Making Money Like A Millenial: DoorDash

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After my bad experience with PostMates, I was a bit hesitant to try DoorDash. But I am glad I did!

What it is:

DoorDash is a food delivery app which lets you use your own car and set your own hours.

Getting started:

DoorDash was super simple to sign up for. I gave them my address and some other info, they did the standard background check, and they sent me a handy little bag and a card to use for orders.

I then downloaded the app, activated my card, added a bank account and headed out the door for my first deliveries.

General experience:

The biggest difference between DoorDash and PostMates right out the door was the use of zones. DoorDash breaks up the area into zones, you select a zone to work in and you stay in that zone for the entire time you are running orders.

When you first begin your Dash you will notice that it’s already trying to direct you somewhere. This was a little confusing to me until I looked it up. This is DoorDash’s way of trying to help you find a busy spot. It’s a little less intuitive than the shading used by Uber and PostMates, but it was still helpful.

I began to drive towards the hotspot and before I could get there, I got an order.

It doesn’t just notify you in the app, it sends you texts! Which can be a little overwhelming honestly. If I have the app running, I’m going to know when an order comes in. I don’t need a dozen reminders!

One of the first things I noticed when the order came in was the “Amount Guarantee”. Like the other services I have run, DoorDash guarantees a minimum for each order you deliver, but unlike those other ones, DoorDash tells you up front what that amount is. Also unlike those others, it doesn’t just have a blanket minimum, the amount changes based on various factors like miles for the delivery, expected wait time, etc.

When you accept the order you just navigate to the restaurant and slide at the bottom of the app to show you have arrived.

The app pops up with a list of things in the order and tells you whether or not you are expected to place the order and pay, or just pick it up. In my limited experience it appears that fast food places like Steak ‘n Shake are the former, while places like Cracker Barrel are the latter.

Orders can get pretty complicated, thankfully these are usually the pick up only variety. I didn’t have to remember to ask for salsa!

Get your food and check the items. Swipe that you have done the pick up and the app will tell you where you need to go. It will also give you delivery instructions like these:

Deliveries are also easy, just navigate to the location, drop off the food, and swipe delivered. After that you just drive near another hot spot and wait for another delivery to roll in.

The only hard part of the whole thing was when two orders came in at the same time. I felt a little bad making the first person wait while I picked up the second order. The app had me drop them off in the order picked up, but it added several minutes to the delivery time.

The experience was great, I didn’t have to drive all over the world like some of the services. I was able to stay within a 10 mile radius of my house, which was a gas saver.

How Much Money Are We Talking Here?

In short: WAAAAAY more than PostMates.

I worked 11-1:15ish and then 4-6:30, made 6 deliveries, and was able to earn about $50.

General Tips:

Work the lunch and dinner hours.

Make sure you have enough gas.

Don’t be like me and find a beautiful piece of furniture, send a picture to your wife, have to stop work, go rent a truck, and bring it home. That really cuts into your bottom line.

Use the bag they give you, it keeps that food warm in bad traffic. And it alerts the restaurant who you are so you don’t have to keep saying “Hi, I’m a DoorDash driver!”

Be warned: they expect you to make 25 deliveries and work at least two weeks before you qualify for Fast Pay. So unlike the other money making schemes, you will have to wait a week for your money. That is the only pitfall to this app though.

Bottom Line:

$10/hr minus a little for gas isn’t great money, but it’s comparable to Uber and it’s still over minimum wage. Unlike Uber, you can use any old beater car, and even a motorcycle (or moped, for you hipster types) if you wanted. And you’re not dealing with drunk people. So for spare time money making this is an excellent choice.

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Dailyish Thoughts #85

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Optimism does make a day better, even when you make mistakes and lose your cool for a bit.

The interview went well, at least from my perspective. Looks like I’m going to be doing a lot of training, so even if I don’t get the job (it would have to be a catastrophe though) at least I have paid training in the next few weeks. Money money money!

Went back to pizza delivery. I forgot how much I enjoyed it, even though I did get completely lost on one delivery and my others took forever for people to come down elevators. Despite hiccups, it is way more rewarding than delivery for other services. I made the mistake of thinking “I’ll do a quick Postmates run on my way home”… BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Who in their right mind picks a Subway literally 9.2 miles away from their residence when there are four Subways within a three mile radius? I mapped them, I know. Postmates…not even once.

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I asked my boss if my wife could do anything around the place. I was expecting maybe that he would have a couple days a week for her or something. He comes back with every night of the week! Things are looking up!

 

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Making Money Like A Millenial: Postmates

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Once again, it’s been awhile since I did one of these. Last week while looking through employment sites and Craigslist I found Postmates. I had heard about it on Scott Pilgrim VS The World, at least I think that was it, and some other show and discovered it had finally arrived in Jacksonville.

I was eager to try it out as it seemed a bit more fun than Uber Eats and I could use my better gas mileage vehicle for it.

What it is:

Postmates (Use code:FL-RBKTW to get us both a bonus!) is a delivery app that allows you to deliver virtually anything to someone who orders it on the app.

Getting started:

I found a Craigslist ad which directed me to the Postmates site. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your license, agree to a background check, and download the app to your phone.

After initial sign up Postmates will send you a prepaid Visa card which you will use to purchase ordered items. You will have to receive it and activate it before you can get to work, but the whole process is relatively quick. I signed up on a Wednesday and was on the road the following Tuesday.

General experience:

When I first signed onto the app I noticed it looked a lot like the older Uber app, complete with bonus areas highlighted. And just like Uber, once you actually arrive at the area, the bonuses mysteriously disappear.

Now you see it….

Now you don’t.

Just like Uber or Lyft, the app dings when you get an order. You accept the order and navigate to the location. Be careful of the directions though. My first order was in the mall, and instead of taking me to the food court, the app sent me to the front entrance.

‘Twas actually on the south side of the mall.

The pickup experience is a bit different than either delivery services I have done, Uber Eats and plain old pizza delivery. With both of those the order is already prepared (in theory) and all you have to do is pick it up and deliver it. With Postmates you have to go to the store and place the order yourself.

As you can see above, the orders can be simple, or they can be very specific. Accuracy is key.

Once you place your order, you take a picture of the receipt, receive the items, tap “Pickup Complete” and then you are directed to your drop off point. Navigate to the drop off and deliver the items, with a smile of course.

Once you drop it off, click “Drop off complete” and you’ll get a message about how much you made for that delivery. This notification isn’t always instant. I had one take ten minutes. And from what I understand the tips don’t always show up for a few days.

Orders took about 30 minutes to complete. The quickest was a drive thru, but since I had to drive a distance to get there (without being paid) the speed of the pick up didn’t really matter.

How Much Money Are We Talking Here?

Well… I will be honest here. On a Tuesday night, during “Prime” hours, I worked 2.5 hrs, drove a total of 31.2 miles and made a whopping $10.91. After calculating for gas, I estimated my wages to be $2.50/hour. That’s pretty abysmal.

Maybe with tips and working weekends it would improve? I kinda doubt that. Postmates is new in town, so people may not know about it yet. And with a ton of other services out there, it’s not likely that they will be jumping on that bandwagon anytime soon.

General Tips:

Just like all the other apps, if someone tells you they are going to tip in the app, that’s code for “don’t expect a tip.”

Know your area. I had been out of town for six months and as a result I was a bit hazy on the locations of some things, like places in the mall.

Be prepared to travel all over town. Unlike Uber or Lyft, there is no function to travel to a particular location. So you just kinda wander wherever the orders come. For me, this meant turning down an order in the opposite direction that popped up right as I was ready to head home.

Bottom Line:

Maybe as an add on to both Uber and Lyft (though three apps at once gets cumbersome) Postmates would be a profitable venture. And maybe in a bigger city where people know about it. And a place where people tip. But around here, Postmates is just not profitable as far as I can tell.

I will give it another go and see what happens, when I am not unemployed and in need of real money.

Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised.

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Making Money Like a Millennial: Miscellaneous Tips

Since my next few installments of this series are going to require some research I have decided to put them off until next year. Thankfully for you next year is next month…

For now, here are some miscellaneous tips that I may have missed in my first four:

Unemployment:

In New Mexico, one can make up to 20% of their unemployment in other money before it affects your unemployment. As in, you can make up to $85 driving Uber before they reduce your $425 unemployment check. 

Arizona deducts dollar for dollar. I don’t know about other states, check with your local office for information. 

Uber and Lyft:

Get used to many many smells. Between the food you pick up for deliveries and the potheads who obviously don’t realize how much that stench sticks, you are going to smell many unusual and strong smells. You may want to keep an odor neutralizer around for the lingering ones.

And that one. And that one…

Which brings me to my next point. If you should happen to be able to tell that your passenger is enebriated, drive extra carefully. You wouldn’t want them to create an extra long-lingering smell for you in your back seat. I have heard there is a substantial clean up fee that Uber will charge for this, but who wants the hassle to begin with?

Uber:

It looks like they have finally added a feature like the one Lyft has which allows you to go online from any screen. But I haven’t been able to figure it out. So I would stick to the plan as outlined in my previous post.

Pizza:

Take a pen. Two pens if you can. 

Wear a shirt with two pockets. One is to hold your wad of twenty ones (for change) and one is to put your tips. Pants pockets tend to get a bit more sweaty, particularly if you are running everywhere you go. 

Which you should. Not only is it good exercise, it shaves off precious seconds. 

Keep ten each of quarters, dimes, and nickels. And twenty pennies. This gives you plenty of change to give exact change. And if you dig enough your costumers often get impatient and say “nah, just keep it”. 

Keep it in a coin purse. There is nothing more annoying than dealing with loose change at the metal detector in the courthouse or town hall. Which reminds me… 

This is a deadly weapon… Leave it in your car.

Any sharp objects, including can openers, should be left in your vehicle. A lot of security guards are jerks that won’t hold something for you even if they can watch you walk in, deliver, and walk out. 

Don’t worry too much about non-tippers, eventually you figure out that most non-tippers are balanced out by good tippers. Two good tips can completely erase a non-tip. Besides, getting grumpy just makes you sloppy, and being sloppy is a great way to guarantee non-tips.

I hope these are helpful, keep checking back for more installments. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, please do. 

And if you have any tips or suggestions of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!

Making Money Like a Millennial: Pizza Delivery

Isn’t this how Millennials talk?

This may be one of the least Millennial of all the methods I discuss, but I include it because it has proven to be one of the more profitable ones.

What it is:

Well, it should be self-explanatory. You take pizza or other foods from the restaurant and take them to the customer.

How to get started:

For this job you usually have to actually go and apply, usually at your local big chain pizza place, online or rarely, in person. 

For me this is one of those right place,  right time situations. I was picking up an Uber Eats order when the store owner asked if I would be interested in helping him out a couple of days a week during the lunch rush. Of course I said yes, any money is good money when unemployed. 

General experience:

This is actually more difficult than driving people, and actually more difficult than driving Uber Eats. You have a real boss calling you to see where you are, you have people who are expecting a higher level of service than Uber Eats customers, and you are collecting money and keeping track of receipts. And instead of a GPS preprogrammed with your destination, you are given a chicken scratched ticket to decipher and enter in your phone yourself.

OK, threes? Fives? Eights?!

Maybe that’s just the small joint I work, who knows… 

So far it has been fun. I’ve seen even more parts of town and have met even stranger people than those I meet when I drive. The most annoying times are when people make me wait or don’t tip (frequently both) and just the general annoyance of finding parking. Thankfully I have a magnet on my door which gives me magical parking powers in any loading zone in the city. 

How much money are we talking here? 

I said this was the most profitable, but that is not because of gross earnings. What makes this the most profitable is the simple fact that I get to drive a beater van which gets better mileage AND I am not driving the 130 miles in a night that I do with Uber and Lyft. It also has the added benefit of being paid in cash, hourly, and nearly every person tips. 

So for between 3 and 4 hours I can bring home between $35-70 after gas. I’m not sure how comparable this is to other places, or to the big chains, but I’m satisfied with the little bit of extra cash. 

General tips: 

Dress “nice”, people appreciate someone who looks kinda put together coming to their door. 

Make sure the voice entry works on your phone, there is nothing like wasting time typing in an address, especially when you have less than one full hand available. 

Carry change, and make sure it’s ones. Giving back ones in change is a good way to encourage tipping. Having exact change and taking time to count out every penny is as well. 

Bottom line:

There isn’t flexibility about hours like the other driving jobs, but the only person you have to worry about killing is yourself. And mangled pizza. And you can drive whatever nasty wheeled contraption you favor. And the pay is pretty well considering the amount of time and effort. 

So if you can, I’d say try it out.