Moneytology

Instacart Shopper: Legit Side Hustle or Waste of Time?

instacart review

Instacart is a popular grocery delivery service that has gained immense popularity in recent years. As a customer, you can easily build your grocery list from the Instacart app and have it delivered right to your doorstep. But have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on the other side of the equation? What is it like to be an Instacart Shopper? In this article, I will delve into the world of Instacart Shoppers and explore whether it’s a reliable side hustle or simply a waste of time.

Key Takeaways

  • Instacart is a popular grocery delivery service that allows customers to order groceries from their favorite local stores and have them delivered to their homes.
  • Instacart offers two options for shoppers: full-service shoppers who shop for and deliver customers’ orders, and in-store shoppers who prepare orders for customers to pick up from the store.
  • To become an Instacart Shopper, you need to meet certain requirements such as being at least 18 years old, eligible to work in the United States, having access to a vehicle, and a smartphone running a compatible operating system.
  • The amount of money you can make as an Instacart Shopper varies based on several factors, including your working hours, the number and type of orders you complete, and the tips you receive.
  • While being an Instacart Shopper has its advantages, including a flexible schedule and the ability to earn money on your own time, there are also some downsides such as low-paying orders and potential technical issues with the app.

What is Instacart?

Instacart is an online grocery delivery service that revolutionizes the way people shop for groceries. Founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, Instacart offers a convenient solution for customers to order groceries from their favorite local stores and have them delivered straight to their doorsteps. With its user-friendly app interface, Instacart has quickly become one of the leading tech companies in North America.

Operating in the United States and Canada, Instacart brings the convenience of online grocery shopping to both major cities and small towns. Customers can simply create a grocery list through the Instacart app, selecting items from their preferred local stores, and choose whether they want their groceries delivered or opt for a convenient curbside pickup option.

As a pioneer in the field of online grocery delivery, Instacart has transformed the way people shop for groceries, making it easier and more efficient. By leveraging its extensive network of partner stores, Instacart ensures that customers have access to a wide range of products, including fresh produce, pantry staples, household items, and even specialty products.

With Instacart, customers no longer need to navigate crowded aisles, wait in long checkout lines, or struggle with heavy grocery bags. Instead, they can enjoy the convenience of having their groceries delivered right to their doorstep, saving them time and effort.

Whether you live a busy lifestyle, have limited mobility, or simply prefer the convenience of doorstep delivery, Instacart offers a seamless and reliable solution for your grocery shopping needs.

Instacart Shopper Options

To work for Instacart as a shopper, you have two options: full-service shopper or in-store shopper. Let’s explore what each option entails:

Full-Service Shopper

As a full-service shopper, you are responsible for both shopping for and delivering customers’ orders. This means that you will use the Instacart app to accept orders, navigate through the store, select the items on the customers’ grocery lists, and then deliver the orders to their doorsteps. You have the flexibility to set your own schedule and work when it is convenient for you.

In-Store Shopper

Alternatively, you can choose to be an in-store shopper. In this role, your primary responsibility is to prepare customers’ orders for them to pick up from the store. You will receive the orders through the Instacart app and then proceed to locate and gather the requested items. Once the order is ready, customers can come to the store and pick it up from you. Unlike full-service shoppers, in-store shoppers have set shifts and are considered part-time employees of Instacart.

“Being a full-service shopper allows me to have the flexibility I need, while being an in-store shopper provides a consistent schedule. It all depends on your personal preferences and availability.” – Jessica, Instacart Shopper

Whether you choose to be a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper, both options provide opportunities to earn money and be a part of the Instacart community. Now that you know the options available, you can decide which role suits you best!

Full-Service Shopper In-Store Shopper
Responsibilities Shopping and delivering customer orders Preparing orders for customer pick-up
Schedule Set your own schedule Set shifts
Employment status Independent contractor Part-time employee

Table: Comparison of Full-Service Shopper and In-Store Shopper Roles

Now that you have a better understanding of the options available as an Instacart shopper, let’s dive deeper into the requirements and earnings potential in the following sections.

Instacart Full-Service Shopper Requirements

To become a full-service shopper for Instacart, you must meet several requirements. First and foremost, you need to be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in the United States. Additionally, having access to a reliable vehicle is crucial as it will allow you to shop for groceries and make deliveries efficiently. A smartphone running iOS 5 or Android 4.4 or newer is also necessary for using the Instacart app and staying connected with customers.

Furthermore, full-service shoppers should be physically capable of lifting up to 50 pounds, with or without accommodation. This requirement ensures that you can handle the weight of grocery orders and deliver them safely to customers’ homes.

By setting these requirements, Instacart aims to ensure that shoppers have the necessary means to fulfill their responsibilities effectively and provide a high level of service to customers.

instacart full-service shopper

Instacart In-Store Shopper Requirements

If you don’t have consistent access to a vehicle, you can still work for Instacart as an in-store shopper. The requirements for an in-store shopper are similar to those of a full-service shopper. To become an in-store shopper, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Be eligible to work in the United States
  3. Have a smartphone running iOS 5 or Android 4.4 or newer
  4. Be able to lift up to 50 pounds with or without accommodation

As an in-store shopper, you will have set shifts and be considered a part-time employee of Instacart. Although you won’t be responsible for delivering orders, you’ll play a crucial role in preparing orders for customers to pick up from the store.

Working as an in-store shopper allows you to contribute to the convenience and efficiency of the Instacart service, helping customers save time by having their groceries ready for them to pick up at their convenience.

Image:

instacart in-store shopper

How Much Do Instacart Shoppers Make?

The amount of money you can earn as an Instacart shopper can vary based on several factors. According to the Instacart app, shoppers have the potential to earn up to $25 per hour. However, most shoppers report earning around $14 to $18 per hour.

Your earnings as an Instacart shopper are influenced by the number of hours you work, the types of orders you complete, and the tips you receive from customers. The more hours you dedicate to shopping and delivering groceries, the higher your potential earnings can be. Additionally, certain types of orders, such as larger or higher-demand orders, may offer higher pay rates.

One important aspect to note is that Instacart shoppers get to keep 100% of the tips they receive from customers. Tips play a significant role in boosting an Instacart shopper’s earnings and can greatly impact their overall income.

As an Instacart shopper, my earnings have varied depending on the factors mentioned above. On average, I make around $15 per hour, which allows me to supplement my income and maintain financial flexibility.

Earning potential as an Instacart shopper is not solely limited to hourly rates. Providing excellent customer service, being efficient in fulfilling orders, and maintaining a positive reputation can lead to receiving higher tips from satisfied customers. Additionally, building relationships with repeat customers can result in loyal patrons who are more likely to appreciate your service and reward you accordingly.

instacart shopper earnings

In conclusion, while the exact earnings of an Instacart shopper may vary, it is possible to earn a decent income by working diligently, optimizing efficiency, and providing exceptional customer service. With the potential to earn up to $25 per hour, along with tips received directly from customers, being an Instacart shopper can be a rewarding side hustle.

How to Maximize Your Instacart Shopper Earnings

As an Instacart shopper, there are several strategies you can employ to maximize your earnings and make the most out of your side hustle. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of earning more and boosting your overall income.

1. Be available and eager to work

One of the key ways to maximize your earnings is by making yourself available on the Instacart app during your downtime. By being flexible with your schedule and ready to accept orders, you can increase your earning potential. Keep the app active and be responsive to new order notifications to stay busy and maximize your working hours.

2. Provide exceptional service

Delivering outstanding service to customers is a surefire way to increase your earnings. Follow instructions closely, make deliveries on time, and be friendly and professional in your interactions. Going the extra mile by providing exceptional service can lead to higher tips and potentially more repeat customers.

“Going the extra mile by providing exceptional service can lead to higher tips and potentially more repeat customers.”

3. Optimize your delivery routes

Efficiently delivering orders can help you save time and increase your earnings. Consider using navigation apps or an “eye in the sky” app to find the most optimal routes for delivering orders. By minimizing travel time and maximizing efficiency, you can complete more deliveries, ultimately increasing your earnings.

4. Stay informed about promotions and incentives

Instacart often offers promotions and incentives to shoppers, such as higher earnings during peak hours or additional bonuses for completing a certain number of orders. Stay updated on these opportunities through the app or Instacart’s communication channels to take advantage of them and increase your earnings.

5. Build relationships with customers

Building positive relationships with customers can lead to higher tips and potential bonuses. Be friendly, polite, and helpful during your interactions with customers. Engage in small talk or offer assistance when needed to create a positive impression. Satisfied customers are more likely to leave higher tips and recommend you to others.

6. Consider strategic shopping

Some shoppers have found success by strategically selecting orders with higher tips or larger order totals. While it may take some trial and error to identify profitable orders, prioritizing those with higher potential earnings can help you maximize your overall income as an Instacart shopper.

7. Stay updated with Instacart’s shopper resources

Instacart provides resources and tips for shoppers to enhance their earnings. Stay informed by reading Instacart’s shopper guides, participating in their online communities, or attending any training sessions or workshops offered. By staying up to date with the latest strategies and best practices, you can continuously improve your earnings as an Instacart shopper.

Maximize Earnings

By implementing these tips and utilizing effective strategies, you can maximize your earnings as an Instacart shopper and increase the income from your side hustle.

Instacart Shopper Hours

As an Instacart shopper, I understand the importance of flexibility. That’s why I have the freedom to set my own schedule and choose when I want to work. To indicate my availability to take orders, I simply select hour blocks throughout the week that align with my schedule.

To maximize my chances of receiving more orders, consistency in availability is key. I make sure to match customers’ shopping patterns by being available during peak shopper hours. By doing so, I increase my opportunities to earn more money as an Instacart shopper.

If my availability changes, I can easily adjust my schedule accordingly. It’s a convenient feature that allows me to adapt my work hours to fit my personal commitments and other obligations.

It’s important to note that Instacart values consistency in shopper availability. By being consistent with my hours, I enhance the quality of service I provide to customers. This reliability builds trust and helps me establish a strong reputation as a dependable shopper.

Overall, Instacart provides me with the flexibility to choose my own shopper hours while emphasizing the importance of consistency. This balance allows me to create a schedule that suits my lifestyle and provides excellent service to customers.

Signing Up For Instacart Shopper Jobs

If you’re interested in becoming an Instacart shopper, the first step is to visit their website and start the registration process. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Provide your basic personal information, including your name, email address, and telephone number.
  2. Provide details about your phone, such as the model and its reliability, since you’ll be using it for the Instacart app.
  3. Submit the information and proceed to the next step.
  4. You will then be asked to complete a detailed registration page, which is similar to a job interview. This helps Instacart understand your skills and availability.
  5. Instacart will conduct a background check to ensure the safety and security of their shoppers and customers.
  6. Once your application is approved, you can start building your schedule and earning as an Instacart shopper.

It’s important to provide accurate information and complete the registration process thoroughly to increase your chances of being approved. Remember, Instacart values reliability, professionalism, and attention to detail in their shoppers.

Signing up to become an Instacart shopper is a simple and straightforward process. The requirements primarily focus on personal information and phone reliability. Once approved, you’ll have the opportunity to start earning money as an Instacart shopper.

Step Description
1 Provide basic personal information, including your name, email address, and telephone number.
2 Provide details about your phone, such as the model and its reliability, since you’ll be using it for the Instacart app.
3 Submit the information and proceed to the next step.
4 You will then be asked to complete a detailed registration page, which is similar to a job interview.
5 Instacart will conduct a background check to ensure the safety and security of their shoppers and customers.
6 Once your application is approved, you can start building your schedule and earning as an Instacart shopper.

Pros and Cons of Being an Instacart Shopper

Like any job, there are advantages and disadvantages to being an Instacart shopper. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons to help you decide if this side hustle is right for you.

Advantages (Pros) of Being an Instacart Shopper:

  • Flexible Schedule: As an Instacart shopper, you have the freedom to choose when you want to work. You can set your own availability and take on orders that fit your schedule, making it a great option for those who need flexibility.
  • Earn Money on Your Own Time: Instacart allows you to earn money on your own terms. Whether you want to work weekends, evenings, or during your free time, you can decide when and how much you want to work.
  • No Special Skills Required: Unlike some other side hustles, being an Instacart shopper doesn’t require any specific skills or qualifications. As long as you meet the basic requirements, you can start earning money as a shopper.

Disadvantages (Cons) of Being an Instacart Shopper:

  • Low-Paying Orders: While Instacart shoppers can make decent money, some orders may be low-paying, especially if the order is small or the delivery location is far. It’s important to consider the potential for lower earnings on certain orders.
  • Dealing with Difficult Customers: As an Instacart shopper, you may encounter difficult or demanding customers. It can be challenging to provide excellent customer service in all situations, and dealing with unhappy customers can be stressful.
  • Tech Troubles with the App: Like any technology, the Instacart app may occasionally have technical issues. This can lead to delays, frustration, and potential disruptions in your work. It’s essential to have patience and be prepared for any unexpected glitches.

It’s important to weigh these pros and cons and consider your own priorities and circumstances before deciding if being an Instacart shopper is the right side hustle for you.

Table: Pros and Cons of Being an Instacart Shopper

Advantages (Pros) Disadvantages (Cons)
Flexible Schedule Low-Paying Orders
Earn Money on Your Own Time Dealing with Difficult Customers
No Special Skills Required Tech Troubles with the App

How Does Instacart Make Money?

Instacart generates revenue through various sources, ensuring a sustainable business model that benefits both customers and shoppers. Let’s take a closer look at the different revenue streams that contribute to Instacart’s success.

Delivery Fees

One of the main revenue sources for Instacart is the delivery fees charged to customers. When customers opt for same-day delivery, they are charged a fee based on the total value of their order. This fee not only covers the cost of delivering the groceries but also contributes to Instacart’s overall revenue.

Membership Fees

To enhance the customer experience and provide added convenience, Instacart offers an optional membership called Instacart Express. Customers who opt for this membership pay an annual fee in exchange for free delivery on all orders over a certain amount. This recurring membership fee contributes significantly to Instacart’s revenue stream.

Grocery Partnerships

Instacart has established strategic partnerships with various grocery stores and brands. These partnerships enable Instacart to offer additional services and discounts to customers. In return, grocery stores and brands pay Instacart for the exposure and increased sales they receive through the platform. Such partnerships serve as a mutually beneficial revenue source for Instacart.

By diversifying its revenue streams through delivery fees, membership fees, and grocery partnerships, Instacart ensures a sustainable business model while providing convenient and efficient grocery shopping experiences for customers.

Hidden Costs of Being an Instacart Shopper

While being an Instacart shopper can be a lucrative side hustle, it’s important to consider the hidden costs that come with the job. These additional expenses can impact your overall profitability and should be factored into your financial calculations.

Fuel Costs

One of the hidden costs of being an Instacart shopper is fuel. Instacart does not reimburse shoppers for gas, meaning you will need to cover this expense yourself. As you drive to different stores and make multiple deliveries, fuel costs can add up quickly and eat into your earnings.

Vehicle Maintenance

Another expense to consider is vehicle maintenance. As an Instacart shopper, you’ll be putting extra miles on your car, which can lead to increased wear and tear. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake replacements, will be necessary to keep your vehicle in good working condition.

Car Insurance

Having adequate car insurance is crucial when working as an Instacart shopper. While you’re on the job, you need to ensure that you have proper coverage in case of an accident or damage to your vehicle. It’s important to review your insurance policy and consider any necessary upgrades or additional coverage.

Vehicle Depreciation

Using your car for Instacart shopping can also contribute to vehicle depreciation. The more miles you put on your car, the faster it loses value. This is an important consideration, especially if you plan on selling or trading in your vehicle in the future.

Insulated Freezer Bags

To ensure that perishable items stay fresh during delivery, you may need to invest in insulated freezer bags. These bags help maintain the temperature of items like meat, dairy, and frozen goods. While they are not a significant expense, they are still an additional cost that should be considered.

Income Taxes

As an Instacart shopper, you are considered an independent contractor and are responsible for paying your own taxes. This means that you’ll need to set aside a portion of your earnings to cover income taxes. It’s important to keep accurate records of your income and expenses for tax purposes.

Opportunity Costs

Lastly, it’s essential to consider the opportunity costs of being an Instacart shopper. The time you spend shopping and making deliveries is time that could be spent on other activities or side hustles. While Instacart can be a profitable venture, it’s important to evaluate whether the time and effort invested align with your financial goals and priorities.

By taking these hidden costs into account, you can make a more informed decision about whether being an Instacart shopper is the right side hustle for you. It’s important to weigh the potential earnings against the additional expenses to determine if it aligns with your financial objectives.

Conclusion

After exploring the ins and outs of being an Instacart shopper, it’s clear that this can be a legitimate and flexible side hustle for those looking to earn money on their own time. The amount of money you can make as an Instacart shopper depends on several factors, including the number of hours you work, the types of orders you complete, and the tips you receive.

There are definitely pros and cons to consider before diving into the world of Instacart shopping. On the positive side, you have the freedom to set your own schedule and work whenever it suits you. Additionally, you don’t need any special skills or qualifications to get started.

However, it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges that come with the job. Some orders may not pay as well as others, and dealing with difficult customers can be a downside. Additionally, technical issues with the app can sometimes cause frustration.

Ultimately, deciding whether Instacart shopping is the right side hustle for you will require careful consideration of your own goals, circumstances, and preferences. If the flexibility, convenience, and earning potential align with what you’re looking for, then being an Instacart shopper could be a great fit.

As with any side hustle or gig economy opportunity, it’s always a good idea to review your options and consider alternatives that may better suit your needs. Platforms like Uber, DoorDash, and TaskRabbit offer similar earning opportunities with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Exploring freelance work, tutoring, or even starting your own small business are also worth considering.

Remember, it’s important to evaluate the pros and cons, weigh the financial aspects, and consider the level of commitment required before committing to any side hustle. By doing so, you can make an informed decision that’s best for you and your financial goals.

Other Side Hustles to Consider

If being an Instacart shopper doesn’t align with your goals or preferences, there are other side hustles available in the gig economy. The gig economy provides a range of opportunities for individuals to earn money on their own time and terms. Here are some alternative side hustles that you can consider:

1. Uber: Become a rideshare driver and earn money by providing transportation services to passengers. With Uber, you have the flexibility to choose your own driving hours and work as much or as little as you want.

2. DoorDash: Join DoorDash and make money by delivering food from local restaurants to customers’ doorsteps. This platform allows you to set your own schedule and earn on a per-delivery basis, with the potential to earn tips as well.

3. TaskRabbit: If you have a lot of skills and enjoy helping others, TaskRabbit is a great option. You can offer various services such as handyman tasks, cleaning, moving, and more. TaskRabbit allows you to choose which tasks you want to complete and set your own rates.

4. Freelance Writing: If you have a passion for writing, consider becoming a freelance writer. There are many online platforms that connect writers with clients who need content for their websites, blogs, and publications. You can work on projects that interest you and set your own rates.

5. Online Tutoring: If you have expertise in a particular subject, you can become an online tutor. Platforms like Tutor.com and Chegg Tutors allow you to connect with students who need help in various subjects. This is a flexible opportunity that allows you to work from anywhere and set your own tutoring rates.

Remember, when exploring alternative side hustles, consider your skills, interests, and availability. The gig economy offers a wide range of opportunities, so you can find the side hustle that best suits your needs and preferences.

FAQ

What is Instacart?

Instacart is an online grocery delivery service that allows customers to order groceries from local stores and have them delivered to their homes. Customers can create a grocery list through the Instacart app and choose to have their groceries delivered or picked up from the store.

What are the options for an Instacart Shopper?

There are two options for Instacart Shoppers: full-service shopper and in-store shopper. Full-service shoppers are responsible for shopping for and delivering customers’ orders, while in-store shoppers prepare orders for customers to pick up from the store.

What are the requirements to become an Instacart full-service shopper?

To become a full-service shopper for Instacart, you must be at least 18 years old, eligible to work in the United States, have access to a vehicle, and have a smartphone running iOS 5 or Android 4.4 or newer. Full-service shoppers also need to be able to lift up to 50 pounds with or without accommodation.

What are the requirements to become an Instacart in-store shopper?

To become an in-store shopper for Instacart, you must be at least 18 years old, eligible to work in the United States, have a smartphone running iOS 5 or Android 4.4 or newer, and be able to lift up to 50 pounds with or without accommodation.

How much do Instacart shoppers make?

The amount of money you can earn as an Instacart shopper varies depending on various factors. According to the Instacart app, shoppers can make up to per hour, but most shoppers report earnings of about to per hour. Your earnings are based on the number of hours you work, the number and type of orders you complete, and the tips you receive.

How can I maximize my Instacart shopper earnings?

To maximize your earnings as an Instacart shopper, be available and eager to work, follow instructions closely, make deliveries on time, and be friendly to customers. Going the extra mile and providing excellent service can also lead to higher earnings. Consider using an “eye in the sky” app to help you find the most efficient routes while delivering orders.

How do Instacart shopper hours work?

Instacart operates on a scheduled basis, so you will need to select hour blocks throughout the week that you are available to work. It’s important to have consistent availability to match customers’ shopping patterns and increase your chances of receiving more orders.

How can I sign up to be an Instacart shopper?

To become an Instacart shopper, you will need to go to their website and provide basic personal information such as your name, email, and telephone number. You will also need to provide information about your phone, including the model and reliability. After submitting this information, you will be asked to complete a detailed registration page similar to a job interview. Instacart will also perform a background check on you before approving your application.

What are the pros and cons of being an Instacart shopper?

Pros of being an Instacart shopper include a flexible schedule, the ability to earn money on your own time, and no special skills required. Cons include low-paying orders, dealing with difficult customers, and potential tech troubles with the app. It’s important to weigh these pros and cons and decide if being an Instacart shopper is the right side hustle for you.

How does Instacart make money?

Instacart generates revenue through various sources, including delivery fees charged to customers for same-day delivery based on the order total. Instacart also offers an optional membership called Instacart Express, where customers pay an annual fee for free delivery on orders over a certain amount. Additionally, Instacart partners with grocery stores and brands to offer services and discounts, generating revenue through these partnerships.

Are there any hidden costs of being an Instacart shopper?

Yes, there are hidden costs to consider when being an Instacart shopper. Instacart does not reimburse you for gas, so you will need to factor in fuel costs. Other costs to consider include car insurance, vehicle maintenance, vehicle depreciation, insulated freezer bags for perishable items, income taxes, and opportunity costs.

Should I consider other side hustles if Instacart doesn’t align with my goals?

Yes, if being an Instacart shopper doesn’t align with your goals or preferences, there are other side hustles available in the gig economy. Platforms like Uber, DoorDash, and TaskRabbit offer opportunities to earn money on your own time. You can also explore other options like freelance writing, online tutoring, or starting your own small business. Consider your skills, interests, and availability when exploring alternative side hustles.

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Kostadin

Kostadin

Financial expert with Wall Street and real world experience covering personal finance, investments, financial independence, entrepreneurship.

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