Looking for a part-time job to cover your expenses is not as challenging as you may expect. Companies like Instacart offer job seekers part-time contracts to work for them. We curated this guide to help you find out more about this grocery delivery app and help you decide if it’s a good employment option.
But, how much can you make on Instacart? This article will answer that question and provide tips to help you maximize your paycheck and reach your financial goals. You will learn more about what Instacart is and its history. We also cover the pros and cons to help you weigh whether it will be the perfect fit for you.
What Is Instacart?
Instacart is an American-owned company that allows users to order groceries from popular retailers online. They can even receive same-day delivery. Clients are assigned a personal shopper when they access the service through the website or mobile application. Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen, and Brandon Leonardo founded the application in San Francisco in 2012.
The idea created jobs for over 10,000 people and has accrued 1.5 billion in revenue. The grocery delivery app links popular supermarkets, pharmacies, and specialty stores. You can also find butchers, liquor stores, and wholesalers listed in the application, including top companies such as Aldi, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Target, and Meijer.
How Does Instacart Work?
Through Instacart, customers are able to buy items from different grocery retailers. The orders placed are taken by personal shoppers who are responsible for packing and dropping off the merchandise at the delivery location for the client. The drop-off time varies from one hour to five days, and the client usually indicates a viable designated time.
To purchase the items, clients use a credit or debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or EBT card. Purchases of over $35 have a delivery charge of $3.99, and orders under $35 include a delivery fee of $7.99. There’s also a standard service fee of $2 charged for every purchase.
To avoid further payments, Instacart provides a membership option to customers called Instacart Express. Members can pay a $99 annual fee or a monthly fee of $9.99. For purchases over $35, there are no delivery fees. However, clients are still liable to pay the service fee.
How Much Can You Actually Make on Instacart?
According to Indeed, you can make $38,443 per year on Instacart as a shopper. However, your salary will depend on several factors. There are varied positions that you can choose from, both if you’re looking for a part-time or a full-time job. It’s important to note that there are in-store and full-service shoppers, each with different responsibilities and benefits.
As a full-service shopper, you will work as an independent contractor and fill unlimited orders on your own. If you choose to join Instacart, you will become an in-store shopper. For this position, you will receive the orders directly from the client and hand the order to the Instacart delivery driver. You don’t need a driving license or a car for the latter position.
The Pros and Cons of Working on Instacart
Just like working for any top-tier company, working for this grocery delivery service has its advantages and disadvantages. If you are looking for a traditional part-time job, you should read through the pros and cons of working on Instacart listed below before making a commitment.
Pros of Working on Instacart
- Flexible Schedule. Instacart full-service shoppers get the luxury of working as long as they dictate. The best working time for shoppers is evenings or weekends. This is when the orders are at an all-time high. In-store shoppers can work up to 29 hours per week. The store will allow you to choose the most flexible hours to work.
- Great Compensation. In addition to a $13.40 hourly rate, you will also receive customer tips. At Instacart, the more you work, the higher your rewards. The delivery address and number of orders you handle determine the weekly salary you will receive. You can easily make extra cash through tips offered by clients and working extra hours.
- Timely Payments. Unlike some employers, Instacart is keen on ensuring it pays shoppers their salaries on time. The service delivery company often pays shoppers weekly through direct deposit.
- Develop Customer Service Skills. As an Instacart shopper, you will develop interpersonal skills which will help you grow your customer service prowess. Exposure to different types of clients with different backgrounds can be helpful in developing your soft skills.
- Entertaining workday. If you don’t mind searching for grocery items and navigating a busy store, your workday can pass quickly as you can listen to music, audiobooks, or your favorite podcast as you locate items on each grocery list.
Cons of Working on Instacart
- Additional Expenses. If you choose to become a full-service Instacart shopper, you will have more expenses. This position will require you to cover fuel, repair, and maintenance costs of your vehicle. You will also have to cover your tax obligations.
- No Health Insurance or Benefits. Another con for working on Instacart is you will not receive any health insurance. Instacart pays its shoppers an hourly wage that only allows them to work up to 29 hours each week, with an hourly rate dictated by state and federal law. Since one has to work a minimum of 30 hours each week to earn health insurance benefits, Instacart shoppers are not viable to receive them.
- Frustrating Work. It can be quite demanding for a shopper to locate all the products listed on an order. Sometimes it can take more than an hour to look for a particular item in the store. Often, shoppers have a problem finding clients’ replacements or alternatives to products missing from the store. Clients sometimes cancel orders out of frustration.
- Unstable Demand. Just like most businesses, Instacart also suffers from the occasional low demand. There are times when the number of orders is really low, which will affect your earnings potential. Outside of peak times, you might not make enough money to cover your expenses.
- Difficulties With Communication. Being an online service, it can be a challenge communicating with clients on orders. Shoppers can sometimes struggle when communicating with clients regarding placed orders, especially if requested items are unavailable.
How to Become an Instacart Shopper
If you want a part-time job that pays weekly, you should consider becoming an Instacart shopper. It’s a flexible job position that requires you to be 18 years or older. You should also have legal authorization to work in the states and own a car. Note that Instacart will also run a background check. Below are essential steps to help you become an Instacart shopper.
1. Create An Account
To become an Instacart shopper, you must create an account on the official website. Here you will fill in basic information before proceeding to download the online grocery shopping application.
2. Download The App
To complete the sign-up process, you need to download the Instacart Shopper app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. This is important to provide additional information and finish your registration process.
3. Background Check
The Instacart background check runs for a maximum of 10 business days. The volume of requested checks and court closures can affect the amount of time this takes. Once you go through the necessary background check, you will have the approval to shop. You can then sign into the application and start earning extra income on your own schedule.
How to Make More Money on Instacart
You do not have to earn the flat rate offered by Instacart. There are plenty of ways that can help you increase your shopper earnings above minimum wage. Instead of scouring the internet, we curated a list of top tips to help you reach your income goal on Instacart.
Pick a High Demand Area
If you want to earn more on Instacart, you should research the areas that make the most orders. These high-demand areas are your best option if you want to get more batches, or orders. Instacart’s new upgrade on the Shopper’s App features an update to help you pinpoint high-demand areas, which are shown in red or orange.
Be Selective With Your Batches
Efficient shoppers usually wait for an order that pays $30 per hour. It’s important to take orders that are straightforward and nearby. The number of items in a particular grocery list and the total distance affects your pay. Instacart pays shoppers 0.60 per mile, however, you should stick to close areas so you can take on more batches. This will reduce the delivery time significantly.
Optimal batches are available in the morning, in the evening, during weekdays, and on weekends. Reduced delivery time can lead to a good tip. You can select batches that offer a higher than normal tip range to boost your earnings. It is crucial not to reject too many orders, especially as a beginner, as Instacart prioritizes shoppers based on the number of orders they take.
Work During Peak Hours
Instacart provides higher pay during peak hours. The application often offers a pay boost to shoppers during high demand. Due to high competition during peak times, you should be keen on selecting your batches early. Through the application, you can see the batches before you pick your shift.
Mind Your Customer Rating
Just like most applications today, a negative review will affect your pay. Instacart lets five-star shoppers view and pick batches first. This is challenging for beginners, but you can easily get the high ticket batches once you get a five-star review. To get a high rating, be consistent with the quality of your work. Get the right items, consult with the client if needed, and pay attention to delivery details.
Mind Your Speed
The amount of time you take to complete a particular order will affect your general earnings. You must be quick to shop and deliver the batches and develop impressive time management skills. The best way to shop quickly is by spending less time looking for replacements. You should pick a sensible replacement right off the bat to finish the batch quickly.
Make sure to master the general layout of the store. Knowing where each product is placed will help you shop much faster, leading to more batches. You should also consider parking conveniently at an exit. This will lessen the hustle of onboarding all items to the car.
Is Working on Instacart Worth It?
Yes, working on Instacart is worth it. Instacart can be a source of income while you work on other projects. If you’re looking for a side hustle in this gig economy, working for Instacart may be your best bet. The platform offers part-time workers or third-party contractors an opportunity to design their schedules. This means you can easily balance your work and other activities.
In addition, working at Instacart you can develop job-relevant skills. These include organization, communication, and interpersonal skills. You will be a better time manager and build excellent customer service skills. It will also help you become more familiar with the market.
Making Money on Instacart FAQ
Yes, you can make $100 per day on Instacart. Instacart shoppers or full-service shoppers can rely on the tips indicated in this guide to increase their earning potential. You can also leverage their referral bonuses to increase your income. Once the person you referred completes 45 batches within 30 days, you’ll receive payment.
Full-service shoppers qualify as independent contractors and can earn an average salary of $35,948 per year, according to Glassdoor. Your salary will be determined by several factors, including the number of hours you work.
You must be at least 18 years of age, eligible to work in the United States, and have a registered vehicle with insurance and a smartphone. You should also be able to lift 30 or more pounds. If you have any disability, you will have to fill in a special form to become a shopper.
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According to reviews from Indeed.com, there are no job promotions for Instacart shoppers. The platform only features occasional performance bonuses for high-performing Instacart shoppers.
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