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How Postmates Works: Everything You Need to Know

How Postmates Works: Everything You Need to Know

How Postmates Works

Founded in 2011, Postmates is a delivery and logistics company that connects couriers with people who need things delivered.

Postmates is available in over 100 U.S. metropolitan areas across 24 states. On average, Postmates fulfills over 7,000 deliveries daily. That’s 50,000 a week!


How Postmates Works

Postmates provides a user-friendly mobile app that buyers can use to request a delivery from a particular merchant in their city.

Postmates works as you would imagine a delivery service. Once you’ve registered and downloaded the app, users can locate restaurants or stores they’d like to get a delivery from, add the items to a Postmates cart, and then input contact and payment information.

Once you’ve done that, Postmates will connect your order with the nearest ‘postmate’, or delivery person, to fulfill your order.

With Postmates, stores and restaurants can either be participating or not. That is, with participating stores, a menu will be displayed on the Postmates app for users to view. This makes the process user-friendly. Unfortunately, if a store isn’t participating, orders can still be made, but the cost and item selection isn’t as seamless.

Once you’ve placed an order, you can track your order’s status in real time using the app. If there are any unexpected delays, the app will let you know. Once the order arrives at your door, you sign a digital receipt with your finger and can also tip the ‘postmate’.

Similar to other sharing economy delivery services like Instacart, Postmates offers a subscription service for deliveries. For $9.99 a month, users can enjoy unlimited deliveries.

When ordering food using the Postmates app, you can sort restaurants by location, type of food, and price. Once you’ve chosen a restaurant, you then select exactly what you want to order from that restaurant’s menu.

For participating restaurants, you can also customize your food order. Mustard? GROSS!

There is also a substitution option if something you order isn’t available. No crab cakes? OK, I will settle for the calamari.


How to Make Money on Postmates

How Postmates works as an income generation tool is a bit different. As a ‘postmate’, you can earn up to $25/hour plus tips. But, your income depends on your particular city and what you’re delivering.

As with other sharing economy websites, you can work only when you want. That is, you can do one delivery a month, or ten a week, it’s entirely up to you.

And, with Postmates, as a worker you can choose your method of transportation. That can include a car, scooter, walking, bike, or Pope-mobile. You get the point.


For the delivery fee that Postmates charges, they keep 20% and the other remaining 80% plus any tips go to the postmate.

As a postmate, the app will let your customer know exactly where you are and the status of their order. Almost all the work is done for you! Simply travel to the destination, fulfill the order, and deliver it to the user. Simple as that.

This is how Postmates works. For people with some spare time in their day, or who are already out and around town, Postmates is a great way to supplement your income.

About The Author


  1. The Financial Panther

    I’ve been Postmating for about a year myself. I signed up to Postmate via bike and it’s a great way for me to make a little money while I’m getting exercise. For example, if I’m looking to get some exercise that evening, I’ll just turn on the app and wait for a delivery. Then I’ll just make the delivery and keep biking around until I feel like stopping.

    I don’t know if it’s worth doing via car, to be honest, because of the pretty low pay and the wear and tear to your car. Not to mention the bad health effects of driving around.

    But if you’re doing it by bike, it’s cost effective and you kill two birds with one stone by making some money and improving your health by exercising.

    • Glenn Carter

      I love the idea of earning cash and getting exercise! Great point about the wear and tear on a vehicle. That’s great advice for people just getting started. Did you find that there were particular orders you’d try to take over others? Certain parts of town you would avoid? Thanks for all the tips!

      • The Financial Panther

        My ideal is having a drop off point that ends near where I live, so I tend to grab orders that are in my neighborhood. Orders from Chinese restaurants are great because they’re usually made quickly and packed up really well.

        Since I’m on a bike, I also avoid any coffee orders (I learned that the hard way) and I tend to avoid orders with lots of fountain drinks.

        • Glenn Carter

          Yeah I can see coffee being an issue! Are you willing to share your average income working on Postmates?

          • The Financial Panther

            I do Postmates very part time (mainly for the exercise and only in my free time). According to my Courier dashboard, I’ve pulled in $1894 for 2016. So it look’s like I’m bringing in a bit over $200 per month doing this on the side, for the exercise. That was sort of my target range going in.

            My expenses are minimal since I bike. I also have an annual membership to my city’s bikeshare system, so I actually often make deliveries using a bikeshare bike, which reduces wear and tear on my own bike even more!

            I don’t Postmate more than a few hours a week, but I’d estimate my hourly income to be around $15 an hour, although it can be variable because you’re relying heavily on people tipping you. It’s not a ton of money, but I’m getting paid for the privilege of exercising and doing something that I think is fun!

            If you count the health benefits of biking and staying healthy as a part of your earnings, it’s probably not a bad side hustle. (Remember, most people pay to exercise. Here, you can get paid to exercise!)

          • Glenn Carter

            Awesome, I know this will help out the readers, thank you Kevin!

  2. Eron

    Does anyone in the SF bay area know about real life postmates office site-based orientations?

    • Glenn Carter

      Hey Eron, sorry I don’t know much about the on-site orientation. I’ll let the community answer if anyone has any insight.



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