how much can you make a month with instacart

Instacart is an online grocery delivery service that allows users to order their groceries through an app after first establishing a shopping list on the company’s website. Customers can expect their goods to be delivered to their homes within two hours.
You can apply for work using a different app called Instacart Shoppers, and if you are accepted, you can sign up for shifts within the app to shop for and deliver orders to clients in your region.
As an Instacart shopper, you will be required to make purchases at local businesses that Instacart has established business relationships with and that are located in your nearby neighborhood.

Shopper Profiles on Instacart
When a client puts an order, it is handed off to a shopper such as yourself to fulfill.
You have the choice of shopping either in the store itself or via our full service shopping experience.
The sole responsibility of the in-store shopper is to really shop. The shopper provides both shopping and delivery services as part of their full-service offering.

When you have reached the level of full service shopping, you can utilize the Instacart app to look for orders that need to be completed.
You have the option of either accepting the incoming order or declining it.
If you decide to do the job, the next step is for you to drive to the specified location, where you will either shop for the customer or pick up their pre-bagged purchase in order to bring it to them.
When operating in certain marketplaces, a full-service shopper has the choice of either shopping for the client or merely delivering their purchases.
If a customer’s desired item is out of stock or if you need to provide an alternative item for them before you check out, you might be required to send them a message or send them an SMS while you are out conducting your grocery shopping.
Always keep an eye on the product’s quality as well as its expiration date to ensure that the consumer is receiving only fresh products at all times.

What Qualifications Are Required To Join The Instacart Shopping Community?

Check to see whether Instacart is active in your region to see if you may become a personal shopper for the company.
After you have confirmed this, you will be required to complete the application procedure.
Thankfully, it is not very complicated. Before you submit your application, double check that you are able to fulfill the standards listed below.

At a minimum, you must be 21 years old.
Have a relatively new mobile device.
Achieve a lifting capacity of 25–30 pounds when carrying supermarket bags.
Capability of passing a background check when required.
Have a dependable mode of transportation, such as a car, bike, or scooter.

In order to complete the application, you will need to provide some basic information, such as your name, address, phone number, and email address.
After that, you decide whether you want to shop in-store or utilize the full range of available full-service options.
You will also be asked to confirm that you have access to a dependable vehicle during this process.
Last but not least, you will be required to supply a payment method in order to get compensated for the work hours that you put in.

Instacart will perform a fundamental background check on you, and if you are chosen for employment with the company, you will have the option to participate in an in-person hiring session that will involve an orientation as well as a test of your skills.
This session to hire new employees typically lasts for two hours.
Please be aware that this hiring session may not be required in some areas, and you may immediately begin setting your work schedule.
If you do end up getting employed, keep in mind that you will be working as an independent contractor.
This indicates that you will be given a 1099 at the end of the year and that you will not receive any benefits, such as coverage under a health insurance policy or access to retirement schemes.
You should also be aware that the first two weeks serve as a trial period during which you will determine whether or not you enjoy grocery shopping as a side hustle.

Pick The Times That Best Suit You To Work

It is a wonderful feature that Instacart allows you to sign up for shifts based on your own schedule. You only need to work a shift that is a minimum of two hours long.
As soon as you are “on shift,” the app will begin sending orders to you.
You have the ability to inspect the delivery address of any incoming order and decide whether or not you want to fulfill the order by either accepting it or letting it go without fulfillment. The app will delete your account if you decline more than four orders in a row. After 15 minutes, you can get back on the train.

How exactly does one go about earning money while working for Instacart?

As soon as your shift starts, you should open the Shopper app so that you can begin receiving orders for items to purchase.

You will be able to access the shopping list and commence shopping as soon as you have received an order.
After you have finished making your shopping list, you will pay for the order by using a credit card or debit card that the company has provided for you. Even though it is the same thing, some customers refer to it as a payment card.
In addition to receiving an hourly wage of $8.25 for shopping and delivering the goods, you are also compensated an additional $0.40 for each item. You also have the opportunity to get gratuities from the customers.
Earn more commission with each each larger order. Additionally, there are wage increases associated with buying at Costco.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, accuracy is prioritized over speed when it comes to Instacart’s shopping experience. In point of fact, the more efficient a shopper you are, the greater the likelihood that you will be given fewer orders of a lower value. I’m not suggesting that you shop at a snail’s pace, but you should be aware that taking your time and making sure that your purchases are correct may cause their algorithm to reward you with larger orders in the future.

You will receive priority on orders that come in and you may even qualify for their incentive structure, which is a wonderful opportunity to earn additional cash if you are eligible for it. This is because the more deliveries you make and the better your reliability rating stays, the more orders you will receive.
If you limit yourself to only accepting entire shopping orders and not just delivery orders, you will increase the amount of money you make. The ones that have already been shopped for by an employee in the store only have to pay a nominal delivery charge, and it is simply not worthwhile for me to put in all of that effort for such a negligible payoff. Keep your eye out for large full shopping orders, which are orders that contain 10 or more things.

How Does the Payment Process Work for Instacart Shoppers?
Customers who shop on Instacart have the ability to cash out at any time. Shoppers who use Instacart are paid through a process known as direct deposit into their bank accounts. You get to retain each and every one of your customers’ gratuities, but the money won’t be deposited into your bank account until a full day has passed.

Instacart Tips

Because Instacart permits all shoppers to keep one hundred percent of their gratuities, we always urge that Instacart shoppers stay in touch with their customers and discuss if any substitutions need to be made.

In general, we’ve seen that the more you engage with your consumer regarding replacements, the more likely you are to get tips. This is because the client gets the impression that you’ve listened to them and made an effort to locate their item, which may now be out of stock.

Instacart Tip Baiting

Tip-baiting is something that new drivers for Instacart should be aware of and avoid doing. Unfortunately, as more people use Instacart for placing orders for delivery, more and more individuals are becoming desperate to have their grocery deliveries as quickly as possible.

Some dishonest clients will offer a hefty tip as a ‘bait’ to entice you to take their order first, and then they will ask you to return the money once the delivery has been made. This is done in an effort to get ahead of other customers’ requests.

Sadly, if a tip appears to be too good to be true (for instance, a $50 tip on a $20 order), you should probably pass on it or at the very least wait for a better order to come along. According to Instacart drivers who we’ve spoken with, you’ll get better at recognizing tip baits the more shops you take, but when you first start out, it’s best to assume that anything that seems too good to be true probably is!

Shopper Safety

It is imperative that you always put your safety first. There is no such thing as a speed benefit on the Instacart platform!
When you are delivering the groceries, I ask that you please drive slowly and stay outside at all times.

The Positives And Negatives Of It Being An Instacart Shopper
There are positives and negatives associated with any potential side hustle option. The most popular options for each category can be found below.


Flexibility. You get to decide when you wish to work, both in terms of hours and frequency of shifts.
A speedy beginning. The time it takes to finish your application and be cleared to shop is typically less than one week.
Fair remuneration On average, most people make between $15-$20 an hour.
Advice from Customers If you do an excellent job and complete orders in a timely manner, clients will tip you for your efforts.
Smarter shopping. You will become a more astute shopper as you become more acquainted with the grocery stores in your immediate area. This will enable you to determine which stores offer the most competitive prices.


Intensely taxing on the body You will be walking a lot and carrying heavy bags because you will be grocery shopping for a long period of time.
Income that varies. There is no way to predict how much money you will make on any given day.
No benefits. You will not be eligible for benefits such as health insurance or retirement plans from Instacart if you work as an independent contractor for the company.

Advice That Will Help You Increase Your Profits

Perform your duties at the busiest parts of the day.

Try working for Instacart at a variety of various times of the day to determine which hours yield the highest earnings for you.
Because Instacart made the announcement the previous year that they will be informing customers which shifts comprise peak hours during which they have the potential to earn bonuses, you probably won’t even need to perform too much testing.
These so-called “Peak Boosts” are only made available at particular times and in particular locations.

Go after bigger orders
Larger orders could need you to spend more time in the store, but if you know how to shop efficiently or if you’re only going to be delivering the food, it won’t really make a difference.
When opposed to a modest eight-item order that may only pay a couple of dollars, larger orders that pay well are worth the additional work that is required.

If you have any questions while you are shopping, feel free to contact us.
Send a message to the customer informing them that you are unable to locate a particular item in your inventory. Perhaps they will request something completely different.

When you bag, make sure you use your head.
Do not stuff a bag to its utmost capacity. You might be able to lift it, but you could be buying for somebody who has trouble lifting things that are too heavy.

In spite of the fact that Instacart has a predetermined payout structure, it is possible to level up when a certain amount of time has passed with satisfactory performance. To put it another way, if you perform a good job, you will be rewarded for it.

If you have the ability to choose when you work, it is in your best interest to select shifts that are busier than others.
For instance, Instacart increases the amount of money it pays its consumers by increasing the number of orders that are placed over a specific period of time.
As a result, there is going to be a higher demand around the winter holidays. It is best to be working throughout this period so that you may maximize your earnings.
The weekends are also a productive time to get things done. The majority of consumers place their orders for groceries at this time.
This does not mean that it is never appropriate to put it to use in other contexts. It is important to keep in mind that the more Instacart shoppers there are, the more difficult it is to get an order in the first place.

Buy freezer bags.
In order to transport objects that are cold or frozen, you require these. You definitely don’t want to buy a container of ice cream, just to get stuck in traffic and have it melt while you’re driving.

Learn how to shop more quickly.

If you prefer full-service transactions, you should become familiar with the layout of grocery stores in the area where you do your shopping. Also, familiarize yourself with the locations of many common things so that you can perform your duties with greater efficacy.
In the event that the deli is situated close to the part containing the fresh produce, you should receive a number and, while you wait, select some of the items from the list consisting of fruits and vegetables.
Shop by category so that you may acquire everything you require, and if an item is out of stock, make use of the replacement option that Instacart provides without giving it too much thought.
You may not have much control over how Instacart’s algorithm operates, but you do have some say over how efficiently you work, and you can use that to your advantage to fulfill more orders in the same amount of time.

Maintain a record of things.
You are required to mention this fact on your tax return because you now have a source of income. However, you get to write off your expenses, which lowers the amount of income that is subject to taxation.
Therefore, you need to save receipts for everything you buy for your employment, including the freezer bags and everything else.
Also, make sure that you keep a log of the number of miles you drive, the amount of gas that you purchase, and any car maintenance that you do.
Last but not least, keep in mind that if you are using your phone for work-related purposes, a percentage of the cost of your regular phone bill can be deducted as an allowable business expense.

In order to be successful with Instacart, here are some common mistakes to steer clear of.

Looking into several companies

Customers that have used Instacart in the past won’t do it, and there’s a good reason for that.
The company does not tip their employees, and instead treats you like an unpaid intern. They will ignore you and refuse to give you a gratuity, but they will demand that you bring everything upstairs, put it in a certain location, and put it there.
Simply steer clear of them! You’ll recognize it as a company when you see an icon on your app that resembles a hotel from the board game Monopoly (watch the video above to see what this looks like).

Taking in extremely large purchases from the wholesale store

When not done correctly, shopping at warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco can be a source of frustration. My quota is only 8 products, and I can only order 10-15 units (so they can get 8 items, and 3 or so of each item).
Why? It can be challenging to shop for a large number of products in numerous amounts without wasting time, and it can also be difficult to fit everything in your vehicle.

Taking either triple or huge double batches at this time

Triple batches or even enormous double batches aren’t something I particularly enjoy making at home. It’s more convenient for me to make individual deliveries and shop for individual items at a time. It can be hard to manage and even transport huge, multiple batches, and you have to be especially careful if you are dealing with frozen food. For my part, I just completely avoid doing that.

Alternatives to the Shopping App Instacart

There are more options available besides Instacart for receiving grocery deliveries.

There are other competitors out there that you ought to take into consideration.

Instacart alternatives:

Some of the most viable rivals to Instacart include the grocery delivery services of Postmates (formerly known as Uber Eats), Shipt, and DoorDash.

Instacart vs Postmates (now Uber Eats)

The choice between Instacart and Postmates boils down, ultimately, to the availability of each service in your city and the means through which you want to navigate it. Postmates is going to be your best bet if you want to make deliveries by walking or biking because it’s difficult to purchase and deliver groceries on a bike at the same time.
However, if Postmates and Instacart are both available in your city and you have access to a vehicle, then you have access to a wider variety of options.
You have the option, when using Postmates, to transport things that are similar to those found in grocery stores, such as items found in convenience stores for example. On the other hand, the vast majority of your work will be delivering food from different eateries.
According to our observations, Postmates drivers can make anywhere between $13 and $15 per hour, although this figure looks to be on the rise and is currently estimated to be $20 per hour as a result of rising tips and reduced levels of competition. Postmates is distinct from Instacart due to the fact that it provides its users with various incentives and perks.
You are able to examine orders in advance with Instacart, and you may make judgments depending on your location as well as your familiarity with the grocery shop. However, there aren’t really any bonuses to work toward with this company.
It is possible to stack orders with both Instacart and Postmates; however, the drivers with whom we have spoken have reported that stacking orders with Instacart is both simpler and more profitable than stacking orders with Postmates.
Postmates has been rebranded as Uber Eats, and the latter company now works in conjunction with Cornershop to provide delivery services for groceries. Stick with Instacart if you’d rather go grocery shopping than make deliveries for restaurants because you’re more likely to get requests to bring food from restaurants when you take orders through Uber Eats (formerly known as Postmates).

Instacart vs Shipt

It is also important to consider the availability of each service in your city when deciding between Shipt and Instacart. However, if you want to take advantage of Shipt’s consistently higher than average earnings for shoppers, you should join up with both firms.
Shipt is an additional grocery delivery service that, in contrast to Instacart, lets customers place orders for home improvement supplies as well. Because you’ll be transporting grocery items and other household goods as part of your work for Shipt, you’ll need access to a reliable vehicle. Shipt is a same-day delivery service that, similar to Instacart, operates in major cities and uses independent contractors to complete deliveries.
Shipt shoppers have the potential to earn up to $22 per hour, and according to other Shipt shoppers with whom we’ve spoken, the amount of money you can make relies not only on your market but also on when you’re available to work and the size of your orders.
It’s interesting that Shipt shoppers get to keep the entirety of their tips, but Shipt also offers to pay a portion of the order total in the event that the tip amount from the client is insufficient. Shipt also provides its customers with perks.

Instacart vs DoorDash

Doordash is the other major competitor to Instacart in the race for the title of most popular food delivery service. The majority orders are placed with Instacart and DoorDash. They have the biggest volume (the most opportunity).
DoorDash and Instacart are two competing grocery delivery services, but which one is better for you depends on the availability of each in your city and how you intend to travel around. DoorDash is your best bet if you want to make deliveries by walking or biking because it’s difficult to purchase and transport groceries while riding a bike at the same time.
However, if DoorDash and Instacart are both accessible in your city and you have access to a vehicle, then your options become significantly more diverse.
When you use DoorDash, every one of your orders will be fulfilled by a local restaurant. Because of this, it’s likely that your orders will be less substantial but more frequent than those placed through Instacart.
According to our observations, DoorDash couriers can earn anywhere between $15 and $20 per hour, but this figure looks to be on the rise and may soon reach $20 or more per hour as a result of rising gratuities and decreased levels of competition. DoorDash is distinct from Instacart because it provides customers with incentives and various types of perks.
You are able to examine orders in advance with Instacart, and you may make judgments depending on your location as well as your familiarity with the grocery shop. However, there aren’t really any bonuses to work toward with this company.
One of the most helpful pieces of advice we can give is to become familiar with the grocery store in which you shop. For example, if you are an expert at swiftly selecting spices and produce, and an order comes in that is heavy on spices and produce, go for it! You will have a much easier time completing the shopping activity, which will result in an increase in your profits per hour. Up to $45 an hour can be made by the most productive drivers.
It is possible to stack orders with both Instacart and DoorDash; however, the drivers with whom we have spoken have said that stacking orders with Instacart is both simpler and more profitable than doing so with DoorDash.

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