When it comes to convenience services and delivery, the question many grapple with is this: How much is your time and energy worth?
In many cases, it makes sense to want to save money whenever you’re able to.
On the other hand, some things in life are worth every penny paid.
With the rise of food and grocery delivery services, like Postmates, consumers are able to outsource some of the more mundane, time-sucking tasks that seem to bog you down throughout the week.
Postmates is an on-demand delivery service that brings groceries, food takeout orders, and nearly any other product straight to consumers.
With Postmates, consumers can receive all of their favorite items delivered right to the door, saving time and eliminating the need to run around town shopping.
In this article, we want to show you what the convenience of Postmates delivery will cost you.
We’ll highlight every fee that you may encounter on your next order and show you how signing up for Postmates Unlimited will help you limit your Postmates fees.
What Are the Postmates Fees?
Postmates charges customers a delivery fee and service fee on every delivery order placed.
In some circumstances, customers will also be required to pay additional fees to cover scenarios like small orders, order cancellations, and surge pricing.
To give you a quick reference guide, here are all of the Postmates fees you’ll encounter.
Fees included on every order:
- Delivery fee: $1.99 to $3.99 for Partner Merchants, $5.99 to $9.99 for all other merchants
- Service fee: Variable percentage based fee
Applicable fees on select orders:
- Small cart fee: $1.99 if your order doesn’t exceed $12.00 ($10.00 in Los Angeles)
- Cancellation fee: Varies depending on cancellation circumstances
- Blitz pricing: Variable multiplier during peak hours
Let’s take a look at each of these fees a little bit closer.
You’ll need to pay a Postmates delivery fee on every delivery order you place.
For Postmates partner merchants, this flat fee will be between $1.99 and $3.99.
Orders that are from all other merchants will cost between $5.99 and $9.99.
Delivery fees will vary from city to city and from store to store.
To identify partner merchants, you can look for a green check mark next to the merchant’s name in the app.
Enrolling in the Postmates Unlimited membership is a great way to avoid delivery fees, but we’ll touch more on that later.
The Postmates service fee is a variable service fee that is added on to every order.
Before checking out, you’ll be able to review the service fee prior to completing your order.
This fee goes directly to Postmates and pays for their operating and marketing costs.
Like delivery fees, these are unavoidable fees that are included on every order you place.
The only way around them is to enlist in the Unlimited membership program.
Small Cart Fee
Postmates orders must surpass a certain minimum order level.
If your order is below $12.00, you’ll be charged a $1.99 small cart fee.
If you’re placing your order in Los Angeles, then your minimum order total will be slightly less at $10.00.
Postmates must enforce minimum order totals to make all deliveries worth it for drivers.
By adding a small cart fee, drivers avoid extremely low delivery fares that simply aren’t worth their time.
It’s important to note that sometimes the price of items may be more or less once your Postmate purchases them at the store.
This means that in some cases, you may be charged the small cart fee initially but then it’s taken off your receipt after the fact.
Or in the other case, you may not be charged a small cart fee, but then after it’s added on if the products were less money than expected.
Depending on the circumstances of your order cancellation, you may be responsible to pay for your entire order, a cancellation fee, service fee, or delivery fee.
The amount you’ll be charged will be determined by when you place your order cancellation.
There will be times when things will come up and you’ll need to cancel your order.
Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but other times you may be able to assess the following cancellation fees and decide if it’s worth it or not.
The sooner you place your cancellation, the better off you’ll be.
If you wait to make your order cancellation later in the order process, like after the Postmate has already picked up your order, then you’ll be held accountable to pay for your order.
Let’s take a look at a few different cancellation scenarios.
Order Hasn’t Been Placed and the Postmate Hasn’t Arrived at Merchant
If this is the case, then you won’t be required to pay for anything.
No need to worry!
You can place your cancellation within the app and receive a full refund.
Order Is Placed and a Postmate Is on the Way to Pick Up Your Order
At this point, Postmates will be required to pay the merchant and the delivery driver for your order.
This means that you’ll be required to pay for the items in your order and a cancellation fee that will vary from city to city.
The upside is that since the delivery service wasn’t fully completed, you won’t be responsible to pay for the delivery fee and service fee.
Order Has Been Placed, Picked Up, and Is on Its Way to You
If you’ve made it this far without placing your cancellation, you’re pretty much screwed.
You’ll be responsible for paying for your entire order, the delivery fee, and the service fee.
If it were up to us, we’d say just let the order arrive at that point and do with it as you please.
Otherwise, you’ll be paying for everything anyway and not receiving anything in return.
Blitz Pricing (Surge Pricing)
Similar to Uber’s surge pricing, blitz pricing helps balance the number of orders and demand of Postmates drivers.
In peak times, variable blitz pricing fees will be added onto your order.
Blitz pricing incentivizes Postmates drivers to log on and start taking orders to balance the demand of drivers.
Since customers will be paying more, drivers may log on to take orders since their payout will be higher.
During peak hours, many orders may come in and there may not be enough drivers to fulfill all orders.
If this is the case, blitz pricing will be enabled and you’ll be required to pay a blitz pricing fee on your order.
Before you check out, you’ll always be notified of the variable blitz pricing that is being added to your order.
If you don’t approve of the blitz pricing or any of other the fees mentioned above, then you can simply forgo your order.
But not placing your order seems like a drastic measure.
If the fees are really getting to you, you could also pursue the Postmates Unlimited membership.
A Postmates Unlimited membership means you’ll receive free delivery on all orders over $15.00, you won’t be required to pay for blitz pricing, and you’ll never have a minimum order amount.
With Postmates Unlimited, you unlock perks that will help limit what you spend on your Postmates orders.
So where does the cost savings come from?
Well for starters, if you spend over $15.00 on any order you’ll receive free delivery.
Also, if you place your order through a partner merchant, you won’t be required to pay for any service fees, regardless of your order amount.
Another perk is that Unlimited members can place orders of any size and not be charged a small cart fee.
No need to worry if you’re just looking to receive a freshly brewed coffee from Starbucks delivered right to your desk.
It’s no problem at all!
On top of that, blitz pricing will no longer apply to you.
Order at any time regardless of how busy it is and you can receive your order for the same price.
Lastly, you’ll also receive access to member-specific promotions and exclusive offers and events that Postmates will send your way.
So how much does the Unlimited membership cost?
How Much Does Postmates Unlimited Cost?
The Postmates Unlimited membership consists of two subscription tiers — monthly and yearly subscriptions.
A monthly subscription will cost $9.99 per month and a yearly subscription costs $95.88 per year.
With all of the perks and benefits mentioned above, Postmates estimates that members save $90.00 per year on average.
In a way, the membership seems to pay for itself.
Lucky for you, you’re able to give Postmates Unlimited a shot for free with its seven-day trial membership.
Here’s how you can sign up for the seven-day free trial membership.
Sign Up for a Free Unlimited Trial
Signing up for the free Unlimited subscription trial takes a few minutes and can be done directly through the Postmates app.
To sign up for your free trial, open your Postmates app and head to the settings button in the top left corner.
Once you arrive on the settings page, tap on “Free delivery with Unlimited.”
After that, you’ll need to fill out your preferred payment method and decide if you’d like to enlist in a monthly or yearly subscription.
You even have the option of adding a promo code.
Do you need a Postmates promo code?
Head to our Postmates promo code article to redeem yours now.
Even though this is a free seven-day subscription, you must understand that you will be automatically charged if you don’t cancel your membership before the actual payments begin.
Also, please keep in mind that all subscriptions auto-renew.
So if you only want to pay for one month, you’ll need to cancel to avoid being charged for the next month also.
If you’re looking for more ways to save money on Postmates, here are a few more ways you can save on your next order.
It’s Decision Time
So does the convenience of receiving food and groceries delivered right to your door overweigh the costs of all the Postmates fees you’ll be required to pay?
Are you willing to pay for the delivery charge, the service fee, plus any other fees you may come across for small orders or orders placed during peak hours?
This decision is up to you.
If you’re an avid Postmates user, then we’d recommend giving the Unlimited trial subscription a shot.
While non-members of Postmates sit there and collect fees and delivery charges, you could be sitting pretty enjoying free deliveries and other perks.
So what’s the verdict?