Don't work for pennies

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Don't work for pennies

Postby bramble43 » Thursday 5 May 2011, 16:38

There is far too much of it going on. Companies paying subbies minimal sums and making them feel like they are being done a favour.

Rates like 65pplm are quite common, some would see this as a reasonable subbie rate.

If you are getting this sort of rate have you ever worked out the ACTUAL COST of being a courier.

cost of vehicle
insurances
fuel
servicing
parts/repairs

Using a bike that cost me £2400, over 50,000 miles cost me 27.3ppm

Vans are less expensive to run but with customers demanding less than 3 year old vans you're not going to get one for a couple of grand.

This means having no dead/unpaid miles at all, a 214 mile trip to Norwich at 65pplm would mean i get £139.10 but then take out the costs of £116.84 leaves me with a whopping £22.26 after spending 8 hours in the saddle.

Buy yourself a big mac meal and a couple of bottles of coke and you'll be going home a right happy soul with £15 in your pocket.

That is until you remember that unpaid phone bill, the cost of pod pads, laptop, sat nav and some new ratchet straps.

Now have a think about how much that company is charging the customer, £1.10? £1.30? £1.50?

Thats £235 at a fairly conservative £1.10, leaves them a profit (less costs) of nearly £100 for taking the job and giving you a call, unlikely their costs for doing so will come in anywhere near your £116.

Still happy with your 65p? still think they are doing you a favour?
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby J H Sameday » Thursday 5 May 2011, 16:49

65pplm :yikes: Anyone who works for this is a prize idiot.............. :lol:
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby bramble43 » Thursday 5 May 2011, 17:56

Jeff Hardwick wrote:65pplm :yikes: Anyone who works for this is a prize idiot.............. :lol:


It's not stupidity.

I think it's more down to people thinking, hmm. 65p. My vehicle will do 400 miles on £70 of fuel so i'll earn £70 (all roughly)
All the other stuff seems do sink into the back of the mind until the gearbox goes and they find the bank account empty.
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby courier1 » Thursday 5 May 2011, 18:10

you want to try running at tnts 50pplm its very very hard and they pay you the shortest route
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby J H Sameday » Thursday 5 May 2011, 18:19

50pplm :yikes: :yikes: Not very good at sums then................ :lol:
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby bramble43 » Thursday 5 May 2011, 18:24

so, 50pplm, collect 10 miles away, do 100 miles for £50, total costs for me £60.06.

Would cost me a tenner to do a 100 mile job, it's probably costing a lot of people overall to do work for these people but they have a queue of people waiting to do it, until they can no longer afford to and quit
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby J H Sameday » Thursday 5 May 2011, 18:29

The people who work for these ridiculous rates are difficult to understand. It does not take a degree in maths to work out exactly what a journey is costing, does it... :?:
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby Darren » Thursday 5 May 2011, 18:52

No One forces Anyone to work for low rates........

The Subbie knows what he's getting paid when he takes the job on surely ?


Am i starting to sound like Alan now :?
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby Dave Massey » Thursday 5 May 2011, 19:43

I have been trying to get my own customers, but not having a lot of luck. Done internet advertising, leaflet drops, cold calling... Not really got me anywhere to be honest (poss too much competition in Manchester), so my main income is through being a subbie.

It's very difficult to make ends meet, the companies with the most work are the ones who pay the least while the ones who pay the most don't seem to have that much work. It's catch 22, I can't afford to refuse work, but sometimes wonder why I am doing the work!

Tomorrow I am off to Essex (from Manchester) and being paid 50pplm from the Royal Mail with the vague chance of a backload / part backload from them. You may think I am mad doing it for this rate (I do too!), but this is a company who at the moment are giving me most of my work. It's not all that bad, as I have a regular wait and return job in the afternoon with them which works out at almost £1 plm, so I have to grin and bare it with the longer jobs.

But I totally agree that being a subbie is a bit of a mugs game, with the rising costs of fuel, insurances etc., it's getting ridiculous. Not only that, but laying out so much money for fuel then having to wait a month to get it back with a few quid on top really isn't worth it. Hence why I'm going back on the taxi's, just waiting to get my badge back.

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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby J H Sameday » Thursday 5 May 2011, 19:49

I do a lot of sub work too but for a darn site more than 50pplm....... 8)
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby Dave Massey » Thursday 5 May 2011, 19:56

Jeff Hardwick wrote:I do a lot of sub work too but for a darn site more than 50pplm....... 8)


Maybe it's your area, but here in Manchester I think you would be hard pushed to find many courier companies that pay a subbie more than 70pplm for a small van (most are around 60pplm). 50pplm is the standard rate for a small van paid by the Royal Mail wherever you are.
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby ray valentine » Thursday 5 May 2011, 20:16

I don't suppose i should tell you this, but, if i use a subcontractor i pay them what i charge the customer minus ten percent, this means i earn enough to cover the extra costs, but the main object is not to let the customer go to one of my competitors, and maybe never come back, i would like to take twenty percent but that would be taking advantage and i for one will not employ anyone on slave wages, i probably lean a bit far to the Left.
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby Carl Baxter » Thursday 5 May 2011, 22:06

But what's the alternative? It would be too difficult for the majority to work independently with their own customer bases as the stories on here illustrate, subbing isn't ideal but if you need work you have to take it. The customer isn't interested in the courier's running costs he simply wants the lowest price the majority of the time for a given level of service, the prices charged by most firms bear no relation to the actual running costs of the vehicles simply as they aren't interested! If they can hire new drivers as often as they want its of no concern to them what they pay them really and the prices are more or less set by firms continually pushing things down to rock bottom level. Too many couriers, too many firms and with the internet a decline in the true 'value' and quantity of the work and hence what customers are willing to pay. Its the industry's own fault really that conditions have become so bad.
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby MK BIKER » Thursday 5 May 2011, 22:14

Dave Massey wrote:But I totally agree that being a subbie is a bit of a mugs game, with the rising costs of fuel, insurances etc., it's getting ridiculous. Not only that, but laying out so much money for fuel then having to wait a month to get it back with a few quid on top really isn't worth it. Hence why I'm going back on the taxi's, just waiting to get my badge back.

Dave.

This isnt nessacarliy so, granted the rates offered by some havent mirrored fuel rises but these bigger companys in busier times gone by were reasonably good to work for, they were so busy that you didnt look at the rate, you counted the jobs you had on, it wasnt very often I went with just one. However thats not to say the rate should be at least good enough for just the one. I always found the problem in these busier times to be trying NOT to get late finishes/weekends all the time :yikes:

I think the trick in times such as these is to mix n match, a bit of end user work with subbing, whilist networking & being a member of a site that peeps post work on!
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby J H Sameday » Thursday 5 May 2011, 22:32

My own customers I charge rates from £1plm, the minimum I will work for as a subby is .725p but I usually get .75 or .80plm subbing for any less than these figures I would rather keep my diesel in my tank. Although business is not booming at the moment I can still earn a living without going out knowing I am working for nothing.. 8)
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby MK BIKER » Thursday 5 May 2011, 23:03

Jeff Hardwick wrote:My own customers I charge rates from £1plm, the minimum I will work for as a subby is .725p but I usually get .75 or .80plm subbing for any less than these figures I would rather keep my diesel in my tank. Although business is not booming at the moment I can still earn a living without going out knowing I am working for nothing.. 8)


I think these are spot on :yes: , the subber still earns a bit too
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby steve jones » Friday 6 May 2011, 08:09

Yes i would say 0.75 to 0.80 should be the norm for subbies.
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby Stuart Farrington » Friday 6 May 2011, 14:11

steve jones wrote:Yes i would say 0.75 to 0.80 should be the norm for subbies.


I think there must be some vast regional differences as there's little chance of getting that round here as "the norm". 0.65 - 0.70 is more realistic for a small van round here, that is if can find anyone who actually has work to sub out!

Dave Massey wrote:I have been trying to get my own customers, but not having a lot of luck. Done internet advertising, leaflet drops, cold calling... Not really got me anywhere to be honest (poss too much competition in Manchester), so my main income is through being a subbie.

It's very difficult to make ends meet, the companies with the most work are the ones who pay the least while the ones who pay the most don't seem to have that much work. It's catch 22, I can't afford to refuse work, but sometimes wonder why I am doing the work


Agree totally with you, I think things are a bit grim in the North West of England at the moment. All I ever seem to get from carding and advertising is calls from businesses wanting to send parcels overnight for next to nothing. I got lucky and picked up a customer a few months ago purely by chance and had a few good jobs out of them but now they've gone dead! Someone I used to get regular subbie work from now has almost no small van work to sub out because the main source of his small van work is now grouping consignments together and sending them all out at the same time on a big van. He tells me all his other small van subbies are also struggling for work. To be fair Royal Mail have kept me ticking over for the last few months but I've been getting less work from them over the past month or so.

I'm going to see how the next few weeks pan out, my van insurance is due for renewal in June and if there's no improvement soon then I may have to seriously consider my options.
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby steve jones » Friday 6 May 2011, 15:48

Stuart Farrington wrote:
steve jones wrote:Yes i would say 0.75 to 0.80 should be the norm for subbies.


I think there must be some vast regional differences as there's little chance of getting that round here as "the norm". 0.65 - 0.70 is more realistic for a small van round here, that is if can find anyone who actually has work to sub out!



I said should be Stuart.
I don't get that much from everyone,when im offered that much it means there stuck for drivers and it needs to go,however working for 0.50--0.60 does have it's advantages,i can take fridays off without looking mean,offcourse friday should have its own price altogether.
I think 0.50--0.60 is pretty much regional.
You need a second job but it's been like that well before the dip and fuel prices rocketing.
Last edited by steve jones on Friday 6 May 2011, 15:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby J H Sameday » Friday 6 May 2011, 15:52

Jeff Hardwick wrote:My own customers I charge rates from £1plm, the minimum I will work for as a subby is .725p but I usually get .75 or .80 plm subbing for any less than these figures I would rather keep my diesel in my tank. Although business is not booming at the moment I can still earn a living without going out knowing I am working for nothing.. 8)


A few of my regular customers really need me to have a slightly larger van so within the next couple of months I will be changing my Citroen for a Nissan NV 200 SE. Effectively going up from a small van load space to a midi van but on a small van footprint.

Fuel economy is slightly better than the Citroen and payload goes up to 752KG with 2040 Cm load length and 1220Cm between the wheel arches, they claim to be able to load two Euro pallets in this van. Should do just fine..... 8)
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby Stuart Farrington » Friday 6 May 2011, 16:39

I think thats a wise move Jeff, as I mentioned in my earlier post I think many businesses are now getting better organised, they are sending as much as possible overnight or grouping consignements together and sending them out all together on bigger vans which works out cheaper.
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Re: Don't work for pennies

Postby stuart webber » Friday 6 May 2011, 20:20

I am subby

I get 66p plm per pack per customer.(actuly paid on the round trip but it works out at 66p)

I very rarely carry less than two customers drops at any one time , and I often get a back load as well.

So if i have one customer going from Slough to W1 I get 66p per mile,two customers going from Slough to W1 i'm am getting £1.32 per mile and so on.

This morning I went in with 7 drops from 7 differnt customers to west end,WC and EC post codes, that works out at £4.62 per mile, then i hung about for a while and picked up two going back.

I also dont do waiting time, if a customer dosn't have the pack ready i arrange another bike to come in half an hour, waiting time just screws up the other customers and isn't worth it.

I make living on 66p per loaded mile, but if i only had 1 customers load on at any time i would go bust, I also turn down work that dosn't pay. I'm not a charity I am doing this to pay my mortguage.Well thats how I make 66p per loaded mile pay.
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