Everything you need to know about making money with Roadie

Written by Emma Kansiz

Published 2022-07-05 / 4 min read

Ever wondered if it is possible to monetize your errands, your interstate road trip, or your next weekend jaunt out of town? The stars might be aligning for you. Roadie is a reliable platform with scores of positive reviews from drivers and customers alike. Rev your engine and read on.

What is Roadie?

Roadie is a crowdsourced delivery app that was recently acquired by UPS. As of 2021 it boasted over 200,000 drivers, serving customers all across the country. Roadie drivers have conducted deliveries for Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Best Buy, and more. Roadie specializes in last mile and same-day deliveries for both its corporate partners and small business and individuals. Roadie liaises with Walmart to conduct one-hour grocery deliveries and with airports to deliver lost luggage. Individuals can also use Roadie to ship pets, bikes, appliances, and furniture in addition to regular post and packages.

Roadie works by connecting packages with drivers who are already taking a given route, or are able to take a given route, in order to deliver the items quickly and seamlessly. Roadie allows clients to post their ‘gig’ for drivers to see and claim on the app. It is a well-reputed staple of the delivery gig economy with insane reach in the continental U.S (89% of regions)! It is a practical revenue stream for current and prospective drivers who love the open road and want to make other people’s lives easier.

How does Roadie's earning structure work?

Roadie drivers are paid on a per-delivery basis, similar to how other giants like Uber and DoorDash operate. Roadie pays out weekly via direct deposit but it may take 2-5 business days for the earnings to be reflected in your bank account. You can also sign up to receive payment after each gig if you have completed more than 5  gigs and if you have been working through Roadie for more than a week. That’s a solid option for when money’s tight and you need to get the bills paid stat.

Typically, drivers can expect to earn between $15-$20 an hour. The average delivery will earn you $13 according to Roadie. Drivers can see the guaranteed pay-out per delivery request before agreeing to accept the gig. There are also occasional gigs that pay upwards of $500 for a long distance trip. So be aware that your hourly wage is not necessarily capped nor is it guaranteed. You will have great days and less than stellar days, too.

Roadie drivers also have the opportunity to earn tips. Roadie offers a $3 tip guarantee for some deliveries. These posts will have a Guaranteed Minimum Tip tag visible for you to see. This is a tip that Roaddie will pay you regardless of whether a customer tips or not. If the customer does tip (they have 14 days to do so) Roadie will take $3 from their tip. If they don’t, well, you just got $3 extra, courtesy of the Roadie team! This perk is designed for trickier jobs or ones that are long distance. Think of it as a bonus that can be funneled into a savings account or for a special project or goal.

Roadie classifies its drivers as contractors, so you will be required to fill out a 1099 tax declaration with your earnings from the app at tax time. Ensure you have a sound bookkeeping system in place for tracking expenses, hours, and profits/tips. Because you are a contractor you should also keep any and all receipts related to fuel purchases, vehicle insurance, and car maintenance. You might be able to claim a portion of these outlays in your taxes and reduce your tax burden. Win.

What is the time commitment for Roadie?

We like that Roadie’s mandate empowers drivers to seek out gigs that work on their terms, and on their schedule. The app was born out of the idea of connecting package senders with people who were already heading in the general direction of the package’s final destination. But you’re not limited to choosing deliveries simply because they’re en route for you - you are able to structure your day around deliveries, as well, and drive around your region dropping off packages. We like that you’re able to choose deliveries that work for you and you don’t have to make any compulsory trips as a Roadie contractor.

The structure of the app makes it easy to slot into your personal and professional life. If you are headed to run errands or go on a cross-state road trip you can check the app and see if there are any packages you can take with you on the way for some extra pocket change. You can also schedule time during the week to prioritize a shift with Roadie and wait to see which way the wind blows, i.e where any given package needs to be delivered. It is kind of like Uber without the passengers.

Some drivers choose to make Roadie their full-time gig. You can structure your own hours and work when it suits your life. Be aware that you might spend a lot of time waiting for relevant orders to pop up in your area, and that this downtime is unpaid. If you are keen on making Roadie a full-time gig, we recommend stacking a few apps into your arsenal so you can switch between them to maximize your earnings throughout the day. Seeing as you have a car, you could also sign up for Lyft and Instacart, for instance. This style of work is becoming more popular for participants in the sharing economy.

How to get started with Roadie?

Go to the application page and click on Driver Sign-up. Roadie will then ask you to input your basic contact information. This will create an account for you that will serve as your portal to check your application status. You will provide details about your vehicle and what kinds of deliveries you are able to do. If you have a van or moving truck you can mention this so once you’re accepted large moving jobs or furniture deliveries come up in your feed. If you have a small car you can note this so you won’t be getting spammed with larger, bulkier jobs you can’t actually accept.

Once you have filled out some basic information, along with details on working rights, you will upload a picture of your driver's license. Then you will be put through a background check conducted by Roadie. 

Once approved you will be able to accept gigs as they come up in your area. The price for the gig is listed, along with distance, and the name of the client or company. You will also see the urgency of the post, the amount of items, and the estimated weight or size. Other details will include the pick up and drop off locations, any special instructions, the dimensions of the item(s) to be delivered, and the time frame it needs to be delivered within. After you have accepted a delivery request in the app you are provided with any other relevant information for that respective job from the poster. You will use the Roadie app to communicate and liaise with your client from that point on. 

Roadie requirements

Required Resources

You must have your own vehicle with which you can make deliveries with. Roadie does not have any posted vehicle standards, unlike the stringent ones in place for Uber and Lyft drivers. So you don’t need to bring your car in for a pre-approval mechanic check - time save!

You must have an iPhone or Android that can run the Roadie app. 

You must have a bank account as Roadie does direct deposits. This needs to be an American bank account.

Required Skills

To become a driver with Roadie you must be 18 years and above, and be legally permitted to work in the U.S. You must have a clean driving record with no more than three accidents in the last three years, no serious infractions or offenses in the last seven years, and no fines related to texting and driving in the past year. Roadie wants the best of the best drivers, and are more stringent than Uber or Lyft when it comes to ensuring safe, trustworthy contractors to represent their brand.

You need to be in adequate shape to be a Roadie driver. You will frequently be carrying packages or grocery orders that weigh upwards of 20 pounds. Some of these items might be unwieldy, awkwardly shaped, and bulky. This is especially true when delivering larger orders for corporate clients.

Required Documents

You must provide proof of work rights through your social security number. You must provide Roadie with your driver’s license and proof of current car insurance.

You will also be required to undergo a background check and to provide Roadie with your credit card information (they won’t charge you until you’ve started a delivery but they need it on file).

Other important details

Drivers must maintain a 4 star or higher rating on the site. This means one thing: no cutting corners on rapport-building and communication with your customers! Being timely and organized is paramount, but so is being kind, attentive, and patient. Issues may arise, traffic might be chaotic - but maintain level-headed contact with your client and work with them to resolve any misunderstandings or delays. 

Because of the road-based nature of the job you need to be meticulous in tracking your mileage, fuel use, and maintenance costs. Roadie does not compensate for mileage or reimburse you for any car-related expenditures, fines, or damages. Ensure you have reliable insurance and that you keep money stashed away in a contingency fund.

Our review

Roadie is a legitimate and well-reputed company that allows workers to capitalize on the gig economy while earning money and crafting their own schedule. We like that Roadie empowers its drivers to select appropriate jobs based on the following criteria: payout, distance, weight, and timeline. This allows drivers to choose jobs that will better suit their financial needs and personal preferences. The freedom this enables will be exciting for someone who is used to being micromanaged, and is one of the draws of the gig economy. 

Roadie is a solid option for people who enjoy driving, playing music, and exploring their town and region. Earning money on the side will make it all the sweeter. Roadie easily slots into your schedule and can help you get closer to work-life balance. We like that you can pick up packages on your way to do your own personal errands or you can schedule an afternoon to be available to deliver packages anywhere and everywhere. This flexibility makes the job something to look forward to, rather than a dreary obligation. That being said, we don’t recommend it for people who get easily frustrated in traffic and who can’t navigate to save their lives. People who feel frazzled under pressure won’t thrive either, as airline and corporate deliveries tend to be urgent and time sensitive. If we could improve Roadie, we would add a bonus fee for rush jobs or those that pertain to the airport, to offset the potential stress involved. But alas, we don’t have the CEO’s ear and so that aspect of the site is not likely to change, and is worth bearing in mind.    

We do recommend being honest with yourself about the condition of your vehicle. To be profitable on the platform you will need to put in the work and deliver heavy, bulky, and awkwardly shaped packages at times. All the driving, stopping, and starting can wear your car's systems down quickly. You want to be coming to the game with a reliable car. We also recommend keeping close watch over maintenance and fuel expenditures as this can easily eat into your profits if you don’t manage them vigilantly. A spreadsheet or recording system should suffice. Ensure an order is worth the income if it is long distance or out of your way. Unless of course you wanted to take a fun road trip anyways!