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    Instacart Shopper – Full Breakdown

    At The Rideshare Guy, we’ve been covering rideshare and delivery apps since 2015. We’ve tried and tested dozens of different delivery apps ourselves, but being an Instacart shopper still remains one of our favorite ways to make money today. We constantly recommend Instacart as one of the best food delivery apps.

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    What is Instacart?

    Most of us can admit that grocery shopping isn’t our top choice for errands, but what if you were getting paid to do it?

    If you ever wished you could get paid to be part of Supermarket Sweep, you might make an excellent Instacart shopper.

    Instacart is an app that connects personal shoppers with customers who need items like groceries delivered. Instacart uses independent contractors and part-time workers to get customers the items they want. Being an Instacart “Shopper” is a flexible job and you can cash out your earnings instantly.

    There’s a reason Instacart is the best food delivery service to work for – it’s very flexible, and earnings potential is high based on base earnings + tips.

    In this article we’re going to cover everything you need to know about being an Instacart shopper, including how much Instacart pays and strategies to help you make more money with Instacart.

    Quick Link: It’s easy to get accepted to be an Instacart Shopper. Click here to sign up to work for Instacart and check to see if there is a sign-up bonus available.

    How much does Instacart pay per hour?

    Instacart pays shoppers $20+ per hour, including tips which are usually 5-20%+ of the order. Instacart shoppers keep 100% of tips. The most efficient Instacart shoppers are earning up to $45/hour.

    Become an Instacart Shopper

    Our hourly estimate is higher than other blogs you might read, and that’s because we take into all factors that affect an Instacart Shopper’s pay rate, such as tips, mileage deductions, and more. As one of the largest blogs in the gig economy space, we have years experience interviewing delivery works including hundreds of Instacart shoppers.

    Check out our recent video on Making Money as an Instacart Driver in 2021:

    Instacart is one of the most popular grocery delivery apps, and they rely on everyday people like you and me to operate. Instacart hires in-store shoppers who grab customer’s items off the shelves and deliver the items off to a person’s home.

    Like rideshare driving, Instacart is a flexible way to earn extra money because you can choose your own schedule and get paid weekly.

    But how much does Instacart pay drivers? If you’re wondering how much Instacart shoppers get paid and whether or not it’s a good alternative to Uber or Lyft, we’ll break it down for you below.

    How much does Instacart pay per delivery?: Instacart Pay Structure & Breakdown

    According to a recent guest poster who compared Shipt shopper pay to Instacart’s pay rate, an average “batch” for Instacart pay per delivery is between $15-20.

    Instacart has a very complex pay schedule and structure that includes pay per item, pay per mileage, base pay, heavy order pay, customer tip and more. This accounts for the large fluctuation in payouts. 

    In some instances, an Instacart payday could be $30-40, but that often means double batches, when can be more challenging for newbies.

    Instacart’s pay structure is complex, but in general Instacart shoppers will earn at least $10 per full-service batch delivery. This can vary widely, which is why we’ve found an average batch for Instacart pay per delivery is between $15-20.

    Your Instacart pay breakdown could be $10 for a full-service batch delivery, plus tip, which you can complete within 30 minutes – freeing you up for another batch and more pay. Other batches will pay more than $10, plus tip, depending on what the customer orders.

    Learn how to earn more with Instacart by batch shopping with the video below:

    View Instacart Website

     

    Want to learn how one reader earned $74 an hour shopping with Instacart? It’s all about efficiency shopping at warehouse clubs, like Costco and Sam’s Club! Warehouse shopping frequently has higher dollar orders, lower number of items, and “heavy pay” opportunities to earn even more.

    Has Instacart changed the way it pays shoppers? Some say yes! 

    Low pay is a common complaint among drivers, couriers and shoppers alike. Instacart shoppers are noticing a trend in their pay.

    Instacart used to offer pay per item, and now in some markets, they are paying lower rates instead. 

    Tonya B. said, “I had planned on driving for Instacart over the last week but upon entering the app it looks as though Instacart no longer is offering pay per item. Rates are super low and some as low as $5 for a delivery. I doubt I will be delivering for them again.”

    Let us know in the comments below if you’ve noticed a change in pay!

    How Are Instacart Shoppers Paid?

    Instacart shoppers can cash out any time. Instacart shoppers are paid via direct deposit into your bank account. You keep 100% of your tips, but you will not tips in your bank account until after 24 hours have passed.

    Instacart Pay Guarantees

    In certain regions of the US, Instacart is offering guaranteed earnings! Some of these regions include Philadelphia ($1150 for 48 batches – $24 per batch, on top of your regular earnings) and Austin, TX ($550 for 38 batches, or $14 in guaranteed earnings on top of your regular earnings and tips).

    These current promotions are only available to new Instacart shoppers.

    In addition, Instacart drivers do get referral bonuses for referring new drivers, as long as your referral makes sure to apply your code during the sign up process!

    Instacart Tips

    Instacart allows all shoppers to keep their 100% of their tips, which is why we always recommend Instacart shoppers stay in touch with their customers and communicate if you have to make any substitutions. 

    In general, we’ve found that the more you communicate with your customer about substitutions, the more likely you are to get tips because the customer feels like you’ve listened and made an effort to find their (potentially now out of stock!) item.

    Instacart Tip Baiting

    One thing new Instacart drivers should pay attention to: tip-baiting! Unfortunately, with more people using Instacart for delivery orders, people are getting desperate to get their grocery deliveries quickly.

    In order to beat out other orders, some unscrupulous customers will offer a large tip (the ‘bait’) to get you to accept their order first, then remove the tip after the delivery has been completed.

    Unfortunately, if a tip looks too good to be true (for example, an $100 tip on a $20 order), you may want to pass or at least wait for a better order to come along. Instacart drivers we’ve spoken to say you’ll get better at identifying tip baits the more shops you take, but at the beginning, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

    Instacart tip-baiting is such a big topic that the Senate has now launched an inquiry into the problem – and now it looks like Instacart is listening.

    Instacart sent out an email letting drivers know they’re making changes to their platform. Is Instacart tip-baiting really over?

    Watch our take on Instacart tip baiting:

    Instacart tip-baiting is when customers offer a big tip for shoppers to accept their order. The Instacart shopper would get excited – sometimes these tips were quite substantial!

    However, unfortunately, with tip-baiting, the shopper would deliver the order and leave and the customer would go into the app and completely remove the tip.

    The email from Instacart announces that customers will now have to provide feedback if they decide to change our tip after we have delivered their groceries.

    They also announced potentially deactivating customers who are abusing the platform. It appears from the email that Instacart will take a look at the reason why the customer removed the tip and if it becomes a habit, they could be deactivated.

    Instacart Shopper Locations

    Want to drive for Instacart but aren’t sure if they’re in your city? You’d be surprised – we’ve found Instacart everywhere, even in small cities (looking at you, Waddell, AZ). You can find a full list of every city Instacart serves here.

    Instacart is available nationwide, so there’s a really good chance that you can sign up to be a shopper in your local area. For the best pay and hours, we recommend signing up to be an Instacart Shopper in a major metropolitan area.

    Click here to sign up for Instacart in your area.

    ATTN drivers in Detroit, Philadelphia, & Pittsburgh

    Instacart has high demand and needs more drivers in the following cities:
    • Detroit, MI
    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Pittsburgh, PA
    If you’re a driver in one of these cities, we recommend applying to become a driver ASAP before all the spots are filled. Click here to start the application process so you can get approved and driving as fast as possible.

    Driving for Instacart in Chicago

    Chicago Instacart drivers get a special bonus when they sign up to drive for Instacart. Right now, new Instcart drivers in Chicago can earn $1,500.

    These terms are subject to change and you have to make a certain number of deliveries, so when you’re ready, make sure to sign up with our Instacart referral link.

    Driving for Instacart in Detroit, MI

    Interested in becoming an Instacart shopper in Detroit? According to shoppers in Detroit, Instacart base pay is $11-27 per hour, but you can earn performance bonuses for high reviews. In addition, Instacart shoppers in Detroit say if you manage your time right, you can increase your hourly earnings. Sign up now.

    Driving for Instacart in Philadelphia, PA

    Instacart shoppers in Philadelphia report they earn from $12 to $17 per hour. Much like Instacart shoppers in Detroit report, if you work fast and efficiently, you can earn more in tips.

    Philadelphia shoppers do say that weekly bonuses vary widely – you can’t rely on receiving the same bonus every week. However, drivers are in high demand in Philadelphia, so you’re likely to see more bonuses than you would in other cities. Sign up now.

    Driving for Instacart in Pittsburgh, PA

    Instacart shoppers in Pittsburgh, PA say they can make $13-25 an hour. Like shoppers in Detroit, Pittsburgh Instacart shoppers report receiving performance bonuses for high ratings, speed and customer feedback. Sign up now.

    What’s it like to be a Instacart Shopper?

    Recently, we interviewed Chris from Minneapolis, an Instacart shopper, about working for Instacart during the coronavirus pandemic, and he estimated he’s averaging at least $25/hr working with Instacart.

    In one week, he earned over $2,000 delivering with Instacart!

    His top tips:

    • Don’t drive too far away from where you live. Keep your distance short to minimize your time driving. This will help you earn more per hour!
    • Focus on a few stores and get to know them really well. This will increase your pick speed and your hourly rate. Not every store is laid out the same way!
    • Play to your strengths. Don’t know the spice aisle so well? Don’t accept orders that ask for a lot of spices, as this will cause you to spend more time searching and less time throwing things in your basket and heading out!

    Your main expenses will be gas, auto insurance, and car maintenance, so it pays to shop close to home at stores you’re familiar with and make deliveries quickly (but safely!). You can actually save money on things like gas and groceries by using these free cash back apps.

    Learn More about Instacart

    How to Sign Up to Be an Instacart Shopper

    Becoming an Instacart shopper is easy! Simply follow these steps:

    1. Download the shopper app and pass a background check (you can fill out everything online or through the app)

    There’s no orientation to become an Instacart shopper – once you’ve passed the background check and are approved to shop, you can get started!

    You will need your driver’s license information, Social Security number, and your bank direct deposit information. These three items will verify you can drive for Instacart (necessary!), you’re authorized to work in the US (for tax purposes), and allow you to get paid instantly.

    Instacart says your background check should only take 10 days to process, but right now, we’re finding that Instacart shoppers are having to wait a lot longer to have their background checks processed. The sooner you can sign up, the better!

    Once approved to shop with Instacart, you’ll be mailed a payment card from Instacart to use to checkout and pay for groceries. Do not use your own credit or debit card to buy Instacart groceries. It’s, at best, annoying to be reimbursed by Instacart and, at worst, you won’t be reimbursed.

    It should only take 5-7 days for your Instacart payment card to be mailed to you once you’ve been approved to become an Instacart shopper.

    2. Choose the orders you want to shop. Pay attention to the strategies listed above to maximize your earnings!

    3. Shop for the customer’s order.

    4. Make your delivery and cash out when you want.

    Instacart Driver vs Instacart Shopper: what’s the difference?

    There has been some confusion about what an Instacart driver is compared to the role of an Instacart shopper. The thing is, both terms generally mean the same thing and can actually be used interchangeably.

    Instacart calls the role a ‘Full-Service Shopper’ on their website and that’s because it involves both shopping for items at the store then using your car to deliver the order to customers. 

    When you get an order request through the app and accept it, you’ll head to the store and grab everything on your list. Then, deliver it to the correct address and repeat the process again.

    Instacart also occasionally employs In-store Shoppers, but this is a part-time W-2 position where you’d work mainly in a store and won’t deliver orders.

    If you want to work as a contractor and have the flexibility of setting your own schedule, you’ll have to sign up as a Full-Service Instacart Shopper, which is the same as an Instacart driver.

    Learn how to sign up to be an Instacart shopper by watching our how to sign up for Instacart video:

    Full-service Instacart Shopper

    A full-service Instacart shopper is an independent contractor who gets paid to shop for groceries and delivers them with Instacart.

    If you’d rather just deliver groceries and skip the shopping part, you can do that too. Instacart has in-store only shopping positions, but this is a part-time job and not an independent contractor role.

    If you don’t own a vehicle and want to try shopping or delivering for Instacart, the process is pretty simple.

    Instacart Requirements

    There surprisingly aren’t a ton of Instacart requirements to be a shopper/driver!

    The basic requirements for being an Instacart shopper are:

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Eligible to work in the U.S.
    • Regular access to a vehicle/car
    • Own a recent smartphone such as an iPhone 6s/Android 5.0 or newer
    • Able to lift up to 50 lbs with or without accommodation

    These requirements are quite simple and basic compared to other apps we’ve reviewed.

    Sign up for Instacart

    How to Accept Instacart Jobs and Get Paid

    Accepting Instacart jobs is simple – log in to your app, and wait for an Instacart request to pop up! The order preview will show you things like:

    • Where the grocery store is
    • What items you’d have to grab
    • A general idea of how far away the delivery location is from the store
    • The amount you’ll be earning from Instacart
    • The customer’s tip

    Once you accept an order, start heading to the store so you can shop. When you get to the store, you can pull up your list for that particular shopping trip in the app and check off each item as you put it in your cart. 

    The app helps you shop efficiently because it may tell you which aisle certain products are in If you can’t find an item or it’s not in stock at the store, you can suggest a replacement item that the customer can approve via the app. Or, you can report that the item wasn’t found in the store.

    Instacart pays shoppers a fee per order which includes mileage along with the customer’s tip. Instacart shoppers get paid weekly but in 2019 Instacart also launched their Instant Cash Out feature which allows you to get paid instantly for a $0.50 fee.

    How to Contact Instacart Shopper Customer Service for Help

    Need to contact Instacart as a shopper? We break down how to do so here: 5 Ways To Contact Instacart Shopper Support 

     

    There are several ways you can contact Instacart customer and driver support:

    1. In your app, go to the Contact Us section and start a live chat
    2. On their website, head over to the Contact Us section to chat with a live representative
    3. Call Instacart customer support at: (888) 317-8968

    Jobs like Instacart

    Instacart vs DoorDash

    Other than Instacart, Doordash is the other food delivery service that’s the most popular. Instacart and Doordash have the highest volume/most orders (the most opportunity).

    In the battle between Instacart vs DoorDash, it really comes down to availability in your city and how you plan on getting around. If you prefer doing delivery via bike or walking, DoorDash will be your best bet – it’s tough to shop and deliver groceries on a bike!

    But if DoorDash and Instacart are available in your city and you’re driving, then your choices get more interesting.

    With DoorDash, all of your orders will be restaurant deliveries. This means you’ll likely have smaller orders, but more frequent, than Instacart.

    DoorDash couriers can earn $15-20 an hour based on our experience, although right now that number appears to be going up ($20+ an hour due to increased tips and lower competition). DoorDash also offers incentives and other bonuses, making it different from Instacart.

    With Instacart, there aren’t really any bonuses to strive for, but you can view orders ahead of time and make decisions based on your location and your knowledge of the grocery store.

    One of our best tips is to know your grocery store – if you’re a whiz at quickly picking spices and produce, and an order comes in heavy on spices + produce – go for it! You’ll be able to accomplish the shopping task a lot faster, boosting your per hour earnings. The most efficient drivers earn up to $45/hour.

    With both Instacart and DoorDash, you can stack orders, but drivers we’ve spoken to say stacking orders with Instacart is easier and more profitable than stacking orders with DoorDash.

    Sign up for Doordash here or read our Doordash driver review.

    Instacart vs Shipt

    When it comes to Shipt vs Instacart, it also comes down to availability in your city, but given Shipt’s consistently higher than average earnings for shoppers, you will definitely want to sign up for both companies.

    Shipt is another grocery delivery service, similar to Instacart, but also allows people to order for home projects. You’ll want a car to drive for Shipt, as you’ll be hauling grocery orders and home products around. Like Instacart, Shipt operates in major cities and hires independent contractors to make same-day deliveries.

    Shipt shoppers can earn up to $22 per hour, and Shipt shoppers we’ve talked to say what you can earn depends on your market and when you’re able to work, plus how large your orders are.

    Interestingly, Shipt shoppers get to keep 100% of their tips but in case the customer tip amount is low, Shipt also offers to pay a percentage of the order total. Shipt also offers shoppers bonuses.

    Read our Shipt driver review.

    You can sign up to start delivering for Shipt here

    Instacart vs Postmates (now Uber Eats)

    In the battle between Instacart vs Postmates, it really comes down to availability in your city and how you plan on getting around. If you prefer doing delivery via bike or walking, Postmates will be your best bet – it’s tough to shop and deliver groceries on a bike!

    But if Postmates and Instacart are available in your city and you’re driving, then your choices get more interesting.

    With Postmates, you have the option of delivering grocery-store-ish items, like items from convenience stores, for example. However, for the most part, you’ll be delivering food from restaurants.

    Postmates drivers can earn $13-15 an hour based on our experience, although right now that number appears to be going up ($20 an hour due to increased tips and lower competition). Postmates also offers incentives and other bonuses, making it different from Instacart.

    With Instacart, there aren’t really any bonuses to strive for, but you can view orders ahead of time and make decisions based on your location and your knowledge of the grocery store. 

    With both Instacart and Postmates, you can stack orders, but drivers we’ve spoken to say stacking orders with Instacart is easier and more profitable than stacking orders with Postmates.

    Postmates is now Uber Eats, and Uber Eats actually does have a partnership with Cornershop to make grocery deliveries. However, with Uber Eats (previously Postmates) orders, you’re more likely to get restaurant delivery requests, so if you prefer grocery shopping to restaurant delivery, stick with Instacart!

    Interview with an Instacart Driver

    We recently interviewed an Instacart full-service shopper who’s working in the Chicago suburbs getting paid around $16.50 per hour. Heather M. started working for Instacart back in May of this year. She usually picks up the 10 am – 2 pm shift Mondays through Fridays and may pick up a weekend shift here and there.

    “I started to work for Instacart because I work for the school district and we were off for 3 months, so I’m able to have a flexible schedule with my kids,” Heather said. “I only work around 20 hours per week and only accept orders that are local with less than 5 miles of travel distance for drop off, so for me it’s worth it.”

    Heather makes $330 per week with 20 hours of work with Instacart, but this can differ if she works more or fewer hours. Still, this is a solid $16.50 per hour for shopping and delivering groceries in her area with Instacart.

    Instacart Earnings

    Instacart Earnings

    Instacart Pay

    Instacart Pay

    Tips do play a big role in Instacart shoppers pay. Instacart offers a 5% tip option for customers to add to the shopper/deliverer’s payment, but Heather says she’s learned to carefully weigh her costs and only accept Instacart orders that would be worth the time and effort.

    In most cases, assume shoppers won’t tip and only accept orders that work with your schedule and are worth the effort.

    Due to the expenses associated with working for Instacart, Heather admitted she doesn’t accept every order throughout her shift. “I generally only accept orders that are $25 or more and ones that I know will take me less than an hour to complete.”

    View Instacart Website

    Instacart Driver Expenses

    While Instacart full-service shoppers and deliverers like Heather are getting paid more than minimum wage, it’s important to realize this is an independent contractor role and your earnings will decline due to your expenses and taxes.

    Since you are working as an independent contractor, you can write off the miles you drive when delivering groceries for Instacart. Currently, the federal rate is 57.5 cents per mile driven for business purposes.

    1. Mileage Expenses

    Instacart full-service shoppers need to consider mileage as one of their biggest expense factors. You have to pay for your own fuel, auto insurance, and maintenance which can add up. You can use an app like Stride to track your mileage, as this will be crucial at tax time.

    2. Gas Costs

    In Illinois where Heather is from, the tax on gas just increased, so this can have a huge effect on people who work jobs that require frequent driving. Many drivers have been saving on gas by using some of these best gas apps, including the GetUpside app. If you have a car payment, that’s another expense you might want to tack on.

    3. Insulated Bags

    You may want to invest in some insulated delivery bags so you can keep certain foods chilled while you transport them to the customer. Quality versions of these bags can cost $35+ to order on Amazon.

    What if you don’t have a car?

    If you don’t have a car to drive for Instacart, you may be able to sign up to just do in-store shopping.

    If you want a mode of transportation there are options for renting cars for delivery driving. One such company is HyreCar where you rent a car from an individual as opposed to renting from a company. You can rent the car on an as-needed basis. 

    There are also other delivery options, such as for Postmates, where you can use a bicycle instead of a car since it’s typically for smaller deliveries instead of a full grocery order.

    How to earn more money with Instacart

    There are a few things you can do to increase your overall Instacart pay.

    1. Become a faster shopper

    If you’re a full-service shopper, start learning how grocery stores in your designated shopping area are set up. Also, learn where certain popular items are located so you can work more efficiently.

    If the deli is located near the produce section, grab a number and grab some of the fruits and vegetables on the list while you wait.

    Shop in sections so you can grab everything you need and if an item isn’t available, use Instacart’s replacement suggestion without overthinking it.

    While you can’t control much regarding how Instacart’s algorithm works, you can control your own efficiency so you can get more orders completed in less time.

    Of course, you can always pick up some of the best efficient shopping tips from veteran Instacart shoppers. 

    A Bon Appetit article shared some great insider tips: 

     “A veteran Instacarter named Mo noticed me struggling throughout my shift and offered a few tips: Don’t bag your produce until you’re at the register, weigh all your produce at the same time to avoid running back and forth, and multitask by parking your cart and grabbing a bunch of things at once. My biggest takeaway was to never bag produce. Ever. It’s a waste of plastic and time, even if four mushrooms rolling around the cart might drive me insane.”

    I think the important thing to realize is that you don’t have to shop for Instacart orders just as you would for your own personal groceries. In fact, you shouldn’t do this if you want to work more efficiently. 

    This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pay close attention to detail. Definitely make sure you’re getting the right items and communicating clearly with the customer as needed, but realize that they don’t want you to spend all day on the order.

    As you gain experience and learn the layout of each store, you’ll probably find that it just makes more sense to do some of these things so you can get in and out quickly, then on your way to the next order.

    2. Go after bigger orders

    Sure, bigger orders may mean more time in the store, but if you’re an efficient shopper or simply delivering the food, it won’t really matter.

    Bigger orders that pay well are worth the extra work compared to a small 8-item order that may only pay a couple of dollars.

    3. Work during peak times of the day

    Test out different times to work for Instacart to see which hours are the most profitable for you.

    You may not even need to do much testing because last year Instacart announced that they’d be showing shoppers which shifts contain peak hours where they could possibly earn bonuses.

    These ‘Peak Boosts’ are only available at select times and in select places.

    Watch our 10 Tips that make you more $$$ on Instacart video:

    If you find it easy to shop and want a change of pace from regular rideshare driving, Instacart may still be a way to help you earn a few extra hundred dollars per week. There are also several other delivery services like Postmates, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Shipt.

    With all of these, you will have vehicle expenses that you’ll need to consider and be able to examine compensation estimates to determine what works for you. The best way to narrow down your options is to give it a try and see how well it works for you.

    Sign up for Instacart

    Avoid Beginner Mistakes

    Beginners often make a lot of mistakes when driving for Instacart! Here are the 7 mistakes beginners make with Instacart:

    1. Accepting huge wholesale store orders

    Shopping at places like Costco and Sam’s Club can be trouble if not done right. My limit is only 8 items and 10-15 units (so they can get 8 items, and 3 or so of each item).

    Why? It’s hard to shop for a ton of items in multiple quantities efficiently, and sometimes it’s hard to fit in your car!

    2. Back and forth with customer service

    On one hand, it’s great that people use their app to shop for their grandma or others who can’t leave the house. The problem happens when they make an order for themselves and forget to change the delivery address to their own home address.

    One time, I ended up spending an hour and a half in the store and driving an extra 20 miles, only to receive $12 for all of that… and no tip.

    Here’s where I went wrong: I saw the customer had gone back and forth with customer service about a new delivery destination. The customer had originally forgot to update their destination (they had been making orders for someone else).

    They demanded the new delivery be brought to a new location after I already was on my way to the original location. All this shopping and back and forth… for $12. It was ridiculous.

    Be careful if you see a lot of back and forth between the customer and customer service – it’s probably trouble and you should just cancel the order.

    3. Shopping for businesses

    90% of veteran Instacart shoppers refuse to do it – and there’s a good reason why.

    Businesses don’t tip and they treat you like an unpaid intern. They’ll demand you bring everything up, put it in a certain location, ignore you and not tip.

    Just avoid them! You’ll know it’s a business because it looks like a monopoly hotel piece on your app (watch the video above to see what this looks like).

    4. Parking in a tow zone

    Do not park in a tow zone! Personally, I like parking next to a shopping cart corral so you can drop off your cart and go. That’s the ideal scenario. But parking in a tow zone? No way.

    Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to avoid these situations in downtown areas. It’s virtually impossible to find parking, pay for parking, get reimbursed for parking, etc.

    And no, don’t park in a disabled parking spot. That’s just wrong – make the customer come and get their stuff.

    5. Wearing Instacart’s “uniform”

    In the beginning, Instacart would hand out shirts to shoppers (or necklaces). You do not have to wear them, and I definitely don’t. I’ve found cashiers and even customers at the store seem to treat you poorly.

    6. Accepting triple or large double batches

    I personally don’t like triple batches or even large double batches. I like to get groceries one at a time and make deliveries one at a time. It can be stressful to organize and even deliver large, multiple batches and watch out if you have frozen food! I personally just avoid it altogether.

    7. Getting more than 3 cases of water

    This seems really weird, but people seem to enjoy buying tons and tons of cases of water. Why they just don’t have Sparkletts deliver, I don’t know.

    In the beginning, I would accept orders that asked for tons of cases of water (8+!). I learned quickly and the hard way that most people do not help you bring these cases of water in.

    I once had a man bring me a dolly and watched me deliver case after case of water – not helping, not tipping – and I was 5 months pregnant! Most people will not help you with the cases of water and they will not tip, but try it out for yourself.

    Just let people know you won’t deliver more than 3 cases. Some will get mad but that’s not your problem.

    Refer Customers to Instacart

    Another way to make money with Instacart is by referring not just other new drivers, but new customers too.

    If you haven’t signed up to be an Instacart customer yet, sign up with our referral code and we’ll both get a free credit on our next order.

    Once you have your account, you can share your Instacart promo code for new customers with your friends and family and earn money when they sign up.

    Simply go into your profile and click on “Refer Friends”. From there you’ll see this page:

    refer friends instacart

    From here, you can share your link however you like. Whatever the current offer is for referring, it’ll show at the top banner.

    As you can see from the image above, the current referral code will get you $10 for signing a new user up, but depending on promotions Instacart is running, it can be more!

    Sign up for the Instacart customer app here.

    Instacart Promo Code

    Applying an Instacart promo code for new customers is easy!

    Step 1: Open your app and click on the settings/icon button in the upper left-hand corner

    Step 2: Click on Add Promo Code

    Step 3: From there, click Redeem (if you already have a Promo Code attached to your account, it will show up on this screen).

    Step 4: Enter the Promo Code you have and then click Save.

    Step 5: Do your shopping and save! If your promo code is invalid, a warning will appear after clicking on Save in the above step. If you get an error messaage, it could be that your promo code has expired. 

    Instacart Express

    If you plan on doing most, if not all, of your grocery shopping through Instacart, consider using Instacart Express.

    For a monthly or yearly fee, you can get free delivery from any participating store near you as long as your order is $35 or more. They can even deliver your order right to your door in as little as one hour.

    Simply open your app, go to settings and check “Instacart Express”.

    What’s the cost? For a year subscription of Instacart Express, you’ll pay $99. Otherwise, you can go month-by-month and pay $9.99 each month.

    Without Instacart Express, you’re looking at paying at minimum $3.99 per delivery. The cost goes up during peak shopping hours. With Express, it’s free delivery during any hours as long as you order at least $35.

    View Instacart Shopper Position

    Readers, have you thought of driving for Instacart? How much did Instacart pay you? Let us know in the comments below!

    Instacart FAQs

    How old do you have to be to do Instacart?

    You must be 18 years old to work for Instacart.

    Does Instacart do a background check? (and how long does it take?)

    Yes, Instacart conducts background checks on shoppers. The background check for Instacart should only take 10 days, but because of COVID, background checks are taking longer to clear. The sooner you can sign up to get your background check processed, the better!
    Instacart uses Checkr to process background checks. You can check the status of your background check for Instacart with Checkr here.
    Still having issues with your background check? Here’s what Instacart recommends:

    If you received a copy of your background check and believe that any of the information is inaccurate or incomplete, please contact disputes@checkr.com.

    For information about the background check process, disputes, and other topics, visit the Checkr Help Center.

    Does Instacart pay weekly?

    You can choose to be paid by Instacart weekly, but you can cash out with Instacart immediately.

    Will Instacart still pay if no orders?

    If you cannot complete orders because they are not available, you will not be paid by Instacart.

    How much does Instacart pay in Canada?

    According to Glassdoor, Instacart pays around $9 per batch – very similar to what it is here in the US, and you can increase your pay by working efficiently and following our strategies listed above.

    How does a shopper pay for groceries?

    Instacart shoppers pay for groceries using an Instacart payment card.
    Once approved to shop with Instacart, you’ll be mailed a payment card from Instacart to use to checkout and pay for groceries. Do not use your own credit or debit card to buy Instacart groceries. It’s, at best, annoying to be reimbursed by Instacart and, at worst, you won’t be reimbursed.

    What is an Instacart pay bump?

    Occasionally, you will receive an Instacart pay bump if you’ve had a difficult or heavy order, but they are rare. In addition, if you choose to participate in an Instacart survey, video interview, study, or in-person shop along, Instacart will provide you a shopper bump deposited directly into your Instacart shopper app.

    Written by Chonce @ The Rideshare Guy with additional reporting from RSG contributors Paula Gibbins, Katie Heflin and Melissa Berry.

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    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Choncé is a freelance writer who’s obsessed with living well on a budget and loves encouraging people to make extra money so they can meet their financial goals. She is happily married to one of the best Uber drivers in the Chicago metro area, who currently has 2,800+ trips under his belt.