Becoming a DoorDash Driver in 2021: Is It a Legit Way to Make Money?

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Numerous apps have made it so that people can work how they want and when they want, earning an income that supplements their regular income — or even becomes their sole source of cash.

DoorDash is one of them, and it seems to be becoming more and more popular with people who want to drive with the company.

Like Postmates and other similar services, DoorDash lets drivers work when they want to and are able to, effectively allowing them to earn extra money in their spare time.

But, also like other delivery services, DoorDash gets some criticism from drivers who have used it.

So is DoorDash legit? This guide has all the information you need to know.

2021 Review: Working for DoorDash

Want to know whether DoorDash is something you should invest your time in?

I’ve done all the research to give you all the information in this guide.

What is DoorDash?

DoorDash is a service that helps restaurants and other places to offer deliveries to their customers.

Rather than hiring delivery people for a few orders here and there, the restaurant can partner with DoorDash to utilize its drivers for deliveries.

The company operates with an app-based business model where drivers can log in during their shift, see the available deliveries, and accept the ones they want to complete.

DoorDash drivers are known as Dashers.

These are the people that deliver stuff from a place to a customer, and it’s the job this guide will focus on.

Where Does DoorDash Operate?

DoorDash is available in more than 4,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, and it’s in Australia and Canada.

And it seems to be growing all the time.

Smaller towns are even getting DoorDash in their areas, so it’s possible that you have some participating restaurants near you.

Who Can Drive for DoorDash?

Not everyone can be a Dasher for DoorDash, as there are some requirements you’ll need to meet before you can start.

Those are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You need a valid driver’s license in good standing
  • You need to have an Android or iPhone to use the app
  • You need a valid auto insurance policy

Besides that, there aren’t many restrictions.

DoorDash doesn’t even have restrictions as far as your vehicle goes.

As long as it works and is reliable enough to get you from place to place, you can drive whatever vehicle you want.

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What Does a DoorDash Driver Do?

A DoorDash Dasher delivers stuff to customers.

Although the app was designed to work with restaurants for delivery services, it’s expanded to include some other types of stores, too, like grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies.

You can even deliver alcohol from liquor stores that partner with the service (if you’re over 21 of course).

As a Dasher, you’ll log into the app, see what deliveries are available, and decide which deliveries to accept.

The app will tell you how far away a customer lives, the amount of the order, and other key details that will help you decide if you want to take it.

When you accept, you’ll drive to the place, pick up the order, and deliver it to your customer.

Customers will leave a tip on the app for you if they choose to tip.

How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make?

Before we get into driver pay, I want to make it clear that a DoorDash driver is not an employee of DoorDash.

Instead, you’ll be an independent contractor.

What does that mean for you?

You won’t have the benefits associated with typical employment, like health insurance or overtime pay.

And you’ll need to worry about paying your own taxes, so make sure you stay on top of your earnings and expenses, as DoorDash won’t take care of all that for you.

Now, about the pay.

This can get a little confusing until you actually get into the system, complete some orders, and figure out how it all works.

But I’ll try to explain it as simply as possible.

All drivers get a base pay for all orders, which ranges between $2 and $10.

The base pay depends on a few factors, like how far away the delivery is from the Dasher and how much other Dashers might also want to complete that order.

You’ll also get tips if the customers decide to give them to you.

Suggested tips are always offered in the app, but customers can choose what they want to pay you based on their experience with the delivery.

DoorDash also has some promotions to help you get paid more if you’re a Dasher.

For example, there are challenges designed to encourage Dashers to complete specific goals for a week or month with some monetary incentives behind them.

You can also get paid more for driving and delivering during peak periods, which tend to be busier times for customers to order.

In summary, your pay can vary from one day to the next.

You might have a few good paying orders on one day but several lower paying orders on another day, so there’s not a guaranteed salary.

How Do Drivers Get Paid?

Dashers add their bank account information to their accounts to get paid.

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This allows them to get paid weekly for any deliveries they made between Monday and Sunday of the previous week.

DoorDash will add up everything you made within that time and credit it to your bank account, but it could take a couple of days to complete the transfer, depending on your bank.

You can also elect to use FastPay.

This program allows you to get paid every day, but it costs a fee of $1.99.

But if you need a little extra money in your hands quickly, this could be a helpful feature for you to have.

You can view all your earnings and opt for FastPay right in the DoorDash app.

How to Succeed as a DoorDash Driver

Have you decided that DoorDash might be something that interests you?

If so, check out the following tips.

These are ones that real Dashers have said make them some extra money on their DoorDash trips, so they might help you succeed, too.

Check Orders Before Delivering

No one likes having messed up orders.

And when someone wants a delivery, they expect their order to be right. Otherwise, they’ll need to wait for the restaurant to remake it and redeliver the order.

You can curb some of the chaos by checking orders yourself.

Taking this extra step before you leave a restaurant can save you a lot of time and headaches later having to run back to the restaurant to get the right order.

Make sure the customer name matches what you have and that everything is inside the bag.

Yes, restaurants should be doing this already, but everyone makes mistakes.

You checking too adds an additional layer of protection that the customer will appreciate — and maybe even tip you for.

Be Careful with Your Schedule

You get to create your own schedule as a Dasher, which is why it’s important that you schedule your time wisely.

Making yourself available during slow periods might not net you as much as you can make during busy periods.

Of course, during busy periods, you might also be in competition with other Dashers in your area, making it more difficult to get your share of the orders.

It might take a bit to get into the swing of things once you learn how everything works in your area and what the best times to Dash are.

But once you do, try to get them as much as possible so that you can make your maximum earning potential in a shorter time.

Be Reliable and Stay Active

DoorDash wants to have Dashers it can rely on to make sure customers can always get their orders delivered when they want them.

The more reliable and active you are, the better for your Dasher reputation.

DoorDash looks for active Dashers that are willing to regularly sign on for work.

They also want people they can rely on to complete the orders they accept, so your accepting and completion rates are also important to uphold.

In other words, be the best Dasher you can be to keep impressing DoorDash!

Be Strategic with the Orders You Accept

Got a good paying order that’s 10 miles away but several lower paying orders that you can make the rounds to in just a few minutes?

You might be better off getting the several closer orders to maximize your earning potential.

DoorDash lets you stack orders if you want to.

So, say you had two orders from restaurants within a few minutes of each other and customers that live close together.

You can accept both, pick up both orders, and then deliver them to your customers.

It saves you time driving and on money you need to spend on gas when you can lump your orders together.

Offer Excellent Customer Service

Finally, just because you may not make much contact with your customers doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about customer service.

The better your customers’ experiences with you, the higher your tips can be.

Plus, DoorDash won’t be happy to hear about customers complaining that you were rude or unfriendly.

Go out of your way to make customers happy, even if it’s just leaving a little “Thank you” note on their bag if they choose no-contact delivery.

Is DoorDash a Good Job? Here’s What Drivers Say

Now that you know more about how DoorDash works and how to make the most of your time working as an independent contractor for the company, let’s get into what other Dashers have to say about it.

The pros and cons I list below are based on real reviews I’ve gathered on the internet from people who have or currently use DoorDash as a form of extra income.

Pros of Working for DoorDash

DoorDash lets Dashers keep all of their tips. DoorDash doesn’t get a cut of the tips at all, which is great news for Dashers that get tipped well.

Another big pro of Dashing is that you’ll get to work when you want.

You do need to pick shifts to work, but you get to choose the ones that fit within your schedule, so it’s very flexible to work around your life or another job.

Other Dashers say the pay is great if you’re able to work during the busiest hours in your area, which are typically evenings and weekends.

And, it’s relatively easy work!

Just hop in your car, pick stuff up, and deliver it.

Cons of Working for DoorDash

One of the biggest drawbacks of DoorDash driving is that there is no guaranteed pay.

Some Dashers make good money, but others say they wait around for hours and rarely get any orders to accept.

It really depends on how many Dashers are in your area, what times you’re able to work, and how many places partner with the service.

But there’s never a guarantee, so your income from Dashing could be all over the map.

DoorDash also requires you to schedule your shift in advance to be able to work unless it’s during a busy period in which more Dashers are needed.

You can’t just log in whenever you want and complete deliveries.

I’ve also seen a few complaints about Dashers getting the shaft if a customer complains about something big, like not getting their food or getting bad customer service.

It’s a good thing that DoorDash takes customer complaints seriously, but the Dashers talking about this say that they didn’t do anything wrong.

I’m not sure how many complaints a Dasher needs to not be allowed back on the platform, but it’s something to keep in mind.

The Ultimate Guide to DoorDash Driving in 2021

Is DoorDash worth your time?

That’s really only a question you can answer.

There’s plenty of evidence from actual Dashers to support DoorDash being a legitimate company with good money-making opportunities.

However, for some, Dashing just doesn’t pan out.

That seems to be the case in areas without as many deliveries happening or with Dashers who can’t work during peak times.

You can always try it out for a month or so and see how it works for you with what’s available in your area.

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