Just starting out as a Doordash Dasher can be overwhelming. In reality, once you've gotten a hang of the app it can be quite an easy way to earn money. Unfortunately, a lot of new dashers make the same mistakes over and over. If you avoid these mistakes, you'll make more money and get higher reviews as a dasher! But, if you continue to make them you could end up in trouble quickly!
Not Setting Aside Money
As a dasher you're an independent contractor. That means it's your responsibility to set aside money so that you can pay taxes at the end of the year. Most drivers reserve between 10 - 30% of income for taxes. It's best to consult a tax professional.
Not Tracking Mileage
Use a mileage tracking app like Gridwise to track your mileage when shopping with Shipt. You'll need to pay your own taxes and you can do so by multiplying your total miles by the standard deduction rate. The app doesn't track all of your mileage between batches while you're on the app, so using your own mileage tracker will increase your after tax earnings at the end of the year!
Taking Low Pay Orders
Doordash shows you a lot of the info you need to know up front before accepting an offer. Set a threshold for pay per mile and only accept orders that meet your requirements.
Run other apps like Postmates in your spare time to keep those earnings coming. Relying 100% on one app can leave you very vulnerable as an independent contractor. Multiple apps will keep you busy and earning money during your downtime.
OTHER APPS TO SUPPLEMENT
We recommend checking out the following apps to run between blocks when you're delivering with Doordash:
The ideal car for delivering with Doordash is a reliable and fuel efficient vehicle, usually older. Driving a brand new car, one that isn't fuel efficient or one that requires a lot of maintenance will eat into your earnings quickly.
Forgetting to Pay Quarterly Taxes
After your first year as an independent contractor you're required to pay quarterly taxes.
Forgetting Heat Bag
The most important part of your job as a Dasher is to get food to your customers quickly. If you show up with cold food, you'll see you're ratings drop quickly.
Multi Apping as Beginner
More advanced Doordash drivers may consider running multiple apps when days are slow. If you are new to the gig you should run a single app, as multi apping could get you deactivated when done incorrectly.
GET CASH BACK ON GAS!
Gas is one of your biggest expenses when shopping with Shipt. Use the GetUpside app to get cash back every time you fill up your tank!
Delivering Food Late
Taking too long to deliver an order can get you deactivated if it happens too often. Make sure to head directly to the restaurant when you get a new offer to avoid this!
Chasing red zones
It's important to deliver in areas with a lot of restaurants and popular restaurants. This doesn't always correspond with red zones and peak pay on the map. Stick to your busiest areas as opposed to following the Doordash map.
Bad Communication With Customers
You should be communicating with your customer if any issues come up in the delivery. This insures that they are in the loop and more likely to be forgiving of long delivery times.
Rude to Merchants
Merchants are not always able to prioritize your order, as they have multiple customers to take care of. If you are rude to merchants this could potentially get you deactivated.
Parking in commercial vehicle areas or no parking zones is a quick way to get tickets, which will eat into your profits! Some dashers avoid busy downtown areas and stick to suburbs for easier parking. Others use a bike or smaller vehicle downtown!
Worrying About Acceptance Rate
As a Doordash driver you're an independent contractor. That means that you get to decide which orders are worth it and which are not. If you are too concerned about your acceptance rate, you'll take low pay orders that lower your earnings. You won't get deactivated for a low acceptance rate.
Accepting Long Distance Orders
Orders that are far away will increase your gas and vehicle expenses. Occasionally, they will pay well and tempt you to accept. If these orders take you away from busy areas with popular restaurants, they may not be worth it, as the effective total mileage doubles when you have to drive all of the way back without receiving your next offer.
If you have to drive too far to start a dash you are going to eat into your earnings. Consider finding a way to monetize this drive with another app like Roadie, or Lyft (using destination rides).
Find the highest paying gig economy jobs in your city. Whether you’re a student looking for a job, supplementing income with a part-time gig, earning with a retirement job or any other flexible gig – GigLaunch has you covered.
Disclosure: GigLaunch affiliates with some of the gig economy companies listed on our website. We earn a commission when independent contractors click through an affiliate link and register with apps.