Now that you’re here, it’s evident that you’re looking for opportunities to money on the side. Luckily, you’re considering CitizenShipper as one of such. Today, we will cover different aspects of CitizenShipper, including its foundation and how you can make money with it. This article will highlight how CitizenShipper works and any merits and demerits of working with the platform.
In the end, you get to decide if the opportunity is worth your time. And if it is, we include a few tips that can help you boost the amount you earn while working with CitizenShipper. So, let us get into it:
What is CitizenShipper?
CitizenShipper is an online marketplace founded by Richard Obousy. He had to travel across cities and thought of this as an opportunity. Richard thought of connecting drivers making frequent trips with empty spaces and trunks to people who need deliveries made between these cities.
Based on this idea, Richard created CitizenShipper, a platform dedicated to creating the most convenient and intuitive shipping platform. The company’s mission is to ensure that they facilitate thousands of shipments across the USA every day.
The platform connects people who want to ship something with individuals capable of making the delivery. Once you sign up to become a driver and pass the background check, you get instant access to thousands of customers listed near you.
When they list a request for transportation, you get an immediate notification. However, these come as per the preferences you set as you build your driver’s profile. Usually, the site awards deliveries on a bidding approach.
Since 2008, the company has grown from connecting drivers traveling in the direction of the deliveries, to a site that independent contractors use to find side-gigs. Now, it provides top-notch gigs to its drivers daily. CitizenShipper is in a position where it competes with novel companies in the industry like Lyft and Task Rabbit.
How does CitizenShipper work?
When you want to make money with CitizenShipper, the first step is to sign up as a driver. You can choose to transport any of the following:
- Pets and animals
- Household items
- Boats and water vehicles
- Heavy equipment and industrial goods
- Apartment and home moves
You can also choose to run local errands, handle special care and fragile packages, or ship for businesses.
Now, to complete a delivery, you follow the following steps:
Step 1: Browse the shipments included by customers on the platform
Once you are in, you go through the website to find lists of shipments included by clients. Here, you can select as many deliveries as you can accommodate in your vehicle. The clients will consist of details on their packages that are crucial for a more successful delivery.
They could include information of where and when they need special care delivery to be included, among others.
Step 2: Bid for the project
This step involves the shipper bidding for their transporter. Usually, you will be competing against all drivers who fit the criteria specified by the customer. Once you receive notifications of a shipment near you, you send a message and a quote for your services.
Here, the customer screens the driver they like and permit to proceed.
Step 3: Stay in touch with your client
Once you receive the green light to make the delivery, it is vital to maintain constant contact with the shipper. Always keep open lines of communication for better experiences. You should communicate with the customer and the platform so that they both know your status.
Remember, communication is essential both before and after you win the bid. You can also ask for clarification on unclear instructions so that you deliver on your best customer service.
Step 4: Receive your payment
After completing the delivery, the customer pays you the agreed amount via the form of payment you prefer. You can also receive tips or give discounts. The amount does not go to CitizenShipper but instead gets to your account directly.
Step 5: Rate and Review
CitizenShipper is a community. Customers share their experiences, which could be your way to advertise yourself. If you do an excellent job delivering packages in their original state, the customer will likely give you a great review.
With a positive review, you can get more and more clients picking you as their driver.
You can also review the customer for the drivers who will be taking on more deliveries from them.
Requirements to join CitizenShipper
Now that you are familiar with how CitizenShipper works, you may be interested in joining. If so, you can participate as a part-time or as your full-time job, depending on your schedule. You can make a new career out of being a transporter with CitizenShipper.
Becoming a CitizenShipper transporter offers the ultimate work flexibility. You also get access to thousands of shipments to get you started on your first job. To become a driver, you must fulfill a few requirements, which include:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have proof of your vehicle’s insurance
- Own a car with some cargo space
- A valid US driver’s license
- You also pay a $29.99/month subscription fee after a 3-months trial period
- You must pass a background check, which must not include any records of:
- Felonies in the past 5 years
- Violence and theft-related crimes in the past 10 years
- Outstanding arrest warrants
- Arrests due to DUI in the past 5 years
- Misdemeanor patterns
If you plan to be transporting pets and other exotic animals, you must also prepare for the same. The preparation would include:
- Getting registration with the USDA and uploading a copy of the certificate with CitizenShipper
- Climate control mechanisms in your vehicle
- A related insurance policy to cover any expenses that may arise during transit
How do you make money with CitizenShipper?
Once you accept a shipment offered by a shipper, you negotiate a fair price. CitizenShipper plays no role in mediating between the shipper and the courier.
The transporter has to agree on a price before the delivery starts. Usually, the transporter receives the payment after the delivery is complete. However, they can also request part of the payment in advance to cater to their expenses.
As the driver, you get to choose the form of payment that you are most comfortable with. However, using disputable forms of payment like electronic means, credit cards, and PayPal are better recommendations.
The earned amount depends on a few factors. These include the type of shipment you are handling and the distance covered.
How much can you make?
CitizenShipper works on bids. Usually, the transporter quotes the price they can accept for a shipment, and the shipper decides who favors their budget. More or less, you set your earnings. Depending on where you will ship deliveries, you can make between $8,000 and $10,000 per month.
According to CitizenShipper, drivers can earn this amount before deducting their expenses. Also, they should make multiple deliveries per week to earn the said amount. Transporters who have built a positive reputation and service larger areas can make up to $20,000.
That seems exaggerated, right? When you make several deliveries at a go, and take on multiple orders in a week, with long-distance deliveries costing up to $900, then it is possible.
Remember to include a budget for the expenses you will incur. You can set apart 30%-40% of your earnings on getting the right gear, maintaining your car and fuel. Since you will be traveling long distances, you should also include food and accommodation.
Expenses you can expect
Just like CitizenShipper is not involved in the negotiation or agreement of payment terms between the customer and the driver, it holds no stand in the expenses you incur. These may be a lot, especially if you will be traveling long distances.
As a driver, you can expect some important bills to come your way. For instance, you have to pay for gas, vehicle repair, maintenance, and food.
Also, since CitizenShipper is a subscription-based platform, you have to part with $29.99 monthly after the 3-months trial period. However, if you feel like CitizenShipper is no longer your gig, the platform also has a 30-days money-back guarantee policy.
CitizenShipper uses the subscription fee from its drivers for resources, features, and maintenance of its platform. The amount is also a reasonable fee, considering you get connections with thousands of customers looking to ship something somewhere.
There are no extra hidden costs, like cancelation or account activation fees. Also, you can cancel, pause and resume your membership however you see fit.
Part of your earnings should also go into renewing your monthly vehicle’s insurance, expected toll fees, and more.
Tips for increasing your earnings with CitizenShipper
Landing your first job on CitizenShipper may take a few days or weeks. You have to compete with cheapskates on the website for bidding amounts. However, you can do something to increase your odds of landing a job.
Here are a few tips:
- Plan your route
Take time to plan the route you will cover. By investing time and effort into your plans, you can land more delivery deals along your path and earn more. For instance, if you travel 1,000+ miles, you can make it count.
Pick 5 shipments instead of one, and maximize your earnings.
- Maintain communication with the client
When you personalize your bid and contact a customer, you build trust and confidence. This way, customers are more likely to select your offer.
If you have questions, ask. This is crucial in ensuring you get the delivery in perfect condition. You will find that many customers appreciate honesty and directness.
If you encounter challenges that may delay the delivery, make a point in letting the customer know.
Also, put your best foot forward as you pitch your services. Be true to yourself and make sure you appreciate your customer for considering you for the job.
- Minimize your operating costs
If the trip you are taking will include one or more night stops factor this in your planning. Find the locations with cheaper hotels to save on your expenses. With experience, you will learn that poor planning can cost you a lot of your earnings.
Pros and Cons of working with CitizenShipper
Every job has its advantages and disadvantages. CitizenShipper is no different.
- CitizenShipper is convenient and environment friendly– since the driver delivering your package will be traveling in your direction, it saves you the transportation cost. It also lessens pollution to the environment that customers could cause driving up to the retailer’s station.
- You choose how much you earn– drivers list the amount they are willing to accept for delivery before taking the job. So, they can determine beforehand how much they get to pocket.
- Delivery stacking– As a driver, you can combine up to 5 deliveries of the same nature in the same direction. This way, you place competitive bids and earn more making these deliveries.
- You choose when to work– drivers browse through the list of deliveries available and select the ones they want to work on, and with the hours they choose.
- High competition-Sometimes, you can be the highest bidder in a platform looking for the lowest. So, it becomes difficult to land jobs when other drivers have better-quoted prices
- Their gag clause– drivers are subject to a $1,000 fine if they defame the site or make damaging statements regarding CitizenShipper’s services. This is never a good sign, but if you keep out of trouble, then you are safe.
Most people generally enjoy working with CitizenShipper. The company has been growing since its introduction in the market in 2008. It offers more diverse delivery services to drivers looking to substitute their incomes.
The platform also has a robust support system, where drivers and customers can address their concerns. Drivers also get a free onboarding session with workshops, tutorials, and articles to help them become better drivers.
CitizenShipper is not just a delivery service. It offers more, and drivers have the chance to earn more. Additionally, you can check other good business opportunities out there and get started.