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Top 5 DoorDash Mistakes

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

The top two reasons that people join DoorDash:


a) To make good money


b) To have workplace that fits their needs


So what holds delivery drivers back from these two things? Let's get into the top 5 dasher fails, so you won't make the same mistakes.



Mistake #1: Dashing at the wrong time


Seasoned dashers know: you can't dash all the time. Make sure to go at prime times to maximize profits.

Prime Times: 
11:00 am - 2:00 pm 
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

During these lunch and dinner rush hours, there will be more red zones, opportunities for peak pay, and higher bulk of orders in your area. Aka more money and less wasted time.


Mistake #2: Accepting bad orders


What makes a "bad" order? When accepting orders, always keep an eye on these things:

1) Distance to Delivery

When deciding whether to accept an order, remember: you have to drive there AND from there to your next destination. If this combined distance is greater than 10-12 miles or so, unless it's a MASSIVE order that might earn you a high tip, don't do it. It's not worth the time, nor the wear and tear on your car.

2) Surroundings of Delivery Location

Make sure to consider where the delivery location will take you. If you end up too far away from home, or from your preferred busy dashing area, don't accept it. If it puts you in another red zone with peak pay, and you feel like zone hopping, then go for it!

3) Pay

This seems self-explanatory, but lots of dashers don't know how low is too low for order pay. You should decide your own boundaries, but we suggest nothing lower than $1 / mile. 

If you want more insight into accepting/rejecting orders, we have a in-depth guide HERE.(INSERT LINK) In general, when choosing whether to accept/reject orders, don't worry too much about your order acceptance rate. Just worry about whether the order will make you good profit.



Mistake #3: Forgetting to pay your taxes / track your miles after year one


Don't worry about this until after your first year! (INSERT EXPLANATION HERE)


After your first year, make sure you're tracking miles. (INSERT WHY WE TRACK HERE). We suggest Everlance (ADD LINK) as an easy tracking app, but there are tons of other options HERE. (ADD LINK TO TRACKING PAGE HERE)


Tracking miles is necessary for your taxes. These taxes can be stressful and confusing, and we don't want you in trouble with the IRS. Check out our step-by-step guide to gig-economy taxes HERE (ADD LINK) and hop on an easy tax app. We suggest THIS (ADD LINK), but we have more options HERE. (ADD LINK TO TRACKING PAGE HERE)


Mistake #4: Not prioritizing tips


Tips tips tips! Tips are a massive part of your income, just like any other customer service job. To understand why, it's important to understand the dasher pay breakdown – check it out HERE. (ADD LINK) To maximize tips, this is what we recommend:


Customers want their full and correct order! Make sure you double check every item in the bag, and don't forget the extras. (Straws, condiments, drinks etc.) Get yourself a drink holder and a hotbag to make sure the food stays upright and at the correct temperature – there are some product options HERE. (ADD LINK)

Get to the customer quickly and safely – try to show them your hustle! Avoid high traffic roads, be prompt and respectfully insistent at the restaurant (tell them who you're picking up for right away). Upon delivery, park quick and hustle to the customer's door. 

We know you can't fully control the restaurants or the roads, so when all else fails, be in good contact with the customer through the DoorDash messaging/call feature. Let them know what's happening, why there might be a delay, and where you are in the process. Putting your personal touch to their experience will encourage better tips. 



Mistake #5: Not Using Multiple Apps


As mentioned, dashing should not be a full time job. There are prime times to dash, and there are times when it is slow – see mistake #1. During these slow times, you should be hopping on other gig economy apps. There's a huge variety of options, from other delivery jobs like grocery or general delivery (ADD LINKS) to completely different jobs, like essay grading or car rentals. Check out our all encompassing gig tree HERE (ADD LINK) or take the quiz to see which gig jobs are best for you HERE.(ADD LINK)


Good luck!


Alright. We have shared the sacred dashing knowledge. The power is in your hands. Get out there and make some $$$$. For more tips on all things gig, sign up for our weekly newsletter: The Boxcar Blog. (ADD LINK)


P.S. If any of the gig economy terms in this article were confusing, check out our Gig Glossary. (ADD LINK)


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