Doordash has become a very popular service, seemingly wrought from the cold ashes of the pandemic and exploding onto the scene as a direct result of so many people staying at home and avoiding the outside world. Now that it’s here, it’s here to stay, along with all of its competition.
You can even order, pick up, and self-deliver your own food. There is also a self-delivery service that Doordash offers businesses in order to get their name out there in the Doordash ecosphere, expanding their restaurant business.
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So how does this work, exactly? How do you order your own Doordash, and how do you initiate the self-service feature that Doordash offers? Ordering, picking up, and self-delivering your own order isn’t shady, but it does seem like it could be, so what’s the deal?
How Does Self-Ordering Work?
It’s pretty simple because what you will do is start a standard order through Doordash, wait for it to come through, and pick it up yourself. In case you’ve never used Doordash, other than as an independent contractor, starting order is pretty simple:
- Open the Doordash app through Android, iOS, or Doordash.com
- Enter your home address
- Select an icon to find your restaurant of choice
- Select a dish or multiple dishes
- Place your order
Make sure that you are signed in as a Doordash driver. Doordash is constantly looking for new orders and doing so automatically. You may even have a few that pop up before yours that you will have 45 seconds to accept or decline.
You can also accept multiple orders, including your own, when it becomes available. There is a chance that someone else could swipe up your order before you have the opportunity to do so.
The great thing about Doordashing your own order is that you can pick up and deliver on your own time, and you don’t have to tip yourself unless you really want to do so.
Doordash will pay you for your time delivering your order; however, since you’re purchasing your own food, it’s not as if you will end up making any more than you usually would, regardless.
Does Doordashing to Yourself Violate Doordash TOS?
Nothing in the Doordash Terms of Service indicates you cannot Doordash to yourself. Whether or not that will change in the future, who knows? As of right now, you can self-order as much as you want, though it’s essentially a waste of money unless you are starving.
There are reasons to be careful, however. While there is no official statement about it from Doordash, nor any articles alluding to this loophole—if you can call it a loophole—there are many discussions about it on Reddit, Facebook, and other popular social forums.
The discussions mostly revolve around questions of defrauding the company and moral and ethical boundaries. While it’s possible to get away with ordering something for a dollar and getting paid $6 for it, repetition may get red-flagged in the system.
Doordash’s Version of Self-Service
Doordash’s version of self-service is defined at the business level. What happens is the business lists itself on Doordash and deploys its own personnel to deliver the orders. As a business, you’ll pay out a lower commission rate and have access to Doordash’s pool of customers.
There are some differences in doing self-ordering in that all of the controls—who your couriers are and when they leave—are up to you. You will have to notify customers when their orders are “on the way” and estimated arrival times.
You will also have to initiate a tracking service or lack thereof. As a business, you can choose whether or not your customers can track your couriers as they are on their way to the delivery location.
As a business principle, it’s a good idea to add the feature and integrate it into your own system, as that would be something that standard Dashers would have an advantage in.
While it is not technically self-ordering as defined by what people—or Dashers—are searching for, it’s the most common thing that comes up when you do a Google search concerning Dashing your own order, so it is relevant from that standpoint.
It also shows that Doordash allows those in their network a certain amount of leeway to control how they do things independently.
Should You Pickup Your Own Doordash Orders?
What that boils down to are your own moral and ethical restraints. If you’re placing a legitimate order while you are out and about on Doordash’s time and dime anyways, picking it up is probably not a big deal.
However, if you’re doing what the above-mentioned Reddit poster is allegedly accused of doing, then you are probably crossing an invisible line. While Doordash has never directly addressed the issue, one way or another doesn’t mean it doesn’t do anything about it.
If things played out in the way one of the Redditors suggests, one Dasher was removed from Doordash, and the $200 they made was returned to Doordash. The problem is, there isn’t that much information out there about it, one way or another.
If you Google the question, you’re not going to get anything but forum conversations and arguments or Doordash’s advertisement for self-delivery services for businesses to take control of their couriers under the Doordash banner.
In terms of Doordash’s terms of service (pun intended), you’re not technically doing anything wrong, especially if it’s an occasional thing. However, if you browse through some of these forums, you’ll run across those who have gone way beyond what is probably considered “right” and professional.
Suppose you’re out there ordering lemon slices over and over again, picking them up and pocketing a cool $5 or $6 each time. In that case, you’re certainly way over in the grey area, and—despite clarification in Doordash’s TOS—there may be repercussions from Doordash if they pick up on it.
The Drawback of Self-Ordering
Besides the morally “gray area” stuff that comes with trying to milk Doordash out of paying a hundred dollars for 20 orders of small Coca-Colas, there are other drawbacks to ordering and trying to pick up your own order.
The biggest complaint from those who try to do this is getting their order snatched up before it pops up on your app. That can frequently happen since not every device is the same, and Doordash’s algorithms distribute the orders.
You may place an order, and before you can even switch back over to the app, another Dasher has scooped it up. When that takes place, you’ll have to contact that Dasher and let them know what’s going on, unless you want to tip for your order while you’re sitting outside of the restaurant.
All Things Considered
As of now, it looks like you’re completely capable—and allowed under Doordash’s Terms of Service—to order and fulfill your own order. Once in a while, you can take advantage of the convenience and your current location.
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As a moral thing, well, that’s entirely up to you. It’s not as if Doordash is restricting the practice, so you may be able to find your own unique silver lining somewhere in there.
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