Delivering things for others is one of the simplest and oldest forms of a job. In fact, delivering for a single company (such as Dominos) is still an extremely popular job to boost one's earnings in their spare time. Amazon and traditional delivery services have solved the problem of getting objects within a few day's time. What if you need something in a very short time (such as within an hour)? Postmates maintains a standard of delivering their objects within an hour from all local stores. Other delivery services such as DoorDash provide a centralized delivery service for many different restaurants in one's area.
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I have experience as both a user and a provider of delivery services. In general, I have found that delivery services perform slightly worse than ridesharing platforms for earning money. All of this is in reference to the San Francisco Peninsula: I have averaged ~$24-$28 in cash from ridesharing hours and get about $19-$22/hour from Postmates (DoorDash investigation ongoing). This doesn't necessarily mean that ridesharing is way better than delivery services. I can think of three major perks of choosing delivery services over ridesharing.
In particularly dense areas, a car is often a burden instead of an asset. Finding parking and dealing with traffic can slow down your day and cramp your style. Armed with a bike, you can often move faster, healthier and more swiftly through traffic. This will only hold true for particularly dense areas, such as San Francisco or New York City. In other areas, however, vehicles will sometimes not meet the requirements for ridesharing apps like Uber/Lyft.
If you have a coupe, pickup truck, or even an older model, ridesharing apps will often preclude you from joining their services. As long as you have valid insurance and registration, however, delivery apps would love to have you.
This may vary by hour and location. This can also be a downside to some. I have found, however, that very often I am waiting in a restaurant for an order for ten or more minutes. You are paid for this time with most of the platforms (Postmates pays $0.12/minute, which isn't great but gives you some comfort for waiting around) so use the time wisely. I very often am reading a book on Kindle, checking e-mails, or looking at this very site. With ridesharing platforms, you are usually sprinting from pick-up to pick-up so there is less time to take care of other administrative needs. Everybody has that e-mail they need to send or little project they need to invest a little more time on. Use the time well!
When a delivery comes in, very often it is impossible to deliver. The customer might not show up. The combo might have two drinks but they only need one. The customer may not want his fries. In all of these examples, generally the excess goes to (you guessed it) you. I haven't had too much luck on this front besides a free fountain drink. I have heard stories, though, of underage customers trying to purchase alcohol. After checking their underage ID, you aren't allowed to deliver. What you are allowed, however, is to take all that alcohol yourself. Glory to the highest.
One small thing I have done is to coordinate some of my own personal shopping trips. I had a trip to the grocery store to pick up a few items for a customer and I needed some shampoo myself that I had forgotten to get earlier in the day. Perfect. Many trips will take you to general stores, grocery stores or large big-box stores where you can time up purchases that you had put off. It's like being paid to go make a trip you would make anyway.
We at RewardBus keep reminding you: there is very little commitment! Use it to your advantage. Give it a go and look at the money and your experience. After 4-8 hours, you should be able to tell whether it is worth your time. If it isn't your cup of tea, it's not a big deal. The companies that manage these platforms understand their job is to appease their customers, partners and shareholders. This writer generally uses the platform until the sign-up bonus is completed just to give each company a fair shake (since earnings on all of these are very volatile).
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