Looking to earn a paycheck without applying for jobs?
Instacart offers in-store shopper and delivery driver positions for competitive pay. All you need is:
- A valid U.S. driver’s license
- Auto insurance
- Be at least 18 years old
They also offer flexible hours and the freedom to make money on your own terms. Read on to find out how much you could earn by working for Instacart.
- Instacart pay per Order: $7-10 (minimum batch payment for 1-3 orders)
- Instacart pay per Hour: $13-17 on average (varies by location)
- Instacart pay per Mile: $0.60 on average
- Instacart pay per Week: $300-500 on average (depending on your hours)
What is Instacart?
Instacart is a grocery pick-up and delivery service (often called “the Uber of grocery shopping.”)
Customers use the Instacart website or mobile app to order groceries for delivery or curbside pickup. Drivers use the Instacart Shopper app to view and claim available deliveries to make money on their own schedule.
Yes. Compared to many gig economy jobs, like ride-sharing, Instacart drivers have minimal contact with customers. You can review all of Instacart’s Shopper Safety Resources here.
How Does Instacart Work?
After signing up as a driver, you can use the Instacart Shopper app to view and claim available “batches” for delivery.
A batch is a group of 1-3 customer orders (if a batch contains multiple orders, all items will be from the same store).
Drivers can also use the Shopper app to view the best days and times to shop based on how many batches tend to be available at that time. You’ll also get alerts of new batches as soon as they become available via push notifications.
Once you accept a batch, you pick up the groceries from the designated store. You’ll mark each item complete as you shop, pay for the items (more on this below), and deliver them to the customer.
How Do I Pay for Groceries?
Rest assured: you won’t need to make any purchases out of your own pocket.
After signing up, you will be sent an Instacart debit card. You’ll use this card to pay for every order. New shoppers get their debit card in the mail 5-7 business days after completing the sign-up process.
If you want to start shopping before receiving your physical card, you can link your Instacart debit card to your Google Pay account right in the Instacart app.
For some purchases, the customer will have paid online for the groceries. In which case, you simply scan a barcode at checkout (located in the app).
Types of Instacart Shoppers: Drivers and Shoppers
Instacart offers two different shopper positions: full-service shoppers and in-store shoppers.
- Full-service shoppers operate as independent contractors (similar to GrubHub or Uber). If you become a full-service shopper, you’ll be responsible for picking up groceries and delivering them to the customer.
- In-store shoppers are part-time employees of Instacart and work scheduled shifts at specific grocery stores for a maximum of 29 hours per week. They shop for items in-store and get orders ready for pickup by a full-service driver or for curbside pickup by customers.
Full-service shoppers must own a vehicle and the work is more intensive, but they can earn more money in the form of tips and promotions.
In-store shoppers can enjoy a predictable income and don’t need a vehicle, but should expect lower pay compared to drivers.
Ready to sign up? We cover the driver requirements further down.
How Much Does Instacart Pay?
Instacart doesn’t provide specific numbers on how much shoppers get paid. This is because your hourly rate will vary based on location and how many orders you complete.
For example, densely populated areas will have more batches available.
Here’s a general overview of what shoppers can expect to earn with Instacart.
- In-store shoppers make $13.00 per hour on average according to Glassdoor. If you work the maximum amount of hours (29), you can expect to make about $375 per week.
- Full-service shoppers are reported to make an average of $17.00 per hour including tips and promotions. Our estimates predict that drivers can earn roughly $350 to $500 per week by working about 20 hours during that period.
What stores use Instacart?
Instacart partners with over 300 popular national and regional stores, including Albertsons, ALDI, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Loblaw, Publix, Sam’s Club, Sprouts, and Wegmans. Instacart’s services are accessible to 85% of the United States population.
What are Minimum Batch Payments?
The minimum batch payment is the minimum amount of money that drivers are guaranteed for a single delivery run. This amount does not include tips.
The minimum batch payment was previously only $3. In 2019, it was increased to $7-$10 for full-service batches and $5 for delivery-only batches after a recent attempt by Instacart to compensate its drivers more fairly.
How Do Instacart Shoppers Get Paid?
Both in-store shoppers and full-service shoppers get paid weekly via direct deposit into an eligible bank account. To get paid, you must provide Instacart with your routing number and account number.
Drivers can also transfer their processed tips directly from the app without waiting for their weekly payment. Instacart drivers keep 100% of their tips.
Instacart Shopper Requirements
To be an Instacart shopper, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be able to lift 40 lbs. unassisted
- Have legal authorization to work in the United States
- Hold a valid driver’s license
- Have auto insurance that can be used for Instacart
- Complete a background check
You must be at least 18 year old to shop or drive for Instacart, according to Instacart’s onboarding info.
How to Become an Instacart Shopper
If you meet the criteria above and think Instacart may be for you, follow these steps to get started making money in as little as two hours.
- Download the App
First, download the Instacart Shopper app from the Google Play Store or App Store.
- Enter Your Information
Next, enter your personal information including name, DOB, SSN, and address. You will also be prompted to take a photo of the front and back of your driver’s license, as well as a selfie (to verify your identity) inside the app.
Once you submit your information, Instacart will run a quick background check to ensure you’re legally allowed to drive for the company.
- Start Driving
After Instacart runs your background check and you have received your debit card (or linked your Instacart card to Google Pay) you can start accepting batches.
Most applicants will be able to start driving in just a few hours.
Before You Sign Up: Expenses to Consider
Although drivers don’t have to pay for groceries out of pocket, all delivery jobs come with several secondary expenses you’ll want to keep in mind. These include:
- Fuel purchases
- Insurance premium increase (depending on your auto insurance policy)
- Depreciating car value due to added miles
- Maintenance for wear and tear on your vehicle
The Bottom Line: Is Instacart Worth It?
If you’re between jobs or want to earn a little extra income on the side, Instacart offers a great way to earn a decent paycheck while having the freedom to make your own hours.
For more great odd job and side hustle ideas, check out this list of 18 opportunities or this list of online jobs for teens.
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