hour.
Some Postmates drivers may qualify for minimum payment guarantees. These ensure that you earn a guaranteed minimum amount if you complete a certain number of deliveries in a predefined period. If you don’t earn this through completed jobs, the company will top up your pay.
How Much Can I Make with Uber Eats?
According to Glassdoor, the average Uber Eats driver makes $14 per hour with a range between $8 and $20 per hour.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: Rating System
One big difference between the two delivery platforms is the rating system. Postmates doesn’t rate drivers, while Uber Eats does. Here’s more information on each system.
Postmates doesn’t have a specific rating for drivers. Instead, customers rate the entire delivery with either a thumbs up or a thumbs down.
The company says this is so drivers aren’t held responsible for circumstances outside their control. It also says the rating will never affect the driver’s ability to work on the platform. This solely comes down to the driver’s adherence to the company’s terms and conditions.
Uber Eats Ratings
Uber Eats drivers get a rating out of five from both the customer and the restaurant. This considers the experience you provide. It doesn’t take into account canceled or unaccepted deliveries.
Drivers can easily see their scores from within the app. They also have the option to rate both restaurants and customers.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: What We Like
There’s plenty to like about each service, including the ability to earn money and the easy (and fast) sign-up processes.
Here are some of our other favorite things about each platform.
What We Like About Postmates
- Not limited to delivering meals.
- No driver-specific rating system.
- Payment guarantees in some areas.
What We Like About Uber Eats
- Integration with Uber ridesharing.
- Wide availability.
- Bonuses and promotions.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: What We Don’t Like
There are downsides to each platform, too. The main ones are the lack of benefits given to workers and the fact that you have to sort out your own taxes.
Here are some of the specific things we dislike about each company.
What We Don’t Like About Postmates
- Orders can be more complex.
- Potential for less-straightforward deliveries.
What We Don’t Like About Uber Eats
- The rating system can affect your ability to continue working.
- Strict vehicle requirements.
As you’ll have seen from this review, there isn’t much to choose from between the two services. Assuming they both operate where you live and you meet the requirements of each platform, the best option for many will be to sign up for both and try them out.
By doing this, you’ll get a better idea of the specific work environment of each company where you live. You’ll also get a better idea about how each one pays.
Then, you can either choose to stick with the best company, or keep both apps open while on a shift to increase your chances of receiving consistent work.
Alternatively, if one is significantly better than the other where you live, stick with it while on a shift.
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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.