• ok im new to this... I am moving to London at the beginning of august, currently i cycle a lot and am really looking to start out as a courier in London I have two weeks once i have moved down from shropshire to find a job in couriering is this a realistic goal? as i have never couriered before any help, advice, tips, nods in the right direction would be great!
  • I would imagine you would be able to get a quick start with some of the smaller companies without any experience, as for nods in the right direction, learn the ropes at a smaller company and if youre not earning £250 within about a month or so look elsewhere.
  • Thanks for the help,

    is £250 a month a realistic amount to aim for for the first few months because thats not much to keep a roof over your head with, from my research I feel that as you say I'd probably only be able to find work with a smaller company as a new guy but i don't mind cycling long hours and many days per week, or is £250 the limit for a new rider?
  • It's £250 a week.
  • arrr well thats much nicer!!
  • It was also £250 a week fifteen years ago as I remember. Going up to £300 at xmas and the odd mad week when everyone was sick. There have been times when couriers in London have made a living wage, but I think it would be difficult to find anyone right now who isn't in shared accomodation and drinking compulsively in the evenings/weekend. Does anyone disagree?
  • i did 250 in one day but i was sleeping with the controller and it was not Bill or Casper
  • i am fuckin knackered watched it in the spainsh bar gettin bored gettin bored ozzies if its not Weber its mister Evens but we still have the ashes and do you know Wiggos dad is oz im hopein he will Brian Wilson and Shine
  • and ta quick his is a discribstion of my bike abit like that former word purple fuckin chaian

  • It was £250 a week twenty years ago for new riders. Docket prices have remained at around £2 since then. The only way in 1990 to increase take home pay was to do more dockets which meant working longer hours.
  • Cool, I'll ride all the daylight hours and grind my bollocks into the saddle to get those extra few pounds in at the end of the week, it sounds like a good life and a massive step up from retail!! £250 a week will be nice, any tips on companies to go for I've seen the top place excel etc but don't think they be wanting an amateur!
    cheers guys
  • I just started at a smaller company. Problem with smaller companies is that you get sent all over london without any multidrops. I cycle fairly quickly and only did four complete pick up and drop offs today.

    A lack of contracts with smaller companies means you have to go further for each job.
  • I'm lucky if I make £100 a week. I started about a month ago with no experience or knowledge. The way I look at it is that I have no rent to pay as I live in a squat and it's more than the dole and I get to cycle all day. And yes, that's signing in at 9ish until 5.30-6ish monday to friday.
  • Excel is not 'the top place'.

    Four pick-ups a day - guarantee or no - is just not on. Find a better company ASAP.

    In lieu of actual experience, massive enthusiasm (but NOT of the over-eager variety, which comes across as an irritating quality which won't last anyway) and a workable knowledge of London (doesn't take long to train yourself) may just get you through the door of an intermediate company. Earn less than £250 for a five-day week and you're just wasting your legs; drrtyoldpunk: it's still possible - albeit rare - to make £100 in a single DAY if you're a decent rider at a decent company. Squat or not, you can do better mate.
  • Just be prepared to be knackered, always hungry, and up for getting pissed at the Foundry every night and you'll fit right in - I scraped through my first week and it felt great to look back on roads learned, new friends, and filling in the gaps on my massive learning curve.

    Good to see you again Sunday BTW Sideshow - its bin a while!
  • 3 days done now. 4 drops on each of the first two days and 1 today. Just the one. It was a 15 mile round trip into the sticks though.

    I spent twice as much money on food as I earned.

    Estimated earning so far in messenger career: 26.50 for 3 days.
  • wow ok a bit of a variance in wage packets!! looks like i'm going to have to climb up through the companies to get some real money. I'll cycle fast all day and pick up there aria in a few, any recommendations of companies to go for that aren't going to bend me over and rape me...
  • Mungo, give up. It's because of you that people that treat their job as a profession are having to struggle to earn a decent wage are still struggling. If you're consistently earning under 275, how can it be worth it. The longer people treat the joba as some kind of social experiment or hobby the quicker the ability for people to earn money will die. Leave the job to those that know how to get their head down and earn some money.

    Naive, idealist, summer glory couriers need not apply if you wanna earn money.

    To be honest, people are degrading this forum by saying that they are earning under 200 quid, there's no need to earn under that amount of money. Either you're a rubbish courier, stupid or very lazy.

    p.s I know plenty of newbies that have earnt half decent money straight away.

    Rant over
  • The problem is that so many circuits take on waste of space couriers that are prepared to be happy with ten jobs a day which takes those few extra dockets away from other riders that can really make the difference.

    Winter'll sort the men out from the boys
  • When i first started i was on piece work. Was taking home around 750 dollars every two weeks. Roughly 480 pounds if you exchange it up. After a month and a half i moved companies and started making 950 every two weeks on a garuntee.
    There was only two bikes at the second company so we often had busy days but there was always time for a timmies. The annoying thing was having to pay 50 bucks every pay day for the radio.
  • i have to agree with Artful thing personal but give it a few weeks, if you making less then 250 or 200 go do something else.
  • well 20 years of winters thank god 4 oz
  • Has everybody lost the ability to use their own brain now that the forum has been invented. I started off at GLH 11 years ago and was earning dole wage. I only worked there cause the job center got me the place (yes im a qualified courier with an NVQ in it woooo hooooo). But I didnt need a forum to figure this was fuckin shit money, christ. Soon as I had a vague clue of what I was doin I jumped ship over to Desperations and started making some real nice money, cash in hand as well. Respect your self as a worker, take your job seriously and go talk to your fellow colleagues, christ their all over the city for god sake.
    Anyway , thats my morning moan done. Time to feed Layla
  • I think that some of the comments are a little unfair. I am far from lazy, stupid or rubbish. I just needed to get my foot in the door and the company I'm with was the fifth company I tried and the only one who would look at me twice with no experience or knowledge. Couriering is something that I have been interested in for years and moving to london was the ideal opportunity to enter this career. Of course I will look for a better paid couriering job but first I need to develop my style of riding, become more confident in my growing knowledge of london and feel that the time is ready. I also have a certain sense of loyalty to my company for giving me a chance to step on the first rung of the ladder and feel that a decent stint with them is thanks for that.

    We all had to start somewhere and it would seem to me that messengering is a time-sensitive career. I am sure that time sorts the wheat from the chaff when all is said and done.
  • No Artful Dodger No

    im not asking these questions because i want to be in the "messenger" gang, I know some people do and yeah its probably really annoying, im asking these questions because want to make a career as a messenger at least for the foreseeable future, Im a really keen cyclist and work in retail currently that is just mind numbing but cycle every day around work, messaging would give me the opportunity to combine what i love and a career, I am moving to london specifically to follow this ambition and i am aiming to work long hours and ride hard all year around.

    I am asking these questions because i want to give myself the best start and because i am moving to the city with just a bike and a bag and a room to crash for 2 weeks so am trying to plan ahead. i just want to know as much as i can before i make the jump.

    don't automatically dismiss all new messengers as wannabe's because it will put people off, everyone hates a wannabe in whatever they do but they never last...
  • I was in the messenger gang before I were a courier, as I always chatted to the riders on my fag breaks etc whilst workin in the office. Its saved my life - I was gonna have a mental breakdown otherwise. Now I'm happy - I'll go anywhere anytime although I complain sometimes to myself or others if I'm tired and I got SW3 at the end of the day (I live east) if you adopt this attitude you'll earn bucks, and then have a great crew around you to listen to your rants at the end of the day over a smoke and a brew.
  • @mungo 'style of riding' and 'I have a cetain sense of loyalty to my company' and you see being a courier as a career? It can be a great job but all I can say is oh dear about your thoughts. You don't need to develop your style of riding, just make sure you're not a dick.

    @mungo 'a career' again this is laughable. It is not a career. Do coal miners or other manual workers regard their work as a career, its a job and a dirty one at that, where you will be exploited. Loyalty generally leads to weakness in this industry. And it is not messaging, it is being a courier you 'message' on a mobile phone.

    I don't dismiss newbies at all. I was one, but I just got on with it and could see if and when I was being shafted. There are plenty of newbies that have got some pink between their ears and just get on with it. I just pity you two is all I can say.

    'Time sensitive career' what are you on about. And believe me, this is not just because I am using this forum. I would say this to your face as well.

    I just hope its a wind up
  • meant at drtyoldpunk for the first para
  • i agree with you art, that should always get your head down and get on with it.

    But also think that if you have no aspirations or goals then your just floating mate, in my eyes anything is a career, if you want to make something of yourself then you will but if you just see a job as a job then your going to be coal mining all of your life, don't get me wrong the world needs coal miners but there are always opportunities to develop if you put in the work.

    also theres no need to be a language nazi on an internet forum everyone knew what was meant, and if you read drrtyoldpunk's last comment makes perfect sense.

    but this was a thread that was started to find and gather help/advice for finding a job as a messenger, helping people not to cut them down

    SO thanks for your input, any more advice out there? all help is really appreciated! its good to know that i will hopefully be able to live off cycling. how about finding that first job? from what i hear its just a case of calling around a lot but any little tips? also any advice on that first to reduce the inevitable pain?

  • "any recommendations of companies to go for that aren't going to bend me over and rape me... "


    Your ass is ripe for the taking with that question. Just what ALL these companies want... A bit of ripe wannabe messenger butt. 50p a docket for you son...
  • "also any advice on that first to reduce the inevitable pain? "

    vaseline is cheapest.
  • A career is what you make it. It is not limited to the white collar workers, you know. That's implying that working class manual workers cannot have careers. Having grown up in a mining town in the 80's, I can assure you I know plenty of (ex)miners who not only consider their line of work a career but also a lifestyle.
    And what's this about saying it to my face? I don't really give two monkeys whether you 'say it to my face' or keep it confined to teh interwebz. "Time sensitive career' is a pretty self-explanatory phrase, really.
  • I cant see what all the fuss is about. I was between jobs, needed some cash to pay rent and bills and could nt get work in my trade. I became a bike courier.
    You realise at the first rung that you are not going to make good money as you have to learn the ropes and earn some experience.
    As long as the rent and bills were covered and I had a little left over for the other things then I was sweet.
    In time you get fitter, faster and street savvy, eventually when I left the industry I was doing a comfortable 350 to 450 a week working most days and allowing for a quiet week every month.
    I broke bones, lost skin, had bikes and wheels nicked as well as losing mates and making some life long friends.
    If I was in the situation where I needed to return to the industry then I would happy do it. It would be like starting again, learning new Polish names or whatever the newest influx is, is it the same pub for a some well earned pints, same delivery, PDAs with GPS ooh er, new fangled wheres me A-Z.
    My point is...stop talking about and get on with it. You dont know what to you can earn untill you try and there will always be someone earning more, who is faster than, and up the controllers arse than you you. And its not a career its just a fucking job.
  • I was lying about the friends bit
  • I intend to still be doing this shit in five years time (longer if my body holds out as I'm no spring chicken). That makes it more than a job to me. It makes it a career choice and it's not up to anyone else to define what someone does. If it's just a fucking job to you then fair enough but don't knock anyone who is passionate to the point of wanting to make a career out of riding bikes.
  • @ MUNGO

    this is the greatest and worse thing you can get into, i would never tell someone they should be a messenger, if you want to do it you will, you will either love it or hate it, or probably both, good times, bad times,

    whatever you think you know, whatever you have been told, whatever you have seen, it will all become clear within a couple of months when you GET TO LONDON and START WORKING

    c u at the foundry and good luck, be safe,
  • Foundry? You mean that place that started out as a squat and then ripped people off with stupid beer prices and is now a squat again. Fucking shithole and bring on the hotel. If it is anything like the images I've seen then I cant wait.
  • cheers 1+1/8 i think you pretty much summed it up for me, im just really excited about starting now!! maybe ill see you all soon on the road!
  • @dirtpunk ones knocking anyone but if y'like...its a fucking career as well then.

    and fuck the foundry, I always thought it was a shit place to drink. I like the Duke, er old skool.
  • @porno

    actually it started out as a natwest bank, it was ok until a bunch of cnuts took over and ruined it.
  • @drrtyoldpunk

    'Career' to me implies potential progress or achievement and (financial) gain or profitability.

    It's a fkn job. Or, as some say, a lifestyle. Or, as yet others say, an expensive hobby. Being passionate about it doesn't make it a career.

    "It's the best of all the shit jobs" said a passionate, devoted AND clearsighted courier friend of mine.
  • TO ME it's a potential career. TO YOU it's a job. Horses for courses and all that malarkey.
  • @tee

    the word "career" to me implies a 'trojan horse' that gives you the notion of constantly escalating success, but really just motivates you to work and consume as much as possible,

    we have all had a picaresque series of work related events in our lives, each of which could be described as a "career".
    Only the specious, Thatcherite world of post-unions makes it feel like a 'special place' where you constantly strive to achieve your potential, don't be fooled, we're all human, we do that automatically already. We just do it without making anyone else rich, - our ourselves for that matter.

    There is nothing wrong with drrtyoldpunk's choice of words.
  • @Captain Mysterious
    I think it was Barclays but I might be wrong.

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