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  1. #1
    Member northsjfixed's Avatar
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    So how much do bike messengers actually get paid?

    Just wondering if any of you guys are or were bike messengers. How much did you guys get paid for delivering items in an urban environment on your bike everyday? Just curious.

  2. #2
    GONE~
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    Bike messengers are a sore topic on here, last time someone posted a video of messenger getting featured CNN homepage...sparked quite the fuzz among us. Just look at the Judge Judy video...

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    Not much. It varies depending on the company you work for, what city you live in, how many hours you work, your skill level etc.

    From what my friends have told me, its not much. A little bit over minimum wage usually.

    Part of my job is doing bike deliveries. When there are no deliveries, I make food. And when there are deliveries (6 mile roundtrip radius per delivery), I get to ride my bike around, stay on the clock and get tips.

    Its fun. I'd rather be riding my bike than making food. Some days/nights I'll ride 40-50 miles. Other shifts I'll ride 10.

    From what I've heard from my friends who are full-time legit messengers, the job isn't too glamorous. But if you really love cycling and that's what you wanna do, its a good job.

  4. #4
    Comanche Racing PedallingATX's Avatar
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    i think it varies wildly. My approximation would be like $80/day if you have a good gig.
    skinnytire

  5. #5
    Comanche Racing PedallingATX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vixtor View Post
    Bike messengers are a sore topic on here, last time someone posted a video of messenger getting featured CNN homepage...sparked quite the fuzz among us. Just look at the Judge Judy video...
    everything is a sore subject here...
    skinnytire

  6. #6
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Back in the day all I got was a handshake, a smile and a med. bean burrito.
    And I was dam glad to get it.
    But those were different times.
    Kids today need money for ink and bling.

    Enjoy
    Quote Originally Posted by SBFixed View Post
    You're a dick, if your bike gets stolen I hope that you don't get a thread.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    Kids today need money for ink and bling.

    Enjoy
    or maybe to buy food and have respectable living quarters?

  8. #8
    Junior Member ghoul vs robot's Avatar
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    i worked for quik trak in manhattan for a summer (04). if i made it to work everyday (i usually took a day... or two off every week. they were really cool about it) and worked the whole day i would make about 400-550 dollarsp per week(commission). but the cost of living up there was high enough that i felt like i was making minimum wage or less somewhere where it isn't so expensive. also i love cycling but too much of a good thing is bad. i definitely didn't feel like riding 40-75 miles 5 days a week. i also think once money is brought into the equation it makes things you love not as love-able.
    Last edited by ghoul vs robot; 05-30-10 at 06:59 AM. Reason: peeeeeer weeeeeeeeeek

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoul vs robot View Post
    i worked for quik trak in manhattan for a summer (04). if i made it to work everyday (i usually took a day... or two off every week. they were really cool about it) and worked the whole day i would make about 400-550 dollars(commission). but the cost of living up there was high enough that i felt like i was making minimum wage or less somewhere where it isn't so expensive. also i love cycling but too much of a good thing is bad. i definitely didn't feel like riding 40-75 miles 5 days a week. i also think once money is brought into the equation it makes things you love not as love-able.
    You mean 400-550 per week. Because the way you framed it (making 400-550 per day) that's $96,000 - 132,000 per year working 5 days a week. You didn't make that delivering packages on a bike. But, a few grand a month ain't so bad as long as someone else is picking up things like your insurance and you don't plan on making it a life.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I was salaried and made a decent enough wage and performance bonuses... which is pretty outside the norm but the company needed a good second who could take over lead duties if needed, be ultra reliable, and be extremely fast when stuff had to be there five minutes ago.

    Top guy here pulls in 4k - 5k a month working dawn to dusk... as a senior guy he rarely has to leave what is a really small downtown core but if epic speed is required he is also a Cat 2 racer.

    It's a tough gig, most often thankless, but you get addicted to fresh air and adrenalin.

  11. #11
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoul vs robot View Post
    i also think once money is brought into the equation it makes things you love not as love-able.
    This is true for so many things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
    or maybe to buy food and have respectable living quarters?
    those living quarters didn't seem too respectable. besides that, you don't need a lot of money for a decent living space and if those guys are smart then they live inexpensively and dedicate most of there income for things that they want like bikes and ink.

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    anywhere from $40 - $300 per day

    about $100-$120 per day is pretty average

    in 2009 I made $46k before taxes but I own my company work alone, I also worked all but one business day in 2009

    if you work thru a broker which is what most messenger/courier companies are you lose a bunch cause they charge a lot to dispatch and do the billing, typically 25-50%.........they also usually do any advertising and set the rates so you get screwed there too--you work at their prices and with their clients while they have full indemnity from your actions

    what you do and haul varies quite a bit too, some do nothing but basic package delivery while others like myself do mostly legal work

    working thru a broker, one that is really good and has lots of clients in a city like New York you can average $200 per day but you will work and I mean work, 8am-6pm 50+ miles a day and little or no breaks during the day, most simply refuse to work at that pace all the time so not too many make that kind of $$ consistently

  14. #14
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmineisvelvet View Post
    those living quarters didn't seem too respectable. besides that, you don't need a lot of money for a decent living space and if those guys are smart then they live inexpensively and dedicate most of there income for things that they want like bikes and ink.
    Like the guys from the Judge Judy video.
    They lived in a rathole and had enough combined ink to buy an education.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ght=judge+judy

    Enjoy
    Last edited by powers2b; 06-04-10 at 11:00 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by SBFixed View Post
    You're a dick, if your bike gets stolen I hope that you don't get a thread.

  15. #15
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    from what I've heard its not to great, I talked to a few of them and was told they either spend all they make on rent (if they live in the city) or on their bikes, either way they all made it clear that they hardly ever ate right, which is really ****ing sad. I had a good friend that got hired in Philly and was told if he got into an accident he should call dispatch right away so they could get him help, he was whacked by a car a week into the "job" and called dispatch, he told them that his left ankle was swelled up bad and his left pedal broke off, he got this reply, "Can you get the package delivered?" WTF!? He used the bike like a scooter, delivered the package, went back to the dispatcher and quit without as much as a thank you from them. I would have tossed the package into the ****ing river and scooted my ass home!
    Last edited by ilikebikes; 06-04-10 at 01:22 PM.
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  16. #16
    Senior Member NinetiesKid's Avatar
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    delivering food= better in all ways
    Quote Originally Posted by psyclistic View Post

    I'm going to be spending an exorbitant amount of money on electronics for this bike.

  17. #17
    one life on two wheels cobrabyte's Avatar
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    same pay scale as most jobs:

    less than hookers, more than McDonalds

  18. #18
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    where can i get a messenger job?

  19. #19
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    it honestly sounds like an awful job,
    spending 6-8 hours riding a bike in all conditions.. on a hot nyc summer, with humidity of 80% or more, GL.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bleedingapple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxSta View Post
    it honestly sounds like an awful job,
    spending 6-8 hours riding a bike in all conditions.. on a hot nyc summer, with humidity of 80% or more, GL.
    I'd rather do that again than pedicab. money is about the same too...

  21. #21
    Hard times comin your way OjaiYoda's Avatar
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    I just got hired for a worker owned bike messenger service. Once my apprenticeship is over ill be getting $11/hr plus my share of quarterly profits.
    Last edited by OjaiYoda; 06-07-10 at 12:22 AM. Reason: missed a word

  22. #22
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OjaiYoda View Post
    I just got hired for a worker owned bike messenger service. Once my apprenticeship is over ill be getting $11 plus my share of quarterly profits.
    A day?

    Enjoy
    Quote Originally Posted by SBFixed View Post
    You're a dick, if your bike gets stolen I hope that you don't get a thread.

  23. #23
    Hard times comin your way OjaiYoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    A day?

    Enjoy
    sorry $11/hr haha

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