No time to grocery shop? Just place your order on the Postmates for iPhone app, and it'll be delivered directly to your doorstep for a $3.99-$9.99 delivery fee, plus a variable percentage-based service fee.
Quick to start: Grant Postmates access to your location and sign up with Facebook or an email address and password. Then verify your phone number by inputting a code into the app that you receive via text.
Available in most U.S. cities: Postmates is available in many major U.S. cities and areas, including Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Bellevue, Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, the East Bay of San Francisco, Evanston, Fort Lauderdale, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jersey City, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Oklahoma City, Orange County, Orlando, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, San Francisco Peninsula, St. Louis, Tampa, Tuscon, Virginia Beach, and Washington, D.C.International, too: Postmates is also available outside the U.S. -- in Mexico City.
Fresh: Postmates launched Fresh in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York to provide users with "high-quality, locally-sourced groceries" in around half an hour. Get to these premium foodstuffs by tapping the Fresh tile in the top carousel. (The adjacent Drinks tile takes you to wine, beer, spirits, snacks, ice cream, and cigarettes.) Once you enter Fresh, you'll see items that customers love up top -- apparently, steak and eggs are very popular -- with other groceries below segmented by category, such as Milk, Eggs, and so on. If you want to shop at a particular store, such as Whole Foods, you'll have to tap the search bar up top and then enter the store's name.
More than just groceries: Postmates can deliver your groceries, but the service can also deliver restaurant dishes, gifts, and more.
Delivery or pickup: You can skip the delivery fee and the long waits by ordering for pickup on the Postmates app.
Always open: Unlike competing services, which make their last delivery before midnight, Postmates is a 24/7 service, which means you can use them to satisfy your late-night ice cream craving, too, for example.
Great deals: Postmates offers great deals to help offset delivery fees. For example, if you pay with Apple Pay, your first delivery is free. Also, if you encourage others to sign up, they'll get $100 in delivery fee credit to use for free deliveries, and you'll get the same after they place their first order -- if they remember to use the referral code you send them, that is.
Postmates Unlimited: Or you can subscribe to the Postmates Unlimited program for $9.99 per month (or $83.99 per year) and get all orders over $20 with free delivery. If this sounds like a plan, then sign up under Settings, and then "Postmates Unlimited" in the menu.
Real-Time tracking: We get so impatient when hungriness kicks in. That's why we love being able to check on our delivery progress using Postmate's live map.
Terrible UI: While we appreciate a minimal UI, without too many menus, tabs, and buttons, the Postmates UI is way too minimal, considering all that the app does. In fact, in testing, we often found it difficult to get to where we needed to go.
Taking a quick look at Postmates' home page, we saw a messy mix of groceries, restaurant dishes, and stores, such as Walgreens, organized under sections, such as New on Postmates, Our Picks, Great Food, no BS, Get It Fast, Top Categories, and Nearby. Each section is swipeable from left to right, except Nearby, which you just scroll down. If you're searching this way, you'll have to sift through a lot of what you don't want to get to what you do. To expedite things, your best bet is to just tap the magnifying glass up top and perform a keyword search.
Surge pricing: As with Uber or Lyft, Postmates also ups its fees during busier times. For example, every day from 10:30am to 1:30pm, when customers are hungry for lunch or every day from 5:30 to 8:30pm when customers are ravenous for dinner, or over the weekend, in general, demand is high, so delivery fees go up. The only way to get out of paying surge pricing is to sign up for Postmates Unlimited.
Other than the fact that it's 24/7, Postmates' greatest selling point is that it offers groceries, alcohol, *and* restaurant dishes. Its terrible UI, however, makes it difficult to find what you're looking for. And the potentially exorbitant surge pricing, during busy times -- on top of delivery and service fees -- may eat into your wallet too much.