goPuff came across my radar a few weeks ago and I’ve been dying to cover them. With goPuff you can order small convenience-store type items (chocolate bars, condoms, cleaning products, energy drinks and so on) that get shipped to your door as quickly as possible (within ‘minutes’ goPuff claims) for an astonishingly low $1.95 delivery fee. It’s easy to see how this is an appealing service — how often had you needed some item and not felt like walking down to the local gas station to get it? With goPuff you can tap a button on your phone, pay a couple bucks, and get your item to you perhaps even faster than if you went to the local store yourself.
Fortunately for me, goPuff serves the area I live in and I could try them out. I downloaded the iOS app and have made a few purchases since. What follows is a list of common questions people have about goPuff that I’ll try to answer with a little FAQ, as well as a short review for goPuff. I’ll continue to update this as goPuff evolves.
We have not been compensated in any way for this article and have no business relationship with goPuff.
Does goPuff really deliver as fast as they claim?
The city and location you’re in will have an impact on how fast your goPuff order will get to you, but from everything I’ve read online — and I’ve read a lot of reviews and articles about goPuff — you can expect your delivery, on average, to get to you within 10 to 20 minutes. However, there are reports of it taking upwards of half an hour or even one hour or more. That’s definitely the exception though. In my experience using it in Madison, Wisconsin, I never had to wait longer than 20 minutes. Not bad!
UPDATE July 2020: In the months since I first wrote this, many have reported that goPuff is not as fast as they claim. Jump to my update here.
Are goPuff’s product prices reasonable?
Yes. I compared many of their products including pet supplies, chocolate, alcohol, ice cream and cleaning products with those at my local gas station, and the prices are very reasonable, probably very similar to your local gas station or convenience store. No ridiculous markups.
Is there a goPuff near me?
Not necessarily. goPuff is trying to expand as fast as they can, but there’s still loads of cities where you can’t use them. Taken from gopuff.com, here’s the list of cities they currently serve. Have a scan through this and see if your city is on there:
What does goPuff pay its drivers? How do you sign up?
You can sign up to be a driver for goPuff here, where they say you don’t need any skills or qualifications other than basically being over 21 and having a car, and that it’s “It’s quick and easy to EARN BIG!” That does not match with all of the reports I’ve read from goPuff drivers, though. Sure, it seems to be easy enough to apply and start working as a driver for goPuff as long as you’re in one of the cities it operates in. But it sure as heck isn’t quick and easy to earn “big” with goPuff as they claim. In fact, the consensus among goPuff drivers seems to be that the pay is terrible, you are very easily expendable, and you are simply not valued well. This is a standard type of comment we found from drivers of goPuff (this one’s from indeed.com):
So if you work as a driver with goPuff, you probably will not earn any better than minimum wage, on average (even including tips that some customers will give you). You may be curious how this compares to Uber for earnings. I’ve heard some terrible things about Uber as well, but the consensus definitely seems worse for goPuff. So I’m not sure I can recommend it as a driver unless you’re happy with minimum wage or even a little worse.
As a disclaimer, I have not signed up to goPuff as a driver myself. If you have, please leave a comment or review and we’ll add it to this article.
With only a $1.95 delivery fee, how the heck does goPuff make money?
Given that goPuff’s prices are no higher than you’ll find at your local store and their delivery fee is a mere $1.95, you may be wondering how the company can possibly be profitable. Renting warehouse space to store product and paying drivers is a significant expense, after all. So the question of how they make money is a mystery to me at this stage, and as goPuff is still a private company we have no access to their financials. But I strongly suspect that they don’t make money, and like many tech companies, they are bleeding money fast. There is simply no conceivable way I can think of that goPuff can cover their expenses with a bunch of $1.95 delivery fees.
While we’re on this topic, it’s interesting that goPuff recently got a $750 million investment from SoftBank (see here) in January 2020. SoftBank is the same fund that had made a disastrous investment in the total money-suck of a company WeWork, costing them somewhere in the region of $4.6 billion.
What are the alternatives to goPuff?
The food delivery market is a big one, and competitors to goPuff include Instacart, UberEats, Doordash and GrubHub, all of which are extremely popular. The difference between goPuff and these is that it’s delivery fee of $1.95 is an absolute bargain, and their focus is on convenience store items rather than restaurant food.
What do I think of goPuff? Do I recommend it?
I definitely recommend it. My experience with goPuff was very positive, and I love it for its convenience. I never had a single issue with the app and it was a way better experience than going to the shop myself. Super easy and well worth using.
What are the reviews from other people saying about goPuff?
Most user reviews of goPuff are similar to my own, that this is an awesome app (UPDATE: See my update below — there are now increasingly more complaints about goPuff). There are just a few complaints mainly from people who had longer than expected delivery times, and some people who had ran into bugs with the app (I haven’t had that happen myself). However, the feedback is much less positive from drivers who work for goPuff, so if you’re considering being a goPuff driver, you should be aware that the pay is probably going to be lousy.
UPDATE FOR JULY 2020
While my (limited) experience with goPuff in Madison has been positive, in doing some more research on them lately it seems that there are much more complaints on them than when I first wrote this piece a few months ago. Interestingly, the service goPuff provides also seems to vary city-to-city. Check out some of the Yelp reviews for goPuff on different cities with this Google search:
You can see that reviews for goPuff are better for some cities than others. Mostly notably, in Seattle (see here) goPuff has a bad overall review of 2 out of 5 stars on Yelp right now. Complaints include the following:
- Delivering items that are expiring that day or are in bad condition (melting ice-cream and so on)
- Messing up orders & bad customer service
- Slower-than-advertised delivery times
- Incorrect billing
I personally faced none of these issues, so it’s a bit sad to hear about these things. I do not know if goPuff has perhaps just been having more issues than normal with the current pandemic.
Given the above, it may be worth searching for goPuff reviews in your specific city before trying it. Personally, I can only comment on it in Madison and report on what people in other cities are saying about it.