Make Money as an Instacart Shopper: How Much Does Instacart Pay?

It seems obvious learning how to make money as an Instacart shopper might, but there are a few tips to help maximize your earnings.

Make Money as an Instacart Shopper

Instacart is a great service that helps people who don’t have time or the desire to shop for groceries by delivering food to them. For those who enjoy grocery shopping, it can be a fun way to make a few extra dollars in your spare time.

What is Instacart?

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that offers busy people a hassle-free way to complete their grocery shopping without needing to step into a store.

Using the Instacart app (available on Android and iOS), a customer can simply select their city, add grocery items to their shopping cart, add their preferred delivery time and checkout.

An Instacart shopper/driver receives the order, picks up the required items in-store, and drops them off at the customer’s door for a fee.

Instacart is available in over 5,000 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Some of their popular Canadian markets are in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and PEI.

In the U.S., they are present in 40 states.

Customers who do not have a membership subscription pay a delivery fee of $3.99 for orders over $35 and $5.99 on orders below $35.

For those with the Instacart Express membership, the annual subscription fee is $99 and it includes free delivery for all orders over $35.

How Does Instacart Work?

Through Instacart, you have two options when it comes to working for them.

You can either work as a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.

Full-Service Shopper

The most popular way to earn through Instacart is as a full-service shopper.

As a full-service shopper, you can shop on your own schedule. You would shop for and deliver customers’ orders to their homes based on their specified delivery time.

This means that you need access to your own vehicle to get to the store and to a customer’s residence.

People that are already involved in personal shopping and transportation industries are welcomed. Instacart encourages anyone that has access to a vehicle and the ability to shop and make orders to be a professional shopper.

Instacart Full-Service Shopper Requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years or older
  • Eligible to work in the United States
  • Access to a vehicle
  • Access to a smartphone (iPhone 5 or Android 4.4 or newer models)
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds with or without accommodation

Instacart In-Store Shopper

Instacart In-Store Shopper

If you don’t have consistent access to a vehicle, Instacart has other options to make money. You can be an in-store shopper with Instacart as well.

As an in-store shopper, you will put together customers’ orders to be ready for pickup.

Rather than having Instacart deliverers bring the groceries to them, customers can come to the store and have the groceries brought out and loaded into their car.

The in-store Instacart employee will handle this task from start to finish.

Unlike a full-service shopper, in-store shoppers are not independent contractors. Instead, they are considered part-time employees.

You still have the capability to create a schedule that is flexible for you. Instacart allows you to work up to 29 hours per week.

If you are looking for seasonal, entry-level, weekend, or weekday work, working as an in-store shopper is a solid option.

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Instacart In-Store Shopper Requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years or older
  • Eligible to work in the United States
  • Access to a smartphone (iPhone 5 or Android 4.4 or newer models)
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds with or without accommodation

Does Instacart Pay?

Does Instacart Pay?

There are a number of factors that influence how much you can earn, such as your shopper role. As an In-Store Shopper, you’ll receive an hourly wage offer that’s stated on your contract.

For Full-Service Shoppers, pay varies. If you complete a full-service order, Instacart guarantees a minimum batch payment between $7 to $10, depending on your region.

Also, if you only fulfilled the delivery of an order, your guaranteed minimum payment is $5.

If an order qualifies, you could also receive a “peak boost” bonus or “quality bonus” (when you earn a five-star review). Plus, you’ll receive 100% of the tips that customers provide, which is $5 on average.

You may earn $15 or more per hour on average, but this is highly dependent on the market you serve among other factors, including how many batches you complete, whether a customer provides an optional tip, and bonuses.

You’ll receive payments weekly via direct deposit to your bank account. You also have an Instant Cashout option if you need funds early.

How Does Instacart Make Money?

The first way that Instacart makes money is through delivery fees. Instacart charges $5.99 on orders over $35 and $7.99 on orders under $35.

Instacart also charges optional membership fees. They have a unique subscription service called Instacart Express. Customers pay an annual fee of $149 and receive free delivery on all orders over $35.

Grocery partnerships are also an important source of revenue for Instacart. Grocery delivery has become more popular, and grocery stores know that this will impact their business.

Instacart teams up with grocery stores to offer services through the store. The companies are able to share the revenue from the purchases.

Lastly, Instacart partners with specific brands to drive revenue. Instacart offers special deals and discounts through their app. This is a way for brands to drive sales and an opportunity for customers to save when they shop through Instacart.

Pros and Cons of Working As an Instacart Shopper

Pros:

  • A flexible way to make money quickly
  • Can work as an independent contractor or part-time employee
  • Weekly pay

Cons:

  • Need access to your own car to be an independent contractor
  • Must be able to lift and carry heavy groceries
  • Must pass a background check

Is Instacart Worth While?

As with any other side hustle, whether or not it is worth your while depends on how else you can monetize your time.vAs a part-time gig, Instacart personal shoppers and drivers can make money working on their own schedule.

Super-users of the app note that you can significantly increase your earnings by delivering your orders on time, making your customers happy, and racking up positive customer ratings.

Shopping for Instacart is only one of many ways to make money working as your own boss.

FAQs

1. Can you earn tips as an Instacart shopper?

As an Instacart Full-Service Shopper, you can earn tips. Instacart gives its customers the option to include a tip through the app. The platform sets a default 5% tip, but customers can change the amount or offer no tip at all. Similarly, customers can provide shoppers with a cash tip upon delivery, at their discretion.

2. Does Instacart do background checks?

Yes, Instacart performs background checks that you must clear before becoming an active shopper. This process generally takes anywhere from two to seven business days, depending on your area.

3. How many retail partners does Instacart have?

After Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2019, Whole Foods ended its partnership with Instacart. While Instacart had some initial concerns about the loss of Whole Foods, the service has since expanded its retail partnerships significantly. They have over 350 retail partners in the United States.

4. How much shopping can I do?

Full-service shoppers are allowed to shop as they’d like. There’s no limit to the number of orders that you can take in a given week. In-store shoppers are limited to working fewer than 30 hours a week. You can’t work more than 30 hours a week, even if you want to make extra money. If you need the extra cash, you might want to combine Instacart shopping with othergig-based work.

Instacart is one of the better grocery delivery apps out there. Other apps have specific requirements regarding what kind of car you drive, and many don’t offer options for people that don’t own a car.

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If you have large chunks of free time, have a depreciated vehicle, and are looking to earn around $300 per week, Instacart is a great option for you.

We hope this article has been helpful for you. Please share it with anyone who you think will appreciate the information!

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