Strategy vs. Reality

I know we all have our strategies for maximizing our earnings. But over and over, someone will tell me their approach, and it sounds smart, and then I'll ask how long they drive and how much they make, and the math actually puts them at $11 to $14/hour, which is much less than I am making. Sure, they drive 14 hours and make their buck and a half. But all those long hauls they angled for, didn't really earn them more than anyone else. Maybe over a few trips it did, but not over a shift, which is what matters.

As I read the forum, I notice lots of people are way craftier than I am, and are probably squeezing a few extra $ out of rides than I do. But then...same thing, when they mention amounts over a full shift, the average doesn't seem any different from mine. I think there's a lot of "selection bias" going on: we remember the times our strategies work, and ignore the times it doesn't.

How about you? Are you REALLY making more than others, or just remembering the times your strategy seems to work, and writing off the others as some kind of anomaly? While I obviously skew my driving to favor busy places and times, my philosophy tends toward: every second that my car is empty, is a second I am losing money. And I didn't do this to lose money. So in my mind, a $3 trip that takes 10 minutes, earns more than waiting 5 minutes for a better fare: you are starting that new fare at $1.50 disadvantage over what your car could have been earning you in that time. Plus you never know what's at the end of the $3 trip. Some of my best nights have started with bro-rides in PB that ended up at the border or NoCo. My strategy, which would have been, "get the hell out of PB before the $3 bro-rides eat your soul and dent your car," would have missed me those long hauls.

So...does your strategy really work? Or is it costing you money in the long run?
 

Wombat7

Well-Known Member
Awesome post.

We all have our strategies and our tactics and we wouldn't be human if we didn't think what we're doing is working for us.

Change is a constant, far more now then even 5 years ago. Often we stick too long with strategies that for one reason or another no longer work. I finally woke up to the fact that I wasn't getting things done the way I used to and I was blaming the ants. Yes, they're a big factor but they're not going away anymore. So I'm re-evaluating everything I do.

I've made some big changes that I swore I'd never do. A tip sign for example. Blushark's been singing the praises of a tip sign and a tip jar for over a year. I never said anything because I thought it was tacky. Sheeeeeeeit, tacky works!!! I have no definite figures but on cash tips alone my lunch is free; $60-70 a week (I'm a growing boy). $240-260 a month in cash tips alone.

I've been experimenting with pool at specific times and locations. I still turn down the vast majority of requests but at times it works.

My goals are a mere $1000/week gross. I want to do it in 4 2/3 days (the 2/3 is Sunday). Working primarily days. Did it with some regularity last year. This year, not so much.

The slow season will soon be upon us. Lots, but not all, the new ants will drop out. So far my change in strategy and tactics seem to be working, there's improvement. Let's see how they work for the next 6 months.
 

Null

Well-Known Member
I don't have a set strategy. I start the car with an assumption and I use information gathered as I drive to adjust.

Some people say, "NO POOL" - I say, Pool when it's advantageous. I love accepting Poos that are super close. They're like a 90% guaranteed $4 tip for showing up. Surge poos can sometimes jump from min fare surge poos to 10+ mile surge poos. When you're out of the surge zone, stop accepting new requests (unless the ending destination is not somewhere I want to be).

I don't think this game works well if you play in absolutes.

I can generally average low - mid 20/hr over the course of a week if I drive a lot. I can average a higher RATE if I drive LESS and bias towards the weekend, but it also represents less dollars in the absolute.
 

Andre Benjamin 6000

Well-Known Member
I have the best strategy of all I never go online
 

JasonB

Well-Known Member
I have the best strategy of all I never go online
So, your strategy tends towards the opposite of OP:

Every second your car is full, you are losing money.

Interesting...

(All the crap that drivers take care of for Uber right now);

- Maintenance (inspections, oil & fluid changes, tires etc)
- Parts & Auto repairs (major car problems)
- Daily vehicle cleaning, inside and out
- Tickets, infractions, moving violations, parking tickets
- Fuel
- Licensing/Registration
 
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San Diego Steve

Well-Known Member
I know we all have our strategies for maximizing our earnings. But over and over, someone will tell me their approach, and it sounds smart, and then I'll ask how long they drive and how much they make, and the math actually puts them at $11 to $14/hour, which is much less than I am making. Sure, they drive 14 hours and make their buck and a half. But all those long hauls they angled for, didn't really earn them more than anyone else. Maybe over a few trips it did, but not over a shift, which is what matters.

As I read the forum, I notice lots of people are way craftier than I am, and are probably squeezing a few extra $ out of rides than I do. But then...same thing, when they mention amounts over a full shift, the average doesn't seem any different from mine. I think there's a lot of "selection bias" going on: we remember the times our strategies work, and ignore the times it doesn't.

How about you? Are you REALLY making more than others, or just remembering the times your strategy seems to work, and writing off the others as some kind of anomaly? While I obviously skew my driving to favor busy places and times, my philosophy tends toward: every second that my car is empty, is a second I am losing money. And I didn't do this to lose money. So in my mind, a $3 trip that takes 10 minutes, earns more than waiting 5 minutes for a better fare: you are starting that new fare at $1.50 disadvantage over what your car could have been earning you in that time. Plus you never know what's at the end of the $3 trip. Some of my best nights have started with bro-rides in PB that ended up at the border or NoCo. My strategy, which would have been, "get the hell out of PB before the $3 bro-rides eat your soul and dent your car," would have missed me those long hauls.

So...does your strategy really work? Or is it costing you money in the long run?
You car is going to fall apart faster if you accept all rides. Trust me, I've got 3 years and around 6,000 rides. My car just turned 3 years old and it has 117,000 miles. 80% is rideshare miles. I average $20 per mile net and around 80 cents to $1 per mile with incentives including commute from home. I used to grind out all requests when I started, no more. I work incentives and destination and surge mostly. Don't take pools unless it's surging or on destination mode if they go at least 10 miles. My average ride is $15 per ride as well. I've cut back my miles by working selective and smart. I'll buy a new car within a year and start fresh and keep miles off this time around.
 
You car is going to fall apart faster if you accept all rides. Trust me, I've got 3 years and around 6,000 rides. My car just turned 3 years old and it has 117,000 miles. 80% is rideshare miles. I average $20 per mile net and around 80 cents to $1 per mile with incentives including commute from home. I used to grind out all requests when I started, no more. I work incentives and destination and surge mostly. Don't take pools unless it's surging or on destination mode if they go at least 10 miles. My average ride is $15 per ride as well. I've cut back my miles by working selective and smart. I'll buy a new car within a year and start fresh and keep miles off this time around.

Well, that's sort of what I mean. You have your strategy, and you swear by it. But I average just above those earnings. Yesterday was not an official "driving" day for me, I just turned the app on to monetize a couple of errands. Here is from yesterday. Note that my first pool ride stacked into a $21.50 Pool trip that started at the airport and barely left downtown, which would tend to be the argument against turning down Pool. Together that was $25 in about 40 minutes. FWIW, I get about 30mi/gal, so I usually figure a dollar every 10 miles in gas against these earnings.

Also, personally, I would NOT buy a new car to add Uber miles to it. The greatest depreciation is in the first year of ownership. So any mile you add is multiplied by all that disproportionate depreciation. On the other hand, any miles you add to your car now will not have as big effect on the back-end sale price of your car, since it's already 3 years old and at 100K. So you would be better off continuing to drive your current car until it begins to cost you money, or else buying a one-year-old used car so the first owner can do all the depreciating, and you can put the miles on without suffering disproportionate back-end penalty.
 

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Blushark

Well-Known Member
I've decided to drive my car into the ground. It only has 330,000 miles on it and keeps on ticking and to think I bought it used with 45,000 miles on her. I feel like this car will keep making me money as long as I do the maintenance upkeep and body work (you know when I scrape something). Nearly 4 years driving I have about $5,000 in maintenance (parts & labor) and $2,000 body work and a windshield. That's about 10 weeks worth of work in those 4 years, I think that is okay.
 

San Diego Steve

Well-Known Member
Well, that's sort of what I mean. You have your strategy, and you swear by it. But I average just above those earnings. Yesterday was not an official "driving" day for me, I just turned the app on to monetize a couple of errands. Here is from yesterday. Note that my first pool ride stacked into a $21.50 Pool trip that started at the airport and barely left downtown, which would tend to be the argument against turning down Pool. Together that was $25 in about 40 minutes. FWIW, I get about 30mi/gal, so I usually figure a dollar every 10 miles in gas against these earnings.

Also, personally, I would NOT buy a new car to add Uber miles to it. The greatest depreciation is in the first year of ownership. So any mile you add is multiplied by all that disproportionate depreciation. On the other hand, any miles you add to your car now will not have as big effect on the back-end sale price of your car, since it's already 3 years old and at 100K. So you would be better off continuing to drive your current car until it begins to cost you money, or else buying a one-year-old used car so the first owner can do all the depreciating, and you can put the miles on without suffering disproportionate back-end penalty.
Good reply and thanks for posting the screenshot earnings. You've proven to be legit as a new member here. Too many shills and cyber frauds have ruined the integrity of website. I don't like used cars and I don't drive as much anymore. So, I'll run my car for another year and start fresh.
 

NCRBILL

Well-Known Member
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I for one only run XL / Plus / Premier when I'm out. On those very few times I switch back to X, it's only to get out of the area and that is normally down at the border.

I'll use last night as an example. Here is the screen from yesterday. I started around 6:00pm and drove towards DT. I accepted a ping from Coronado which went to the airport. Once I dropped went towards downtown and picked up the second ride which went to Coronado Resturant. Sat at the venue hoping to get another ride back but nothing materialized. Drove back down south, no pings so decided to call it a night. I was going to go drive the concert at SDSU but decided to go home. All told was online about two hours.

Now it's worth it to say when to call it a day instead of sitting and/or driving burning gas. With gas going up as it is, you really need to drive smarter.

On a side note, I didn't see the concert as worth my time so glad I didn't go. I only saw 2.0 surge and 150% prime time so glad I didn't stay out.
 

MaddMaxx

Well-Known Member
View attachment 157676 I for one only run XL / Plus / Premier when I'm out. On those very few times I switch back to X, it's only to get out of the area and that is normally down at the border.

I'll use last night as an example. Here is the screen from yesterday. I started around 6:00pm and drove towards DT. I accepted a ping from Coronado which went to the airport. Once I dropped went towards downtown and picked up the second ride which went to Coronado Resturant. Sat at the venue hoping to get another ride back but nothing materialized. Drove back down south, no pings so decided to call it a night. I was going to go drive the concert at SDSU but decided to go home. All told was online about two hours.

Now it's worth it to say when to call it a day instead of sitting and/or driving burning gas. With gas going up as it is, you really need to drive smarter.

On a side note, I didn't see the concert as worth my time so glad I didn't go. I only saw 2.0 surge and 150% prime time so glad I didn't stay out.

So, $15/hr on XL with a decent tip? Without the tip it would have been $12.75/hr??? I'm betting that if you accepted X you'd be closer to $18-$20/hr for a Tues night. But, to each their own....
 

Safe_Driver_4_U

Well-Known Member
none of this matters if socialism is programmed into the algorythm, I was out for 2 hours the other morning testing a new area and grossed $1.80 per hr. I will say this if anyone can reach $20.00 per hr net not driving the drunks hours, they are the exception not the rule. X is a $12.00 per hr gig if lucky and wise. Sub $10.00 per hr probably the rule for most grinders. Wish there was some way to test the socialism theory.Maybe 3-4 drivers could get together, one that has very little revenue for the pay period compared to the other drivers and all sit in one spot in Little Italy, try this a few times see if the pings go to the guy with little or no revenue.
 
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MaddMaxx

Well-Known Member
none of this matters if socialism is programmed into the algorythm, I was out for 2 hours the other morning testing a new area and grossed $1.80 per hr.

On UBER or LYFT? Unless you were in Julian I've never gone 15 on UBER without a ping. Of course if you're cherry picking or DF you strike out all together. My advice would be to avoid that area in the future
 

NCRBILL

Well-Known Member
So, $15/hr on XL with a decent tip? Without the tip it would have been $12.75/hr??? I'm betting that if you accepted X you'd be closer to $18-$20/hr for a Tues night. But, to each their own....
For the hour I grossed $25 without the tip so that was a good start. I didn't drive around but parked until I headed home. I may have made more if I went towards LJ but I wasn't really feeling it so that was the reason I cut it short.

Some nights you want to plug on, others you just say the heck with it!!
 

Elpatron

Active Member
Jetta 2003 TDI (diesel)

Screen every call more than 2 miles away..

My wife's Mazda 5 (5 seater) used as XL JAJAJAJ!!...

El patrón 1- SCRUBER 0

I guess it's like everything, you got to find the loops in the system...but overall let's be realistic at 88 c a mile...it's getting harder out there with all those new cars...

FUber ON
 

NCRBILL

Well-Known Member
Jetta 2003 TDI (diesel)

Screen every call more than 2 miles away..

My wife's Mazda 5 (5 seater) used as XL JAJAJAJ!!...

El patrón 1- SCRUBER 0

I guess it's like everything, you got to find the loops in the system...but overall let's be realistic at 88 c a mile...it's getting harder out there with all those new cars...

FUber ON
What do you do if there are 6 people requesting XL?
 

Elpatron

Active Member
Just do early morning sometimes...

How many are you guys?! Do you have a lot of luggage?!...most of the time 1 or 2 ppl with extra bags...

No intention to drive XL any other time...

Porfavorrrr no le digas a nadie!!! Jajajaja

Let's see if SCRUBER finds out!!
 

Frankcity Hooligans 1899

Well-Known Member
Yeah what if u get 5-6 big dudes requesting a ride or 4-5 people with many bags at the airport? Theyre not gonna fit in the Mazda5 no way.

How did the Mazda5 qualify for XL when its 5 seats and the back row is so compact and small?

Good luck!
 
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