What: Dumpling Drive is a ride sharing app that puts drivers in charge of pricing, scheduling and marketing but it does not arrange “on-demand” transportation

Expected pay: Set by you

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & Fees: $20 per month, plus 3% credit card processing fee

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Car, smart phone, driver’s license and insurance

Review:

Dumpling Drive aims to give ride share drivers an alternative to Uber and Lyft that puts them in charge of their own businesses. With this smart phone application, drivers determine their own rates; set their own schedules; and find their own clients. All Dumpling Drive does is provide scheduling and billing through the app. Because the app does less, you pay less — $20 a month, plus a credit card processing fee.

How it works

You download the app and set up your business, saying who you are; the kind of car you drive; and when you’re available. You also set your rates through the app by filling in your base rate — the rate charged at the start of each ride, if any — plus your mileage and per-minute charges. So, a driver might decide to charge, say, 50 cents per mile and 50 cents per minute, with a $5 base rate. That would mean that someone who wanted a 10-minute ride to a destination that was 5 miles away would pay $12 — a $5 (base), plus $5 (10 minutes x 50 cents) plus $2.50 (5 miles times 50 cents).

That $12 fee is competitive with what Uber or Lyft would charge. But, for the driver, there’s a big difference. Dumpling Drive passes on all but a 3% credit card processing fee to the driver. Uber and Lyft, on the other hand, take somewhere between 30% and 50% of the customer’s fare, often leaving the driver with a relative pittance.

Dumpling Drive also charges a monthly fee of $20. However, if you arrange more than a few rides per month through this app, that fee works out to a relative pittance.

Catch

The one catch with this app is that you have to find your own clients. And that’s a lot harder than it is to simply respond to a customer hail, when you work with Uber or Lyft.

Recommendations

We like the structure of Dumpling Drive, but realize that marketing your services effectively can be difficult. As a result, we suggest that you use this app in conjunction with other driving and delivery applications, including Uber, Lyft, Via, HopSkipDrive and RideZum.

These other apps put customers in your car. You can use that connection to give them your Dumpling Drive business cards and, hopefully, develop ongoing business.

If you sign up with this app, we’d also strongly suggest that you develop a business-owner mindset. With this app, you are truly in charge. That puts the onus on finding clients and making sure your rides are profitable on your shoulders. Successful business owners are relentless marketers. If you want to make this a thriving operation, you’ll want to hit up local business groups, senior groups, parent groups, travel agents — anyone who might help you get the word out that you’re available.

Suggested Options.