We present to you yet another exciting review of Instacart, basically on everything you need to know about this company. Our focus is on what Instacart is, how instacart works, how you get paid, as well as providing our unbiased opinion about the platform. Have you ever heard about the gig economy? Do you know what it means? Well, according to Statista, it’s estimated that by 2022, United States of America will have in excess of 86.5 million freelancers. The number represents a staggering 50.9% of the total U.S workforce.
Having service-based apps like DoorDash and Uber have changed how people make money as a side hustle. However, if you’re a grocery shopper, we’ve some excellent news for you.Have you ever heard of Instacart? If your answer is Yes, then good. But, if you haven’t heard of it, then it’s worthwhile we explain how it works. If you’re a member of Instacart and want to know how to make a few bucks, then this article is for you.
In this ultimate guide, we explain;
- What’s Instacart
- How does it work
- How do you get paid, and
- Lastly, we provide our unbiased opinion about the platform.
Let’s dive in. But before that, let me give you some statistics that might make this deal a lot worth it.
According to CNBC, before Covid-19, only 3-4% of grocery spending in the USA was done online.
However, the number tripled during the pandemic, with the percentage estimated to be 10-15%.
And according to experts, the numbers are estimated to stay high. Thus, if you’re looking for an opportunity to cut a niche in this growing industry, then we recommend reading this article in its entirety.
Instacart was founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta. It’s a grocery delivery service that offers people the option to get fresh food from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, the company promises people same-day deliveries from an Instacart personal shopper.
Today, the company partners with over 350 local and national stores to offer seamless grocery delivery services. Thus, making it one of the most sought-after grocery apps.
But how can one make money while shopping? You might wonder. Well, the company hires people to shop and deliver groceries to customers. Earning while doing your shopping sounds like a good deal. Besides, as a full-time shopper, you have the flexibility to choose your schedule.
And as long as someone wants groceries delivered, Instacart will pay you to do that. It’s worth noting that Instacart relies on independent contractors (both full-time and part-time) to fulfill and deliver orders.
Therefore, the key to earning money using Instacart depends on whether you’re working as an in-store shopper or full-service.
But how can one apply to be one? Not so fast. Let’s learn the differences between the two.
Instore Shopper Vs. Full-Service Shopper
If you are trying to figure out whether to start as an instore or full-time shopper?
Let’s have a view of what makes the difference.
1. In-store Shopper.
The In-store shoppers are not tasked with delivering groceries to customers. Once a customer makes an order, and they wish to pick them in person, the in-store shopper shops for the items and stage them for pickup.
It’s worth noting that in-store shoppers are employees of Instacart. They are paid per hour and are scheduled for shifts based on their availability. Also, they work for 15-29 hours per week, and they enjoy the 401K benefits.
2. Full-Time Shoppers
They work as independent contractors. Once a customer places an order, the orders are placed on the full-service shoppers’ app. Once a full-time shopper accepts the job, they’ll shop and deliver the grocery items to the customer’s location.
Who can be an Instacart Shopper?
- Be 18-years old: It’s required that you must be at least 18-years of age to be an Instacart shopper. Additionally, if you specialize in delivering alcohol, you should be at least 21 years in some states.
- Pass background check: The process takes about 10 business days. However, it’s worth noting that this varies depending on location. So, be sure to check with your area.
- Have a smartphone: You should have an android 5.0 or later. But, if you’ve iOS, it must be iOS 9 or later.
- Be able to lift to 30-plus pounds: You must lift 30-50 pounds without assistance. So, some energy and stamina are needed (pun intended).
- Adhere to the food safety rules by Instacart.
With that said, if you want to be a full-time shopper, here are more requirements to tick out. Have a valid driving license: Besides having a driver’s license, you’re required to have insurance coverage that meets state requirements.
Have a set of insulated bags that can close entirely and safely for food. If you don’t have these already, you can get yours from Instacart. They offer pre-approved options for only $25.99.
How to be an Instacart Shopper
To get started with Instacart is pretty simple. Follow the process below.
1. Download the app
While signing up, you’ll provide some basic information like your name and location. Additionally, you’ll be required to give the company permission to conduct a background check.
Once everything is set, you’ll use the app to:
- Track your earnings
- Set up your availability
- Pick up gigs
- Communicate with support in case you encounter any issues.
2. Fill paperwork
As a full-service shopper, you’re required to sign a contract agreement and W-9 tax form. On the other hand, in-store shoppers sign offer letters and W-4 tax forms.
3. Attend Orientation
In-store shoppers choose in session onboarding process through the app. Note the procedure for orientation is for in-store shoppers only.
4. Register Instacart Card
When checking out customers’ orders, Instacart shoppers use preloaded cards. If you’re a new shopper, expect to receive your card within 5-7 business days.
How much can You Earn from Instacart?
As a full-service shopper, you work as an independent contractor. Thus, how much you earn is dependent on the number of deliveries you make. Nonetheless, knowing beforehand how much you can take with Instacart jobs is necessary.
Making an estimate of your earnings as a full-service shopper can be a bit complex. However, the amount per batch delivery is dependent on many factors like;
- Grocery items to be delivered.
- Driving distance, and
- The efforts required to shop and deliver the items.
With that said, most Instacart full-time shoppers earn a minimum of $7-10 per batch delivery. But as highlighted above, the earnings differ in respect to the variables.
Also, it’s worth noting that independent contractors are allowed to keep 100% customer tips.
Caution: Be aware of Instacart tip baiting, and don’t be like Instacart Arambula, who accepted a tip of $55 only to realize the client modified the order after delivery and only earned $8.95.
If you live in California, though, we’ve some excellent news for you. Instacart introduced a minimum wage guarantee earnings of 12% and a $0.3 per mile you spend while delivering the groceries.
How to Get Paid as a Shopper.
Both full-service and in-store shoppers are paid weekly via direct deposit. However, for sull-service shoppers, you can get through Instant Cash out. The Instant Cash out allows you to access your earnings quickly.
Note that you can use Instant Cash out after completing five batches. After that, you can always cash out at any time you wish. But the catch is, you must have at least $5 in earnings to cash out, and there’s a daily limit of $3000 cash out.
Pro Tip: As an independent contractor, you’re required to make estimated quarterly tax. Instacart doesn’t withhold taxes from your earnings as it does for in-store shoppers.
Tips on how to get the most out of Instacart
If you’re not already signed, this is an opportunity for you to have a side hustle or go full time. And if you’re ready, here are some tips that will make you earn some good money.
1. Choose Locations with High-demands
To earn much, you need to fulfill more orders. And the best way to get the most money is to be in a location with high demand.
It’s worth noting that you can locate areas with high demand through the Shopper App. As well, the app indicates zones with limited batches. The areas with loads of work are marked with orange and red colors.
2. Have a Solid Strategy
Drafting a plan and getting your strategy right is key to making more money. To get your plan right, you need to have the following.
3. Set SMART Goals
Setting realistic targets can keep you on track. And you don’t have to be a manager to set SMART goals. You need to set how many batches to handle every day to earn more money.
4. Stay Alert
You need to know your surrounding well. Stuff like busy hours and traffic patterns can influence your earnings significantly. If you’re not aware of your surroundings, you’ll waste a lot of traffic and getting your groceries right.
5. Adjust your schedule
If you’re working part-time, it calls for you to adjust your schedule to find the correct times to meet your monetary goals. Note that not all days are equal. Others are busy, while others are slow.
6. Customer Rating
Improving your customer rating can be a differentiating factor. Instacart claims that shoppers with higher ratings are likely to view and accept more batches. While those with negative ratings and feedback get fewer batches to view. Always be proactive to avoid pitfalls that can lead to a lower rating.
7. Peak Hour Boosts
Instacart incentives shoppers with a pay boost during peak hours to take more orders. Depending on the area, the Peak boost can be up to $8. Although peak times are competitive, the Shopper App allows you to select peak times before starting your shift.
Pro Tip: Always set your alarm to ensure you claim your shift before one end.
8. Be Selective
From experience, most shoppers recommend that you don’t pick every batch available. However, your speed of delivery determines how much you can make, especially as an independent contractor. Always go for drop-offs that are near the grocery stores to limit driving.
Additionally, knowing the layout of the store is critical. The better you know your way and where the items are, the quicker you get things.
9. Always Double Check the App
Checking the Shopper App often ensures that you don’t miss high-paying orders. Tus, we recommend checking the app regularly.
10. Refer people
If you’ve friends who want to make money on the side, Instacart will pay you for a referral. “It is worth nothing you should log in for at least 40 hours to get a referral code. To get a referral bonus, your invitee should sign up using your code and complete 45 batches within 30 days.
The referral bonus varies from one region to another but ranges from $100-$1000.
11. Be Flexible and Communicative
Communication is critical in every situation—especially when handling an order which doesn’t have all the items.
You need to communicate explicitly with customers when making changes to their orders. It would help if you asked them of their preferences. In that regard, the customers feel valued, and it can lead to more tips and avoiding rejections and lower ratings.
Now that you’re aware of the tips you can use to earn more, it’s time to know the expenses too.
Instacart Shopper Expenses
If you’ve decided to join Instacart shopper, here are some expenses you need to be aware of.
As a full-service shopper, you should know the necessary federal and state income taxes. You can always write off miles you drive to make deliveries while filing taxes on the bright side. Also, you’re likely to spend money on buying health and safety kits and bags for delivery.
2. Vehicle Services
Instacart estimates the cost of gas for delivery services. However, you need to take care of other car-related expenses. For instance, you need to pay for insurance, car maintenance, etc. However, you should find ways to minimize vehicle-related costs for an efficient shopper.
Instacart can be a great way to make money on the side. However, you’ve to maximize your hours and get boost peaks to earn something substantial.
Besides, being a professional shopper isn’t for everyone. In case you find that it’s not for you, there are plenty of top-rated business opportunities that can help you get extra cash. Whatever path of hustle you choose, remember to put in the effort. It’s the only way to earn more money in the long run.
We continue to review and present to you the best business opportunities out there. Overall, Instacart is a great way to earn extra money. And you can comfortably make from $800-1500 with minimal effort. If you’re already a member of Instacart, let’s know in the comment section about your experience.