Ease of Use
Instacart Shopper is a gig-based platform that connects individuals with opportunities to earn money by shopping for and delivering groceries to customers. As an Instacart Shopper, individuals can work flexible hours and choose their own schedules.
- Flexible work-life balance
- No minimum hours required
- Quick payment processing
- Work and walk at the same time
- Work or quit when you want
- No gas reimbursement for drivers
- No guaranteed orders are available- gig economy work comes and goes
- May need extra automotive insurance
Instacart is a leading grocery delivery service that allows customers to order groceries from their favorite stores and have them delivered to their doorstep.
However, many people are also turning to Instacart to earn extra income as shoppers in gig economy jobs.
Working for Instacart is an enticing option for those looking for flexible work hours and the opportunity to work independently.
The real question is, “Is Instacart worth it?”
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about working for Instacart, including Instacart pay, work hours, ways to get paid, and how to make more money.
Instacart Shopper: Key Takeaways
Here’s a quick rundown on working for Instacart:
- Instacart offers a flexible schedule, allowing shoppers to choose their own hours and make money weekly
- You don’t buy the groceries for others- Instacart provides you with a card to pay.
- Instacart offers shoppers an average hourly pay of $13 – $22, depending on which job you have and where you work.
- Instacart hires two types of shoppers: full-service shoppers and in-store shoppers.
- Full-service shoppers are responsible for shopping and delivering groceries to customers.
- In-store shoppers only shop for the customers, and then the customer picks up the order.
- Full-service shoppers are considered independent contractors.
- Shoppers working in-store are considered part-time employees and receive benefits such as paid time off and 401(k) options.
Is Instacart Worth It?
Ultimately, the answer to “Is Instacart worth it?” depends on your financial needs and goals.
It’s a grocery delivery service that can either get your groceries handled or be your next side hustle!
If you’re looking for a flexible side hustle with the potential to earn additional income, Instacart could be a great option.
But if you don’t have a car, hate grocery shopping, or want to earn $50+ an hour, you may want to consider other side hustles or a new career.
To me, this side hustle is an easy pick that can fit into your lifestyle and gives you an easy way to make money around your regular job.
If you’re willing to put in the effort, there is potential to earn extra money through tips and large batches.
Types of Shoppers
There are two main types of Instacart shoppers: Full-Service Shopper and In-store Shopper.
Each role has its own responsibilities, but both are essential for the smooth functioning of Instacart’s grocery delivery services.
The main difference is one group includes delivery drivers, and the other doesn’t, but both are personal shoppers for groceries.
Let’s talk about how they work:
A Full-Service Shopper is an independent contractor with the dual role of a personal shopper and a delivery driver.
These shoppers shop and purchase the items in a customer’s order from their chosen grocery store.
They grab what’s on the list and get everything that’s readily available for grocery delivery.
Once the shopping is complete, Full Service Shoppers also handle the delivery.
You’ll carefully pack and transport the groceries to the customer’s doorstep within a designated delivery window.
In-store Shoppers are part-time Instacart employees who work exclusively at specific grocery stores.
They don’t handle any grocery delivery or anything!
Their primary responsibility is to pick and pack groceries for customers who have placed orders through the Instacart website or app.
In-store Shoppers earn an hourly wage, and their schedules are more structured than Full Service Shoppers.
But I’m sure the main question on your mind is- how much does Instcart pay?
The average hourly Instacart pay for shoppers varies depending on location, demand, and delivery fee.
Full-Service Shoppers can expect to earn more due to the added responsibility of delivering customers’ groceries.
Still, their income may also fluctuate based on factors like peak pay, order volume, and fees.
Between the 2 job options, you could potentially earn $18 – $19 per hour in the right areas, depending on how much you work and receive in tips.
As an Instacart Full Service Shopper, you can set your weekly work schedule with the Instacart Shopper App.
The shifts available to Instacart shoppers are on a first-come, first-served basis, and workers can choose more than one shift at a time.
As you gain more experience as a shopper, you can get “early access” to the next week’s schedule, allowing you to secure your desired delivery time slots.
Instacart offers an “on-demand” option, allowing part-time shoppers to claim batches in real-time, even when they’re not officially on the clock.
Ways To Get Paid
Instacart pays personal shoppers weekly, ensuring a regular income flow.
Here’s a breakdown of how Instacart shoppers can get paid to help you decide is Instacart worth it:
Full-Service Shopper Pay
To help shoppers track their potential income, Instacart offers an overview of estimated earnings for each order and a weekly summary.
The amount earned per order is influenced by factors like the total number of items, the delivery distance, and the effort involved in shopping and delivering the groceries.
So small batches could be $5 for a few items and then delivery down the street since it’s quick and easy. when they apply
Full-Service Shoppers also keep 100% of their customer tips, which can significantly enhance their overall earnings.
In-store Shopper Pay
In-store shoppers earn a fixed hourly wage, outlined in their initial offer letter when they apply for the job.
An in-store shopper gets scheduled shifts based on their personal availability, with a maximum of 29 hours per week.
It provides a more stable income than the Full Service Shoppers’ variable pay.
Another income-boosting opportunity for Instacart shoppers is the referral program.
Shoppers can earn extra money in certain locations by referring friends to shop with Instacart.
The person who makes the referral and the new shopper may be eligible for rewards through this program.
To qualify, the referred shopper must complete a specific number of batches within a designated time frame.
How To Make More Money
Instacart pays competitively for grocery delivery, but there are ways to boost your income and maximize your time spent shopping and delivering groceries.
Here are the best ways we found to make more money as an Instacart shopper:
- Learn the store layout: Knowing where the products are will help you shop more quickly and get orders completed faster.
- Master the shopping list: Look at the entire batch order on the Instacart shopper app before you start shopping so you can plan your route through the store.
- Use your phone alarm to schedule strategically: Set reminders on your phone to claim high-demand work hours and get the best first come, first served hours.
- Optimize customer communication: Use the Instacart app’s messaging feature to contact customers about substitutions or special requests.
Before applying for a gig as an Instacart shopper, you want to make sure you understand the Instacart Shopper requirements for shoppers:
Here are the requirements for both shoppers:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Eligible to work in the United States
- Access to a smartphone (iPhone 6s / Android 5.0 or newer)
- Capability to lift 50 lbs with or without accommodation
- Delivery Drivers Only: Access to a vehicle (with insurance and registration)
By meeting these requirements, you can take advantage of flexible work hours and earn money grocery shopping.
How To Become an Instacart Shopper
Here’s a few easy steps for how to become an Instacart Shopper:
1. Click The Link
You can sign up with Instacart here and start filling out your information.
Enter your zip code and provide your name, email address, and cell phone number.
After you’ve been accepted to be an Instacart Shopper, you’ll receive a link to download the Instacart app for shoppers.
2. Enter Your Deets
After installing the Shopper app, you’ll be prompted to enter some important personal details.
Delivery drivers need their driver’s license ID number, Social Security number, and bank direct deposit information (so you get paid!).
You’ll also need to consent to a background check—a standard procedure for most gig economy jobs.
3. Get Approved
Once you’ve submitted all the required information, Instacart reviews your application.
The approval process typically takes around 5-10 business days.
After being approved, you’ll need to complete an online onboarding process.
It guides you through accepting orders, shopping, and using the app effectively.
4. Make Your Account
After your approval, it’s time to set up your account in the Instacart Shopper app.
You’ll learn more about the shopping process and get familiar with the app’s features.
Instacart will mail you a payment card to pay for groceries, ensuring you won’t need to use your personal credit or debit card.
5. Start Accepting Jobs
Once your account is set up and you’ve received your payment card, you can start accepting jobs.
Keep an eye on the app for available orders in the Instacart shopper app.
Choose the ones that suit you best, and follow the customer’s instructions for shopping and delivery.
Then get the groceries and either deliver them or just get them ready for other Instacart shoppers to take out.
Open the Instacart Shopper app to receive notifications about available batches of Instacart work.
The notification will give you important information about the order, such as:
- A map indicating your current location and the delivery address for the Instacart orders
- An estimate of your earnings for the order, including digital tips (excluding potential cash tips)
- The total number of items in the order
- The overall driving distance for the delivery
- Any requirements for heavy lifting in the order
You have four minutes to accept an order, during which the app will continuously send reminders.
You can decide whether to accept or ignore the order, but remember that rejecting too many batches may lead to penalties.
Other Food Delivery Services
If you’re considering shopping for groceries and delivering orders, you may be interested in other food delivery services!
Here are the best food delivery services to work for:
DoorDash is another popular food delivery service that offers an easy way for customers to deliver their meals right to their doorsteps.
As a DoorDash delivery driver, or “Dasher,” you can enjoy the flexibility of choosing your work hours and earn an hourly rate and tips on your orders.
The company has also established partnerships with numerous local stores and restaurants, increasing the variety of orders available to Dashers.
Postmates is a well-known delivery option that caters to a wide range of needs, including food, grocery delivery, and other retail items.
Delivery drivers with Postmates have the opportunity to earn money by delivering goods to customers from various businesses.
Recently it’s become one of the most popular grocery delivery services, so you aren’t just limited to delivering meals.
The flexibility of working hours and the variety of delivery options make Postmates a good choice for those looking to work in the gig economy.
Uber Eats is a great service backed by the renowned rideshare company Uber.
This platform allows customers to order meals from their favorite restaurants and have them delivered right to their doors.
As an Uber Eats driver, you can take advantage of the flexibility of choosing your working hours, much like with other gig economy jobs.
Grubhub is a well-established food delivery gig that connects customers with their favorite local restaurants.
As a Grubhub driver, you can enjoy the benefits of flexible working hours and the freedom to choose your delivery area.
They also offer competitive earnings potential and a large network of restaurant partners, providing delivery drivers ample opportunities to earn money.
FAQS On Working For Instacart
Do Instacart Shoppers make good money?
Income can vary daily with any gig economy job, but many shoppers find that Instacart pays competitively compared to similar delivery jobs.
Instacart Shoppers earn $13 – $22, but your pay will depend on factors like location, demand, and your efficiency.
Full-service shoppers earn a per-order payment and can receive tips, while an in-store shopper receives an hourly wage.
Other food delivery apps pay about the same, without a set hourly wage, but have base pay plus promos and tips.
Why do people become Instacart Shoppers?
Many people become Instacart Shoppers to make extra money.
Instacart provides an easy and convenient way to earn money without a long-term commitment.
It’s not a very demanding job, which is great, and grocery shopping is likely something you have plenty of experience with!
As a shopper, you can choose your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want, making it an ideal option for stay-at-home moms or college students.
And for some people, shopping is a fun and enjoyable activity, and becoming an Instacart Shopper allows them to turn their shopping into a paid job.
What are the downsides of working for Instcart?
Working for Instacart has some downsides, such as vehicle expenses like fuel costs and potential wear and tear on your car.
Additionally, depending on your insurance policy, you may need additional coverage to protect yourself and your vehicle while working for Instacart.
Another potential downside is the lack of guaranteed orders, as Instacart is a gig economy platform.
Finally, since Instacart shoppers are considered independent contractors, they do not receive health insurance or paid time off benefits.
Is working for Instcart better than DoorDash?
Whether working for Instacart is better than DoorDash depends on individual preferences and circumstances.
Both platforms offer flexible hours and the opportunity to earn extra income.
However, Instacart focuses on grocery shopping and delivery, while DoorDash specializes in restaurant food delivery.
Some people may prefer the nature of Instacart’s work, while others might enjoy the faster-paced environment of DoorDash.
BONUS: Is Instacart Worth It For Customers?
Is Instacart worth using to get your groceries delivered?
The convenience is great, but let’s get into the nitty gritty of having Instacart as an end user:
How Much Instacart Costs
Instacart can be a convenient and time-saving way to get your groceries delivered to your doorstep.
But is Instacart worth the cost?
Besides the delivery fee and the cost of groceries, there may be an additional service fee and other charges.
And those numbers can really add up!
Let’s take a closer look at what Instacart service fee may be applied to your order:
If you’re new to Instacart, you’re in luck – your first delivery is free!
After that, the delivery cost depends on whether you’re an Instacart Express member.
Those who sign up for Instacart Express will get free delivery on orders over $35.
But even if you’re not an Instacart Express member, you get same-day delivery for orders over $35 starting at $3.99.
Instacart Express Cost (Now Instcart Plus)
To reduce fees and delivery costs, you might want to consider signing up for Instacart Plus (formerly Instacart Express).
It’s a membership program that offers a variety of benefits that can help you save time and money.
The Instacart cost is $99 per year or $9.99 per month and includes unlimited free delivery on orders of $35 or more (per retailer), lower fees, and other exclusive benefits.
For example, your service fee per order will be less, closer to 2% – 3.5% typically.
In addition to delivery and service fees, other charges may be associated with using Instacart.
The minimum service fee of 5% for Instacart users or less for Instacart Plus subscribers.
There could be separate fees for alcohol delivery, store fees, and processing fees for debit or credit card payments.
Tipping delivery drivers and in-store shoppers is strongly encouraged on Instacart.
It’s a way to show appreciation for your shoppers’ hard work and efficiency!
The recommended tip is usually $5 or 20% of the total bill (whichever is higher).
I highly encourage you to consider tipping more if you can afford it, especially during these challenging times.
Remember, many people rely on Instacart as a source of income, so your generosity can go a long way in supporting them.
So the next time you order on Instacart, remember to show your shopper some love with a tip!
Pros & Cons For Users
- Convenient shopping without leaving home- delivery drivers get everything to you!
- Same-day delivery available in many areas
- Option to shop from multiple stores in one order
- Instacart Plus membership offers free delivery and reduced service fees.
- Higher prices than in-store shopping
- Service fees and delivery fees can add up
- Limited availability in certain areas
So, is Instacart worth it for those looking for a gig job?
Our Instacart Shopper review has shown that if you value flexibility and being your own boss, Instacart can be a great option.
You can choose your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want.
That being said, there are some things to consider. You’ll need to cover your own vehicle expenses, and there’s no guarantee that orders are always available.
Plus, as an independent contractor, you won’t receive benefits like health insurance or paid time off.
But you earn an hourly rate and tips that can boost your income with consistent work and efficiency.
Ultimately, whether or not Instacart is worth it depends on your goals and priorities.
It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide if Instacart is the right choice for you.