Should You Ignore the Notifications Uber Sends About Big Events and Holidays?

You’ve probably seen emails, texts messages, and in-app messages from Uber and Lyft promoting the latest big event. Should ignore all the text messages and all the emails that Uber and Lyft send you about big events and holidays?

Take a look at my video to see the answer, then check out the transcript if you prefer to read.

Uber and really all of these companies tend to communicate with drivers in a few ways: Email, text messages, and through the app with notifications. Obviously, it’s very important to stay on top of all these communication channels, because they could be offering you weekly bonuses or guarantees or just letting you know actions that you need to take to keep your account active.

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Usually, in the week leading up to a big holiday like New Year’s, a big event like Coachella or Bonnaroo, Uber and Lyft will start sending out communications encouraging you to drive.

“Go out and drive!” isn’t great when no incentive is offered

This is where you need to be really careful. What I’ve found is that when there isn’t a bonus or a reward attached to an offer from these companies, it’s usually pretty meaningless. We’ve seen that really a lot of times what’s best for Uber and Lyft isn’t necessarily what’s best for you as a driver, and you have to understand that in the communications that they’re sending out.

If they have a huge event coming up and they need thousands of drivers there to meet passenger demand, they’re going to email all their drivers. And they really want as many drivers out there available for rides to the passengers, and you actually want the opposite. You really want as few drivers out there as possible because that means you’re going to have increased demand and surge pricing.

If you get an email that says something like, “This weekend’s going to be slamming,” “Hit the road and make a ton of money,” or whatever cheesy slogans Uber and Lyft are using. I got those straight from their emails. It’s likely, if they send out that type of messaging, that they have also sent that out to every other single driver in your area. Sometimes for the really big events here in California, if there’s an event like Coachella, they’ll email drivers in L.A. and say, “Hey, come out to Palm Springs. Come out to the desert. It’s going to be really busy this weekend.”

Since there’s a constant influx of new drivers, a lot of these drivers may not know any better. They may say, “Hey, Uber says it’s going to be busy,” or “Lyft says it’s going to be busy. I’m going to go out there and drive.” I’d have a healthy skepticism. They may be correct, and they may not be ill intentioned, but I just have a healthy skepticism of any of those types of offers where there isn’t a bonus or a guarantee attached to it. ‘Cause even if there is a guarantee attached, I mean especially for the big events or the holidays, it’s still important to understand if it was targeted.

Understanding Uber’s targeting

If Uber says, “Hey, this New Year’s is going to be crazy. We’re going to pay $75 an hour guaranteed.” If I saw that, as a driver, “Okay, I’ll drive.” What if they send that to every single driver? Every single driver is going to be out. That’s why you want to understand if these offers are targeted, meaning only a few drivers are getting them, or every single driver is getting them.

You can actually do this and find this out. If you have a local group of drivers that you stay in contact with, go check with these other drivers. If you’re in local Facebook groups, that’s another great way. I mean, going forward I really want you to think about not only when is it going to be busy, but when other drivers aren’t out.

Ways to find low driver supply and high rider demand

When are there not going to be that many drivers out on the road? ‘Cause there’s two parts of the equation. You want it to be busy, you want a lot of demand, you want high demand, but you also want low supply. You don’t want a ton of drivers out on the road. That actually benefits you as a driver, because you’ll get more requests, potentially get more surge pricing or primetime or whatever it might be.

If Uber is telling every single driver to go out on Halloween, for example, but there’s no guarantees of making money, you might want to sit that one out, and drive in the morning since everyone’s going to be out all late all night. Often, what we see in that situation is that no one ends up getting the guarantees. It’s a little bit of a cat-and-mouse game, but I think as long as you guys understand both sides of the equation, you can make informed decisions going forward, see how things work out from one year to the next, take notes, just be aware, talk to other drivers and see how things play out.

This is another example where you guys can work smarter, not harder. Hopefully, you guys enjoyed this video. If you did like it, give us a little thumbs up. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you are new to our channel, make sure you subscribe. Until next time, take care. See you soon.

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