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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Dailyish Thoughts #84

First the good news: I got a tip! True to what some people have said, it did indeed take nearly 24 hours for Postmates to post my tip. For once “I’ll tip in the app” was actually true!

And a lady bought me $5 of gas as a tip. Which is pretty awesome.

And the bad: While that was good to see, I did spend nearly 45 minutes on that Chik-Fil-A order, in traffic. After gas it ends up being closer to $5. Which… yeah.

And Uber has been awful lately, the in-app navigation does not speak, so you have to stare at the screen the entire time. It has also been super laggy. And tonight it sent me 12 miles out of my way for a delivery from a closed restaurant, which meant I had to cancel it on arrival. Probably the only Denny’s in the world that is not 24/7. Did I get any money for driving way out of my way? Nope.

Lyft sent me to a completely wrong address after changing my passenger and destination twice. Thankfully the passenger the app finally settled on was able to call me and tell me exactly where she was.

And the truck is of course driving like crap. So gas mileage is abysmal.

Annnnd my kids broke my phone charger. For about the billionth time.

And my lovely wife has a migraine.

So I ended the day completely in the red.

Did I mention that job interview was a bust? I can’t drive 100 miles a day for $11/hr, loading a chipper all day. I thought he said on the phone $11-$21, what he really said was $11.21.

But tomorrow is a new day.

I have another interview for a part time job, which given it’s nature will probably at least give me the holidays off, unlike most of the other ones.

And I am going back to pizza delivery, which has always been fairly profitable.

It’s against my nature to be optimistic, but I know it will all work out.

Tomorrow’s going to be a good day.

 

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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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Dailyish Thoughts #82

There is a strange satisfaction in buying needed things. I hate spending money (there isn’t much of it) but when it’s on things like new (to me) tires there is a definite feeling of gladness that isn’t matched by frivolous spending. Maybe it’s adulting, I don’t know, but toys seem less fun to me than useful things. Useful toys are even better.

I am slacking on the blogging again. We’ve been visiting family and friends and doing a bit of a working vacation. I don’t know if people really want to hear about decorating a nursing home for the autumn or moving a storage room of boxes for an office or cutting up logs with a chainsaw. Maybe they do, but I am too tired to write about it.

This upcoming week my adventures will take me back to the mosquitoes and jungles of Florida in search of employment and perhaps a new car. I will try to get in all that social justice stuff in too, I promise.

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Daily Thoughts #39

I hate money… Rather I hate the lack of money.

Thankfully I was able to find a = be a bit more than we have.

It is my oldest’s birthday today. If I didn’t feel old before, now I do.

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Daily Thoughts #33

Dreaming is great, but it’s no substitute for work. There are a ton of things I dream about but man am I lazy. I gotta wonder how much I could accomplish if I wasn’t so pessimistic about the outcome.

I did accomplish something today. I made a little bit of money on a cryptocurrency airdrop. We’ll see how it pans out tomorrow. If you would like to check it out here’s a link.